Mt. Vernon Weekend Recap

You guys, I’m back!
Truth be told, I never meant to go anywhere or take any kind of break from blogging. But I’m pretty sure it’s been a good solid two weeks and it’s been nothing but static from my part of the internet.
It’s just been busy. Really busy, in all really good ways. If you follow on Instagram and watch my Insta-stories you know we’ve been bi-bopping around Ohio the past couple weekends. My plan this week is to publish all of the posts sitting in my drafts folder and get ya’ll caught up on my explorations!
This past weekend we traveled North East of Columbus to Knox County, Ohio. We went to spend time with Manfriend’s Mom who lives in Apple Valley Resort in Howard, Ohio. There is also a solid crew that kicks it around Mount Vernon that we like to get into mischief with, so we are up in those parts pretty often.

Spending so much time in rural Ohio I have developed quite the affinity for small, hole-in-the-wall diners. What’s really not to love about greasy, home cooked meals where they almost always have pie! Usually the smaller the restaurant the better the pie.

The best place to find these hidden gems are in small town America, welcome to Knox County. I blogged about one of my first experiences in Knox County here, when we ate at Spearman’s. It’s literally a gas station diner and you guys the pie, it’s life changing!

This trip we tried a newly opened Restaurant and Pub, Duffers, in Fredericktown.

Set in quaint Fredericktown, where Manfriend’s Mother grew up, Duffer’s was recently opened in the historic King-Blackburn house. So much cool history to this house, there was a nice explanation on the back of our menu that went into detail, something about it being built in the 1830’s and the original owner’s were aids to President Lincoln.
I’d love to say I spent lunch soaking in the historical significance of such a cool landmark while enjoying my tasty, buffalo chicken wrap. Truthfully I was corralling a knife, wielding toddler, who couldn’t get enough ketchup.

I’d love to go back sans toddler, can I still use the toddler excuse when she’s four?! Enjoy some extremely reasonably priced beer, sample all of the appetizers on the menu that looked divine and read the entire historical excerpt on the back of the menu!

Definitely a cool spot if you are ever in the area.

Despite the frigid temperatures, after lunch we headed to one of my favorite parts of Mount Vernon, Ariel-Foundation Park.

The Foundation Park Conservancy was created in 2009 by Mount Vernon Mayor Richard K. Marvis to develop and execute a master plan for what was then known as Foundation Park. Initially an 85-acre park encompassing two lake and river frontage, acquired by the city of Mount Vernon in 2000 with a grand from the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County, it was expanded to 125-acres with the assistance of a 2006 Clean Ohio Grant.

The fortuitous location of Foundation Park, adjacent to the Ohio to Erie Trail system, the scenic Kokosing River, and historic Downtown Mount Vernon, encouraged the Conservancy board members to really set the bar high for this unique recreational and economic development opportunity.

The grand opening of this massive restoration project took place on July 4, 2015 with more than 10,000 people in attendance.

In its inaugural year following the opening of the park, The Foundation Park Conservancy undertook an ambitious program of physical enhancements to the park, as well as a schedule of free concerts in the 17,000 square foot Schnormeier Events Center. Thousands of guests visited the new park, to enjoy its three lakes, beautiful woods, walking trails, and historical ruins.

Ariel-Foundation Park has become a world class example of adaptive reuse that honors industrial heritage and it is the focal point for recreation, entertainment and social interactions in Knox County.

Another breathtaking aspect of the park and my absolute favorite feature of the terraces is the River of Glass. It pays homage to Pittsburgh Plate Glass Works No. 11, honoring the significance of the family members who worked for PPG.

Flowing down one of the hillsides near the Schnormeier Event Center and Tree of Life Labyrinth, the river is fashioned with chunks of glass, called ‘cullet’ as well as tiny crushed pieces of glass.
The color and the way it looks like the bright blue glass is spilling down the side of the hill is like nothing I have ever seen before. When you get up close and realize the tiny particles of glass that make up the white aspect of the river, it is truly remarkable to witness and enjoy.

Inspired by the works of American landscape architect Charles Jencks, the terraces add a dramatic vertical dimension to the landscape. Curvilinear reflecting ponds surround the terrace hillsides, and spiral paths lead up to the terrace peaks for bird’s-eye views of the park.
The 1000-foot winding walkway celebrates virtues of faith, hope, charity, love and peace. 
Walking the winding path and pausing to reflect while sitting on benches along the labyrinth unifies the body, mind and spirit allowing the walker to leave the path feeling at peace.

Historic brick facades, stair and elevator towers, a giant smoke stack, as well as other beautiful structures are left standing in the park. These unique features offer a tangible link to the past and serve as a tribute to the thousands of men and women who worked at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass manufacturing plant, one of the largest of its kind in the world.

You can feel all of the authentic history the park has to offer as you wander among the old ruins.

Much to Manfriend’s dismay there are endless opportunities for pictures with the different structures scattered throughout the park. 

Evelyn thinks every doorway is a stage.

The blue and pink hues in the glass are so stunning to witness.

Manfriend & {his} Mama

After Ariel-Foundation Park we headed to one more outdoor adventure to appease the little cowgirl.
Horses and chickens on the family farm.

They thought we had their dinner.

They quickly lost interest when they figured out we were empty handed.

Evelyn wants to desperately ride horses. This was SO me as a little girl. Obsessed with horses, I even went to horse camp a few summers.

Anybody know any good, inexpensive horseback riding places around Columbus, other than the fair?

My love for horses has immensley dwindled.

Stormy, the blue-eyes horse.

We ended Saturday with the crew at the usual Mount Vernon hangout, Flappers.
The Thump Daddy Band was playing and will be playing a wedding we are attending in September so everyone was ready to throw down and boogie!
Ohio Girls are the Best Girls.
Little Beers.
I was introduced to these at Flappers in Mount Vernon and they have been the source of some pretty hilarious spectacles. They are shots of Licor 43 with cream on top. Look like a mini beer when poured, taste a little but like creamy butterscotch. About the only shot I can actually shoot the whole thing. I’m also known for taking too many every time without fail when we visit Flappers.
Little Beers for everyone!


  1. March 6, 2017 / 7:18 PM

    Omg I love horses beautiful photo's thanks for sharing your weekend experience.

  2. Anonymous
    March 6, 2017 / 7:33 PM

    When you come back to the Mount Vernon area, check Mohaven Equine for horseback riding.

  3. March 9, 2017 / 5:30 PM

    Highly approve of this blog 🙂

    Except that I wasn't able to get in that picture with you lovely ladies!

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