Where are my Fixer Upper fans at?!?! Mom and I are HUGE Fixer Upper fans. I have read both books. I have the magazine subscription and we have seen every episode at least once. However, while we are huge fans, we are not as hardcore as some we met. I mean, these people were quizzed and could answer questions about any episode. Honestly, it was impressive! Still, visiting Waco, TX was on our bucket list of places to see. So, when the opportunity presented itself, we jumped on it!
A few months back I had received a wedding invitation to my cousin's wedding in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Having lived in Tulsa for almost eleven years, I always like to visit whenever I get a chance. Mom had decided to drive down with me and my brothers were going to come separately a day later due to work restraints. Since it was just the two of us we decided a six hour drive from Tulsa was much better than a sixteen hour drive from Chicago, so after the wedding we hopped back in my car, put in our book on tape and heading south.
Mom, I discovered, had never been to Texas so she was very excited to check out some new terrain. I have been to Houston, Austin and Dallas, but never Waco, and it was definitely by air plane, not car. So I was pretty excited too. Although, not gonna lie, it was a LOT of time in a car. I enjoy road trips, but six hours a day seems to be my limit. Those ten hour stretches were rough.
Anyway, when we go to Waco we checked into our beautiful hotel. Yes, I picked it because it was pretty and had palm trees! It was late Sunday evening on Father's Day so we wanted to get some rest for our exciting adventures that awaited.
Bright and early the next day, we showered, headed down to breakfast and figured out our game plan. Mom being Mom had found some brochures for tourists, which worked out well because we ended up taking a Waco Van Tour. Waco Tours was awesome! The company was started by two families that had been on Fixer Upper and saw a need for a tour after people began to flock to Waco. Each week about 30-40 thousand people visit Magnolia Market. It's like the Disney World of Texas! I was blown away.
The great thing about the Waco Tour (while pricey, but worth it!) was not only did we see some Fixer Upper houses and locations, but we learned about the city of Waco. We visited a local coffee and ice cream shop, drove around Baylor's campus where they have a real live bear, learned about the various rivers, the suspension bridge where the cattle first crossed and so much more. We laughed and had a good old time. With such an intimate group of about nine, they took the time to learn our names and a little about us.
We forgot to take a photo with our tour guides, Austin and Lauren, but some of the awesome people we met did!
After our two and a half hour tour Mom and I headed to Magnolia Table for a very late lunch. The restaurant is absolutely adorable!!! There is a reason Chip and JoJo have such a huge following. Their work is incredible. And, to go above and beyond that, they thought everything out. The entrance to both the restaurant and the take away area had a worker stationed at the door to greet you with a smile. In addition to the giant covered pergola with extensive seating they had also put up a white tent with fans because at popular times the wait could be quite extensive. We waiting just over an hour for our table, but we didn't mind. There were people walking around with water as well as fun trivia questions to win cookies. Yes, we won thanks to our awesome tour we had taken. Did you know Dr Pepper had originated in Waco, TX??? I didn't. They have a museum and everything!
We sat to the left of the fire place!
After lunch, it was nearing 3pm at this point, we headed back to Magnoilia Market and the Silo's to do a little shopping. It was fun to walk around the shop, but we really didn't buy much. I got a tank top and a t-shirt that are both incredibly soft and Mom got an ornament for our tree. After that she sat in the shade at a nearby picnic table and I walked around taking photos. My favorite thing about the Silo's is the atmosphere. Families snacking at the various food trucks, playing games, enjoying the weather. It's exactly what was envisioned when the Silo's were revealed.
Our final Magnolia stop was the bakery. Located underneath the Silo's, the former flower shop was adorably transformed to match their black and white decor with soft greenery and wood accents. Mom and I each purchased two treats. I got a lemon lavender cupcake and a blueberry crumble muffin. Both were delicious! No, I didn't eat them both right then. I was too full from lunch, otherwise..... fair game!
I won't go on too much more about our day. This blog is already turning into a short novel. However, day one concluded with a quick stop to the hotel gym before heading to the movie theater across the street to watch "The Book Club" and then bed.
Originally we were only suppose to be in town one day, but after seeing all the fun sites to explore we decided to skip our stop in St Louis on the way home and stay one more day in Waco. I am a huge animal lover so a stop to the Cameron Park Zoo was a must. The sky threatened rain most of the day, but we managed to make it through the zoo without getting soaked. If you ever visit Waco be sure to check out the zoo. It's super nice with beautiful walking trails that lead you from animal to animal. Just as we were leaving the zoo the rain began to fall. We decided to choose an indoor activity and headed to the Texas Ranger Museum (no, not the baseball team). If you love guns this is the place for you. It was interesting to see, but probably my least favorite place we visited. It's just not my thing. Thankfully, it gave us the break from the rain we needed and by the time we were done the rain had stopped. I'm not gonna lie, it was about 1pm at this point and I was quite hangry. Both Mom and I wanted to save costs and calories so we had packed a PB&J lunch to picnic at the Suspension Bridge. I was slightly unnerved by a group of what appeared to be homeless men that periodically stared our direction so I ate rather quickly.
After lunch we walked along the planks of the old bridge then made a quick stop at the small Arboretum. Being spoiled by the Morton Arboretum it was much smaller than I had expected, but still very nice. We definitely don't have cactus in any arboretum's in Chicago! I cannot remember the exact order of the remainder of the day. I just know we took a short ten minute trolley ride around downtown, stopped at a winery, browsed the Spice Village, drove past a few of the homes on Fixer Upper and finished our day back at the movie theater to watch Ocean's 8.
I should note, the Alico building is Waco's tallest building and can be seen from almost anywhere in Waco!