Waco. The Silos!

We were told to arrive very early at the Silos. Otherwise, we’d meet long lines and stand in the oppressive August heat. We bounded (Lie. Hobbling is more our morning style) out of bed. Sucked down a cup of La Quinta coffee and headed to Happy Hounds, Bronson’s play-date for the day. Dropped the kid off and he never even looked back. He must have been ready for some canine companionship.

Front door, Happy Hounds.



Lovely greeting from the other kids at daycare.


While driving to the Silos, I suddenly remembered I’d left my engagement ring, as well as my mom’s engagement ring, in our hotel room.

My mother’s ring has enormous sentimental value. Daddy sold his blood while getting his masters degree at the University of Michigan. He wouldn’t buy food. Every blood earned nickel was saved to purchase that ring.

As for my engagement ring–I adore it and the man who gave it to me. We raced back to the room where I found both rings snuggling safely in their secret hiding place. (I’d tell you what that secret place is, but then I’d have to kill you.)

We arrived at the Silos shortly after their nine a.m. opening. Jim dropped me off by the bakery while he went to find parking. I opened my white umbrella–an Amazon purchase in anticipation of Waco and Dallas sunshine–and stood to wait for Jimmy.

But the bakery beckoned me. Just a peek? I had no money so even if tempted couldn’t purchase a gluten free goodie. It turns out there were only three GF options–all cookies. If they’d offered cupcakes, I would have waited for my bank, Jim, to show up. I would have purchased a devils food with buttercream frosting delight and eaten every darn carb laden crumb. But it wasn’t to be. Joanna, my thighs thank you.


The exterior of bakery.


Exterior of Shops


The place is divided into different areas.  Shopping housewares, shopping garden, shopping bakery, playing, relaxing, eating food purchased from trucks.


The place seemed busy-ish to us. Employees told us it was a VERY slow morning. Jim and I checked out the shopping. Every square inch has Fixer Upper styling. Almost each shopper was busily gathering items for purchase.




Cute way to display paint colors and wallpaper.  I will remember this for the next time I open a store.


I tried to interest Jim in a giant “Demo Day” hammer.  He prefers an easy chair and the newspaper.  Go figure.




The interiors are all about shopping. Exterior offers a giant fake grass play area, lined with black and white bean bag chairs to accommodate spectators. There are many picnic tables as well as bunches of food vending trucks. Few were open.


All of the merchants were local Waco restaurants. We wondered how the Gaines’ and the vendor’s split the monies. Do they rent space and also give up a percentage to the Silo business?

This was my favorite because my parents always wanted an Airstream.




We stood for a bit and watched families play on the faux grass. We sauntered around to suck in the atmosphere. We had driven from Palm Harbor, Florida to Waco for this experience. We owed it more than half an hour. By 11 a.m. we decided it was time to push on.

The big rusty silos in this shot aren’t open to the public.  We were told there are future plans for them.


As we left the Silos a bus-load of little kids got dropped off at a play yard next door.  Presumably, they were going to climb into those big plastic balls–each had a tube down the center–and roll sweatily around, then let another kid climb into the clammy cylindar and have their turn.  I was so glad not to be ten years old.


Next stop was the LaSalle Shoppes. Sixty-five vintage shops under one roof. My goal was to find buttons for the scarf I’m making. I hit pay dirt! Eight buttons and I got a discount. Whoo Hooo.

Then, because of all the wandering and button shopping, we were hungry. We had lunch at Cafe Cappuccino. An omelet with cream cheese and bacon for me, two eggs over easy/sausage/hash browns/toast for Jim. He has abandoned our “low to no carbohydrate” diet since the road trip began. He gets a hall pass since he does all the driving.

We then moved on to Spice Village. Located in a 1908 warehouse building in downtown Waco, Spice houses over 80 individual shops in a fun atmosphere. We thought we’d recognize many from Joanna’s televised shopping adventures. We didn’t. Nor did we buy anything.

road tip.jpg
If I had bought anything at Spice Village, it might have been this.


At that point, Jim had just about enough shopping for one day. We went to the Waco Suspension Bridge. The bridge is often featured in opening scenes of Fixer Upper. It’s a beautiful landmark and was the first bridge across the Brazos River serving as crossing on the Chisholm and Shawnee cattle drives. What most impressed me were the beautiful bronze sculptures. A herd of thirty cattle being driven by two cowboys astride horses.

I studied the steer for a long time, trying to sort out how many sculptures had been created. There were duplicates, but the placement was carefully orchestrated to keep clones from being obvious.





This little-painted rock was perched on the historical marker by the bridge.  Curious if it was glued on, I picked it up.


Here’s what the other side said.  I chose not to keep/give/re-hide.  I turned it around and left it for some other curious traveler.


Then we decided we needed coffee to wake us up enough for MORE FOOD! We went to Common Grounds, the eclectic coffee shop near Baylor Campus and a quick walk from our hotel. The proprietors are the proud owners of one of the season two Fixer Upper homes. I remember that episode was the one where Chip ate a cockroach. Yum.



Dinner was at George’s, and supposedly the locals love it. We found it underwhelming.

This morning Jim and Bdog let me sleep until 8:30. Fabulous. We poked around, drank some unfortunate La Quinta coffee, went to Honda dealer for new key-fob battery, and then had breakfast at a different Cafe Cappuccino location. Jim repeated his yesterday’s order. I added spinach to my cream cheese and bacon omelet. A green veggie now and again won’t kill me. I hope.

Today we only had a two-hour drive from Waco to Dallas, so I figured we might enjoy a little vintage button hunting on the way. I found a dandy antique store in some Podunk town along the way. I told Jim the place had GREAT Trip Advisor reviews. I chose not to mention there had been only two reviewers. Likely the owner and her sister.

No buttons. After that, I shut up and knit.

This has grown tons since I snapped the photo. By the time we get to Liberty, Missouri I might be finished!  I hope these are, in fact, the colors Melinda requested.


Tomorrow we have a three-hour private tour of the Kennedy assassination route. After that possibly the Bush Presidential Library. Bronson has another spa date.  He will be well worn out when we pick him up at the end of the day.

For some reason, he has been off his feed since we began the road trip. I wish I could say the same for us. Oink.

For dinner tonight, Jim has located an excellent Italian restaurant nearby.  Yay!  More food!  Tomorrow we tour Dallas.  The day after that eight hours in the car to Liberty.  We began listening to our second Stone Barrington romp this afternoon.  Stone got laid before chapter three was over.  That man has stamina.  By the time we reach Liberty he may need to be put into traction.

Waco. Day One.

We started at Harp Designs. Joanna Gaines collaborates with Harp owner Clint when she wants custom furniture created. Clint, a woodworker, and his wife owned and lived in the home next door. It was a Fixer Upper several seasons ago.

They have turned it into a B and B.  It can sleep twelve and costs $550-$650 a night.  I can understand their decision to move.  Since fame has struck I’m sure many were intruding on their privacy.  While we were there people were walking to their porch, snapping photos, peering into windows. Not me. Honest. But I did stand on the sidewalk and take a few shots.




Harp Design’s retail store sells things made of wood. Hand-turned candlesticks, wood napkin rings, and cutting boards. We bought a mug. We don’t need another mug, but it said “Harp Designs” on the side, so I wanted it in our cup arsenal.



Following lunch, we headed to McGregor, Tx for a gander at Magnolia House, Chip and Jo’s bed and breakfast.  They found this fixer upper while working with clients who were interested in opening a B and B. The clients passed on this home, but Chip and Joanna snapped it up.  They then added a ranch home in the back yard to house the couple managing their B and B.






I just read the couple has another B and B opening in the fall of 2017.  Maybe tomorrow we’ll roll past it before heading to Dallas.

Then we moved on to lunch at the Homestead Cafe, located in the Homestead Craft Village. First, we wandered Craft Village. I wondered if it was a Mennonite group. All the female workers wore long hair, pulled back severely, no makeup, and ultra-conservative clothing.

I learned Homestead Heritage owns the craft village. Homestead Heritage is an agrarian- and craft-based intentional Christian community.  Its literature stresses simplicity, sustainability, self-sufficiency, cooperation, service and quality craftsmanship. It also strives to live in peaceful coexistence with the land, other people, and other faiths.

Our lunch was delicious. The Heritage Cafe is in a charming rustic house. All interior walls are natural ship-lap. Do you suppose Joanna Gaines suggested that? I had jerk chicken tacos with avocado, mango, some mystery gluten free sauce and spicy, yet sort of sweet cole slaw.  Jim had the always-adventurous cheeseburger option.


Bronson was admired by one and all as he snoozed under our table.

On the way back to Waco we wandered through a large vintage/junk/antique warehouse Joanna frequents.  My goal was to find loose buttons for my current scarf.  None to be had.  There was a second option next door, but the yawns had caught up to me.

At that point, it was time to drive back into Waco, ferret out our hotel and check in.  I was exhausted. Crawled into my “Mishri” jammies. To explain, our little step-grand-daughter, Mishri, at about age three made “exotic” (think mismatched) clothing choices. Her parents allowed her to pick her outfits on weekends. Jim thinks my PJ choices smack of Mishri styling. Blue and green plaid pajama bottoms with a red and white striped t-shirt, perhaps?  Does this constitute letting myself go?  No matter, it’s comfy and since Mishri is adorable, dressing as she did makes me feel adorable too.  (I highly suspect the look is more becoming on a three-year-old than a sixty-five year old.)

Due to weariness,  dinner was something grabbed from our on-the-road cooler. Two cheese sticks for me. I was asleep before I saw what Jim picked. More on Waco Day two tomorrow.

Jim is standing at attention, hoping to get me to dinner before I opt for a second  night of cheese sticks.

Travel Journaling

I pulled out my journal in anticipation of our road trip. My memory is sketchy at best, so when we travel, I jot down our daily experiences.

Journals must be Moleskine, preferably unlined, size 5″ by 8″. They have an elastic band holding them closed and an envelope inside the back cover. I store random ticket stubs, receipts, and postcards there.


Sometimes I scribble little drawings to jog my mind. Occasionally I ask Jim to write from his point of view. Odd how we can share the same experiences but he often sees them differently.

Hard to believe I’m a professional artist!


We always stay at La Quinta because they take dogs.  FDR’s Little White House was a fun tour.


Jim, whose memory isn’t too great, somehow never forgets anything about vacations. Still, he enjoys it when I pull out an old journal and read to him. Guess he likes hearing about things from my perspective.

This time next week Bronson will be playing at Happy Hounds while Jim and I tour Chip and Joanna Gaines stomping grounds.

We watched a Fixer Upper “out-takes” show last night. Chip ate a roach and chewed up a snake-skin. I thought I’d toss my cookies. He’s kooky. I love that about him.

I like Joanna’s decorating, but sometimes she’s impractical. For example, she rarely puts upper cabinets next to bathroom sinks. Where do homeowners hide their toothbrushes, prescriptions, lotions, and potions?

And yet she’s built a design empire.  So what do I know?

She never includes television sets. Apparently, she and Chip don’t have TV in their home. For the first year after leaving my marriage, I lived without television. It was peaceful. I got lots done in the evenings.

When we were dating Jim’s next door neighbors watched TV endlessly. We mocked them, calling them the “TV people.” Now we’ve become them. Our latest Netflix binge watch is Madame Secretary. I wish we got HBO so we could take in Game of Thrones. But we’re too frugal to add more networks. We already have about thirty-six million choices.

Who among you, my six faithful followers, remember when there were only three channels? ABC, CBS, and NBC.  At a certain time of night, the last shot was of a waving flag as our National Anthem played. After that TV was over until morning.

I also remember rotary phones, no ATM’s, busy signals, and walking miles through snow and sleet with no shoes to get to school. (Maybe the last part is a lie.)

Now I’m rambling. I just drank a Red Bull.  My mind is racing. I should run errands, but the sky is darkening. There will soon be torrential rains. Time to drug the dog, otherwise he’ll drool all over our brand spanking clean floors.  Today was cleaning day.  Yay for that.