After our time in the Dallas area, Saturday, February 11 was scheduled as a “light” day, more or less. We planned to head south on I35 to Waco. Wife wanted to check out the Magnolia installation there, built and run by the folks that produce the Fixer Upper series on one of the cable channels. I was also curious to see it as well. We also hoped to find a nice laundromat and refresh the travelin’ clothes.
Waco is only an hour or so down the road from Arlington, and we got there a little before midday. First stop was Magnolia at The Silos, located off the edge of Downtown Waco. We parked a couple blocks down from the compound.
And compound is the correct descriptor. The collection of retail shops and coffee & bakery restaurant was completely enclosed by a no-bullshit black steel fence, probably six or seven feet high. It was attractive, painted black, but definitely a security fence. Entry to the premises is controlled through the stores and a gate.
This could be a long story, but I’m keeping it short. Magnolia was very clean, very sleek, and very expensive. It leverages the brand the Gaines’ created from their television shows, and the clientele seems to lap it up. None of the merchandise really jumped out at me, other than the pricing. The enterprise targets that huge demographic of consumers trying to buy a lifestyle. There is no shortage of these folks, and I tip my hat to the Gaines’ for developing a formula that works for them. They’ve tapped into peak American consumerism. I feel a rant coming on about this- consumerism- but not today.
We looked through all of the shops, tried to buy a coffee but were deflected by an irate customer who didn’t get her cinnamon roll. Off to find a laundromat!
Which we found not far away, The Laundry Room. We took care of the road’s dirtys in about an hour. Very clean and bright establishment, and the folks running it were super nice and helpful. I’d include a link, but they don’t seem to have one.
After folding and stowing the clothes, off we went to Woodway Park for an outdoor lunch. It was a great day, sunny and shirtsleeve-comfortable. This park is located on the banks of Lake Waco, so we had the water view.
After lunch I took a brief walk along the “trail system” in the park. I traveled about 1.5 miles, some of it along the lake, some of it on the verge of swamp inland. Not a very impressive trail- poorly marked- but it’s probably good enough for a city park.
Most of the other folks we saw that day were joggers or walkers that stayed on the paved park roads.
After checking into the hotel du jour and chilling for a bit, we went out for dinner at the 1424 Bistro downtown. There we both had excellent dinners. Wife had a huge chicken alfredo (couldn’t finish) while I had an interesting take on Beef Wellington. Our server, Ashley, said that this was her first night waiting tables, and she did a great job.
Across the street there was an old service station. Not operational, but set as it might have been back in the day. This one had an old T-Bird parked under the portico, and the lighting made the presentation quite nostalgic. I saw one other service station like this, so I know there are at least two of them. That’s all I know about these things- have not researched, though at some point probably will look into this.
After dinner we cruised through downtown Waco, and I was amazed at how empty the streets were. Saw very, very few pedestrians anywhere, even along the entertainment district. Weird on a Saturday night? I tried to get us a look at the Waco suspension bridge, a single span construction crossing the Brazos River, but it’s undergoing renovation, so no bridge viewing for me. We went back to the hotel and called it a night.
Before we left Waco Sunday morning for San Antonio, we decided to check out the Waco Mammoth National Monument. It was worth the time- here are a few photos.
We charted the trip south to San Antonio to avoid the Interstate as much as possible, and ended up with a really pretty ride through the Hill Country.
We passed through Goldthwaite, then San Sabo, and on to Llano. There we stopped at a park for lunch, then continued down to Johnson City. At that point we expedited to San Antonio, and did end up on I35S. We arrived at the hotel 5:30PM, which was fully equipped with parking lot kittehs.
Our first night in San Antonio we had a light dinner at the Liberty Bar over in the King William District.
Being a Sunday night, we were happy to find someplace close that was open, as most restaurants in SA are closed Sunday, Monday and many on Tuesday as well. Food, service and ambience was great!
The next post will detail our activities while in San Antonio. Thanks for dropping by!