How many of you are an HGTV Fixer Upper fan? You just had to watch the magic Chip and JoJo did on every episode from taken a run down house to a beautiful home. You even changed the style of decor you wanted for your own house. Who doesn’t want shiplap in their home now? After getting hooked on Fixer Upper, I knew I wanted to go to Waco so I could go to Magnolia Market and experience the farmhouse decor and their bakery.
I decided one day that when I had a three day weekend, I was going to hop in my car and drive. Waco is about an eight hour drive from where I live so it wasn’t a short drive. I thought since I was going to drive that far, I might as well check a few other items off my bucketlist and make it a nice road trip. There is so much to see in Texas, I had to narrow it down to fit into a weekend.
I left on a Friday after work and drove all the way to the outskirts of Dallas. I knew Waco was about two hours from here so, I thought this would be a good place to lay my head for the night.
On Saturday morning, I got up and drove the two hours to Waco. Finding a parking spot was an adventure itself. After finding a spot, I just had to have one of their cupcakes. After waiting in line for 45 minutes, I ended up ordering four cupcakes and a couple of cookies. It was worth the wait. While you are in line, an employee does come by and give you menu and pencil, so you can fill out before hand. Of course, I kept mine as a souvenir.
After I ate one of the cupcakes, I had to see the hype of the store. First thing I see when I walked into the store is Jo Jo’s mom. I got up the nerves to ask if I could get my picture with her. She was a very sweet lady and kindly said yes.
The place was crowded so walking through the aisles was like bumper cars. It didn’t stop me from looking at everything and enjoying myself. I could have bought everything in the store. After picking up a few items, I went outside to enjoy the atmosphere.
I had to try some of the food trucks out. My favorite was the Cheddar box. The food was good.
After spending time at the silos, it was time to hunt for some of the fixer upper homes and Harp Design Co. I didn’t try hard, but I found two of the houses. I went inside Harp Design Co. The items there were just as expensive as Magnolia Market Silos. I still had to pick me up a little something from there though.
I had one more stop in Waco before heading to my next destination. I stopped and took a walk around Indian Spring Park to see the Branding of the Brazo statue series, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and Waco suspension bridge. This is a nice place to stop and relax. It was nice and quiet when I went; however, I have heard this is where the crowds go at Fourth of July and other festivities.
Before heading to San Antonio, I wanted to get a picture of the infamous Austin postcard mural. I was a little surprised when I found it on a side of a building and hidden. I almost passed it up. Thankfully I happen to turn my head to see people taking their photo. This was a quick five minute stop. It is a little out of the way, but worth checking out.
Now, on my way to San Antonio. I prebooked a hotel about two blocks from the Riverwalk for pretty cheap. This was a big mistake. I’ve stayed at a few Days Inn chains before and never had issues like I did there. I didn’t feel safe here at all. I would have felt more secure in my car. It takes a lot for me to give a bad review on a hotel, but all I can say is DO NOT STAY HERE!
Enough about the hotel. I walked over to the riverwalk. On my way there, I stopped in front of The Alamo. I didn’t expect this on the square. It was neat to see. I walked around the square to see the Christmas lights and enjoy the atmosphere.
I was a little confused how to get to the Riverwalk. I had to go through some hotel doors and down the stairs to get there from the direction I came from.
It’s a whole different world on the Riverwalk. It was really pretty with all the Christmas lights. There is so much to do. You can go shopping, eat dinner by the river, have a few drinks, and take a boat ride. I walked around for awhile to see what was all down there. I couldn’t go without a boat ride. I waited in line for about 45 minutes to take a ride. While on the boat ride, they tell you about the different architecture and history. If you are a Selena fan, you will go under the bridge where her husband proposed to her. They call it the Selena Bridge. It was a nice relaxing ride along the river.
After the ride, I decided to pick me up a small drink while I walked along the river.
Time to go back to hotel to try and get some sleep.
I woke up very early because I didn’t want to stay at this hotel any longer than I wanted, so off to my next destination, Dallas. Why didn’t I stop in Dallas on my way down? The Silos is closed on Sunday and they were going to be closed for New Years, so I had to make sure I stopped there on Saturday. It’s Sunday now, and heading to Dallas. I stopped by the JFK Museum. I’ve watched the shooting many times on the television, but it is not what you expect to see in person.
The museum walks you through John F Kennedy’s life on audio headsets. This is nice so you can go at your own pace. You can see the spot where Lee Harvey Oswald took his shot. It talks about the conspiracy. This can take a few hours. After the tour, I went outside to get a closer look. I looked at the two X’s on the road. These X’s represented the spots that JFK was shot while in his car. I could picture it happening while standing there with as many times I’ve watched it on TV. I would be careful with some of the locals, they will tell you the story of what happen, but is wanting money in return.
After the viewing, I shopped in the little gift shop before heading outside. When you cross the parking lot, you are right there on Elm Street. There are two X’s on the street where he was shot both times. The second X is the deadly shot.
I recommend taking this tour and exploring outside. This is a part of history that should never be forgotten. I was not born when this happen; however, both of my parents can tell you exactly where they were when they heard the news.
It was getting late and it was time to head home towards Illinois. I was debating if I wanted to stop in Paris to see the Eiffel Tower with the big cowboy hat on top of it. My thoughts of maybe never making it back this way again won me over, so I ended up taking an hour detour to see the tower. It was in the middle of nowhere, but seeing it under the moonlight was pretty cool.
It was Sunday night and I was ready to get home. I still had eight hours of driving ahead of me. It did not help that is was pouring down rain. I decided to stop for the night close to Memphis, Tennessee.
When I woke up in the morning, I decided to go to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley.
I hadn’t been since I was in high school, so I thought it was time to go back. I couldn’t believe how much it had changed. I really enjoyed the warehouse that housed a lot of his golden records, awards, outfits, car collection, and some of his knickknacks. This was all new. You were able to see some of these items before, but you had access to see even more now.
I hopped on the bus now to take me over to his home.
I was in the group that was part of the first tour of the New Year to walk through the doors. The inside hasn’t changed a bit, only thing different, it was decorated for Christmas. Oh, also different is now you are not guided by a tour guide. I enjoy this so much more. Me, being short, would get stuck in the back and miss some of the sites. Now, I can go at my own pace and go when less crowded and take in the view.
When you walk into the front door, you see the grand staircase all decorated for Christmas.
Elvis’s style showed up all through his house. He had a style of his own.
After you walk through the house, you get to walk through the back yard to his office and go through another building that holds some of his personal items. You can also watch some of his home videos while walking through.
After you leave the room, you will see his grave site. He is buried next to his parents and brother.
At this time, I was ready to get home; however, you could go visit a couple of his planes. I have seen these before, so I went ahead and headed home. I am happy that I stopped to visit. I love Elvis Presley’s music and I didn’t realize how much I missed listening to it.
This ended up being a great little road trip. I was able to mark a few items off my list and enjoyed how I spent my New years.