A Weekend in Waco

I know Fixer Upper is all.the.rage. right now, but my husband and I just watched the first two seasons on Netflix. We don't really use our cable anymore except to DVR our longtime favorites. I probably haven't watched a commercial in several years... I digress.

We went to Waco! We really enjoyed Fixer Upper, and though it's not really my style we thought it would be fun to go to Magnolia Market. We're in Houston, so it's only a few hours, and we have family who recently moved out that way.

A three-hour drive is practically torture for a toddler, so we opted to start our Waco trip at the Cameron Park Zoo. We are BIG zoo fans. Everett and I visit the Houston Zoo at least twice a month, and we have been members for two years. (GET THE MEMBERSHIP! So worth it.)
Because we have a zoo membership, we get a discount at over 100 zoos and aquariums around the country. Everett gets in free because he is under two, so we have an "individual" membership at the Houston Zoo. I get in free and I have one guest pass, which means our family of three get in free with our membership when we go. All zoos and aquariums on the list have different rules. Some give you a free ticket, some you get 50% off. Cameron Park  Zoo honored my individual pass and let me in free, we bought a ticket for Bryan, and still Everett got in free because of his age.

Not everyone appreciates little things like this, but I am one who does. I think there was one on almost every habitat, and each one made me laugh.
Everett was melting down from exhaustion and we didn't really have time to walk the actual park trails after we left the zoo, but next time we're up here it's definitely on the list. It's a 400 acre park on the river with sidewalks and trails, playgrounds, and splash pads. Seriously gorgeous. (Images below of Cameron Park are property of City of Waco.)
Did I mention that it was July in Texas and blistering hot? We were melting. We brought our stuff to the hotel and cooled down for a bit. 
No one will ever go hungry in my presence because I'm always carrying enough food for ten grown men. Or, you know, one toddler. 

Next stop was an early dinner at Buzzard Billy's. (And yes, Everett still ate his dinner after that third lunch big snack because this kid is a bottomless pit.) This was Bryan's pick, and I was skeptical. I mean, we live in Houston. We have access to Cajun food that is much closer to Louisiana than Waco. But the restaurant had a river view and I thought Everett would enjoy that.
Man oh man was this food delicious! I mean YUM. The service was great, as well. We did have a window seat and gorgeous view of the river for all of thirty seconds. Then the sun started to set and we were blinded. Oops! We ended up pulling the shade down after a few minutes, and it was too bright to get a picture. This would have been a perfect seat during lunch or after the sun dropped down behind the trees!!

Bryan will tell you that this trip was for me, but really he was the one that wanted to see Magnolia so bad. Shhhh don't tell. He couldn't wait, so we drove by to sneak a peek even though they had just closed. There was a big crowd outside, and we realized we had just missed the grand opening of their little bakery
I forget how we heard about Pokey O's, but boy am I glad we tracked down their truck. I'm not a big ice cream person. I'll take an occasional frozen yogurt. HOLY SMOKES I could have eaten five of these. They sell cookies and ice cream, and ice cream sandwiches. We got our ice cream sandwich in a cup. I looked at the menu forever because everything sounded good, and, of course, now I have zero memory of what flavors I chose.
Seriously, how much do you want one now?
Judging by the picture, I think it must have been cherry vanilla ice cream and maybe the fudge nut brownie. I thought there was almond something somewhere, but maybe not. Now I want one.

Okay, okay, I know y'all want to hear about Magnolia. Next day we got up early and put on our walking shoes. Just kidding. I wore sandals and a cute outfit because, hello, Joanna might see me.
I'm going to give Magnolia two separate ratings. First, it was a great experience as a tourist destination. It was fun to look at the displays, and I LOVED the outside areas.
I'm seriously obsessed with this verticle garden herb box.
As a retail experience, it was HORRIBLE and I would not go there to shop again. It was all overpriced, made in China crap. Most of it can be found on Amazon for way cheaper. I would much rather support small shops on Etsy. It was also packed. I could barely navigate with my stroller without knocking something or someone down. It was hot as hell in there too. Don't hate me, I'm just being honest. #sorrynotsorry
The Gainses aren't the only ones with a Waco destination. Their woodworking buddies made a store front at their shop, and it was adorable (although also quite overpriced).
We were happily surprised to find the place without a crowd, and I really enjoyed it more than Magnolia Market. They had some really beautiful displays!
We hit a few other shops and then finished out the excursion at Spice Village. So much fun! If you're in Waco for any reason you should definitely hit up Spice Village. It was basically a giant store with individual Etsy shop setups, but you only checked out once. (Not actually Etsy shops, but you get what I'm saying.) It reminded me of Junk Hippy Roadshow or even a little bit like Antique Week at Warrenton/Round Top. Cute clothes, fun home decor, lots and lots of signs, some beautiful and funky antique furniture, etc.
If only we had a bigger vehicle. I would have been the owner of a beautiful little antique console for my entryway. 

We brought Jack (our dog) with us but didn't want to leave him in a hotel room, so he actually had a puppy vacation at my sister-in-laws. Apparently, he partied it up while we were shopping.
We visited with family and ate dinner, and then that was it. So long Waco!

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Be kind. I'm just a mom behind a computer wearing yoga pants with unwashed hair. -k