Hey their airplane enthusiasts, I've got a treat for you today! A couple of weekends ago, Lovely & I ventured out to the Heart of Texas Airshow just a few miles from our home. Though the show's planes tend to fly over our house, we just couldn't pass up the chance to be front and center. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds were in town for the show, and boy did that bring it! The airshow features pilots & planes from all across the U.S. They have the most incredible talent, stamina for the twirly, swirly tricks, and beautifully painted planes. A couple of the pilots were in their 80s! Talk about living life!
The yearly event is perfect for the whole family, though a little pricey. If you plan on trying to catch 2018's show, I recommend buying tickets in advance on the HOT Airshow Website for a bit of a discount. But you definitely catch an amazing show, and fun for the whole family with vendors, food, military planes you can tour, and much more. The two of us had a blast, and look forward to heading back next year.
Now that the weather is getting nicer, we are spending more time at one of our favorite places in town, the Brazos River, namely Cameron Park & Indian Spring Park. I lump these together because they sort of mesh and run together along the Brazos River. You can often find kids playing on the playgrounds here, families feeding the ducks, college students enjoying a round of Frisbee golf, a mom enjoying a walk with her kiddos, or couples bicycling along the paved walkways. There's so much to do along the riverwalk at these parks. We love to take our pups to walk along the banks of the river, through the trails of Cameron Park, and across the bridges at Indian Spring Park.
I often feel like it's our very own Central Park right in Waco, Texas. When you're in the midst of enjoying the nature around you, you forget you are right in the middle of a thriving & growing metropolis. You can truly (trust me, stay on those trails) get lost in the middle of the city here. There's always something to see and do, animals to watch, or games to be played. Like Central Park is to New York City, these parks are a gem to our Wacotown. I always encourage friends & family to "discover a bit of home" via Cameron Park and the other parks along the Brazos River. So if you're ever in town, park yourself on a bench along the beautiful Brazos and take in the untouched beauty that Waco, Texas has to offer.
If you follow along with me on Instagram, you saw I took a friend through a little adventure through town over the weekend. We went to some of my favorite spots in Waco, including Magnolia Market. But, I feel like folks forget, or don't realize, there is so to do & see here. Made famous by Magnolia Market + Fixer Upper, the Alico Building (one of the first skyscrapers in Texas), and the Waco Suspension Bridge (cattle from the historic Chisholm Trail once crossed here), Waco, Texas has so much to offer! So I put together a little "bucket list" for Waco, Texas to share with you today.
My list includes parks, restaurants, museums, and my favorite shops! I've made a little map for you, but I'm also including more details that aren't listed, so be sure to read on!
1. Cameron Park • Our favorite spot for dogs walks, to enjoy nature, or hike. The park is over 400 acres, and boasts some of the best views in the city! We love the River Trail for walks with the pups and feeding the ducks.
2. Spice Village • Hands down my favorite shopping spot in town! You'll find everything from antiques, home decor, clothes, gifts, and more.
3. Restoration Crown • Another fun spot for home decor in town. You'll know you've arrived by the turquoise station wagon out front. Check out their Instagram for the latest sales!
4. The Craft Gallery • I've been shopping here with my mom since I was a kid. It's a top spot for one of a kind gifts by local artisans.
5. Heitmiller Steakhouse • Our favorite locally owned restaurant and bar. Perfect for drinks after work or dinner for a special occasion. Try the Big O' Strawberry Daiquiri and, if you're brave, the Calf Fries.
6. Parker's Park at West • This park was thought up and brought to life by sweet Parker himself. It's dedicated to his dad and others who lost their lives during the West Fertilizer Plant Explosion on April 17, 2013. Parker enjoyed the West Park before the explosion demolished it, so he came up with a plan to rebuild his favorite spot. Parker's Park doesn't disappoint and can be enjoyed by all!
7. Gerik's Bakery • By pass the famous Czech Stop, and pop in to Gerik's Bakery for the best kolaches in West. Grab my favorite, the strawberry cream cheese puff to curb your sweet tooth. Don't forget to take a few home to freeze for later too!
8. Texas Rangers Hall of Fame & Museum • Learn about Texas history and this cool museum. You'll see artifacts from Texas Rangers' criminal cases throughout the years, enjoy seeing detailed weaponry, and incredible paintings depicting all the Rangers do for Texas.
9. Waco Hippodrome Theater • One of my hands down favorite places in Waco, Texas. This old theatre has served as a live theatre and picture show for many years. It's hosted the likes of Elvis Presley & John Wayne. It's recently been restored to show multiple movies as well as live theatre. The neon sign alone as worth the visit!
10. Cameron Park Zoo • Waco's zoo doesn't disappoint! It's not too big, not too small, and offers a wide variety of exhibits. My favorites are the lemur & otter exhibits. Hop across the street to the Earle-Harrison House & Pape Gardens to get lost in a garden oasis right in the middle of town.
Check out this and so much more during your visit to Waco! I'll be sharing more on Wacotown soon, so be sure to check back!
Can you believe it's already almost 2016? This year has been full to the brim with blessings and adventures near and far. This past year, I've really taken time to explore more right at home. Waco, Texas is overflowing with great places to visit and things to see. A major highlight for Waco this year was the opening of Magnolia Market at the Silos.
Magnolia and Waco have been made famous by HGTV's Fixer Upper, and the town hasn't been the same since! Magnolia Market is frequented by people from all over the country, putting Waco on the map. I have visited Magnolia twice since it opened at the Silos, including the grand opening. I visited for Fall and again in December. I took a million pictures to capture this great, family place. Not only is there shopping, there are plenty of things for the whole family, a lawn for games, a garden, outdoor kids reading area, food trucks, and, in 2016, a bakery (just announced yesterday). I definitely recommend getting there early if you plan on visiting, after that there are plenty of places nearby to visit. I'll do a whole post on that soon! For now, here are lots of photos of Magnolia Market at the Silos for you to enjoy.
Growing up, I hated where I lived. Our closest family member was hours away, I always felt different, and when we visited family, their town was always more exciting. It wasn't until I left for college that I began to appreciate Waco and the small town nearby where I grew up. I realized an interstate was a big city's saving grace, you don't have to be in New York City to feel like you're in Central Park, you can even admire the buildings of Baylor University and pretend you're at Disneyland, and where I grew up wasn't quite as boring as I remembered. As an adult, I've spent more time exploring and appreciating it. Isn't that something we all do?
Since I have turned my travel dreams into realities, Waco and where I live have become even more special to me. It's true what they say, you can't truly appreciate home until you've traveled. So one of my goals the past couple of years has been to grow that appreciation. Whether it be exploring the small towns around, walking the trails of Cameron Park and the Brazos River, or discovering shops I've never been to, or going to museums or landmarks I've always said I would, I hope to explore more of home. For me, this applies not only to my hometown/area, but to Texas as a whole. There are about a million and one places just in Texas I hope to explore, but for today, I'm starting small, right here in Small Town Texas turned nationally recognized.
After I moved back to nearby-Waco and began working with my current employer, I began driving in more areas of Waco I hadn't before in order to get to places I needed to go more quickly. During these travels, I noticed a tiny little house turned store with the cutest, rustic marquee-esque sign. At the time, I thought it was a realty company, as I'd seen advertisements donning that marquee logo in our local magazine, The Wacoan, advertising realty. It wasn't until later on that I realized it was a sweet little shop. About the time I put all of the pieces together, an article was ran featuring a family that remodeled an old, run down farm house into their now amazingly rustic, yet elegant home. That couple was the owner of that little building on Bosque Boulevard, and that yearning to stop in grew even more. As stories go, time got away. I never made it in to that little building before it all happened.
So what happened? That couple was Chip and Joanna Gaines. That little shop was Magnolia Market. You probably know them well by now, as the 3rd season of their show on HGTV will begin airing in the next couple of months. The whole country has gotten to know them on Fixer Upper, and they have been right under my nose all this time! So, the 3rd season will begin airing in December, and I'd had yet to visit that little shop on Bosque. The timing just never seemed right, and let's face it, my spare time is on the weekends when the shop is full to the brim of customers from all over the country! Last week, that all changed. I finally stepped foot into the little shop on Bosque, and right away I was smitten!
Over the weekend, I hosted a group of ladies from East Texas, and who were all dying to check out the shop. Isn't it funny how sometimes it takes outsiders to push us to be tourists in our own town? We circled around town, first checking out the new location, the Silos, a few of the Fixer Upper houses, the Gaines' farm (kindly from the road of course), and the shop squeezed right in the middle.
If you follow Chip, Joanna, and the Magnolia Market on social media, you may be familiar with their current promotion, #milestomagnolia. Each of the ladies in the group posed with the the chalkboard showcasing how far they'd traveled to get to Magnolia Market, somewhere in the 150 mile range, nothing compared to the 1600 miles we'd wiped off to write our miles in. As silly as it may be, I did the same! I wrote in my measly 10 miles, and proudly posed in front of the shop, thinking "better late than never, right?"!
The shop greeted us with window boxes overflowing with welcoming plants, rocking chairs, and warm colors. We wasted no time heading on in, and it was better than I'd imagined! We went on a Thursday, so it wasn't too busy. In fact, there were more employees there to welcome us than there were customers--great for us! I walked around the shop twice, eyeballing each and every piece and detail.
I looked low and high, and my favorite details were on the floor. I adored the raised area covered in old wood of many colors, and a cute little corner where the floor perfectly transitioned from tile to tattered white wood. Another favorite feature of the building were brick and cedar (I think) columns straight ahead as you walked in. I didn't want to be in anyone's way, so I didn't catch a photo of them. Walking around the shop, I felt sort of sad that it would be moving to a new location, but I quickly remembered it will be in another old building, redone just as well, if not better, than this one. I can't wait to see how the silos turn out, but I will definitely have to squeeze in another trip to this little shop before the big move in October.
Inside the main shop, my favorite displays and products were Jimmy Don's laser cut signs and the decor greenery. I adored the cotton stems and wreaths the most! On my trip back, I intend to put a few of each right in my basket! Along side the main shop, there is an outdoor shopping area with marquee letters, old troughs, and other fun finds. We peaked around there, then went into the second shop building.
When you entered the second shop you are greeted by this fun alphabet display. This is another item on my must have list. This is one of the several things in the shop I couldn't find online, so you just might want to start planning that visit to see it all.
I was so excited to see several items for sale that are made right in Waco! This place and these folks' commitment to Waco is the real deal! If the Magnolia Market is something you've been dying to see, I highly recommend checking it out! The staff truly is as lovely as you'd imagine, the displays are as inviting as the photos, and products will not let you leave without calling your name! One thing I would have loved to see some seasonal items, but I am crossing my fingers that will come with the new shop. All in all, the Magnolia Market is a must visit place right in Waco, Texas.
Just from passing by, I know the shop is extremely busy on the weekends, but a weekday was just right! So I definitely recommend planning your trip for a weekday, at least until the more roomier shop at the Silos opens up.
Thank you so much for stopping in and exploring the Magnolia Market with me today. If you have any questions or thoughts, I'd love to hear your comments and am happy to answer your questions. I'll be posting an update come early November once I've had a chance to visit the new shop, so be on the look out for that. Thanks again for stopping by!
The photos, thoughts, and opinions presented here are solely my own, and not endorsed or sponsored by The Gaines', Magnolia Market, or HGTV's Fixer Upper.