On our way to Austin
We’ve had fun in Fort Worth but oh my, the driving! We were glad to leave the bridges and overpasses of urban driving behind and set out on the country roads on the last stretch of our journey, to Austin.
It’s a strange landscape though. Green, for sure, but with industrial bits here and there,
We passed through a town called “Railroad town” or something, where we drove alongside a train for a while.
As you know, someone enjoys this kind of thing but has to keep his eyes on the road, so I take pictures.
But of course, I have no idea what of!
It was an interesting drive. There were not many occasions when it was a purely rural scene for more often than not there was a power plant or cement works there in the view.
Sometimes, there were more brown housing developments too.
But soon, the urban sprawl ended and we found ourselves driving through old, Western towns where a horse or two tied up to the rail would look perfectly in place.
We smiled as we passed by the Cowboy Bank.
Do they have a ride up service, do you think?
Then there was the Cowboy Church. I’m sure Cowgirls are welcome too.
We’d passed by several of these ranch signs before I was ready with my camera to snap one as we passed. What’s the odds of catching one with fish on it in cowboy country!? Bleh. Try as I might, I didn’t see another one this side of Waco, either.
By now, we really were out in the country proper. The long straight road stretched out in front of us and rather than grumble at the lack of interest, we thanked our stars for no urban driving!
Eventually, we crossed the river and into Waco, where we had two things on our list.
My hero spotted we’d arrived at the first when he saw the crowds.
Whilst we are here with Mary, our usual evening viewing is HGTV and particular favourites are Chip and Joanna; a couple who present a programme called Fixer Upper, where they buy a wreck and do it up.
In an idle moment, my hero had googled their business and when we found they were based in Waco, TX, we looked a little closer.
Sure enough, Magnolia Market was there and open today, so we thought we’d stop by. The thing is, so did half the population of Texas, I think.
We recognised many things from the show, since we’ve seen quite a few in the last couple of weeks.
People were clearly familiar with the programmes and most were carrying armfuls of goods.
In this quiet corner, I overheard a young man telling his wife that he thought he could make something nearly like that. I smiled to myself…I’ll bet those words were spoken quite a few times!
This couple were trying to decide if their wall was large enough for this sign, whilst the young woman staff member was filling up shelves with goods as quickly as they were emptying.
A license to print money? you bet.
The queue to pay was nearly as long as the queue for the loos!
Of course, the use of social media was encouraged and young families seemed to be having a great time here.
Well, they had thought of everything, including the garden and it was all really well done.
But of course we were not here to shop, so arming ourselves with a refreshing ice lolly from one of the food carts in the yard (they really had thought of everything…), we made our escape and headed a block or two to the other destination on our list.
Bye bye Magnolia Silos!
Hello Dr Pepper Museum.
Dr Pepper is another Waco product and having a fan travelling with us, we were interested to find out more.
But this was a poor relation to the Coca Cola experience in so many ways – not that we’d expected anything quite so commercial.
But if a manufacturer of soft drinks creates a visitor centre, for which there is a charge, wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect a taste? Not necessarily a whole bottle, not even a whole glass…but maybe just a small, tiny taste? Not a bit of it!
So on this hot hot hot day, we didn’t spend long looking at strange and unexplained machines. We didn’t linger by the old displays with no background. We did purchase drinks at the soda fountain (but only one of us chose Dr Pepper!) because the queues were nothing like those at Magnolia. But as a memorable experience, sorry, Dr Pepper, you fell short of expectations.
Back to the car then, parked in the Baptist Church car park next door to Magnolia, where crowds were still streaming in and police patrols were controlling traffic and parking.
We were on the last lap to Austin now.
And look what I spotted!
Of course, this water tower made us smile too.
Austin is the capital of Texas, so the Capitol is there, awaiting our visit.
But first things first. Dinner at Coopers BBQ. “It’s all about the meat” as they say here…