This past spring, husband and I sold our Charleston, South Carolina, home and left it all behind to camp throughout the Rocky Mountain corridor with our four year-old son, Reese. In total we spent three months on the road, living out of a small camper trailer, and exploring communities throughout New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho, and Arizona to see where we'd like to own a small ranch property for the summer. These are excerpts from my journal from that time that I'm sharing for the first time. Enjoy!
June 6, 2018
Yesterday we drove up to Central Texas from Houston - where we visited my sister and her husband - and stayed in the Waco area. We found this wonderful national park about 30 miles southwest of Waco called Mother Neff State Park, and it was fantastic. It is small - only about 259 acres - but it was full of beautiful hiking trails throughout the cedar canyons and grasslands. One trail we hiked led down to a cave once inhabited by the Native American tribe that lived in the area. With the hot hot heat we were experiencing, it was easy to see how it was a valuable piece of real estate!
At dusk we walked along the roads that bordered the grasslands where Frank and Reese got in some quality "glassing" - for all you non-outdoorsy people out there, that means scanning the landscape for wildlife. With this first pair of binoculars, Reese spotted his first deer. He was elated! Later we indulged in every kid and big kid's favorite camping activity: toasted marshmallows by the fire. Afterwards we left our camper shower behind and indulged in water pressure at the bath houses at our campground, which looked almost brand new and were impeccably clean. If you're looking to do the whole Waco/Fixer Upper experience and want to stay away from all the crowds, I'd highly recommend staying at the Mother Neff.
And of course, while we were passing through Waco we had to do what we could to take in the whole Fixer Upper/Magnolia Market experience. We packed up camp as early as we could - which for us means not that early - and headed into Waco on our way to North Texas. We planned for our first stop to be breakfast at Magnolia Table, but as soon as we pulled off of I-35 for the restaurant it became evident that this was not going to be the quick breakfast stop that we were hoping for. At 8:30am on a Wednesday, the masses were lined up out the door, and with a 45 minute wait time (which is not that bad of a wait, according to one friendly hostess) we opted for the take away window. We were starving by that point, and were not in the mood to wait. We got a box of their signature biscuits with strawberry butter and a carton of chicken salad to eat later for lunch, and then headed next door to a cool local breakfast taco/BBQ joint called Rudy's who were more than happy to quickly serve us some scrambled eggs. I quickly learned that if I was ever back in Waco again and planned to give Magnolia Table a try that I would not come hungry.
Once fueled up we thought we might as well try to go by Magnolia Market, which is just a few minutes north of the restaurant. But again our plan was foiled by crowds and limited parking for a long rig like ours - so we drove around the premises a few times, snapped a few shots, and went on our way up north. Oh well, we tried.
Next stop - North Texas!