This is a historical post, in that I have never posted anything this long before, so just know you have been warned! Venturing to Waco has been in the making for about a year when one of my best friends and I decided that we needed to do something exciting to celebrate our upcoming birthdays.Rachel and I have been friends since 3rd grade and early on found out some interesting things that we share.We were both born on the 8th of the month, exactly two months apart and our moms were both due with us on the 4th!I’m convinced this is the closest thing I will ever have to a twin and during this trip it confirmed that even more.We both love nearly all of the same things from shows to traveling to fitness.Originally this trip was going to be focused around running our second marathon together to celebrate this new decade but when we both found out we were pregnant this summer, we decided to turn it into a fun and relaxing trip instead.Our friendship has existed long distance for more of the years than we have lived close to each other so we decided to find a destination in between our two states, currently that is Washington for me and Mississippi for her.
We chose Texas because we were traveling in January and exchanging the frigid temperatures of the north for something warmer was definitely one of my wishes!We both love the show Fixer Upper, even though neither one of us is what you would consider “superfans”.However, it’s more fun to travel when you have somewhere you are interested in so we started researching and looking into going to Waco, Texas to visit Magnolia.We decided to fly into Austin so we could experience some of the art and food culture that is well known in that city.It was a perfectly sunny day when I arrived and since I had just driven through some of the most treacherously snowy roads I’ve ever been on, it may as well have been Hawaii.
I’m including some of our favorite things just in case you need some inspiration for planning a trip to Magnolia.One place that we decided we wanted to try was Picnik, it is a restaurant/business I randomly found on Instagram before our trip that specializes in butter coffee and an allergy and dietary restriction menu.Neither one of us have to follow super strict diets but we both enjoy food that tastes amazing and is also great for you!We headed to Picnik and had their cashew queso with guacamole, pulled duck (I had never even had duck before) and pico de gallo, complete with almond flour chips.We also shared the Harvest Hash and had some incredible coffee and chai.Every part of their cuisine is to die for and the atmosphere is so fresh and charming.I think Picnik should be a must visit if you are in Austin and either have a special diet or enjoy more of a Paleo restaurant experience.
After lunch we made our way to Waco and decided to go first thing to Magnolia to map it out for our next days.We ended up showing up right at closing time which was perfect because the lighting was fantastic and there were very few people.We were of course hoping that we would run into Chip & Jo but I’m sure they have better things to do on a Friday night!
Early-ish Saturday we started by stopping at the Silo Bakery and waiting in a short line to get to the goodies!I’m convinced January is a wonderful time to travel to tourist locations because we hardly ever had to wait in line and being the off season allows more options.We chose two cupcakes, coffee and two pastries.The nutty cinnamon rolls are absolutely the best rolls I have ever tried and I’m a cinnamon roll connoisseur!We grabbed some cupcakes for later, and even though I had heard raving reviews, when we actually had our cupcakes, we were both disappointed.It could have been because they weren’t fresh from the bakery but they seemed much too sweet and just kind of like normal cupcakes and that’s saying a lot from me! Next, we wandered the market, took pictures with all of the fantastic decor around the area and found some nearby shops to browse.Our next stop was a spa where we indulged in massages, pedicures and facials.
After that we headed to a really interesting area called Homestead Heritage.This organization is a Christian group of people that live in community making everything by hand and living very simply, similar to Amish or some Mennonite communities, from my brief experience.Traveling here was like going back in time and I loved every minute of it!Their food we experienced at the restaurant was almost all organic or farm grown, and tasted completely fabulous.Their coffee was so good that we inquired about it and ended up visiting the roasting company on the way back through Austin just to pick up some beans!
On Sunday we visited Common Grounds, which is a coffee house by Baylor University.Baylor is always my favorite team to choose in brackets for March Madness, I can’t even really tell you why but I just really love them so that was an extra exciting piece for me.And then of course we did some more shopping and perusing Waco including the Dr. Pepper museum.We had to incorporate more Magnolia time so we went back even though it was closed. As we drove around the corner I saw part of an enormous camera by a building. We were so excited, thinking this was our chance to meet the famous Gaines’!Well turns out they were probably just doing a commercial or something because on the other side of the lens was someone that we didn’t know at all, slightly a let down.
Rockin’ the baby bumps, how in the world she’s only 6 weeks behind me is crazy based on the difference between us!
Pretty coffee at Dichotomy & our Birthday celebration cakes
For our final day we traveled back to Homestead Heritage for some more coffee, because, it was that phenomenal! Then we trekked back to Austin to visit some city murals, eat lunch and get ready to fly home.This trip was the first time I have left my “baby”for that many nights in a row and haven’t been had Mama as my primary role every day.Kyle and my amazing in-laws made sure that he was well taken care of and that was such a huge relief.I know not everyone needs to take a trip away to relax but for me it was exactly what I needed to do in order to come back and have new energy for all the work and pieces of life that typically demand my full attention.And getting to spend time with one of my favorite people made it even better!