My wife, Denise and I are huge fans of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. The show features a couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, from Waco, Texas who specialize in turning problem homes into showcase homes – inside and out. The couple own Magnolia Market, which is frequently featured in the show as the go to place for finding decor for the fixer upper homes. 

When we went to visit our oldest daughter, Sherri, and her husband in Houston, Texas, we decided to take a road trip to Waco to see some of the sights we’ve seen on the show and visit Magnolia Market. It was about a two and a half hour drive from our daughter’s home. We drove straight there without stopping as Denise and Sherri were anxious to start shopping. 

We thought that by going on a Tuesday that maybe it wouldn’t be too crowded. We were wrong.  Traffic worsened as we got closer to the landmark twin silos on the Magnolia Market property. We had to park a few blocks away, but it was a pretty day and we didn’t mind the walk. In addition to the market, the Magnolia campus features a seed and supply store, a bakery, food trucks, lawn games, a playground, and lots of picnic tables. 


Not being much of a shopper, I found myself buying some tacos from one of the food trucks outside. When I finished eating, I wandered around snapping photos with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone provided to me by Verizon. Here’s a video I made of Magnolia Market with an app from GoPro called Quik. 


Photos from the Journey

Just over $400 later, Denise and Sherri emerged from the craziness inside the market. On the way home I snapped a few photos around Waco. We drove past the Waco Hippodrome, the Waco Suspension Bridge that features 25 life sized bronze longhorn cattle, and out to the Waco Mammoth National Monument where the fossils of 24 Columbian mammoths were unearthed. 

Waco 1

Whenever we take family road trips, I’m usually the one who initiates an ADDetour (Attention Deficit Detour). But this time, as we were headed back to Houston on highway 6, Denise spotted this cute little church off in the distance. She insisted that I stop and take a picture. 

Waco 2

A little further down the road I saw this barn that obviously belonged to a Texas A&M fan. I deemed it worthy of a photo stop. I have no idea what the “’15 WHOOP!” and “ WHOOP17” painted on the side of the barn means, but I do know that Aggies are the Texas A&M mascot. 

Waco 3

On the way to Waco, we drove through Calvert, Texas. It had the charm of an old cowboy town. As we stopped for a closer look on our way back through we found it to be more like a ghost town. More than half of the buildings on the main street appeared to have been vacant for some time. It was kinda fun imagining what kind of business was in each of the vacant buildings. As a photographer, I love places like this! 

Waco 4

Texas Wine?

Next we stopped at the Messina Hof Winery in Bryan, Texas. I’ve never really thought of Texas as a wine producing state. After stopping by the tasting room at the winery, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of their wines. In addition to the winery, the property has a restaurant, a bed and breakfast, a wine shop, and a lake filled with turtles. We were there at a good time as we could see grapes maturing on the vine.

Waco 6

Being a college football fan, I had to take an ADDetour through College Station to visit Kyle Field, one of the great football cathedrals in the United States. I wish I could have gone inside. Maybe an Aggie with extra tickets will invite me to go tailgating:)  

Waco 5

In spite of having a significantly lighter wallet, we had a great day. After all, the journey is as important as the destination. 

What interesting side trips have you made while traveling? 







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