I have been MIA for the last little bit. Well, actually, not really missing in the literal sense, but rather my desk chair has been missing me and me missing it. The Mr. took some time off work and we decided to partake in a very much needed Staycation. It was glorious! It was so nice to spend so much time together and we really enjoyed being together. The Mr. works really hard and when not in the office, he brings his office back home with him and spends time with it in the evenings and on weekends (he is extremely dedicated), so some time away was long overdue, and I was more than thrilled to hold his attention hostage for a fistful of days.
It’s been quite some time since we had an actual VACATION. This is 99.9% due to the fact that we trust no one with our babies, and frankly no one is good enough. (I have an upcoming blog post dedicated entirely to our struggle finding a suitable pet/house sitter… stay tuned!) Anyhoo, we have a vacation scheduled for next month and another next spring, but in the mean time, a Staycation was very much called for and certainly well deserved. We got a ton of stuff done around our house, i.e. landscaping, i.e. sweated our heinie’s off in the sweltering armpit of the devil, aka Summertime in Texas. Our yards look incredible, but I had to catch up on my neglected household duties the last few days, but now… I AM BACK!!! (whoop, whoop)
Other than the yard work, we celebrated The Mr.’s day of birth, my favorite holiday, we shopped, we dined, we explored. We live in such an awesome place, we found things close to home that were new and exciting and not been done in the four summers of living here before now. One day in particular we took a short road trip 90 miles north, and slightly east to Waco, TX. I had stopped in Waco last fall with my visiting parents, upon returning home from Dallas after the State Fair, but The Mr. had never been, so I was anxious to take him up to the booming tourist destination!
I am a planner. Like, to a fault. Spontaneity, and the thought of it makes me anxious and uncomfortable. So, we had our entire day planned out as to do all we wanted and experience, while not leaving our babies alone for too long without relieving their bladders. Our first stop on our journey was to literally one of our favorite places in the world… a gas station! Nope! It’s more than a gas station… Convenience store? Double negative! It is FAAAAARR more than just a convenience store! It is BUC-EES! Oh, you sweet little beaver, how I am always ecstatic to see your chubby cheeks and buck-toothed grin. Be still my heart…
If you are from Texas, or have driven through Texas, you best-know-what-I-be-talkin’-’bout. Buc-ee is a legend, and rightfully so. The store, literally has most anything you could want or need or dream of. From groceries, to pre-made meals, sides and desserts (my Mama LOVES their freshly baked brownies), to a counter service restaurant with REALLY tasty fare, clothing, pet goods, accessories, toiletries; all donning my boyfriend the beaver, locally made creations, jewelry, home decor, fishing/hunting supplies etc etc. And the bathrooms. They are world famous. Really. WORLD. They are by far the cleanest bathrooms you will ever step foot in, which, to this germaphobe is HUMONGOUS! The bathroom has a full-time cleaning lady that just hangs out in there waiting to clean up after you. Incredible. (Yes, I know, it doesn’t take much for me to get overly excited!)
I realized later I failed in taking more than two pictures at Buc-ees… oh geez, I guess we’ll have to venture back just to get some photos I can share with my blog-reading friends… darn.
After tearfully waving a ‘See ya later,
Gator Beaver’ to Buc, we continued North to the Dr Pepper museum…
Soda is likely my biggest guilty pleasure. I absolutely love it and crave it, but since being more health conscious and on Weight Watchers, I don’t drink it often. I will treat myself every once in a great while, and 9 outta 10 times, I will want a Dr Pepper.
Dr Pepper is a native of Waco, Texas and happens to be the oldest major soft drink in America. The beverage was created by Dr. Charles Alderton at the Old Corner Drug Store in 1885, predating Coca-Cola by only one year (did ya know that?); it quickly became popular throughout Waco as well as surrounding areas. The museum is located in the 1906 Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building in downtown Waco, and is listed in the Register of Historic Places as the ‘Home of Dr Pepper’. The building itself is quite charming. I am very intrigued and appreciate architecture, especially with such a history. Imagine if the walls could talk; the millions of people that have strolled through the doors over the last 111 years.
The museum actually surprised me with the amount of artifacts it had throughout the three stories in one building, and then another section, dedicated mostly to 7-UP, in the building across the courtyard, along with the old-fashioned gift and soda shoppe. It was very busy on the Thursday we went. Several groups of church folks and kids, so it was a challenge to see/read every detail, which was highly unfortunate. They are in the midst of constructing additional exhibits, and The Mr. and I will likely return to see that and revisit what we missed this go around.
After the museum, we hiked around the block to the Magnolia Silos. Now, I enjoy the HGTV show, Fixer Upper, but that is not what draws me to Waco or toward The Silos like apparently everyone else and their brother and cousin and dog; I enjoy The Silos for the atmosphere, the shear fact that Joanna Gaines and I should be style BFFs and the cupcakes. Oh! Did I write cupcake?! Indeedy I did. I have been busting my bootie and slobbering at the thought of these darn cupcakes since October 2016, and I was ready to splurge!! I was even willing to stand in a crowded-like-Disneyland-was-giving-away-free-Mickey-Ears kinda queue to shove one (or two!) of those delectable, buttercream treats in my yapper.
Last fall, when my parents and I popped quickly (literally, quickly) into the bakery, we only walked out with one single, Pumpkin with Cream Cheese Icing cupcake for us all to share… TO SHARE! Not this time! I really would have liked one of each, but refrained and chose to try the Lemon Lavender (I adore and cannot pass up anything with lemon) and Peach Pie. The Mr. chose The Chocolatier and Banana Pudding.
Other than the total deliciousness of the cupcake, what I appreciate most is the attention to detail in the presentation of the treat. They are pretty…
With the box of goodies in hand, we sat at a cute a little table at the base of one of the Silos and each only ate one of our cakes. I chose to try the Peach Pie and The Mr. chose Banana Pudding first. Although the Peach Pie was tasty with the graham cracker crust as the base to the peach cake, I detected no peach flavor in either the cake or icing. There were chunks of peach in the icing, but no real flavor, which was pretty disappointing. The Banana Pudding on the other hand, was very yummy. **Fast Forward to the night; after returning home, we had our other cupcakes with a cuppa coffee for our dinner… Yup. Two in one day! Take that Weight Watchers!! We screwed you!! The Lemon Lavender was divine! I can’t honestly say I had never consumed the flower before, but both the lemon and the lavender were strong. Very tasty, and different. The Mr. said The Chocolatier was good, but he preferred the Banana Pudding.
We then skipped over to Magnolia and did our best to fight the enormous crowds and browse quickly, which was darn near impossible! Then strolled the rest of the grounds around the food trucks and barn to the gardens before taking the short-ish trek back to the museum where we parked (for FREE!).
Although our cupcakes were yummy, it certainly did not count as a meal, so we stopped at a local eatery, George’s, for a quick bite to eat.
It was not a fancy joint, by any means, but extensive menu, good, friendly service and pretty darn good food. Most definitely a locals eatery, where the staff certainly knows their patrons by name!
After we ate, we headed towards home… But not before stopping to visit our beaver friend again and pick-up a few necessities; a welcome sign for our front stoop, a couple Rtic Stainless Steel Water Bottles, some farm animals for my kitchen… ya know, necessities.