Waco, TX

There’s more to Waco than meets the eye.  It feels like a college town more than anything. Get outside of the downtown area & you are in deep country.  I walked into one shop & couldn’t tell if the women working there were quakers, mormons or cultists. They were all wearing a variation of ankle length skirt, long sleeve shirt, vest & had the same hairdo.  It was creepy

But Common Grounds was supposed to make excellent coffee (they do) & I wanted to see Waco Mammoth National Monument (because I’m a nerd), so I spent last night in Waco, Texas. Someplace I never imagine spending the night.  


 Murphy bed is in the wall.

Murphy bed is in the wall.

The tiny house was ~okay~.
It wasn’t anything special.
It felt like an under the radar bed & breakfast that the owners were marketing on Airbnb instead of on normal hotel booking channels.  The room had a smoke detector & fire extinguisher. It was a perfectly fine little cabin but I’m sure there are better places to spend the night.  Because the owners call the place a #tinyhouse, they up the price to follow the current trend. I could see the same thing working in Metro Detroit. Easy.

The coffee shop was cool.  I got a later start than I should have & the place was packed, so I had trouble finding a seat with a table that would make working comfortable.  I ended up just hanging out for a short time & then heading to the park.

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The Mammoth Site is fifteen minutes outside of Waco proper.  It’s $6 for a ranger guided tour, which was excellent.  A couple of guys randomly found a femur in a creek bed when they were supposed to be working & this area outside of Waco has been a treasure trove of Columbian Mammoth bones ever since.  They’ve found more than 24 skeletons from three different events over 15k years in the one area. It was fascinating. I’m glad to have stopped by one of the newest national parks. I hope they keep keeping it.  

A childhood friend in East Texas & the ranger had mentioned that Waco also has a Dr. Pepper museum, so after Waco Mammoth, I had to go see the Dr. Pepper museum.  The majority of the museum had memorabilia from just about every World’s Fair & the history of every soda except cola. Being from Detroit, it was cool to see Vernors included in the mix.

After the museum, I started driving towards Rarumpelpunzeldornaschenwittchen.  I thought about stopping in Belton for food and also thought about visiting the LBJ Historical Site but because of the late start & my first day of driving in some serious rain, none of that happened.  I just wanted to get to the B&B. Which happens to be adorable. I booked Rarumpelpunzeldornaschenwittchen 100% because of it’s name. It’s the cutest cabin. If the weather is crappy tomorrow, I’d stay another night.  

 Rarumpelpunzeldornaschenwittchen

Rarumpelpunzeldornaschenwittchen

Fort Worth

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Travel wise, today felt a little perfunctory.  I was in Fort Worth so I went and saw some sights but nothing was earth shattering & if I hadn’t passed through Fort Worth, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.  

I don’t know much about Fort Worth or Texas history in general.  The Stockyards are remnants from the Old West.  As you drive down the streets of downtown Ft. Worth near the Stockyards, the city has the look & feel of a Western movie.  It’s Texan.  


I walked through the Kimbell Art Museum.  One of the north wings was being reset for the next exhibit, so all of their European art was a miso-mash in the other gallery.  The attendant said they put everything they could fit regardless of time period into the one gallery, which made it really fun to walk around.  Seeing art organized by time period is educational but it’s fun to see things jumbled together or organized by theme.  Why not have something Neo-classical next to a Picasso? It made for an interesting hour or so.  

I also took a quick walk through the African & Oceanic gallery but skipped the paid Asian tour.  I’ve seen some really interesting Asian art collections and didn’t feel the need to pay & see this one.

 African Art

African Art

Afterwards I had an okay lunch near the Stockyards.  I’d googled “chilaquiles in Fort Worth,” but when I got to the restaurant I ordered the special rather than my original craving & it was okay.  Nothing special.  You can’t win them all.  

Tonight I’m in a tiny house Airbnb in Waco, Texas.  

I want to see Waco Mammoth National Park & check out Hill/Wine Country.  Also, at some point I wanted to stay in a tiny house, just for the experience of it.  I’d looked at one in Utah but wasn’t jazzed.  I looked at hotels for tonight in Waco & wasn’t jazzed, so when I was that there’s a tiny house Airbnb available, I took it. It’s cute.  It’s a hotel room as a house, with a hot plate, basically.  Nothing too exciting but now the tiny house thing can been checked off the list.  

Tomorrow night I’m staying at the Rarumpelpunzeldornaschenwittchen B&B, because of it’s name and there is wine nearby.  That should be fun.  

Texas

A road trip through Texas was never something on my bucket list.  I don’t know much about Texas. It’s the 2nd largest state in the country & smack-dab in the middle of the bottom, so I’m traveling through it.  I have friends in Austin. I’ve booked a bunch of business travel to Texas but it’s never been a vacation planning destination for me.

But now I’m here.

 Amarillo, TX

Amarillo, TX

I went on Facebook & asked my tribe if/who/what they recommend for travel in Texas and everything was on the east side of the state, except Marfa.  Marfa is southwest. Amarillo is north. It was one or the other & I took pictures of spray painted Cadillacs.

Based on friend recommendations & some internet research, I’m planning on spending a little more than a week in Texas & seeing the following places, if it all fits in:

  • Austin - friends & food
  • Houston - Space Center, Art Museum
  • San Antonio - Riverwalk, Pearl District
  • San Antonio Missions National Park
  • Fort Worth Zoo & Stockyards
  • Dinosaur Valley State Park
  • Waco Mammoth National Park
  • Luckenback
  • A Cave without a Name - Boerne, TX
  • Lockhart
  • Highway 290, Fredricksburg, Wine Country
  • LBJ National Historical Site - Johnson City
  • Tyler Creek Wildlife Refuge

Today, all I did was finish driving from New Mexico to Fort Worth.  I was going to go to the zoo but decided that after three tourist sites yesterday & driving across New Mexico on Saturday, I wanted a break. I got BBQ, did yoga in my hotel room, watched some reruns of Gilmore Girls & marveled at how many places there are to stop between Fort Worth, Austin & San Antonio.

The general route is going to be Fort Worth > Austin > San Antonio > Houston & then figuring out my plan north.  

 My new kitchen, parts of it. 

My new kitchen, parts of it. 

The cabinets arrived in Detroit.  Things in the condo are happening on or ahead of schedule.  At the same time, I don’t really have a reason to rush. Who knows if or when I’ll have time to travel through East Texas again.  

Cadillacs, Aliens & Crickets, Oh My - April 22

Today was a #longhaul day.  I knew I wanted to get into Texas to spend 10 minutes seeing Cadillac Ranch.  Besides that, I didn’t know what I was going to do.

 Normal day in Roswell, NM

Normal day in Roswell, NM

Since I spent the night in Roswell, I started the day by going to check out the International UFO Museum.  It was a 20 minute museum for me. I wasn’t a UFO conspiracy theorist when I walked in or when I walked out.  I took the picture, got the magnet and headed out to drive.

Amarillo is 3 1/2 hours as a straight shot from Roswell or it was only an extra 40 minutes to detour through Lubbock & go see the Buddy Holly Center.  Buddy Holly was before my time but seems to have influenced everybody. I love the movie “The Buddy Holly Story,” and there are a few songs of his that I listen to pretty regularly, so of course, I took the detour.  When am I going to be near, let alone in, Lubbock, Texas again? Had to be done.

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You can’t take photos in The Buddy Holly Center.  It’s a two room museum with a video and a gift shop.  The movie does a good job telling Buddy Holly’s life story.  Going to the center, you get to see his glasses & guitar & fun artifacts along with his story.  Paul McCartney & Keith Richards talk about the influence Buddy Holly had on the British Invasion.  He was a rock & roll pioneer. It was a cool “quickie” museum. US music history is fun.

After Lubbock, the plan was to try to be at Cadillac Ranch during magic hour & have good light for photographs.  It wasn’t as far & I wasn’t hungry so I got there about an hour early. Not sure what I was expecting but Cadillac Ranch is exactly as advertised.  It’s 10 cars sticking out of the ground by the side of the road. There’s not a whole lot there. I haven’t seen the largest ball of twine but Cadillac Ranch seems like that kind of roadside attraction.  It’s quirky.

 Amarillo, TX 

Amarillo, TX 


Tomorrow: Fort Worth.  I’m still trying to figure out a plan for Texas but everything seems to be on the East side of the state, but let’s get there & then figure things out…Staci