Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Magnolia and Texas Ranger Museum in Waco

On Tuesday Bob and I went with my sister, Gail, and our brother-in-law, Mark, to see the Silos of Waco, Texas. Waco has become known as the home of Magnolia, a home decorating shop owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines of the HGTV show, Fixer Upper.

The Gaineses purchased property with two rusty old cottonseed silos in downtown Waco and had the vision to renovate it into a collection of shops, bringing new life into the town that had mainly been associated in many people's minds with the Waco siege of the Branch Davidians in 1993.

Inside Magnolia are all kinds of country-style and clever items for your home.
 There were a lot of cotton-themed ideas...
 ...and t-shirts and paints and rugs and vases...
...even a deer head over a mantel.

Chip has an area, too, with a few tools and some hardware.
We found prices to be high, as expected, but people were buying!

Waco is now a destination for tourists who flock to see what Chip and Joanna have created. At present, besides Magnolia, there is a bakery that bakes 10,000 cupcakes a day and a family play space behind the shops, complete with an Astro-Turf-covered ball field (and boxes of balls to kick or toss around,) picnic tables, a swing set, and beanbag chairs for parents to watch their kiddos.
A free trolley brings shoppers from the no-charge parking area, and the very friendly trolley driver provides a tour of the area with running commentary. Along the trolley route are restaurants and the Dr. Pepper Museum to visit.

Our trolley driver told us that, while Magnolia has only been open in this location for a year, as many as 9700 people have visited on a daily basis, with lines of people stretching down the street and around the corner, just to get inside. I was very glad that it wasn't nearly that busy today.

Plans are in the works to renovate the silos themselves into more shop space.

We hopped off the trolley to stop at Spice Village, where we found Ninfa's, an outstanding Mexican restaurant.
It was a great place to have lunch--my spinach enchiladas were delish! Then we rode the trolley back to our car and drove over to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.

I am fascinated with the story of the Texas Rangers. The Rangers were created in 1823 to protect the "Texian" colonies from Indian raids and incursions across the Mexican border. Over the years their duties have changed from military protection to law enforcement, and they continue to serve today. We watched a film chronicling the history of this famous group of lawmen, and enjoyed the displays of weapons, art work, and memorabilia.

There was even a section on the Lone Ranger!
As children, my sisters and I saw Clayton Moore in person, and I was always a fan.

We left Waco, wishing we had more time to explore this area. I sure would have enjoyed seeing the Dr. Pepper Museum! Maybe next time...

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