When my mom asked me where I would like to go on a senior trip of sorts, the first thing out of my mouth was “The Silos in Waco, Texas.” I thought the idea was crazy, but we decided it an opportune summer to chase our crazy ideas. So we booked a flight to Texas, rented a tiny house, invited my Nini and my best friend, and took off.
I love watching Fixer Upper and have fallen in love with Chip and Joanna and the houses they design. I read their book, “The Magnolia Story” in which Chip and Joanna share their story of how their family, business, and fame came to be. But what especially caught my attention is their business venture they’ve coined “The Silos.” They purchased a quiet piece of land with two old silos resting in downtown Waco, Texas and converted it into a grounds with a large design market, bakery, gardening supply store, and a huge outdoor area with fun games, a picnic area, and lots of food trucks. And of course, it is all thoughtfully and beautifully designed by Chip and Joanna.
We had a fun trip complete with staying up too late, laughing a lot, figuring out Texas driving, eating too much, and making lots of memories. One of my favorite things about The Silos was the way it represented everything that Magnolia stands for. That’s important to building a business, home, or even a dorm room. It felt authentic, relaxed, and welcoming. The umbrellas by the entrance to block the sun, the friendly employees, cupcakes, and comfy beanbags to rest in all showed that no detail was overlooked. It was designed in a way that it became the backdrop for family, friends, home, and memories. We traveled over 1000 miles to get to The Silos and it exceeded our expectations.
And even though we loved The Silos, that’s a long way to travel to not explore any further. We loved visiting Harp Design Co. (often shown in Fixer Upper). We ate Tex-Mex in Houston at Pappasitos. We visited the Dr. Pepper museum in Waco but joked that it “fell flat” of the fun we expected. We shopped at the Findery and the Spice Village and a candy store downtown. We ate at almost all the food trucks at The Silos and found a taco restaurant for supper one night. I enjoyed a run across the Waco suspension bridge and along the Brazo River. We had lots of fun adventures!
Before we headed home, we decided to spend a night on the Gulf Coast in Galveston, Texas. I can now say I’ve seen the Gulf Coast. The water wasn’t clear like we had hoped, but we enjoyed the pool and good seafood before we hopped on the plane.
I like being practical and frugal and planning too much, but I’m learning sometimes the best memories are a little spontaneous and a lot crazy. I have a feeling I’ll look back and remember when I said “hey, let’s go to Texas” and we actually did it.
Fittingly, I stumbled across the Magnolia Manifesto while reading the Magnolia journal on the plane and I think it perfectly captures what this trip meant to me.
We believe that newer isn’t always better and that there is something inherently good in hard work. We believe that friends who feel like family are the best kind of friends and that nothing matters more than family. We believe that today is a gift and that every day miracles are scattered about if only we have the eyes to see them. We believe in seeking the balance between hustle and rest and striving to be passionate about both: a leisurely first cup of coffee to start the day mindfully and then at day’s end not clocking out from a job till you’re proud.
We believe that failure needn’t be a negative thing; rather, we learn from our mistakes and fail harder next time. We believe in doing work that we love, and in choosing that, nudging others toward doing what they love. We believe in courage, in cartwheeling past our comfort zones and trying something a little bit scary every day. We believe that it’s time for the pendulum of trend to swing back to the basics. We believe in subtle beauty, the kind that doesn’t deteriorate with age or wear. And of all heroic pursuits large or small, we believe there may be none greater than a life well loved.
-The Magnolia Manifesto from the summer 2017 (issue 3) of The Magnolia Journal
Thanks to Ally for most of these great pictures! Check out her photography page on Instagram at @allybartlettphotography