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  • Writer's pictureBrett Hayden

Weekend in Waco

Take your pup to Magnolia & she becomes a model!

Moving to Austin, TX meant multiple trips to Target for decorations (of course!). You could find me perusing the Hearth & Hand section weekly to find some Magnolia peices that I just, "had to have!"

It wasn't until about 3 weeks after we moved that I realized that instead of putting on the miles to Target everyday that I could get Magnolia pieces straight from the source! We live only about an hour and a half away from Waco, TX, home HGTV's show "Fixer Upper" and the famous Magnolia Market.

So, the next Saturday afternoon I packed Austin & Stella up and we made the drive north to Waco for the afternoon.

Even during a pandemic, Chip & Joanna Gaines know how to bring out a crowd. There was a line for the coffee shop, the bakery, and a line to get into the Silos area where the market is. We got in line for the market and were pleasantly surprised how quickly it moved!

Pandemic or not, the Silos are worth a little extra wait time. The whole area is incredibly picturesque - basically a peek into Jo's interior designer mind. I wanted one of everything, but settled with a gorgeous ceramic vase and some faux eucalyptus stems & a wheat grass bouquet. Perfect for fall! (Is it considered "adulting" when I'm excited over faux foliage?) The home decor inspiration is strong here and it really got my mind going with ways to decorate our little two bedroom apartment.

The real treat of the day was stumbling upon a newly opened shop on the property. Hidden closely behind Magnolia Press, the coffee shop, was Magnolia Home. We were pleasantly surprised to find a building without a line and hopped at the opportunity to explore more. Turns out, this store had only opened about a month prior to our visit and the worker guessed that there wasn't a crowd because not a lot of people knew about it. Here I indulged in a soy candle that I couldn't resist and got inspired by their selection of live plants.

We were pleasantly surprised that Stella was able to go with us into all of the shops with us! (Except the bakery, of course.)

We had the best time exploring Chip & Jo's empire, and got to explore a bit more of Waco afterwards. There are a few antique shops in the area and we even learned something new - apparently Dr. Pepper was created in Waco & they have a museum right in the same area. We weren't able to check out the museum this trip because dogs aren't allowed, but it's on our list for next time!


Our last stop on the day trip was a bit more out of the ordinary, but right up my alley.

We visited Mount Carmel, the site of the 51 day siege between the Branch Davidians "cult" and the FBI & ATF that took place in 1993. Austin & I had previously watched the series "Waco" on Netflix and I had done some research on the subject. Since we were in the area, I decided we had to visit the site. To our surprise, we weren't the only ones who had this idea.

From what I learned through the TV series and research, the siege took place because the Branch Davidians were housing an excessive amount of weapons in their compound that law enforcement believed to be illegal. It seemed to me that their leader, David Koresh, was a bit corrupt, but the people involved in the group were otherwise very peaceful and entirely devoted to their leader.

David Koresh refused to back down and have his people leave the compound while the law enforcement agents executed a search warrant find the illegal weapons. According to law enforcement, David's stubbornness is what lead to a gun battle between the agents and the members.

Inevitably, the law enforcement agents used tear gas in an effort to make the people inside evacuate. Instead, 76 of the people inside, including women and small children, were trapped when a fire occurred due to the gas and were unable to get out.

Visiting the site where such a tragedy occurred was very somber. All of the building are torn or burned down, but one has been rebuilt and there is a hole in the ground marking where the women and children were hiding during the gunfire. There was a women connected to the group who was in the rebuilt building telling the members' side of the events.

Overall, this was a very humbling experience. No one can know for sure exactly how the events occurred in those 51 days, but we do know that many people lost their lives in very unfortunate ways.

If this is something that interests you, I would definitely recommend watching "Waco," doing some research on the subject, and taking a drive out to the site if you ever find yourself in the area.

What I love most about the city of Waco is there is such a strong presence of history mixed in with all of the new aspects of the town. It really is a beautiful & interesting city to visit, and I'm happy I live so close now.

They don't call it "City with a Soul" for no reason!



- "Waco" a Netflix Limited Series

- Mount Carmel Site, Waco, TX

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