19 Days Out

As we plan our trip to Florida, all sorts of stumbling blocks have shown up, followed immediately by (depending on how you look at it) serendipitous solutions… or just plain dumb luck.  I’d like to think there are guardian spirits out there who favor the adventurous and the flexible. Continue reading

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It’s pronounced Way-co

I am a fan of HGTV’s show “Fixer-Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines. I love their on-screen chemistry; it’s almost as good as Hepburn and Tracy… I love her style; very chic and comfortable (although a little over-wrought on the tchotchkes for me). I really admire the way she took a dream and manifested THIS… what an inspiration!

img_5231Waco is a three-hour drive from Austin, but since we are camping Not to far away, we decided to do a field trip/reconnaissance mission yesterday and check out two campgrounds AND the Gaines establishment, Magnolia.

It was easy to find – just look for the silos –  and as well put together as any of her homes. It was also very, very crowded. I hear it’s even more so on weekends. There was a short line at each gourmet food truck lining two sides of the “park,”  and there was a line to get in the door of the bakery. While there was no line to get into the beautiful market, it was a beehive once you walked through the doorway… it was BUZZING!

img_5233This compound is the only thing like it in Waco. It may be the only thing like it in the country, actually. We were starving, so we headed to the gourmet food trucks and began by ordering sandwiches, the Mr. trying out a barbeque sandwich and chips at one, while I ordered from an Airstream specializing in organic grilled cheese: Gouda, bacon, and basil on gluten-free bread, from another.

The young woman at the counter asked each customer where they were from, and was genuinely interested in their answer. I enjoyed listening to her conversations as I waited my turn. My food was delicious, heavenly, in fact! We shared a picnic table in a sunny spot as we ate, and enjoyed the blooming flowers and some world-class people watching.

img_5232This 1940’s-50’s Willis parked beside the silos intrigued the Mr. since his father had one when he was young, with wood panels. We’d love to have it now!

Both campgrounds turned out to be a bust, but the drive around Waco lifted our spirits and reminded us of Austin in the 1980’s. Great old architecture, lots of open space, no snarled traffic. The Brazil’s river and it’s bridges were a bridge to our past. We always wonder at each place we visit, could we live here? We’d need another visit, earlier in the week and earlier in the day (say 10:00 am) but Magnolia Market has definitely raised the bar here, and Waco is capable of rising to the occasion!

XO Donna

 

 

 

 

Frozen

Date: January 8

Location: West of Austin, TX

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As I write this, we are prepping for another 16 degree night at a park, “glamping” again. Why? Well, I’ll tell ya – we chose not to winterize our RV because here in Texas it can be in the high 70’s and then tumble down to the 30’s or 20’s in one day.

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Run, Rabbit, Run!

I live in Austin, right smack-dab in the middle of the the state. The Heart of Texas. On a road trip it takes a whole day of driving to get outside of state lines, and when you’re driving westward, as we were on our way to Santa Fe for Thanksgiving, it can get flat-out boring after a while.

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Photo from GuerrillaGraphix.com

If you are squeamish, you may want to STOP reading now. There is no delicate way to put this, since there is no synonym in Webster’s Thesaurus for roadkill.

In my boredom, I began doing something I’d never done before; I whipped out my phone and kept a Roadkill Tally in the Notes.

I’m sure this isn’t a new car-game, but I think HASBRO could make money off of this. As I began adding things to my ever-increasing list, three things stood out to me:

1) There is a really wide variety of critters here in Texas.
2) The deer and rabbits disproportionately outnumbered everything else.
3) While there was a ridiculous amount of roadkill in Texas, there was a definite deficit of dead things in New Mexico. 

This came up, of course, over cocktails with our friends when we finally arrived in Madrid. Randy had noticed that too, “Why do you think that is that when you cross into New Mexico there’s no roadkill?” Truth is, it’s not something you want to ponder too much, so we dropped the subject, but not before I dropped the bomb – I saw a dead Mountain Lion!

I had wanted to turn around and go back when I saw it, not out of morbid curiosity, but because I couldn’t believe my eyes! I’d never want to run into such an amazing, yet deadly, creature if he were alive. In the end, we didn’t go back because it’s not easy to turn around a motor-home towing a truck.

My Roadkill Tally:
30+ Deer, 7 Coyotes, 8 Opossum, 9 Skunk, 10 Raccoon, 2 Cats, 40+ Rabbits, 1 Mountain Lion, 2 Roadrunners, 2 Fox, 1 Giant Toad, 1 Owl, 3 Ring-tail Cats, 1 Armadillo, 1 Turkey Vulture. (Mind you, this is not counting “the indistinguishable.” Remember, I’m not morbid.)

I hope that Mountain Lion now has  an endless desert with lots of prey, and no highways in his heavenly hunting ground.

XO Donna

 

 

*Note – Article title is respectfully filched from John Updike’s brilliant book.