Day 61 Continued…
Sunday, December 8, 2019 – While it wasn’t in our original plan – wait, we had a plan?? – we decided to head to Waco. There was an Army Corps Of Engineers Lake there that would be an inexpensive place to spend a couple days. It took us about 2.5 hours to make the drive southwest. We, of course, stopped to enjoy another Texas Rest Area – pictured above. We had picked a site within 30 feet of the water but the only downside was that it didn’t have sewer hookup. We only planned to stay a couple days so that wasn’t a concern.
It is so peaceful here and we have an amazing view of the sunset! We collectively took a deep breath. Our schedule to this point was all about the wedding. We have reached a point where we don’t HAVE to be somewhere by a certain date.
Monday, December 9, 2019 – After Matthew’s morning run, Lucas’s fishing and me making breakfast, we decided to head to what everyone goes to see in Waco – The Silos! If you aren’t familiar with Waco, it’s where Chip & Joanna Gaines (made famous by the TLC show Fixer Upper) have started a few businesses around town. They have quite a following and eager fans flock to see what they have created. While I’m familiar with the show and think they are good people, I’m not a die hard fan. But nonetheless, I wanted to see what the fuss was all about.
We parked, grabbed coffee at Magnolia Press Coffee Co, walked around the little village area with numerous food trucks, garden sheds and an ice rink they were in the process of building. I asked Matthew to take a picture of Lucas & I in front of a cute little shed only to discover it was made by WoodTex – a company that was started less than a mile up the road from my parents in NY! They have a branch in Temple, TX which is where, I think, this shed would have come from.
While Matthew stayed with Lucas in the common area, I checked out the Magnolia Market. It’s really a place for children who sometimes turn into arm swinging monkeys! From there we decided to hop on the free Trolley and see what else we could find. We rode it a couple miles before getting off to explore some more. We found the Indian Spring Park by the Brazos River, crossed to the other side to the Martin Luther King Jr Park then followed the path down stream until we came to Baylor University. We then circled back to our truck as it was time to head home for food.
After lunch I made a quick grocery run. We enjoyed relaxing the rest of the day. The park allows us to collect any wood on the ground to use in our fire pit. Matthew and Lucas collected enough to build a fire. We enjoyed another amazing sunset and decided that instead of leaving in the morning as originally planned, we would hang around 2 more days.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 – I headed out for another laundry run while the guys relaxed by the water. Once laundry was complete, I stopped by Walmart for a couple things. One item on my list, at the request of Lucas, was training wheels for his bike. Our bikes have literally be hanging out on the back of the RV, unused, since we left NY! The main reason was that Lucas was refusing to ride without training wheels. We decided to concede just to get him going again. He had ridden without training wheels for a time in VA but then didn’t ride at all this summer.
The men collected wood again so we built a fire in order to cook dinner. While it’s usually beef sausages or something easy, it always tastes so much better cooked this way!
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 – Training wheels are attached!! Lucas is thrilled and going full tilt! There aren’t many people in the park so it’s safe for him to ride around a bit. This is going to be helpful in burning his energy.
After returning from a quick trip to town, I spotted an armadillo at the park entrance. I drove in the park to pick up Lucas and returned so he could see one for the first time. He was pretty excited about it. I tried to get closer for more pictures and it scurried away. They are typically nocturnal but apparently this guy was hungry. We enjoyed another dinner on the grill, an amazing sunset and spectacular moon rise. My friend, Danielle, called from VA to be sure we saw how big the moon was tonight. 🙂
Thursday, December 12, 2019 – For the size of the state of Texas, there are only 14 locations in the National Park System. We decided to go to the Waco Mammoth National Monument and see what there was to see. It’s small. And unfortunately, in order to see much, you have to pay for a guided tour. We decided to just take a little walk around instead of paying for anything. Lucas was able to complete their Junior Ranger program and received his 7th badge.
We extended our site until Tuesday. 🙂 This no urgent plan thing is really nice. Lucas & I went for a bike ride and after dinner we decided to drive around town to check out some Christmas lights. We found an entire street with decorated homes and then drove by the Silos also.
Friday, December 13, 2019 – There was a dam near our park that had a path on the crest. Matthew was going to run from the park to the dam so Lucas & I loaded up our bikes and drove over. Him & I headed out on our ride. Unfortunately, the Army Corps of Engineers was doing some work on the area where the water flows through and had closed the path. Lucas was devastated. He was so looking forward to riding the whole path. We waited for Matthew to complete his run then headed back for a big brunch.
Remember how I said we picked a site without sewer hook ups cause we were only going to stay a few days? Well, our tanks are near capacity now, so we hooked up and headed to the dump station. Any time we move, we have to do a complete tear down – clear all surfaces, secure all doors, pull in all slides. I think we have about 30 items on our checklists. But with the location of our site and the peaceful feeling we had this week, it was all worth it!
We heard good reviews of the Mayborn Museum and with Lucas’s Junior Ranger badge, he was granted free entrance. Him and I decided to go check it out. We were there about 2.5 hours and honestly, he would have love to stay longer if it wasn’t closing time. There was standard museum stuff but then a large kids hands-on area. Sadly there weren’t many children in there but he did find a few that he played with. His favorite part was water & bubble area.
On our way home, we stopped for a treat at the Silos Bakery. YUM! I got the Nuts & Bolts Cupcake & Lucas the Silobration Cupcake. We picked up a couple cookies to take home for Matthew.
Saturday, December 14, 2019 – No plans! Just relaxed at the RV all day. But I did get a blog post completed and figured out a different way to handle my photos. Yay! We went for a long walk while Lucas road his bike.
Sunday, December 15, 2019 – Matthew went to high school in VA with a fellow, Dave, who was now a Youth Pastor in Temple, TX. Matthew reached out to him earlier in the week and we decided to go visit his church about 90 minutes away. He and Matthew haven’t seen each other since HS. We planned to attend early service, instead we sat and caught up with Dave. We discovered that he grew up in the town I first lived in when I moved to VA and I had even worked with his 2nd cousin. We also had a few friends in common. So fun to discover. We ended up staying for the Youth service so we could hear Dave preach and meet his wife & children.
After returning home, I decided I needed a little time away and visited the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. Random, I know, but I wanted to see what it was about. Matthew thought I was just trying to find Chuck Norris.
Monday, December 16, 2019 – After a relaxing morning, Lucas and I headed out to do laundry. The spot I had gone to last week was temporarily closed because the water wasn’t working. Thankfully, I found another spot just a few miles away. Let’s just say, this place was probably started in the 70’s. But the machines worked and we got the job done.
We soaked in one more sunset by the lake. This truly has been a deeply refreshing week. After dinner, we prepped for tomorrow’s departure so we could get an early start. Destination Galveston Island State Park. It’s going to be a long drive.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019 – Lucas and I headed over to Magnolia Table to pick up breakfast before we left town. It was probably a little further than necessary to grab breakfast, but I wanted to experience it. It didn’t disappoint. Definitely worth the drive and calories.