Traveling in our Roadtrek for four and half years, we thought we had had it all. Great experiences, great locations, great people. But recenty we had our first authentic, Roadtrek-to-the-bone-and-reaching-out-into-the-Universe-Roadtrek Experience. Our Dutch friends say we have angels sitting our shoulders when we have good fortune, who knows?
We had intended to drop by Waco on the way west from Dallas for a couple of the famous Chip and Joanna cupcakes at the Silo Bakery and Magnolia Market. You may remember
that Chip and Joanna are the “Fixer-Upper” couple on the HGTV show of the same name. Their show is about flipping houses in the Waco area using their distinctive style. If you have heard of the “ship lap” and “subway tile” look, that is Chip and Joanna. They have become major players in Waco as their enterprises now employ hundreds of people.
At 5:00 A.M. Sunday morning, on the first day in 15 days without rain in the forecast, we left Dallas and “beat feet” for Corsicanna. The sunny forecast and “the fruit cake of the gods” from the Collin Street Bakery were calling. Finally, we were back in our Roadtrek after a rainy week of staying indoors or shopping (not really my things but Rhonda and her sister had a ball) and striking out for the open road and the promise of sunshine.
Texas did not disappoint. We were early enough that we could attend 8:00 A.M. Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Corsicana before the bakery opened. Afterward, with the fruitcake we promised a friend in hand, we “rolled rubber” to Waco. But like most Texas towns, the stores were all closed in honor of The Lord’s Day. Well, that was cool. We found a camp spot at the Midway Campground on Waco Lake. For $12 and our US Senior Passes, we had a really nice campsite with an unobstructed view of the lake. We found two Geocaches and had coffee in the cool of late evening.
So far this sounds like a nice but unexciting Roadtrek trip. That was soon to change.
Rhonda posted our progress on Facebook about the city of Waco rolling up its sidewalks on Sunday and where we were camped.
Meanwhile David Hunt, a pretty new Roadtrek 200 owner, was bored by the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and also turned to Facebook. A second later Rhonda was reading a letter from David telling us he lives in Waco, a few miles from where we were camped in the neighborhood where Chip and Joanna flipped many houses, and would we like him to show us around the next day? WHOA! AN OFFER WE COULDN’T REFUSE!
By 9:30A.M. Monday morning, we had made our visit to The Silos Bakery, I had eaten a cupcake and a cinnamon roll to die for, and we were back sitting in front of David’s house.
David and Lisa toured our 210 and we gave them all the helpful suggestions we could about Roadtreking and what we had done to our coach. The Roadtrek 200 and 210 model are very similar and we each saw advantages in the others’ coaches. We knew we were gonna’ like these people.
Some background: Last year, on our first visit to Waco, we enjoyed a tour by David Ridley (the star of the Fixer Upper episode “Waco’s Most Eligible Bachelor”). David’s company is Waco Tours and the tour is worth every penny. It lasted about four hours and entertained us, educated us, and gave us a chance to eat. We loved it. We even had a selfie with David Ridley.
David Hunt (not to be confused with David Ridley) and Lisa, his wife, managed to outdo the other David. On their itinerary were stops at nearly a dozen “Chip and Joanna” remodeled homes, various historical points, and a visit to the metal working shop of Jimmy Don Holmes. We actually met Jimmie Don. On show, his “JDH Metal Works” is where so many of Joanna’s accent and personalizing touches are done in laser cut iron. We got to watch his shop in action…and we bought something.
Visitors look around Waco, Texas, and Chip and Joanna are everywhere. Along with the Magnolia Real Estate company, Magnolia Construction Company, Magnolia Bakery at The Silos, Magnolia Market for Home Accents, an Antique Shop, The Magnolia Bed and Breakfast and a Magnolia development of moderately priced homes, there is also the Magnolia Table .
The remodeled “The Elite on the Circle” restaurant was pretty famous before the Gainnes’ bought it, though it needed a refurb. Joanna renamed it to sound more inviting and less “elitist.” We rolled into Waco with a vague idea about it and a desire to perhaps get a picture. David Hunt was happy to oblige.
As we drove up from behind the building we saw cars everywhere. The restaurant was not supposed to be open so we expected perhaps there was a “soft opening” where only special people were invited. To our surprise they were open, there was a table available, we were the special people and we were seated immediately. The entire place was jumping. The excitement of new employees, new building, new menu, new everything just couldn’t be topped. Everything on the menu looked delicious and was enjoyed by everyone who ordered. And just to top it off, Joanna Gainnes’ mother was wandering through the crowds taking pictures and just charming the heck out of everyone.
Our day was made possible only by Roadtrek connections and it was awesome.
Maybe Angels drive Roadtreks!