No pain for these Gaines at Waco’s Fixer Upper

Vicki Baker

Because we think the Gaineses are ridiculously amazing, Road Runners headed to Waco for a little Fixer Upper Fever. We started the day at the Magnolia Market at the Silos. The sprawling downtown Waco property includes two huge grain silos and a 20,000-square-foot barn. The market is full of home-design, accent and gift items.

The grounds also include Magnolia Seed and Supply, a garden shop selling gardening tools, fairy garden supplies and unique vessels for planting. There’s the Silos Baking Company filled with all of Joanna’s favorites—cookies, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, muffins and cupcakes. We had to try several items on the menu for research purposes, of course. Food trucks line the Magnolia Market and are a must try offering Southern food, BBQ, pizza, grilled cheese, burgers, crepes, sandwiches, salads and cold pressed juices.

Back onboard the coach, we checked out all things Chip and Joanna along the Magnolia Trail – Seventh Street shotgun house, the little shop on Bosque, Magnolia House, Harp Design Co. (Clint Harp’s shop full of treasures made from woods rescued from old buildings, fallen trees and scrap piles) and JDH Iron Designs (Jimmy Don Holmes’ workshop of custom metal art). And, of course, we snacked on cupcakes from CuppieCakes in downtown McGregor.

That afternoon we strolled along the Brazos Riverwalk, across the Waco Suspension Bridge, and among the bronze longhorn steer sculptures. We then boarded our canopied boat for a Waco River Safari—a two-hour historical cruise on the Brazos River filled with stories about how the river shaped the city. We explored Spice Village, a dream shopping experience with more than 60 boutiques under one roof.

That evening we were hosted to a unique wine tasting and dining experience at Cameron Park Zoo where animals and native vegetation flourish at this 52-acre natural habitat. We sampled four wines from the Valley Mills Vineyards; all were made from 100% Texas grown grapes.

No trip to Waco is complete without visits to the city’s iconic museums. The Dr. Pepper Museum, housed in the 1906 Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building, includes over 300,000 artifacts and all sorts of objects related to the history of the soft drink industry.

The Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates this famed law enforcement agency and serves as a memorial to Rangers who made significant contributions or died heroically in the line of duty. The museum holds thousands of relics, memorabilia, documents and artworks depicting the eternal struggle between good guys and bad guys.

On our trip home, we stopped at Homestead Heritage Community, an agrarian and craft based Christian community, which houses a bakery, pottery house, blacksmith shop, cheese-making house, woodworking and furniture-making shop, and fiber-crafts cottage featuring spinning, knitting and weaving. We lunched at the Homestead Café serving locally sourced American cuisine and special farm-to-table dinners.

So, have we piqued your interest? Then visit the Road Runners website at for details on other exciting travel opportunities and membership information.