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  • Writer's picturethehonestmama

Take the Trip: Waco, Austin, and a Country Concert Festival

It all started with a Power Point. Yes, I literally made a full presentation and posted it to the internet to convince my husband how important this trip would be for us. We have always made traveling a priority, but lately as our new business and our daughter's schedule and commitments take precedence to everything else in life, our couple's trips seem fewer and farther between.

I was mindlessly scrolling Facebook back in October 2022 when the announcement for the Two Step Inn festival in Georgetown, Texas popped up. 38 country acts performing over two days, with our absolute favorites headlining - Zach Bryan on day one and Tyler Childers on day two. I did some quick research and learned that Georgetown was right by Austin and just an hour and a half from Waco, which has been a bucket list destination for me since the opening of Magnolia Market.

We flew into Austin on a Thursday in April and rented a car to drive to Waco. The drive was a quick 90 minutes and we arrived at our adorably dreamy tiny container home. If you get a chance to stay in a tiny home, I cannot recommend it enough! Clayton thought I had lost my mind when I told him I had booked a 160 square foot container for two nights, but we both agreed that it was such a unique experience and really enjoyed it. It was styled with a lot of boho/farmhouse aspects and we never felt crammed within the space. It also had a rooftop patio that we were able to enjoy in the evening.

On Friday, we woke up early to explore Waco and all things Magnolia. We arrived at Magnolia Table around 8:30am for breakfast and only had a short 20 minute wait for a table. Breakfast was amazing and everyone was extremely friendly. After breakfast, we headed to the Silos to explore the market. We were able to take our time and peruse all of the shops and grab desserts from the bakery. We also meandered over to Jimmy Don's metal shop across from the market and met Jimmy Don himself!

After we finished up at the market, we drove over to see the Castle house that Chip and Joanna recently restored. Then we headed out on a 20 minute trip outside of town to drive by Chip and Joanna's personal farm and residence. All of the Magnolia activities we did took under 5 hours total, and we were told that we definitely got lucky on the timing of our travel and the fact that it was a Friday during the day. Apparently Waco can get extremely busy and wait times for Magnolia activities can get lengthy during weekends and school breaks.

Saturday morning, we sadly said goodbye to our tiny home and traveled to Georgetown to get ready for day one of the festival. It was a sweltering 93 degree day in Texas and the concert gates opened at 11:00am. We sweated it out to see some incredible performances, with our favorites being Charles Wesley Godwin, Niko Moon, and Zach Bryan. After the shows, we waited an absurd amount of time with hundreds of concert goers to get an Uber back to our hotel and didn't get to bed until about 2:00am.

On Sunday, we headed back for day two of the festival. Thankfully, the temperatures were in the 70s, so it was a much more comfortable experience. We also learned our lesson from day one and parked our rental car offsite nearby and walked to the show so that we knew we would have a ride back after, and we happily made it back to our hotel by 10:30 just after Tyler Childers closed out the festival on Sunday night. I really enjoyed the festival experience and would gladly do it again, while Clayton said he still prefers single act concerts simply due to the extensive amount of time and energy we expended at the festival for two days.

On Monday morning, we headed into Austin and I spent the 20 minute car ride planning an entire in-depth itinerary for the mere 26 hours we had to spend in such a unique city. After we checked into our hotel in downtown Austin, we drove about half an hour to The Oasis restaurant on the absolutely stunning Lake Travis. Lake Travis felt like we were transported into another country with its hilly landscape and breathtaking views of bright blue waters.

We got back after lunch and had some time to fill before heading to the bat departure bridge on Congress, so we did what any normal 30-something married folks would do... and we visited a Cat Lounge. We spent thirty minutes of bliss snuggling and playing with kittens, and then we hopped on some electric scooters (my idea, of course...) and cruised for a solid 8 minutes down 6th Street before I experienced a very unfortunate and very public scooter downfall. After sitting on a curb assessing the crash damage and ensuring that I had not broken any bones, we sauntered into our first bar on 6th where I cleaned up my scooter wounds and listened to a local musician. Though there is a ton of hype around 6th Avenue for bars and live music, so many locals told us to avoid 6th due to how run down it has become over recent years, and unfortunately we both agreed and didn't stick around long.

We moved on to the original Yeti store and bar for the Congress Avenue bat departure, and then had dinner at Moonshine Grill. We both ordered the chicken fried steak (my first time trying that) and it was unreal. The size of the meal was insane, and the flavor was out of this world. After dinner, we headed over to Rainey Street, which is where all the locals told us to go for live music and trendy bars. We spent the rest of the evening hopping each of the eclectic bars down Rainey, ran into a Champaign-Urbana local who graduated the same year as I did, and even had a street magician perform some cool tricks for us.

On Tuesday morning, we headed over to the Picnic food truck park just to check out the cute scene and then had the most amazing Texas barbecue at Terry Black's. After lunch, we spent a few hours browsing the shops and artistic murals on South Congress before finally having to hit the airport for our flight home. We were both sad that the trip was ending, but exhausted beyond belief.

We have taken many resort style tropical vacations throughout our nearly 16 years together, but we both agreed that this trip was one of our favorites by far. New experiences throughout different cities in the U.S. are now on our list of things we intend to do more of together. If you get the chance to visit the Austin area, we are now big fans and can personally guarantee you'll have an incredibly "weird" time!



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