A friend and I had been talking about visiting Magnolia for a little while. We decided that if we were going to go, we were going to do it right and stay in one of Chip and Joanna's properties. Shortly after, we got an email that they bookings for the next year were going to come out on the Magnolia website in a few days. I hadn't booked before, but I did know that these filled up quickly, and we needed to be on top of it! Fast forward to the day the bookings went live...my friend was at a work conference, and I was busy in mom mode. An hour later I realized I hadn't checked the website at opening hour, and was sure everything would be sold out. To my complete delight, there were still two time frames available (out of a whole six month period!!!) and I picked what I thought would work best for everyone and booked it! I felt like I was in a dream having actually booked my very own stay at one of their houses. Total fan girl. Totally ok with it.
We assembled a group of fellow Magnolia lovers, booked our flights, and before we knew it we were wheels up headed for Waco!!! Our trip allowed us a few extra days in Texas, so we actually flew into Austin and stayed for two nights before driving to Waco. If you haven't been, generally people fly into Dallas of Austin, and Waco sits about in the middle of that an hour and a half away. Both of these are great towns to explore if you have the time. I would highly recommend visiting the Presidential Libraries in both towns--and I am not a museum lover! We stayed at The Line in Austin, which sits right on the river, and is a perfect location for walking downtown. After a fun few days in Austin, we hit the road for Waco! If you make the drive you have to stop at Buc ee's. It is the largest gas stop I have ever seen, and has a huge store with anything and everything you could think of.
We pulled into town and went to the Silos first. I had been once before when I joined my husband on a work trip, but I was alone when I went to Magnolia, so it was fun to be there with a group this time. Seeing the silos in person is such a fun experience and there is so much to take in. The store is beautiful inside, the displays are next level, the people are so nice, the grounds are beautiful. Everything is just perfection.
In the excitement and Texas heat, we walked out from the silos store and I quickly realized I was having a mild heat stroke. I had to grab by friend to keep me from falling over. They are prepared for this at Magnolia, and a medic outside came and helped me cool down so I could stand and get to the car. We decided to drive over to our rental, Hillcrest Estate so that I could really cool down inside. The couple who runs Hillcrest Estate welcomed us, gave us so much helpful information about the house, and then asked if they could pray for me before they left. I was so completely honored that I cried before even saying yes. We all talked about how their simple question was such a statement of faith to us, and we were inspired to carry that into our own lives. This was hands down one of the best moments of the trip.
I'll share a few more highlights from the trip, and spots to check out if you are planning your own trip. Make sure you visit and eat at Magnolia Table. The food is beyond amazing. We tried so many different things and loved them all. We ate Texas BBQ at the restaurant next door, and it was amazing too! If you want to take photos of the grounds at Magnolia when it isn't too busy, go at closing or opening. One of my other highlights was driving around and seeing some houses that have been on Fixer Upper, and Cottonland Castle which Chip and Joanna bought and are remodeling for something (haven't said yet). I'll be honest, Waco as a town doesn't seem or look like much, but it's true that what the Gaines have done there is transformative and exciting.
We made sure that we spent a lot of time at Hillcrest Estate since it was so amazing, and only ours for a few days. We had the best time looking at all of the details, enjoying a meal in the amazing dining room, the guys had multiple card games in the game room, and us girls had the best time doing a little selfie stick photo shoot all around the property!
Planning your own trip to Texas? If you have any questions, just ask in the comments!
Hillcrest Estate photos:
The sweetest playhouse ever!
Our sweetest hosts at Hillcrest Estate
The original Magnolia--The Little Shop on Bosque (now the discount store)
Magnolia Table Restaurant:
Do you recognize where we're at?? ;)