If you’re traveling from South Texas to Dallas, Waco is directly in your path. That in and of itself is not a good reason to make a pit stop, but Magnolia Market and Dr. Pepper are very good reasons to stop for fieldschooling in Waco.
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Studying for Our Trip
Because this trip was impromptu, I didn’t prepare our usual unit study. All we really knew about Waco was that it was the home of Baylor University and the Fixer Upper famous duo. Of course, you could always consider our life-long love of Dr. Pepper as a bit of study.
The Travel Plan
On the road from San Antonio to Dallas, there are several small towns and Austin. We decided to find another out-of-the-ordinary place to rest our heads for the night. So, I went online and discovered Antlers Inn. When I realized that we could stay in an authentic railroad caboose, I immediately booked a reservation. I knew the girls would be over-the-top excited.
When we arrived, we were surprised to find such a lovely retreat area in the tiny town of Kingsland, Texas. The historical inn was beautiful, and there were many charming cabins all along the Colorado River. As a guest, we had access to a dock along the river where we could use the inn’s kayaks, rowboat, and paddleboat.
The girls fell in love with the caboose and begged to stay for several days. I wish we had made time to spend a couple of days at the Antler Inn.
The most surprising part of our stay was the fabulous Grand Central Cafe which was much more than a café. It’s Hollywood claim to fame is that it was the movie set for the 1973 Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie. But, don’t let that stop you from dropping in. The restaurant is the Victorian House of the Antlers Inn. We ate dinner and breakfast at the café. I can’t say enough about how wonderful it was (and we have eaten a lot of food on this trip). I’d encourage you to make a stop at the Grand Central Café if you get the chance.
Fieldschooling at the Dr. Pepper Museum with Kids
Our first stop in Waco was the Dr. Pepper Museum. The museum consists of two buildings. You will need approximately one to one and half hours to tour the entire museum, attend a class in the “liquid laboratory,” and order your choice of soda or ice cream.
Dr. Pepper is kind of a big deal in our small county in Tennessee, so we were surprised to learn that Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco. Dr. Pepper has an interesting story that involves a man nicknamed “Foots” (which was a source of humor for most of our day). This story inspired the W. W. Clements Free Enterprise Institute. The Free Enterprise Institute educates children and adults about economics in the United States. It reminded me of those Marketing classes I took in high school.
Fieldschooling at Magnolia Market at the Silos with Kids
Yeah, let’s not kid ourselves. We didn’t go to the Silos for a field trip. We went because I wanted to soak up all the Chip and Joanna awesomeness I could. The kids were along for the ride. Fortunately, the Silos were located only two blocks from the Dr. Pepper Museum. Unfortunately, it was 4,000 degrees in Waco, Texas this sunny August day. We got some exercise walking, but the kids were in no mood to play in the courtyard even though the games looked like fun. After dragging them through the Market, I finally won Mom Brownie Points by ordering Nutella crepes all around.
Looking back on the trip I realize there was some education to be had on this leg of the journey. After leaving the Free Enterprise Institute, Magnolia Market was a prime example of the economics in our country. This couple has taken something they not only are quite capable of doing, but also enjoy, and made a successful enterprise of their own. I don’t know if they will be able to sustain the level of interest once the show is off the air, but they have created a prosperous business.
And, if you’re going to be in Waco, don’t skip the Nutella crepes. Seriously, they’re awesome!
Travel Journal Pages for Waco
I had such a hard time finding the perfect travel journal, that I created my own, the Homeschool Travel Journal. Sign up for access to travel journal pages for Waco that you can add to your journal.