Well, I did it. I made the move to Tennessee. I'm currently curled in bed, listening to Mumford & Sons Wilder Mind on the record player, and thinking back on my 5-day road trip. Here's the breakdown of the trip...
I left Arizona at 6 AM on Wednesday. Nothing but me, a packed car, the open road, and hours of music. & I stopped for Dutch Bros. on my way out of town. Nine out of 10 vehicles on the road were semi-trucks and I liked the peace that the drive offered. I am one who loves to drive, so that first day—a 10-hour drive to Ft. Stockton, Texas—was pretty fantastic. I love being in the middle of nowhere with few cars around, music cranked up, and a water bottle an appropriate substitute for a microphone. I arrived at the hotel early and spent three hours on the phone between talking to my mom, grandma, brother, and catching up on life with my friend Devon.
I woke up at 5 AM on Thursday, stopped at Flying J's to fill up the tank, and set out on the dark, desolate highway toward Austin. There I picked up my co-pilot (my mom) at the airport. The day was spent antiquing in Fredericksburg, a charming small German town. We stopped at Magnolia Pearl—which is essentially my dream home—and Carol Hicks Bolton, where I purchased the most gorgeous 1800s French throw. & We bought fudge (Butter Pecan, Cappuccino, and Caramel) from a small shop, which we consumed over the next three days. The evening was spent in Austin where we ate street tacos and went to the park on the riverfront before heading to our hotel for the night.
This day was my favorite. We headed northeast to Waco—home to the Magnolia Silos. I love watching Chip and Joanna Gaines on HGTV's Fixer Upper. Their designs and love for each other + their family + people are infectious. & They've created something truly special in Waco. Our day consisted of shopping and eating, and then more shopping and eating.
We shopped at the Magnolia Market and we had lunch at the Co-Town Crepes food truck. Then we shopped at The Findery. After, we had Common Grounds coffee and a Shiplap cupcake from the bakery. Then we took the trolley downtown, stopped at a few antique stores, and drove to a nearby park. For dinner, we had a grilled cheese sandwich from the Cheddar Box food truck. & The evening ended with us swinging, listening to the music (which was on point!) play across the Magnolia property, and simply enjoying ourselves before heading to our hotel and catching up on, yes, the latest episodes of Fixer Upper.
Breakfast was at the Silos Baking Co. I had a cup of coffee and a cranberry & orange biscuit. We sat outside (in the cold) on one of the big wooden swings for about 30 minutes before leaving the town of Waco. As I watched six adults full of smiles on the swings, it was clear that this place brings joy to thousands of people. & If you ask me, that's pretty neat.
We headed to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Along the way, we stopped in the town of Corsicana and a few antique stores on the main street. & We stopped in a few other small towns along the way, but the day mostly consisted of driving across Texas and Louisiana. It ended with dinner at Cracker Barrel.
We woke up to a rainy Sunday. The morning consisted of driving through the Vicksburg Military Park and snapping pictures in downtown Vicksburg, which I can only imagine in its hay day. The city was dead that Sunday, but the large historic buildings + waterfront + sound of church bells + rundown Victorian houses + brick streets were dreamy. I think it was one of the coolest cities I've seen.
We took the Natchez Trace from Clinton to Tupelo—the birthplace of Elvis Presley. Along the Natchez, we stopped for pictures at a reservoir and a cypress swamp. The drive was beautiful, and half of the time the roads were covered in rain or a light misty fog. After Tupelo, it was straight on to Alabama, then to Tennessee, where we arrived home in time to catch the last 30 minutes of the Super Bowl.