Bayou Wedding Tour - Day 8 by Mark

Reporting from Pauls Valley, OK (where the waving wheat, can sure smell sweet, when the wind comes right behind the rain…)

The day began back in Waco, TX—hence the waffle.


We drove into town, which boasts the the king and queen of cable home decoration, Chip and Joanna Gaines. It’s quite the empire.


Then it was off to the Dr. Pepper museum. There’s quite a history here of the various sodas (or pops, if you prefer).


We had lunch at an Asian food truck. Quite yummy. Our meal was only slightly impacted by a dive-bombing butterfly (don’t ask).


Waco certainly keeps it weird.


I noticed a billboard for “The American Domino Company”, so we stopped in. We left with a Number Domino 15 set.


Then it was off to Ft. Worth and the Water Gardens. They shot scenes for the film Logan’s Run here.

I think I’m late for Carousel.

I think I’m late for Carousel.

The next stop involved no photography—the US Mint. My mother will be happy to know I got in without a problem (she’ll know what that means).

A strange spot in suburban Denton, between two normal homes, is “The Chairy Orchard”. Is it an art installation? A neighborhood meeting spot? In any case, there’s a lot of places to sit.


Another un-photograph-able attraction was Magnetic Hill, in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma. It’s one of those places where gravity supposedly goes haywire. It’s just an optical illusion—it seems like your car rolls uphill—but it’s fun.

Well, that’s plenty for now—I’m worn out. More tomorrow.


Bayou Wedding Tour - Day 7 by Mark

Reporting from Waco, TX—

We had originally planned to stay two nights in Austin, but our experiences there seemed to run 50/50.

Our breakfast was fantastic. The Magnolia Cafe served us “the Love Miga”, a breakfast taco and a LARGE pancake. Yummy! Mindy is already trying to figure out how to replicate it at home.


However, lunch was a different story. Black's is based in Lockhart, reportedly the Nirvana of Texas 'Que. We were unimpressed. The meat was decent, but the baked beans were a little soupy--kind of like refried beans with liquid smoke added. Pecan cobbler (the review said you could eat a pan of it) was basically pecan pie broken up. Overall, #citybarbeque does a better job.


We found a lot of interesting stuff, from hipster locations to historic ones, outside of downtown.

Hey, it’s Chthulu!

Hey, it’s Chthulu!


…but Downtown was another matter. There was an event going on which basically took traffic down to a standstill. (I had no idea Austin was so big!) We ended up dropping a couple of places.

We did manage to see our second state capital building of the tour.


After a trip to the top of Mt. Bonnell for a peek…


We made the judgment call to move on.

There were a few sites we wanted to see on the way to Waco, but they all seemed to be on these strange elongated “service roads” next to the highway. If you didn’t catch them, you had to go miles out of your way and backtrack. So we moved on.

Mindy did find an interesting snack—rolled ice cream. It’s quite the performance as they put liquid on a super-chilled surface…

mix it up…

mix it up…

…flatten it out…

…flatten it out…

…and roll it up.

…and roll it up.



Time to wrap it up—more tomorrow. #BayouWeddingTour

Bayou Wedding Tour - Day 6 by Mark

We’re back on the road post-wedding and all the accompanying parties. A lot of fun, and the ceremony/reception was great. But now, we’ve made it to Austin, TX.

Since Lake Charles, we have hit no less than three Buc-ee’s. What’s a Buc-ee, you ask? Imagine a convenience store hopped up on steroids and Red Bull. It’s EN-OR-MOUS! They are well spaced to sell you a a large drink and then have another store an hour and a half later when you need the facilities.

There’s a whole beaver theme.

There’s a whole beaver theme.

You could spend a week shopping here. The also have infinite gas pumps.

You could spend a week shopping here. The also have infinite gas pumps.

One of the Buc-ee’s even had the “world’s longest car wash”.


In addition to convenience stores, we also stopped in Houston to see an art installation celebrating John Glenn and Yuri Gagarin, the first two men to orbit the earth. It’s near an old NASA site. The display has a huge set of tiny holes that, when seen at a distance, shows Glenn’s photo from the capsule.



In addition, Houston reportedly had the “Big Bubble”—an art installation with a red button next to a bridge, which was supposed to generate a, well, big bubble in the river. It must have been down today—no bubble.

Push the button, Frank.

Push the button, Frank.

That stop did let us discover a George Bush (41) monument. <political comment> He’s the dictionary definition of “grading on a curve”—a President who looks a lot better than what we have today.


Another stop was the Igloo cooler plant, which has an interesting security shack.



In Austin, we tried out Mighty Fine Burgers, and they met that definition.

Onion rings were good too.

Onion rings were good too.

OK, I’m getting tired. Touring Austin tomorrow.