We got up extra early today, around 6am, since we were heading to Austin, to see the Texas State Capitol and other places. My brother-in-law actually works near there and owns an apartment in the area, so we had a place to stay for the next two nights. It took about 3 hours to drive from Dallas to Austin but not before stopping by this really nice, non-commercial looking store in a gas station. The store is called Slovacek’s and sells trinkets and food, from coffee, to pastries, shirts and souvenirs.
Took me a few minutes to actually go around because there were so many interesting things. I wouldn’t buy them but it’s fun to look. We also bought our breakfast there – coffee and some pastries (about $10) – and ate it at one of their available tables.
I love how they have a variety of coffee flavors to choose from but unfortunately, saw it after I had already bought my Nespresso. Haha! Ended up buying three napkins though (I have a thing for really cutesy napkins) since they were on sale (about $2 each). Still expensive but they were so darn cute and perfect as gifts! I also love the fact that the cashier honored the price tag placed on one of the napkins, even though it really wasn’t on sale. Their consumer law dictates that sellers should honor whatever price tag an item has even if it was placed there by mistake.
Our main reason why we wanted to leave home early was because we wanted to arrive at Magnolia Market at the Silos, located at Waco, before the ‘rush hour’. Good thing we did because later in the morning, the place was packed. If you are like me who doesn’t really watch a lot of home décor/ remodeling TV shows, Magnolia doesn’t ring a bell. It’s actually owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper TV Show. My cousin went gaga as she is a huge fan. I, on the other hand, enjoyed the whole place because it was so pretty! From the parking lot, we saw the huge, towering silos (pits used to store grain) already. It was gorgeous. We also passed by the bakery and the Magnolia store.
The place is pretty big and has all sorts of photo opt places. So cute! I especially liked the baby blue vintage designed container van.
Going inside the Magnolia store, there were tons of pretty items to buy. They were on holiday sale when we went there but my mom just bought a glass jar with a bull on top as a souvenir. Didn’t find anything in particular I was willing to shell out money for.
I absolutely did love the ‘cabbage’ looking florals on the window, which are the same ones I saw in Korea before.
By the time we left, it was nearing lunch time so before heading home to Belton, dropped by Bush’s Chicken for some good old fried chicken. On the way were pretty buildings like this one.
This was a fave of my brother-in-law. We ordered the family sized fried chicken set with buns, side dishes of mac n cheese and coleslaw, fried liver and a drink. I was pleasantly surprised by the fried liver. It was pretty good! I do like liver in my tinola so I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that it tasted good fried in a thick batter.
After lunch, we made our way to The Capitol. Before reaching the ‘main attraction,’ you go through a small park where a number of smaller sculptures can be seen.
I immensely enjoy pretty architecture and amazing infrastructures, just like this one. Even though it looks similar to other buildings I’ve seen, for example like in Australia, I still enjoy looking at them. It looked gorgeous both during the day and early evening.
We walked inside and went around the different rooms and halls. Their politicians have rooms in The Capitol and still hold hearings and such, though none was ongoing when we went there.
We then decided to rest and have some coffee at Starbucks, where I bought a reusable plastic ‘holiday’ cup for only a dollar (was $2). It’s the same as the ones we have back at home, which my sister bought, but with different designs. That particular Starbuck’s branch is the first one I saw with a ‘gender-neutral’ restroom. After a few minutes, we decided to walk down the road and just enjoy the view.
I love walking around foreign places! It’s the best way to see and know a place.
For dinner, we stopped by my sister and brother-in-law’s favorite Thai restaurant in Belton called Narunya’s. I’ve eaten at a lot of Thai restos in my life but this has got to be at the top of the list. It was so good! And it’s because their chef is Thai and even went to culinary school. Amazing!
We ordered their Thai appetizer platter which included the best roasted pork I’ve tasted, chicken curry, pork curry, eggplant basil tower and of course, Thai milk tea. Everything was so good! My favorite would be the curry. I love Thai food! Makes me want to go back to Bangkok. Haha! Perfect meal to end the night.
Before heading home, dropped by Walmart for some awesome Christmas sale items like cute table napkins, cookies, candy canes and chocolates. I love how much variety they have in terms of nuts. You can also make and choose your own peanut butter. Coolio!