Southcentral USA Roadtrip-Part 1


The day had arrived for me to depart Corpus Christi, Texas and embark on my road trip/move back to Florida. But before I could leave the middle of the country, I needed to spend some time exploring. Texas is a mammoth of a state. It’s larger than a number of countries. To break up the drive I decided to travel halfway through the state to Waco, Texas.IMG_5041

Waco has become a bit famous because of the home makeover show Fixer Upper. TV personalities/house flippers (I guess now they’re really business moguls) Chip and Joanna Gaines have established quite the establishment in Waco that I really wanted to see. Between this and a Mammoth National Monument I found, I wasn’t sure what else Waco had to offer, but there was only one way to find out. Go there and see!

5 Things to Love About Waco


  1. The Silos

I arrived in Waco right around lunchtime. As I drove towards the Silos the sidewalks were packed with people all heading to the same destination. It was Mother’s Day weekend here in the states, so I think that played a role on the busyness.

The Silos were quite a sight to be seen. I’ve seen silos before, but they’re still quite impressive close up. Of course upon arrival you must take photos of these galant giants and appreciate everything laid out before you. There’s a bakery, food trucks, shop, large area for yard games, tables for eating, areas for taking photos. A lot of thought and planning has been put in to develop a place for community.

The line for the bakery literally wrapped around the building and down the street, so I took that as a sign to stick to my diet.

The shop has tons of home decor items and also merchandise such as shirts, hats, books, and more for the Fixer/Upper fan.

The food trucks offered a variety of choices from pizza, tacos, sweet tea, crepes, juices, Mac and cheese, the list goes on and on and is making my stomach grumble just writing about it. All that uppity talk in my mind about sticking to my diet didn’t last long and I splurged for some very delicious mac and cheese.

So after a long morning of driving, I explored the Silos for about an hour, ate lunch, bought a souvenir for my sister, and headed out to meet some mammoths.

2. Mammoth National Monument

I loved this! It may be the teacher in me, but I loved learning about the mammoths that roamed Texas once upon a time. And also being able to see actual fossils and the archaeological dig site still in place where they were found. It cost me $4 and it was worth every cent and more. The tour guide was very humorous and informed. 4/5 dentists would recommend.

3. Downtown Waco

I love some street art. Waco unexpectedly has some!

It makes me want to go back to find more!

4. Shopping, Restaurants, and Views

I went to Waco with the expectation of only finding the Silos and the Mammoth Monument. It has so much more to offer. I could’ve easily spent another day there exploring. There were many more shops and restaurants within walking distance downtown and there’s even a trolley you can take around. I wish I had been more prepared! I suppose I’ll have to venture back one day to see and do more!

5. Lake Whitney

Alas, it was time to set up camp and rest my head. A short drive from Waco is Lake Whitney. This Lake has multiple camping options that range from paid to free! Sign me up for the free! It’s first come, first serve so I didn’t want to arrive too late and have to pay for a campsite. The first nook I looked down was all taken, but I lucked out at the next section and scored a spot right across from a boat dock, portapotty, and on the lake.

This was a great start to my road trip and I couldn’t wait to see what Oklahoma would hold for me next.


USA- One Roadtrip at a Time.

I love a good road trip. I don’t mind endless hours in a car. Stopped still traffic. Detours. Give me it all if it means getting to adventure somewhere new, eat all the food, and scratch off places to visit on my list.

For the last decade that I’ve been traveling, I’ve taken 3 multi-state roadtrips. The first was of ten states mostly on the east coast and the south. I wrote a bit about it when I first started my blog which you can read about here, Travels with Carlie-Planning a Road Trip. My next multi-state road trip was Fall 2017 of the New England states which I have not written about quite yet. Stay tuned for details on that adventure! New England speaks to my soul unlike any other place I’ve been to yet.

Now for road trip numero tres. Allow me to tell you how this trip was planned, then rescheduled, then rescheduled again, then almost didn’t happen.USA One Roadtrip at a Time Roadtrip Itinerary

If you are familiar with me, then you know I work in education. Well I planned this fabulous road trip of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas for my husband and I to take over spring break. I spent a great deal of time perusing pinterest, tripadvisor, and roadtrippers planning out a well balanced itinerary of city experiences, nature adventures, and food- food is always a priority to my plans. I had everything set and then the Navy happened. My husband got orders to relocate EXACTLY when I had our roadtrip planned. It’s as if they knew it would but a damper on my day. Since we would be moving him, but then I would go back to Texas, I simply rescheduled the roadtrip to do solo at the end of the school year. With this change to the plan, I also did some reorganizing of the trip since I would no longer need to return to Texas at the end and would simply keep driving to Florida instead. So I started counting down the days to June 1. My last day of work. Fortunately enough, I wouldn’t have to wait that long. My school was able to find a replacement for me to finish out the last two weeks of school, which meant rescheduling the trip again, but being able to see my cats, I mean husband, even sooner than originally planned!

So the trip was on! Allow me to introduce you to the itinerary: Road trip itinerary

As the date of departure approached, I must honestly say I considered canceling the trip altogether and just driving straight to Florida to be reunited. I really missed my cats. But I told myself I had to take this opportunity to explore multiple states I may never have the convenience of being relatively close to again. So I loaded up my Rav4 and embarked on what was a truly memorable solo experience.

To be continued…..


Military · Travel

Overpromising and Underdelivering

Overpromising and underdelivering. I fear this may be my greatest weakness. This and winking. And whistling. I’m also really bad at push ups…..and pullups….. Ok before this turns into a list of my failures, let me get back on track. But before I can tell you the story, I must tell you the back story to the story.

I lived in Texas from April 2017-May 2018. I knew going in this would be a temporary living situation because I was only there while my husband completed part of his training for the military. So when he got orders to relocate to Florida, I knew I needed to get my ass in gear and complete my Texas Bucket List of places to see and things to do before moving. So that is the back story, now the story: Of the 5 things on my list, I only completed 3: Texas rodeo, Enchanted Rock, and Tubing the Guadelupe River. Alas, I was not able to make my way to Austin or Hamilton Pool before moving.

Reflecting on this failure, I think about some of the other goals I’ve set for myself for this year:

  1. travel back to Latvia and take a language immersion course,
  2. bring my list of states traveled up to 30,
  3. learn how to drive stick shift.

And I am falling short on every. single. one. I accepted a teaching job for next school year in Florida and will begin work in early August preventing me from being able to go to Latvia and I think I’m only going to be able to hit 28 states by the end of the year. So, I really need to find someone in Florida with a manual car I can learn how to drive in.

Don’t take my griping as a need to cheer me up. I’m not really that upset or beating myself up about this stuff. Life happens, and despite not being able to complete some of these things, I have had some of the MOST AMAZING experiences this year and literally have so, soooo much to look forward to.

No I’m not going to Latvia, but I am going to Amsterdam with my best friend instead. No I’m not going to make it to 30 states, but I explored several states last month (will write about those in future posts) and I did so completely on my own. At the risk of sounding silly, I have learned so much about myself and how I want to live life through these adventures.

I have learned how much my identity depends on independence, both financially and professionally. I have learned how diversity, awareness, and acceptance can make a very big difference in my life and also a community. I have learned how little patience I have for small-mindedness. I have learned, no matter how many times I try, I will never like orange juice-even if you try to fancy it up with champagne.

Lots of life lessons learned. I fear I am becoming wise in my old age. The closer I get to thirty, the more comfortable I become with who I am-who’da thought that would’ve happened?travel quote