Our visit to Texas was a nice one. We went to Waco because we love Chip and Joanne Gains from the Fixer Upper TV show. On the way there we stopped in Jacksonville, Texas for some lunch at a Mexican restaurant that wasn’t very far off of the freeway. It was the worst Mexican food I have eaten in my life. Their salsa with Pico de Gallo was tasty, but that was about it. When the waitress asked which kind of sauce I wanted on my enchilada, I was expecting choices like green or red. She asked if I wanted sour cream, cheese or chili sauce. I told her that I didn’t understand the choice’s, but I picked sour cream. I like a little sour cream on my enchiladas. When Tommy ordered the same lunch special of a taco and an enchilada with beans and rice and chose the queso sauce, I figured I’d better follow suit. The taco was pretty much of Taco Bell quality, and the enchilada was a corn tortilla rolled up with some ground beef and smothered in melted Velveeta. Yuch! I asked the waitress if we could have some red sauce and she brought something foreign. Tommy started laughing, and I wondered what was so funny, and he pointed out the sign on the wall behind me that read, “Extra charge for road kill.” To put it in a nutshell, our first stop in Texas was a disappointing one. And speaking of road kill, I have never in my life seen so much of it on one stretch of roadway. Highway 40 is riddled with it.
If you’ve never driven on the highways of Texas, you don’t know what you’re missing. They are confusing, have roadwork going on everywhere and are just plain miserable. Once again Google Maps and the RV’s GPS had trouble finding our destination. Neither took us to the Waco Lake RV Park. When Tommy doesn’t know where he is going, he can go from pleasant and content to a grumpy old man in seconds. Nothing sends him over the edge as quickly. I tried to call the park to ask how to get there and got a recording. Tommy forged on guessing that we were on the right track and we somehow got to the park. There was no signage, and the park was miles of winding dirt roads off of the freeway. Apparently, the park is very new and has some bugs to work out. Plenty of them I can tell you. I did, however, get some fabulous sunset shots from there.
We took an Uber ride to town to get some dinner, and the driver suggested we go to a different restaurant than I had chosen for Italian food. We were so glad that he did. The Portofino Restaurant was fabulous. The service was great, and the food was delicious and very reasonably priced. The owner was delightful and even gave us some of the freshly baked sourdough bread to take home with us. She was charming and attentive, and our visit was an absolute delight. We took a stroll after dinner to a rooftop bar to listen to some music after dinner and watched the sunset. Then we called for our ride back to the park. Our Uber ride back to the campsite was an entertaining one.
As usual, we had an enjoyable driver who was thrilled to hear about our cross-country trip. We informed her that the map apps did not take you to the RV park without much confusion. It was her first time going there, and she was thrilled to be dropping us off, not picking us up. Despite our help, the drive to our site in the dark proved challenging. We wound up having to turn around when we drove right into a dead end. When we finally reached our campsite, we asked our driver if she could get out okay. She assured us that she would be fine and went on her way. We love our Uber drivers.
On Sunday we went to The Antioch Community Church. Tommy Googled the church that the Gaines attended because we wanted to check it out. It was the highlight of our Waco visit. The worship was Spirit filled and the message was inspiring and to the point. I’m a straight shooter and love pastors who are also. We had planned on going to the Magnolia Silo’s afterward but, as I should have assumed, they were closed on Sunday’s. We decided to stop and check them out on our way out of town the following morning.
If you are a Fixer Upper fan, you’ll understand why we wanted to go there. As standard procedure for Waco, Google maps led us to streets that were closed. You don’t just turn a 40-foot motorhome around on a dime. Tommy’s Fitbit said his heart rate was 115. I jumped out of the RV and hobbled over to some guys doing the construction to inquire about the easiest route to the Silos. My broken ankle is on the mend, but am still gimping around a bit. The directions offered by the workman sounded straightforward. “You want to go right. If 9th street is closed too, go to 10th. If that’s closed, turn on 11th. You’ll get there eventually.
Eventually, we did. We found the Baptist church parking lot that the website advertised as $10.00 parking. The sign in front of the parking lot stated the $10.00 fee. The parking lot attendant asked for $20.00. We informed him that the website and the sign said $10.00. He told us that he didn’t make the rules he just followed them. I grumbled more than Tommy did because, after all, right is right. He told me to let it go, but I insisted that I would complain to someone. I’m a breakfast eating girl, and with an empty stomach, I can get a little cranky. When we got to the Silo’s, we found out that the Magnolia Restaurant was not there but a couple of exits past where we were. The line to get something to eat at the bakery was very long and I didn’t have the patience for it. The young gal that was directing people told us that we could get a breakfast taco from the only food truck that was currently open. We had a couple of them, one slice of Joanne’s lemon pie, shared a lemonade and took a few pictures. We stopped in at the gift shop to see what they might offer, and I can tell you that the Gaines’ are examples of capitalism at it’s best. T-shirts were almost $30.00, and even trinkets were pricy. We’ve checked Waco off of our must-do list. If we had a do-over, we’d probably skip all of the aggravation. That’s only my humble opinion. I’m sure many would enjoy The Silos more than we did, especially those with kiddos in tow.
We headed for San Antonio and once again experienced a deluge. There are very few rest stops on Texas highways, so we pulled off on a frontage road to eat the sandwiches I’d fixed using the great rolls from the Portofino Italian Restaurant. After we ate, Tommy went to pull back out onto the frontage road. All was clear except for a white truck way in the distance. My honey pulled carefully out onto the street. The guy in the truck must have been driving 80 miles an hour because he wound up behind us honking his horn. There were two lanes, but he chose to stay on our bumper laying on the horn like a lunatic. He finally pulled in front of us, hit his breaks and flipped us the bird. Talk about road rage. He scared me. He stayed in front of us and at the next stop signal he didn’t drive when the light turned green. He just sat there flipping that bird at us. We laughed at him and said, “Whatever jerk.”
The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. The weather was gorgeous by the time we rolled into the San Antonio KOA. It was a beautiful park with friendly staff. We enjoy it when a staff member escorts us to our site. There was some construction going on directly across from our site, and I told the gentlemen guiding us that it was not the site that I had requested. He went to the office to see what he could do for us. When he returned he had us jump into his golf cart and took us to see two locations that we could choose from. The one I had initially picked was in the blazing sun and the one he showed us as an alternate was much nicer. It was one of the best RV parks we have ever stayed at. If you ever go to San Antonio in an RV, I would highly suggest staying at the San Antonio KOA. It was so lovely that we added on an extra day. We wound up getting the chip in our windshield repaired, doing laundry and enjoying the pool.
We enjoyed the Riverwalk all three days that we were in San Antonio. We had some great meals, saw the Alamo, and generally enjoyed our stay. We used Uber to go downtown even though there was a bus stop right across the street from the RV park. Why walk in the heat and get on a bus with a bunch of other hot people when you spend a few more bucks and get picked up and returned to your site? Tommy and I are huge proponents of Uber and Lyft. We took it downtown for dinner to the Zinc Bistro & Bar that I found on Trip Advisor. It had a beautiful courtyard, and we picked a nice table in front of the fountain. Before our beverages even showed up dark clouds rolled in and it began to sprinkle so we moved inside.
It was a darn good thing because it poured moments later. We had a nice dinner, but the Spicy Spinach Artichoke Au Gratin appetizer was the best. We filled up on it and didn’t eat much of our dinner. We asked the waitress to box up our leftovers and please add some napkins and disposable silverware. We told her that we were hoping to find a needy person to bless with the food. The friendly waitress obliged us and told us that there was a homeless service nearby and said that she was sure we would find a hungry person that would be glad to have our food. We found a bench to sit on close to the restaurant and called for our Uber ride. While we were waiting, I spotted a man coming towards us that looked down on his luck. I said to Tommy, “I wonder if he is hungry?” The words were no sooner out of my mouth then the man approached us and asked if we had any food. He didn’t ask for money. He asked us for some food. Tommy and I were both so moved that we almost cried. When God shows up in such a profound way, it blows my mind. We were more than blessed by being used to bless someone else.
We had a great meal right on the Riverwalk at another good Italian Restaurant our final night in San Antonio. We enjoyed impeccable service and fantastic food at Paesanos. It was the first time that I’d used Open Table to make a reservation. You can request a specific table on the website, and it worked out great. We sat right next to the river, and I fed ducks and fish in the river from our loaf of bread. Tommy finally put a stop to it by telling me to save some for him.
While we were enjoying our meal, Tommy bought tickets to get on the riverboat for a ride after dinner. They were $12.00 each, and we’d seen so many smiling faces cruise by that we thought it was worth the investment. The website stated that water taxi’s only picked up travelers on the hour. We were directly across the river from a pickup spot and thought the timing would work out perfectly. We were wrong. As we headed to a spot to cross over to the other side, a water-taxi cruised by. We asked the driver where we could get on because there were places that looked like they would be used to board the water taxi.
He yelled that we had to get on at the Jumbo Shrimp Restaurant. Despite running as fast as I could go with my convalescing ankle, the boat was pulling away as we approached. I was so disappointed. I was also upset about losing $24.00. We were not about to wait around for another hour. We walked up the Riverwalk to a place where we could get an Uber pickup and headed back to the RV.
We left early the next morning for Fort Stockton. It was going to be a long drive, so we took off early. The trip was 318 miles, mostly on HWY 10, which was windy and ugly. Tommy had white knuckles just keeping the motorhome on the road. There is absolutely nothing to look at for miles and miles. Fort Stockton is in the middle of nowhere, but the RV park was surprisingly nice. It was a great stopover for one night. We would be leaving Texas in the rearview mirror in the morning. After such a long day of driving, I was thrilled to have tasty leftovers in the frig.
San Antonio was the best part of Texas, and I’m glad that we got to enjoy it. If you get a chance to visit plan to enjoy a few days there. If you are in your RV, I highly recommend the San Antonio KOA. I don’t think we’ll be rushing back to Texas in the near future. We don’t care if we EVER see it’s highways again. I hope you enjoyed a vicarious visit with this post. If you would like to see all 60 photo’s from our Texas visit you can go to my Facebook Group RV Road Trip with Tom, Cat and Paddy. I’m chronicling our cross-country trip there. I’ve got lots of advice on places to go and things to see there.
We joined our pals the Roland’s in Albuquerque New Mexico next. Despite the lack of a takeoff the day we went to it, I’ve got lots of great photos from the balloon festival. Onward and upward. LOL
God bless and safe travels, Cat.