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The Silos of Waco – 27

Traveling from alligator country to the silos in Waco we visit Corps of Engineers Parks and a yummy winery!

Preview

Good morning from Georgetown, Texas!

Thank you for joining us on Episode 027 of Two Vegans On a Mission podcast! We’re going to tell you all about our drive from Shreveport Louisiana, through Livingston Texas, up through Houston, and into Waco and then back down into Georgetown. Thank you for joining us today as we review all of those RV parks or Corps of Engineers parks that we stayed at. And finally we’ll tell you some of the great vegan food we found and where you, too, can find it. So thanks for joining us and stay tuned.

Intro to the podcast

Welcome to the Two Vegans On A Mission podcast. I’m Louisa and together with my husband, Michael, and our dog Sugar, we’re traveling and living full-time in a Winnebago Class C motor home; visiting animal sanctuaries and animal rescues all across the country. Each week we’ll share what new camping spots we’ve found, what great vegan meals we’ve eaten, and our latest vegan outreach activities.

So please join us as we strive to inspire, educate, and support you in your efforts to be vegan.

Barksdale Air Force Base FamCamp

This is the review of the camp ground at Barksdale Air Force Base in or near Shreveport, Louisiana. So Michael Take it away.

So this is a huge Air Force base where they have B-52 bombers, refueling aircraft and just a large large large facility. But hidden about eight or 10 miles away from the airfield, is a nice secluded, what the air force says, a FamCamp. They have 62 spaces here… full hookups, pull-throughs, 50 amp, 30 amp, showers, laundry, really good wifi and cell phone connectivity. And interesting enough, it is surrounded by, they call it, “Clear Lake”. But really what it is is a bayou. It is green, it is lush.

The mosquitoes are not out yet.

The mosquitoes aren’t out. And there are sign posts all around about, “Don’t feed the alligators.” So what do we do? We go looking for alligators two days in a row.

Yeah. But we didn’t take any food for them, but we took a walk. We picked our dog Sugar up because she’s probably the right size for a snack, but we don’t know how big the alligators are.

So we went last night looking around, and we didn’t find any. But it’s a very pretty swamp. It looks just like it does on the TV when you see movies in Louisiana and Mississippi, if that’s where they have them, too. But, we have never been this close to a bayou before, and so we asked at the front,

“Where might we see alligators?” And the lady said, “Oh just across straight in the lake.”

So we went there yesterday and we did not see any. We were kind of bummed, but we did take pictures of the pretty lake and you can see those on our Instagram @heaveninaclassc.

But then today we walked over to the front office again ’cause we decided to spend another day here! This one is only $20 for the night and it’s full hookups, it’s got a nice laundry, it’s got a nice bathroom, and there’s only about six other RVs in this area, which is a very nice area.

They just actually built it to add on to their old area of RV park ’cause, did you say this already Michael, there’s no trees where we are right here?

Right, no trees yet.

But there’s a nice concrete slab, and we have full hookups. And so we decided to do some recording and editing and stay here because it’s beautiful weather-wise, and we went for a walk and the lady said,

“Oh yes, you should be able to see an alligator over there behind site number three.”

So we went over there and sure enough, in the water we think we saw one, but we kept looking for some more. And then we went over to talk to the guy in the ranger office. What did he have to say Michael?

Well, he said that, when he was growing up, he had heard a story that they had a very large alligator that ate a dog, but essentially he had not seen any alligators right by the RV Park.

However, down the road a couple of miles away, there’s a big hunting area and another lake. And he said there are a lot of alligators down there, but “They don’t mess with anyone.”

Meaning they don’t eat humans unless you’re a little person or a dog. And so we decided we were going to stay put and not go looking for any more alligators, and ’cause we like our dog! And we also want to get some work done.

But if you’re in the area, stop by this Barksdale Air Force Base. There’s also a museum on the site, which looks like it has a lot of airplanes you can look at and walk through. Maybe walk through them, I don’t know, but they’re there for you to look at as you drive by and we did that.

But tomorrow we’re going to head to Shreveport which is only about six miles down the road, and see what we can find for vegan eats, so stay tuned.

“Well-Fed” Restaurant Review

We’re happy to show you or share with you this live report from in front of the restaurant. So bear with us as we try out this new technique of reporting live.

Okay, so here we are in front of the restaurant we just had lunch at, it’s called Well-Fed Louisiana, and it’s in a neighborhood that’s kind of not so great. But as we came around the corner, you could see it had some really older houses that have been probably renovated a little bit, but it’s in an area with lots of parking. The RV fits right here in front of it, so it was easy peasy getting in there. And you found this one on what, Michael?

HappyCow is the app that I went to, and people were giving rave reviews about this. I said, “Hey, let’s try this one.”

And so I had the avocado toast and of course when we went in we said,

“Could you tell us which part’s Vegan? And The lady at the counter said,

“Everything’s Vegan.” which was amazing.

So that was exciting to know. I had the avocado toast on their homemade bread which was absolutely wonderful! Probably the best lunch we’ve had in this area in the past month or two even. What do you think?

Yeah, it was magnificent, one of those subjective things I always look for is, there was a line going into a vegan restaurant in the south!

In Shreveport.

In Shreveport, Louisiana.

What did you have?

So I had the spicy chick pea burger that also had lettuce, tomatoes and then some kind of secret sauce. She wasn’t able to identify what that was, but of course everything was 100% plant-based and vegan.

The inside was simple, clean and beautiful. We sat by an open window and looked out over the area here and this one particular area, it is pretty. But also on my plate they had corn chips, blue corn chips, and a pickle which added to the meal.

But one of the best things about this meal, for the two of us it was only $16 with tax! So that was an amazing deal because even though I only had avocado toast, it was filling.

Shout out to Caleb from Raleigh

And we have pictures, of course, on our Instagram @heaveninaclassc, but we also had a nice conversation with Caleb sitting next to us. He’s from Raleigh, North Carolina, and he’s here on business. So we had a nice chat with him. So shout out to Caleb and keep up the good work!

Yeah, and this is a gentleman who runs ultra marathons, which generally go 50 100 miles. And he says he eats just a vegan meal and doesn’t worry about counting calories. He feels good at the beginning of the run and afterwards.

Yeah. So it was really fun chatting with him. And so now we’re off to the next adventure.

Well, we hope you enjoyed that live report from in front of the Well Fed Louisiana Vegan restaurant in Shreveport. And after the break we’ll tell you about another vegan restaurant. This time, the one we found in Houston.

Bella Green Restaurant Review

Welcome back. Thank you for joining us again. So I wanted to let you know that you’re probably sitting there thinking, how could they go from Shreveport, Louisiana down to Houston in five minutes or less?

Well, actually it took us three days, because we went from Shreveport, we were hiding from the rain and the wind and trying to get away from it.

Shout out to Roy and Pam with Xcapers

So we went south towards Livingston, Texas where we have our Escapees headquarters. And so we stayed there for two days while we took care of some RV business. And we were lucky enough to run into Roy and Pam from the Xcapers, who we met down at the annual bash over in Lake Havasu City.

It was a great time catching up with them, finding out that they, too, had just got themselves a new RV, as well as we had. So, we were there to get new license plates and to make sure everything was in order with our new RV.

So we headed south through Houston on our way to Waco, because we wanted to go over to see the Magnolia…and the silos…and see Chip and Joanna Gaines…and, of course, we wanted to be tourists.

So on our way through Houston, we were hungry. We found a restaurant that had some vegan options, and so Michael’s going to tell you a little bit about that.

So one of the things I’m really excited about, restaurants around the United States are adding vegan options. We find most of those via the HappyCow app. So when we were in the Houston area this time we found a wonderful restaurant, it was called Bella Green.

They are an omnivore kind of restaurant. They serve a lot of stuff, but they had multiple vegan options. I had a delicious tasting veggie wrap. They had their own house made organic chickpea Hummus, grilled portobello mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, sliced carrots, and it was all wrapped up in a Spanish tortilla. Was really good.

If you drove by the place you think, “Okay, just another restaurant.” But when you’re vegan like us, we really appreciate when the restaurants are starting to add those options. So we used apps like HappyCow, Vanilla Bean, and you’ll find those restaurants close to you a lot easier.

And yours Michael, didn’t it come with sweet potato fries? Those are really tasty. Mine was the Oh Kale Yeah, which was about $11.99, and according to their menu it had a kale massage and avocado lemon dressing, tomatoes, red onions, mango, carrots, and strawberries topped with roasted pumpkin seeds, and it was delicious! It was huge!

I ate half of it right there for lunch. And then I ate the other half for dinner. So for $12 it was actually a really good price for two meals in one, and Michael’s was about $8. And so again our total was around $20, plus tax about $22 or so. Again, lunch in the vegan world is not the cheapest, but we always feel like if we eat healthy now we might be avoiding having to pay for expensive prescriptions in the future!

So we liked Bella Green and of course we took pictures and it’s on our Instagram, which again is @heaveninaclassc because we ride around in a Winnebago C, and you can see the pictures there. We also tag the restaurant and they appreciate that, too.

So if you’re in the Houston area, look up Bella Green and ask for their Vegan options.

I feel this time on the podcast that we are jumping all around between the RV parks that we stayed at, and the vegan restaurants that we ate at. But that’s about how our trip usually goes. We travel from place to place, finding a place for a cheap sleep and then we find good vegan eats along the way!

Corps of Engineers – Midway RV Park

So here we are now going from Houston up to Waco, and we stopped at a Corps of Engineers Park on Lake Waco, called Midway Park. And so Michael is going to tell you what his take was on Midway Park Corps of Engineers.

So this was a tough place to find actually, because it was Easter weekend and all the available spots were taken up around the surrounding area. A very very busy weekend. And we felt really lucky to be able to get a spot at another Corps of Engineers park.

When they built these lakes, they provided enough space and they turned most of them into RV Parks, and they surround the lake. The parks folks have done a great job with planting lots of trees and foliage. And this was exactly what we found in the last two spots…beautiful lake.

The spots were slightly un-level but they were well maintained, and the electricity worked, the water was there. They have a single dump spot for the entire RV Park. The bathrooms are dated.

We chose not to take showers there because they looked like they go back to the 60s or 70s and they haven’t been upgraded. But, other than that, it was a really wonderful place to stay.

And I just want to add that it was only $13 a night with our Senior Pass. Thank you Michael for having the Senior Pass. Once you reach 62 years of age, a one time fee of $80 you get to buy the Senior Pass that gets you into all of these Corps of Engineers parks and the National Parks at half price!

So, if we didn’t have that it would have been $26. So we appreciate only having to pay $13. And like Michael said, we didn’t use the restrooms or the showers, we just used Anytime Fitness like we always do in that situation.

So after we went to Anytime Fitness in the morning, of course the destination was the Silos and Magnolia, which is Chip and Joanna Gaines’s place over there in Waco!

The Silos at Waco

So we drove over there, found a great free spot to park within walking distance, and then we were met with tons of other tourists heading into see the Silos.

Now here’s one of the things that I was not prepared for. I thought this was going to be a place where we could see all of the different things that Joanna recommends and develops … her designs, and then sells.

But what this really is, is a big souvenir area for them to sell all of their books that they’ve written. And you can buy a bag, which I got another grocery bag, yay, so that we can have it say Magnolia on it. And I also bought a coffee cup because I needed a new one for the RV, one of those stainless steel YETIs with their name on it.

But you could buy all sorts of T-shirts, coffee cups, hats, felt like we were in Disneyland except for it was Magnolia. And what was disappointing was the fact that you cannot find the furniture that is in their line of furniture.

I know our daughter-in-law, Jenn, really likes the furniture. In fact, she has a dining table that is gorgeous, but none of that furniture was available to even look at over here at Magnolia! So we were kind of disappointed in that. But the place itself is amazingly fascinating. And why would I call it amazingly fascinating? Well, again, like I said, it felt like we were in Disneyland. There were lines to go into the bakery, just so that you could go in and order your cupcakes at $3.50 cents each.

And this is the funny part for me, I went in there and met Joanna’s mom, I guess that’s who she was, and as she was directing traffic inside the bakery, which is very small by the way, took us 20 minutes just to get from the end of the line into the bakery. And I said,

“Oh, are there any Vegan cupcakes?” And she looked at me like I was speaking in another language. She said, “Oh, what kind of cupcake?” And I said, “Vegan cupcakes of course.” And she said,

“Oh no, we don’t have any of those.” And so I just went out the door, but I did take pictures and that’s really what my goal was. I wanted to take pictures of the cupcake store because it was very cute, and very fun to be able to be in the place that I had seen on their TV show!

Then I went outside, and outside is where all the husbands now are sitting ’cause their wives are all in the store, that’s being very sexist I know, but most of their wives were shopping and the guys were sitting in the sun trying to wait for their wives or girlfriends.

Club Sandwich Food Truck – vegan style

But there was a big line of vendors going around the perimeter, and vendors meaning the food trucks. So, of course we looked at all the food trucks trying to find which one might have vegan food, and yes we found one and it was called Club Sandwich!

We bought some rice, vegetables and Tofu, and the guy behind the counter was very helpful and very fun to talk to because he understood when I said, “Do you have anything Vegan?” And he said, “Of course I do.” So he helped us out and that was very tasty lunch. And then Michael, what do you want to tell us about your take on it?

So my take on it is that I loved their show, because he did restorations of old homes and things like that. And once in a while I would pay attention when Joanna had some decorating items.

But I never knew that people were so in love with all their products and services. I mean, I felt like I was in Disneyland! There were so many people waiting in long lines to buy stuff, to taste stuff, and just to feel like they were there making a personal visit. So, that was surprising to me. It’s a great concept. Cheers to them! I would say if you’re in Waco, you got to visit it just because.

Shout out to Brenda and Daniel

Exactly. And we were in Waco just because we wanted to see the Silos, and also the next day we had free time on our hands. So I was able to go and get a haircut, get my nails done, a pedicure and a manicure.

I want to say thanks to Brenda for the pedicure and the manicure, and thanks to Daniel for the haircut, I love it. And they both work at Design Team in Waco. So if you need really quick, and really on the spot without a reservation, without an appointment, go to Design Team and ask for Daniel and Brenda.

But because it was Easter weekend, we could not find a place to stay back in the Corps of Engineers park. So, we went on Campendium and we found a private park called Post Oak RV Park and Cabins. It was $37 for the night. We had electric and we had water, and Michael’s going to tell you what else.

Post Oak RV Park and Cabins

So this RV park was a private park and I’m always a little bit concerned when you go into these private parks, ’cause they don’t always keep the areas clean. They usually have long term folks who settle in and they trash the place out quite frankly. But this one was absolutely beautiful, and quiet, small, well maintained, everything at our spot worked. It was unlevel, but that’s the norm for us getting these unlevel spots.

It was nice to have a spot on the Easter weekend like this, but for $37 we were disappointed in the fact that it did not have a restroom or shower at all. But, since we’re self contained, we could take care of that and plus we get to go to Anytime Fitness in the morning.

So that’s not really a problem. What was a bonus however, was the fact that they had free wifi which really worked, so that kind of offset the fact that they didn’t have any showers or restrooms. But other than that, we went from spending the night there to the next night we went out to one of our favorite Harvest Hosts spots. It was called Texas Legato Winery, and let’s talk about that one, shall we Michael?

Texas Legato Winery with Harvest Hosts

So it was a beautiful ride through the back roads of Texas. Everything’s very green, lots of cattle farms as we pass them. We don’t care for that but hey, it’s worth mentioning. They definitely have a lot of beef out here that they’re raising, and maybe one day we won’t see as much of that.

But the winery itself was in a small town called Lampasas, Texas. What’s amazing to me is, we got there maybe 10 minutes before it was supposed to close and the host and the hostess were so accommodating, staying after hours to give us an opportunity to taste their wines. Also, we had an opportunity to see their whole vineyard.

Emmanuel put us on a ATV and drove us around the whole place, and gave us the history, talked about his job there, and how they were suffering from a plant disease that almost wiped out their whole vineyard. They’re going to have to do a lot of replanting.

They took the time to put us in a nice, quiet spot. They left the restrooms open, which is really unusual at a Harvest Host location, and also made sure we knew how to get in and out of the main gate. You just really can’t pay for that kind of stuff at an RV park. The place was beautiful, quiet, and I highly recommend that you join Harvest Hosts and stay at some of the places around the United States.

Shout out to Amanda and Emmanuel

And again, another shout out to Amanda and Emmanuel for taking the time to open the doors, to make sure we had the wine tasting, and that we could purchase wine. I really really liked the Port that has the chocolate infused into the wine. Ooh, that’s delicious! Thank you very much again at Texas Legato Winery in Lampasas, Texas.

So this brings us to the end of another episode of Two Vegans On a Mission podcast. Join us next week as we travel from Georgetown through Austin and in to San Antonio Along the way we will find an animal sanctuary or an animal rescue to visit.

And in the meantime, we’re going to tell you what we’re adding to our diet, per Doctor Greger…a little bit of ginger powder, anyone?

Thanks for joining us. And, if you’d like to see pictures, you can go to our Instagram @heaveninaclassc, or you can join us on our webpage at www.vegansonamission.com.

Please join us each week as we look for cheap sleeps and good Vegan eats, as we all continue to be on this journey together.

Be Vegan!

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We are a retired teacher, Louisa, and a retired physician assistant, Michael, married for 39 years, who want to help busy travelers begin and maintain a healthy life-style while on the road.

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