Miles to Magnolia

Last month we were able to take a long weekend break from the cold and head south to the warm destination of Austin, Texas. While taking an annual break is important for our company to push the reset button, we’ve been fortunate enough to be too busy to do so. In-fact, December 2016 was the last time we were able to have a getaway as a team. 

We left Wednesday afternoon from Fargo, anxiously awaiting our arrival in Austin to pick up our rental vehicle, make the appropriate pit stops at the grocery and liquor store and end the night at our AirBNB to relax and enjoy the hot tub. But, in true travel fashion, nothing ever goes as smoothly as planned. Our rental car provider canceled on us minutes before landing and there were no other rental vehicles available at the moment. So as the 6 of us packed ourselves, 3 golfing bags and 4+ suitcases into our Uber’s minivan, we were even more anxious to kick our feet up for the night, cold one in hand. Upon our arrival at the Airbnb, we did just that. 

With original plans to go golfing Thursday, the new forecast predicted rain and wind. So we packed into our new rental vehicle and made our way to Magnolia in Waco, Texas. Fun fact: Did you know the Magnolias Silos are actually located in the middle of town in Waco? The girls shopped around in their idea of paradise, while us guys admired the aesthetics and design of what Chip and Joanna had created. Not only were we admiring the buildings themselves, but the intentionality and thought of creating a space where every type of person, no matter what age or gender, could find something to do, a piece to admire, or simply a place to feel welcomed. 

Friday we were able to hit the links and Saturday we carved out time to sneak in another 18 holes of mini-golf before heading to Rainey Street for our final evening.

If you haven’t heard of or ever been to Rainey Street, it has the feeling of Nashville’s strip, without any country music. While checking out the different locations on Rainey Street, a number of conversations sparked up with strangers, one, in particular, standing out. Rainey Street was once your standard street lined with houses that were originally built between 1885 and 1937, many being rebuilt in the 1950s after the flood of 1935 wiped a vast majority of them out. When the location of Rainey Street started to attract attention because of its prime location near downtown, developers sparked interest while activists held onto the preservation of the historic neighborhood. In 2005 zoning kicked in and businesses were allowed to enter the area.  

What’s unique about Rainey Street, is rather than deconstructing the existing homes, the exteriors were preserved and kept intact, while the interiors underwent some renovations to become bars. The story we heard was that a gentleman started selling $1 beers from one of these homes that had become a bar. From there, other bars started moving in on the street and participating in this $1 beverage theme. From a neighborhood to a rundown street, these old homes (bars) now play host to thousands every day. With large porches, backyard games, plentiful drinks, and southern food; Rainey Street has become one of Austin’s most unique and thriving social scenes.

Sunday was our final day and our flight wasn’t till 4:30P so naturally, we had to get one last round of 18-holes in. Nine holes in we received a call that we had to be checked out of our AirBNB by 11:00A, it was currently 11:04A. Zipping back to the house, picking up and packing everything as fast as we could, we were out by noon and at the Airport by 1:00P for our 4:30P flight to Dallas, which would connect to Fargo. Thinking we had already paid our hectic dues for a travel day, we were once again, fooled. We boarded our final flight to Fargo around 8:15. Just as we sat in our assigned seats, we were instructed the plane had a “bad tire” and we needed to de-plane. Hours later, at 11:00P we finally boarded, and at 11:50P we took off for home. 

Thankfully, we were all able to laugh off the mishaps and remember the true meaning of this small getaway. As a group we shared what this trip meant to each of us… Words such as rejuvenated, reset, inspired, thankful, motivated, and relaxed where shared commonly amongst the group.

Right now, we are all going through a trivial time in the world and we understand that sometimes the unknown can be discouraging. But it’s important to know that we are all in this together and we can all play a small part in the big movement to get through this time. We believe in our team, our community of support, and look forward to brighter and warmer days ahead!

Thank you for your continued support of our local small businesses. We truly could not make it, without any of you!

-The Grain Designs Team.

Lessons learned when traveling with the Grain Designs team and their significant others:  

  1. Don’t let Grant book the rental car.
  2. Don’t let Grant re-book the rental car. He may just sleep through the phone calls when it has arrived, and you may or may not end up not getting it, a second time. 
  3. Send Blain with Grant to get the 3rd attempt at renting a vehicle. (Success.) 
  4. Always be lenient with your schedule, to accommodate the weather for the perfect time to golf. 
  5. When traveling with Pat, always buy a minimum of 2 pizzas/night. 
  6. Never cook Pats pizzas. Pat will cook them to perfection. Alone. 
  7. It comes in handy traveling with a built-in DD. Thanks for being pregnant, Nicolette. 
  8. Nicolette will find someone to drink every drink she would be enjoying if able.
  9. Don’t let Becky meet up with a girlfriend for “a drink” at noon and expect her to have a 1-on-1 date that evening with Grant. She won’t make it. 
  10. If you tell Kelsi to text Chip Gaines from Blain’s phone……she will.