On our trip to Dallas last weekend, Ronak and I drove through Waco, Texas.

There's something eerie about traveling through a city which you've only seen on the news for a grim historical event: the Dravidian cult and the FBI involved in a standoff that ended in a deadly fire.

The last time we made the trip to Dallas, we just drove by Waco without stopping. This time, I was desperate for a bathroom, a snack, and a leg stretch, so we followed billboard directions to a Chick-fil-a within Waco, hoping to satisfy all of my needs.

The Waco, Texas seen along the highway was very different than the one we saw on the way to the restaurant.

Waco Memorial Funeral Home

On interstate 35, we saw this oddly shaped building...

Waco Memorial Funeral Home

...which upon closer examination, we discovered was a funeral home: Waco Memorial Funeral Home.

Waco Memorial Park billboard

A friend of mine toured the remains of the cult's compound during her stay in Texas. She said it was interesting, worth seeing, and left her feeling tense.

Waco, Texas billboard: Have it your way, Waco!

This Burger King billboard takes on a whole new meaning when thinking about the standoff. It left me feeling tense and not interested in eating there. Probably not their intention.

Waco, Texas church

Then we saw this advertisement for a different kind of church (and definitely not a cult). Not only can you Jazzercize there...

Waco, Texas church - 30 minute service

...you won't have to spend even 60 minutes in church each week (never mind live there). These guys can wrap up a whole service in half the time.

(Me, I'm waiting to see the drive-through place of worship. You order the type of bread or wafers, juice or wine you want at the order board. Tune your radio to the proper frequency to hear the sermon while you idle in line. Get your communion and give your tithes at the window. And you're all set until next Sunday. I wonder how popular that would be.)

After seeing these oddities on the main road, we expected nothing less on the smaller, local road to Chick-fil-a. In fact, we expected creepier, stranger, and more feelings of tension. But, instead, we saw a very different Waco that removed all thoughts of standoffs and burning compounds...

More on the "softer side of Waco" tomorrow.

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In 2007, we moved to Austin, and this blog chronicled our adaptation to Texas life: festivals, wildflowers, and bats - oh my! Then we had a baby, and that changed everything, so now, we blog about where to buy organic food, what parks are fun for babies, which exterminator is taking care of our scorpion problem. (You know, the usual parental concerns.)


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