Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cotton Palace 2013 + Cameron Park Zoo

Two weekends ago, E attended a bar conference {of the legal - not booze - variety}, so L and I trucked it down to Waco to watch Cousin Margot take her bow as the Duchess of Austin in Waco's annual Cotton Palace Pageant. 

It's that time again...

Cotton Palace is Waco's answer to Tyler's Rose Festival and San Antonio's Fiesta {do cities in other states do this or is this just an offshoot of Texas' Particular Brand of Crazy?}... basically a celebration of the city's history with a big dash of sparkly dresses thrown in for good measure.  

Cotton Palace 1986

Our family has been involved with Cotton Palace for nearly four decades... One of my earliest memories is posing with my grandfather for the photo above before he presided over the Court as King in 1986, and, growing up, I spent many an afternoon playing dress up in my aunts' hoop skirts from their Princess gowns {local girls are Princesses; out-of-towners are Duchesses}.  

Hanging with the Duchess of Austin 2013

Suffice to say, lots of family history there, so it was fun to see Margot up there killing her bow {even though the pageant itself requires a clandestine roadie}.  I only wish L were a couple years older... Is there any bigger thrill for a three year old than posing for a photo with your favorite babysitter in royally bedazzled garb?  Probably not. 

Nailed it @mwarren13

But!  The next morning's outing to the Cameron Park Zoo did provide some age appropriate excitement.  One might not expect Waco to have a relatively rockin' zoo... but one would be wrong.  I'll take Cameron Park over Dallas' sad excuse for a zoo any day of the week. 


As you can see,  no one ever wants to hold this child... especially not T-Pop. 


  1. Her face in that last picture is, "MOM. Coming through."

    Also TOTALLY weird detail to pick up on, but is that giraffe knocked up? Quite the swollen belly!

    1. Oh yes, I am always in the way when grandparents are around! Not sure about the giraffe - I didn't see any signage, but I also admit I was busy being really obnoxious with the camera!

  2. I'm so glad you posted this! We are visiting my inlaws in Waco this week and I was looking for some fun stuff to do with my 18-month-old. We'll check out the zoo for sure!

    1. The zoo is awesome! There is even a pettig zoo portion, although we reached Def-Com 5 Nap Zone before we were able to partake in petting.

      Other good bets...the bear habitat on Baylor Campus is always a hit (and free!). There is a natural history museum with a mamouth skeleton although I admit I've never been so I can't vouche for the rest of the exhibits!

    2. Oh, perfect! We are super into bears these days so she will love that. Thanks so much!

  3. where is your dress from? It's so pretty.

  4. I need to keep the zoo and bear habitat in mind for future trips to Austin with a tot or my ADHD self. Your cousin looked gorgeous I'm sure L will marvel at her dress one day!

  5. The Austin Zoo is pretty pitiful too. I'm thinking of taking my kiddos to Waco before I go back to work. I might cry the whole time there thinking about going back to work, but hey, it'll be a fun memory, right??

    1. Yes it is! I can see white-tailed deer by the dozens in my parents' backyard, thankyouverymuch! But I do like that most of the animals are wildlife rescues. I think Cameron Park is a great zoo -- worth the trip, especially if you splurge on a burger at Health Camp or a gut pak at Vitek's for lunch!

  6. Love this post! I'm so glad you had your camera handy for both Cotton Palace and the Cameron Park Zoo. I love the photo of L looking at the fish.

  7. We make it a point to frequent the zoo at least once a year when we are visiting my husband's family in Waco. It's the best! Also, this is totally random, but once while my hubby was buying some ingredient for his super secret fish bait, we discovered a feed and seed somewhere near Baylor's campus that has the usual chicks and bunnies, but also several exotic type birds that talk! Our animal loving son went nutso when the birds started talking! It's free, and kinda like a petting zoo. :)


happy little comments!