It was a hot Saturday morning when I finally departed New Mexico for Marfa, Texas. Actually, that’s not entirely true. When I left Carlsbad Caverns for Las Cruces on Friday afternoon, my route took me primarily through Texas before veering back into New Mexico for the final 30 minutes. I’d also like to point out that the road I was on had no gas stations for something like 130 miles. The MoHo had enough gas but I’m just sayin’ – there should have been a sign or something when you leave the caverns. But I decided not to mention my little side trip in the last post since I wasn’t purposely going to Texas, merely passing through. But Saturday morning had me leaving NM for real and so now I can post the picture and add it to the state count.
The drive to the Prada Marfa pop-up store was just over 3 hours. Was it worth it? Absolutely! For all of you that think this is a real Prada store, let me tell you that it’s not. It’s an art installation on Hwy 90 about 35 miles outside of Marfa. The store does contain shoes and handbags but you can’t go in. But of course you can take lots of pictures… I would say there were around 8-10 people while I was there. And everyone was very good about taking pix of one another.
After meandering around the shop for 10-15 minutes, we headed off to Marfa in earnest. I passed this thing along the way – no clue what it is but the entrance looked very secure and I think the sign said something about radar? If anyone knows what this thing is – please advise! (Maybe it belongs in Roswell??!!?!?)
Marfa! Finally finally finally… I opted to splash out and stay at the Hotel Saint George for the night. Very groovy hotel right on the main drag. Ended up having drinks with some lovely people from Houston and College Station in the lobby bar and then polished off a hamburger for dinner afterward – one thing I can say about Texans, they know how to cook a burger. I’d like to give props to Marpho restaurant for having the most creative name ever. And I did get a t-shirt with a pic of the Marfa water tower. And for those that don’t know, the Hotel Paisano is where the cast of Giant stayed when it was filmed back in the day. I actually met a couple out at the Prada store who were staying in the James Dean room. Very cool.
As far as the art scene, there were fewer traditional galleries than I thought. Lots of hipster-type shops with $500 boots, $300 cotton dresses, and $80 salad tongs. But I did meander out to the Chinati Foundation and saw the free outdoor exhibit of Donald Judd’s concrete sculptures. The guided tours looked interesting but at either 2 1/2 or 4 1/2 hours, they were just too long. Snug can’t stay in the MoHo that long when it’s so hot (and I’d already checked out of the hotel).
Overall, Marfa did not disappoint and I’m sooooo glad I made a point to visit. I spoke with an artist I met just as I was leaving and she told me how crazy things have gotten over the past couple of years. The place has really become a hot spot – the cross section of people that I saw in town ranged from art lovers to hipster girls in cotton eyelet dresses with cowboy boots to international tourists to people just coming over from Alpine (the next town over) for dinner. I will definitely plan on returning to Marfa in the future…
Okay, so I had already driven over 3 1/2 hours from Las Cruces to Marfa. I then had a 6 hour drive from Marfa to San Antonio. And if you look at a map, San Antonio is in middle of the state. So yes, over 9 hours of driving and I’m in the middle of Texas – that is how enormously large this place is. The drive had me on I-10 which was mostly boring and uninspired, as well as hot and windy (big surprise there). When driving on I-10, you see two things on the road – semis and pick-up trucks. Very few passenger cars. Texas loves trucks. There’s also a lot of roadkill but I think that’s because the speed limit is 80mph so kinda hard to slow down if something tries to cross the highway.
San Antonio was never super high on my to-do list but I’m glad that I made a point to go there. I checked out the Alamo, the River Walk and the Pearl district yesterday morning. The afternoon got crazy hot – 90+ degrees with 50% humidity – and Juno was not happy to be out so we cruised back to the RV park for a nap.
One note about the Alamo… it’s this incredible site full of history – sadly, it’s surrounded by places like Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Sigh.
This morning I had a quick drive from San Antonio to Austin. I had been to Austin a couple of times before for Austin City Limits and am excited to be back. I met up with an old friend for lunch downtown and then I zipped over to South Congress St for a little retail and cupcake therapy. Got me some awesome new boots at Allens Boots and an incredibly delicious afternoon snack at Hey Cupcake. And even though it’s not on the menu, you can ask that they make your cupcake a whippersnapper (this is something I remembered from a previous visit). What is a whippersnapper, you ask? Well – they take the whipped cream canister nozzle and insert it into the cupcake. Then they fill it with whipped cream til it comes oozing out the top. Need I say more?
I’m hanging out now at the McKinney Falls State Park which is just south of Austin. Tomorrow I’ll be checking out Brenham and potentially Washington – about 1 1/2 hours from here. Will be back at the park again tomorrow night and then will be moseying up to Dallas on Thursday. Time to take Juno for a stroll. And speaking of Juno, I will leave you with my fave pic from the Prada Marfa store – he is the best.
State count: 34