Bye for Now, Texas #NoWall
Today is our last day in Texas. Turns out, I kind of like Texas.
The last post ended with us in Austin, where we spent a solid month. We parked the RV at Austin Lone Star RV Resort, which was awesome minus the fact that it is located directly off the interstate so we were unable to walk or ride bikes from the park to anywhere, but the spots were spacious. (I’m writing this our spot in El Paso at which the RVs are packed in like sardines - so while you may not care much about this detail, it is of great significance to me at this moment).
Day 1 in Austin we found a dog. It appeared no one cared that there was a tiny chihuahua icicle forming just outside the RV park office - so Justin and I took him back to MUTHUR and fostered him for a few days. Long story short: we named him Shrim(p)*, he has a new home now, I definitely cried a lot when he left. I will never forget you Shrim(p).
As previously mentioned, our month in Austin was intended to be chill time, and it was indeed. Things we did: Met up with friends from BK and friends from SD who now call Austin home and (mostly) love it. Hiked along the Greenbelt, picked up a backgammon habit, grilled chicken skewers on our campsite, became an expert Mai Tai crafter (me) and expert Mai Tai drinker (Justin… and me), went to one of said friends’ art opening, rode bikes, and a lot of general chilling.
While we managed to do a pretty good job of cutting back on the going out for foods & drinks, but we couldn’t be in Austin and not go out at all, duh. Highlights were Veracruz All Natural food truck, Veggie Heaven (it had closed since my last time in Austin but the woman who ran it realized people missed it so much she reopened!), and Fukumoto for sushi and more grilled skewers. Also, Kura Revolving Sushi (again) which sort of feels like a guilty pleasure now, but hey life is short. Also also, Kinda Tropical which I’m very happy to have gotten to hang at a couple times, as it shut down a couple days before we left. Bummer.
We had a good time in Austin, but to be honest it felt a little overhyped. Wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t a place of mind-blowing-awesomeness that some people make it out to be. Seeing friends was great, but if I could redo the month I would probably cut Austin time in half, and spend the remainder in Houston. Next time.
Our next stop was and is also super hyped: Marfa. A small town (literally a one stoplight town) that has turned into a small-big-art town (see Donald Judd). At first I was a bit cynical due to all the hype (Prada Marfa on the Simpsons wut… actually that’s pretty cool) - but by the time we left I was a little bit in love with the place.
Our good friend Sarah has been living in Marfa for the last 5+ years working for Marfa Ballroom (and making Mafra Myths happen!). She is one of my favorite people in existence, so getting to spend time with her was awesome, plus getting an insider view of the town was great. We spent a few nights having drinks at Lost Horse Saloon, where it felt like Brooklyn combined with tiny town South Dakota but everyone got along, which is sort of my dream, so I was very into it. Marfa Burrito is the perfect breakfast the morning after a night at the saloon. So much weird wonderfulness, a lot of which feels like an invitation to our possible neighbors out in space (examples: stone circle and the weird alien light sculptures that were right next to our RV park which art friend from Austin’s business partner installed because small world of course they did). We did not however, attempt to see the Marfa Lights. Again, next time.
Sarah, Justin and I day tripped down to Big Bend National Park for Justin’s bday. (He bought tamales from a woman out of her car at a gas station in Terlingua, so his day was already a success. So good.) Despite all the prickly plants, while also because of them, the landscape is beautiful. We did a short hike right along the Rio Grande (aka right along the border). We stopped at a hot spring that is attached to the river were we soaked and relaxed, but also reflected on how absurd and depressing the idea of a wall being present in that location is. There was no sign of invasion or national emergency. I’m very grateful to have experienced Big Bend as it should be, and hope in the future it does not serve as a reminder of how much fear and hate exists in the world.
On a lighter note, we stopped in Marathon on our way home to have dinner at Gage Hotel. The margaritas were perfect and food was delish.
Our last night in Marfa we went to a star party out at McDonald Observatory which I highly recommend, but if you are in these parts and can’t make it, just look up at night. The stars are amazing.
We spent a total of two weeks in Marfa and I’m already looking forward to our return trip, whenever it may be!
*The “p” is silent. Love you Shrim(p).