Marfa, Texas

http://www.lonestarlookingglass.com/2015/04/marfa-texas.html
Narrowing down pictures for this blog post was much more difficult than I anticipated. To avoid crashing ya’lls computers with ten thousand pictures, I tried to grab a few that I felt did our one day in Marfa justice.
I mean, how many pictures can one take in just one day? You would be surprised.
This post is all about Marfa, but hop on over to my Big Bend Travel Guide for camping tips, where to hike & where to see those killer mountain views: here.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen what my husband and I have been up to these past few days.  We decided to be untraditional and vacation in West Texas.  I only assume that this is untraditional because I’ve basically taken over the hashtag #WestTexasVacation.
It’s true, a lot of people do in fact head out to West Texas for the breathtaking desert scenery, Big Bend National Park, ranch culture, and surprisingly the modern art.

 

Patrick and I started our West Texas adventure in Marfa, Texas, only a mere 595.8 miles away from Houston to be exact. Texas is HUGE!
There was a whole lotta open road before we arrived in beautiful Marfa.  We survived the journey by listening to the western Lonesome Dove book on tape.  Highly recommend a book on tape if you’re planning the drive! We weren’t bored for a minute.

 

Food Shark Food Truck, Marfa Texas
Being the planner/trip researcher that I am, I knew right away where we needed to stop for lunch once we made it to town.
Every blog, book, and iPhone app recommended having lunch at the food truck, Food Shark.
So naturally, we did!
And if you ever make it to Marfa, you must too.  Because why wouldn’t you want to eat delicious food outdoors in a colorful parking lot filled with the most random of things?

 

Food Shark, Marfa TX
We ordered the lamb kabobs with hummus and a salad. Some of the most delicious Mediterranean food I’ve ever had, and I’ve actually been to the Mediterranean. This place is legit ya’ll!
I read in one of the many guide books that I flipped through that Food Shark likes to incorporate traditional foods that you would have in dry climates into their menu – like kabobs and hummus for example.
I thought that was pretty neat, as we were pretty much in the Texas desert. 🙂

 

Hotel Paisano, Marfa TX
After lunch, we checked into Hotel Paisano.  Hotel Paisano was built in 1929, only a few days before the stock market crashed. At the time, it was considered the most luxurious hotel on this side of San Antonio. The cast of the film Giant called this hotel home during filming many years ago as well.  You can even stay in the “Elizabeth Taylor Room, The Rock Hudson Room” or the “James Dean Room.”
Hotel Paisano, James Dean Room, Marfa TX
As soon as I saw that the James Dean Room was, in fact, available, you better believe I booked it!
It was strange to think about how we were staying in the room where this incredible movie star legend once resided.
Ah, James Dean, why did you have to get in that car!??!
Such a tragedy, as he was a truly incredible actor.  If you have about 5 hours of time to spare, check out the movie Giant! It’s a (very) long one, but a good one too!
On another note, if you only have one day in Marfa (like we did) you must be sure to stop at the Chinati Foundation.  The lovely lady at Hotel Paisano made sure to tell us not to miss this “must see.”
Chinati Foundation, Marfa TX

We didn’t have too much time to spare, so Patrick and I only visited the outdoor self-guided tour of Donald Judd’s 15 works of concrete.

 

This permanent exhibit is scattered across 1.5 miles of Chihuahuan Desert on the Chinati Campus.

 

I took a few art history classes in college and I really do enjoy studying/contemplating the “meaning” behind interesting pieces of art.  But honestly, it was more fun to run around this field, in and out of the
giant concrete boxes with the wide open Texas sky above, than to ponder
the concrete’s existence, at the time.

 

 

Side note, in case you were interested in my outfit, details are below!


We explored the collection, ran our hands across the surprisingly cool concrete under the hot desert sun and yes, contemplated these crazy squares’ meaning a time or two.

With a short amount of time, and a whole lot to see, we were soon off to the next stop on our Marfa tour: Prada, Marfa.

(Which is actually about 45 minutes north of Marfa, in case you were wondering.)

I’m sure you’ve seen dozens of photos of Prada, Marfa before. I know I had.

Seeing the actual installation in person was pretty unreal.  Especially after driving 45 minutes through absolutely nothing, and all of a sudden you see a Prada store.

This faux designer storefront was filled with exquisite shoes, purses, and quite a bit of dust actually, all which completely fascinated me.

 

Ballroom Marfa

Once back in town, we visited one more art gallery, Ballroom Marfa.

We perused the contemporary and video art then headed outside where we
discovered a pickup truck filled with succulents.

It’s safe to say, we got some great ideas out of this for our garden back home. 😉

 

 

I will say this about Marfa, if you’re planning a visit it is best to try to go on a weekend.  We spent a Thursday in town and this little desert hamlet was almost completely deserted.

Get it, desert … deserted.

I really do have too much fun with puns. 🙂

Anyway, we really wanted to try out the beer garden, Planet Marfa, but it was only open during the weekends.  I also heard the offer roundtrip driving tours of the Marfa Lights.  So …. we’re definitely coming back.

With the beer garden closed, Patrick and I explored Marfa on foot and found ourselves another tucked away bar, Padre’s, that I’m sure was just as nice as the beer garden we were so excited to see.

Padre's Marfa Texas

We were pretty much the only ones there for a while.

Which was actually kind of nice. 🙂

Patrick and I haven’t taken a solo trip like this in a long time.  Other than our honeymoon, most of our travels since our wedding have been for other people’s weddings or to visit family for various holidays. This trip was the perfect long overdue getaway.

Cheers to Texas beers and our West Texas vacation!

 

The happiest of hours came to an end and we headed back to Hotel Paisano for drinks on the patio at Jet’s Grill.

If you’ve seen Giant then you’ll know that Jet’s Grill was inspired after James Dean’s
character in the film, Jet Rink.  Jet Rink *spoiler* struck oil and became a big Texas oil tycoon, building his own hotel and restaurant in the film.

Naturally, I pretended I was at Jet’s legit restaurant, and it made the evening all the more fun.

Plus, the jalapeno margarita helped a bit too.

 

Our one day in Marfa sadly came to an end. But I know we’ll be back eventually, as it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from one of our new found favorite places in the world: Big Bend National Park.

Which you will probably be seeing several posts about in the next few weeks.  I thought we took a lot of pictures in Marfa, wellllll we took maybe 10 times that in Big Bend!

If you’ve made it all the way down here, thanks for reading! Hope this post inspired you to get out, travel and explore different parts of your state, country, or basically … you know … the entire world.  Which is what I’d like to do someday, but for now I’m focusing on the great state of Texas.  There’s still a whole lot more to see in the Lone Star state!

As always, thanks for stopping by the blog!
alice

  • Marfa is so intriguing! Can't wait to see more of your West Texas travels! 😀

  • Ahh looks like ya'll had a great time in Marfa! You should definitely go back to visit for a weekend, it's so much fun! Next time you go, you'll have to drive down into Pinto Canyon, the scenery is unreal.

    http://www.lonestarlauren.com

  • Your picture are so vivid. The sky is beautiful out there. Sounds like your trip to Marfa was wonderful, and really has me wanting to go out and visit soon. Thanks for sharing!

    • You must!! And the sky was INSANE! Literally that vivid in person. I think that's where Texas gets it's "big sky" reputation. 🙂

    • This has me so excited! It's a definite must on the "To-Do" list.

  • My favorite place!! You should check out the Trans-Pecos music festival at El Cosmico. We go every fall!

  • Wonderful pictures !!!

  • Ever since I saw 'Boyhood' I have wanted to visit Big Bend. It looks so beautiful! I'm thinking we need to do it very soon. Marfa is gorgeous too! Did you guys drive all the way there?

  • This sounds like such a fun trip!! I just moved back to Houston so I love finding new things to do and explore in the Houston/Texas area! Visiting Marfa is definitely on my list:) Love your blog btw!

    xx
    http://www.charltonlee.com

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