As I mentioned in my previous post, I got into Marfa way later than expected. What can I say? I was having such a great time in Austin!
This was the romantic scene that welcomed me when I got to the Hotel Paisano. Marfa itself is a teeny tiny town, so driving through to the hotel I was thinking, what on earth did I get myself into?
When I parked outside of the hotel and looked into the courtyard, I could see all the twinkling lights, hear the splash of the fountain, and saw a whole crew of friends drinking wine and laughing in the courtyard. It was so endearing!
I wish I was anything less than exhausted to enjoy it! Luckily, the view was much the same the next morning.
I decided to take the opportunity to walk around the town a little bit and grab some breakfast a block over at squeeze marfa. I passed some lovely scenery on the way.
I loved staying at this hotel! On my road trip it’s been a challenge finding hotels that are dog friendly. Which means I spend a lot of my time in really boring nondescript rooms. When I did some research on a place to stay in Marfa (population 1,819) options were super limited, but luckily I found out that Hotel Paisano had a super reasonable pet fee of $20 a night. A win-win!
The hotel also has some pretty cool history. Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean stayed at the hotel during the 1955 filming of the movie Giant.
I loved that even their keys were old school actual keys instead of the cards you get in most hotels!
Another thing that I loved about this hotel was that I had my own private little patio! The patio had a fireplace with a log waiting to be lit (didn’t realize it could get so chilly at night in Texas!).
I had the best time walking around the town. Originally built as a railroad water stop, Marfa grew in the 1920s. You can see some of the Art Deco influence in the buildings.
In the 70s, Marfa began attracting artists and it continues to do so to this day. There’s a wide variety of galleries and museums and the town certainly has an artsy vibe to it.
I enjoyed my leisurely morning in Marfa and headed back to my hotel room to hang on my patio for a little while. I had such a good time that I literally didn’t check out until 11:59 (Check out was at noon!). Then I headed further west on my way to New Mexico.
Having had a few days to think about my time spent in Texas, I’m trying to think why it is exactly that I loved it so much. I had a great time in Austin that’s for sure, but being confronted by the great big wide open beauty of West Texas just connected with something inside me. Maybe it’s because I’m pretty sure I was a cowgirl in a past life. There is a romance to the place. That vastness of sky makes you feel like you can breathe a little deeper, stand a little taller, and walk with a little bit of a longer stride.
Pit stop number one was the Prada Marfa installation which is actually in Valentine, Texas. This is actually how I found out about Marfa in the first place. It’s so fun and totally ridiculous. Absolutely the last thing you would expect to see in the middle of nowhere.
I wish I could say that the rest of my drive to Albuquerque was as charming and as full of art. Sadly, it was not. I made my way through El Paso, Los Cruces, a town called Truth or Consequences, and a little place called Elephant Butte (I know I’m 25, but I still giggled).
I made it into Albuquerque at about 6 pm. But because I hated the idea of not seeing anything but the highway in New Mexico, I decided to take my super romantic dinner of Chipotle to the Ellen Gallegos Open Space at the base of the Sandia mountains.
What surprised me the most about New Mexico was how cold it was. Like took my breath away cold! I had to scramble and find my jacket that I had packed in one of my plastic bins. I was so used to the heat of the Deep South–I was completely unprepared for the change in temperature.
We quickly figured out we weren’t quite wearing enough layers to make eating outside comfortable so we packed up and headed back to the hotel. We’d be better prepared next time!
Distance traveled: 461 miles
High: Visiting the Prada installation
Low: Freezing my butt off trying to eat dinner on a picnic table and failing miserably