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Category: Life

marfalous: marfa in 36 hours

We got back on Sunday from a great weekend in Marfa. It was our first time, and it was so fun to experience the quirky little West Texas town together. We are obviously not experts, but I want to share how we did Marfa in 36 hours in case any of you are looking to plan a similar trip. We felt like 36 hours was definitely brief, but in a “leaves you wanting more” kind of way and not a “well this was way too short to enjoy” kind of way. Major, major props to my friends for pitching in with recommendations — we would have been lost without you!

A note on the drive from Austin – > Marfa…it really wasn’t that bad. When you say out loud “13 hours in the car over a weekend” (6.5 hours each way), or “900 miles,” it’s easy to puke get intimidated. But with music, podcasts, and road trip snacks, it went by really quickly. The drive out there is sooo pretty, there’s very little construction to deal with, and in most places the speed limit is 80 mph. Pew!

awfully big adventure stellina

Eats & Drinks:

Bar St. George: Our first stop on the way in for wine and “real food,” and our last stop after dinner on Saturday night for more wine (and more wine) and conversation with new friends we met at dinner. It’s pretty and modern and apparently not at all lacking in wine supply.

Do Your Thing: This place was the Marfa-est. Tucked away in essentially a shack, they served up deliiicious coffee, quiche, and toast to start our day on Saturday. They don’t open until 8:30, which I think is kind of hilarious for a coffee shop and yes I was mad about it at 6:45 a.m. on Sunday when I needed coffee and we were leaving town, but then I remembered their quiche and I forgave them.

Food Shark: Super delicious Mediterranean food truck with plenty of outdoor seating where we grabbed lunch on Saturday. You’ll see everyone you saw at Do Your Thing that morning, but you won’t get brave enough to talk to them until you see them again at dinner. 

Hotel Paisano: The gorgeous historic hotel where the cast of Giant stayed during filming. We heard the food was “eh,” so we just stopped by for a drink on the way to dinner. The inside was a little stuffy, but the courtyard was perfect. 

Stellina: Just the gosh-darn cutest little restaurant, conveniently steps away from the Hotel Paisano. To be fair, most things in Marfa are steps away from each other, but when you’re wearing heeled booties every step counts. I digress. Go here! The menu was perfectly petite, the food was great, it was always buzzy and busy but never overcrowded. 


awfully big adventure prada marfa

Star Party at the McDonald Observatory: We did this on Friday night and it was so fun! The gist is this: you head up to an observatory run by *The* University of Texas at Austin. For the first hour, you sit outside and a guide shows you constellations, planets, satellites, etc. with a military grade laser pointer which kind of blew my mind. Then for the second hour, you can look in their massive telescopes. We got to see Venus, the moon, a NEBULA which is creating stars…Oh frick, my nerd is showing. Anyway, it’s a 45 minute drive from Marfa up into Fort Davis but very worth it. We lucked out with a pretty clear night and it was cold but not freezing. I highly recommend it. (p.s. Book tickets in advance here as they do sell out.)

The Chinati Foundation: Because we were only in town for 36 hours, we opted for an self-guided tour. (The guided tours are a minimum of 2.5 hours, we just didn’t want to commit to that.) We timed it so that we’d be able to see all three of the installations available for self-guided viewing. The installations were so cool and we both nerded out on the history of the property. If you want to fall down a similar nerdhole, here’s the Wikipedia article on what the property used to be. 

Prada Marfa: The pretend Prada store in the middle of the desert that I’ve been ogling images of for years and years. Being there was kind of like seeing a celebrity in public. I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was even cooler in person. 


awfully big adventure el cosmico

El Cosmico Provision Co.: I mentioned in my last post that I’m on a buying freeze when it comes to stuff for the apartment, so I wasn’t super interested in shopping. But…I couldn’t not get this poster that I’ve eyed for years.  


awfully big adventure marfa airbnb

Airbnb: There are several cute hotel options, but we wanted to try out an Airbnb. (This one, specifically.) The price could not be beat, the location was amazing, and though it was pretty minimally outfitted we knew we wouldn’t be spending much time there. A bonus was the huge gorgeous courtyard that the guests are invited to use. And the local beer the host stuck in the fridge for us. 🙂

awfully big adventure fort davis

Next Time:

These are all the places we either tried to go to and they were closed, or didn’t get to, or didn’t even know we wanted to get to but realized once we were in town: Marfa Burrito, Rotunda at City Hall, Garza Marfa, Moonlight Gemstones, The Capri, Dixon Water Foundation and Big Bend Brewing Co. (not in Marfa, but in Alpine on the way in.)

If you are at all interested in design, history, desert landscapes, historical architecture, or feeling like you’re on the set of a Wes Anderson movie, I highly recommend a Marfa visit. Have you been? Am I missing anything?

Marfa Texas in 36 hours
How to do Marfa in 36 hours

currently: february 2017

Ah, February. We’ve had a tumultuous relationship in the past, but that’s mainly due to cold weather that’s been nonexistent this year. Do I like February now? Do YOU like February now? What is happening? Anyway…it felt like we squeezed a lot into the wee month between two fun weekend visits from family, soaking up as much gorgeous patio weather as possible, oh and being completely out with the flu for a week. Both of us. So that was fun. We’re referring to that time as Flumageddon. Here’s what the rest of February entailed: 

ABA patio weather frose

Making: Little house updates for spring. The patio got a new rug and some new plants, the entry got a new mirror, and I’m feeling some spring/pre-move cleaning coming on. 
Cooking: Loved these verde enchiladas — warm enough for “winter,” but light enough for the 80-90 degree days we’ve been having. Also, I want to lick the plate every time I make this honey soy glaze. I serve it over salmon, brussels sprouts, and a little bit of white rice. 
Reading: I read Big Little Lies during Flumageddon, and I don’t know if I was just cranky from being sick or if it really did just kind of drag? The ending was really entertaining, but so far the show is bringing the story to life in ways that the book just didn’t for me. Probably because of the gorgeous beach houses and Reese. Always Reese. I’m halfway into The Light Between Oceans…my library rental expired before I finished it, so I need to check it out again. And this post inspired my next read: In Cold Blood. I’ve never read it!
: To not kill the plants I bought for the patio. I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping indoor plants alive, but outdoor ones are harder for me. I have roughly a 10% success rate. This makes no sense to me. Plants belong outside. Why is this so hard??
Enjoying: Finn’s warm, blocky head resting on my leg while I write this. <3 
Listening: I have been ridiculously obsessed with this song since being captivated by this choreography video. Also, queueing up some new podcasts for the long trip to Marfa this weekend: Revisionist History, Sword and Scale, and 2 Dope Queens.
Needing: Nothing, guys. I put myself on a buying freeze for house stuff until we know where we’re going to be living next. Seems…adult?
Smelling: A lemongrass peppermint mix in the diffuser. So yummy!
Wearing: Gotta ditch my normal work-from-home uniform of leggings and knits for cool-girl outfits if I want to have any street cred in Marfa. Here’s a few things I’m packing, including this hat that Matt is not a fan of, which cracks me up: this kimono in coral, these boots in Desert Calf, this necklace, and this top which is sold out and in looking up this link I found this top which I now want and it’s on saleeee…
Loving: The Kristin Ess shampoo and conditioner from her Target line. It’s sulfate and cruelty-free, it smells so yummy, and the bottles are so cute. Most importantly, I’ve been having some decent hair days. 
Watching: I’ve seen The Office so many times, but Matt had never watched it from the beginning, so we’ve been watching the whole thing. It never, ever gets old. 
Bookmarking: This page for new date night restaurant ideas, this tool to turn photos into digital copies, and this adorable Marfa community forum that a friend shared for our trip. You can find daily restaurant menus, closures, a lost and found, etc.
Feeling: Excited!! Have I said Marfa enough times in this post? 

ABA east austin succulents

I always struggle with the currently posts because they are 100% me flinging what I’ve been up to and my opinions at you. I decided I want to end each of these with a question to get to know you all better so that there’s equal-opportunity opinion-flinging. I recently saw a friend ask this question on Facebook, and the answers were fascinating. Here’s the question: What is a song that makes you cry? Mine are Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Norah Jones’ Carnival Town. Answer in the comments!


things i did this week that weren’t blogging: vol. 1

Cooked. Back to healthy meals and low carb dinners for us after the ridiculousness that was the holidays. I made one new meal- chicken shawarma, and one standby- grilled shrimpies with bang bang sauce. Love them both!

Walked Finn in eighty degree weather. The sun is setting a teeny bit later, and we’ve enjoyed really perfect weather this week, so our walks have stretched a bit longer just cause they can. 

Listened to the Where’d You Go, Bernadette audiobook. This book so far is really cute anddd it’s voiced by Kathleen Wilhoite aka Luke’s sister from Gilmore Girls. The only problem is that my library only rents out audiobooks for 21 days, and I feel like I don’t have time to finish it. Does anyone else feel like listening to audiobooks actually takes so much longer than just reading one?

Got sucked into the couch/phone/social media Bermuda triangle where time disappears instead of ships. 

Watched President Obama’s farewell address and lost it when I saw Malia crying. I sure am grateful for his service and the example he was. I’m terrible at goodbyes, so the tears weren’t exactly a surprise for me. 

Planned some trips. We are headed to Marfa in March and Steamboat and LA in May. So looking forward to all three for every different reasons! We’ll have local hosts in Steamboat and in LA, but Marfa will be just the two of us and I need your recommendations! What are the must-sees? The must-eats? 

Filled up my new planters with plants, as evidenced in my instagram post. I cannot say enough about the quality of these planters, especially at their low price. The blush pink is so good. My one quibble is that they don’t come with drainage holes, but I added my own by wacking the bottom of them with a hammer. Therapeutic and pretty!

Diffused peppermint oil while working. I recently got this diffuser after searching high and low for one that I liked the look of (you can see it in this instagram.) Peppermint has been my go-to this week for two reasons: 1) it feels invigorating and helps me get into work mode and 2) it’s the only one I’ve actually been able to smell, thanks to cedar fever and a perpetually runny nose.

Sneezed one hundred billion times thanks to the aforementioned cedar fever. It’s the first thing I do when I wake up. It’s the last thing I do before I go to sleep. Sneezing is me now. 

Watched The OA. Some parts I kind of roll my eyes at but the way they are telling the story is just so darn captivating. The pros far outweigh the cons, for me. 

Thought about blogging. I’ve been pretty busy with my full time job bleeding into a couple of my nights this week, and I’ll be out half of next week at a conference for said full-time job, so I haven’t made a ton of progress on creating new content. But I have *thought* about it! And also thought about what type of posts would be fun to create on a regular basis going forward. Anything you’d love to see? 

awfully big adventure finnstagram