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I have been a pretty bad blogger later and am quite behind on sharing projects, photos, and life updates! So I’m back in the game this week and catching up — and I’m so happy to finally be able to post some of the picture from our trip to Marfa, the last leg of our West Texas Adventure after a few days in Austin and a stay in Big Bend National Park. This was by far my favorite part of the trip, partly because there was so much anticipation in planning it. For those of you that haven’t heard about Marfa, let me explain a little bit about this  town: it’s a quirky little community in the middle of nowhere known for its  minimalist art, bohemian vibe, and eclectic food.

MARFAWhen we decided to add Marfa to our itinerary, I knew exactly where I wanted to stay: El Cosmico for some glamping! We stayed in a restored vintage lime green camper, complete with a cute little front porch, air conditioning (yay!) and amazing outdoor shower. The whole El Cosmico site is a feast for the eyes, I had so much fun taking pictures of all of the vintage trailers, teepees, and yurts that make up the complex. The communal spaces at the site were also a highlight, after the sun went down we joined other guests for cocktails in the hammock grove where a visiting band played live music under strung lights and the stars. I mean, does that sound magical or what?

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Another must-see that we tackled on our exploration of Marfa was checking out the art installation, Prada Marfa. Having admired Gray Malin’s photos of the site, I was so excited to see it in person — and it surpassed my expectations upon arriving.  I think one of the most interesting things about the site, is that it genuinely confuses people that don’t know the context and story of the installation. When we were standing across the highway from the store, a passerby in a pickup truck slowed down as he drove past it, and ended up turning around to get out of the car and take a look. He looked at my husband and I and said “well that’s something else, isn’t it?” — I think he was right, it really was something else!   MARFA 9MARFA 8

It turns out that we arrived in Marfa on a Tuesday, and most shops and restaurants close down mid-week as it’s a weekend-tourist destination. So while we didn’t get to hit up a few of the spots on my list (like Garza Marfa and Cast + Crew), we did enjoy a few of the local favorites. We stopped for lunch at Comida Futura (owned by the same folks that run Food Shark — made famous by Beyonce’s tumblr), and the food was amazing. I had the brisket plate with a baked bean and corn bread pudding and it was out of this world. For dinner we visited Jett’s Grill on the patio of the famous Hotel Paisano.
MARFA 10I kept saying as we left Marfa that it was such a magical place, I think I used the word magic approximately 8 times on the drive back to Austin — and frankly, the drive it self was also magical — we left super early in the morning and saw the sunrise over  West Texas as we drove out of town. The perfect end to a perfect trip!

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Part two of our West Texas adventure took us to Big Bend National Park. When planning this trip I took on most of the Austin leg, meticulously curating reservations at all of the must-visit restaurants. My husband on the other hand did the research for this part of our vacation — you know, things like ensuring we had the right supplies to survive in the desert. My contribution was rolling out of bed and into the car early one morning in Austin and waking up several hours later in the middle of nowhere — which was precisely our destination! Big Bend is one of the most remote National Parks — the nearest city (and city is a loose term) is 100 miles away. I was a little hesitant about this — I’m not much of an outdoorsy type — but I’m so glad we visited. The only way to describe the landscape is breathtaking, which sounds super cliché, but it really was just that. I was quite surprised by how different the terrain was as we moved through the park; parts looked like barren desert, other parts were rocky and mountainous, and we even moved through some swamp-like areas when we got close to the Rio Grande and Mexican border (at one point we could literally see just across the river into Mexico, which was pretty cool). We closed out our stay in Big Bend with a stop in Terlingua, a ghost town on the edge of the park, where we ate dinner at the Starlight Theater — an old-fashioned saloon! We put a little wild west in our West Texas adventure.

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I have been digging through the photos that I took on our West Texas vacation and can’t believe it’s been almost two weeks since we got back. Because I just can’t narrow it down, this recap is likely going to be a multi-part blog post — I need to share the detail of every.single.bite. I ate and lots of fun pictures too. First up: Austin! Austin, despite being about 100 degrees, was totally and completely awesome. We fell in love with the cute little house bars on Rainey Street, browsed through the vintage shops in the South Congress area, and tried many, many tacos to try and nail down a favorite (barbacoa tacos at Torchy’s were the winner!). A few more favorites from our Austin stay were…. IMG_3655.JPGElizabeth Street Cafe. When I was doing research for our trip, I happened upon Elizabeth Street Cafe through Mackenzie’s Austin recommendations and decided to check it out for ourselves! I love the super bright space with quirky little teapots and floral wallpaper, and the outside had a bright pink and turquoise paint scheme that was so cheery and cute. We had the pork belly buns and spicy pork meatball bahn mi — and I couldn’t pass up the macarons in the pastry case when we were leaving — they were delicious!DSC_0001IMG_3732.JPGDSC_0008 copy

Hillside Farmacy. I’d seen pictures of the Hillside Farmacy on Instagram and knew we had to go here. The striped awnings and bright green facade reminded me of our wedding color scheme, so I was sold even before we walked in. We ate here for brunch and I was prepared to go for eggs or pancakes, but then I saw a piping hot skillet of the mac and cheese walk by our table and I had to order some of my own. I am quite glad it did — it was super rich and delightfully tasty (and I washed it down with a wasabi bloody mary, yum!).

IMG_3695.JPGDSC_0016Barton Springs. This place was amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it! Given that the temperatures were creeping  up into the hundreds during out trip, a little respite from the heat was very welcome. It was part pool, part lake, one-hundred-percent refreshing once we jumped in.

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Josephine House. Our meal at Josephine House was phenomenal and the restaurant design was nothing but impeccable. We got there just as the light was fading and I didn’t get any pictures of the interior, but trust me when I say it was gorgeous — take a look at some of the gorgeous pictures on their website. The best part of the meal was dessert: a honey panna cotta with Texas figs and ginger-oat streusel — heavenly. It was just the treat we needed before heading off on the next leg of our trip! DSC_0021

 

Let me let you in on a little secret: I love the process of planning a trip almost more than I do going on the actual trip. It’s like a sport for me — finding the hidden gems in a new city, organizing our days to maximize all of the different neighborhoods I want to explore, and collecting as many recommendations as I can before we leave about what I *must* eat or drink in our destination city. We have taken some pretty amazing trips over the past few years that lead to awesome adventures (check out our travels to Austin + Marfa, Nashville, and our cross-country honeymoon road trip for a few examples!). Someone commented on one my instagram posts last week and asked how we go about planning for these fun little getaways, and it dawned on me that I actually do have a pretty standard process that I thought I’d share here today, check out my tips for note to plan awesome getaways:  

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