Sunday, April 15, 2012

This Desert Life: West Texas Road Tripping

Greetings from the desert! Sorry about our 11 day blogging hiatus, we had lots of life to live in the past 9 days: Brendan's parents came in town for a west Texas visit and then we took a long weekend trip to Lake Charles, LA for the 30th anniversary celebration of the M.F.A. program at McNeese. I dubbed this past week and a half "spring break part 2", and it was just as busy (actually busier) than part 1. Lucky for you, I have some awesome pictures from our trek across the desert with Brendan's parents in tow. I think they loved the trip as much as we did, which is good because they came all the way from CT for it! Enjoy!

We started out at Monahans State Park, which Brendan's parents had read about on the blog in November and were eager to experience firsthand. This time, we rented the discs that you can use as "sand sleds" for a couple of dollars for 2 hours. Let me just say: it is NOT worth it. Brendan and I tried climbing to the steepest peaks to sled down, and nothing came from it. Those things don't work at all, so do yourself a favor and skip the disc rental.

Love this picture of Brendan and his parents laughing 

<3 Cute! 
 After Monahans, it was on to Alpine, TX where we had reservations at the very special Antelope Lodge. The lodge had some hilarious reviews (which I read to Brendan's parents in the car on the way there), and I couldn't wait to stay there. Overall, it was maybe a bit pricey for what you get (not a lot of other options in the area though), and I felt bad that the shower was leaky, BUT the place had tons of character and was cute and comfortable enough, so, all in all, it was good. The beds were comfy, there was free coffee in the morning, Alpine was a perfect central location (near Fort Davis, Big Bend, and also Marfa), and there was a nice little garden area. The staff was very nice and attentive. One thing I love about Brendan's parents: They are always up for an adventure!

The cute town of Alpine. Happy Easter :) 

The first night there, we went to McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, TX, which I wrote about on the blog back in October 2011. We were so excited to take Sharon and Tim, but unfortunately, we got a very cloudy night, so the stars weren't quite working out for us. The drive up there sure was pretty though, and we got nice weather all weekend mostly, so hard to complain!

 The next day was Easter Sunday, and it was on to Big Bend National Park (please note, it's not Big Ben and it's not a state park!). My pictures don't really do the place justice, and I know there are more to come, as each of us went true tourist style with our own cameras in hand.

Pretty much think I'm talented to get this photo from an i-phone 3G!

We stopped and had the most charming Easter lunch at a little place called India's. It was true home cooking and it was FANTASTIC! Can you believe I found a vegetarian burrito on the menu all the way out in the middle of nowhere?

Seriously, the view from our table. 

In the other picture, Brendan closed his eyes. Go figure! 
 One thing I was really excited about: Swimming in Big Bend's natural hot springs and in the river (fun fact: Mexico is right across the river). The springs are supposed to be natural and healing, but at 105 degrees, we couldn't stay in for long. I loved cooling off in the river though; it was all absolutely magical. A funny story: after I changed into my swimsuit, I came out of the bathroom and this woman goes "hey, did we go to high school together?" It was so crazy, because she really was one of the only people we'd seen all day, but it really was my friend Beth from McCallum High School in Austin, TX. We had to get a picture together to celebrate the weirdness of it.

After driving on an unpaved road for 14 miles (Great tip: Do not attempt this) to get to Santa Elena Canyon (it's worth it, just go back the long way!) we stopped at the Starlight Theater in Terlingua Ghost Town. We loved the music, the drinks, and the food, but fear the ice in the margaritas may have caused some indigestion? <Not confirmed, but the 3 of us who had them were a bit sick. Check this place out though, it was so cool, just maybe drink bottled beer.
We ended the night with the curse of the Easter day flat tire. I have only ever had one flat tire before in my life, and it was on Easter Sunday (I believe 2009), then we're driving back to Alpine and low and behold: a flat tire in the middle of the night. I was a little freaked out, but we got it fixed. We blame the unpaved road in Big Bend. The next day, the other back tire was also flat: thank goodness I figured out those puppies were insured (thanks Dad and Discount Tires!) All in all, what's a road trip without some misadventures? PS-I highly recommend joining AAA before taking this road trip!

We had a very thrilling time and spent the rest of the vacation antiquing, eating, and relaxing (though I worked Tuesday and Wednesday and Brendan worked Wednesday). Then, we all left Thursday morning. (Pictures from Lake Charles, LA coming soon).

Thanks for road tripping with us through the desert Sharon and Tim, love ya!

Now, it's back to life as normal we know it.
<3 S, B, L&Z


  1. Thanks for the amazing road Trip. We made such great memories, can't wait for the next one!!! Love you guys, xoxoox

  2. Yay! You figured out how to comment, exciting! We had a blast taking you guys. Love you too!


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