|Donald Judd (or Don, as we liked to call him) art installation. Do not touch. Or take pictures, as the Judd super fan said loudly as I took this picture.|
|At the beginning of our guided tour, some in the group commented in general on our kids' cuteness, how fun, etc. I would have loved to get their (new) opinions after the two hour tour was over.|
|Candy and Dad shoulder rides. That's how you get two toddlers though a huge space where they can touch nothing.|
|I'm so glad Theo had a friend to play with (and fight with over cars and legos too, of course. They're toddler boys!).|
|Prada, Marfa. An art installation 37 miles away from Marfa.|
|Real shoes (right only) and bags inside. Also, bullet holes.|
This past weekend we took a road trip to meet the Boam family in Marfa, Texas. A place that is as small as its name is fun to say. Marfa is a really interesting place--basically what happens when people who are talented with money decide to make a tiny (tiny) town in west Texas a home for their art. If you build it, they will come--and they are hip artists, musicians, chefs and (ahem) tourists. There aren't a ton of artists, musicians, and chefs, but they are there in more abundance than say, Valentine, Texas. Or Truth or Consequences, New Mexico (although some people here would argue that point).
It wasn't until after we got home that Jon and I realized that this was our first trip with the two kids without any type of grandparent assistance. And while I loved our trip, especially the time spent with our friends, I think we all were tired and a bit overwhelmed from juggling the naps, night times, weird meals, and restlessness of two toddlers and a baby. Theo decided that this was the weekend to develop a cold and cough, and Margot had her first fever. She also refused all that gross store bought food I brought and subsisted on breast milk and Cheerios, exclusively. Central time did work in our favor, as Theo woke up every day around 5:00 am MST, and Margot usually had about an hour between 4-5 am that she preferred to be awake. Combine all that (the Boams were lucky that their cute little Henry just started crawling out of his crib, so they got to try and introduce a whole new sleep arrangement away from home) with art installations that MUST not be touched in any way, even though they look like boxes and tunnels, and the fact that most of Marfa is not kid friendly (a town full of hip kids and hip retirees=little patience for little children that scream a lot and hate restaurants), and we came away as parents with a lot more experience under our belts. Marfa is a small town to its core, with restaurants that open and close due to a whim, pizza places that run out of everything you could put on a pizza, and a Dairy Queen (it's only chain, I think) that does not know what a crunch cone is. Finding dinner was so difficult one night that the words "Sorry, we're out of baked potatoes," almost brought one in our party to tears. We also ran into the lady who was renting her house to us a few times. (If you want to get to know her too, you can read her newly published book.)
All the things that did not go according to plan just made this trip more of an adventure. I love telling a good story, and this weekend was a favorite just based on that alone. This blog post will get too long if I talk more about how a 10 pound attack dog drove me to jump on a picnic table, the beautiful stars at the observatory in one of the darkest night skies in the country, the epic grilled cheese Jon and I chose to eat based on how it combined all the grilled cheese options on the menu into one sandwich, the tiniest NPR station, how we saw a major star (maybe C or D list!) at a pizza place (the "inconceivable!" guy from Princess Bride), the amazing burritos made by a lady in the shed behind her house, and the hand stitched fabric wall hanging illustrating a nude beach in the house bathroom. I am so glad I have a poster from a show I did not attend to remember it all by. My favorite thing of all, though, was to sit in a living room with dear friends and laugh until my stomach ached. I would drive anywhere to do that.