Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My 30th - West Texas - Friends - A Surprise !!


I'll start by saying ... We had been planning this trip for about a year. Knowing my 30th birthday was coming up, we wanted to go somewhere we loved. Big Bend was the win. A bit later we decided to invite friends to meet up with us in Marfa... and we got to planning !

We left 4 days earlier to explore Big Bend on our own before meeting up with the crew. We wanted to split up the drive there, so we spent our first night in Alpine at the cutest airbnb everrrr. The small town was adorable and we soon fell in love... Especially when I found a rad little stone shop right down the road. Our second day we headed out to Big Bend for a 3 day adventure with our spirits high !! ((our last trip a couple years ago was hit by a chilly 'polar vortex', blog here , so we were hoping for great spring weather in the desert)) We wanted to go back to our favorite spot 'Buenos Aries' but it was booked again. Our back up... Glenn Springs, was also booked. Face palm. So we picked a random spot and started fresh. After 2 hours of bumpy crazy roads we arrived at our destination deep in Big Bend back country. It was pretty awesome. But by mid-day the weather had gotten close to 100 degrees, sigh. We stripped down and got to setting up camp. Stef does most the work, but I have my certain jobs. I'm also really good at opening beers ;) After everything was good to go and it was time to chill, a breeze blew in, which was glorious. But the sky was becoming dark. The storm seemed far away, so we didn't worry and followed a cow trail down to the Rio Grande and explored a bit. I had been feeling 'off' because I went wayyyy too long without food, and I also felt a bit worried for some reason. We headed back to camp to make ravioli, and soon after the skies had become darker and things got a bit CRAZY. Slowly some rain, then wind, then thunder and lightning. I jokingly say "why is Big Bend giving us hell" and literally minutes later it started hailing. It would have been funny, but it turned scary pretty quickly. Being stuck in a serious storm in the middle of the desert, where it IS'NT SUPPOSED TO HAIL, was not fun. After about 30 minutes it passed. Stefan was drenched from trying to keep the tent down outside, and I had become stressed. We felt defeated and packed up our sopping wet camp site right before sunset. We were without cell service and had no idea where we were going. Making that same 2+ hour trek out of the back country, in the dark, was not ideal. It was pretty rough, actually. But Stefan killed it driving wise, and I tried to keep spirits high. Long story short, hours later, I think by 1:30 am, after some crying by me, we ended up in a Holiday Inn back in Alpine. In a smoking room. NOT what we envisioned, but safe. 

Last minute we were able to book the Holland Hotel and the Apline Creek Cottage for the next 2 days. A new day--- Rested and back on track, we headed into Terlingua to hang. 

The FUN was back. General store hangs and beers, check. LaKiva, check. Starlight Theatre, check ! Thanks Terlingua, we still love you. Then to the Holland Hotel, which was a fun and perfect save for the night. ps, it hailed again ! We woke up the next morning and headed to Marathon to check out a beautiful garden-- You know i love me some plants :) But who knew this was going to be the best day of my life....

Gage Gardens will forever be a special place in our hearts. And even though his idea of proposing in Big Bend didn't work out, I think it all turned out even more beautiful ! 
** Big thanks to Monica at Ernesto's Jewelry, you're an awesome friend and I greatly appreciate you helping Stefan with this. You made all of our diamond dreams come true **

After many tears and giggles we continued on adventuring. Gage Hotel was amazing, too. Love the southwestern vibes, especially all the cow skulls. We will definitely go back and stay there. Also, Eves Garden (bnb) was SUPER magical ! We'll love Marathon Texas forever.

this is one of my favorite pictures. right after the proposal happened. on cloud 9. nobody else knew yet. i was surrounded my beautiful flowers + plants, enjoying the day with my FIANCE. omg.
Next, we headed back to Alpine to check out the Big Bend Brewing Company. We love and drink their beers at home, so it was a fun surprise that their brewery was located there. My favorite is their Hefeweisen ! I got a little excited-tipsy and sent this picture to my girlfriends, not noticing my hand was showing... a few saw the new sparkles. DANG IT. I still got to surprise some of them in Marfa, though.

Then we headed back to the cottage to face-time family, which was really fun. He had talked to my parents but they didn't know when exactly it would happen, so they were patiently awaiting that call. And he hadn't told his mom, wanting to surprise her too, so that was awesome. 

The next day we headed out to MARFA to meet up with all our FRIENDS and stay in a TEEPEE !

El Cosmico --- photo by celbi
ahhhh my babes !!!
all us water babies found the water in the desert ! lol 
Balmorhea State Park is AWESOME. And the drive through Fort Davis is really cool, too. Going back.

We LOVED El Cosmico. They have teepees, yurts, safari tents and vintage trailers. Not the cheapest, but very worth it to experience the atmosphere and decor. Would love to go back.

Sidenote: Overall Marfa is a very rad, chill, hip place to go. But they know it, so prices can be high and food service isn't always amazing... especially with large groups, and even with reservations. So, while i very much recommend it, just beware.

Lastly, here is my favorite photo of the trip.

There were ups and downs, just like anything, but I'm so glad I get to do it all with this guy. THANKS to all our friends that helped us celebrate in the desert. We love you.

Fiance, I'm so excited about all the adventures to come.

Taylor Sue

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