Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! I say on Fridays, all day on Fridays. I say with relentless enthusiasm.

Happy Friday! I say to everyone. I say it to people I don’t even like. That’s how good Fridays are.

Happy Friday! Fridays are always happy.

Going to do some knitting this weekend 

Going to do some knitting this weekend 

Happy Friday! TGIF! "Everybody’s working for the weekend" and it’s almost here, it’s coming, so close. We only have to sacrifice 8 more hours to Cubelife before we can have time for ourselves, to be ourselves. 

Happy Friday! I say as if Friday were an actual holiday, a holy day, a holy day I don’t hesitate to put all of my faith in.

Happy Friday! the holy day of the God of Potential and the Goddess of Gettin’ Shit Done. What can’t we hope to do when Friday morning dawns? So praise the last day of the work week.

Happy Friday!

Happy New Year - the Julia Calendar

I start my year on my birthday. The Julia Calendar is far more reasonable than the Julian. It’s silly to try to start some brand new habit on January 1st. We’ve all been in the national orgy of holidays and celebrations and travel and general unrest. My birthday, today, is close enough to the beginning of the year to still feel new, clear, with a bite of winter.

I had random ideas for this past year, but I couldn’t have planned it. In fact, I didn’t. I tried. I kept coming up with The Plan and then changing it. What happened this year wasn’t so much about what I did or where I went, but about taking the time to just be. I can’t explain easily what that did for me, but I can tell you the resolutions it gave me for the new year.

New Year’s Resolutions

  • Keep writing. I finished a novel this year. I started another one. I’ve got a third brewing in my brain. Ideas for a fifth and a sixth….
  • Keep interviewing people. I love talking to them about their lives, their work, their dreams. Yes, please.
  • Keep traveling. I must return to Edinburgh. Period. Other places too. And not “some day.” Soon.
  • Keep being curious. About life, about myself.
  • Keep being passionate about what I love, no matter how random. Color. "That’s not even a thing," you say. It is. It is.
  • Keep giving myself space to be the person I am.

It’s been an enlightening year. A year ago, the Monday after my last birthday, I resigned from my job to take a year-long sabbatical. I’d decided that one day wasn’t enough to celebrate a half century.

This whole year has been a celebration of this birthday. The sabbatical has ended, but The Bliss Tour continues.

Bliss Pics 2015

Here are some of my favorite photos from 2015. The photos were taken in Marfa, TX, Panama City, FL, and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Wild Beginnings

I'm beginning again. Since leaving Edinburgh, I've had two homecomings: first to my hometown in Florida for the holidays to see family and friends, and then to Austin.

Yes, I'm back in Austin! After 4 months away, the place is still so familiar - mostly, it took me three attempts to get on MOPAC yesterday. I'm trying to see it with new eyes, testing a theory: can I start a new life in an old place?

One of the first things I did as soon I got into town was participate in Wild Women Wednesdays - Wild Beginnings with two amazing women: Harmony Eichsteadt and Sarah Elizabeth Harney.

Talking with Sarah and Harmony (listen to my earlier interview with Harmony) was fun and enlightening and informative and... just brilliant in so many ways. I thank them both for helping me start this new year and new part of my life with hope and inspiration.

Wild Women Wednesdays - Wild Beginnings

Interview with Mary Veal of Kula Yoga Shala

This is the third episode of The Bliss Tour. Yay!!!! {muppet arms}

A big thank you to Mary Veal of Kula Yoga Shala. Mary is one of my best friends from high school and we talk about yoga, living an authentic life, and rock and roll.


Links to some of the things we chatted about:

  • Kula Yoga Shala - Mary's yoga studio in Jupiter, Florida and home of Rock & Roll Yoga ("It will be loud. There may be offensive language. If this doesn't sound like fun to you, PLEASE DON'T COME!")
  • Karma Krew - the non-profit Mary and her partner started to take yoga beyond the studio walls and into the hearts of the community
  • Why some of us don't have one true calling - a Ted Talk about "multipotentialites" by Emilie Wapnick
  • Bhagavad Gita - a dialogue between Arjuna and Lord Krishna

The music you are listening to was not provided by Led Zepplin, or Godsmack or Pantera (I totally had to look up those last two).

The music you are listening to was provided by Jamendo and this is Ambient-M by Antony Raijekov.

I hope you enjoyed this interview. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Happy Holidays!

Julia In Edinburgh

Today is my last full day in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have mixed emotions. I am sad, but grateful and happy that I came here and stayed here. I’ve never felt like a tourist here. Although, what else could I call myself, certainly in the beginning? I never wanted to visit the place. I wanted to live here.

From this experience, I've come to realize things. I couldn’t say this before. Maybe I couldn’t even see it, but I know this now: This was a bold and badass experiment.

I came to Edinburgh knowing no one or really nothing about the city (there’s a castle). Just shy of three months, I constructed a life here. I made friends and learned neighborhoods that I’ll miss, and frequented a pub where the owner would fill a pint of my favorite lager with a nod.

This is an experiment that I need to repeat in other places. Where? You know I don’t know yet. But I leave Edinburgh with a strong desire to return, much sooner than “maybe one day."

I have no grand plans for this last day, other than having writing this at my favorite bakery, walking through Old Town and City Center one more time, and having a pint at the local pub. A proper end to having lived here.


Julia in Edinburgh

Interview with Harmony Eichsteadt of Wild Women's Adventure Club

The second episode of the Bliss Tour is finally here!!

Here's a fun interview with Harmony Eichsteadt of Wild Women's Adventure Club. We talked about work, being kind to ourselves, being nomads, and wild women. Enjoy!


Here are links to some of the things we chatted about in the interview:

The music was provided by the North Sea. Ok, so apparently Portobello's beach is a small tributary to the North Sea. But I'm just going to call it the North Sea anyway. :)

I hope you enjoyed this interview. I have a couple more coming up soon! Woot!!

Let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks!

Goodbye Portobello

Sunrise from the kitchen

Sunrise from the kitchen

View from the bed

View from the bed

Today is my last day at the beach, Portobello. I've been here for five and a half mostly bright sunny weeks, watching puppies and toddlers gambol by with their adult humans, bikers, joggers, swimmers braving the North Sea (as a reference point: it's colder than Barton Springs by at least 10 degrees), and the tide rise and fall.

I'm sad to leave the beach, but I'm staying in Edinburgh until just before Thanksgiving. I love it here. I'm moving to the Leith area, closer to the City Center, and returning this beach flat to my host, who's been staying with friends while I enjoyed a few more weeks in his home. He's a really nice man.

Things I'll miss: the sound of the waves, the view from the table at the window where I spent much of my time, the fish and chips, the Espy which I finally ventured into when Elisa visited, familiar faces.

I'm looking forward to the rest of my stay and seeing how the location change will affect what I do daily. Probably no walks on the beach, but I'll walk somewhere else, discover something new, be grateful I'm here.

The North Sea

The North Sea

Light from my bedroom

Light from my bedroom

The light

The light

Being Here

Saturday was gorgeous, like the most beautiful day ever. So many people out walking their dogs and their kids, people sunning themselves. The North Sea sparkled like gems, so beautiful it could make your eyes bleed. I didn't go out. Too much. I watched it all from a safe distance, inside. Why go out and battle for space for a view that I could already see?



The beach is mesmerizing. In the original, original Plan - the kind of Eat, Pray, Love knock off - I intended to spend a few months on the beach. Then Edinburgh popped into my mind and I decided to go with it. I had no idea there was a beach here or near. Although if I'd looked at a freaking map, I would have noticed that it sits on the North Sea.

Portabello, where I’m staying, is a 25-minute bus ride to the city center of Edinburgh. There's a bus stop not 5 minutes from my door and I could go in all the time but I don't. In a week and a half I've been in three times.

A cup of coffee while I watched the sun rise.

A cup of coffee while I watched the sun rise.

The first time was to find coffee. The Airbnb host had instant coffee. No. But he also had a French press. Hmmm... Those two don't work together. The closest grocery store Sainsbury Local had more instant coffee and other coffees I didn't want to attempt. Missing Anderson's, my first adventure into city center was to Artisan Roast, where I had a flat white and got their house bean ground for French press.

Apparently J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book in coffee shops in Edinburgh. The Elephant Room claims she wrote it there, but I hear that's not true and others lay claim to the boast. Artisan Roast had a sign that said, "J.K. Rowling did not write here." I’ll get a picture of when I go back.

The second time I went into the city was to get a new adapter and a new flat iron. I bought an adapter/converter with me and it worked perfectly for charging my laptop, phone, etc. Until I tried to use my blow dryer. The box of the adapter says, "Use with devices like these: hair dryers, curling irons...". I plugged it in, all confident, and turned it on. Immediately, and I mean immediately, there was a pop and a curl of smoke and a burning smell from the blow dryer. (Remember what the box said?!) In addition to frying my dryer, the converter/adapter also fried itself, so I had no way to charge my laptop, phone, etc. This was dire.

I went into the city the next day to find a big Boots where I could get a cheap flat iron and I figured they'd have adapters as well. They did. I spent that afternoon walking around the castle and museums and getting a better idea of the lay of the land, swinging my big Boots bag full of UK compatible supplies. The simple adapter works just fine and the cheap flat iron is almost better than mine. I also found another coffee shop, Fortitude, where they have an amazing dark chocolate hot chocolate. Habit forming.

From certain places, Edinburgh reminds me of San Francisco.

From certain places, Edinburgh reminds me of San Francisco.

The third time I went to city center was for the local National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) meet-up. I followed their lead on what to order: a most excellent beer (something German), chips (really good french fries), and tomato soup with hearty bread. When in Rome... or Edinburgh as is the case.

They are a fun group, and we talked some about writing, but I got to ask them about Scotland and Edinburgh, what tourist-y places were worth it, and tipping. They asked me questions about Donald Trump and guns. Ugh.

In Portabello, I've found a coffee shop (and art gallery!) that I really like, The Tide. I've been there a few times. They have egg and bacon on a roll, brown sauce (!), scones and cake. I took my second draft there and started to go through it. I need to complete the third draft before November when I want to start a new novel for NaNoWriMo. I think it's going to be my main writing "office."

A singing washing machine! #travel #Scotland #edinburgh #UK #laundry

A video posted by Julia Lee (@theblisstour) on

My days here are a lot like an extended vacation, but I'm doing Airbnb, so I have chores to do. I do my laundry with the Singing Washing Machine. I love this thing and I think I've been doing more and more laundry just to hear it. I also get to hang up my laundry to dry with a nifty pulley system thing-y. Pretty cool.

I've already extended my stay here, doubled it in fact. Instead of leaving at the end of September, I'm staying until almost the end of October. The beach is too beautiful to leave in a couple of weeks. It's a sunny day again. I'm off to write!

Getting Here

Traveling to the future is time consuming, although relatively easy. It didn’t require me to dematerialize or enter a space time continuum. There was driving, then waiting, then flying, then waiting, then flying again, then a relatively short cab ride. If seems like it was almost as much waiting as traveling. I left Ft. Pierce, Florida, my hometown at 4:00pm and I got to the flat at about 17:30 local time (look at me! I’m British!).

My first faux pas as an American traveling abroad was trying to exchange dollars for pounds at the Dublin airport. The nice lady informed me that I should wait until I got to the UK to do that so I wouldn’t get charged a double fee, because she’d have to exchange the dollars into to Euros, and then into pounds. “Aren’t we in the UK?” I inquired.

“No,” she said with a hint of fierceness in her voice (I think, I couldn’t really tell because of the accent), she declared. “We are not in the UK. This is Ireland.”

Ireland, I'm doing it for you.

Ireland, I'm doing it for you.

“Oh. Ok,” I said. I was sleep deprived, brain addled, I was still confused and not yet embarrassed. Also, I am American. About 10 minutes later, sitting, trying to connect to the airport’s wifi, I threw my head back and said out loud “European Union” like it was the answer to a trivia question. I had a 5 hour layover in the Dublin airport, so I waited until that nice lady went on break and exchanged a few dollars for the Euros I needed to buy lunch.

As penance, I ordered the Full Irish Breakfast: bacon and sausage, black and white puddings, potato and wheat toasts, and eggs. Apparently this is a thing. I’m not sure why the redundancy in each category is needed, but I tasted everything. The only thing I’d never heard of was the white pudding. I know black pudding is a blood sausage. I have no idea what’s in white pudding. And I’m not looking it up.

After another flight, I landed in Edinburgh, Scotland which is indeed a part of the UK (really, they just voted on it). I had expected it to be cold and rainy, but as I exited the airport I had to shed my wool sweater and dig out my shades from my bag. My cab driver took vacations roadtripping in the US. She'd been to Orlando and Vegas, Austin and even to Abilene, TX to see a band. That must have been a really good band.


She dropped me off at the flat right on the beach. I had no idea Edinburgh had a beach, but there it is right outside my window. In fact, I hadn’t realized it until I booked this place less than 10 days ago. I'd waited until the last minute and was in a panic looking for a place to stay in Edinburgh. Then I saw this place with its beach views.

Sometimes procrastination is good.

So It Begins

My stomach is gurgling, my mouth is dry and it’s still more than 6 hours to take off for Edinburgh, Scotland. Before I even get on the plane, I have a two hour drive from Fort Pierce to Orlando’s airport, and then an almost three hour wait for take off.  

I’m packed (note: limits for European take on luggage are slightly smaller than US limits). I’ve taken a shower again because I’m going to be traveling for about 24 hours straight.

I found a place on the beach in Edinburgh. I’ll bet you’re thinking, “There’s a beach in Edinburgh?” That’s exactly what I thought when I saw the first photo of an apartment on Airbnb overlooking sand and water. I, of course, waited until the last minute (honestly sometimes I think I work best that way), so finding a place to stay was fairly melodramatic.   

I was “declined” by the first place I requested. It stung like personal rejection, but once I had time to think about it I realized it was for the best. Diving back into the Airbnb pool required staying up almost all last Thursday night/Friday morning communicating with hosts in Europe. Sites were being snapped up quickly. After another decline (“I just booked it”), I found a place that looks out onto the shore.

Edinburgh looks to be rainy and chilly while I’m there. A great contrast to Austin and Florida. I got a warm sweater and boots for going out and exploring. And I plan to use the moody atmospherics for some writing.

I finally feel excited. Or I’m just nauseated. One or the other. I’m not 100% sure.

Less Is More. Maybe...

Holy shit I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff! "Stuff" seems vague. Like it might not be important. I’ll be more specific. I’ve let go of about 90% of my kitchen. Maybe more. And I had a significant kitchen. Tools, appliances, pots, pans, dishes, etc. Everything for cooking, baking, entertaining. I don’t feel bad about it. Some of the things I hadn’t used in years. Some I never used more than once a year, if that. Some I used every day.

Other pieces that survived the move from the house, didn’t survive this. My couch that was an awesome daybed, still looked fresh after 7 years as I gave it away; my Big Comfy Chair (the BCC) as I called it from the moment I got it when I lived in Brooklyn; the TV; the bookcases, the desks, etc.

The movers haven't come and gone. This is all that's left.

The movers haven't come and gone. This is all that's left.

Gone. Sold, given to friends, donated to Goodwill (seriously if you want cool/good kitchen stuff, you might want to swing by the Goodwill at Lamar and 2222 soon). I still have the dinner table I’m using it to write on right now. But as I type, three people are asking for it. It won’t stay long.

Last but not least my beloved washer and dryer. Of all the things I’m letting go of, I’m most traumatized by that. When I moved to Austin, for the first time I had my own private washer and dryer, no coins required. It was a glorious thing, to do laundry at any time, in my own space, instead of down in a basement or blocks away. I will miss my washer and dryer and I already dream of their replacement.

I’m not sure I’ll miss other things though. We Americans shop constantly but we don’t get rid of anything, so then we get bigger and bigger houses and fill them up to the point that a 2000 square foot house is too small for two people. I’m not sure if I’m a budding minimalist, but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to re-purchase the popover pan. I could be wrong. At some point in the future, I could get an violent desire to make popovers. But right now, I’m doubting that.

But I have to admit, I feel as if I’m regressing a bit. I went from a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house to a 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment. I had no idea how much I would need to scale down. Even after I moved I sold more stuff and donated a couple of carloads of stuff. Now I could easily fit into a small studio, but could I function? I don’t have a pot to boil an egg in. How would this work?

I’m excited to see what my taste is like now as opposed to 15 or 20 years ago. What draws my eye? I moved to Austin with a bed, a table, my BCC, and 30 boxes, probably a third of which were filled with books. I have two boxes of books now. That’s it. I’m leaving Austin (permanently? temporarily? still don’t know) with less. But I’m thinking less is more. Maybe...

P.S. The dinner table is gone.

The Plan*

What’s The Plan?

Ha! Ok, you can start laughing now. “The Plan” has changed three times. Four times, if you count The Plan before I started the blog. The Plan this year is a work in progress.

Initially, I planned to do an Eat Pray Love: sell everything and go live in different places for 3-4 months each. Paris was always at the top of the list. Then it because an epic road trip on the west coast, then a short story road trip, but I cancelled that. Or maybe it’s just postponed?

Now I might road trip to my family reunion in Panama City, Florida. Stop in New Orleans, where I’d sworn never to visit in the summer again. Or I may fly to Panama City. I don’t know.

Ahhh... Paris. I don't think I'm going there.

Ahhh... Paris. I don't think I'm going there.

My lease it up August 20, and now The Plan is back to: sell everything and move some place for 3-4 months. Move where you ask? Move to… wait for it… Scotland!

No, I don’t know where that came from either. What happened to Paris? I’ve been dreaming of living in Paris for months! But now? Not so much.

I could give you logical reasons why I’m now looking at Scotland: it’s a smaller city (I don’t love huge cities; that’s why I came to Austin from Brooklyn); it’s cheaper than Paris, and definitely cheaper than London; Scotland is English-speaking, although I’ve heard from some that this point may be debatable.

All of these things are true (apparently, I haven’t made any actual plans yet), but the real reason is that Scotland popped into my head and I’m just going to go with it. Notice I keep saying Scotland. Scotland isn’t a city, like Paris or London. It’s a whole country. So like, Edinborgh? Edinburg? Edinburough? Ok. I’ll have to learn to spell it.

Know anyone in Scotland?

*subject to change

Interview with Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

This is the first episode of the Bliss Tour! And I’m so excited!!

Thanks so much to Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. We talk about her transition from Cube Life to blogger, expectations of work life, and a little bit of romance.


Here are links to some of the things we chatted about in the interview:

The music was provided by Jamendo and this is Possibilities by Jasmine Jordan.

I hope you enjoyed this interview because I am planning on doing more. Woo! Hoo! With better audio! (Sorry, my fault).

Let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks!


The feeling that I’m going to “waste” this sabbatical year keeps nagging me. What is this year about? Do I want to take an epic road trip (no, see: Marfa posts)? Do I want to go someplace and stay for a few months (see: original idea and still a contender, aka the Eat Pray Love model)? Do I want to stay in Austin the whole time writing? Or some combination? The year might be over before I make a decision.

I am not, usually, a ‘strike while the iron is hot’ kind of person. I’m more of a ‘hot iron is really dangerous, why don’t I let it cool off’ kind of person. I have an idea. It flames bright, lights up my imagination, and then I think about it. And think about it. Then I think about it some more. I cool the idea down with all its imperfections, then once the it's cold, I let it go. Sometimes this takes seconds. Sometimes it takes years.

I shocked myself by selling my house. I freaking quit my job. And for the first time I actually managed to escape cube life. That’s huge. HUGE.

This is where my anxiety about “wasting” the year seeps in thought. This year has never been about writing, traveling, learning new things, whatever else is on my long list, although those are all important. This year has always been about trying to escape cube life, permanently.

Whenever I think of escape, I always remember Mr. Day, my Greek professor at Vassar. He taught us the pluperfect tense by using the word “escape.” I don’t know the Greek word for "escape," but I remember his explanation. “If you escaped from prison,” he said, “and you were caught, you didn’t really escape. You attempted to escape. You tried to escape. To truly signify that someone 'escaped' – that she escaped and was never caught – you have to use the pluperfect. ‘She made good her escape’.”

I need to strike while the iron is hot, make good my escape.

Marfa - Day 3 and Roadtripping

Somewhere in west Texas

Somewhere in west Texas

I left Marfa about 1:00pm. It’s a 6 ½ hour drive across west Texas back to Austin, and not a Starbucks to be seen. I was not looking forward to the drive. The landscapes were beautiful, if desolate, I drove 100mph in some spots, and I hit an exploding swarm of bees. But that’s not enough.

I hadn’t recovered from the drive to Marfa and I was driving back. I was exhausted and this was not fun. Sometimes the journey can overwhelm the destination.

During the drive I had time to think about my priorities for this sabbatical. Is it to travel? Write? Is this year only a temporary escape from cube life? Or can I use it to launch a work life outside the cube?

I remember telling a friend about my sabbatical, and saying explicitly, “I want to travel, but I don’t want to go from location to location, trying to see as many places as I can. I’d be exhausted.” True.

Initially, I'd thought about living in different places for 3-4 months each. It was more Eat, Pray, Love than the Bliss Tour. Writing in Paris would be awesome, right? And writing on the beach? Maybe I could write in Australia, or one of those mountainous states in the US?

Notice something about these? I’m writing. I always saw myself writing no matter where I was. After countless mornings of getting up at 5:30am to write before work, and getting that first draft ready a few weeks ago, I want writing to be my top priority. I want to finish this novel by the end of the month. Then start another one. And throw in some short stories too.

So, I’m changing again. It’s my prerogative. This is all trial and error. I’m pushing my traveling back to at least the fall, except for my family reunion. I want, need to get more writing under my belt before I hit the trail. Those locations will be there even if I go back to cube life. But this time I have to write won’t last forever.

Marfa - Day 2

A note about Marfa: Monday and Tuesday are slow days for Marfa. These two days are the town’s rest period, their time to recover after the rush of tourists on the weekend. 

I did not know this. I thought I was rather clever coming Monday through Wednesday to avoid the crowds and the prices of peak times.

Many of the restaurants and museums are closed or on reduced schedules/menus. The Chianti Foundation is closed Monday and Tuesday. Some restaurants are only open on the weekend.

I ate lunch at Capri, the restaurant at the Thunderbird Hotel, but they had a limited menu, so I’m going back today. When I was there yesterday they’d started smoking some kind of animal – I’m thinking it’s beef or pork – in preparation for today’s full menu.

Then I drove to Prada Marfa. A note about Prada Marfa: It is not in Marfa. It’s in Valentine, TX, a 30-minute drive west of Marfa. I went anyway. It was… interesting.

Me, a random car, and U.S. Border Patrol in front of Prada Marfa

Me, a random car, and U.S. Border Patrol in front of Prada Marfa

The most interesting thing about it is that when I drove up there were two U.S. Border Patrol vehicles sitting across from it. Like the first thing people sneaking over the border would do is go to Prada. Welcome to America!

On the way to and from Prada Marfa (Why not Prada Valentine? That has a nice ring to it), I passed the Tethered Aerostat Radar System. Coming and going, when I drove by, little tornadoes started up and blew tumbleweed in front of my car. Nowhere else did this happen. Interesting, right?

Because of the restaurant situation, I ate dinner at the Hotel Paisano again, and it was good again. I chatted with someone who'd lived in California, had a big corporate career, big corporate life, keeping up with the Jones', then she came to Marfa and started a completely different life. Hope to interview her soon for The Bliss Tour.

I had ice cream at Frama/Tumbleweed Laundry, a combination coffee shop, ice cream parlor, and laundromat. Obviously.

Marfa has a newish Marfa Lights Viewing Center. Last night after the sun set, finally, I stood outside in the nicely chilly air for two hours waiting to be dazzled. I was not. Maybe the lights were taking a day like the rest of Marfa after a weekend of working hard?

Still it was fun. There were people from all over asking each other “Is that it? What’s that? Look! A jackrabbit! Are there snakes out here? Where you from?”

I stayed in one of the hip trailers at El Cosmico last night. With my own toilet and sink! Ahhh... But I have to admit, even with all the modern plumbing, I preferred sleeping in the safari tent. There was something restful about the sparseness of it and the heavy white canvas billowing.

The trailer has an outdoor tub. I'm not sure why I reserved this instead of one with a shower. Availability? It was too cold and late last night, but this morning I had a little adventure taking a bath for the first time in... I have no idea. 

The outdoor tub for the Branstrator trailer at El Cosmico.

The outdoor tub for the Branstrator trailer at El Cosmico.

It wasn't bad. Technically, this is Day 3 in Marfa, but I'm leaving the trailer and the desert and headed back on Austin in a couple of hours.

I'll let you know what happens. Spoiler Alert: a lot of driving.

Marfa - Day 1

I’m here in Marfa, TX. To get here you drive to the middle of nowhere then hang a left. Also, it’s hot. Then cold, and then hot again.

Yesterday, I got up at 5:30am, intending to take off at 7:00am. I didn’t leave until almost 8:00am, which put me in the middle of Austin rush hour traffic. I decided not to stress so I told myself “It’s the journey not the destination.”

I usually hate this saying because when you’ve payed for a plane ticket to and lodging in a specific place, it kind of is about the destination. But I made an exception and I kept that attitude for the first three hours of the journey. Then I was over it.

When I saw the windmill giants on top of what-I’m-going-to-call mountains, I thought about stopping and taking photos. Then I passed them going 90, listening to Fool Moon to keep me awake. I’d have a twinge of regret as I passed a photogenic rest stop or “picnic area” (Define “picnic”?), then the twinge was gone as I sped toward my destination.

The bar at Hotel Paisano - Maybe james dean drank here

The bar at Hotel Paisano - Maybe james dean drank here

Marfa is famous for being the location for the movie Giant back in the 50s (I had dinner at the Hotel Paisano, which served as the headquarters for cast and crew during the filming). More recently, No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood were filmed in Marfa. I have seen none of these movies.

Marfa is also known as an artists’ colony with lots of small galleries and art installations (although apparently I’m not supposed to call the “i-word”). Today I’m headed to Prada Marfa, a not-installation on the outskirts of town.

Marfa is also well-known – at least among travel writers – because of the place I’m staying. El Cosmico, with its trailers, teepees, hip trailers, and solitary yurt, is a hipster destination in its own right.

Safari Tent 1 - Where I stayed my first night

Safari Tent 1 - Where I stayed my first night

Last night, I stayed in a safari tent – a comfortable bed and a couple of chairs. (I missed reserving a teepee by hours, because I’m not very decisive.) Tonight I move to one of the trailers. I’m really not one for camping and shared facilities, and in the trailer I will have my own toilet. I am happy.