West Texas Feed

Tallying our West Texas wanderings

It's been almost a week since my cousin and I rolled back into Austin. Today, I finally pulled together the vital statistics of our trip down memory lane. The raw travel numbers: 1,470 miles 125 digital photos 17 bottles of water 6 days 5 nights 5 hotels 5 dinners 5 lunches 5 gas station stops 3 breakfasts Assorted admission fees and tourist tchotchkes 1 confirmation that you really can't go home again 1 realization that you can create new memories to enhance your earlier ones Now to translate those figures into dollars. Kathy and I split the costs, but not... Read more →

The power of pie

My cousin Kathy and I pulled into the exurban edge of West Austin around 8 p.m. last night. We would have been home a bit sooner, but we had to make one last stop in Marble Falls at the Blue Bonnet Café. The reason for delaying our return by about 20 minutes was simple: The Blue Bonnet's pie prowess. The restaurant is "world famous" for its food, especially its wide dessert section, which is limited to pies. I know what you're thinking. I'm in Texas and we Texans have been known to exaggerate now and again, but it is certifiably... Read more →

Out and about in Alpine

We're in Alpine today, but just for a little while longer. We rolled into this West Texas town -- Hub of the Big Bend, home of Sul Ross State University and creative hotbed with dozens of art and artisan galleries scattered about town -- on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, all of the shops were closed when we got here. If I were truly paranoid, I'd think our husbands phoned ahead and pleaded with local merchants for a little economic pity in light of the stress we've already put on our respective family bank accounts with this trip. Sorry, gentlemen, but since... Read more →

Holiday hiking, history and hotels

Hello from the wilds of West Texas. All is going quite nicely on the trip down memory lane that my cousin Kathy and I are taking. We haven't gotten irreversibly lost yet. We've generally agreed on what attractions to see (and avoid) in each of our stops. And we're still getting along, despite not having spent this much time together since we were small children and had our parents to whine to if necessary. I am happy to report we are not whining. Just a little wining with our dining. Our first extended stop was in Kermit, which I mentioned... Read more →

Ribbit, Texas

No, my hometown was not named for Kermit the Frog. It's a lot older than the genial green Muppet, named instead in 1938 for Kermit Roosevelt, the eldest son of President Theodore Roosevelt. But ever since Kermit the Frog became so well-known, we've heard the question or comment or joke about the faux frog and the town's name. So finally the town decided if you can't beat the ubiquitous amphibian, adopt him! Actually, Kermit came to Kermit. Literally. Last October, in celebration of his 50th showbiz birthday, the Muppet and his entourage showed up in Kermit, Texas, to kick off... Read more →

'Paris, Texas. Athens, Georgia. Not what I had in mind.'

Then, how about Kermit and Pecos and Marfa? Yep, the big day, teased earlier here and here, has finally arrived. My cousin, Kathy (aka Kate for all her Kansas friends who are reading this) and I are hitting the road. We're going back to my tiny West Texas hometown, a place where, when we were both much younger, her family would come visit. Helping us roll down the highway will be the rest of the lyrics from the Dixie Chicks song, "Lubbock or Leave It," from which today's headline comes. (More on the soundtrack of our trip a bit later.)... Read more →