So three bloggers, two makers, and a photographer walk into a bar in Marfa, Texas...
Doesn't it sound like the beginning of one of those long-winded jokes? Even now that we've taken our trip, I can't help but giggle at how silly we sounded explaining our adventure to people both beforehand and along the way. The goal for the trip was simple: connect with a group of creative women in one of the most artistic towns in the country. That town happens to be in the middle of the desert in West Texas, and the creative women happen to be five of my dearest, most inspiring friends in Austin.
Meet the sisterhood: Chelsea of Chelsea Laine Francis is a photographer and social media manager who you've seen all over my blog for the last nine months (long enough to have a friendship baby!) with her beautiful and empowering images. Stephanie of Interlaced Goods is a stellar crocheter and barista who loves quiet mornings with coffee, chunky scarves, and natural light. Pei of ps Paper Shoppe is a stationery designer who is making all her dreams come true by opening a storefront and workshop space called The Paper + Craft Pantry. April of Pieceology is a style blogger and soon-to-be vintage shop owner whose style is pretty different from my own but we couldn't complement each other better. Katie is a community manager, soon-to-be blogger, and fellow sisterhood advocate who is dedicated in every thread of her being to bettering the lives of women all over the world.
Because I've had this post open for a week trying to decide how to write it, here are my highlights:
1. Watching the terrain of Texas change as we drove from Austin to West Texas.
2. Arriving in the calm and still desert, seeing all the colors and textures of El Cosmico.
3. Heading into town for pizza and shots where a salty bartender I named Jeff tried his best to refuse us service, and having a fabulous time anyway.
4. Being pulled out of bed, barefoot, to look up at the Milky Way and consider how small we are and how special it is that we exist and that we get to exist together. "How lucky that we live in a world with stars," I said in a moment of dumb awe.
5. Waking up slowly in my tent to the chilly desert air.
6. Going for breakfast at Do Your Thing and having a delicious almond milk chai and slice of toast with butter, honey, and sea salt.
7. Dancing and jumping around in our desert-chic (courtesy of Noonday Collection) in front of the Prada Marfa installation in, truly, the middle of no where.
8. Running into a couple of guys at Prada who were traveling across the country promoting their coffee subscription box, and realizing they had just been in Austin a few days prior where they visited our favorite local coffee shop.
9. Visiting the crowned jewel of Marfa, Hotel Paisano, where we shopped in the exceptional gift shop and sat in the courtyard waiting for the rain to stop.
10. Sitting around the table of our HomeAway rental eating spaghetti in total vacation bliss. (Moscow mule mugs and pretty plates courtesy of West Elm.)
11. Driving an hour to Fort Davis to the Star Party at the McDonald Observatory and seeing a Friday night football game happening with this insane view in the backdrop of the stadium.
12. Looking into the humongous sky at one of the world's least light-polluted spots, seeing every twinkling star in the constellations above, and whispering to each other about how small we are and how beautiful it is that we can experience the world and the great beyond.
13. Watching the Star Party leader I named Dean (actual name Mark) point with a badass flashlight into the sky and tell us all about the moons of Saturn and the upcoming Blood Moon.
14. Driving 30 minutes to Alpine to see the only Slayer espresso machine in all of Texas, taking over the positively Instagram-worthy Cedar Coffee Supply, and drinking the loveliest iced chai with lavender honey that anyone has ever made.
15. Stopping on the side of the road, taking off our tops to pose for photos, and listening to Chelsea get her motivational speaker on when she heard us say less-than-friendly things about our bodies.
16. Laying around our HomeAway reading, snacking, planning, and sharing ideas. With so many creatives in one house, the inspiration was palpable!
17. Getting all dressed up to go to the best bar in town, Planet Marfa, where we sat in a circle inside a tall teepee sipping beer and taking selfies.
18. Meeting Mike Spillers, former Olympic gymnastic coach and current game enthusiast, who introduced us to his brilliantly addictive game Stackers that we played on the floor of the teepee for an absurd amount of time.
19. Ordering both nachos and grilled cheese, then taking all of the food home to put on Korean face masks, drink wine, and laugh harder than we had all weekend.
20. Recognizing the different kind of quiet excitement in the car on the ride home. On the way to Marfa, we were six friendly creatives ready to take in some West Texas air, drink some wine, and share our stories. On the way home, we were six sisters with inside jokes and mutual memories ready to take on our journeys together.
Alright, I know it's sappy, but it's true! And we couldn't have done any of it without....Chevy. Okay, well, we probably could have, but it wouldn't have been quite as awesome (or spacious)! What I mean is that the whole trip spawned from an email from General Motors inviting me to borrow a vehicle. Since I'm in the business of creating cool content, I figured I should take down, like, three birds with one Tahoe (no actual birds were harmed in the making of this metaphor) and take a creative girls trip across the state as a way to test drive a Chevy, spend time with my girls, and even complete one of my 26 before 26 goals in the process. This trip and this post were not sponsored by Chevy and all opinions are my own, but it's safe to say that the Tahoe was the mascot of our adventure.
So thanks to Chevy, my sisters, and the great state of Texas for the vacation I needed more than I knew and an experience I'll never forget.
P.S. If you're interested in seeing some really remarkable images from our trip, check out Chelsea's latest black and white blog post!