I know, I know, everything’s big­ger in Texas. But when you are dri­ving across it, you are like, “Texas? You are fuck­ing ridiculous.”

The phone sit­u­a­tion took a turn for the worse when Ryan’s stopped work­ing entirely. So on our way through San Anto­nio we made a pit stop at the Apple store. I don’t remem­ber when we started see­ing the bill­boards for Buc-ee’s but their insane mar­ket­ing totally worked. Of course I didn’t take a photo, so here’s one from their site:
Photo of Luling, TX Buc-ee's

I really wish I could show you the camo corn (yes, that’s pop­corn in cam­ou­flage col­ors) or the array of smok­ers they carry, from teeny (for the table­top) to huge (you can attach it to your trailer hitch). Ryan was most excited about the jerky counter—a deli counter that soley stocks dried meat. (I think heaven in his mind might look like this.) Unless some­thing more amaz­ing appears before we get to LA, I hereby declare Buc-ee’s the Best Gas Sta­tion Off I-10.

Climb­ing the roads of Texas Hill Coun­try, the Jeep made a lit­tle sigh and then the AC shut off and stopped blow­ing cold air. This caused some stress. We hap­pened to be near a BBQ restau­rant we wanted to check out any­way, so we parked the car, popped the hood (some­thing was smok­ing!) and did what my peo­ple do in times of strife: ate brisket. Kansas Cit­ian that I am, I tend to favor my hometown’s style of ‘cue, but I enjoyed the Texas brisket. Of course, I was also imag­in­ing us with a busted car on the side of the road in the Texas sun, so that may have not allowed me to fully savor my meal.

What­ever was smok­ing stopped smok­ing and the AC worked nor­mally when we turned the car back on. Just in case, we bought a flat of water and promised the Car Gods that we would have a mechanic check it out when we got to LA.

Since trip-planning took a back­seat to pack­ing up our house over the past few weeks, I didn’t real­ize until we were on the road that going to Marfa wouldn’t be too far out of our way. Our friend Theresa is an intern at the Chi­nati Foun­da­tion, an amaz­ing art writer and a loyal Pack­ers fan who we haven’t seen in ages. We found a rest area with wi-fi and started look­ing for a place to stay for the night. I loved the look of the Thun­der­bird but they only had more expen­sive suites avail­able for the night. Theresa told us about El Cos­mico which would have ful­filled my Airstreamish dreams, but they didn’t answer the phone when I called. Google led me to the Alpine Lofts, which would have been a great place to stay any­way, but after a night at the La Stinka, it was par­adise. (And it had a Jacuzzi!)

Harry thought it was pretty nice, too.

Harry the bichon at Alpine Lofts