Ballroom Marfa and The Chinati Foundation in the morning. Ballroom Marfa is a fairly standard art gallery with some interesting sculptures in the outdoor atrium. The Chinati Foundation was founded by Donald Judd, the artist that basically revived Marfa as an art destination. We saw two of the exhibits there, the outdoor concrete block exhibit (above) and the indoor metal box exhibit - no pictures were allowed inside, but the picture just below is from the window of the airplane hangar that housed the exhibit and the next picture is from the Chinati website. The boxes weren't exceptional on their own, it was the groupings that gave them interest. All of the concrete boxes were arranged in clusters in a huge field and each cluster was unique. There were two airplane hangars filled with the metal boxes and while the dimensions and materials of all of the boxes were identical, the configuration and interior divisions of all of them was different. No two boxes were the same.
McDonald Observatory! Obviously not a lot of pictures from this as it was too dark out, but we both really enjoyed our time here. In addition to the three large permanent telescopes at the visitor center there were a number of other locals and observatory employees that set up their own personal telescopes around the perimeter. We started out with a constellation overview in their amphitheater and then made the round of the telescopes, getting to see Jupiter and 4 of its moons, the Pleiades star cluster, Orion's belt, close ups of the moon, and a few others that I can't remember now. It was only a 2 hour event and we easily could have stayed longer. They practically had to kick us out! We'd love to go back here and get a tour of the big telescopes that the facility runs another time!
Food Shark food truck for some lunch. The wait for the food was a bit ridiculous, but the falafel was delicious. After lunch we proceeded to walk around to some of the smaller galleries, checked out the landmark Hotel Paisano (built in the 30's and where the cast of Giant stayed in 1955 during filming, i.e. Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean), got some afternoon ice cream, and eventually wound up at a gallery where we purchased our first artwork as a married couple! This last gallery was probably my favorite - it had some amazing sculptures and while not cheap most of the art was more affordable than any of the other galleries we went to.
Lost Horse Saloon, a total dive bar that all of the locals frequent followed by a nice dinner out at Cochineal, which was quite tasty. We ended our second day with a trip to go see the famed Marfa Lights! Alas, we did not see the true Marfa lights, just headlights of cars winding through the mountains. I kept complaining that that is all they were every time other people at the viewing site Oohed and Ahhed. And S kept elbowing me in the ribs and admonishing me not to ruin the magic for everyone else. The downside to being a logical engineer I guess. We did get to see a gorgeous sunset, though. And snuggling together under a blanket under the amazing night sky chock full of stars was pretty wonderful too.
The Caverns of Sonora which were just amazing.
Turo.com (like airbnb for cars) and we spend the day driving the famous Twisted Sister route through hill country. For most of it, the scenery kept me happy, but there was one particular stretch on a cliff-side road that had me white-knuckling the seat and informing S that I was terrified. He, of course, just laughed and accelerated. Ass. But we made it out alive and he was totally digging it.