There’s a buddhist parable in which several blind men argue about the appearance of an elephant after each has touched a different extremity. I imagine that early travelers to the vast area we now call Texas must have brought back similarly varied reports of their explorations, and today their ghosts might recommend that a prudent visitor pack both a wet suit and body armor.
1. Olde Towne General Store
I have always been drawn to the more-essential things in life (well, my life that is): agriculture, country music, loud trucks and, last but certainly not least, the rodeo, which I consider to be the most dangerous and thrilling sport in the world. In need of a fix, I decided there was no better way to experience it all than at the Fort Worth Stockyards. A day trip was definitely in order, and my parents were game.
1. New West Alley Gallery and Fine Gifts
In Donald Judd’s last interview before his death, in 1994, the artist explained that he’d first come to Marfa two decades earlier because he “just wanted a place in the Southwest for the summertime.” Whether he intended it or not, this far West Texas town has since become the most buzzed-about destination in the state—thanks no doubt to the dynamic large-scale installations by Judd and artists such as Dan Flavin. But don’t let the hype turn you off.
Believe it or not, you won’t have to venture outside Texas to sample deep-fried pork intestines, a Malaysian delicacy. Or visit a historic Hauptstrasse. Or lie blissfully alone on a beach that stretches for miles around. This month’s cover story takes you on road trips to the Hill Country, Port Aransas, Houston, Marfa, and Rough Creek (a swanky resort and spa just outside Glen Rose), and each journey is an exploration in gastronomy (grilled antelope), danger (a crash course in surfing) and leisure (a hot stone massage).
Summer is slipping by, and what do you have to show for it? Long hours at work, less time with the kids, and only vague memories of a relaxing day at the pool. But never fear—we’ve planned five great week-long vacations down to the last detail. All you have to do is set up your out-of-office message, pack your bags, and hit the road.
Back in the spring, I came up with the notion of celebrating summer with a Texas seafood cookout on our very own Gulf Coast. I thought it was a good idea then, and I think it’s a good idea now. Despite the devastating effect of the BP oil spill on our neighbors in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, Texas has been spared. Prevailing ocean currents have kept the oil and tar far from our beaches, and locally caught seafood is safe.
I set off on foot my first day here in the historic center to find a bite to eat. The bright red buses cruised by, each one decorated with its own imaginative artistry; I’ve ridden public transport all over Latin America, but here in Central America’s biggest and perhaps craziest capital city, I’d been warned to stay away.