Tag Archives: marathon

Heading West

We meet again, mes amis! Life has been moving at warp speed as we attempt to resettle in Texas, closing out our Houston home and moving (oh so gradually) into our Austin lake house. I took a time- out from the fun and games of relocating and drove to Colorado and back with a friend. We both are married to men who, though princes of guys, happen to focus more on the destination of a road trip than on the journey. We were justifiably giddy at the prospect of taking our time, exploring back roads and small towns, and looking for cafes along the way. And that is just what we did. If it said “antiques” or “homemade” or “scenic,” we jumped on it, with little concern for how far down the road we had gotten that day. We listened to two audio books (When Breath Becomes Air and Forty Rooms), pausing frequently for discussions in our Book Club Of Two. We listened to several podcast episodes from All The Books and The New York Times Book Review. We discussed our last meal and fantasized about what and when our next meal might be. It was slow. It was full of surprises. It was heavenly. I want to do it again.

If you have ever driven across Texas, you know that it can be a glimpse into eternity. You can’t rush these things. You just keep driving, and at some point the landscape changes, offering a taste of bigger things to come.


I think that may be a hill on the horizon!


Yes! Hills!

Neither of us had ever heard of Fort Lancaster, but who were we to pass up a good fort?


We learned that the fort was established in 1855 to protect military supplies, commercial shipments, and immigrants (what- no wall?) moving along the San Antonio-El Paso Road. The ruins of 29 buildings still stand on this plot of desolate but beautiful land. A chilly wind was blowing as we walked among the ruins, and we imagined how cold those soldiers must have been in the winters, and how hot in the summers. This is not a landscape for sissies.


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Our next stop was Marathon, a tiny west Texas town best-known for its proximity to Big Bend National Park and for its historic Gage Hotel.


Built in 1927, the Gage was a luxury hotel designed to accommodate the throngs of oil men who were expected to descend upon the town when the oil boom hit. Unfortunately, the oil boom never happened in Marathon, and the hotel eventually fell into neglect until rescued in 1978 and restored to its current state of loveliness.






Marathon is also home to The Famous Burro Bar.


And this cool sign.


That’s as far west as your wagon goes today, but stay tuned for more adventures (and more cactus) as we continue our trip into the wide open spaces of West Texas and beyond.




Filed under Texas, travel, Uncategorized

Running Around Paris

Mark keeps telling me I need to bring this blog down a little. He fears it might be too much of a good thing. He suggested a post on “Ugly In Paris”, and even took a few pictures of cigarette butts scattered in the streets. I’m sorry if that is indeed what is due here, because these past few days in Paris have been nothing short of glorious, and I just can’t paint it any other way. Maybe another time. But not today.

Yesterday seemed like it was the perfect day for the Paris marathon, though it might have been a tad warm for the runners by mile twenty or so. Several hours after the race began we walked to the start line at the Champs-Elysées. Some super-fast people were already hobbling around with their medals and their “Finisher” t-shirts. Any time we get a chance to walk on the Champs-Elysées when it is closed to traffic, we do it. Because it feels really cool, that’s why.




We then walked to Trocadero and down to the river to watch the mere mortals who were running the race at a four-hour pace.  This was around mile twenty-one, and it was plenty warm. They looked pretty miserable to me.


Every so often these little musical groups would play along the course to cheer on the runners.

I would much prefer to ride this horse, thank you.

I would much prefer to ride this horse, thank you.


Today was even lovelier, if that was possible.


I took a walk that landed me at this tiny udon restaurant right at lunch time. Mark and I had noticed it several times and intended to try it out, and today seemed like as good a time as any. It was narrow, with an eating bar along the open windows, overlooking the sidewalk, and long tables about six inches behind those seats.


I sat at the bar and enjoyed the street view.


My neighbor was sitting very close to me, which made it easy for me to admire her gorgeous red hair. Is that weird?


It was a short walk to the Tuileries.




I spent about thirty minutes doing this.


Because really- how could I not?



The only Parisians having a bad day today are those who wore too many clothes.


I hope you all are having a wonderful day.

And yes, there really is some ugly here. I just choose not to look for it.


Filed under Paris, springtime in Paris