I have no complaints about how I spent Christmas week, but it predictably tired me out and resulted in a vacation from my vacation (i.e. shutting the world out and just hanging with the dogs). I now feel fully recouped and can fondly reflect on the week that was.
It began with a trek to Marfa-- nonexistent West Texas town meets Art Gallery row. Although I had read about it and been given the run down by friends and family that had experienced it first hand, I still was not sure what to expect. It thankfully did not disappoint. Freezing cold and desolate, the town countered with friendly charm and its breathtakingly grand views. While the art scene was certainly a treat, the highlight for me was on the outskirts of town... the remnants of an old fort community called Shafter (my mind and tongue had to fight the urge to call it "Shatner", which let's face it would be so much cooler).
On a short time table, the trip quickly pushed on, with the road leading to Odessa. Not generally considered a "hot spot" and short on glowing reviews, I looked forward to the visit. To shed a little insight into my anticipation, I have a weird spot in my heart for the oil pumps, which I came to find out are actually called "jack-pumps".... you know those silly looking things that slightly resemble a grasshopper, if it were 100x larger, made of steel, and fancied making the same aerobicizing move over and over. These suckers are everywhere, "working out" the land. Odessa was an enjoyable trip, attributed more to the company I was keeping than the nightlife or attractions. Before heading out I was able to take a nice cruise around downtown and was delighted by the state of the city (selfishly gleeful about its economic status), how it seemed almost stuck in time. The old signage and 60's architecture was a picture taking paradise.
This portion of the adventure over, it was time to start heading home. My sense of direction tends to lead to unpredictable wanderings and although it adds unnecessary time to the journey the trade off is the experience of seeing something new. Blurry eyed and tired I was at least treated to more images of small town life and the barren vastness in between.
The road ended at my parents' house, with a Christmas day that consisted of cookies, The 5th Dimension, Nicolas Cage's eerie lack of sideburns, sock puppet themed gift giving, and an overdue but enjoyable visit with two of my favorite people.
Sheesh, Christmas packs a wallop, but every minute was worth. Next, New Years. Same grueling effect, different kind of punch.