I’ve lived in Texas for almost four years now, but up until last week I hadn’t explored the state much further than the major cities. For Thanksgiving my family decided to head west and embrace the Texas ranch life. So, on Wednesday we packed up the car and hit the road. If there’s one thing that a road trip across Texas brings to light, its a newfound awareness of just how large the Lone Star state is. We drove all the way to Marfa, which (with traffic) took about 11 long, dark hours.
After a lovely breakfast at the Hotel Saint George and a couple cups of much needed coffee, we hit the road again. Our final destination, Cibolo Creek Ranch, was just 45-minutes outside of Marfa. The drive there showcased the open road, big blue skies, and terrain so different from Houston.
Cibolo Creek Ranch is a spectacular place. Originally established as a fort in 1857, the ranch offers beautiful guest rooms, a plethora of outdoor activities and incredible scenery. We stayed in a smaller guest room by the ranch’s pool. One of the small details I adored about this place was that the rooms don’t lock from the outside so you don’t have keys. I loved how safe and homey the ranch felt and this detail, while quirky, was really nice. The ranch is also set up in for communal dining and socializing with large dining room tables that encourage conversation and engagement with other guests. We were shocked to find out that so many of the guests had connections with people we knew…talk about the six degrees of Kevin Bacon.
Instead of a Thanksgiving with distractions of TV and shopping, we spent time meeting other guests and enjoy the outdoor activities the ranch had to offer.Each night after dinner, instead of retiring to the couch, we drank wine by the fire pits. On Friday we went horseback riding and then took a humvee tour of the entire property. Plus, Cibolo was a fantastic place to run. Altitude + hills made for some killer pre-marathon training. In addition to cattle and horses, the ranch was filled with wildlife which made running and horseback riding even more exciting. On our Saturday morning run we witnessed a herd of Elk crossing the trail, saw Buffalo and even ran with the cattle for a bit.
I couldn’t have asked for a better place to unwind and restore. There’s something so special about the opportunity to disconnect and engage in real conversations with other people. Our West Texas Thanksgiving was pure perfection.