Our main goal for this winter was to have no goals. No commitments, no reservations, and no plans other than enjoying some time in the desert with who ever we happened to bump into. Hanging out in southern CA & AZ where the boondocking and friendships are plentiful has ensured that our “no goals” goal has been extremely successful.
But no goals does not mean no fun! The best part of having no commitments is that when something interesting comes our way we are free to jump on it. Which is exactly what happened when Tim learned that one of our favorite bands, The Devil Makes Three, was playing in Phoenix. We quickly decided that a side trip into the big city was in order, packed up our house, and headed down the road.
While we love the regional parks on the outskirts of Phoenix, for a quick two night stay the parking lot at the Casino Arizona seemed to be the best option (also, with no reservations there was zero chance of getting into any of those parks). This casino allows three nights of overnight parking provided you check in with security upon arrival to secure a permit. After checking in we did a quick stroll through the main part of the casino and once again confirmed that this is not at all our scene. However, we really appreciated the relatively quiet, separate RV parking area at the back of the casino parking lot.
The other reason we picked Casino Arizona was for its convenient location between the Marquee Theater where the show would be held, and the Desert Botanical Garden. The last two times we visited Phoenix I really wanted to see the gardens but could never make it work. Well this time I was determined! Lucky for us they have RV parking so we drove over on Saturday morning and spent about four hours wandering through the artfully designed gardens, oohing and ahhing over the amazing variety of cacti, succulents, aloes, agaves, and so much more. My only regret is that we couldn’t stay for the night time Sonoran Light Display since we already had evening plans.
After the gardens we headed back to the casino for a few hours of rest before our night out on the town. When we were sufficiently rested a short Uber ride took us to the Blasted Barley Beer Co. in Tempe for pre-show dinner and drinks. While we both agreed that the food was better than the beer, it was a gorgeous evening and we enjoyed eating out on the patio wearing nothing but short sleeves. Gotta love winter in Arizona.
From there it was a pleasant 15 minute walk across the river to the Marquee Theater. The Marquee is a smallish music venue that seems to cater to the massive student body at nearby Arizona State (82,000 students!!!) I guess this show had a not so typical crowd because when we showed our IDs at the door the girl remarked “oh I love older crowds because you always know their IDs are real.” Oh, man…we are officially part of the older crowd :)
I’ve written about The Devil Makes Three two other times (see here and here) so I won’t bother this time. But I will say that the show was amazing and we really liked the Marquee as a venue. The high ceilings made it feel really big inside, and the gently sloped floor meant even shorties like me could see the band.
And that’s it for our BIG city weekend. Sunday morning we left the Casino, did about a million errands around town, and then drove back out into the desert where we plan to remain for the next month or so as we continue to pursue our goal of having no goals.
What a great time in the big city! We love mixing our stays in the boonies with cool city adventures. We’ve had the botanical garden on our list for several years now….your photos are wonderful.
Love the garden pics. Sounds like a fun time
Wow….so many really interesting cactus, really love your pictures of them.
Goal of no goals…..sounds good to me. But I wonder, have you already started making plans for the next travel season????
I LOVE cacti and succulents. Now I want to go check this place out! Thanks for the info- and It’s been nice meeting you guys- again- LOVED the Kale Salad! : )
Looks like you had some big city fun! Loved seeing the Botanical Gardens when Chihuly was there. We are spending our RV winter here too. The Phoenix area just has so much to offer. Enjoy!