We started driving early evening of December 27 to join the family on a Scottsdale holiday vacation. The goal was to feed Vale dinner on the drive, then have her fall asleep so that she would be asleep for most of the 6.5 hour drive to Arizona. She didn’t sleep as much as we’d hoped, but the drive was relatively uneventful, and we arrived at our timeshare condo around 1:30 a.m. on December 28.
Because we did most of our driving at night, we didn’t perceive or enjoy much of the change in landscape, from California chaparral, to Arizona desert. Indeed, the scenery is quite different in the desert.
We tried to sleep in a bit in the morning, then took an easy hike (more like a stroll) at the Gateway park/trailhead just a few minutes away from our condo.
Everyone else had a movie date with Star Wars (we declined, not wanting to sit through a 2.5 hour movie with a toddler), so we kept the hike brief, and did not make the turn up into the steeper portion of the path.
This was a relatively easy going day, and later on in the night, we went bar-hopping. The first stop was a fun and trendy bar called El Hefe with an atrocious beer selection. They literally had one IPA on tap. When I asked for two pints of this mediocre IPA, they stated the keg was tapped, and they only had one pint of beer left.
We then popped next door to an establishment that was about the same – fun vibes, terrible beer. We resorted to drinking whiskey on the rocks, and found in a blind tasting that Jack Daniels was smoother and better than Makers’ Mark, much to all of our surprise. Jenn was craving good beer, so we hopped on to Vine and Hops, a small, unassuming little wine and beer bar a short golf cart ride away from the central downtown area. This place had excellent beers and we enjoyed a few, before moving onto the Wasted Grain.
There was live music playing at the Wasted Grain. A cover band played Blink and Third Eye Blind songs, among other gems from the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, which was fun, but made me feel just slightly old.
After Wasted Grain, we hit up one more place – a dive called Goodwood Tavern. This was our last stop, and we put an end to it after a couple of juicy IPA’s. A good prelude to new years.