Saturday, July 21, 2012

Circus Mexicus XXI - Tacos and more!

While I was on my trip home to Canada a few weeks ago, I took a side trip to Mexico for a concert. All the way to Mexico for a concert, you say? Are you crazy? Well, yes, I might be, but this is not just a concert, this is Circus Mexicus!

Ok, here's the story. Waaaaaay back in '96 there was this band called The Refreshments, which had a hit single called Banditos. I immediately fell in love with it, and them, and was a pretty big fan until they dropped out of view a couple of years later. 

After a while, I did a quick internet search for this band I used to like, and found that they had broken up and re-formed into Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (otherwise known as RCPM) Roger Clyne was the same singer/songwriter and thus I loved them just as much so I was hooked! (if you're interested, their website has a few tracks you can listen to, and if you click here there are FREE downloads of The Magnificent Seven, part Uno and part Dos, which are songs that fans voted for as representative of the band's sound)

Soon after they released their first album as RCPM they released a live album called Real to Reel and I went to the CD release party in Mexico! It happened to coincide with a time when my Dad wanted to go to Arizona for a holiday, and I went with him. On one condition...that we see RCPM along the way, and that I go to Mexico to see them. We did see RCPM (Dad was a fan by then) and I met up with a couple of strangers and had an awesome weekend in Mexico at what is now considered the very first Circus Mexicus!

Circus Mexicus has been a tradition since then. Once or twice a year this band goes to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), Mexico, and does a massive show that people come from all over the continent to see. Last year I went, to Circus Mexicus XX, and reunited with Paula, a girl who I'd met at that very first one in 2000. Amazing!

The thing is, it's not just one concert. It's a whole weekend. Not just RCPM, but various associated bands that are also pretty fantastic, and a whole lot of fun, friends, sun, sand, tequila and beer.
 Ok, this is far more information than you need. The point is, after being a fan of this band for so many years, and going to Circus Mexicus last year, of course I had to go again this year! And it was not only about the music, it's about Mexican FOOD!
So this year, I flew to Phoenix, and met up with a few people, some of whom I'd met in the UK (yeah, I've been a lot of places to see this band) and some of whom I was meeting for the first time.

That first night in Phoenix a few of us went to a bar to see Los Thieves (a combination of a guy from Los Guys and a guy from Tramps and Thieves) and I was served this enormous margarita!

To go with that margarita I had shrimp tostadas and BBQ chicken wings:

We left early the next morning to drive down to Puerto Penasco, and along the way stopped in the wonderful (insert sarcastic face here) town of Gila Bend for gas and snacks. Thus, the breakfast of champions:

Hey, cranberry juice just doesn't exist here in Hanoi, so that was exciting, ok? On the way we stopped in Ajo, where there is this beautiful mission church.

A hill full of saguaro cacti!

As soon as we got to Rocky Point, we went straight to the concert venue, Wrecked at the Reef, to pick up our wristbands and get some food!

Mmmmm first Tecate of the trip!

Beer, chips, and salsa. Can you get more Mexican than that?

And all the hot sauce you could ever want!

And that's all before the meal comes!

Shrimp tacos....

...and of course beans and rice.
Finally, we got to the condo. It had a 1000 square foot patio, with this wonderful view!

This bird was protecting the patio.

That night we went to JJ's Cantina for the "Hot Dog and a Smile" show - a charity hot dog BBQ put on by the drummer, PH Naffah, which benefits a local orphanage.

The view from JJ's.
Entertainment that night was provided by various bands, such as Shurman, Sons of Bill, and the ultra-talented Jim Dalton.

The next day I went to the Old Port area for some shopping with a few of the girls. Afterwards we went up to a restaurant on a hill, called La Casa del Capitan. As usual, we started with chips and salsa!

I had a combination plate of a taco, an enchilada, and a chile relleno. It was delicious! (I'm going to add a little aside here, that the food always looked so good that I usually forgot to take a picture until I'd already had a few case you're wondering why the dishes look partly eaten!)

There was a great view from up there, with all of these cute frog statues on the lamp posts!

I loved the edging of the restaurant's walkway!
There are little food stands everywhere! So much to try!

That day Vicki made her pumpkin and pecan cake, which was super yummy and apparently very easy to make!

Then it was finally time for the big show. The stage was set up facing the ocean, so I just kicked my shoes off and stood in the sand!

This boy was standing just outside the fence
with his puppy, no doubt wondering just what
was going on!

These girls were standing behind me for a while, wearing
these awesome, cheesy homemade sombreros!

On Sunday we went back to JJ's for the Mañanathon. This, again, consisted of several of the same bands playing, along with a meet & greet with RCPM.

JJ's is also on the beach, and when the tide's in the water comes all the way up to the retaining wall. However, when it's out there's a big ledge of rock that anyone can drive on!

Food vendors....
....anglers and souvenir sellers!

Some of the ladies setting up camp for the afternoon at JJ's.

Me with Steve and Alec, two guys I had previously met in the UK!
The first act of the day was this guy, but some of us aren't
 the biggest fans of him, and might have fallen asleep!

I think he forgot his guitar!
Ok, back to the food! Lunch that day consisted of delicious fish tacos from the taco stand outside!

The guys asked for drinks, and they got these fruity pink things.
Not quite what they were expecting, but they seemed to love them!

 That night we were invited to a house party, where Shurman was playing once again! They must have been exhausted, but like the troopers they are, they kept on going!

Best belt buckle ever!
For food, they called up a guy they knew who had a taco stand. He pulled up in his truck, unloaded and within half an hour had set up everything right in front of the garage!

They give you tortillas and meat, you choose the fixings!

I think these were the best tacos I had on the whole trip!

This is Andy, showing you the beverage selection.

And finished it all off with a jello shot!

Here's some of our happy crew - perhaps somewhat
sunburned by the end of this weekend!

So Monday morning it was time to go. Back into the car, and back to Phoenix we went. The saguaro cactus were all blooming, which I'd never really seen before. The flowers are so cute!

Back in Phoenix I stayed the night with my dear friends Peter and Ruth, and their two gorgeous kids!

We went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner, and I had this ENORMOUS (but delicious!) BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad.

It was so big I had to take pictures of it from both sides!

And we finished it off with a piece of raspberry chocolate cheesecake!

1 comment:

  1. great post, Jenny! yummy looking photos and great description of the trip :) hi from AZ!


Thanks for visiting! Please leave a comment and tell me what you think!