Imaginary Vacation

A couple weekends ago, Tony and I went on a staycation. This past weekend, I went on an imaginary vacation. They’re even cheaper than staycations.

The imaginary destination has a lot in common with where I really was, a mile from home in Phoenix: it was hotter’n hell in both places, there are palm trees in both places, the skies are very blue, there are a lot of Spanish speakers in both locations and, from what I understand, there are a lot of pigeons in both places.

Can you guess where I imagined myself?

Here’s your imaginary postcard~

Okay, so it’s not even close…but it’s vaguely suggestive of it, right? Want to know more about the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas? Check out this informative website. And this is where I really was~

It’s a long abandoned former bar/restaurant. I can’t even remember what it used to be called.* It’s in a lot of disrepair and quite a ruin (haha, get it?) itself now. Are you going on any vacations or staycations? How about an imaginary one?

*Update: My local friend, Diane, just told me the restaurant was called El Maya. And then Montucky, who used to live in the area years ago, told me the same thing. At least I had my cultures right since the Mayans are from the Yucatan.

**Update #2: Diane also said that after El Maya closed, this restaurant was called La Cucaracha (no wonder it didn’t last long) and then it was briefly a bar called Friends, which has since moved down the street.


13 thoughts on “Imaginary Vacation

  1. It was a long time ago but I remember seeing that place. Seems like it was called El Maya but I can’t be sure. We used to go on a lot of camping vacations, short and long both but haven’t for many years, partly due to my wife’s health. Living where we do though is better than most of the vacations we ever went on so we don’t mind staying here at all.


    1. You’re right, Terry! Wow, and you haven’t even lived here in years. One of my local friends just told me it was El Maya and then you commented, too. Thanks!


  2. What a fun idea! I was trying to figure out how you took photos on an imaginary vacation 🙂 My husband took last week off from work to get some work done around the house while the kids were still in school. We managed to spend some fun time together though — we went to a yoga retreat for a class and lunch — all by ourselves, no kids. It was a lovely little staycation.


  3. Great post! It’s crazy how many abandoned buildings we have in Phoenix. I keep wondering what they’re gonna do with that building on Roosevelt and 3rd street where Canvas used to be (whatever Canvas was). It seems like there are still so many places that can be developed!


  4. i love the idea of a a staycation .. it pretty inexpensive and you get to sleep in your own bed!!

    your images make me feel as if I am right there..I relish the contrasts of the bricks and stone …


  5. What an entertaining idea to go on staycation, great way to entertain yourself, I love it! In these times of crisis it’s a clever way to be creative and enjoy details that you normally don’t see in a neighborhood!!


  6. Hi Candace, you took these pictures just in time! Sadly, this building was torn down last week. My family used to own the El Maya; in fact, my tata (grandpa) made all of those amazing concrete sculptures you took photos of.

    Unfortunately, my family just kind of assumed that building would always be there and so we never took photos of it ourselves (except when I got to take a few of the demolition.) Would you be so kind as to share your photos with me?

    It would mean more to my family than you know. (Seriously, my dad drove over there and took some broken tiles and pieces of concrete because he was so sad.)

    Ps. If you’re looking for more of my tata’s work, he did similar sculpture work at Los Olivos in Old Town Scottsdale- the Corral family still owns that restaurant today.


  7. Candace, thank goodness you took these great photos when you did. My father, three sons and my husband built this building in 1964. It was specifically designed specifically as a restaurant, by the architect Joe Wong. The art work with the Mayan theme was designed and executed by Claudio Corral and his sons and son-in-law.

    We were saddened to see it demolished without the opportunity to preserve Claudio’s creations. Thank you.


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