Tag Archives: San Diego

The Scene – San Diego’s Mission Brewery

It’s Sunday night.

Well actually, by the time you’re reading this it’s actually Monday morning.

Sorry for the confusion. 

That is unless you’re in some weird space time continuum that I can’t even understand let along talk about. (shhh… it’ll be our little secret)

So anyway, I was going to write you a humdinger of a Sunday night post.

But then we drank beer.  And all was not lost. 

Well, not entirely lost but enough to keep most sane words from leaving my head and filtering through my fingers until they became pixelated dots on your computer screen (or smartphone for my nomadic readers).  I’m sure you’re surprised because I’m not exactly one to talk beer all the time.  I think one of my biggest search terms is “Gin” and for the most part, Klout still thinks I’m highly influential in Vodka even though I haven’t touched the stuff in some 6 months (I switched to gin….). In fact, I so rarely drink beer that friends look at me funny when I let the foamy head get anywhere near my perfectly pouty lips.

So it should come as a big surprise that we spent part of our day enjoying a private tour of San Diego’s Mission Brewery in the historic Wonderbread Building.  It was a game day (meaning the Padres were attempting to win…. I don’t follow sports so for all intensive purposes they might have and they now hate me…) which always ups the ante just a bit.

I’d love to share with you how beer is made, the process of fermentation, or how much time is spent perfecting a recipe but unfortunately, we were drinking.  Like normal.  And so I’ll share with you just what we took away from this tour.

My apologies to Adam for him trying to teach us about beer and instead us encouraging him to curse.

1. Hops come from Unicorns.

2. It really is fun to remake the opening scene from Laverne & Shirley.

3. That Mission Brewery should make potpourri from the aroma of their German hops.

I know….

Many thanks to Adam for putting up with our childish antics today!

I will only leave you with this:

Mission Brewery | 1441 L Street . San Diego | www.missionbrewery.com

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.  In fact, I’m sure we’re banned for life.

Images via DCoopMedia and may not be used without permission.

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When it Rains it Pours…..

Is it Friday yet?

I hope that you all had a great weekend?  I kinda miss it already.  But then again, I like coming back to a very full in-box too.

Remember that Morton commercial?  Something about raining and pouring and bad drainage and a blue box with something yellow on it.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I represent that commercial quite well now. 

Because I came home to not one.  Not two.  But three new projects to jump head first into.  Am I complaining?  No.  But I could use an assistant now.

And just in case you think they’re going to be easy…. let me show you what they look like on the outside……

Santa Florencia – Will receive a full exterior treatment as well as a new kitchen and master suite.  Great things in store for this one.

Hartford – Luckily it was gutted when I saw it this afternoon.  Let’s just say there isn’t a surface that won’t be touched.

Bloch – An exterior refresh and completion of the interior finishes.

Stick around the blog because we’ll be posting progress shots. Not only that, we might just give away a few tips along the way.

Am I crazy?  I must be….

Someone pass me a drink.

And by the way…. why haven’t you registered for our Giveaway yet?  You know you want a new showerhead.  And it’s taking up room on my desk.

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A Bull in a China Shop. My Time with the Audi R8 Spyder

Sometimes things happen and you’re not quite sure how they happened and why you got to be so damn lucky but that they did and now you can’t stop smiling and people want you to wipe that “damn look” off of your face before they say something cynical just to get you to stop smiling.  Thursday I experienced just that. A ring on the cell phone and a voice on the other line….

“Hello Mr. Smith.  This is Audi Concierge.  We’ve an opening in our R8 Private Drive this Saturday …. “

Needless to say, if you’d read my 25 Things post over the new year, you’d understand why I needed to change my pants after putting down the phone. Thank goodness I was not going commando because that would have necessitated reupholstering a chair. I was a poodle excited to see their owner for the thirtieth time.

Fast forward to Saturday.  I won’t bore you with details.  Making the drive to the Lodge at Torrey Pines.  Meeting with Audi’s product specialists.  Or even the nice little presentation by Steven (enjoy the rules of the road. Pssshhhh…).  No one really wants to hear about that stuff.  I will say there is nothing like the feeling of stepping into a private parking lot and finding eight Audi R8s bathed in the glow of the California sun.  Two coupes, the rest newly introduced Spyders. A mix of V8 and V10s.  Ours was red, a very cherry red V8 Spyder. Low slung, ready to pounce even with the engine quiet.  Inside, a set of keys, a map, and one of those Nextel radios (you didn’t think they’d let us get that disconnected did you… these are $150,000 super cars).

A turn of the key.  A taught grumble from the V8 stowed behind our seats. Top down (19 seconds  precisely). Forget the stereo, we wouldn’t need it anyway.  I distinctly recall needing to change my pants yet again.  Somewhere, the automobile Gods had determined that I would be behind the wheel of hand-built German beast.  Check for a pulse and we’re off.

Here in Southern California the sight of a supercar on any stretch of our freeway is really no cause for celebration.  You might get one head turn.  A teenage boy slugging his father and pointing. Some middle aged toupee wearing gentleman letting a little smile show beneath his mustache. But when you have eight high powered exotics the scenery is much different. Heads turn. Windows roll down. You have conversations with random strangers at stop lights.  It’s paparazzi like. Instant celebrity status though you know for a fact it isn’t you they’re gawking over.  One tap on the gas pedal and amidst the growl of the exhaust, you’re gone.  Your fans far behind you.

I could talk about performance and motor specs and … but I’m sure it’d bore you. I mean who needs to know that your particular V8 was capable of 187 miles per hour and had no problem making the 60 mark in just over four seconds.  Or that the v10 in our group could produce 10 miles more and make 60 in under four seconds. No no.  I’ll leave that to the experts at Car & Driver or Automobile.  Instead, let’s talk styling. You all know this is my foray and one that I take very seriously (even at 104 miles per hour. Shhh… don’t tell Audi).

Let me say that Audi did a great deal of justice to the Spyder. Typical exotics are covered in extraneous lines, superfluous details, wasted opportunities to create seamless sightlines.  What you won’t find littering the exterior are odd vents and crazy corners and superficial nothingness.  No line out of place.  If it weren’t for the somewhat unflattering rear hood vents that had a strange resemblance to the raised hairs on a very pissed off dog’s back and what has become Audi’s trademark wide angle front grill, you’d have not much of an idea that you have a storm of a vehicle.  And by storm, I mean that you’ll leave a lot of destruction in your wake but that people will still seek you out. Yeah.  Like a tornado.

In the Spyder, versus the standard Coupe, I’m happy to see the side fin disappear. I was never a huge fan of the off color piece of metal just behind the passenger and driver door. In some ways, the ability to add in that detail as an option was just a way to break up the sleek lines, maybe make it appear slower to the police vehicles you will inevitably pass on your way to higher insurance rates.

As for the interiors… wait… I forgot to look. Joking!  Audi has upped their ante over the years.  I remember driving an A3 a decade ago and remarking that the interior detailing in most of Audi’s line up had absolutely no characteristics. A decade ago bland and unremarkable would have been favorable terms.  Times have changed.  The R8’s interior was clean. There was minimal fuss and what fuss existed, only came from a light sprinkling of nickel finish and a few carbon fiber details.  Audi put a great deal of effort into not making this car a Ferrari or a Lambo or some other over-fibered example of macho-osity.  No, this is a gentleman’s interior.  Well trimmed leather. A few satin nickel rings around important gauges.  A Formula-1 loop of carbon fiber ran from the driver side door handle, up over the wheel and down to the left of the navi screen.  It was like playing with the Hot Wheels of my childhood. Whee!

Of course, there is still some work to do, this is a first iteration mind you.  I wasn’t a fan of the paddle shifters’ ergonomics.  Flat and thin, the level of confidence from these pieces of plastic were minimal at best.  The push of the heating system was light at lower speeds. I found that the center console was lacking in user intuitive-ness (is that a word) and I gave up on pushing buttons in an effort to focus solely on the road ahead.  In other words, Audi has put a great deal of attention in making sure the driver is at one with the road, but that there are still a few speedbumps.  For some drivers, they’ll set the radio, heat, and other controls once and never use them again.  For me, I drive.  Daily. To the tune of 30,000 miles a year.  Audi will get it… I’m sure of it. Especially if they continue to advertise the R8 as a daily driver.

Really the worst part about this car was giving the keys back at the end of our 90 minutes.  Stepping out of the driver’s seat left me with this pang of emptiness. Someone had taken my candy and promised to not give it back. I was elated and sad at the same time.  Wait… Was I in love?  Or was it just the pure unadulterated lust of pushing a piece of machinery to it’s limits and enjoying every glorifying moment.  The Audi would even have given me a ring… four of them to be exact.  Perfectly sized.  My size.

Back to the real world.

For more information about the Audi R8 and the R8 Spyder, click through to AudiUSA.com

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.

All images are copyright D.Coop and cannot be used without permission.

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San Diego Holiday Procrastinators Unite! Local Last Minute Shopping….

Normally at this point in my week before the Christmas holiday I’d tell you about how I had the worst time finding a parking space at Fashion Valley Mall that was not located in the adjoining county or involved a secret map with a bright red X.  I’d mostly likely be regaling you with tall tales of shopping yore – being trampled at the H&M or burning a hole in my debit card at Gucci.  Yes, I’m kind of a label whore.  It’s a title I’ve grown accustomed to in the years past.

But this year.  THIS YEAR.  It is now 3 days before the holiday and I’m done.  All done.  Finished up a few days ago actually.  Presents are wrapped (in some cases now unwrapped since Steve turns five years of age every Christmas and can not, must not wait until Santa squeezes his red a** down our needs-to-be-relined chimney).  They’re ready to be delivered to their respective parties wherever they may be.

NOW, normally I, like most of my readers, probably wait until the last minute (the Shell station does not have good gifts, unless your family enjoys Slim Jims) to finish up those last minute gifts.  I totally understand the plight.  The pain of the mall.  The torture of parking and dealing with families who might have been better served leaving the toddlers (and booze) at home.  Fear not dear Super-Procrastinator!  Turn the car around (or get out of bed and put on some clothes) and shop local.  San Diego has a plethora of amazeballs super awesome little stores tucked into and around it’s mildly sky-scraping buildings.  And just for you reader I’m sharing some of my favorites with you. Five favorites to be exact.

Ready?  Set…. Shop Local!

Noon Jewelery & Paper Goods

Someone said that bigger was better.  Not in this case.  Noon, a boutique no larger than the bathroom in my last house, is a great little hole in the wall.  Serving up great Letterpress from designer Mais Liis Webb and fabulous jewelery by artist Nora Alexander, I’m totally digging the copper rings, hand printed bags and flour sack towels, and of course, their totally cool etched glassware.

4993 Niagra Ave., Ocean Beach & 349 N. Highway 101, Solana Beach


Open Christmas Eve from 11am to 3pm

Root 75

Normally I don’t make it to Coronado from the “Mainland” too often simply because we on the East side of the bridge think it’s too far away.  Ok, let’s be honest, the Bridge is really high and I have a fear of heights. However, Root 75 is a great reward for conquering my little phobia.  A great little boutique tucked under the shadows of the famed Hotel Del Coronado, proprietors Kristy & Katherine have artfully mixed Jonathon Adler ceramics, Park & Orange prints (seriously some of my faves… I’ve featured them on my blog before) and seasonal floral arrangements.  My favorite?  The ceramic Mason jar ornaments. Yeah… totally cool.

845 Orange Avenue, Coronado


Open Christmas Eve until 2pm


Southpark has seen quite a resurgence in the past few  years as more and more families settle in the quaint Craftsman neighborhoods surrounding it’s vintage-y Main Street (otherwise known as 30th to the locals…).  The result is multiple great boutiques specializing in local fare filling the century old storefronts that litter the community.  Progress is by far one of my favorites simply because they fill a modern niche that you’d have to drive elsewhere to find.  I’m in love with their collection of vintage-esque clocks (totally atomic in appearance!), hand crafted furniture, and my all time favorite, the Sal ‘N Peppa gangster salt and pepper shakers.  You know, because you never know when sugar will be staging a drive by.

2225 30th Street, Southpark


Open Christmas Eve until 5pm


Like Southpark, Northpark is San Diego’s up and almost there gentrified neighborhoods. It’s also home to Pigment.  And D.Coop.  No no, no affiliation except that they’ve swiped my credit card more than a few times (it doesn’t help they are Right. Next. Door. to one of my favorite places to nosh at lunch time.  It really is one of San Diego’s gems, carrying the art work of Amy Paul (LOVE!), the extruded jewelery of Nervous System and enough awesome books to make staying in on a warm Saturday afternoon pleasurable.  And for the non-green thumbs, there is always a selection of hearty succulents to choose from aside the front door.

3837 30th Street, Northpark


Extended Holiday Hours – 10am to 8pm


As it’s name implies, Solo stands alone when it comes to awesomesauce gifts, home goods and of course, BOOKS!  Like a mini-mall of local artisans and craftspersons, Solo has multiple boutiques dedicated to the likes of Jennifer Price (industrial objet d’art and repurposed finds), Lori Graham (furniture designer extraordinaire) and Bill Wechter (20 year veteran photographer).  I kid you not, everytime I’m there I find something new (and usually something new finds me!).  Did I mention they’ve one of the greatest selection of Interior Design books in San Diego?

309 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach


Open 10am to 6pm

Ok kids…. off to have a drink with mom and then I’m on vacation!  Happy Holidays and may your shopping experience be bright!

All Images Copyright D.Coop and may not be used without permission. 2011

D.Coop received no compensation for this post.

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