Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Things To Do In San Diego: Tuesday, December 26, 2017-Monday, January 1, 2018

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a great one, and those of you who don't celebrate, enjoyed the time off, whether spent alone or with family and freinds. After Darren's mom was in town last week, we reluctantly shipped Nova off to St. Louis and I had an overindulgent night seeing LA Witch and going to the Ken Club. Over the weekend, we had our Casbah holiday brunch which was awesome, but then the little tickle I'd been feeling had become more intense and I found myself reaching for the 'Tussin and spending as much time in bed as I could handle. Fortunately I was feeling somewhat better on Sunday...not well enough to go out to Exile, but well enough to finish my Christmas shopping. On Christmas, Darren woke up with the cold so I went to have breakfast with my family to let him rest up, picked him up for dinner, then let him off the hook when my sister drove him home and I stated to watch TV with my dad. Three years ago, my dad was in the hospital for Christmas, and he was in for some time this year, too, so I feel especially lucky this time of year to have my family so close. Anyhoo, I did listings through January 1, but I'm going to have to update throughout the week because obviously not everyone is ready for 2018. I decided not to waste the time adding NYE ticket links, but just know you should definitely lock in your plans sooner rather than later. All the listings are after the jump.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Things To Do In San Diego: Monday, December 18-Monday, December 25, 2017

 I am completely freaking out. After we went to the Safari Park and had such a good time with the lions last week, I was remembering them when they were little pups. So I decided to look at my old pictures, only to realize I have no idea where my hard drive is. I transferred the last four or 5 years of photos from my old laptop and here I was looking for it and not only was it not where I thought it should be, I can't really remember the last time I saw it or accessed it, so I have no idea where it could be. I'm crushed about it, but still have hope it will turn up in our house somewhere. Other than that, it was a pretty good week. We did the Zoo and Safari Park, I went to see Veronica May & Van HØF at the Casbah, I worked for Metz, and worked for the Julien Baker show, the last show the Casbah will be doing at the venue. She was amazing, but it was kinda sad that the church board can't what an asset it is to the community. Saturday I worked for Us The Duo at Westfield UTC, which turned out to be a pretty fun gig, and then Sunday Darren's family arrived so we'll be doing a lot this week. These listings go through Christmas, and you can find them all after the jump.

Friday, December 15, 2017

San Diego Humane Society Free Adoptions

If you have room in your home and your heart this holiday season, what better gift than being a forever home to a new pet? The San Diego Humane Society, with a sponsorship by generous donors, are offering FREE adoptions from now until Christmas Eve. Ficus was a Humane Society adoption and she has been an amazing addition to our family, and to be honest, filled the massive void left when Pascha died. We recently took advantage of a similar offer at the San Diego County Animal Shelter and came home with Strawberry, who is the sweetest little jerk you could ever hope for.

Get down to any of the three campuses of the San Diego Humane Society and find your new love in a cat, a dog, a guinea pig, chicken, or rabbit.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Must Do San Diego: San Diego Zoo & Safari Park

It's no secret I've always been a fan of the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park, but after spending Monday evening at the Zoo and Tuesday afternoon at Safari Park, I have to tell you there's no time like the present to go.

For one, it's Jungle Bells at the Zoo, which started over the weekend and lasts through January 1st. That means extended hours (open until 8pm nightly), plus lights all over the zoo, and carolers and  dancing for kids, and I think the trampoline people even do a special Christmas show.

But an even better reason is that Africa Rocks is FINALLY open!! It was set to open over the summer, but last year's rains set the construction schedule back so it was only being opened incrementally. Now the whole thing is finally open, so you can enter from the bottom by the penguins or from the top by the Kopje Rocks. I think there's a path in from Outback section, too.

From the Zoo:
The 8-acre Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks exhibit is designed to allow guests to stroll along a gently winding pathway through six distinct biodiverse zones of Africa, with state-of-the-art animal habitats and garden spaces. All six Africa Rocks habitats are now open: Cape Fynbos, featuring African penguins and leopard sharks; West African Forest, featuring West African dwarf crocodiles and turtle species; the Kopje, featuring dwarf mongooses, rock hyrax and meerkats; Madagascar Forest, featuring lemurs and fossas; Acacia Woodland, featuring vervet monkeys, leopards, honey badgers and a wide variety of birds; and Ethiopian Highlands. The African Garden, near the Ethiopian Highlands area, displays eye-catching and unusual plants—including many never seen before at the Zoo, and some that are highly endangered.
Of course, at night, several of the animals are off exhibit or sleeping but it's still a pretty walk and the weather this week has been perfect. We grabbed a couple poke bowls in North Park and took them in to eat by the Elephant Odyssey while sipping on Karl Strauss African Penguin Pale Ale. We didn't get to see the baboons, but I know we'll be back again soon.
The San Diego Zoo’s newest residents—hamadryas baboons—actively explored their new home at the recently opened Ethiopian Highlands habitat in the Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks exhibit ...
“We are thrilled to have the hamadryas on exhibit for our Zoo guests,” said Dustin Black, primate keeper, San Diego Zoo. “They are doing very well and enjoying their expansive habitat here in Africa Rocks. They spend much of their day doing exactly what hamadryas baboons do—eating, climbing, chasing each other, grooming each other and vocalizing. They have an incredible social dynamic; and it is not only fun, but very fascinating to observe them.”
The Zoo’s hamadryas baboon group is made up of 12 females and eight males, ranging in ages from 23 years to 3 months...
The current “leader” of the Zoo’s hamadryas group is 19-year-old Elvis, recognizable as the largest male. He can often be seen strutting around the exhibit, as well as spending time protecting one of his favorite females, 6-year-old Kurzbein, and her 3-month-old baby girl.

The new bridge as seen from Skyfari

Africa Rocks walkway

After having such a good night on Monday, we decided to get up to the Safari Park and it will definitely go down as one of our most magical visits. We got there at 4:15 (they close at 5 but you can kinda get away with lingering past that). We more or less had the park to ourselves. Starting with the gorillas who were in the cave but came out to show off the baby  

From there, we were heading to the cheetahs, but got sidetracked at the balloon. Apparently, a new third party vendor has taken over (Aerophile) the balloon and dropped the prices. During the 'slow season' weekdays, it was only $12! So since we're more or less skipping gift-giving this year we decided this was a great gift to ourselves. We had the balloon to ourselves and the view is spectacular.

From there, we went to the lions, where Nova had made friends as they chased her side to side. We stayed there for quite some time as they played with us. By that point, the park was closed and everyone cleared out, but we did the slow meander to the exit by walking around the campground, passing the Safari Outlook and two massive rhinos happened to be sleeping just under Kilima Point so besides the fence between us, we were about 3 feet away from these magnificent creatures.

From there, it's a short walk around the Tembo Stadium and elephants toward the entrance. The Safari Park was completely empty, we were the last car in the lot to leave. We'll probably head up at least a couple more times before the new year to find whatever other magical surprises await.

Year after year, the annual membership proves to be our most worthwhile yearly expense.

More pictures from recent trips to the parks after the jump.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Things To Do In San Diego: Monday, December 11-Sunday, December 17, 2017

I've been with Darren for six Christmases and while I guess I knew he loved Phoenix, it wasn't until I was granted one ticket to the show on Saturday night that he expressed just how much he loved them. "They're my favorite band, EVER," he kept saying (but so is St. Vincent, Tune-Yards, Little Dragon, Deerhoof, and on and on). Still, I was feeling pretty guilty for being there without him on Saturday night, but amazingly I mentioned this to fellow photog Kaitlyn right before we went into the pit and she magically produced a spare. Within 10 minutes he was at the venue and got to see the show...a true Christmas Miracle (just kidding). But it was an amazing show in the same week we got to see newcomer Alex Lahey who was also fantastic. The rest of the week was pretty standard...Nova had all star practices and then just like last year, our league got slaughtered in the All Star tournament. The girls were good sports and didn't seem too broken up about it, but it was a little painful to watch and not be coaching. I worked at the Irenic for AJJ and Sales, too, which leaves us with just one more Irenic show this year. This week is kind of the last week before full blown Christmas chaos kicks in...Darren's family will be visiting next week and the week after that Nova will go back to St Louis until after the new year, so it was about time we decorated our tree and got the lights up around the house. If you're in the spirit, the Hipster Holidays channel on Pandora is pretty great and I'm working my way through just about every Christmas movie on Netflix. Tuesday through Sunday listings are after the jump.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Things To Do In San Diego: Monday, December 4-Sunday, December 10, 2017

 So it's December. Our soccer season is over but Nova made all-stars, so we're still busy running up to PB for soccer and downtown for derby and South Park for piano, but we've been able to carve a bit more time out for going out and I did something I haven't done in awhile...I went to the Casbah four nights in a row. I haven't been lugging my camera because my shoulder has been acting up, but we caught some great shows. Pack AD was Wednesday, then Creepseed on Thursday, and after a family night braving December Nights, I went to see The Shelters and The Tracks, and then after watching the Juvenile Dollinquents derby on Saturday (Nova didn't roster), we went to Blitzen Trapper. This week is going to be busy...I'll be selling merch for Jake Clemons on Monday, shooting Angus & Julia Stone on Tuesday, checking out Alex Lahey on Wednesday, and working at the Irenic on Thursday and Friday. I'm still hoping some tickets comme through for Phoenix, but I'm not holding my breath. We got our tree on Sunday and heard that places actually are selling out (Costco was 100% sold out, for example) so if you are buying a live tree this year, don't wait. Whether or not the news stories were exaggerating, there were practically riots in the Home Depot parking lot.  Monday through Sunday archives are after the jump.