Friday, June 30, 2017

B to Z

Holly and KC worked, while we worked on a tan.

We started our morning in the pool, before the thermometer broke 100.

Afterwards we drove around both Cave Creek and Care Free (the adjacent town).
KC warned us that Cave Creek is 'little Mexico.'  
I was searching for Mexicans, but there weren't any.

Later I found out that he was just referring to the art and the items for sale.

Javelina are also called collared peccary.
They are not pigs.  Pigs are from the Old World (Europe) while peccary are from the New World (North America).
Javelina are too often in the news for attacking humans.  The fauna in AZ is brutal.  This is what the desert does to living things.

Saguaros are so pretty.  
These are baby cacti, they can actually grow to be over 70 feet tall!

Today was full circle, we are back at the pool.
Its the place to be.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A to Z

Well, we found the desert.  
I was pretty certain we could find it if we just kept driving away from the ocean.  

The half way point between Oceanside, CA and Cave Creek, AZ on the 8 is Yuma.  
Traveling with smart phones is just way too easy.  
Yelp suggested that we have dinner and a beer at Prison Hill Brewing Co, Yuma's first craft brewery, located one mile from the hilltop guard tower of Yuma Territorial Prison.  

Allegation Amber was not palatable.  

My favorite was Riker's Red IPA (named after Riker's Island Prison Complex in New York).
Prison Hill has a deal on Thursdays, if you buy a sandwich a pint is just $2.50.
Eric got the sandwich, I got the pint.  
That is the Eric shakedown. 

Wine bottle light fixtures are such a good idea.

Cave Creek or bust!

Just three more hours to go.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cordiano Winery

Marla helped me with my classroom move (little sisters are the best!!) and then we explored a winery in Escondido that I recently heard about.  It is in the hills south of the Safari Park.  Unbeknownst to us, there are a bunch of wineries in this area, although I am not sure that any of them have delicious pizza like Cordiano does.

There is no table service for food.  Everything is ordered outside.  If food is ordered you give them the number located on the table you sat yourself at.  You can reserve tables ahead of time, but not on the same day you plan on going.  Luckily for us we arrived at 3pm so there was plenty of room.

Good pizza and tiramisu in a countryside vineyard, it has Italy written all over it.

Next up, wine tasting at the Safari Park!

We arrived just two hours before they closed at 7pm.  It couldn't have been a more perfect time to enjoy the park.  It was cooling down, the animals were active, and the rest of the tourists were leaving.

Just another day in San Diego!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Deering Banjo Tour

Tuesday through Thursday at 1pm Deering Banjo has free factory tours.  It is much smaller than Taylor, even though Deering owns 80-90% of the US banjo market and they have millions of dollars in sales each year.  Steve Martin, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban are all Deering fans.  
Bob Taylor (of Taylor Guitar) and Greg Deering started an instrument making co-op in 1969 before they ventured out on their own.  
Their factories are located just 8 miles from each other.  

David Vega started our tour in the show room, talking about the differences in models, and why upper-end Deering banjos are so dang heavy (the components made of brass and the wood used is more dense).

During the tour I noticed that my banjo teacher, Dan Sankey, had some of his CDs for sale.

This is my second time on the tour, but it was just as informative as the time before.

Greg Deering made his first banjo in his garage while attending San Diego State as an industrial arts major.  Since then Deering has made more than 100,000 instruments.
We got to see all of the pieces throughout the process.

There are a few machines that guests cannot take pictures of as they were invented by Greg Deering himself, and are a big reason that the banjos have the quality that they have.  

All the employees have their speciality and rarely work at a different station.  
It seems mundane to me, but everyone was too into their job to ask...

This is my newly made Parlor banjo.

Deering hooked me up with a deal after I explained the predicament I was in after some jerk stole my banjo from my classroom.  My co-workers raised $344 dollars, surprising me with the news at our last staff meeting of the school year, and my students raised $200, surprising me with that money just two days later.  

Here is the response they sent after I asked if they could give me a deal on a Parlor banjo and gig bag.  

Hi Brady,

First thank you for choosing Deering banjos as your beginning banjos! Second, I am so sorry that your Goodtime Parlor was stolen from your classroom. That's amazing that your coworkers and students rose money for you to get a replacement, it speaks volumes to what you mean to them as a teacher and a colleague.

The Goodtime Parlor and a gig bag to go with it would normally be $644.00, which is a bit more than what you have from the fundraising. Since this is a replacement for a stolen banjo, I would like to offer to you both bag and banjo for the $544 including taxes. Also you are a local and you serve the community.

You would be in luck. I just had a Goodtime Parlor banjo that came in fresh off the factory floor on Friday. Would you be interested in picking this one up this week.

I look forward to your reply.

All the best,

David Vega
Deering Banjo Company
International Sales ♦ Customer Service

+1.800.845.7791 ♦ +1.619.337.6316

I wrote them a nice thank you...

How cool is it that Deering is located in San Diego?  
Lucky me.

After the tour we ate at Coops BBQ (which has a well deserved high rating on Yelp), and then had some samples of beers at Alesmith Brewing Co.

Alesmith is another brewery that is often on tap in our local taprooms.
In contrast to Alpine, this place is huge.  It even has a Tony Gwynn museum located inside.

All of our selections were tasty.  

💚 San Diego.