Over the course of a few weeks, I began to notice that my wife was in great need of a date. Not just a night out, but a genuine, get-dressed-up-all-pretty date. So, I did what every self-respecting geek does; I sought input from the internets. I knew that I wanted to take her out to eat and then to attend some activity. I knew that I wanted to probably head up towards San Luis Obispo. I knew that we’d need a sitter, for our 4 rambunctious kids.
The sitter part was easy. I contacted one of our regulars and set it up.
The next part was actually kinda cool. I wrote a new “Note” on Facebook. (link to the actual note) However it was important that Deanna NOT stumble upon this note. So I customized the privacy settings for just that note. (Notice the accompanying screenshots) I wrote a brief request for ideas and tagged a wide variety of my Facebook friends. Within a few hours I had a good amount of input and was narrowing down a couple of ideas. Matt, knowing our propensity for good brew pubs, recommended Creekside Brewing Company. The meal was covered.
Eric then recommended the San Luis Obispo Little Theater. I had never heard of it, but I’ve attended a few “little” theaters over the years. I like the small atmosphere, and that most seats are good seats. Eric didn’t just recommend the theater, he recommended their current run, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by W. Shakespeare. I’ve seen it several times and it’s one of Shakespeare’s few plays that I like. I like the sarcasm and wit. So, it was decided!
I also knew that I could use this evening’s activities to test out a feature of Google Maps that I’ve been wanting to do right. I’ve wanted to plan out a custom Google Map, using the My Maps feature, with a few locations. Then loading up the custom map, on my Android-powered Nexus One, I could use the built-in Navigation feature to drive or walk from each place to the next. This whole experiment is intended to help me be ready for our 12th Anniversary trip to San Francisco next month. I’m slowly gathering input from several sources for intended destinations whilst on that trip. My goal is to use the custom Google Map on my Nexus One to guide us to all the places we want to hit. I’m even going to color code the destinations with a priority. That way if we find that we’re running out of time one day, we can easily skip something. Or we could add something not on that day’s plan, if we find a little extra time.
So I built the custom Google Map. I only had 2 destinations, so I added a possible Starbucks, for the caffeinated drive home. I made sure to label each “pin”, so it would be easy to use on the mobile phone. I even checked the walking directions on the desktop Google Maps, to make sure we could walk from one to the other. Want to see how the same map looks on my Nexus One? Just about the same! Love it!
In order to see your saved maps, from Google’s My Maps, on your Android-powered phone, go to the Maps app, click the “menu” button, choose “layers”, then the “more layers” button. Now you’re given a list. At the top should be “My Maps”. Once you’ve saved your map on the browser version of Google Maps, it should appear in the next list after it loads. Wallah!
Selecting the little button on the lower left of the screen, below the distance legend, will give you a list of the locations. Selecting any one of those will give you Google’s detailed description of that destination. Very cool!
The date was planned, the tickets were purchased, and all was well with the world. I told her that day, that after some activities at church, we’d be going out. She would need to get ready and dress nice. Oh, BTW, she HATES SURPRISES! Which is of course a contributing reason for planning one.
Nonetheless, we got ready and headed out. Everything was awesome!
The food was great at Creekside Brewing, and so was the beer. We started with a sampler of their own brewed beer. That’s always how I like to do things, to get a good idea of what’s good and not. We both ended up ordering a pint of Monach Lite Blond Ale, and it was tasty! I tend to order darker colored beers most of the time. But on this evening, the Blond Ale was calling out to me.
I had the Creekside Slider Burgers (Three mini angus beef burgers topped with grilled sweet onions, double smoked bacon, roma tomato and horseradish mayonnaise.) and they rocked my world! Very tasty indeed! When were done, we walked along the Mission Park creek. It extends from the Old Mission San Luis Obispo, for a city block, connecting the park to the handful of top notch businesses that border the creek, with Creekside Brewing at the end. After arriving at the Old Mission, we traversed two blocks to the SLO Little Theater. We had plenty of time to pick up our tickets at will call, and wander inside. The little city theater is a nice little facility. They were selling some refreshments, and coffee was available to all in attendance.
We had just enough time to find our seats and finger through the program. I didn’t feel rushed, nor bored. Just perfect.
I’m not much of a theater/play reviewer. I acted on and off through high school and college. I’ve been in musicals and traditional plays.
This production was presented by the Academy of Creative Theatre (ACT) which “has been providing students year-around theatrical training for the past 12 years. They are dedicated to inspiring young performers and technicians in a lively, nurturing and fun environment.” (link) This meant that the whole cast was completely young people. In some circumstances, that would be a bummer. In this, it wasn’t. The cast was great, especially the girl who played Puck. She rocked! A few of the cast members over-acted a bit, but that’s to be expected with young people. Over all, they did a fantastic job!
We had a great time on our date. The kids were cared for well. We ate wonderfully. We were supremely entertained.
Oh, and we got some coffee for the trip home!