Photos by John Mireles
Alannah and Cameron met for the first time about 30 minutes ago. At the moment, they're cruising south on Interstate 15 in an Epic Limo headed to The Rabbit Hole in Normal Heights , the first stop on tonight's live music blind date tour. Before they arrive, let's review the predate interviews.
PacificSD: What do you do for a living?
ALANNAH: I save the world, one claim at a time. Just kidding - I am a reimbursement specialist for four oncology labs in the U.S. I do billing for cancer laboratories.
CAMERON: A friend and I recently opened Nomad Donuts in North Park , so I hold down the fort there.
What do you do for fun?
ALANNAH: I draw and I am currently getting my art going. I love the outdoors and hike a lot, read, play piano.
CAMERON: I'm fortunate to have fun at work everyday, but when I'm not at the shop I surf; cook; garden; play with my pup, Dylan; hang at my mom's shop, Geographie, also in North Park; and just generally enjoy San Diego.
What are you best at?
ALANNAH: Reading people, analyzing problems and figuring out solutions.
What do you suck at?
ALANNAH: I don't suck at anything.
CAMERON: Karaoke. Seriously, I'm really bad. Not in a cute way, either. Just plain ol' bad.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
ALANNAH: Someone that is fit, witty, funny. Same type of humor is a must, good job, has lots of interests.
CAMERON: Freckles are real cute. Humor and a sense of self are pretty important. Being a babe doesn't hurt, either.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
CAMERON: Optimistic surfer with cute dog.
What do you like least about yourself?
ALANNAH: How short I am - I'm five-two.
CAMERON: I could be more organized. I ain't so great at the guitar, either.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
ALANNAH: Ten, obviously. I don't know; that's weird. I'm confident but don't want to rate myself. CAMERON: Strong six-point-eight.
How about for personality.
ALANNAH: Personality, I would say, is a nine.
CAMERON: Uhhh... ten. I'm pretty stoked all the time!
What's your biggest fear?
CAMERON: That we humans don't get our act together in regards to how we treat the earth and each other.
What traits could your date exhibit that would be complete deal-breakers?
ALANNAH: Cocky, chews with their mouth open, doesn't know how to carry conversation.
CAMERON: Ignorance, pessimism, impolite or ill-mannered, racism, homophobic, unhealthy, disinterested.
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be "blank" and "blank."
ALANNAH: Funny and confident.
CAMERON: Cute and interesting.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
ALANNAH: I won't kiss on the first date. Sorry, but you have to wait.
CAMERON: I don't know if that's my call to make... yet.
What's the most important thing in the world?
ALANNAH: I am going to do a combo and say God and people. I would say connecting with our creator, people, being present and helping others are the most important. We are all here on earth together.
CAMERON: Balance. And donuts.
As they arrive at The Rabbit Hole just before sunset, the blind daters head to a booth on the stage, where guitarist Jimmy Lewis is playing classic and alt. rock hits to a near-capacity crowd. They order drinks and appetizers and appear to be getting along well, talking a lot and laughing when the bar manager sends a round of shots to the table.
THE RABBIT HOLE
3377 Adams Ave., Normal Heights
All That Jazz
Sultry song and a savory spread
After rockin' in The Rabbit Hole for about an hour, Alannah and Cameron jump back into the limo for the ride to dinner at Heat Bar & Kitchen in Hillcrest. Inside, a lounge singer crooning in French and accompanied by an accordion player sets the tone for a scene that is decidedly European - quaint, cozy, modern.
The couple orders drinks while looking over the menu. Their banter and smiles continue as their entrées arrive, and they still appear to be getting along well. One sign they may not be completely in tune with one another comes when Alannah orders coffee with her dessert, while Cameron keeps his rhythm going with a shot of Grand Marnier.
Before leaving Heat to see the evening's headlining act perform at Observatory North Park, the couple is split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How's it going so far?
ALANNAH: Great. It's been good. Good conversation, relaxed, fun.
CAMERON: Awesome, we're having a lot of fun. Finding a lot of common interests and just, I don't know, she's super easy to hang out with.
What were your first impressions?
ALANNAH: They're actually good. He seems like a gentleman 'cause he got me flowers, so that was very sweet. Just very nice, a gentleman; he seems like a good guy.
CAMERON: I met her at the door, and, obviously, she's beautiful. Yeah, she's a looker. We kind of started chatting right away. It was comfortable. She's super easy to talk to.
Is this the type of person you'd normally date?
ALANNAH: Getting to know him, personality-wise, yes. Like, initially seeing him... not necessarily, no.
CAMERON: We get along super well, so it would make total sense.
What do you think of the way your date is dressed?
ALANNAH: Very fashionable. Yeah, he's in style for right now; looks good.
CAMERON: Very classy, nice. I almost felt under-dressed.
How was The Rabbit Hole?
ALANNAH: It was great. It was fun. They had great music, great drinks.
CAMERON: It's cool. I know The Rabbit Hole. It was nice to start off there, because that's my part of town, and I know a lot of people that work there. I knew it was gonna be a lot of fun, and there was gonna be good drinks, good food.
What did you have to eat and drink there?
ALANNAH: I got an Old Fashioned, which was very delicious, and then we got nachos with lobster on them. Highly recommend, amazing.
CAMERON: We had lobster nachos, which were awesome, and then she had a whiskey drink, and I had a Paloma. What I like about their drinks is none of them are over sweet or over sour; they're very well balanced. They're super easy to drink, which can catch up to you.
How was dinner at Heat Bar & Kitchen?
ALANNAH: Amazing live music, amazing food. The service was amazing; the waiter was extremely helpful. I loved it. So good.
CAMERON: Awesome. I had been here before. I was just talking to our server, asking when they'll have live music again, 'cause I'll definitely be back for that. The food is really good; the drinks are really good.
What did you have to eat and drink there?
ALANNAH: I got the lamb shank - so good. The meat was falling off the bone, which is how it's supposed to be. And then I had a whiskey drink with lemon... it was amazing.
CAMERON: I got a short rib flatbread, and it was amazing. I asked them to box it up so I can take it home with me.
What's the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
ALANNAH: He's been a gentleman, pulling out my chair, making sure I'm accommodated and comfortable, asking what I want to eat, what I want to drink, just basically looking out for me, so that's very nice.
CAMERON: She's just super easy to talk to. That's something that I'm attracted to, not just in women, but in people in general. We're having fun. It's not forced or something.
What would your parents say if you brought your date home?
ALANNAH: They would think he's a gentleman. I don't know; they'd probably like him.
CAMERON: They would approve. If she would talk to them in the same way that we're talking, which is just very natural and casual, they would adore her.
Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
How about for personality?
CAMERON: Ten. She's cool.
Do you want to kiss your date now?
CAMERON: There have been moments where I'm just like, "I'm gonna be a gentleman and I'm gonna hold back." She looks very smoochable.
Does your date want to kiss you?
ALANNAH: I don't know.
CAMERON: Oh, I don't know. That's up to her.
Anything else you want to say?
ALANNAH: No, just been having fun. Good time.
CAMERON: I needed a night like this. It's worked out really well and it's not over yet. There's still more fun to be had.
HEAT BAR & KITCHEN
3797 Park Blvd., Hillcrest
And we're not talking about the band...
After dinner at Heat Bar & Kitchen, Alannah and Cameron head to Observatory North Park, where British musician/ DJ/producer Bonobo is about to take the stage. When they arrive at the venue, the couple is ushered through a VIP entrance at West Coast Tavern, up to a private balcony overlooking throngs of Bonobo fans. As they watch the show, the magazine crew finally leaves the daters alone to enjoy the rest of their evening away from the camera. The next morning, we call to see what we missed.
PacificSD: How was the concert at Observatory North Park?
ALANNAH: Everything there was great; super cool place to be at. The venue is the perfect size to see a band up close. The balcony view of the show was amazing, and the bar in the first room was perfect to have drinks to take a break from the music.
CAMERON: It was packed for the show, but the bartenders were on it, and drinks were received in a timely fashion. We watched the show from the balcony, which was amazing. All in all, it was pretty rad.
Where did you go and what did you do after the show?
ALANNAH: Just went home. I had a pretty early morning the next day.
CAMERON: We were both pretty spent after the show, so we called it a night.
When did you get home?
ALANNAH: At 12:30 a.m., which was perfect for me.
CAMERON: At 1:15 in the a.m. It was a rough one the following morning.
Describe the Epic Limo experience.
ALANNAH: The limo was awesome. Juan was so nice, and the limo was fully stocked. I could get used to one of those.
CAMERON: Juan is the man - smooth sailing with that guy at the helm. And there was a ton of booze, which was a nice touch.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
ALANNAH: He tried going for a kiss. He was a bold one. Was not prepared for that. Kindly did not want one.
CAMERON: I may have snuck a wee awkward smooch in there. A man's gotta try. It didn't feel quite right, so we kept it friendly after that.
How and when did the date end?
ALANNAH: After the concert, we both just headed home and exchanged a hug.
CAMERON: It ended with hugs, laughs and both of us in our respective sleeping quarters.
What was the best part of the date?
ALANNAH: Best part was the food at Heat Bar & Kitchen; the lamb just fell off the bone. Also seeing Bonobo at the Observatory. I have been a fan for a while, so that was a great experience.
CAMERON: I love The Rabbit Hole. Strong drinks, tasty grub and good people. The food at Heat was so good. Bonobo at the Observatory was insane.
What was the worst part of the date?
ALANNAH: Awkward when he went for the kiss. But other than that, everything was great.
CAMERON: I had been up since four in the morning - donut life - so I was pretty tired. Other than that, everything was peachy keen.
Will there be a second date?
ALANNAH: No, not my type of guy, but he is easy to talk to. I always enjoy making new friends and hanging out with new people.
CAMERON: I'd be down to grab drinks and hang sometime. I don't think there's really any romantic interest there, but, hey, I made a friend.
What's one thing your date really should know before going on another date?
ALANNAH: Nothing. He was fun and easygoing... probably would just say feel it out more before kissing someone.
CAMERON: I don't know. Honestly, she was super nice, and we had a lot of fun.
AFTERMATCH: Cameron is used to being hands-on and touching hot stuff in the kitchen, but, when going in for this kiss from Alannah, he got the official "Donut Touch!" (Insert "donut hole" joke here.) While these two blind daters probably won't make sweet music together in the future, at least they go to feel the Heat and rock like rabbits for one big night on the town. He's a surfer, she's a hipster, and the beat goes on...
OBSERVATORY NORTH PARK
2891 University Ave., North Park