Blind Date: Fly boys take to the air

Blind daters Richard and Cristian take a limo ride to San Diego Bay where they take to the sky in a jetpack.


Get pumped up for an adrenaline-filled dose of amphibious adventure. Blind daters Richard and Cristian met for the first time an hour ago in the Epic Limo that’s about to drop them off at Jetpack America. Before they arrive to take flight above San Diego Bay, let’s review the pre-date interview.

PACIFIC: Where are you from?

RICHARD: I’m from Morton, Minnesota, and currently live in Chula Vista .

CRISTIAN: I grew up in Orange County, but live in San Diego now.

What do you do for a living?

RICHARD: Group-fitness coach at Orangetheory Fitness in San Diego, at the La Mesa and Bankers Hill locations.

CRISTIAN: I am a server assistant for bottle service at Oxford Social Club and the Pool House at the Pendry hotel.

What do you do for fun?

RICHARD: I love to read self-help books, work out - lifting, taking group-fitness class, running outside, et cetera - cook healthy meals, hang out with friends in low-key environments, try new things, go on adventures, go to Broadway shows and also watch the sunset on the beach.

CRISTIAN: Hang out with friends. I love laying out by the pool, working out.

What are you best at?

RICHARD: I’m best at cheering people up, staying positive, motivating people to become the best version of themselves, being the center of attention - and I am the best hugger.

CRISTIAN: Making people smile and laugh.

What do you suck at?

RICHARD: I suck at playing sports. I don’t have the best hand-eye coordination. I’ve tried most sports growing up, and it was just not for me.

CRISTIAN: Confronting people.

What are you looking for in a date?

RICHARD: My non-negotiables for a date are: loves to smile, lives a healthy lifestyle, humble, truly loves his job, positive mindset, likeable person and likes people. My biggest pet peeves are: negative people, people who only talk about themselves and anyone who is constantly indecisive.

CRISTIAN: I would like someone who is more on the physically fit side. And someone who can make me laugh.

Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.

RICHARD: It’s hard to describe with words, but best I can do is say “smizing” - eyebrow raise, bite lip. Give me a good song to dance to, and you will see it come alive.

CRISTIAN: I literally have no idea.

What do you like least about yourself?

RICHARD: I’m my worst critic, but that’s what happens when you’re a perfectionist.

CRISTIAN: I procrastinate way too often.

Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for looks.

RICHARD: I’m not full of myself, so I will give myself an eight. I’m well-groomed and keep looking clean and presentable at all times.


How about for personality?

RICHARD: Ten. I’m very outgoing and love to have a good time. I love getting to know people and asking every question. I don’t have limits.

CRISTIAN: Nine. People always seem to laugh at my jokes.

What’s your biggest fear?

RICHARD: Now living in California, I’m afraid I’m going to see a wild snake. Growing up in Minnesota, all we saw were gardener snakes, which are fine. Here in Cali, everything is bigger, because it’s warm and beautiful all year round. To be honest, I would cry if I saw a wild rattlesnake. I’m panicking right now just thinking about it.

CRISTIAN: With relationships, my biggest fear would be having a dishonest boyfriend. In general, my biggest fear would be swimming in the ocean and hearing someone yell that there’s a shark in the water.

What traits could your date exhibit that would be deal-breakers?

RICHARD: Someone who is rude, conceited, lacks hygiene and is unwholesome.

CRISTIAN: Someone who is arrogant and cocky.

How many people have you slept with?

RICHARD: Twenty-one guys. No women. “Gold star gay” here.

CRISTIAN: That’s a good question.

Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be “blank” and “blank.”

RICHARD: I want my blind date to be happy and adventurous.

CRISTIAN: Outgoing, and really, really ridiculously good-looking.

Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?

RICHARD: It will only end with a kiss if it goes well. Nothing more.

CRISTIAN: Most likely a kiss. I don’t do more than that on a first date.

What’s the most important thing in the world?

RICHARD: My happiness. I will always follow my intuition and will never settle for less. Some may call it selfish, which it is. If everyone followed their intuition and found their inner happiness, this world would be a much better place.

CRISTIAN: Living life to the fullest.

As the daters arrive at Jetpack America, they change into wetsuits, receive a quick safety briefing, and then lace up for the ride of their lives.

Having a Blast (Off)

Three... two... one...

Cristian’s up first. As the jet engine throttles up, a powerful rush of water thrusts him skyward. Within moments, he manages to find his balance and ride like a champ. Richard follows suit when it’s his turn, and both guys appear to be having a great time.

Back on earth, the daters shower and change, jump back into the limo and head to dinner at Curadero, the new traditional-Mexican restaurant inside Palomar San Diego hotel in the Gaslamp. Once they’ve had a chance to get acquainted over an incredible array of food and cocktails, they’re split for mid-date debriefings.

PACIFIC: How’s it going so far?

RICHARD: It’s going well. It is fun overall.

CRISTIAN: So far, so good. I like it.

What were you first impressions of your date?

RICHARD: He is super nice, a lot of fun. Right when I got into the limo, he gave me a hug. He is super personable - overall good vibes.

CRISTIAN: He was really nice. Lots of manners; I like that. He’s a gentleman.

Is this the type of person you’d normally date?

RICHARD: No. I would say, normally, I date white guys. I guess it just happens that way? Also, guys who are really into fitness. He isn’t into fitness as much as guys I would normally date. It’s not bad, but it is my life and career, so it’s a big deal to me.

CRISTIAN: Yeah. Actually physically fit, handsome. I like his eyes.

What do you think of the way your date is dressed?

RICHARD: Nice, casual, cute.

CRISTIAN: Very good - to the T. He dressed to impress.

How was your experience at Jetpack America?

RICHARD: I loved it. I am so glad this was picked for our date. I was worried about the weather; it was cloudy, but it cleared up and was so nice. It took a lot of muscle to do it, and it was great to do something new and exciting. This is the most adventurous thing I have done.

CRISTIAN: I love Jetpack America. That was so much fun. It actually wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. The instructors were awesome and so thorough. I’m a little sore now... but I had a great time.

What do you think of Curadero?

RICHARD: I love the food; the ambiance is great. I love the artwork on the walls. And, seriously, the servers here are great. They are very welcoming and they take great care of you.

CRISTIAN: The ambiance is perfect. I love it. The food is so good - I had the carne asada plate that was really good. He had the white fish tacos and some something spicy. I loved the PACIFIC Margarita Month “Cool as a Cucumber” margarita. It was fantastic and so refreshing.

What’s the most attractive thing your date has done so far?

RICHARD: That he was able to get up on the jetpack.

CRISTIAN: Being a gentleman. I feel like most San Diego guys aren’t gentlemen anymore. I mean, he’s from the Midwest; he says “thank you” and “please.” Very personable.

What’s the least attractive thing?

RICHARD: Probably after his jetpack experience... the nose blowing. Maybe necessary, but not attractive. It’s not a make-or-break thing, though.

CRISTIAN: I can’t really think of anything. He’s a breath of fresh air for me.

Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 for looks



And for personality?

RICHARD: Eight or nine.

CRISTIAN: I think he is a 10, honestly.

Do you want to kiss your date right now?

RICHARD: I think we are more like friends. I don’t know. Not right now.


Does your date want to kiss you?

RICHARD: I don’t know?

CRISTIAN: I hope so.

How and when will the date end?

RICHARD: I am pretty sure we will continue after. I think we are going to go to Florent, and then go from there.

CRISTIAN: Us having a blast? When? I don’t know.

Anything you’d like to add?

RICHARD: Am I interested? I would say he is sweet, but who knows? I don’t base anything after a first date. I would go on a second date with him.

CRISTIAN: I am interested in him and I hope there will be a second date.

Night Riders

The daters cruise through the streets of downtown

After dinner at Curadero, Richard and Christian hop in a pedi-cab and head to Florent. As the couple talks over cocktails, which they sip while sharing a swing in a giant birdcage, the magazine crew finally leaves them alone to enjoy the rest of their evening away from the camera. Two days later, we call to see what we missed.

PACIFIC: Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?

RICHARD: Yes, at the very end. We went to Florent, then ended up going to Hillcrest until like 1 in the morning. I do feel like it is going to be more of just a friendship, though, because our lifestyles are completely different. No hard feelings; there was just no spark. I know he was interested in me. He contacted me the next day, but I was honest and said, “Don’t take it the wrong way at all, but I think we would just be better as friends.”

CRISTIAN: We kissed once at the end, but nothing crazy. It was a first date.

What’s the funniest thing that happened during the date?

RICHARD: After the Jetpacking, we showered at the place, and there was no body wash or anything, only sunblock. So we were joking about using the sunscreen to shower with.

CRISTIAN: Watching each other try and get up on the Jetpacking board.
What was the best part of the date?

RICHARD: The Jetpacking - such an adrenaline rush. The team there was so awesome. And from the restaurant to Florent, we took a pedi-cab. He was blasting the music, and we were just pointing to people on the street to show us their best dance moves. People were loving it.

CRISTIAN: Dinner, in general. We had really good conversation; we laughed a lot. We really got to know each other then. It was like talking with an old friend.

Will there be a second date?

RICHARD: Well, a second date as friends.

CRISTIAN: I don’t think so. I think we are just going to be friends. There wasn’t much of a romantic connection. It was weird, I had never met him, but I felt like I knew him for years.

What was the best part of the date?

RICHARD: The Jetpacking - such an adrenaline rush. The team there was so awesome. And from the restaurant to Florent, we took a pedi-cab. He was blasting the music, and we were just pointing to people on the street to show us their best dance moves. People were loving it.

CRISTIAN: Dinner, in general. We had really good conversation; we laughed a lot. We really got to know each other then. It was like talking with an old friend.

AFTERMATCH: This action-packed blind date had its ups and downs - in attraction, altitude and a birdcage. Shooting for the stars may be a lofty aspiration, but being aloft on a first date, even with a viable wingman, can lead to crashing and burning in the friend zone. Like Maverick ( Tom Cruise ) said in “Top Gun” after his serenade failed to impress its mark: “I’m going to need a beer to put these flames out.”

Thank you to (and promotional consideration provided by): Epic Limo, 858.270.LIMO (5466),; Jetpack America, 888.553.6471,; Curadero, 619.515.3003,; Florent Restaurant & Lounge, 619.595.0123,