Happy New Year, dear readers. It’s 2019 and, in an effort to start things off on the right track, we sent blind daters Chris and Ellie to take a few laps and play some games (but, hopefully not of the mental variety) on a chilly Sunday evening in America’s Finest City.
In addition to being the first blind date of 2019, this date also has some international flair added to the mix, as Chris is a Brit who hopped the pond to live in sunny San Diego. Here’s hoping he can adapt to driving on the right side of the road because he’s about to be in the driver’s seat at K1 Speed with the beautiful Ellie, a local singer and digital marketer.
Can Chris jump-start Ellie’s heart? Will Ellie drive Chris to ask her on a second date? Are you tired of all the car puns yet? Sorry, not sorry, because this blind date is stocked with them.
So, buckle up, readers, and let’s meet our daters via their pre-date interviews.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
CHRIS: (From) Great Britain, (currently live in) San Diego.
ELLIE: I am originally from Prescott, Ariz. I now live in San Diego in the Ocean Beach area.
What do you do for a living?
CHRIS: Golf professional.
ELLIE: I work in digital marketing, as well as sing for a living.
What do you do for fun?
CHRIS: Playing and watching sports.
ELLIE: I enjoy yoga, running, attending concerts and spending time at the beach.
What are you best at?
ELLIE: Singing. I love to sing.
What do you suck at?
CHRIS: Questionnaires, apparently.
ELLIE: Confrontation has never been my strong suit.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
CHRIS: It is what it is!
ELLIE: Charismatic, humorous lover with swag.
What do you like least about yourself?
CHRIS: I let (the matchmaker) Jess Pelligra make me do this.
ELLIE: That I can be a procrastinator. I’m working on this one.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
CHRIS: A fluctuating 7.5.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for personality.
CHRIS: See previous answer.
What’s your biggest fear?
CHRIS: Receiving a text from (matchmaker) Jess Pelligra.
ELLIE: Not accomplishing my goals and or wasting my talent.
What traits could your date exhibit that would be complete deal-breakers?
CHRIS: Poor sense of humor.
ELLIE: Not having a sense of humor. Deal breaker!
How many people have you slept with?
CHRIS: No comment!
ELLIE: Five people.
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be “blank” and “blank.”
CHRIS: In the right place at the right time.
ELLIE: I want my blind date to be adventurous and exciting.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
CHRIS: Predicting the future was never my strong point.
ELLIE: I don’t usually kiss on the first date, but we’ll see.
What’s the most important thing in the world?
CHRIS: Currently, escaping this evening unscathed.
ELLIE: To love and be loved in return.
So far, so good? Chris and Ellie are both active singles who say that a poor sense of humor would be a total deal-breaker. And while Chris’ personal brand of sex appeal might sound a little lacking, maybe Ellie can sing him a love song to try and rev his engine.
Let’s see if these two have what it takes to win a second date.
Drive You Crazy?
Chris and Ellie earn their racing stripes
An Epic Limo picks up Chris and Ellie at their respective homes in Serra Mesa and Ocean Beach and zips them back to downtown San Diego to drop them off at K1 Speed. The indoor go-kart race track has more than 40 locations across the country, including two in San Diego County (downtown and Carlsbad).
Chris and Ellie are given a quick rundown of the track, put on their helmets and strap in for a safety lap. Ellie immediately makes a wrong turn, but she manages to straighten herself out.
During their official race, Ellie finds herself in the slow lane with Chris somehow managing to lap her. In the end, Chris is the humble go-kart race victor. He may have won the race, but now he needs to win Ellie’s heart.
The fun and games aren’t over just yet as Chris and Ellie speed over to Punch Bowl Social in East Village for dinner and more competitive opportunities. Now that they’re done driving, they can also freely partake in some alcohol, which might help grease the wheel.
Punch Bowl Social is an upscale restaurant, bar and gaming complex (with activities like karaoke, bowling, foosball, arcade games, ping-pong and more) that opened in San Diego in mid 2018. With a menu by celebrity chef Hugh Acheson, it’s famous for its modern Tex-Mex cuisine and, of course, its glass punch bowls filled with spiked libations served with ladles and cups, making it an ideal drink for a group, or just a pair of blind daters.
Midway through their meal, we separate the daters to find out how things are going.
How’s it going so far?
CHRIS: It’s going better than expected. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Dating is not my forte, neither is blind dating.
ELLIE: It’s going great. It’s awesome.
What were your first impressions of your date?
CHRIS: Ellie’s fun, she’s cool.
ELLIE: He’s charismatic, fun and outgoing.
Is this the type of person you’d normally date?
CHRIS: Yeah, she ticks the boxes. She’s good looking, she’s brunette. I don’t have a type, but more often than not, if she can hang and she’s fun… So far, so good.
ELLIE: Definitely, yeah.
What do you think of the way your date is dressed?
CHRIS: For driving? Because our activity involved using our feet, and she’s wearing knee-high boots, so if I was being a good Christian, I’d say, probably not. If I was being me, I like the way she’s dressed. If I was being an ambassador for K1 Speed, I wouldn’t advise it.
ELLIE: I mean, we both came in black, so that’s always a good sign. Good jeans. Good tennis shoes. I like the hat. Overall, comfortable.
How was your experience at K1 Speed?
CHRIS: It was cool. I don’t remember what happened, per se, there may be footage, there may not be. For those of you that weren’t there, I won easily. That’s all I can remember, just winning very, very easily.
ELLIE: (Laughs) Bumpy fun. It was awesome, exciting. I started off going in the wrong direction. And then after that, I hit a few curbs and then it was fun. And I did it in high heels.
How is your experience at Punch Bowl Social?
CHRIS: First time here. A lot more going on than I expected. I knew it was fun, but I didn’t realize it had so many activities, so many games. Food was great. Old-Fashioned was phenomenal, actually. I’m a bit of an Old-Fashioned snob, a bit of a whiskey snob. But great whiskey drinks. I’m pleasantly surprised.
ELLIE: I had tacos, we had the punch bowl with bourbon and (I) had a tequila Sprite. We bowled. This space is awesome, there’s a lot to do here. A lot of fun energy and activities.
What’s the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
CHRIS: Let me win at the racing. I’m not sure what she’s told you, but as the one that won that race, letting me win was the most amazing thing.
ELLIE: Great sense of humor.
What’s the least attractive thing your date has done so far?
CHRIS: Probably telling you that she won.
ELLIE: I don’t think there really has been anything.
Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
ELLIE: I mean, 9?
And for personality?
What’s your date’s most attractive quality?
CHRIS: Her hair. I love brunettes.
What’s your date’s least attractive quality?
CHRIS: It’s early. So far, so good.
ELLIE: I wasn’t focused on that.
Do you want to kiss your date right now?
CHRIS: I’m not a kiss-and-tell type of guy.
Does your date want to kiss you?
CHRIS: (Laughs) Probably.
How and when will the date end?
CHRIS: I have an early start tomorrow. I’m a working class guy who gets up early, does his thing, so maybe not too late, but we’ll see.
ELLIE: I guess when it ends? TBD.
It seems like Chris and Ellie might be on the road to romance. After all, Chris repeatedly proclaims his love for brunettes, and says that Ellie “ticks the boxes.” And Ellie, the daredevil who’s willing to go-kart in high heels, appreciates Chris’ sense of humor and height.
It seems their hearts might be racing, as they both rated each other’s personalities as 10s and they are both sure the other wants to kiss them. But, will an impending early morning spoil their fun?
This date ended up in the gutter
After dinner and drinks at Punch Bowl, Chris and Ellie bowled a few games before deciding to call it an early night. The next day we follow up with each dater to get the inside track on the date as it approached the finish line.
How was your experience and dinner at Punch Bowl Social?
CHRIS: Punch Bowl was good. I’d never been there before. Food was great, drinks were great. I’m a bit of an Old-Fashioned snob, and I ordered one, I was a little apprehensive for a first time, first place, and it was surprisingly good. I was impressed with it.
ELLIE: Punch Bowl Social was awesome. The environment was really exciting and vibrant. I loved the games. The food and drinks were awesome as well. We did have the punch bowl and it was everything I expected.
What did you eat and drink there?
CHRIS: We had some tacos, we kept it light. We wanted to focus on getting a few drinks, keeping it social. I didn’t want to dive into a plate of food. It would kind of ruin the conversation.
ELLIE: We both had the tacos. I believe they were chicken, but I’m not entirely sure (Editor’s note: They were actually brisket and barbacoa tacos). They were really great, though. And we also had one punch bowl and a couple of Old-Fashioneds.
Where did you go and what did you do for the rest of the evening after dinner?
CHRIS: Well, Punch Bowl was the conclusion. There were a bunch of activities there, so we kind of just stayed there for dinner, drinks, did some bowling and just hung out there for a minute. And then, wrapped it up.
ELLIE: Well, before dinner, we just went to the race track. We stayed at Punch Bowl for quite a while, so after dinner, we both just chatted and then went home.
When did you get home?
CHRIS: I got home about 11.
ELLIE: Let’s see, I believe I got home around 9 or so.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
CHRIS: No, it wasn’t that kind of a date. She was cool. It was more of a good time out than a romantic encounter.
ELLIE: There was not a kiss, no. We definitely had a great discussion, great time. We exchanged numbers, so that’s good.
How and when did the date end exactly?
CHRIS: After bowling, towards the end of bowling, I spoke to her, said I had a great time. Monday is a busy day for me and I’m not trying to make a late night out of it. So we had the driver just take us to our respective houses.
ELLIE: We just wrapped it up after bowling and then that was about it. Headed home about 8:45, got home around 9.
Fill in the blanks: I wish my date had a bigger “blank” and a smaller “blank.”
CHRIS: Great question. I have to come back to that one.
ELLIE: Oh, man. I was pretty satisfied with my date, so that’s a hard question.
What’s the funniest thing that happened during the date?
CHRIS: The go-karting was pretty intense. You couldn’t hear the laughing with the helmets on, but when we pulled off to do our safety lap or our first lap, my date turned right, like the wrong way, and went the wrong way down the track. That was pretty funny.
ELLIE: We had a lot of laughs. This isn’t funny, but it did happen: This guy in front of us (on the bowling lanes at Punch Bowl), his ball was coming up the retractor and his fingers got smashed, but the way they got smashed and the way he handled it was very diva-like and funny. So, we kind of had a good laugh about it. The guy was okay. He had to call management over and they brought him a huge bag of ice, and so he just laid there with a bag of ice while we had our date.
What was the best part of the date and why?
CHRIS: Probably the go-karting, to be honest. Made me feel like I was a kid again. I haven’t done something like that in years.
ELLIE: Conversation at dinner, just because we were getting to know each other a little bit more and things started to get easy and conversational and fun.
What was the worst part of the date and why?
CHRIS: Drinking that late on a Sunday, probably. This morning was rough, but it was worth it.
ELLIE: I hit my bumper car really hard when I was driving around the first corner. It was pretty rough because it shook me around a little bit and I was a little dizzy. But that was my own fault.
Will there be a second date? Why or why not?
CHRIS: No, it’s unlikely. I’m down to hang out, she’s cool. I think we have similar friends, so I can definitely see us hanging out. I can’t see us dating, though.
ELLIE: There may or may not. I feel like we definitely hit it off. I’m not sure how romantic it would be. I think he’s an overall awesome person and I enjoyed his company and I would not mind seeing him again because it was a great time.
What’s one thing your date really should know before going on another date?
CHRIS: Don’t dominate in the go-karting. Let your partner have at least one good lap.
ELLIE: I noticed that he was checking his phone often and I always put my phone down when I’m in the presence of someone else. It didn’t bother me too much, but maybe for someone else, it would have been a little off-putting. But that would be it.
What could have made this date better?
CHRIS: Yeah, put it on a Saturday.
ELLIE: I think the date was awesome. I think we were both a little bit nervous to go on it and it really exceeded my expectations, to be honest. It was really fun.
Anything else you’d like to add?
CHRIS: Thanks for the opportunity. It was great to check out spots I never would have gone to on my own, so that was cool. It was great to meet someone new. A big thanks to PACIFIC magazine, it was great.
ELLIE: Shout out to Chris. He’s an awesome guy. It was an amazing time. Shout out to (matchmaker) Jessica, she made us feel so comfortable and walked us through the entire process, as well as the photographer. He made everything so comfortable and easy. It all seemed really natural. It was wonderful. Punch Bowl Social, they were really attentive.
AFTERMATCH: Chris blamed the early night on a busy Monday, but we can’t help but feel the date ended abruptly because he really is an “old-fashioned snob” who can’t drink late on a school night? Things seemed to be going well, and then suddenly veered off course.
While the daters had nothing but praise to offer for each other (aside from Ellie’s suggestion that Chris put his phone away on future dates, especially if he happens to be driving), they couldn’t manage to make the shift into a romantic encounter.
This date wasn’t a total clunker, but we wish it had been a better match. Good luck to Chris and Ellie as they search for a more permanent passenger in this crazy ride we call life.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Daters’ answers may have been edited for length and clarity.
SPECIAL THANKS TO AND PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATION FROM
858.270.LIMO (5466), epiclimo.com
K1 Speed San Diego
Punch Bowl Social
Matchmaker Jessica Pelligra