By David Perloff
Photos by Brevin Blach
The sky is blue, the pool party's packed, and headlining act NERVO is about to tear up the stage. Hailed as the world's top female DJs, the Australian musicians/sisters have 2.7 million Facebook fans, many of whom are presently dancing with their shirts (and more) off, here at Intervention Sundays at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego. Blind daters Megan and Travis are about to arrive in the Epic Limo that picked them up about an hour ago. Before they join the Sunday Funday action at Float (Hard Rock's pool-level bar/club), let's review the pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Megan: Born and raised in San Diego. Currently live in La Jolla.
Travis: I grew up in a small town called WaKeeney, Kansas. About 1,000 people in it. I was in Kansas until I was 25, then I moved to New York when I was recruited to the USA bobsled team. After that, I moved to San Diego in 2010 and currently reside in lovely Cardiff by the Sea.
What do you do for a living?
Megan: I work as the Insider at the W San Diego Hotel downtown. I also just started a small business-slash-running club, Rundiego.
Travis: I am currently on a quest to be a wizard. Until then, I make a living in two different industries. I'm a partner in an oil and gas business named ECPS and I run my personal training business by the name of White Buffalo Fitness.
What do you do for fun?
Megan: I love going out and trying all the new spots. I'm really into local concerts, small venues; running; cooking
Paleo; traveling and visiting the pandas at the zoo.
Travis: Surfing, playing the violin, working out, giving Kraft cheese singles as my business card to women at bars, partying occasionally, playing sand volleyball and miming on the weekends.
What are you best at?
Megan: Falling asleep during any movie.
Travis: Being comfortable in uncomfortable situations and making decisions.
What do you suck at?
Megan: Packing lightly. And math.
Travis: Arithmetic. Is it still called that?
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
Megan: I like guys that are tall, dark hair and nice hands. I admire a sense of humor, honesty and goals. A San Diego native with a dog would be nice.
Travis: Physically, someone who takes care of herself, works out, preferably does some weightlifting... I seem to connect better with those who do. And a naturally beautiful woman, not a painted clown. Long hair is attractive, too. Otherwise, a woman who takes care of herself mentally, spiritual, driven, and she needs to have backbone - my sense of humor is typically not overly sensitive. It's funny, though.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
Megan: Milkshake brings boys to yard.
Travis: I don't need five. Confidence.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
Megan: Based on who people say I resemble, I'm somewhere in between Cameron Diaz and the baby dinosaur, Baby Sinclair, from the old cartoon Dinosaurs.
Travis: Ten. If I'm the only one on the scale, I win, right?
What traits could your date exhibit that would be deal-breakers?
Megan: If he is disrespectful or comes on too strong, offers to show me his latest bathroom selfie or picture of his car, is here just living the California dream in O.B. or hates dogs.
Travis: Smoking, stupidity, nose picking, poor health habits.
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be "blank" and "blank."
Megan: Neat and have chemistry.
Travis: Confident and beautiful inside and out.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or less?
Megan: Damned if you do, damned if you don't?
Travis: How much free booze do we get?
What's the most important thing in the world?
Megan: Family and goat cheese.
As Megan and Travis set foot on the Intervention Sundays pool deck, NERVO assumes the position at the audio helm. And then the place explodes - high-pressure smoke/ steam jets, a blizzard of confetti and thousands (give or take) of pool-party people bouncing to the beat.
858.270.LIMO (5466), epiclimo.com
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
207 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp
866.751.ROCK (7625), interventionsd.com
Love For Sail
Setting a course for water-bound romance
The daters carouse around the venue with legions of adoring EDM fans for about an hour, then jump back into the limo and head to Coronado, where a sailboat awaits at Seaforth Boat Rental. After Captain Russell gives a brief but effective safety-training course ("the lifejackets are in here; the fire extinguishers are there"), it's time to set sail.
Alas, the wind ain't havin' today. Despite the sailboat's running on gasoline, however, the voyage seems to be no less romantic, as evidenced by the fact that Megan and Travis are now perched at the front of the boat, channeling their inner Leo and Kate and having a Titanic moment.
After motoring north to the airport, the boat turns around and heads back to Coronado. During the return leg of the trip, the couple sits along the side of the boat, smiling as they talk and embrace. Before reaching land, they're split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How's it going so far?
Megan: It's going really well, much better than I'd expected. He's a total gentleman. He's really funny, he's going with everything that we're doing, making me feel very comfortable, giving me compliments. It's really nice.
Travis: It's going really well. I'm pleasantly surprised at her personality. She's nice, she's funny, we can hold a good conversation. We have more in common than I thought we would.
What were your first impressions?
Megan: Total country boy. Just a gentleman, and he's very cute. Great first impression.
Travis: Very pretty. When I first saw her, because she was very good-looking, I wondered if she was superficial, but she's not. Looks like she takes care of herself, which is good, and important to me.
Is this the type of person you'd normally date?
Megan: Yeah, I think so. He's not from San Diego, which is good. He's from Kansas, which is nice. I have a lot of friends from Kansas, so it was really cool to find out that's where he's from. But, yeah, physically - totally. He has a great personality.
Travis: She is. She's outgoing, she's funny, she has a good personality.
How was Intervention?
Megan: We walked into a huge party and just watched the DJs and danced, and kinda played around with the people dancing around us. It was great, so much fun. Really glad we went. It was his first time being there. I had been there before, and we had a great time.
Travis: It was fun, it was wild, it was outgoing. We had a good time. We got to see a whole bunch of just partyin' people and stuff like that. Very entertaining.
What would your parents say if you brought your date home?
Megan: They would love him. He went to Pittsburgh State, where my step-dad went, so they will die. They'll like it a lot.
Travis: They'd be happy. She's cute, she's got a good job and she's got a good head on her shoulders.
Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
How about for personality?
Describe your experience on the boat so far.
Megan: It's a gorgeous day, and I had never seen the harbor from the backside of Coronado before. It's been perfect. We've have the music playing, a seal was swimming next to us at one point - which doesn't sound that exciting, but it was - and Travis and I have gotten to spend some time getting to know each other.
Travis: The boat's been great, the weather is perfect and the water is calm. We got to see the skyline of downtown, the Coronado Bridge, the Midway and a seal swimming around.
Do you want to kiss your date now?
Megan: I do, but I want to wait. He's kissed me a couple times on my forehead, which was nice.
Travis: Hell yeah. Does your date want to kiss you? megaN: I think so. travis: Hope so.
When the boat docks, the couple disembarks and changes for dinner at Union Kitchen & Tap in the Gaslamp. As they arrive at the new restaurant/ bar on Fifth Avenue (sister location to the original one in Encinitas), they sit on the same side of a semi-private table at the back of the main dining room.
Seaforth Boat & Yacht Rentals
1715 strand Way, Coronado
(Make that "lubbers")
From across the room at Union Kitchen & Tap, Megan and Travis look like a couple in love - sitting close, talking softly, appearing perfectly comfortable together. They finish their meals before the magazine crew does (we ordered dessert), and then stroll out the front door, free to enjoy the rest of their evening away from the camera.
The next morning, we call to see what we missed.
PacificSD: How was dinner at union? What did you have to eat and drink?
Megan: Union Kitchen & Tap was awesome. It is a really big space and nice atmosphere. Our server was excellent, which is huge for me when choosing where to go. I really liked the menu, too. We started with calamari and flatbread that had egg on it, which was new and interesting. I had the Shrimp and Grits; it was spicy and delicious. To drink, I had the world's best beer, Ballast Point Sculpin. I will definitely be going back.
Travis: Union was very nice. It was bigger than I expected. Good décor and great vibe. We had a flatbread appetizer with an egg on it that turned out great; and also the calamari, which was good, too. For the entrée I had salmon, which was excellent.
Where did you go when you left the restaurant?
Megan: We had finished eating, so we decided to head out into the Gaslamp. We went over to Side Bar.
Travis: We had the limo, so we decided to have it take us around to a couple more places.
What did you do for the rest of the evening?
Megan: After downtown, we went to The Shack in La Jolla. It was fun. We had a beer there, talked some more, and then I went home, and Travis took an Uber back to his house.
Travis: We stopped by Side Bar, then headed back north and stopped at The Shack in La Jolla. We dropped her off, then a strange man named Carlos took me home.
Was there a kiss?
Megan: When we were on the drive from Coronado to downtown after the boat, we had our first kiss. It was fireworks and butterflies and the whole thing. It felt completely natural and perfect timing.
Travis: The kiss came way earlier than the end of the night. We were heading back over the Coronado Bridge, and it felt right, so I went for a kiss. And, honestly, it was the best first kiss I've ever had.
What was the best part of the date?
Megan: I think the best part was Travis asked me really important questions. He seemed like he knew what he wanted and was interested in how we would fit. He knew how to have a good conversation, which made him even more attractive.
Travis: I think it was the boat ride. It was very relaxing, great weather. I got to hold a beautiful woman. What else can you ask for?
Will there be a second date?
Megan: For sure.
Travis: I sure hope so.
By the time they arrived at Intervention yesterday afternoon, it was clear the daters were hitting it off. And during the mid-date break, when asked what her parents would think of Travis, Megan said, "they'll like it a lot" (note that she said "will," not "would"), as if dinner with the folks were already on the books. For Megan, that first kiss with Travis was like, "fireworks and butterflies and the whole thing." For Travis, "it was the best first kiss I've ever had." From the pool party to the boat ride to dinner, it really was a picture-perfect date - and that's not going overboard.
Union Kitchen & Tap
333 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp