Here’s a somewhat different spin on our popular Top 20 blogs. We just returned from an excellent summer retreat stay-cation (are we really still using that word?) and we’ve got 20 Things to say about it. Here are 20 Things We Love About our Summer Retreat:
1. Matt Robbins: Our fearless leader, decision-maker, and signer of checks. We are so lucky to be employed the nicest CEO in the world. He empowers us in our jobs, he cares about our personal and professional lives, and he recognizes the importance of being grateful for his employees. We know how lucky we are to work for a boss who rewards us for our hard work!
2. Paradise Point Resort: From the amazing meeting space, to the waterfront guest rooms, to the relaxing spa, this is a perfect place to work hard and play hard.
3. Tilted Kilt: What a great way to start off our annual Gaslamp Tramp. We enjoyed a lovely lunch in this huge, fun space adjacent to PetCo Park. We envision all kinds of groups here – from rowdy sports fans to beer connoisseurs to pre-game partiers. They even have an illusionist perform on a regular basis.
4. Block No. 16: In a portion of what used to be Culy Warehouse, the folks at Good Time Design have transformed this venue into an impressive entertainment complex. And yes, they want you to dance on the tables. This made our resident dancer Rachelle very, very happy.
6. American Comedy Co.: Bringing in big name acts like Kevin Nealon, this cool underground comedy club is quickly becoming a contender in the stand-up world. We are excited that downtown finally has a solid comedy venue!
7. Red Light District: Former Flavor Del Mar chef Jason Maitland offers his version of new American cuisine at ASAN Hospitality Group’s downtown venture. Making the most of a smallish space, the venue’s sensual boudoir babe décor pays homage to the red light roots of the Gaslamp District.
8. Gaijin Noodle and Sake: This long and narrow space features Japanese-fusion food, Kakigori Sno-cone Cocktails (yep, you read that right), and here’s the kicker – they stay open later than the bars. Taco Bell finally is facing a much yummier contender for 4th Meal!
9. Bice: We would marry this authentic, modern Italian restaurant if it was legal. We would have Fabrizio, the kind special events manager, be the officiant. We would ask the chefs to plan our engagement party. We would honeymoon with their cheese display. ..to Italy, of course.
10. Barley Mash: We can’t believe this is the same space that used to be Whiskey Girl! Combining original historical features (brick walls, huge storefront windows) with new San Diego staples (flat screen TVs, 30 handcrafted beers on tap), this very American venue takes neighborhood bar to the next level. We were most impressed by the level of service and the chef’s passion for quality ingredients and food.
11. World Famous: We enjoyed dinner at this popular Pacific Beach restaurant. We also enjoyed views of the Pacific Ocean. We mostly enjoyed watching Matt’s traditional menu-reading in his spot-on Julia Child accent.
12. San Diego Sunsets: Paradise Point Resort offered amazing views of the sun sinking into San Diego’s Mission Bay. We were all watching in awe and reminding ourselves that while so many people only get to have this experience on vacation, we get to call this paradise home.
13. Air Conditioned Hotel Rooms: The downside to living in a place with amazing year-round weather? Most of our houses and apartments don’t have air conditioners. So it was a treat to cool off in our rooms with the A/C pumping after a hot day out on the town.
14. Getting to know the Newbies: Retreats are always the best way to get to know our newest teammates (and for them to discover just how goofy we are). Our newest hires Jessica Ingalls and Danny Fisk both showed up to work on the following Monday after the retreat, so at least we know we didn’t scare them off! In all seriousness, it was a pleasure to spend quality time getting to know the newbs.
15. Jet Skies: Even though we encountered a potential man-down situation (note to riders – hang on tight when you’re on the back of these sea-monsters), we still managed to have a blast zipping around the bay.
16. Being Productive: It’s not all fun and games on our retreats. We always spend a good amount of the time discussing ways to improve our brand, our company, our customer service, our office, and our events! It’s amazing how a meeting in a non-typical setting can really inspire fresh ideas.
17. S’mores and Bonfires: Even though Matt has a snobby approach to marshmallow –roasting (Romy eventually yelled at him – “get off your s’mores horse!”), we had a fantastic night of laughs ‘round the old campfire. Lindsay forgot to bring her guitar so she went with her lesser-known, lesser-appreciated standup routine.
18. Positivity: We always like to incorporate at least one mushy feel-good activity into our agenda. We closed our retreat by anonymously submitting positive words to each of our co-workers. We got to take home these notes as a warm and fuzzy reminder that we are truly loved by our Event Team family members.
19. Total Recall: Retreats always spawn discussion of our favorite moments from past retreats. Some highlights include biking across the Golden Gate Bridge, staying up all night in Vegas, and providing our own comedy at LA’s Magic Castle.
20. Planning for the Future: We are in the business of topping ourselves, of making events bigger and better than they were previously. Naturally we try to do this with retreats (if the budget allows). Which is why we’ve all been walking around the office chanting “Cabo, Cabo, Cabo!”