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The Ten Steps to an Early Morning Diaper Change

Diaper Changing - Step OneStep 1 – Remove dirty diaper.
Step 2 – Frantically try to catch and clean the fresh stream of urine.
Step 3 – Clean infant and outfit with new diaper.
Step 4 – Groan at the sound of a fresh diaper deposit.
Step 5 – Subtract precious minutes of sleep as you wait for any additional deposits.
Step 6 – Replace current dirty diaper with clean one.
Step 7 – Desperately try to sooth infant who will cry for almost no reason.
Step 8 – Swaddle infant and rock until asleep.
Step 9 – Place infant into bassinet.
Step 10 – Lay back down and instead of sleeping, stare at ceiling wide awake and willfully hold back the urge to scream Fu….

Photo courtesy of sunsurfr.

Festival of Sail – Cannon Battles and Tall Ships on San Diego Bay

Exy Johnson on San Diego Bay - Festival of Sail

The cannon fire dissipates away from the Exy Johnson at the Festival of Sail.

Summer may technically come to an end in late September, but most consider Labor Day weekend to be the season’s official closure with most schools starting the next week. Thankfully, San Diego’s Embarcadero goes out with a bang during the warm “last-weekend-of-summer” with not only a sand sculpting competition and an 1812 overture with fireworks, but also cannon battles and tall ship cruises at the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s Festival of Sail.

The Festival

A small fee ($5 in 2013) grants visitors entrance to the Festival of Sail which includes numerous vendor booths, street food, beer gardens, over a dozen tall ships, and all of the Maritime Museum’s ships and exhibits.

The vendor area takes over the street portion of the festival. Walk around for a bit if you want to do a little shopping. If it’s hot, take a seat and enjoy some of the live music. Otherwise, make your way to the main event on the water, the tall ships!

Over a dozen tall ships and their crews are waiting along the water for visitors to come aboard. Take the time to explore each ship and ask questions of those onboard. Kids can have fun collecting all the stamps from each one of the ships.

Make sure to tour the museum’s collection including the Star of IndiaHMS Surprise, B-39 Submarine, USS Dolphin Submarine, and the Steam Berkeley Ferry. Start off with the submarines since only a few people can enter at a time and lines will quickly form.

Tip: Take a break from the sun and the crowds on the second level of the Steam Ferry Berkeley. Order a drink (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) from the bar, grab a seat next to one of the windows and watch the people and the ships go by.

Cannon Battles

At least twice a day, two of the tall ships take to the waters of San Diego Bay engage in a spectacular and loud cannon battle. While you can see the battles from the shoreline or the deck of many of the ships, the best view is from the cannon battle cruises offered by the Maritime Museum.

Even if you are not around for the schedule cannon battles, the ships out on the water sail by at regular intervals and “fire” at the docks. Head to the dock behind the Steam Ferry Berkeley and get up close with a few cannons that museum staff and volunteers will fire.

The dock’s cannon crew will also fire two Napoleonic cannons a few times throughout the day. Just make sure to cover your ears for those two!

Getting to the Festival of Sail

You can drive if you want to, but parking near the Festival of Sail is almost impossible. I highly recommend using alternative modes of transportation. Park at one of the trolley stations (Old Town is usually a good option) and take the Green Line to the County Center/Little Italy Station. Once off the trolley, walk a few blocks west to the festival.

Not quite ready for San Diego’s public transportation? Then consider using the car services offered by UberLyft or Sidecar. They will drop you off right at the festival and when you are done, use their services to get you home.

Festival of Sail Information

When: Labor Day Weekend
Where: 1492 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101

Photos of Festival of Sail

Butcher’s Brewing Now Pouring in San Diego’s Santee

Beer List - Butcher's Brewing

Just close your eyes and pick one. You’re almost guaranteed to like it

After contract brewing for a while in Irvine, Butcher’s Brewing has found a more permanent home in San Diego’s Santee. Before opening in early May 2013, Rey Knight (brewmaster and owner) and his crew made a few renovations to the old Manzanita brewery and tasting room including the addition of a few more taps for a total of 15.

I had the opportunity to attend the #ButchersBeerUp for a short tour and to sample what Butcher’s been brewing in East County!

The Beer

The Beer - Butcher's Brewing

Just three of the 5 beers to be enjoyed at Butcher’s Brewing:

We’re yeast farmers. We tend to yeast, we keep yeast happy, and the by-product is beer.

Before the tour, a group of local beer lovers gathered in the tasting room to sample 5 of Butcher’s Brewing’s beers:  Haupia Cream Ale (4.5% ABV, 18 IBU, dry hopped with roasted coconut and vanilla), Fair Weather Friend High Hopped Pale Ale (4.5% ABV, 62 IBU, brewed with Simcoe Hops), Free Range IPA (7% ABV, 70 IBU, brewed with Nelson Sauvin Hops), Ultimatum Red  IPA (7% IPA, 56 IBU, brewed with Centennial, Cascade and Columbus Hops), and Continental Breakfast Stout (6.8% ABV, 40 IBU, brewed with roasted barley and rolled oats).

I had just finished a hike through Mission Trails Regional Park and was thankful to start off the tasting with the light and refreshing Haupia Cream Ale. I could have drank it all day but there were four more beers to sample.

Fair Weather Friend was a nicely balanced combination of hoppiness and a pale ale. This would be a great beer for sitting around the back yard and enjoying the sunshine.

It might of just been the thirst, but Free Range IPA was a little too hoppy for me. I will try it again.

On the other hand, Ultimatum Red IPA is deadly! I like reds and IPAs and the smooth combination of the two was so delicious I ordered a pint after the brewery tour.

The Continental Breakfast Stout rounded out the tasting. The interesting thing about this stout is even though there is a coffee flavor, no coffee was used in the brewing process. I would like to return to the brewery and try this one again on a cold fall evening.

From top to bottom, my choices would be Ultimatum Red IPA, Fair Weather Friend, Haupia Cream Ale, Continental Breakfast Stout and Free Range IPA.

The Brewery

Hombrew System - Butcher's Brewing

The homebrew system that started it all

We use a gravity-fed system because gravity rarely fails.

According to West Coaster, Butcher’s Brewing is the 72nd brewery in San Diego County! The brewery setup consists of 11 repurposed honey tanks which each hold 7 barrels of beer. Because of it’s smaller capacity, Rey considers Butcher’s Brewing a nano brewery.

The nano-brewing system is set up with some high-tech temperature controls (the same controls used by White Labs) that provide the brewers with the ability to change barrel temperatures on the fly from an iPhone. A heater on the roof helps with the cold desert nights and is definitely not needed during the warmer months when the temperature inside can easily reach 104°.

The brewing system technology can also change the water hardness on the fly. Since water makes up 90% of beer, the water hardness is very important. For example, hard water is used when brewing a stout and soft water is used for pilsner.

Even with all this fancy brewing technology, Rey turns to his old homebrew system when he wants to brew a pilot batch. Ahh, the simple things in life…

So next time you are exploring San Diego’s East County, stop by Butcher’s for an Ultimatum and tell ’em Bernasconi sent you (they won’t know who I am, but it’s the thought that counts).

Butcher’s Brewing Info

Location: 9962 Prospect Avenue, Suite E, Santee, CA 92071
Phone: 619.334.2222
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter
Tasting Room Hours:
– Tuesday-Saturday: 2:00 to 10:00 PM
– Sunday: 2:00 to 8:00 PM
– Monday: Closed