You try so hard to make things easy and then you get tripped up again.
So, deploying Visual Web Parts in SharePoint was the big promise at the show. Now when the "rubber hits the road" we have another configuration issue. The user that is running the instance of Visual Studio needs to have access to the database and the SharePoint server in order to deploy the solution. While this makes sense from a security stand point, how does this make things easier?
Error occurred in deployment step ‘Recycle IIS Application Pool’: The local SharePoint server is not available. Check that the server is running and connected to the SharePoint farm.
Error occurred in deployment step ‘Recycle IIS Application Pool’: Cannot connect to the SharePoint site: http://localhost/. Make sure that this is a valid URL and the SharePoint site is running on the local computer. If you moved this project to a new computer or if the URL of the SharePoint site has changed since you created the project, update the Site URL property of the project
Found the fix here:
Using the Run As on the SHIFT + Right Click on the Visual Studio Shortcut, I am able to provide credentials for the SharePoint account. This allowed my code to successfully be deployed to the environment.
Other thing to note:
When I Run As a separate user, Visual Studio assumes that I'm logged in as a different user. So this means that all my Visual Studio customizations are reverted to the default. Hmmm.