Friday, November 29, 2019


It’s finally here! The final day of Melissa’s (aka Jersey Girl and The Colonel) San Diego visit. We spent the quintessential sunny San Diego afternoon on Coronado Island. On the sidewalks there were “stars” as part of the November Coronado Film Festival. They looked temporary, as the decals were already beginning to peel and crack. Great idea for a permanent walk of fame though (hint hint Coronado). “Wizard of Oz” fan that she is, Melissa had to get close to Jack Haley’s (the Tinman) star.

I was sure to find Marilyn’s. All the major stars and Director Billy Wilder had stars, since “Some Like It Hot” had many scenes filmed right here at the Island and at the Hotel Del Coronado (our destination).

Melissa hates surprises. HATES. She is a maker of lists, itineraries, and starts to pack for trips at least a month advance. For realz. Naturally, I had to plan a huge surprise for her...and tell her that there was a surprise in advance, and let her stew on it for a few months. Cause that’s the kind of guy I am. The surprise turned out to be her good friend Lori, who traveled down from the OC to spend the afternoon with us. Melissa was truly surprised and we had a lovely afternoon. So there, Melissa!

We had lunch with a view at Sheerwater, The Hotel del’s oceanside restaurant.

Lunch (and the company!) was out of this world.

The obligatory walk to the beach and the ocean followed. Unlike most San Diego tour groups, the beach is not necessarily #1 on my list of things to do. EVERYONE does the beach...and I ain’t everyone.

Melissa did her best Marilyn, sans Tony Curtis.

Sand castles are often found on the Coronado beach, as it is probably one of the nicest beaches in Southern California, without the boozy/sloppy tourists that frequent the other ones.

A final selfie of the gang before heading back.

I would be remiss without posting any of my detailed shots. A door from the del hardware:

The lobby light fixture, which has been Hilton-ized. Yes...the del is now owned by The Hilton.

Compare to my 2012 photo:

Back home after much needed naps, Melissa and I completed craft time. This particular project was making our own miniature Grauman’s slabs.

And then it was off to Little Italy, for the final cute outfit and the final meal (urp). Yes...there’s a lotta’ food consumption when you hang with me.

For old school Italian, we went to Mona Lisa restaurant.

The gnocchi got Melissa’s seal of approval!

The new plaza fountain in Little Italy:

...and the final selfie.

A great time was had by all, so until April - try not to miss me, Melissa!

See more Daveland photos at my main website.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Giving Thanks

While some may be spending time waging a #WarOnThanksgiving, here at Daveland I’m grateful for the opportunity to give thanks for all the blessings in my life. Regardless of the reasons of Thanksgiving’s origins, I believe it’s always good to stop and reflect and think about the good things that abound in one’s life, as it is often too easy to focus on those gray clouds. Today’s first photo shows Mom at the family Thanksgiving table, circa 1939. I love this shot; the family gathering, the bountiful harvest, and the quintessential Norman Rockwell image of the turkey being carved.

I am most grateful for my little ride-or-die partner: Willis.

Our long weekend walks:

The days he comes with me to work (and grateful for that privilege, too!):

His diligent protection of our home:

Yup. He’s pretty much the best!

What are you most thankful for this year?

See more Daveland photos at my main website.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Jersey Girl, Pt. 4

Today’s post is dedicated to just one evening’s activity: driving all the way out to BFE to the Moonlight Theatre in Vista to see The Doo Wop Project. It takes a lot to get me to Vista. Even though the group was minus the two Doms (Dominic Nolfi and Dominic Scaglione), it was a fantastic night of music and fun. How could you not be entertained with Dwayne Cooper’s singing, dancing, and flirting with the audience...

...and Tony Award nominee Charl Brown’s smooth moves and grooves:

Get Dwayne and Charl together and you can’t go wrong:

Nemo’s got nothing on Dwayne:

Five guys singing Doo really must be heard (and seen) to be believed; especially when they “Doo-Woop-afy” the modern tunes, like Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.” One of my favorites of the evening.

A change of costume:

Don’t try this at home, folks. You’ll throw your back out!

After the show we went backstage and got to meet Charl’s family. Just as nice as could be.

With Dwayne and Charl:

Melissa shows off yet another cute outfit:

This little video clip I shot on my crappy cellphone doesn’t begin to capture the evening, but I’m including it anyway. Charl making “Tears of a Clown” his very own:

Check out the Doo Wop Project’s tour schedule and make sure you catch them when they come to your area!

ONE more installment! Stay tuned!

See more Daveland photos at my main website.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Temple Tuesday: No Mercy for Shelley!

This December 1976 image shows Shirley at the Golden Apple Awards, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Also in the photo are George Burns, Shelley Winters, and John Wayne. What’s so funny? Could be Shelley’s missing tooth. She doesn’t seem to be trying to hide it!

Even as a little girl, Shirley had the good sense to keep her mouth closed when she lost a tooth! It’s true; right before putting her hands in the cement, Shirley lost a front one.

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Jersey Girl, Pt. 3

We’re up to Day 3, and still have lots of ground to cover! Another hike with Willis which lead to this photo opp for Melissa to pose in front of Hamilton Tavern. Even though it has nothing to do with the Broadway Show, let’s not tell her the truth and spoil her photo, ok? While there’s no coffee to be had at Daveland, nothing like a daily dose of Cranberry juice to get you going...and keep the pipes clean!

Breakfast was at The Mission, which I first discovered in Mission Beach, but can now also enjoy in my hood of North Park.

A cellphone photo-duel!

Oh the pancakes...and bacon! Pass the syrup, please!

The carb-loading was so that we could handle all the ghosts at one of San Diego’s (allegedly) most haunted homes, The Whaley House. Located in Old Town, it had been almost two decades since I last took a tour.

Here I am posing with Thomas Whaley himself, who has (allegedly) been seen haunting the house by many a visitor.

The house has served many a purpose over the years, including Thomas Whaley's general store:

The County Court House:

Pardon me while I admire this desk:

and San Diego's first commercial theater:

Something creepy about this staircase…

Melissa looks like she’s just seen a ghost!

The family that plays together…


Time to explore the rest of Old Town! The Church of the Immaculate Conception:

The El Campo Santo Cemetery:

While there are a number of headstones and bodies buried here, some didn’t quite make the cemetery. They were paved over by San Diego Avenue. And yes...this has lead to (allegedly) quite a bit of paranormal activity by the deceased who were not happy about this!

Let’s stop by the Blacksmith Shop:

Still active!

Once the home of the festive Casa de Bandini Restaurant (they served margaritas you could basically swim in!), this building has been "restored" back to its 1869 incarnation, The Cosmopolitan Hotel:

Not to be confused with the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas!

One of the leftover “guests” from the dia de los muertos celebration. The one on the right...not Melissa on the left!

Melissa thought this Conestoga wagon would make the perfect addition to the Pioneer Camp that she puts together every summer. Her husband might think differently.

Who’s ready for the Good Ship Lollipop?

Just up the street a bit is Heritage Park, where a number of threatened Victorian-style homes were salvaged and moved into one place.

I’ll take either one of these, thank you.

Melissa in the Heritage Park church, praying her husband doesn’t see her PayPal bill.

Another short car ride away took us to the Junípero Serra Museum at the Presidio was founded in 1929 by George Marston (remember seeing his house the other day, dear readers? Pay attention, please!).

Melissa enjoyed the view of Mission Valley:

The Junípero Serra Museum exhibits archeological finds, historic objects, and reference materials related to Spanish colonization and the early history of California. Regardless, I just think the building and the views are pretty cool!

After a brief nap, it was time to grab a quick dinner at North Park’s urbn Pizza.

Oh…their mashed potato pizza. Words cannot begin to describe.

Ready for more? You’ll have to wait until Wednesday!

See more Daveland photos at my main website.