High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Out There A'havin' That Warm California Sun (Shady's Vacation, Pt. 3)

Well, I'm goin' out west out on the coast

Where the California girls are really the most






Mrs. Shady and I stayed with family in El Cajon,
a valley surrounded by mountains a few miles
east of San Diego. After our whirlwind tour of
attractions in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona
we were pooped and needed to mix relaxation
with sightseeing, dining and shopping.

Fate intervened. It was on this part of
the trip that I met and fell in love with
a California girl named Maggie.

Here she is - Maggie - the sweet,
affectionate German Shepherd mix
owned by our hosts.

The only "Dell" I ever knew was the Shady Dell in York, PA.
As I discovered, San Diego also has a famous place
nicknamed "The Del." It's the Hotel Del Coronado,
 a luxury beachfront hotel that opened in 1888.
  In the late 1950s, "The Del" was used as a
filming location for Billy Wilder's hit
comedy movie Some Like It Hot.

Watch this brief film clip as stars Marilyn Monroe,
Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, arrive at "The Del."

Now scroll down and view pictures
we took in July when we visited
the Hotel Del Coronado and other
scenic spots around San Diego.

We sipped iced coffee and munched snacks
inside "The Del." (Reminded me of my
youth at the other "Dell.")

This pic of San Diego Bay was taken from
Coronado Ferry Landing Marketplace.

See those green umbrellas in the distance?
That's where we went for dinner.

While we were enjoying dockside dining
at Peohe's, this huge boat passed by!

The weather was again perfect
the day we visited Balboa Park.

I kissed Maggie goodbye
(yep, right on the mouth)

as we bade farewell to family members
and left their lovely home in El Cajon.

Once again we drove across the desert Southwest,
paralleling the Mexican border until we reached our
final destination..... (Yikes - that scary movie
just came to mind)..... Tuscon, Arizona.

The following pictures were snapped
during our stay in Sabino Canyon
and other areas around Tuscon.

Everywhere we went in the Tuscon area,
stately Saguaro and other species
of cacti were on display.

These images show the rugged terrain we saw
as we drove through Saguaro National Park.
Helpful hint...don't get lost out there!

The time had come for us to leave the Southwestern
states and get back to where we once belonged.
Please play the following song and
change the words as follows:

Shady left for home from Tuscon, Arizona
(Kept off the California grass)

We departed from Tuscon and flew east.
For the third time this trip our plane
touched down in a Texas city.
It was my first glimpse of this
area and I'm pretty sure
 I spotted JR and the
Ewing ranch.

From Dallas we flew to back Orlando and our
wild west odyssey came to an end. After three
solid weeks of togetherness, Mrs. Shady and
I were... how can I best describe it?...

...a prickly pair!

Hot, dusty and saddle sore, the first thing
I needed to do when I got home was this:






Have a Shady day!


  1. Hi Shady Del Knight,

    I love the pictures and the Spanish influence in some of the homes :) and of course the cacti! Beatlemania still alive and well and thank you for posting a British influence on your blog. Looking ahead to the next segment in your holiday series...

    1. Good morning to me and good evening to you, dear Allie-Millie! Aren't those cacti marvelous? I've been collecting cacti and succulents since the 1980s so naturally it was a treat for me to see thousands of them growing in their natural habitat. The mighty saguaro can live 150 to 200 years in that extreme heat and relentless sunshine. I was tempted to harvest a giant specimen and take it home with me but I doubt that a 20 foot tall organ pipe would be allowed on a commercial airliner! :)

      Glad you enjoyed my tie-in to the Beatles in this post and I invite you back next time for much more music in the grand finale of my series How The West Was Fun.

      Thank you very much for coming and have a wonderful week, dear friend Allie-Millie!

  2. What I enjoyed most on this part of the trip was the pleasant weather in San Diego. Being near the water kept the temperature down and we had bright sunny days the whole time we were there. Maggie was a beautiful animal but she kept reminding me of Toto. You also forgot to mention the coyotes.

    You did a great job on this three part series!

    1. Hi, dear Kathryn! Yessum, I quickly became attached to Maggie and was sad when it was time for us to leave her. She also reminded me that we had lost our dog Toto exactly one year earlier.

      I should let readers know that our family's house in El Cajon is in a neighborhood that runs along a steep hillside covered with rocks and boulders. Coyotes (and rattlesnakes) populate the mountainous region and on several occasions we heard coyotes howling. We were told that coyotes have been known to come down the hill and attack and eat cats and other unattended pets.

      Thank you for your support of the series and for keeping a sense of humor, dear Kathryn. Let's have a great week!

  3. My Goodness! I couldn't say what my favorite part of this series might be, the adorable Maggie, or the fabulous Hotel Del Coronado! What a great place, and the video in black and white was so cool to go with it. I loved that movie and remember Joe E Brown, aka Joey Brown, being in it. You got the best photos of this area!
    Did you get to take any cacti samples home with you? I bet you were foaming (literally) at the mouth when you went through that park, lol! The photos are really impressive-nice specimens Shady!

    I love seeing photos of various water bodies, and your bay pictures are really great, along with the gardens at Balboa Park!

    You and Mrs. Shady covered a lot of territory, and, have recorded some great memories. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Dallas video...I could see the silhouette of your plane over the city while you snapped photos, haha!

    This had to be one of the greatest vacations ever, Shady! I know we just appreciate and enjoy the beauties that you have documented for always in our lives! Oh, yeah, Coyotes and rattlesnakes fall in that category of great finds!
    And, Maggie,'s nice that she brought to mind those dear days gone by. We lost our beautiful Husky, Whitey, two years ago this month, and, we're still grieving.

    A great, informative and, fun post Shady! And, to think, I made it on the same day! Have a great week Shadylicious! See you soon!♫

    1. Hello hello hello, dear Suzanne! You made it over in record time, my special friend, and I thank you for dropping in. We visited the Hotel Del Coronado on a weekend. The beach was crowded and the hotel was like a madhouse on the inside, too. One floor below ground level they have pricey clothing shops plus an exhibit that chronicles the history of the hotel from the time it was built to present.

      Yessum, I waved from the plane as we came in for a landing in Dallas and I'm pretty sure I saw Scootie Potter out in your backyard helping with the gardening. :)

      Maggie is a wonderful pooch. She's 9 years old but has only been living with the our California relatives for a year. The poor thing spent most of her life in the possession of a man who had other dogs that were mean to Maggie and attacked her. When the owner died Maggie wound up in a shelter and was fortunate to have been adopted at the age of 8...very unusual for a large breed dog because most people want cute little puppies. Now Maggie has a forever home with a family that loves her and treats her right.

      I'm so pleased you enjoyed the series, dear friend Suzanne. It's back to music basics next time and I hope to see you then. In the meantime, have a safe and happy week, sweetie!

    2. Suzanne, I forgot to answer your question. I did bring back some succulent cuttings taken from our California hosts' garden. They are assorted Kalanchoe that look like these specimens:

      I already have them potted and they are doing well and looking great among the other cacti and succulents in my sun room!

  4. I love all the beautiful pics in this vacation segment! The Del is fabulous. So much history! Isn't Maggie a sweetheart. Did spending time with her make you want another dog? Eddy came for his Sunday visit and he gave me a big kiss on the lips too! Glad you & Mrs. Shady made it home safe and have lots of great photos & memories. I love "Splish Splash"...reminds me of when I was young taking my Saturday night bath! Have a good week!

    1. Hi, YaYa! Thanks for coming over, dear friend! Yessum, the Del is fabulous. It was quite an experience to wander around inside the hotel and realize that Marilyn Monroe and countless other rich and famous people shared that same space over the years.

      Maggie is a wonderful dog and I spent most of my time in California petting, scratching and sweet talking her. Truth be told, I've yearned for another dog ever since we lost Toto, but Mrs. Shady and I agreed that we want to travel more often in our senior years and we can't afford to be tied down with another pet. I will have to be content lavishing love on other people's dogs. Is it any wonder I got so attached to your Eddy? I'm happy to hear he visited the Pines again this weekend. I hope the weather allowed him to roam around the property and maybe even explore the Creepy Woods just like old times.

      Thank you again, dear friend YaYa, for dropping by and spreading cheer this evening. Please have a safe and happy week ahead!

  5. What an amazing trip, my friend! That last leg into CA. was beautiful. We plan to go back to Arizona some day, hopefully next year, and hope to get further into the southern end, like you all. So sorry I was late to the game- trying to get caught up!

    1. Hi, Shelly! Thank you very much for swinging by, dear friend. This was my first trip west of Houston and it was a genuine memory maker.

      San Diego Bay and the Ferry Landing Marketplace were delightful and dining dockside was a special treat, too. I enjoyed watching boats of all sizes passing by while we ate and the temperature was perfect.

      Even though Tuscon is south of Phoenix it was actually a little cooler there but still above 100 degrees. I want to give a plug to the Eclectic Cafe in Sabino Canyon where I enjoyed the best sandwich of my life, a vegetarian concoction on 15 grain bread. The cafe had an outdoor dining area equipped with a row of misters which sprayed intermittently to lower the temperature.

      Yessum, I know you are playing catch up. I was glad to see that you finally got the chance to reply to comments on your Grand Canyon story.

      Thank you again for being here, dear friend Shelly, and enjoy your week!

  6. Hi Shady,

    Maggie looks like she has some Labrador in her...

    I've been to Saguaro. Someone told us there were snakes and poisonous spiders, so I did not leave the car!

    1. Hi, Susie! Thanks so much for coming! Yessum, Maggie is a mixed breed and a very lucky girl to have found a forever home with our relatives. A year ago at age 8 she was essentially rescued from a shelter by our kindhearted family members who took her in rather than opting to buy or adopt a puppy.

      Every rest stop in New Mexico and Arizona and even the VLA radio astronomy observatory had signs posted warning of poisonous snakes and scorpions, but we didn't see any. Even so, it was a little creepy. The threat of venomous critters combined with triple digit temperatures made our travels surreal at times... like going through hell. :)

      I'm so glad to see you, dear friend Susie. Thanks again for coming by and have a great week!

  7. ive seen many shows about people getting lost in that desert! as pretty as it looks, its best not to go wandering!! but how lovely is that big ol' Del Coronado! the roof looks like it would have some really great rooms and views from there! Thanks for sharing your trip pics with us! much better then forcing everyone into your lounge room to see the slides on a picture carousel!

    1. Hi again, dear Catherine! I'm very happy you've popped in to see Part 3 of How The West Was Fun. I agree that the desert is a beautiful sight but it can turn deadly if you lose your way. Frankly, I was growing a little anxious the day we toured Saguaro National Park because we realized too late that our rental car was running low on gas. I was relieved when we finally found the exit and headed back to civilization (and service stations).

      The rooms on the upper floors of that cherry red Del Coronado Hotel are said to be luxurious with 20 foot high ceilings. It costs a small fortune to stay in those luxury rooms. Perhaps MM slept in one of them during the filming of Some Like It Hot.

      I deeply appreciate the fact that you were here to read all three parts of my vacation series. What a great friend you are, Cat. Thank you again and have a wonderful week down under!

  8. Dearest Shady, I anxiously awaited this last installment and I wasn't disappointed (and The Beatles!! You know what I like!!).

    Many people have described the desert as beautiful, but it doesn't get me excited like the ocean...till I saw these pictures. The cacti are pretty fascinating to me. Those pricky pears are beautiful.

    Dining by the water, under the green umbrella...ahhhhh... That is my sweet spot on vacation.

    Hope you had a good weekend - gotta scoot over to the Flipside; these blogs won't write themselves!

    1. Good morning, dear Cherdo! Thank you very much for taking a look at Part 3 of my series.

      Those prickly pears were growing around the visitor's center of Carlsbad Caverns back in New Mexico. The saguaro were all in the Tuscon area. As a collector of cacti and succulents I felt like a kid in a candy store. I'd like to add that we saw a family of javelina (aka peccary aka skunk pig) at the visitors center at Saguaro National Park. They were all sleeping in the shade outside a large window and we got a clear view of them.

      Yessum, the temperature was just right for dockside dining there at Peohe's Restaurant on the bay. The food was excellent and you can imagine the atmosphere and people watching opportunities.

      Thank you again for joining me on my journey, dear friend Cherdo. I'll be seeing you soon on The Flipside. Have a wonderful week!

  9. Came, read, liked the pictures and now I am leaving

    1. Hello, Jo-Anne, and welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! Thank you very much for reading the post and taking time to comment. I am happy to see another Australian blogger taking an interest in SDM&M. I'm glad you liked the pictures and I hope you will come back and see me again sometime. You will always be welcome here, Jo-Anne. Thank you again for your comment!

  10. (oh yay, a bonus 4th post!!!)
    I just find it so cool, the places you've gotten to visit. i can understand being tired from traveling, but what a great kind of weary!
    i had to gasp and squeal aloud when i saw that dear little Maggie. What a sweetie she looks like.
    Enjoyed the Some LIke it Hot clip ( i always think it's kind of interesting to see vintage eras take on previous eras, everything kind of gets mixed together and is really cool) The hotel and everything looks so grand.
    Dining seaside and watching ships sail by sounds incredible! As do all the cacti and desert landscapes you've been so kind enough to photograph and share.
    this makes me want to visit the southwest even more now.
    have a good week!
    -Abigail and Daisy

    1. Hi, dear Abigail and Daisy! Thank you very much for stopping by for a look and a listen, my special friends!

      Yessum, it's is a good kind of tired that Mrs. Shady and I are feeling. We enjoyed once in a lifetime experiences and are left with happy memories of all the places we went and everything we saw. Maggie was a sweet and gentle dog and I hated to leave her. She brings to mind the lyrics to the popular Rod Stewart song:

      All you did was wreck my bed
      and in the morning kick me in the head
      Oh Maggie I couldn't have tried anymore
      You lured me away from home 'cause you didn't want to be alone
      You stole my heart I couldn't leave you if I tried

      I hope you get to fulfill your dreams and visit the Southwest and other places of interest. My only regret is that we didn't travel through your beautiful home state of Kansas, something that remains on my wish list for the future.

      Thank you again for coming by and for your continued friendship and support, dear Abigail. (You too, Daisy!) I hope today is a brighter one for you and that you have a wonderful week ahead. God bless!

  11. oh it reminded you of the Rod Stewart song! that's a good one. being a bluegrass lover, it brought to my mind the Stanley brother's 1948 song 'Little Maggie';
    Oh, yonder stands little Maggie
    With a dram glass in her hand
    She's drinkin' away her troubles
    She's a-courtin' another man

    Last time I saw little Maggie
    She was sittin' on the banks of the sea
    With a forty-four all around her
    And a banjo on her knee

    Pretty flowers were made for bloomin'
    Pretty stars were made to shine
    Pretty women were made for lovin'
    Little Maggie was made for mine

    Lay down your last gold dollar
    Lay down your gold watch and chain
    Little Maggie's gonna dance for daddy
    Listen to that ol' banjo ring

    Go away, go away, little Maggie
    Go and do the best you can
    I'll get me another woman
    You can get you another man

    the original can be heard here :
    But many groups also do it today. Here's one of my personal favorites:
    i hope you enjoy it! ( i know we've kind of strayed from the beautiful brown eyed dog but i guess we can't help it, being the music loving people we are).

    1. You are so right, dear Abigail, we strayed off topic, but who cares? There are no rules here at SDM&M, just be happy and feel free to express yourself.

      Frankly, I am amazed that someone you age has a knowledge and an appreciation of old bluegrass songs like this one from 1948, the year before I was born! I listened on YouTube and thoroughly enjoyed it.

      You are a dear for sharing these lyrics and this song with me. Thank you, dear friend Abigail, and enjoy the rest of your day and week. Please give Daisy a big hug and a smooch for me!

  12. I'm a day late. I'm hopeless since I turned 60. Anyway, first about Maggie. I so admire your relatives for taking in an older dog who had a sad life. How wonderful! My niece buys abused horses. She had three, but one died this summer. My sister Liz used to have cats and dogs that had been abused. She loved them like children.

    Dan and I saw the Hotel Coronado when we went for a cruise to Mexico. The ship stopped at San Diego and we took a tour bus around. I think I remember the man who built it made money in sugar.

    What a beautiful bay and a lovely place to have dinner. I told you once that I loved Balboa Park. My parents used to take us there and to the zoo. If I had to live in Southern California, I would choose San Diego.

    I loved cactus when I was a kid in California. I remember buying a little one that had a pink flower on it and kept it on my dresser. My mom had them growing in our yard but my grandma was upset because she hated them!

    You said you heard coyotes there. Yes, we surely have them where I live. I used to hear them when I lived with Christine because there was a pack of them in the hills behind her place. Unfortunately, they started coming into the housing districts in a large group. Faith and Christine saw them one night walking down the street in front of their house. They were very large. I read in the papers they weren't afraid of people any more. I think they got rid of them because soon after I didn't hear them howling any more. I was sorry for that. It is possible they just moved them far away.

    When Dan and I go on vacation together, we start bickering the first day! It is a real test of a marriage to be in a car for weeks, but we survived it and I'm happy you did too. lol I'm so happy you shared your trip with us. I felt like I was there with you.

    1. Hi, Belle! What a wonderful series of comments from you, dear friend! I'm delighted to realize that you shared some of these same experiences and could relate to much of this post.

      I wholeheartedly agree that people who give sick, neglected and abused and OLDER animals a home are very special and the world needs more of them. A 9 year old large breed dog like Maggie doesn't have that many more years in front of her but at least she will be loved. I wish I could be around her every day.

      Yessum, we thoroughly enjoyed the San Diego area. We visited the naval base, drove through neighborhoods looking at the expensive homes, visited the Hotel Del, had dinner there at the Ferry Marketplace and strolled around Balboa Park on a different day. The weather was perfect at all times. I regret that I didn't get to the zoo.

      We were told coyotes have been seen in the overnight and early morning hours walking down the streets of the El Cajon neighborhood where we stayed. Stray cats and other small animals are sometimes attacked and devoured by packs of coyotes. I didn't see any, nor did I see rattlers or scorpions, both of which are said to be regular visitors on their block.

      In the late 1980s I suddenly found myself attracted to cacti and succulents and at one point owned 175 different containerized specimens. Today my collection consists of only a dozen. It was a thrill to see those giant saguaros growing wild and used as an integral part of the landscaping theme at homes and businesses all over the Tuscon area.

      Mrs. Shady and I got along surprisingly well for riding in a car together for some 30 hours. We agree that it was a very worthwhile getaway.

      Thank you again, dear Belle, for being such a great friend and sharing so much in your comments. I wish you and your family a wonderful week ahead!

  13. Thanks for sharing your trip pictures Shady, it sounds like you had an incredible time!

    1. Hi, Sarah! You are very welcome, dear friend. I'm thrilled that you looked in on my three part vacation series and got to experience some of our excitement through our pictures. We did have an incredible time out west and it whet our appetite for more travel adventures in the future.

      I hope your week is off to a great start, dear friend Sarah. Good night to you and have a terrific Tuesday!

  14. Hi Shady,
    Whatta a wonderful ending to a wonderful vacation. We have a lot in common on this leg, Two yrs ago, we went to S.D. and stayed in the Hotel Del Coronado. Our room over looked Palm trees, pool and the ocean (I even got to rock on those rocking chairs) . We also ate lunch under the green umbrellas and walked around the Island. It's a beautiful place I'd like to visit again! I've also been to Sabino Canyon and hiked the trails--nature at it's best! Did you get any Prickly pear jelly? You snapped some awesome pictures and brought back a lot of memories for me in this post.
    I'm anxious to "hear" the conclusion of your trip in the 4th post!
    p.s. I'm sure Maggie shared the same affections for YOU, too!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, dear Toni! Thank you very much for coming over to see my Part 3 post. It's a pleasant surprise to learn that you stayed at the Hotel Del, dined at Peohe's and also visited Sabino Canyon. You were brave to go hiking on the rugged trails there.

      Technically, the monsoon season was already underway before we even started our journey. There were heavy rains a week or two before we left and more heavy rain, flooding and evacuations around Phoenix after we returned home. The only rain we encountered during the entire trip was a sprinkle or two on the way to Flagstaff.

      No, we didn't buy any prickly pear jelly but I wouldn't mind tasting it. I ate octopus during our trip and had a scrumptious vegetarian sandwich on 15 grain roll at an eatery in Sabino Canyon called The Eclectic Cafe. The place was equipped with a row of misters that sprayed the air to keep people cool while they ate outside on the porch.

      Yessum, I think Maggie liked me. I sat and petted and scratched her for hours. Most dogs aren't used to getting that much attention and affection. I miss her already!

      I'm so glad you enjoyed our postcards, dear friend Toni. Thank you again for reading all three parts of my series. Enjoy the rest of your week and look for the return of an all music post coming this Sunday!

  15. Tom! It looks like you both had an amazing holiday! I have always wanted to go to California! The blue skies and beautiful scenery make it very enticing! Love the Cacti! I only saw Some Like It Hot for the first time last year and I fell in love, it's such a funny film and very ahead of its time , I thought. I hope you and Mrs Shady are doing well and that you have fond memories of your trip!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, Emma! Thank you for popping in, dear friend! Yessum, Mrs. Shady and I gleaned many happy memories on our trip out west. Everywhere we went we encountered fair weather, breathtaking scenery, great food and friendly people.

      I'm glad you saw Some Like It Hot recently and are therefore familiar with the Hotel Del Coronado. I was only 9 years old when the movie was released but I saw it that year and appreciated the adult situations and sophisticated brand of comedy. I'm sure the movie was a big influence on me and helped develop my sense of humor.

      Thank you again for your visit and kind comments, dear friend Emma. I hope you are doing well, too. I think about you often and cherish your friendship. Good night and enjoy the rest of your week!

  16. Maggie is beautiful. I would kiss her, too. With Willy Dunne Wooters here the last couple of days, the boys spent all their time in whatever room we chose. He left last night and Harper immediately went to the living room to sleep on the couch and Franklin went to my bathroom to enjoy the cool tile. Now I know where I stand! It's Daddy they want. I love Some Like It Hot. That hotel looks great--a perfect Shady hangout. I have never understood what Get Back is about, if anything. I guess I need to Google it. Were you in Dallas long enough to see a Bluebonnet Waste Control truck, or were you ignoring garbage vehicles? I ask because my oldest sister is part owner of Bluebonnet and runs the company on a day-to-day basis. I'm very proud of her hard work and the status she has achieved. I've been told that everyone at the company respects her greatly.


    1. Hi, dear Janie Junebug! Thank you for coming, my special friend! I knew you'd like those pictures of Maggie. She was delightful to be around and it warmed my heart to learn the back story of how she was taken off "death row" at a shelter at the age of 8 and given a new lease on life and a happy home with our relatives.

      All I know about "Get Back" is that there is a gender bending character and that it references California grass. That's why I was sure to let everybody know what I never touch the stuff.

      No, sweetie, I didn't spend any time in Dallas. In fact, I was disappointed because a thick cloud deck prevented us from even seeing Dallas and the surrounding countryside as we came in for a landing. On top of that our flight from Tuscon was running behind schedule and Mrs. Shady and I needed to hustle and take a 10 minute shuttle ride to get to our departure gate. Our red eye flight to Orlando was already boarding by the time we got there and we had no time to even look out the window. Thanks for telling me about the work your sister is doing there. You have every reason to be proud of her.

      Thank you again for experiencing How The West Was Fun, dear Janie. Please get some rest and enjoy the rest of your week!


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