I've just decided. If the Marine Corps gives DH PCS orders, they will have to drag me out of this town kicking and screaming because I love it. I refuse to leave.
When I learned we would be moving to California I thought I was going to die. All I ever hear about this state is traffic, crime, illegal immigrants, taxes, and how expensive it is (usually all thrown into the same sentence.)
Then I found Fallbrook. My initial impression was "wow. It's 10 pm and there isn't a single car on the road!" Then after we visited our prospective apartment complex and I fell completely in love with the property I decided we were going to live here. And now, when DH gets back from deployment, we're going to buy a house here. That's not just me being a dreamer either. We WILL own property in this town because it is everything I ever wanted in a home.
What really sold me was the sense of "community". I can leave my apartment unlocked when I go to the store and when I come back someone will have moved our garbage off the front porch but left the door untouched. The shops on main street are almost entirely local businesses (art galleries, a candy emporium, some amazing mexican eateries, local restaurants, and coffee shops.) There's a local theater (as in plays and shows) as well.
The people of Fallbrook are less concerned with satisfying the needs of the military base, or even attracting any military business at all. They go about their business doing things their way and catering to one another.
I had the pleasure today of going to the annual "Avocado Festival" that kicks off the avocado harvesting season. The street was closed down and it was FLOODED with happy people munching on hot dogs and trying samples of everyone's homemade guacamole. the sense of community and togetherness was AMAZING! I wanted to cry.
So here's a little taste of where I live:
The Panderia/Taqueria, which translates to Bakery/Restaurant. They have really excellent carne Asada tortas:
The Mission Theater hosts the annual Christmas play as well as the Miss Fallbrook pageant:
This little tattoo parlor and hair salon has always intrigued me, just because of the striped store front:
The crowded festival:
A local avocado tree on display:
The Holy Quaca-moly stand, dishing up heaping helpings of quaca and chips:
I had to capture that sign. I love it:
The gelato truck. I was too nervous to try my taste buds on the avocado gelato and instead got some avocado ice cream from the local Coldstone booth:
JJ Purdy Landry's Irish Pub. They have some interesting Irish food there, but the drinks are where it's at. That place was over-flowing out the back door:
The farmer's market behind the Wayside Cafe. I tasted some of their local blood oranges. Delish:
Swirlz Candy Emporium. The outside doesn't do it justice. The inside is like part candy store part wonka factory:
Vacuum shop. I've never been able to catch them when they're actually open, but I LOVE the purple store front. It really sticks out if you drive down Main:
Probably my favorite part of this town is the Mexican community. When I first moved to California I was a bit of a "stereotyper". The Hispanic community in Utah is really crime ridden and a lot of the teenagers end up in juvie, so I grew up subconsciously learning that Hispanic communities were associated with poverty and crime. But living here I've discovered that they're the people who will be cooking tortillas with the kitchen door open and having the big get-togethers with friends and neighbors. People outside fallbrook refer to it as "Little Mexico" in a somewhat derogatory way, because there are a lot of Mexican markets, Panderias, Taquerias, and Spanish-speakers and the last thing any place wants to be equated with is "Mexico" (where you're told not to drink the water). But if every taqueria were to go away tomorrow, there really would be no town anymore.