I'm a Military Blogger


Sunday, April 18, 2010

I love this place

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.


Amber said...

My friend is stationed out there, and she also lives in Fallbrook! And don't you know, she also went to the Avocado Festival today! Small world!

I will be heading out there in January....I'm trying to decide to live on base or not?!!

Lindsay said...

my cousins used to live in fallbrook, i loved visiting!
I want to go to an avocado festival! i'm jealous. :)

Kirsten said...

Cute pictures! I wish we had an avocado festival!

navywife24 said...

let me just say I loved this post! I've grown up in southern California and agree that there are so many stereotypes about ca and the people who live here...and trust me there are some bad things here, like everywhere. But there are also a lot of good people and nice places to live! and I must also say that growing up here I've been brought up to love Mexican food, (i could eat it everyday)and some of my closest friends are Mexican. I have seen first hand the sense of community they share and the love and closeness they have with their families and friends, which I think is something to be admired! :) And I think you are right...the panaderias and taquerias are a wonderful edition to our towns and give us a taste of the hispanic culture.

Gaile said...

Wanted to go meet u there today, but after the night I had...NOPE. Sorry. Glad you had a good time though!
How was that avocado ice cream, by the way?
My awesome Fallbrook friends taught me to make my own Tamales, LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

Laura said...

Amber, it really depends. BAH is like $1,700 and our 2-bedroom 2 bath apartment is $1,089. Sooo we pocket like $600 that we wouldn't get if we lived on base. But if you have a lot of kids, then it would probably be worth it.

I just love living off base because it's nice not having the military in your face all the time. And I am biased towards Fallbrook haha.

In no-traffic conditions I can get to the MCX in about 15 minutes, which is closer than going out to Temecula to shop.

I don't bother with the commissary. Even if you live off base, the commissary is just like off in this weird location and you would probably still end up driving 10-15 minutes to get there, depending on where you live. So I shop off post at the Fresh and Easy which is like 2 minutes away (and cheaper).

Laura said...

Gaile, the avocado ice cream was strangely enough not avacado-y enough LOL. It tasted more like frozen sweet cream or something...still good anyways lol.

I am OBSESSED with learning how to cook mexican food. I practically live on the stuff but store-bought tortillas are just not cutting it anymore. I might have to get one of the molcajete things I see all the ladies here using to crush flour and herbs.