As a mostly native Californian, it’s been weird feeling out of place in a place like Escondido, which is California all over. I guess being in a small town in the middle of Canada for the last few years might explain it.
Escondido is definitely a well-off city. I routinely drive past mansions. (which is also weird, that the main streets turn into little neighborhoods in the blink of an eye and all of a sudden you’re in McMansionhood). Now, they may not necessarily be 20 bedrooms palaces, but for the price of these “ranches”, etc, I’m sure you could buy a 20 bedroom mansion somewhere else. Beamers, Corvettes and the such abound in the parking lots. So Escondido houses some very wealthy people.
On the other hand, we must be living in the poor working class area. We are very “overserved” by the ice cream truck people, at least 3-4 trucks drive through every day (they must give Lady personal offense cuz all she wants to do is go out and attack them). Spanish is more common than English, which explains (at least to me) how a supposed minority can be so numerous in such a rich city – they’re just packed in the cheap areas, not to mention all the apartment buildings. I saw a goat in my neighbor’s front yard today! I think it must be there to help with some of the weeds. It seems people have either lush, expensive green lawns – or red dirt weed patches. Not really any in-betweeen, unless you count the eco-conscious gardeners whose yards are studies in sustainable greenery in a desert. It’s also a little surprising how people handle the temperate climate. They either ignore its potential to grow things (other than weeds and/or orange trees) or have very nice yards that I slow down to check out. 🙂 Coming from a place where basically everybody gardens to some extent it’s odd the disparity.
At first I kept expecting to drive around a corner and find the “city.” It is a very populated place, after all. But Escondido is basically foothills, and this seems to have made the development grow in very heterogenous patches. You’re in commercial space – now residential – now commercial – oops, residential again. There are lots of different kinds of stores within easy reach, however, and I find myself shopping for one thing or another almost every day (plus it helps to get the kids out of the house…plus I can only handle two stores max per trip!).
I killed two black widow spiders today, one with what looked like egg sacks in the web. I hope they were cuz it’d be nice to believe I kept a whole generation from hatching. “Paradise” always seems to have its serpents; in Maui it was centipedes and rats, here it’s spiders. Not my personal favorite foe, so despite the squeamishness of it I do take some satisfaction from killing them. My children are playing back there after all! Black widows are really mean, almost evil, looking spiders too. But I’m trying to train the kids to leave the Daddy long-legs alone. We’ve got too many flies to get rid of good spiders! Speaking of flying pests, apparently Waldheim (our old town) is experiencing a record year for mosquitos. So I do have another reason to count my blessings – I never really developed SK mosquito resistance and being pregnant, choose not to use full strength DEET – so mosquito season was always rather miserable for me there.
So there you have it, a collection of random thoughts on living in Escondido, California. Hope you enjoyed. 🙂