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Introductions to Fallbrook's finest

My hometown is a small dot on the Southern California map between the similarly obscure communities of Vista and Temecula (no, I don’t expect you to have heard of either of those places, but it’s worth a try). Fallbrook is known as a charming rural retirement community, close to nothing, but with “easy” access to everything. Translation: every mall is 30 min. in any direction. “A slice of country living in San Diego” is every realtor’s advertisement of Fallbrook.

I had always thought our claim to fame was that architect Frank Lloyd Wright (whose son invented Lincoln Logs) had once lived here. But apparently, he just inspired a lot of architecture in this area. We’re actually known as The Friendly Village (thank you Chamber of Commerce for that catchy slogan) and self-proclaimed Avocado Capital of the World (according to the wall mural on the east end of town.) Our avocados are quite abundant, except at my house where they absolutely refuse to grow – of course!

So little has changed in the years I have lived in Fallbrook, I could detail for you every evolution. The new Walgreens, the repainting of the cappuccino cup in the Pizza Hut parking lot, repaving the road over a particularly bumpy tree root, and of course the heated controversy over the exterior paint color of the Tai Kwan Do studio.

Perhaps it was the going away and coming back an enlightened first-year collegiate, but Fallbrook’s status as a retirement community has never struck me more than this summer. By the second week of break, I was ready to get serious about losing my “freshman 15” and whipping that “summer beach bod” into shape. Enter gym membership (at a scalper price, but it’s the only one in town.)

I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t the frail 60+ year old couple I saw laboring on the treadmills. “Is that even safe?” I wondered. Nothing against old people being fit, but please…be careful! Turns out, it was the knitting lady who works at the yarn shop on Main St. I’ve been in there a few times; she greeted me warmly. Ah, the joys and terrors of small town living! You cannot hide.

Despite a young aerobics instructor, the demographics were no better in the classes. But it’s a workout, and let me tell you, those seniors are serious about fitness! A month into summer, I’m as exhausted from getting up for 8 a.m. step & sculpt classes as I was during the school year. No rest for the weary (or those trying to be healthy) – they even offer pilates on Saturdays.

“Is this really how summer is supposed to go,” I questioned aloud, yawning. “Summer is merely a figment of your imagination,” my mother solemnly informed me. Oh, excuse me. Well then, I intend to have a darn good imagination…and a good summer at that!

I look forward to telling you how my internship with the local newspaper goes. It will be a far cry from the cosmopolitan adventures of my fellow blogger on Capitol Hill (See D.C. Diaries), but quirky and journalistic in its own right.

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