I am an Agoura Hills newbie.
I didn't grow up here - heck, I didn't even grow up in California. I moved here from the other valley - the San Fernando - just about a year ago in search of a better life for my kids, the oldest of whom was about to start Kindergarten. My husband and I were looking for a place where we could approximate the kind of upbringings we enjoyed outside of Los Angeles: walking to school, nice neighbors, graffiti-free trees. Was that too much to ask?
After a combination of very hard work and the intervention of abundant good luck, the answer is no, it isn't. A year later I still pinch myself on those crisp mornings when I can see all the way to the northern ridge as I walk our son to school. I marvel at the details I find here, from the lovingly manicured lawns - some of them even manicured by the people who own them instead of gardeners - to the kind crossing guards, to the ornate street lights that dot the neighborhood. I adore the bunnies who hop around the front yard. I look forward to receiving The Acorn every Thursday, and running into familiar faces at Ralph's or Baskin Robbins.
There is a small town feeling here, in this city-within-a-city, that gives me the illusion that our family is safe now. Safe from the choking traffic, the viral indifference, and the every-man-for-himself attitude of Los Angeles. People seem friendlier here and more apt to care for one another. They are generous. They are concerned. When they say "How are you?" during a chance encounter, they seem to mean it. The streets are clean and maintained, the public garbage cans are routinely emptied, and the library is spacious and bright. The parks are gorgeous and plentiful. And the parking - oh, the vast expanse of free parking! I could write a poem about the free parking alone!
I suppose I'm still in the honeymoon phase. I know Agoura Hills isn't perfect. I'm sure it has its share of unpleasantries, and that my family isn't immune to hardship just because we managed to make a home for ourselves here. But don't pinch me just yet. I'm not ready to wake up.
I love it here so much I started a whole separate blog about it. Come visit Agoura Hills Mom this week to win $25 credit toward the new Juice in the City Daily Deals in Ventura County.