COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: Welcome to Encinitas — no, really

Back in 2001 when my husband (well, fiancé at the time) and I left La Jolla to move to Los Angeles, we swore we’d be back. Flash forward to four years later and the opportunity to return to San Diego presented itself. However, a couple of things had changed: we now had a toddler daughter and a soon-to-be born son. Suddenly the thought of getting in and out of LJ with two screaming kids wasn’t so appealing. Enter Encinitas who had me at Cottonwood. Or maybe it was Moonlight. Either way, we were sold.
Parenthood can be isolating at times, especially for a “stay at home” parent. Cruising with my kids around town, with my Pannikin in hand, it actually took me a while to get used to how friendly everyone was! There was rarely a time I would be pushing my kids on the swings and not strike up a conversation with another (gasp!) adult. Or if someone saw me struggling with one tantrum thrower and another squirmer, they’d stop to help out. I will always appreciate how welcome I felt after moving to this gorgeous city.
That made this past November all the more crushing for our family. We were told the owners of the home we had rented for four years were losing their home and we had 30 days (well, really 23 because we already had a one week trip planned for Thanksgiving to visit family) to move out. We were devastated.
Our daughter was just about three months into kindergarten, which uncovered a whole new group of amazing families all within less of a mile of our house. With such little notice and time to pack up to find a new place, we had to include in our search areas outside of Encinitas and thought this meant we would also have to transfer schools.
Enter our community once again! We were overcome with gratitude by how many families stepped in to help us find a place. My cell phone rang nonstop. “There’s a For Rent sign that just came up!” “Our neighbors might be moving out!” “We’ll be moving out of our house into our new one if you want to come over to see if you like it … ” and on and on. Finally, we got the call. And call. And call. In fact, we were in the middle of checking out a house that was ultimately not going to be a fit for us, when someone was clearly trying to reach me. When I finally got a chance to call back, a fabulous friend told me about a property that would be available soon and to check it out. Long story short, we got to stay in Encinitas and are thrilled.
My heart goes out to everyone who helped us when the chips were down and to every other resident that made my day a little brighter these past four plus years with a simple “hello.”
Recently in The Coast News I read a piece from a non-Encinitas resident who didn’t feel that people were very friendly in her town. Move to Encinitas. In fact, I know plenty of families that will help you find a place.

Chelsea Gladden is cofounder of BreezyMama.com, a lifestyle Web site for moms. She is also a freelance writer in between play dates, date night, mom’s night out, volunteering at the school, soccer practice, diaper changes and more.

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