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Living in Hidden Meadows
 

A Compendium of Thoughts About Living in a Small Country Town

 

 

Allen Polk Hemphill

Facts and Statistics

Statistics Crime Facts

Living Here

Miscellaneous Nursery Remodeling Window Tinting Interior Decorating
Estate Sales Dry Cleaning FEDEX Photocopies` FAX
Gym Book Store AAA Electrician Clothing
Plumbing Nursing Homes Window Washing Roofing Drywall
Medical & Dental Internet Artists Car Wash Handyman
Auto Repair Airports Graffiti Welk Resort Flowers
Dry Cleaners Art Center Computer Repair Music Firewood
Restaurants Electronics Mushroom Compost Groceries Wood Floors
Notary Public A/C & Heating Housecleaning and Auto Detailing Custom Cabinet Work Sprinklers

Community Information

Phone Numbers Police Fire Postal Water & Sewer
Electric & Gas Trash Service Education Bookmobile Elections
Golf Course Men's Golf Club Women's Golf Club ARO Golf Sponsor Group
ARO MHA Neighborhood Watch MHA Community Center Newcomers Club
Valley Center Newspaper ARO Newspaper ARO Phone Roster Bridge Computer Club
Fashion Show Sew & So Meadowlarks Invisible University Meadows Moms
Garden Club Youth Activities Hidden Meadows Foundation Hidden Meadows Newsletter Friendship Committee
History and Photos Cub Scout Pack Chiropractor    
Dental Surgery        
Hidden Meadows Statistics

Demographic and Crime Statistics for Hidden Meadows

Demographics

While the community of Hidden Meadows neither collects nor publishes statistical information, there are public and private sources that maintain such collections. The following statistical reviews are the latest available. Obviously, toward the end of a 10 year National Census, the information is not as good as it is right after the census is taken, but we must wait a few years for the latest and best information.

The area called "Hidden Meadows" comprises the census tract numbered 060730191052, and that demographic data has been updated as of 2003.

We have 3,463 residents in our community of 8.5 square miles. Females comprise 51.9% of that total population.

The median age of the community is 56. Buyers are younger as homes are sold. The median family income for the community is $57,545. The median house price, as judged from the homes for sale on November 9 is $589,000.

The educational level of the community is high. We have 251 graduate degrees, which means that more than 13% of the community carry advanced degrees, compared to 8.9% countywide. More than 35% of the community residents have had undergraduate degrees compared to just over 25% for the entire county.

Those who travel to work drive a mean time of 32.4 minutes in drive time.

More than 75%% of the community are married couples.  White non-Hispanics make up 89.5% of our population, while Hispanics comprise 5.9% and Blacks comprise less than 1%.

Our unemployment rate is less than 4%.

This document is Copyrighted, 1998 and 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 by Allen Polk Hemphill, Broker-Associate, Dolphin Realty. It may not be reproduced in any way, shape, manner, fashion, or form -- including electronic. Portions of this document are taken from information originally printed by the Association of Resident Owners (ARO) and rewritten or edited by Allen Polk Hemphill for ARO, and are printed with their permission.

 

Living in Hidden Meadows

Welcome to Hidden Meadows! This First Section is a personal document, written from the perspective of Jean and I as new residents in February of 1994. I remember our initial search for tradespeople, and shopping, despite the fact we had lived only 25 minutes away for the previous 22 years.

This First Section will address less the governance questions and more personal information _ like who delivers good wood for your fireplace, and who does good work in cutting your lawn. Not all tradespeople will come "up the hill" to provide service in the Meadows, even from Escondido, and not all who will, should.

There is no organization to this booklet _ it is stream of consciousness writing _ whatever topics came into my mind, I wrote. Someday I may rearrange it alphabetically, but not today. This edition is designed for content, not style.

In some cases we will cite several people, and tell you whom we use, but, because we are in business and might have some perceived legal responsibility in this litigious society, these should not be considered "recommendations". (How have we come to this?)

So these are not recommendations. These are the people we use, or would contact if we had the need for certain services.

Anyway, knowing where we shop and what tradespeople we use may help you. Jean and I have lived in North San Diego County for more than 40 years, and we have developed our share of favorites. Over time you will develop your own list, and it will have been influenced by recommendations of friends and neighbors, salted to taste by your own experiences.

We have included complete driving instructions to many of those places that we use (those names are followed with a number, as in (Enclosure 3) which is keyed to the enclosures at the end of the First Section), all printed from the World Wide Web. All directions begin at our real estate office, Dolphin Realty, near the "Four Way Stop".

Section Two is the Welcome pamphlet that I have edited for the Association of Resident Owners and reedited for distribution on the Internet. It will tell you who picks up the garbage, where to call for fire protection information, and who runs the swimming pool.

Periodic updates will be done for both sections.

Miscellaneous

I started to put Aladio under "yard work" _ then I remembered that he has painted our home; designed and installed two brick patios; fixed our sprinklers; brought his entire family to cut up and haul off a tree that fell in a wind storm; designed and built our waterfall and Koi Pond, and has built some of the best rock walls in the Meadows. He has brought in a crew to do a roof for a neighbor, and who knows what else. A true entrepreneur, he knows people who can do just about anything. He is our "one-stop problem solver."

He probably has all the work he can handle, but he will just find more helpers if he needs to. I don't actually know that everyone he hires is legal, but I strongly suspect that they are from the professional tools they use and their mannerisms. Some of the causal labor you see along the road at the Four Way Stop is illegal, but many are legal. Just to avoid any problems, I have Aladio hire the labor and manage my projects. He knows all the people at the local Nurseries, and his street knowledge of plants is superb. I trust him, implicitly. When we go on vacation, we leave money with our next door neighbor, and if she sees a problem, she just calls Aladio.

Others in the Meadows use other yardmen. Several years ago I was told that there were 12 commercial yardmen who worked regularly in the Meadows. They must be good or they would not have much business with so much competition, and you can always ask your neighbors for recommendations.

Aladio can be reached at 749-8674. It is best to call him at night.

If it is just general yard work, lawn cutting, sprinkler repair and trimming, we use Arno at 806-8150. He is good, very reasonable, and never misses a day. He requires no direction, he just makes our place look good. It is difficult to do better than that.

Nursery

The nursery at the bottom of the hill, Plant World, on the far side of the freeway, is excellent. Their selection is very good, their prices are reasonable, and they know what grows well in Hidden Meadows.

For specialty growing items, like large bags of fertilizer, or farm-size cans of gopher bait, or anything that a commercial grower might need, Grangetto's  in Escondido is a great source. Just as an aside, the two pests you might be able to control in the Meadows, and for which Grangetto's is useful, are snails and gophers. Buy a large can of Cook's gopher poison and a big 20# bag of Metaldehyde granules. They have a long shell life, and you will use them often, so take advantage of the economies of scale. Buy BIG!

Remodeling

Although we have not yet had need for him, Meadows resident Steve Lamphier has a good local reputation, and we would not hesitate to call him first if we needed anything beyond handyman work. Steve can be reached at 749-0316.

Window Tinting

You may have noticed, we have a lot of sun in Hidden Meadows. We all love the views, but we don't necessarily like the accompanying heat and none of us like the attendant fading of fabrics and artwork. Our home had generous window tinting when we bought it, but children had scratched some of the existing window tinting, and some had peeled. We had Meadows residents Bill and Janie Talvy of Contract Window Tinting do some of the newest clear protection and the results are dramatic. We can actually feel the difference. You can have the great views AND less heat.

Bill and Janie can be reached at 749-4353.

 

Interior Decorating

We had Meadows resident Kathy Machir of Decorator Den help us with new window treatments, new colors of walls, and many other assorted items. Kathy has an excellent reputation and though we are partial to local residents, we will not use them automatically without recommendations. Kathy comes with many recommendations from other Meadows residents, and she is GREAT! She did a fantastic job at our home, at a reasonable price. She was easy to work with, knew her business well, and we would use her again in a heartbeat..

Kathy can be reached at 751-1937.

FEDEX and UPS

There is a FEDEX box immediately outside the two story building in the Meadows. You can pick up a small envelope and shipping label in the top of the box, and you can pay by account, credit card or check. Pickup is usually around 4:15 PM, Monday through Friday. For the amount to write the check, call 1-800-463-3339.

There is a UPS drop-box outside the office next to Dolphin Realty, at 27739 Mountain Meadow Road, Suite 5...

Photocopies

This one is easy. Dolphin Realty has a new copy machine, charges nothing for a single copy. Not only a good price, but it keeps you from going "down the hill" just for a few copies.

FAX

Another easy one. Dolphin Realty will let people fax you at our office for free. Outgoing messages are $2 for the first page and $1 per page thereafter, with long distance charges added at the end.

Notary Public

 Deanna McMurdo, who will also come to your home -- call her at 525-3883 or 751-0025.

Gym

Getting in shape, or staying in shape, is hard without a gym. Actually, the closest commercial facility going south on I-15 is a gym appropriately called LA Fitness

Extreme So much for all your excuses. This gym is clean and neat, with good equipment, but it is NOT a spa setting. Ask for Bill, he is nice. There is a pool, a Jacuzzi, many treadmills, free weights, a good assortment of weight machines, and clean showers. As is normal with all gyms, the music is AWFUL, so invest in a good iPOD, a belt carried CD or tape system.

Book Store

Border's (11160 Rancho Carmel Dr. San Diego) in Carmel Mountain Ranch is the best we have found. They have a huge book selection, a great Cappuccino Bar, and a huge selection of CD music that you can listen to before buying. They also have free concerts. We heard Peter White in concert there (free) before he became famous, and they have great (free!) children's readings. We consider Border's to be a $100 store, which is to say it usually costs us $100 before we leave.

There is a Barnes and Noble in the same area.

AAA _ Southern California Automobile Club

It is hard to drive in this area without the assistance of the AAA. There is a good office in Escondido (800 La Terraza Blvd., Escondido), with all the maps, books, travel arrangements _ all that people use the AAA for. Their phone number is 1-800-222-8794.

Electrician

Extreme Electric (Justin) lives in the Meadows, and can do many different electrical tasks. His cell is 807-7688.

Clothing

Nordstrom, where else? Great service, good prices (really!), and they will get it for you if it is not in stock. In the Men's department, we use Judy, who is as good as it gets. Nordstrom will match any price in town, but it is their service that makes the difference. Nordstrom's is in the North County Faire Shopping Center as it was called for generations -- now it is the Westfield Shopping Center.

Plumbing

Since we have used several local plumbers, we are most comfortable calling Greg Meek of Meek Plumbing in Escondido. Not only a very responsive man, but his people do excellent work, and are expert at solar systems. There are many solar systems in Hidden Meadows. Meek Plumbing can be reached at 480-9100.

Retirement Homes, Nursing Homes

Why list these? Because many of us want our parents near us, or we become responsible for friends or family.

In our case, I held the Durable Power of Attorney for Health for a family friend of 30 years. Jean and I have, at her request, moved her several times from facility to facility, so we know the local facilities very well.  She passed away several years ago.

We will personally, depending on our financial conditions and our health, consider Redwood Towne Center, Red-

wood Terrace, Remington Club and Casa De Campanas for Retirement Homes.

There is a Group Home in Hidden Meadows, 749-9122, caring for six or seven people, and our investigation showed that it is excellent, but it was not for our friend. Doris Caregivers, 749-4519, in the Meadows can arrange for in-home care, and that would be our first choice.

For Skilled Nursing care or Full Nursing Care, we would first consider Villa Rancho Bernardo and Casa De Campanas.

We have had our friend in Casa for her final two years. She is getting the best of care, but at a high cost of more than $7,500 a month. For this price she had a double room made into a private suite. This is beyond our means, but it is the best if you can afford it.

Window Washing

Houston at 744-4435.

Air Conditioning and Heating

We have used Air King for many years, and through two homes. We are very satisfied with his work.

Ned Davis can be reached at 739-8750.

Roofing

When we moved to the Meadows, our first major requirement was a new roof to replace our aging shake shingle roof. There are still about 100 shake shingle roofs in the Meadows, so it is possible a new resident may need a new roof. After much checking we selected Piva Roofing in Escondido (1192 Industrial Ave., Escondido). We had known them for many years by reputation, and we found they lived up to that reputation. A family owned business for decades, they met all their schedules, and cleaned up so thoroughly that we threw a party at our home during the roofing, and no one at the party knew there that the roof was being completely replaced! They are not the least or the most expensive, just good quality work at a reasonable price.

Piva can be reached at 745-4700.

Drywall Service

Scott's Drywall removed the "popcorn ceilings" that dated our home, and did other drywall work for us. Their three person crew was very professional, took great pains to make certain everything was done right, and left the home clean. In addition, they were really nice young men, courteous, and more than a cut above what you might expect.

Scott's Drywall is in Vista, and can be reached at 758-6202.

Medical & Dental Services

For several years, Jean and I have utilized Dr(s). Rabee and Ian McDonald -- and we could not be happier. Dr. Rabee McDonald has a regular Dental practice at 1060 E. Grand Ave. in Escondido (747-1811).  When something more complicated is necessary, such as extraction or dental implants, her husband Dr. Ian McDonald is at the North County Oral & Facial Surgery Center -- he is both a Medical Doctor and a Dental Surgeon -- and is superb. The Surgery Center is at  488 East Valley Parkway, Suite 105, in Escondido.  (432-8888)

Our community is served well by the Paramedic personnel in the Fire Department at the intersection of Mountain Meadows Road and Meadow Glen Way East, and they respond quickly. If hospitalization is necessary, patients are taken to Palomar Hospital in Escondido, about 15 minutes away. The hospital has a good reputation and Jean and I are content to be patients in their care, should the need arise.

 

Internet Service Provider

We use Cox  Internet Service as a cable modem fast access provider. There are many good ISP in San Diego, but if you use telephone dialup, you must make certain that the local telephone number you use is NOT a Toll Call!

For those who cannot get COX, Starband is expensive but it works...and Verizon, Cingular, and T-Mobile are expanding cell-based Internet service. One may work for you.

 

Artists

Hidden Meadows is blessed with an unusual number of EXCELLENT artists, and we have exhibited their work in our office on a rotating basis. If you are decorating your home, and want to brighten it with new paintings, the work I have seen will certainly do the job _ and I have not seen the work of half the artists in the community.

One of the best portrait painters I have ever seen is Stephanie McGraw Her portraits are absolutely stunning, and she offers a "money back guarantee" in a fashion. She will have you sit for a portrait, and if you are not happy with the work, you do not have to take it. She did not start doing portraits until she was 89 years old!

Pamela Wise is an accomplished artist, and her work currently hangs in our office. I have known Pamela for some time and had no idea she was so talented. Her work is eclectic _ she can apparently do many different things, She has one character face that is excellent, some B&B type work, and she has done prints and greeting cards from some of her paintings.

The main watercolor in our office was painted by Pamela Brasel. She is a fine water color expert, with may "one Person Shows" to her credit. I have some of her paintings on my website at http://www.allenhemphill.com/artists.htm .

There are actually too many artists to mention in this booklet, but these artists mentioned will be glad to tell you about their friends who do sculpture or who work in other mediums.

Car Washing

The El Norte Parkway exit has a Mobile station that has a fair car wash. If you get gas there, and the gas is not the most expensive in the area, you can take $0.10 off the price of the car wash for each gallon of gas that you buy. On Wednesdays, the price of gas is reduced a few cents a gallon, so Wednesday is a good day to fill up and get a car wash. We usually use Auto Park Car Wash, which is at the corner of Auto Parkway and Hale.

Because we are not in a place where we pass a car wash every day, it is wise to keep our cars clean during what may be long periods between car washes. I have been dedicated to keeping my cars looking good for many decades, and I have usually had black or maroon cars, which are very hard to keep clean.

Here is a good method to avoid car washes for as long as possible.

If you have a dusty car, or one with a few water spots or handprints, a Kozak Cloth has worked for me for forty years. It is near magic, and can be bought in some car stores and easily by mail order. (6 South Lyon Street, Batavia, NY 14020.)

For a slightly dirtier car, or one that is water spotted, I use a spray called Maguiars Final Inspection or EagleOne's

Wet Wipe and Shine. (During the summer months, it is not unusual to get caught by one of the golf course sprinklers as you come home late at night. You would not like to get your car washed each time this happens!)

When a car gets still beyond the spotted point, "Dri Wash `n Guard" advertised as a "Waterless Car Wash" really works. People in the Concourse show car business use this as a final buff-up before the judges appear. You can buy this through many multilevel marketing representatives, and the stuff is better than you might think something like that could be. It won't work on caked mud, but anything short of that, it is excellent.

Recently I have used a car washing system by “Mr. Clean” which can be purchased at any automobile parts store. Assembly at first is a bit of a mystery, but the system is designed to provide pre-wash water, soap, and – most importantly, ionized water from a filter that REDUCES the need to dry the car. You can take it for a spin around the block and then just touch up the rest with a synthetic chamois.

The synthetics chamois are much better than the real thing. I personally prefer “The Absorber” and keep one moist in each car. In their case they will remain moist for months…if I have a 10 minute wait anywhere I use it on the interior.

One other item I should mention – after awhile, new cars get a lot of invisible bug tar and tree sap on them that is virtually invisible but detectable by running your hand over the surface and feeling the bumps. There are plenty of products called “clay” available in auto parts stores that can remove this annoyance, but I use a clay from Mothers. It must be wiped over a moist surface, so I use Final Finish as the moistener, then finish up with a new coat of Final Finish and a 100% Carnuba paste
Finally, if you want to quick wax your car, you can buy what the professional detailers use, Flash Wax. If you use these products, you will need far fewer car washes. It is not the cost of the car washes that kills you, it is the time. It takes an hour and a half to drive to the Mobile station, get the wash and come home. You can do a good job in 1/3 the time, get your needed exercise, and feel virtuous about saving time and money.

For personalized auto detailing, we use our daughter, Laurie (760-489-9261), who keeps both Lexi looking beautiful. She also does all five of our sons family cars... 

Handyman

We are looking for a new recommendation.

Automobile Repair

Automobiles have become so complicated that they can be expensive to repair, and the most expensive are the factory shops.

I have used Auto Technique in Escondido for many years. Anthony is the owner, and maintains my Lexi, It is located at 141 Andreasen Drive, Suite B. You can call Anthony at 760-738-5120.  He is a no-nonsense, get-the-job-done mechanic.

Airports

Why mention this? Because it is often easier to fly from little known Palomar Airport (2198 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad) than it is from the huge San Diego Airport. You can get to Palomar Airport in 20 minutes, there is free parking for up to 14 days, and the walk from the parking place to the "terminal" is less than 50 yards!

Currently, only United shuttle planes fly from Palomar, and these are relatively small planes (30 passengers or so), but if you must make a connecting flight in LA, this is the way to fly. There are plans to expand the terminal.

If you can get a one-stop to your destination through the San Diego Airport, that is fine, but I avoid that airport, its crowds, its parking problems, anytime I can.

Graffiti

As civilization begins to encroach upon our hidden community, we are the target of an occasional vandal. In many cases, these are vandals who live in our community. I don't pretend to understand their motivation to destroy that which they are incapable of building, but that is a plague of modern society. We are not immune.

Thus far, we have been "tagged" only by "Tagger Crews" _ local spray-can vandals, who are not affiliated with gangs. There is a distinct difference between the graffiti of gangs and "Taggers", and we only have "Taggers."

The Meadows Homes Association, the Association of Resident Owners, and the Neighborhood Watch all have a coordinated effort to get the graffiti the day it is visible. 

The Welk Resort

The Welk Resort is so close to Hidden Meadows that it needs to be mentioned for a number of reasons. Our relationship with Welk includes their ownership of the Meadow Lake Golf Course until 1997 when they sold it to the current owners, Cresta Verde Corporation; their sale of the Pavilion, swimming pool and two tennis courts on 5 acres to the Meadows Homes Association in 1997, and their continued ownership of substantial amounts of real estate in the Meadows, including a huge parcel called "The Island" in the center of the golf course. Over the years there was a close relationship between the Welk Group and Hidden Meadows, because the Welk Group needed an 18 hole Championship Golf Course to attract tournament play, which was their interest before Lawrence Welk died and the corporation decided to shift it development interest to Branson, Missouri.

The Welk Resort has a number of shops and activities that can serve us here in Hidden Meadows. They have a restaurant, and a motel that you may wish to accommodate your friends. Welk has a Dinner Theatre, hair salon, a yogurt shop, and a Texaco station _ but the gas prices are substantially higher than across the freeway from the entrance to the Meadows, at the ARCO station.

There is a HUGE destination resort and convention center going through the hoops to be developed just to the north of the Welk Resort. It will consist of several hotels, an amphitheater, and many shops, all around a floral theme. It has some financial tie-in with Welk, and the Deer Park Museum and Winery, but of course all that is "yet to be announced."

Flowers

For several years, "Juan" has had his truck with fresh flowers parked at the entrance to Hidden Meadows, in front of the entrance to the "Park & Ride". His cut flowers are fresh, and very reasonable. There are excellent hanging baskets for sale, in season.

Juan's location, right at our entrance as you start up the hill, as a last reminder before we go home, has probably made many marriages happier. Juan's flowers have certainly made our home brighter.

Our office has fresh flowers sent from Kauai each month, just to keep our spirits high.

Dry Cleaners

Our "old cleaners" has been sold, and because of the new "basis" the prices have risen. We now use the Cleaning Connection...use the frontage road to Country Club Drive, turn left and it is in the shopping center on the right at the end of the first block.

California Center for the Arts

While it may seem a bit presumptuous for Escondido to declare its center as THE California Center for the Arts in Escondido (340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido), if you wish to see Nuryev dance (gosh, is he still around?) or see Hal Holbrook's Mark Twain, it is as close as

the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. The Moscow Ballet danced a beautiful Nutcracker at Christmas, and, in truth, it is a very good center with excellent talent and an active schedule, but it runs at a terrible deficit.

Computer Repair

I call Rodrigo Chan, 740-8533. He comes to your house, is fast, very reasonable, and many people in the Meadows swear by him, including me. He built my last computer to my specifications, and I call him often, because if I have trouble it is really trouble. (I am a retired Professor of Computer Science.) Rod is very good, but then he is former students of mine. when I taught computer science at a local university.

Music

If you like music, subscribe to Cox Music Service. Thirty CD-quality stations with nothing but music 24 hours a day, for $4.95 a month. Soft jazz, hard rock, several classical stations, and everything between.

Firewood  

There is a wood lot in San Marcos (282 E. Mission Road) that is superb, Colonello Equipment Rental. Tons upon tons of wood, mountains of wood. They deliver, and for a fee they stack -- and they stack for an extra fee. They have so much wood that they can deliver many different sizes of wood. 760-744-3610.

Restaurants

San Diego is blessed with many good restaurants, and some are close to Hidden Meadows. Restaurant Row in San Marcos must have 20 in the same block and all are considered excellent. There are many great ones to choose from and there must be one that serves whatever it is that makes your taste buds water.

In Escondido,Jean and I love the Golden Egg Omelet (316 W. Mission Ave., Escondido), both for breakfast and lunch. It also happens to be owned by a Hidden Meadows couple, but I have not met them -- all I know is that their omelets will feed an army! This is a favorite place for many, so try to avoid the obvious crowded times.

You will hardly believe The Wagon Wheel on the Southeast corner of Center City and Mission -- it is right out of the 50s -- and in fact it has been there since 1953. The food is excellent, the prices are great, and the red plastic booths are not retro decorating -- they are the way it has always been. Home cooking at prices you will think are also from the 50s...it looks awful from the outside but you will like the service, the food -- and the price! I love he ground round steak and onion rings,

The Westside Cafe on 9th Avenue is another local favorite, and for good reason -- just plain good food at a good price. Don't try the meatloaf unless you love curry!

Portinos in Valley Center looks like a dive, but it has terrific Italian food, and the best Blue Cheese dressing in North County, Their ravioli is fantastic. Absolutely fresh everything. Highly recommended.

Our favorite toward the beach is on Encinitas Blvd, just a block outside Rancho Santa Fe, called Bentleys. Absolutely first rate food.

There are several excellent restaurants in nearby Rancho Bernardo. Carver's (11940 Bernardo Plaza Drive, Rancho Bernardo) is superb, and we like the Chinese food at Chin Szechwan (15721 Bernardo Heights Parkway, Rancho Bernardo). Right across the parking lot from Chin's is the French Market. The food and ambience is superb! You will not regret eating at the French Market.

Often, Jean and I settle for a "coffee house" just to have breakfast. In Escondido we like CoCo's (1280 W. Valley Parkway, Escondido), Carrows 510 W. Valley Parkway, Escondido), and of course, Denny's (510 W. Mission Ave., Escondido). Many Meadows residents have adopted IHOP in

Escondido, partly because you can get there quickly without going onto the freeway, but I find their prices higher than normal. These casual restaurants serve a full menu, but they feature breakfast, which we like at all times of the day.

If you are new to San Diego, you need to have lunch at Mister A's (2550 5th Ave., San Diego) on a clear day, and breakfast or dinner at the Marine Room (2000 Spindrift Dr., San Diego) at high tide.

We also buy the Entertainment Book each year. It will force you to get out more often, and save you a ton of money.

Electronics _ Stereo, Computers and TV

Now that Circuit City has closed, the best nearby store is Best Buy in San Marcos

COSTCO (725 Center Drive, San Marcos) in San Marcos also has great prices, and deserves to be checked. I check COSTCO first for computer software, because their prices are usually best, but you must know the latest version release because sometimes COSTCO carries a previous version. I don't think they knowingly do this, but they are merchandisers, not computer experts.

Personally, I buy my computers from Dell, Micron, and Gateway. You should check with each vendor and compare net cost for any specific computer system, including tax. California law states that you have a responsibility to pay a users tax equal to the sales tax that has not been collected by mail order companies.

Also you need to compare the hours that Technical Assistance is available at each of these mail order companies, and if they currently have an 800 number. These change, so I will not comment lest my information be in error.

Mushroom Compost

Mountain Meadow Mushrooms (26948 N. Broadway, Escondido), a huge mushroom farm on North Broadway in Escondido, is owned and managed by a Meadows resident, Bob Crouch. Every year, Bob lets ARO arrange a tour of his "plant" where he harvests more than 15,000 pounds of mushrooms a day! Since mushrooms don't weigh anything, that is a lot of mushrooms. Bob also gives 10 yards of mushroom compost, free, to Meadows residents. Mushroom compost is very rich in nutrients, so take advantage of this generous offer. Mountain Meadow Mushrooms are for sale nationally, but locally at Boney's in Escondido.

Dental Surgery

Why mention such a distasteful subject? Because at one time or another we will each need the help of a specialist in dental surgery. I hate to say that my experience was painless, lest you have some pain...but in truth my surgery was indeed painless! I hate dentistry, and hate surgery even more, but I am a believer in North County Oral & Facial Surgery Center at 488 East Valley Parkway in Escondido. I had a Surgeon right out of Harvard and am still marveling about his skill. Go http://www.ncofsc.com/ All of their Dentists are Doctors as well!

Groceries and Sundries

Groceries

Our rule-of-thumb is that for small shopping, generally less than $50, we happily go to Alex's Deli. His prices are very good. He obviously cannot compete on price with COSTCO, or even VON'S, but he is actually very reasonable, and his sandwiches are GREAT. Why do you see the Highway Patrol and the Sheriff cars making their shift exchanges several times a day in front of the Deli? They know where the best sandwiches, and Pizza, are in North County. You owe it to yourself to try several food items at the Deli. Alex's Deli is 749-1022.

When we have a need for more items, generally more than $50, we go to VON'S, at the El Norte turnoff -- the second exit going South on I-15. Actually, there are two VON'S, one block to the right on El Norte and another two blocks

to the left.. Both have a deli and a bakery, and both have "value packs" to compete with COSTCO.

When it comes to really major shopping, we use COSTCO _ either the near one in San Marcos or the one in Carmel Mountain Ranch. COSTCO zones their merchandise by neighborhood _ you should see the one in Palm Springs! The COSTCO in San Marcos lacks some of the upscale merchandise you can find in the COSTCO in Carmel Mountain Ranch, just South of Rancho Bernardo.

We shop for tires at COSTCO, because they give free rotation and balancing for the life of the tire. Since that should be done regularly, about each 7,500 miles, and one local dealer charges $60 for the service that COSTCO provides for free, it pays to buy your tires at COSTCO.

Pet Boarding

We have had the opportunity to examine the Animal Care Center (ACC) on Mission Blvd. in Escondido (1328 West Mission Rd., Escondido). Their facilities are clean and neat, and their prices appear to be reasonable. As this is written, their price for large dogs is about $20 a day. It is probably easier and cheaper to leave them home and have Kate's Errand Service feed them.

Motor Home Storage

Many residents of the Meadows own motor homes or other recreation vehicles. Owners who live out of the Covenant have no problem, because they can store on-site, but residents in the Covenant may not do so. The easy answer is to befriend someone out of the Covenant. Residents over the age of 55 may store their RVs at the nearby Ivy Del RV Park and Storage Park (25235 N. Center City Parkway, Escondido), and the rates are about $40 a month. They can be called at 745-2131.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste is difficult to get rid of, and there are all sorts of problems with trying to put it in the trash, but there are ways. The Poway Collection Center at 12325 Crosthwaite Circle is a collection point for hazardous waste. They can be reached at (619) 679-5410.

Estate Sales

Many of us moved to the Meadows with more furniture than our homes would comfortably handle. In some cases the solution is a garage sale, but in many cases nothing short of an estate sale will do. I would call Kay Chambers of Chambers Estate Services at 858-672-3242. She is licensed, bonded, and I trust her.

Wood Floors

Jean and I are partial to wood and laminate floors, but our home was bought with wall-to-wall carpeting, so we were stuck. At least we were until our sunken living room was flooded and we had to replace the carpeting. Call Leo at RB Flooring in Rancho Bernardo.

Housecleaning and Detailing Services

Our housekeepers are Pamela. who lives  nearby in Circle R...760-749-5099 and our daughter, Laurie, 760-489-9261 who also details cars and cleans homes for us. Both clean homes our company manage as rentals, and homes that we sell and must be cleaned before new occupancy. Both are terrific.

Custom Cabinet Work

Bill Gagnon assisted on our kitchen, and we were so impressed that we employed him to design and build my home office in beautiful Koa woods. After the kitchen we subsequently commissioned Bill to make us a custom desk of Koa, and design and build a custom wall unit of Koa. Bill builds beautiful wood kayaks...they are so beautiful that I would never put one in the water, just on the wall.

Bill Gagnon can be reached at 619-392-1850.

Sprinklers and Yard Work

Everyone in Hidden Meadows needs an OPERABLE sprinkler system. Rob Larson has done a lot of work on our systems and we have found him excellent. Like most people, we move plants around, add and update plantings, so our watering system never seems to be where the new plants are going...so we call Rob.

You can call Rob also at 751-2862

Dry Cleaning and Laundry

Fortunately, there is a Dry Cleaning Station just to the south of the Meadows, in the Country Club area of Escondido -- and even better, they pick up and deliver in the Meadows. 555 W. Country Club Lane. 747-0066. The price for pickup and delivery is per item.

Gate Service and Repair

If you are looking for a business to go into, try this service business. All of the vendors are incompetent, costly, and unresponsive. I have a neighbor who tried five services, and settled on the best he found...when I tried them they failed miserably.

 

Local Obligatory Sight-seeing

Wild Animal Park

O.K., so you are not the Zoo type. It makes no difference, the Wild Animal Park is worth a visit. Try to schedule your train ride around the park for as late a train as you can manage. Many of the animals are smart and avoid the heat of the day, and feed at dusk. That is the time to get on the train.

Conclusion of Section One

Suggestions for Improvement

If you have any suggestions for categories that might improve the first few days of a newcomer, your suggestions are appreciated.

If you want to get good driving directions to anywhere, you can do the same thing I have done with the included directions: Go to the Internet.

Driving Directions from the Internet

To get driving directions for the "enclosures", I used www.mapquest.com, and clicked on "Tripquest". I set the switches to "door to door" and "text only". You can get driving directions to anywhere in the United States, city to city, or door to door, on this site.

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

Escondido Chamber of Commerce

720 N. Broadway, Escondido 745-2125

Escondido Main Post Office

1157 W. Mission, Escondido 1-800-275-8777

Orange Glen Branch Post Office

1770 East Valley Parkway, Escondido 

San Marcos Post Office

420 N. Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos

San Diego Gas & Electric Co.

800-411-7343

SBC Telephone Co.

126 E. Second Street, Escondido 800-310-2355

745-1101

Palomar Hospital

555 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido 739-3000

Western Union 1-800-325-6000

Valley Center Municipal Water District

29300 Valley Center Road, Valley Center 749-1600

Fire/Emergency Services (emergency) 911

Deer Springs Fire Department (business) 749-8001

Sheriff's Department, San Diego County, (emergency) 911

24 hour non-emergency 758-6301

187 Santar Pl., San Marcos

SBC —Customer Service 1-800-310-2355

Cox Cable TV  599-6060

United Parcel Service 1-800-742-5877

Meadow Lake Golf Course 749-1620 

San Diego County Street Repair 694-2198

CIVIC SERVICES

POLICE PROTECTION

Police protection is provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's department in San Marcos. Numbers to call are: non-emergency — 758-6301

Call 911 in case of burglary, vandalism or other emergency

FIRE PROTECTION

The Deer Springs Fire Protection District was formed on December 15, 1981. The District covers approximately 44.5 square miles and is protected by two fire stations located at the intersection of I-15 and Deer Springs Road and at 8709 Circle R Drive. The District has purchased the lot at the corner of Meadow Glen Way East and Mountain Meadow Road -- right across from our office! This new facility for the fire department will probably be built in two or three years. There are paid personnel and paid call personnel in the Department. All of the paid personnel are state certified at the E.M.T.-medical level. The California Department of Forestry operates the stations.

The District has automatic aid response agreements with the San Marcos Fire Department, Vista Fire Department

Escondido Fire Department and the North County Fire Protection District (Fallbrook). The District also has mutual aid agreements with the remaining fire departments in San Diego County and the California Division of Forestry Fire Department. Through these agreements and the District's personnel, first responder medical service, rescue, defibrillation, and vehicle extrication services are available.

When you request assistance in a time of emergency, try to have someone at your location to direct the emergency responders to the emergency site. Easily identifiable house numbers are important and they are required by County ordinances.

When requesting fire, medical or rescue emergency service:

DIAL: 911 (DON'T USE CELL PHONE UNLESS NECESSARY)

GIVE: Your name and location of emergency

REQUEST: Dispatcher to notify Deer Springs Fire Protection District

Business calls: 749-8001 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m..)

POSTAL SERVICE

Contract carriers working from the Orange Glen Branch Post Office provide postal delivery. The rules for mailbox location differ with the contract carriers, so be sure to check with the Post Office prior to installing any new mail box.

The Orange Glen Branch Post Office, 741-6098, is located at 1770 E. Valley Pkwy. Another nearby Post Office is at 420 Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos, 744-1030. The Main Post Office is located at 1157 W. Mission, Escondido, 745-1912.

Residents in the area are on a rural route, so the local mail carrier can furnish services not required to be performed by city mail carriers. These services include buying stamps & money orders, posting mail and packages, etc. Many residents leave a deposit with their mail carrier agent, which she/he can work against.

WATER AND SEWER

The Hidden Meadows area receives its water supply from the Valley Center Municipal Water District, 29300 Valley Center Road, Valley Center (Tel. 749-1600).

Homes located in the major subdivision area of Hidden Meadows (the Covenant) are on a sewer system also run by the Valley Center Municipal Water District. Most homes located in adjacent areas use individual septic systems.

ELECTRICITY AND GAS

The majority of Hidden Meadows homes utilize electricity for heating and cooking purposes. Electricity is provided by the San Diego Gas and Electric Company, 455 So. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, 800-411-7343.

Natural gas is not available. Some homes use propane gas. Vendors listed in the Yellow Pages supply this fuel.

TRASH/GARBAGE SERVICE

Sanitation service is not provided by the county. Each resident must make private arrangements with a sanitation firm or dispose of his own trash and garbage. Mashburn Sanitation Company, San Marcos, 744-2700, and Valley Center Disposal and Recycling (749-0466) each provides service for this area, and compete for your business. Some residents prefer to handle their own sanitation chores and haul their trash and garbage to sanitary fills. Mashburn and Valley Center Disposal and Recycling also operate a weekly recycling collection.

EDUCATION

For information pertaining to education, it is suggested that you phone or visit: Escondido Union Elementary School District, 1330 E. Grand Ave., Escondido, 432-2400 and/or Escondido Union High School District, 302 N. Midway Dr., Escondido, 480-3000. Some homes are in the Valley Center Union School District (K-8), 28751 Cole Grade Road, Valley Center, 749-0464. Valley Center also has a new High School. As of June 1, 1998, high school students living south of Vista Montanosa are scheduled to Escondido High and those to the north go to Valley Center High, but transfers are permitted. Inter-district transfers are also available on a case-by-case basis to Fallbrook and San Marcos schools.

There is a thorough analysis on the local schools on this website. (Click Here to view this analysis.)

Excellent adult education is available through the Escondido High School system, Palomar College, Mira Costa College and National University. Cultural attractions are available at these schools and at California State University, San Marcos.

BOOKMOBILE

The San Diego County Library brings its Bookmobile to the Meadow Lake Country Club lower parking lot on alternate Tuesday mornings from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.. On the same day, the Bookmobile is at Welk Village from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free library cards are available on the Bookmobile. Books, cassettes, and magazines may be checked out for 28 days, with no renewals.

ELECTIONS

The locations of Hidden Meadows Polling Places are announced in the voter information booklet mailed to each registered voter before each election. New residents may register to vote by contacting Registrar of Voters at 5201 Ruffin Road, San Diego (P.O. Box 85520), phone 570-1061.

COMMUNITY GROUPS

MEADOW LAKE GOLF COURSE

Meadow Lake Golf Course is located at 10333 Meadow Glen Way East and offers an excellent 18-hole championship golf course. The main club house features a cocktail lounge, the upstairs Fireside Room, and the Pro Shop, headed by a registered PGA member. Details on membership can be obtained at the Club office. The club has recently been purchased from the Welk Organization, and the new owners, Cresta Verde will be announcing new policies regarding membership.

MEADOW LAKE GOLF COURSE MEN'S CLUB

The Men's Club is associated with the Southern California Golf Association and operates under rules established by that body. Each Wednesday is designated as Men's Day and golf tournaments are held twice monthly. The

Bogey Men, a group of 9-holers, play Friday mornings. Other Men's Club events are the Club Championship, the President's Cup Matches and Member-Guest Days. Membership in the Meadow Lake Country Club is not mandatory for individuals wishing to join the Men's Club.

MEADOW LAKE GOLF COURSE WOMEN'S

ASSOCIATION

The Meadow Lake Country Club Women's Golf Association is a member of the San Diego County Women's Golf Association, and Santa Margarita Women's Golf Association. Handicaps are computed by the Integrated Data Corporation. There are two groups of golfers: the 18-holers who play regularly on Thursday morning, and the 9-hole group which plays on Tuesday morning. Membership in the Meadow Lake Country Club is not mandatory for women wishing to join the Women's Association.

COMMUNITY SPONSOR GROUP

The Community Sponsor Group for the Hidden Meadows area meets monthly in the Pavilion. They are appointed by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and provide a communications link with the San Diego County Planning and Land Use Department. They review and make recommendations on all types of land use, building matters, and other planning issues that impact our community life. Kent Smith is the Chairman. Their area of interest is bounded on the south by the city of Escondido, on the west by I-15, on the north by Castle Creek, and on the west by Valley Center.

ASSOCIATION OF RESIDENT OWNERS (ARO)

In 1973, the people living in the Hidden Meadows area organized themselves for social, civic and lobbying purposes. For want of a catchier name they called themselves the "Association of Resident Owners of the Hidden Meadows Area", which came to be abbreviated as "ARO" and pronounced "Arrow."

True to its name, the group has been "straight-arrow" ever since and done a good job of helping people meet their neighbors and enjoy the charms of life in The Meadows. Each year ARO organizes a number of social activities for members, bus trips, picnics, dances, and excursions to plays, concerts and sporting events. Additionally, ARO has aided in the organization of other worthy community groups, such as the Newcomers, the Arts and Crafts Fair, Computer Club, Garden Club, etc.

Through its MeadowLark newspaper and the ARO column in The Roadrunner newspaper, ARO has promoted the activities of these independent Hidden Meadow groups and also the bridge marathon, bridge classes, and computer classes, to name just a few.

ARO has been active in beautifying The Meadows through Christmas decorating awards, and planting of key corners for improved appearance. ARO urges homeowners to keep their property neat and clean.

ARO encompasses a broad geographical area called the "country town of Hidden Meadows." As such, ARO provides a central organized voice for property owners in relations with state, county and city governments and other private or quasi-public agencies. The ARO area definition is: "If you drive home on Mountain Meadow Road you live in Hidden Meadows." Rimrock is also included. The geographical boundaries for Hidden Meadows and ARO are:

* To the North, up to but not including Moosa Canyon,

* To the East, up to but not including Turner Lake and Valley Center,

* To the South, up to but not including Jesmond Dene & North Broadway

* To the West, up to Champagne Blvd. and including Rimrock, but not including Welk Village and Champagne Village.

ARO annual membership dues are $15.00 per family. They are payable to ARO and may be given to the Membership Chairman or any member of the Board of Directors. It is hoped that all residents of the area will want to be members of ARO and will join in its activities.

MEADOWS HOMES ASSOCIATION (MHA)

Membership in the Meadows Homes Association is mandatory for those people who reside in the major subdivision known as Hidden Meadows. Purchase of a lot or a home automatically makes one a member.

The primary function of this organization is to enforce the building codes and the CC&R's (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) established by the organization; to review and approve final building, grading and landscaping plans for new homes and remodeling by its Environmental Review Board; and to be responsible for maintenance of private streets and "open areas" in Hidden Meadows. It owns the Meadows Community Center.

It maintains liaison with developers, builders, and government offices. It has no set dues, but does levy annual and special assessments when necessary, usually about $295.00 per year. The Secretary of the MHA can be reached at 749-7278..

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

Hidden Meadows Neighborhood Watch is an effort to help secure each community members safety and property, and is chaired by Mike Richman at 749-2325. There are Block Captains for all areas of The Meadows. To learn the name of your Block Captain or to volunteer to assist in this important work, call the Neighborhood Watch chair. Although Hidden Meadows is a very low-crime-rate area, from time to time meetings are held to hear from the Sheriff's Department Crime Prevention Specialists. There is an active effort to develop a "Disaster Plan" under Neighborhood Watch, particularly for the potential of wildfires in the area. This "Firesafe" effort is being chaired by Tom Francl at 751-1111. Tom is developing alternate escape routes, a warning system, and a list of community resources.

MEADOWS COMMUNITY CENTER

In 1997, the Meadows Homes Association purchased the Pavilion building, an Olympic size pool, two tennis courts — all on a 5 acre parcel. Residents who live in the Covenant support this facility through their $295 a year Homeowner's Fee, and residents who live outside the Covenant but in Hidden Meadows may belong for a fee of $295 a year. Call Pat Huff, the Secretary of the MHA at 749-7278.

NEWCOMERS CLUB

The Hidden Meadows Newcomers Club meets regularly and has about a dozen special interest groups, such as dine-out, social, bridge, pinochle, walking, crafts, and ballroom dancing. Residents can join the Newcomers if they have lived in Hidden Meadows for fewer than five years and they may continue t o be members for five years after joining. Annual dues are $10 per couple, $5 single, which covers all interest groups. Chairperson is John Snyder at 751-1241

Hidden Meadows Foundation

The Hidden Meadows Foundation, started in 1998 by Allen Hemphill,  has three components: An Endowment Fund, which will benefit The Meadows Homes Association over a long period of years with the interest generated from substantial donations, a Pass-through Fund, which funds will pass immediately to the Association of Resident Owners for their use in beautification, and a Scholarship Fund. Donations may be made to either fund, or both, at the wish of the Donor.

Donations to any fund will be tax exempt.  Call Tom Francl at 751-1111.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION

THE VALLEY CENTER ROADRUNNER

The Roadrunner is a local weekly newspaper. Our first newspaper, known as The Messenger, was founded in 1989 by a local resident. When it was sold it kept its name, but was later combined with the Valley Center Roadrunner and enjoys a circulation all along the I-15 corridor including Hidden Meadows, Bonsall and Fallbrook. Most local events are publicized in the Roadrunner. Local subscribers ($18 per year) receive the paper by mail weekly. The calendar of events column lists times, dates and places of meetings.

The Roadrunner is happy to publish local news, club news, weddings, births, etc. The phone number for news items and subscriptions is 749-1112.

THE MEADOWLARK (ARO NEWSPAPER)

The MeadowLark is published "almost" month by the Association of Resident Owners (ARO) and is delivered to all residents as a public service. It contains news of The Meadows area as well as announcements of coming activities for all organizations. If you have not received a copy of the MeadowLark, please contact any member of the Board of Directors.

ARO ROSTER

ARO publishes a Roster of its membership, including address and phone numbers. Members find this a very convenient way of locating their neighbors and friends in The Meadows.

In the ARO roster are ads which pay the cost of the printing. There are also calling cards of services and tradespeople. The only cards accepted for the Roster are those whose services have been recommended by an ARO member. Naturally ARO cannot endorse any of its advertisers or calling card holders, but we are grateful for their financial support.

Hidden Meadows Blog

I publish a Blog on Hidden Meadows, concentrating on real estate but with a lot of general information as well.

Read my (almost) daily Meadows real estate Blog

http://mountainmeadowrealestate.wordpress.com/

I also publish an almost daily current events Blog       http://usna1957.wordpress.com/

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

BRIDGE

Monthly bridge for women is held at the Meadow Lake Country Club on the second Friday of each month at 10:00 a.m.. Interested women may contact: Janet Jacobson at 749-1150.

A couples bridge marathon is held during the winter months. For further information, please contact Jim Seymour at 751-3481.

Bridge Lessons are given periodically by a resident Master Bridge Teacher-Member of the American Bridge Teacher's Association, Cliff Krueger, 749-3999.

NEWCOMERS CLUB

Newcomers sponsors several monthly social events, organized around activities at homes on a rotating basis. Each group is limited to about 15 couples so that each home can easily accommodate the guests. This is a great way to meet people, and it requires that you drive many of the streets in the area to get to the homes. Each group has a different "theme", for example one is a pot-luck and hors d'oeuvres group. Please call John Snyder at 751-1241..

COMPUTER CLUB

The Hidden Meadows Computer Club meets regularly to exchange ideas and tips. For information call Cliff Krueger at 749-3999.. The meeting is held the third Monday of the Month at the Meadows Community Center at 7 p.m.

FASHION SHOW

The ARO Fashion Show in the Spring presents a delightful entertainment. Contact: Pam Wise at ..

SEW AND SO CLUB

Women interested in joining the Sew and So Club, a social group which meets on the first Tuesday of each month in a member's home, may call the chair, Pepi' Lauerman, 749-1500, to find the hostess to contact.

GARDEN CLUB

Everyone in the community who is interested in gardening is invited to participate in the Meadows Garden Club, sharing ideas, learning more about plants and even swapping plants, bulbs, cuttings and seeds. Chairman is Pat Wagner at 749-0365 The Garden Club maintains a library for checkout at Dolphin Realty.

Friendship Committee

This is a committee designed to provide cards and flowers to the sick and shut-ins. Please contact Norma Stirens at 749-4166.

Facts about the Hidden Meadows Area

* There are approximately 1,412 residences, divided about 60-40 between working and retired families... friendly people, small town feeling. You can be just as involved as you choose. It all began about 40 years ago with the major subdivision around the Golf Course.

* Meadow Lake Country Club is the Golf Course, owned by the Cresta Verde Corporation. The Tennis Club and Swim Club, now owned the Meadows Homes Association, and all families who live in the Covenant are automatic members. Residents who live outside the Covenant may join if they wish.

* The 550 custom homes around the Golf Course range from 30-years-old to brand new, and they feature full services: water, sewer, electricity and cable. They are on lots of approximately a quarter of an acre.

* In addition there are over 600 custom homes on acreage sites to the north, east and west of the Golf Course, and these have individual septic systems, grand views, plus space for agriculture: avocado, macadamia, florist flowers, citrus, etc.,

* There are 203 tract homes, built in 2002-2004 by Greystone Builders.

* Shopping: Just 12 minutes to El Norte Parkway in the City of Escondido are 2 Vons stores, 6 cinemas, other services and stores. There's a pleasant frontage road for those who prefer to avoid the freeway. It's 20 minutes to North County Fair, a major regional shopping plaza. The Meadows Deli convenience store is located next to the Dolphin Realty building which also has other services upstairs including the Meadows Beauty and Facial Salon. A few more shops (at some time in the future) may be built at the corner. But there will never be much commercial activity in The Meadows.

* Pleasant year-round climate at 1,500 -1,800 foot elevation with ocean breezes most days, means clear atmosphere, usually above the fog, and cheerful sunlight from sunup which makes for great solar-powered hot water heating.

* Good schools: These include Valley Center grade school district (K-8) , or Escondido North Broadway Elementary School (K-5) and Rincon Middle School (6-8), and Escondido High School. Calvin Christian School is nearby. There is bus service to VC School and Escondido HS.

* Medical services abound: walk-in clinics and doctor's offices are in Escondido, Palomar Hospital in Escondido, plus many dental offices. Emergency service is by our Fire District.

* Just 50 minutes to San Diego airport (20 minutes to Palomar Airport) and downtown events such as symphony, theater, opera, Old Globe, Padres and Chargers, the zoo and Sea World. The Wild Animal Park is only 25 minutes away. And nearby are Dixon Lake, many parks and other lakes, the Cleveland National Forest, and the California Center for the Arts at Escondido.

* Safe, quiet living. This cul-de-sac community has no roads out to the north, and only gravel roads to the east and southeast. It has a very low crime rate. There's little through traffic and, in fact, very little traffic at all. It's country living with birds, rabbits, coyotes and other wild life, starry nights, mountain sunrises, thrilling sunsets.

* Property values and quality construction of homes. Proximity to prestigious Rimrock promotes high standards in the area. And, in the major subdivision, an active Homeowners' Association makes for uniformity and quality.

* Pastoral way of life, not a city and not a part of Escondido City, but governed by San Diego County. Water is from the Valley Center Municipal Water District. Propane is available from various private suppliers. Cable TV is available. Hidden Meadows has until just lately been well "hidden". The San Diego Union Tribune indicated that it has been "found," but only by a select few.

Note: This information has been collected from sources deemed reliable, but we cannot guarantee it. Any suggestions or corrections should be referred to Dolphin Realty.

The Flavor of Hidden Meadows
Hidden Meadows came about its name honestly. It is a small country town, and if a town's stress can be measured by its stop lights — we don't have any! Cellular phones don't work well in our community, but they seem to work quite well when we get back to the freeway. We do have one four-way stop, a deli/grocery store, one attorney, a one-chair beauty shop, and two real estate offices. As a mountain meadow, our 1,500 foot altitude gives us a great microclimate with abundant birds, wildlife, and temperatures that support everything from tropicals to oak trees that are hundreds of years old!

We have an Escondido address, and get water from the Valley Center Water District, but we are not part of either community. We have a golf course, and we are an unincorporated area of San Diego County. We have only one paved road leading to the community, so we don't have much crime. Most people who live 5 minutes away have never heard of Hidden Meadows. Suits us fine. The Meadows has had residents since it was the home of a Mexican bandit in the late 1700s, and has been continuously occupied since the 1860s. Our oldest resident homesteaded her property as a child in 1932.

We have about 1,210 homes in The Meadows, about half of them surrounding the golf course and about half in a less formal setting. The homes around the golf course are referred to as being "In the Covenant" because they are under a strong set of Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions (CC&Rs) controlled by The Meadows Homes Association. The Meadows Homes Association owns the Meadows Community Center, which has a swimming pool, two tennis courts and a pavilion.

Everyone in The Meadows can belong to the Association of Resident Owners (ARO), and that group organizes the social activities of the area including the Newcomers Club, a computer club, several bridge clubs and many other activities.

We have a few apartments, a few condos, and lots of custom homes. There are no tract homes in Hidden Meadows. We are home to writers and talk-show hosts, but the writers don't write about Hidden Meadows and the talk-show hosts don't talk about Hidden Meadows. If too many people find out about Hidden Meadows, it won't be hidden very long.

Although many residents have been, or still are, in charge of something, no one is in charge of Hidden Meadows. We don't have a Mayor. Don't want one either. We are officially designated a Country Town by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, but we don't think any of them know where we are. Good! We hope we can keep it that way.

 

 

Send mail to allen@allenhemphill.com or dolphinrealty@earthlink.net with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Allen Hemphill
Last modified: August 13, 2012