Apartment Life

After 13 years of living la vida loco in Lake Elsinore, I'm returning to the prefab cocoon I've nested in the majority of my life—the urban apartment. For five years I've pined for thin walls and small rooms, and now I'm getting it. My new pad is exactly one mile from our office in Temecula, and a spud gun's mortar lob away from the mall, two dozen chain restaurants, a book store and a massage parlor. In these parts unleaded petrol's been flirting with old Abe for weeks, and the twice-weekly 70-dollar fill-ups are killing me. My new plan calls for parking the Nitro Monday through Friday and walking Willis to the office every morning. If there's a donut joint on my route, I see this as a sustainable possibility.

As city living goes, Temecula is more Stepford than Big Apple, but parts of this southernmost metropolis in the Inland Empire have a certain charm. I'm especially fond of The Swing Inn restaurant in Old Town, and not even its wild west motif can dampen my enthusiasm for their breakfast menu served all day. Old Town isn't what anyone would call walking distance from Solana Ridge, but it's certainly an easy bike ride from my new home.

Ah, bike rides—another good reason for getting out of Like hell, Señor. Since contracting chopper fever four years ago, I've weeded my stable of the noblest invention from six to two. Sadly, neither machine has seen more than 300 miles use in the last year. I used to ride 300 miles a month. I like the serpentine back streets in Temecula, and they way they crawl up and down the terraced terrain will provide my chubby muscles a much-needed workout. Quite frankly, cycling through Elsinore's urban decay and rural squalor has taken all the wind out of my motivational sails. Temecula's well-groomed neighborhoods, eerily repetitious strip malls and master planned monotony should give me the kick in the chamois I've needed since ballooning back up to a buck ninety-five two years ago.

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