Imagine a town where you must be 55+ to live there. Golf carts are permitted to roam the streets alongside cars, a shoe shine shop still exists, an organist plays in the local restaurant, people still wear pastel polyester pants, and women go to the hair salon to get their hair set.
That is the town where my grandma lives.
In fact, it is less than ten minutes from me in Southern California.
As described by Wikipedia:
Sun City is a master-planned community for senior citizens over age 55. The four-square mile residential community has two public golf courses, two recreation centers with tennis courts and swimming pools, and a commercial center of small shops for resident consumers.
Originally built in 1960, it was one of four "Sun Cities" designed by Del Webb who later created retirement communities in Arizona, Nevada and Florida in the 1970s and '80s. The Del Webb company opened Sun City Palm Desert, California east of Palm Springs in 1991.
My husband is really the one I should be interviewing to talk about it. In the 1980s they built a little subdivision adjacent to Sun City and that is where his father bought a house and where he grew up. He knows every street thanks to his childhood years of exploring on a bicycle. My grandma didn't move there until the late 90s and even then it felt like you were in a different land. It still does!
Although they are not considered their own city now that Menifee became incorporated, we still call it Sun City. In its main shopping center they hold the best library in our area and the only nearby McDonald's, so of course we frequent it often!
After a library trip one day, I drove around and snapped some photos of the AWESOME houses. This is from only going down a few streets. Can you imagine if I had my nice camera instead of my cell phone? Or if I had a whole day to explore?
In this little city rock lawns are normal. It's more surprising if you find a house that features grass. I can't blame them though! If my husband didn't mow the lawn I would want a rock garden.
A lot of times they will be lined with the scalloped brick. Cute additions like the fake well aren't unusual either.
Fruit trees in the front and/or back (my Grammy has a persimmon tree and grape tomato plants).
Cacti are perfect plants for our sunny and dry weather.
Potted, hanging plants adorn porches.
Did you always dream of a little pink house? Here you can easily find one!
Or get your couch reupholstered.
But be warned: there are a lot of senior citizens behind the wheel. And worse: the town center is so wacky!! One way streets, random intersections with no signs, single lane alleys. You have to be on high alert when you drive there!
The citizens are also very concerned about young folks driving too fast. These beauties are stationed around the town to ensure the safety for all. Once my husband was driving us down a street and there was a man sitting on a bench holding a megaphone yelling that he was going too fast. I agreed with man. But I love that he decided to be proactive about people like my fast-paced husband.
And on some streets there are even rounded curbs. No more tire marks on the sidewalk!
But I saved the BEST homes for last!
From a younger person's perspective this place seems otherworldly, but heck, when I get old I wouldn't mind living here. I want a pink house and for there to be no noise after 6pm. My kids and I love to visit. Their Great Grandma lives there. The library is the nicest out of all the local cities. Old ladies always delight in seeing my children and offer them candy while simultaneously telling them not to take candy from strangers. The estate sales are pretty cool. You want vintage? Come here! Although, usually the items have not stopped being used for the last 50 years.