Carlsbad is one of those places that you go through on a long road trip and you think to yourself, "Who lives here?" I do, thank you very much. When Brad and I decided to stay here and start a business, my parents said, "Do you really see yourselves there in the long-term? It's a hole." Of course, they're living in Dallas, the consumer capital of the free world. People in Dallas eat out so much that my parents moved into a three year old home where the oven had never been used. My mom has broken in the oven by now, but they eat out at least once a week. I can see how Carlsbad would not be appealing after getting used to Dallas. There are certainly no restaurants to speak of. Unless you want to drive an hour and a half to Roswell for dinner, dining out options include: a mini-Chilis, two all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets, Dave's Barbeque, and a Denny's. A trashy Denny's. (Is that redundant?)
To the passing trucker or tourist, Carlsbad is probably pretty trashy in general. People passing through to see the caverns have to stay at some pretty nasty hotels. And Canal Street, Carlsbad's main drag, is a story in itself. Canal Street is home to boarded up businesses, hobos/bag ladies, and super annoying sensorless traffic lights. And whenever it rains, this happens:
Car washes are pointless.
AND THE BUGS! I consider myself to be a reasonable human being. But bugs. I can't deal. One of my friends told me that her husband picked a giant, colorful centipede up out of their sink, twirled it around and said, "Very funny, Jolene." And then screamed like a little girl when it started climbing up his hand. After that story, I had nightmares about centipedes for weeks. I'm not kidding. I actually woke up sweating in the middle of the night at least twice after dreaming a centipede was crawling in our bed waiting to eat me. (And if you are laughing at me right now, I suggest you search "giant centipede eats mouse" on YouTube so you can have nightmares too.)
And despite all of these inconveniences, we still live here. We choose to be here. We love it here. There's something great about living in a small town and escaping your neighbors, the Joneses. We can be us here. And that's refreshing.