“Where are you from?”
“I meant Sacramento.”
If you’re from Elk Grove and traveled anywhere else outside Elk Grove, chances are you’ve had this conversation various times. Elk Grove is this tiny city within the Sacramento county and a place you would only know of if you’ve lived there. Apart from living there, it’s just another city you obliviously tune out when traveling along the I-5. Well, to my fellow Elk Grovians, here are 14 facts only you can truly understand and appreciate.
1. You take pictures at Laguna Town Hall.
Whether it's for junior prom, senior ball, debuts, or any other picture taking event, you've posed for a couple hundred pictures here. Dimly lit lanterns, cascading trees, and spouting fountains -- this is the best "aesthetics" you'll get in Elk Grove. 10/10 would improve your Instagram game.
2. You've had a birthday party or have attended many birthday parties at King Skate.
Whether you like the person or not, you go to their birthday party if it is held at King Skate, because you know it will be popping. Also, if you didn't have your birthday party here at least once in your life, your parents didn't love you.
3. You go to the Wackford Aquatic Complex at least once every summer.
Until the age of 13, you go to Wackford at least once every summer to slide down the two miles-per-hour water slide and swim around in pool water that is 75 percent piss and 25 percent chlorine. After 13, you either work as a lifeguard here or never return to this god awful place.
4. Everybody who has braces goes to Dr. Oshetski's office.
Everybody and their moms go here to get braces. If you don't go here to get braces, do you even have braces?
5. Because everybody goes to Dr. Oshetski's office, everybody also has the tie-dye shirts that come along with a new metal mouth.
Even if you don't have braces, you somehow always end up with one of these shirts.
5. You go to Target for fun.
Whether you're 14 or 18, this is the place to be.
6. Leatherby's is the greatest thing to happen to Elk Grove. Ever.
I've probably had a hundred Black and Tan's since their grand opening, like, three years ago.
7. ...and Dutch Bros.
Every coffee lovers dream come true. What's Starbucks?
8. ...and Black Bear Diner.
Finally, something good replaced Sizzlers. Also, am I the only one who noticed Elk Grove's food chain industry started to glo-up after I left to college?
9. Everybody works out at CalFit.
You're assured to see at least five people you know before you even start your workout.
10. You go to Elk Grove Park for the 4th of July.
Clustered alongside hundreds of other bodies smelling like barbecue and sweat, you gaze up longingly for this magical light show (well, the closest thing you'll get to the Disneyland firework show).
11. You cried tears of joy at the new Walmart opening.
OK, maybe not tears of joy, but of relief, because now I don't have to travel to the other side of town to buy my Doritos for 35 cents less than I would be at Raleys.
12. In-N-Out is the only thing worth traveling across town for.
After numerous football games, homecomings, and really any late-night school event, In-N-Out is the only thing that hits the spot (and is open as late as midnight). Although I've probably sacrificed gallons of gas to travel to here, that double cheeseburger, animal-style fries, and thick strawberry milkshake always made up for it.
13. There's only one elk in all of Elk Grove.
Whenever I tell people I'm from Elk Grove, they always assume I must run alongside elks every day. Sorry to break it to you, the only elk in all of Elk Grove is this statue. I don't know why it's here, but it's the only elk you'll see here.
14. You're still hopelessly waiting on that unfinished mall.
It's been maybe four years (or an eternity) since Elk Grove announced they were going to open up a new mall. This "mall" has literally looked like this for the past century.
Although most people who grow up in Elk Grove can't wait to leave, Elk Grove will always hold a special place in their hearts. Elk Grove may not be the most popular city in California, but it's definitely an unforgettable one for those who truly grew up in this quaint suburb, like myself.