So far Seattle has been wonderful, meeting every expectation (and exceeding some).
After a long, more-expensive-than-anticipated drive in a UHaul for three 12-hour days with a dog and a tow-hitch, we arrived. Most of the first half of the drive was boring, annoying, and full of problems (Texas, New Mexico and Colorado), but the second half was beautiful. The route took us through a beautiful part of Utah on the edge of Arches National Park and through Moab, across small towns in Iowa and rolling hills and farms in Oregon and eastern Washington. Washington is stunning - patchwork farms in hills, with pine mountains in the distance that plunge down into white-blue rivers and oceans.
We drove over the Cascades and into Seattle. The city glistens with glass and water, vibrant with lush green everywhere. It's one of the greenest cities I've ever seen, both because of the climate allowing trees and grass to thrive, and because literally everywhere there can be a garden, there is one. People are mad about gardens here. Vegetables, flowers, herbs - anything that can grow is grown, in the front and back yards, in hanging pots, in old cans, in the holes of cinder blocks. There is lavender, sage and rosemary everywhere you see. Tomatoes are still ripening. Nuts are falling off the trees. It's so different from the hot, dry climate of Austin we just left.
Friday we moved in with the help of another post-Austin friend. I love our duplex and the location. We have a small fenced in yard, a deck, and over twice the space from the Austin apartment.
Our front neighbors are delightful. After two long conversations with them, I'm now armed with enough restaurants and breweries and parks to go to (and secrets about how to avoid their lines and attend their happy hours) to last the whole first month here. On the next block are a bunch of delicious looking restaurants. We went first to Uneeda Burger, which had some of the best fries I've ever eaten, the best kombucha I've ever had (on tap!), and three of the juciest hand-made hamburgers I've had the pleasure of tasting. Over the course of the weekend I've had Molly Moon's strawberry balsamic ice cream in a sugar cone, found an independent video store called Scarecrow, tasted pumpkin and beet beers at Elysium (both delicious), and gone to a concert and discovered three new bands.
Talah has had the pleasure of exploring a huge, wooded park with a fenced in off-leash area, the walk to which passes by a zoo and a rose garden. Got to shop at Trader Joe's and have myself some $2 Chuck (which I've missed dearly since leaving LA). Explored the winding vendor playground of the Fremont Market (to which we can walk) - and despite the funds being low from the move, look forward to going back for a hat, some spice rub, and a few other intriguing finds there. On top of all this, I also did an improv audition (why not start off with a bang?) and crocheted some granny squares for a little tabletop knic-knack.
It's just wonderful. All the people we've met have been friendly and helpful. Food has been delicious. People have dogs and bring them everywhere. It's way, way more bike-friendly than Austin (although the hills are enormous) - which is great since I could use the exercise and gas is $4 per gallon. The cars yield to pedestrians and bikes! Bike paths everywhere! The food is diverse and delicious and high-quality. I feel very confident that this is a place I want to be, and that the choice was the right choice.