one month in Seattle

Seattle Day Trip to Bainbridge Island

It’s been a month?! nuts. Brian’s been begging me to write a new post, and it really is overdue. I feel like I have so much to write about but so little to say!

It simultaneously feels like we’ve been here for 2 days, and also 2 years. So so so much has happened in this month, and I feel like Brian and I are still playing catch up every day, trying to keep up with everything.

Our apartment is starting to feel more homey, especially after our first fire in the fireplace this past weekend! My mom came to visit during our first week here, and helped us clean the apartment from top to bottom, and paint every single surface. It’s amazing what a coat of paint will do….
Everything is unpacked and almost completely put away, and we’re finally able to relax instead of always cleaning and organizing. We’re extremely thankful for the location we chose to live in, being surrounded by the best transit in the city and having access to everything. We can walk to work in 30 minutes, ride to work in 8 minutes, or take a bus or train. We’ve found our favorite coffee shops and corner stores, and fell in love with Volunteer Park which is only a few blocks from our apartment.

We took our first ferry a few weeks ago…. AND LOVED IT. I cannot believe we live so close to the water, and we have access to so many beautiful places. We loved Bainbridge Island so much, that we’re getting married there!!! (more on that later)

 

Seattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandBainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge Island

Our first impressions of Seattle were pretty spot on. The rain can be overwhelming, the dogs are EVERYWHERE, the hills are still huge but getting easier to handle, and the food is just as good as we originally thought. It rained for about 10 days straight last week, which got to be almost humorous to us, but then we had a few sunny days in a row which made up for it. We have both been hearing nonstop from literally every single person we talk to that Seattle’s summers are just the most incredibly beautiful summers ever, and make the rainy season worth it. We’re hoping that’s true, especially this year since we’re having our ceremony outside in the middle of July!

Some things we LOVE about Seattle:

Paper Hammer, Stitches, Drygoods, Glasswing

Mountains – we have a really cool view of the mountains when we walk to work, but sometimes it’s too overcast or cloudy to see them. On the days when it’s bright and clear, we joke that ‘the mountains are out today!’

Biking – the hills suck. We can coast downhill to work in the mornings in about 8 minutes, but riding back uphill on the way home is another story. We got totally rocked and had to walk partway the first time, but then made it up on our second try. We’re still figuring things out. We dragged home a bike from the trash for me last week which is going to need some serious aesthetic work, but it has gears and that’s what matters.

FISH – OMG THE FISH HERE IS SO GOOD. Brian has found his happy place in the PNW, and it thankfully involves homemade seafood chowder and fires in our fireplace.Homemade Seafood Chowder in the Pacific Northwest

Volunteer Park – I can barely find the words to describe how wonderful and magical and beautiful this park is, so here’s two sentences and a few photos from our first time visiting.
Brian – “I think I need to start carrying a brass pocket telescope.”
Veronica – “This place is SO Hogwarts”
Volunteer Park Seattle
Volunteer Park Seattle

Volunteer Park Seattle

 

Blondie Brownies

It’s my last day of work!!! I can’t even pretend like I’m not totally excited to close this chapter of my life and finally move to Seattle.

Because we live in some weird world where you have to bring your OWN treats to celebrate your birthday/anniversary/last day, I decided to bake cookies for the office. I babysat J+Z last night (for the last time), and conned them into helping me make these delish blondie brownies that require a lot of measuring for Z.Blondie Brownies

I have never seen the office so obsessed with a cookie before, and I had at least 6 different people ask me for the recipe. I found it here via Pinterest, and recreated the recipe on a printable card for the office. Enjoy!!
Blondie Brownie Recipe

B+V do Seattle

Seattle is amazing! Seriously. It’s everything I didn’t know a city could be. It’s beautiful and friendly and interesting and I feel like we totally fit in. It’s weird to say after living in Chicago for so long, but I don’t think we ever quite found our niche there. Seattle is our place.

The people might not look or act exactly like us, but it’s easy to see that we’re cut from the same cloth. Everyone looks out for one another without a second thought. If you see someone with heavy bags, you offer to carry one no matter who they are. If someone is struggling to cross the street when the light is about to change, the drivers patiently wait while another person slows down to finish crossing with them. I have seen more kind actions by total strangers in the past four days than I have in the past year in Chicago. It warms my heart and reminds me that good does exist and there is something in this world that is worth fighting to protect.

The hills are no joke. Someone told us that hills are like taking off band aids. In Seattle, the hills are like a slow rip that hurts for awhile. San Francisco hills are like that fast rip that hurts but is over before you know it. After four days, we’re inclined to agree. There’s not much of Seattle that’s flat, and the hills are absolutely everywhere. I keep looking down at my legs expecting them to be Olympic quality toned, but so far it hasn’t happened. I’m still waiting.

It rains, but not really, and definitely not all the time. Rain here is more of a spitting mist that usually happens when you’re least expecting it. You don’t need an umbrella, you probably don’t need rain boots, and a hood is optional. It’s actually kind of refreshing when it rains, and the smells and colors and rainbows that come afterwards make it totally worth it. Even when it’s overcast, the clouds are thin and the day is still bright. Ask me if I still love this weather in a year though. img_7441There is mold, and moss, and succulents, and mushrooms everywhere. I guess this is what comes with living in a perennially wet place, and we’re still getting used to it. We’re a little freaked out about the mold in our apartment (probably not a big deal), but we’re also starting to realize that it’s pretty common. I’ve gone through almost 16 oz of bleach just in the bathroom. Turns out our grout isn’t supposed to be black! Also apparently asbestos is harmless if you don’t bother it. We don’t plan on bothering it.img_7455The temperature in February is similar to Chicago in April. It’s around 50 degrees, way chillier in the morning than the afternoon, and a little damp. I’ve always thought those pack able lightweight down jackets are stupid because where on earth would you ever need just a little bit of down warmth. Seattle, that’s where. Guaranteed whoever invented that lives somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. We’re starting to realize that we buy clothes for the extremes. Sleeveless shirts and short shorts for summer, and uggs and duvet-weight jackets for the winter. Seattle is a city of in-between weather, where layers are actually useful on a daily basis. Sounds like a reason to go shopping if you ask me 🙂

Everyone wears running shoes. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re all super athletic and actually enjoy running up these hills for fun, or if it’s because they’re basically going for a workout every time they walk out the door. Same with workout clothes. Are you all going to yoga every minute of every day? Doubtful. Probably just preparing for that massive sweat that hits halfway up the hill. Personally, I’m pretty excited for a more legitimate reason to wear my yoga pants and Nikes everyday.

Related, everyone is skinny. Pressure’s on for us to get rid of that Midwest winter weight we’ve been packing on.

Seattleites (?) satellites (?) love their dogs, and bring them everywhere. Grocery store, bar, bathroom, you name it. It’s so weird. Lots of golden retrievers too. We went out for a beer on our first night, and there were four freaking dogs laying on the floor. We have confirmed that we have no intention of getting a dog. Maybe a cat if we’re allowed to return it whenever we want. I’m keeping my eye out for that Kickstarter. It should be called Kick the Cat: a temporary cat rental service.

Food is amazing. People say Chicago food is some of the best, but again maybe that refined fancy food just wasn’t our thing. The laid back honestly great food is much more our cup of tea, so we’ve been loving pizza, wood fired bagels, giant biscuits, and the drive-in burger joint down the street. Not to mention the Pho and Ramen. We haven’t tried any yet, but it is absolutely everywhere so I’m sure it won’t be long.

Mountains to the left of me, mountains to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you. Needless to say, we’re sandwiched by mountains (don’t ask me which ones), which is one of THE COOLEST things about Seattle for me so far. In the mornings, you can see them in the distance, glowing bright as the sun reflects off the snowy tips, and it’s so surreal. I cannot wait for our first hike. It’s going to be insane. Brian’s convinced we’re going to need to buy some real hiking boots, but that’s a little too granola for me right now. All in good time, young grasshopper. I need to ease into this lifestyle. Also, I want Birkenstocks first. img_7528It seems like everyone here is appreciative of their surroundings and the majority of people are fairly observant. We commented on how few people walk around with their phones out, which is a happy surprise for me since I was terrified that Seattle would be super techy. Our upstairs neighbor feels differently,  but we’re learning to take his opinions with a grain of salt. This lack of phone use might also explain why Yelp isn’t very popular here, and Google searches give you very few results for nearby grocery stores. Or breweries. You’re much better off just walking around to find what you need instead of mapping it. It’s odd.img_7473We’ve done a typical amount of walking (tons) around the city this week, which has led to some pretty cool experiences and funny ones too. We’ve both fallen up and down at least 10 hills, and had close calls on all of the uneven sidewalks. I barely avoided getting hit with bird poop, about 5 seconds before a pigeon fell out of the sky  a inch in front of Brian’s face, slammed into the sidewalk, and twitched itself to death in front of our eyes. That was interesting, and apparently not the first time Brian’s narrowly avoided death by falling pigeon. We successfully took the bus/streetcar a few times, and discovered a wonderful way to get around the city without hitting all the hills. Our Airbnb was way further from downtown than we thought, making us much more thankful for our new apartment location that’s only a 30 min walk (downhill) to get downtown. It’s not that much of a stretch to say that all we need is a little push out the driveway and we could coast all the way downhill to work! (In a bike lane the whole way too)img_7496We were able to snag this apartment within 2 hours of landing in Seattle for the first time, thanks to Brian’s insistence and great gut feeling. I wasn’t as convinced at first, but I am so so glad we went with it. It’s definitely a fixer upper (secretly excited about that) and needed some very serious deep cleaning before it was even live able, but it’s perfect for us. The kitchen is the size of our old bathroom, maybe smaller, but we have a bedroom! With a door! And enough room that we’ll both be able to get out of bed on our own sides! It’s the little things.

All of this makes it so incredibly hard for me to head back to Chicago for two weeks, but I’m also looking forward to packing up the apartment and getting all of our furniture into the new place. My mom and sister have already planned their visits for our first month in Seattle, and I cannot wait to show them this city. I know they’ll love it, and understand why we made this decision. Our families have been SO supportive this week, it has completely blown us both away. We are beyond lucky to have such amazing families who want what is best for us and support us no matter how hard it is for them. Knowing that they are okay with all of this has made it so much easier to handle.

Moving to Seattle is probably the very best decision we’ve ever made together. Besides getting engaged. This move has shown me how lucky I am to spend the rest of my life with someone who pushes me to be the best person I can be. I cannot wait to get back to Seattle and start this part of our life together. I’m so happy. So lucky. So incredibly thankful. So excited for what comes next!

Edited halfway through the flight to add that anyone who comes to visit should be warned that this is apparently a turbulent route. It’s a good thing that my one glass of wine was complimentary because it ended up spilled all down my wall and window when we went through one of the rough patches. The flight attendant who served it to me was white knuckling my armrest when the captain ordered all attendants to take the nearest seat. Fly a good airline on this flight, you won’t want to be in a Spirit Airlines tin can.img_7551Our flight to Seattle was slightly less rough, but probably more traumatic for Brian whose seat mate recounted his close calls with plane crashes during the entire takeoff.