Today is the one-month mark of Alex and I leaving Chicago and making the journey out here. I can’t believe that it’s already been a month; it’s gone by so fast. Five days of driving, then about two weeks to move in and explore before he started his new job. Things may have moved fast, but it was totally worth it and we are both so happy to be out here. I still think back though to a little over a month ago when Alex told me he got the job and that we were moving out here…in two weeks…and can’t believe we actually did it. It was a huge move, nothing that we were ever expecting to do, at least not right now, but we did it. We took a huge risk on Seattle and ended our lives in Chicago to start a new one out here and it couldn’t have been a better decision.
Coal Creek waterfall
Switching gears here…today we spent the afternoon hiking the Coal Creek Trailwith Leo and had a blast. It wasn’t too easy, but not too difficult and actually in the woods which was a nice change from the last place we went too. Leo had a great time sniffing around and romping through the grass trees. The weather was perfect for the mini hike: low to mid 60s. Only took a couple of hours, but it was great to get outside.
When we got home, we decided that we would take the plunge and finally grill fresh fish, something we have always talked about but have never actually done. We got some fresh halibut and a spice rub and after doing a bit of research, Alex was ready to fire up the grill. We weren’t sure how it would do on the grill grates itself, but the first test fillet turned out wonderful! We were so excited that it didn’t burn and that it actually tasted pretty good! We decided that there was no need for foil this time around, so Alex got the other fillets ready and grilled them up. So tasty! Fresh seafood: just another reason to love the Pacific Northwest!
All ready to go!
Today I made my second venture on the bus to check out the UW and have lunch with Alex. When I finally made it to the university grounds, I was blown away at how big it was. The city of Chicago was my “college town” which I loved, but the huge, ornate buildings at UW were beautiful and a totally different college experience. Alex and I walked around some; he showed me the library which, by the way, was pretty cool and then walked along The Ave to find a place for lunch.
The Ave is the stretch of University Way NE near UW that has multiple shops, cafes, restaurants and everything in between. It wasn’t like Lincoln Park or Division Street in Chicago; it was a different type of mix of places to stop in when lingering along the sidewalks. The crowd ranged in age from the younger undergrad students to older adults who lived and worked nearby. It definitely had an energy about it that wasn’t like any neighborhood or stretch of street I felt in Chicago. I’m really looking forward to going back and trying some of the other restaurants and cafes soon.
I hung out at Tully’s after our lunch until Alex got off work and indulged in a blueberry Italian soda; whip cream and everything. It was simply delish! Tonight we walked up to Queen Anne with Leo and got a few groceries. It was quite the walk, but certainly a good workout. I’m happy that I now have my transit pass and can hop on the bus and explore the city more. I can’t wait to see more and it makes the days go by faster…until that wonderful job comes along!
Today I had my first job interview at a non-profit here in Seattle. It was about an hour commute on two buses, but it was a good time for me to see more the city. I went through downtown and the international district and my final stop was in south Seattle. I finally made it there and was impressed with the office space. I’ll admit that I was pretty nervous about the interview. I mean, it’s always nerve-wracking when you go on your first one in quite awhile. However, I think it went well but we will see. Wish me luck!
Later tonight Alex and I hit the gym again. I don’t think we will be getting a membership there though. Although it’s close enough for me to walk to when I am home during the day, once I do get a job, I won’t be needing something within walking distance. We are going to shop around and see what other places are out there.
Tomorrow, I’m going to meet Alex for lunch at the UW. I’m excited to see where he works and the massive campus! Thankfully there’s a bus that goes near his building so I can get there pretty easily. Yay for transit!
Today, we tried out The Seattle Gym which is within walking distance from our place. We got a 7-day trial pass to see if it was a place we wanted to get a membership. The place was pretty empty when we were there so we had our choice of machines. I liked it for the simple fact that I can walk there. But we will see if it turns out to be worth a membership or not.
After hitting the gym, we came home and started on our Yakisoba noodles for dinner. One thing I want to start doing: cooking for Asian dishes. This can count as our first one here in Seattle! We got crunchy carrots, crispy bok choy, chicken and of course Yakisoba noodles! After the prepping and cooking, I think it turned out pretty well. Although a bit salty for us, it was a good first try at the dish and we can’t wait to alter it to make it even better.
Finally the weekend is here and after numerous hours at coffee shops applying for work, I am ready to get out and see what else is around us here in Seattle. I had read online that the Ballard Locks were pretty cool to check out so we headed over there the Ballard Bridge to see what they were all about. Chicago didn’t have any sort of locks system, at least none that I knew of or had visited so this was all super new to us. There were quite a few people there and right when we showed up, there were boats lining up to go through the locks from the salt water of Puget Sound into the fresh of Lake Washington and Lake Union. It was pretty cool and just made us wish we had a boat. Maybe one day! Ya know, where you grow up and live really shapes what you know and learn. Being from the Midwest, we never had lots of boats around or the opportunities to learn to sail. But here in Seattle, all these boats were filled with families and kids, all of whom have probably grown up around the water. Alex and I are excited to embark on that aspect of the Northwest and get into water activities.
After the locks, we heading over the the Asian market, Uwajimaya and had a great time exploring all the foods. This place was like an Asian Whole Foods with small restaurants and everything! We had lunch before we started our shopping trip and then started our stroll through the aisles. I had so much fun looking at all the different snacks and treats and picked out a few I wanted to try when I got home: chocolate Yan Yan, Shirakiku frozen soft drink, hot wasabi green peas and Ramune. While shopping we also got the fix’ins for Yakisoba noodles which we are going to make for dinner tomorrow night. Can’t wait!
When we got home after shopping, our neighbors popped over for dinner with their new dog, Chewy, who they adopted from the local humane society. Him and Leo had some good times playing with each other; I think Leo was happy to have someone his own age around for once! We had a good time chatting with them while enjoying burgers and beers. All in all, it was a pretty good Saturday!
Alex had a great first week of work and we need to celebrate. The whole reason for us moving to Seattle was for his job, so after a successful first week, we decided to go out and finally try some local sushi. We choose O’Shan Sushi and loved it! We shared an Asahi beer and filled ourselves with some of the best sushi we’ve had in quite a while. The servers were super nice and made us feel welcomed. Although the place was small and we had a bit of a wait, it was definitely worth it and we are looking forward to going back.
I’m so happy that Alex had a good first week at the UW. After the grueling two weeks in Chicago packing and moving and then driving five days (although the adventures on the road were great!) we are finally here and he’s start off on his next chapter with work. I can’t wait until I settle in and my place in Seattle and know it’ll come soon enough. Northwest, we are happy to now call you home!
Tonight, we opted for dinner out and tried this amazing place, La Carta de Oaxaca. We had read great reviews online and were super excited to do so. The wait wasn’t very long so we got right in after a few minutes. It was our first “sit down” dinner we’ve had since we’ve been here so we were soaking it all in. One of the highlights on this place was the awesome salsa bar! They had multiple types of salsa you could just go up and try and the chips! We can’t forget about the chips! They were warm and salty and perfect. Although my halibut tacos had a sauce on them that was a bit too sweet for me and Alex’s tacos were the same, the atmosphere was great. We enjoyed getting out and trying a new place and can’t wait to find more local spots!
Alex has his first days of work this week at the UW and seems to really be enjoying it. His commute is super short which is nice for him. He’s happy to be in an office environment now, taking his lunch to work and meeting new people. I can’t wait to go see him for lunch and check out his new place. While he’s been at work so far this week, I’ve found myself walking up to the top of Queen Anne and hitting this local coffee shop I’ve found, Cafe Ladro. It’s pretty good coffee, free wi-fi and lots of seating; the perfect place for me to hop online and apply apply apply for work. Since we’ve gotten here I’ve applied to quite a few places, so hopefully something comes through, but we will see. Alex and I have also been enjoying finally home-cooked meals which has been great! Also, we have been jumping in and trying the local beers. So far, our favorite has been Red Hook Wit. Can’t wait to try more!
Over the past few days, Alex and I have been getting out and enjoying the weather and learning our way around.
We saw Bruce and Brandon Lee’s grave-sites which was pretty cool.
Bruce and Brandon Lee
We ventured down to Pike Place and took in all the sights and sounds. We enjoyed lunch outside at Pike Place Chowder. The market was pretty awesome; I couldn’t believe all the flower stands and the fresh fish. We plan to go back every couple of weeks to scope out the produce to snatch up.
We made our way to our first Seattle festival: the Ballard Seafood Fest. And guess what! It was FREE to get in! No fests in Chicago were hardly ever free. We enjoyed walking around the neighborhood and enjoyed a snazzy fish taco.
Our neighbors had suggested burgers and shakes at Red Mill so one night we went there for dinner and were not disappointed. The buns were crispy on the edges and when you bit into the burger, the cheese was perfectly melted. Yum! I had a truffle-mint shake which was pretty damn good too. We can’t wait to go back!
Alex starts his job in a couple of days so we are happy to have gotten out to these places to explore the city more. Looking forward to more!
The first Starbucks.
Burgers at Red Mill.
Alex and I are official: we got our Washington state driver’s license and plates. Goodbye Illinois! We were allowed to keep our Illinois license though; I’m happy about that. Just nice to keep as a memento. We also have gotten pretty much all moved in. The second bedroom is acting as our in-house storage unit with the boxes that we didn’t want to unpack, but everything else is all in order. The apartment is suiting us rather well and is feeling quite home-y. Alex hung up his artwork and I have the kitchen all set-up with the center piece being my tangerine-colored Kitchenaid. The dogs are doing good too; they are loving the deck and back yard. Nothing like the condos they were use to in Chicago. All in all things are going good; this weekend we are excited to getting out some more before Alex starts work on Monday. Can’t wait to see more of the city.
Here’s to being official in Seattle!