We’ve been in Seattle almost a couple of weeks now, and are beginning to blend into our new environment. We are still living in corporate housing, but have found a rental house in a nearby community. It is currently occupied, so we can’t move in until the second week of October. We didn’t really know the area and that had us at a severe disadvantage because of the weather and traffic patterns. Eventually, I would like to live squarely in Seattle, but for now, we have decided to stay close to the Eastside. We considered Redmond and Bellevue for about two minutes, before ruling out both. Redmond is pretty, but very much a company town. Bellevue has a lot to offer, but the Redmond-Bellevue I-405 corridor is the equivalent of the Highway to Hell. Traffic is beyond ridiculous, and I couldn’t see subjecting myself to that twice a day. I can’t understand how a city so deeply engrossed in technology (Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, etc.) could be so dysfunctional when it comes to mass transit or infrastructure capacity. High-speed rail should be totally justifiable in an area with almost two million people and an unemployment rate that hovers just under 5%.
We got lucky on the house. I was very upset about leaving our little beach house in the Bay Area, and while it is not the Pacific Ocean, we did manage to get a large house with amazing views of Lake Washington. It’s on a little hill, on a dead end street, and about 1/4 mile from the shore. It is centrally located, so we can be in Redmond or Seattle within 15-20 minutes. The airport is a little far, which is weird for me, as being within 15 minutes of a major airport has always been a requirement. However, I don’t plan on traveling much, so we’ll just have to deal with it. I am anxious to move in and have all my stuff back, especially my office. At the moment, I have taken over the dining room table in the apartment, but miss having large, multiple monitors for my workspace.
I finished my first week at work, and am suffering from information overload. There is no “new hire” grace period here. You are expected to come up to speed quickly and dive in. As I am on a team with a deep, technical implementation, my brain is just swarming. I finally resorted to hanging three styrofoam boards in my office and am mapping everything out for all the different areas I deal with. Eventually, I will transfer all that knowledge to Visio drawings and detailed written specifications, for historical purposes. The team I work with is awesome, and not what I expected at all. Everyone has been very welcoming and eager to provide all the tools that will allow me to be successful long-term with the company. As with any large organization, there are some delicate politics to maneuver, but I am just maintaining a vigilant awareness of my surroundings. Context is key.
Bri made it here, and at first, hated it. This weekend, I took her to downtown Seattle and we did some shopping. She hates it a little bit less now. However, the rainy season is starting, so we’ll see how long she remains satisfied. She has already been checking out some music stores in the area, and is hoping to get a job in one of them. I think that would be great for her. She might be able to find an outlet where she can teach lessons to aspiring young cellists. She won’t start school until January, so that gives her some time to map out her schedule and get settled. In the new house, we were able to get one with an in-law unit on the ground floor, so she has her own space independent of us. There shouldn’t even be a need for her to come upstairs if she doesn’t want to, and that suits her just fine.
The dogs have been amazing throughout the whole move. We were very concerned about living in an apartment where they didn’t have a yard. However, they figured out the walk thing very quickly, and we have had no incidents inside. The city noises are still an adjustment for them, and they vocalize their disdain frequently throughout the day. For now, we pretty much have to take them everywhere we go. No use in pushing our luck by leaving them alone in the apartment. That’s not a damage bill I want to take on.
So, for now, I am just working, working, working. I know: same stuff, different city. I think it will calm down once we are settled. I am looking forward to exploring more of the area and connecting with the few people I know here.