Living in Seattle(ish), Day three(ish): 10 things I’ve learned

I’m three days into my move to the west coast, though I spent the first two nights at the Westin Bellevue, which is a five minute walk from my new apartment. I ordered a W king size mattress a couple of weeks ago during their 35% off sale, but little did I know it would take 2-3 weeks to be delivered. So I spent last night on an air mattress and am praying the real mattress arrives soon.

Anyway, even though I’ve only been here a few days, I’ve already learned a few things, so figured I’d share.

A red Mustang isn’t useful for anything… especially moving

My car is being shipped from Florida and due to arrive next Monday, and since I’m in the process of moving I really needed a car. So I rented one at the Hertz down the road for just $150 for the entire week including tax, with the underage fee waived.

I booked a standard car, and got this:

I haven’t felt this cool since I stopped wearing velcro shoes. This would be a great car for helping Ken and Barbie move their playhouse castle, but aside from that it’s not especially useful.

The weather has been beautiful!

Seattle had one of their nicest summers ever, with over two months of no rainfall. This week there was supposed to be torrential rain and awful weather, but it has been beautiful – it’s 60 degrees and sunny. I could get used to this!

Double line crossing

In this part of the country cops sure take not crossing a double white line on the interstate seriously. Sheesh.

Traffic metering accomplishes what exactly?

Admittedly I’m no scientist and not the greatest person in the world with math (or meth, for that matter), but can someone explain the logic behind limiting the number of cars on the interstate? I could understand if the system led to better traffic on the interstate, though it’s still bumper to bumper, so why bother?

Whole Foods Paycheck is the greatest thing ever

I don’t know how any restaurant stays in business with a Whole Foods in the area. Have you seen their lunch buffet? Where else can you have eggplant parmesan, curry, and guacamole all on the same plate, with a side of pretzel bread? I don’t know how I’ll survive (in terms of my girth and my wallet).

At least there’s cheap frozen yogurt in hell

I’ve lost my faith in the afterlife. Surely it can’t be worse than IKEA?! Having spent about 20 of the last 30 hours there, I really can’t imagine hell could be that much worse… can it? On the plus side, at least the frozen yogurt there is awesome and only a dollar.

I’m directionally challenged

There are people that are bad with directions, and then there’s me. After living in Tampa for 10 years I still couldn’t get to the supermarket next to my apartment without getting lost at least five times. That’s one of the many reasons I got a navigation system in my new car (along with the fact that it’s the only way I can get a girl to talk to me… other than Siri).

I’m mildly addicted to Starbucks, so I was quite looking forward to visiting my closest one after a 46-hour pilgrimage to IKEA. I saw one on the road though missed the turn, so drive around the block (not the fastest process in Bellevue). Then I make another round and can’t find it anymore. Crap. So I make another round, and decide to park at Safeway, since I recall the Starbucks being right next to it. I proceed to walk up and down the same block four times (roundtrip, not one-way, mind you), thinking I’m missing it. Surely I can’t be going so crazy that stuff is disappearing on me, right? My iPhone was dead at this point, by the way — a trip to IKEA will do that to you.

So I remembered there was another Starbucks just a few blocks away, so I decide to walk there. Besides, I want to get to know the area, so a bit of extra walking won’t kill me. I get there and place my order, only to realize I forgot my wallet in the Mustang. So I tell the barista I left my wallet in my car, and that I left my car at Safeway, so returned about 15 minutes later with my wallet. She thought I was crazy. But I guess I kind of am. The whole Starbucks experience took a little over an hour.

I’m a bitter old man

Now here’s something I feel rather bad about. I feel like a total douche driving that red Mustang. Nothing against people that drive it, but it just ain’t my style (I’m more into Old Navy…). When I went to get my wallet from the Mustang at Safeway, I decided to just drive it to Starbucks. There’s a group of kids sitting at one of the tables there, and I parked right in front of it. As I walk in one of the kids says “cool car, bro.” I figured he was being sarcastic — shame on me, perhaps, but if a friend drove up with a bright red Mustang I’d probably say the same thing, minus “bro” — so rolled my eyes and said “whatever.” Little did I know he was actually being serious. Now I feel bad.

Are towels part of your investment portfolio?

Yesterday I was at Bed, Bath & Beyond trying to buy some bath towels. I asked the associate for help, and proceeded to listen to what must have been the biggest babbling brook of bull$*&% I’ve ever heard. She asked me whether I “wanted towels [I] could throw away in five or six years, or whether [I’m] looking for investment towels that [I] could keep longer than that?” While I’m all for diversifying investments, I don’t think I’ll be making towels part of my retirement portfolio.

Counting down the days till I have an accident

Remember my car accident in Germany? Well, it happened in a parking garage that’s exactly like the one at my new apartment building:

I’m doing my best, but those damn pillars kill me… who needs ’em anyway?

So yeah, I’d say my move is going great so far…

Filed Under: Misc.
  1. Siri is the only girl you talk to, yet she didn’t get you to Starbucks? Did she ignore your requests or are you too timid to talk to her?

  2. Don’t underestimate the value of nice towels. I have some royal Velevet towels I bought over 10 years ago and they are still in great shape.

    Be sure not to jaywalk (at least in Seattle). I’ve heard cops will write tickets. I think it’s ridiculous. They could take some lessons from NYC.

  3. @Lucky – the Starbucks was most likely INSIDE the Safeway. Every Safeway around here has one 🙂 Welcome to the Left Coast!

  4. If you don’t have your Safeway discount code feel free to enter my phone number, that works too. 🙂

  5. Well, you need those pillars for your apartment building to stand up! Blame the architects for trying to cram so many parking spots in a basement. Trust me, I’m a structural engineer =D

  6. Lose the insecurity about the commuter Mustang. It’s only the V6. If anything, you should be embarrassed it’s not the V8 🙂

  7. What a cracker. On the car you could have said its a rental, because in your response even if the guy was being sarcastic your response came across that it wasn’t good enough for you.

  8. Hahaha, I was die laughing when I saw “Ken and Baribies”. Great song and good to know you like it as well.

  9. -Traffic metering helps local merge a lot, so it’s not just an addition to limit cars.
    -IKEA has a lot of free food if you make a reasonable purchase, so be on the look out.
    -Replace Starbucks with Tully’s – they’re plentiful here and a better chain.

  10. @ Tao — The proof is in the picture!

    @ Oleg — Free food? How?! I made *more* than a reasonable purchase. 😀

    And as far as Tully’s goes, prefer their hot drinks and prefer Starbucks’ cold drinks.

  11. Buy house stuff from kohl online. Better yet wait until black friday and load up online. I did that last year. Ikea isnt for me.

  12. You could always go to the Skymall catalog and pickup a couple of the Turkish towels, along with some Delta Skymiles.

    Find any store with real Fanta there yet?

  13. “I haven’t felt this cool since I stopped wearing velcro shoes.”
    That’s got to be one of the ten best sentences you’ve ever written. And lest you think I’m the kid talking about your red Mustang, yes, that’s a compliment.

  14. Ramp meters and roundabouts are two toys that the traffic engineers love. They also think adaptive freeway speeds limits are really cool, so get used to those, too.

    Agree that Whole Foods is a great alternative for lunch or dinner. It’s possible to eat healthy and tasty. Too bad it’s on the wrong side of 405.

  15. Welcome to our neck of the woods!! The Seattle area is an amazing place to live, despite the weather.

  16. If they still made Velcro shoes I’d still be wearing ’em. Along with my Members Only jacket and checkered Velcro wallet. But I’d never be caught dead in that douche magnet Mustang. 😉

  17. Welcome! You mean you didn’t want to shop for towels at the Bravern? =) And Top Pot Doughnuts should be walking distance from you too. . .just sayin. . . =)

  18. 1. Welcome!
    2. If you like Whole foods, you’ll love Trader Joe’s. Fraction of the price and wait til you see what the wine costs 🙂
    3. Extra tip – buses have right of way and they know it. Almost been driven off the road by downtown Seattle buses more times than I can count.
    4. Welcome!

  19. Regarding IKEA and food, last time I went they had a sign that you can take your café receipt for a comparable discount when you bought over a few hundred dollars worth on the same day. Website doesn’t mention it, but you can ask if you’re in IKEA again. (Of course their food is already quite cheap, so it’s just a matter of if you’re in the neighborhood. And of course, it’s not the tastiest food you can find.)

    Yes, my suggestion on Tully’s is very much about hot drinks. Then again, I tend to prefer a classic cappuccino even in the summer.

  20. Check out the Whole Foods at the north end of Downtown Seattle (Westlake and Denny). Pick up a pork chop, steak, salmon filet, whatever, from the meet counter and there is a chef just across the aisle who will cook it for you for free (just pay for the protein). Sides are extra….

    I used to eat a nice steak dinner there about once a week!

  21. funny post! welcome to westcoast! although the westcoast above the border is slightly better 😉

    okay seattlites don’t hate me now.

    look forward to your weekend trips to Vancouver and Whistler! I’ll teach you how to snowboard! North American best ski resort is right here in my backyard!

    ps. Wholefoods…so good but so much genetically modified organic fruits and vegetables! Monzanto much! yup, a lot of it at Whold Foods!

  22. Congratulations on your first big step moving interstate can be like another country, especially when you move there.

    Towels: Egyptian cotton as high a thread count you can afford and matching bathrobe, these are to be considered an essential part of life.

    IKeeeeeaaaa, Wal Marche, Gust Another Product, then again you did wear airline pyjamas in an airport and into a First Class lounge if I remember correctly. You do make me laugh at times
    do you really think you should be sitting at the end of the aircraft that you do?

    Urban vehicle Audi Allroad A6 it handles pillars, speed humps, traffic stuff with grace and hardly a dent, impact bumpers that are really really good, fold mirror button is park of parking. They are true European SUV’s (they handle traffic controls, pillars, bollards and autobahns with ease). I love taking on the ICE between Cologne & Frankfurt, the car is de chipped.

    Quality not quantity, rather fly fewer times at the front than many at the back.

    You really are the wrong demographic for pointy end.

    Not sure if you can get an A6 Allroad in the States maybe only an A4?

  23. Soory last sentence should be
    “Not sure if you can get an A6 Allroad in the States maybe an A4?” not as fast.

  24. West coast = Subaru.

    Looks like you are enjoying the joys of moving – it happens to us all. 🙂 Looking forward to updates. Thanks for the a.m. chuckle!

  25. Re: Traffic metering:

    Think of trying to get sand from one bucket into another using a funnel. Which goes faster: if you dump all the sand in at once, or if you pour it through the funnel at a measured rate?

    While it doesn’t help once cars are literally stopped, it does reduce the rate at which you reach that point. What’s more, it doesn’t actually slow the drivers on the ramp down – you’re just waiting on the ramp instead of waiting on the interstate.

  26. Just join a gym with towel service. Stuff a few in your bag and you’re set. A little upper body workout for you anyway will build those shoulders out and make your ears seem to stick out less…. (funny post btw)

  27. I can’t believe I missed the W mattress sale. Do you know when the next one will be? Like in a Black Friday event or a nice Cyber Monday sale?

  28. Welcome to Seattle! enjoy this weather and remember it, especially in November-June when the sun goes into hibernation.

  29. You are finally here, welcome. Cant wait to read more of your new take of Bellevue (even though I stay here) ^.^

  30. Don’t jaywalk in Redmond!
    Don’t go to Starbucks. Go to any of the other local coffee bars until you find a new favorite. Cafe Vita, Zeitgiest, Stumptown,….all beans ahead of SBUX.
    Go drink wine in Woodinville.
    Go see an outdoor concert at THE winery, Ste. Michelle. You’ll have to wait until next summer though.
    Walk, Bike, Jog, the Burke Gillman Trail

  31. @Dan- Yeah beat me to it. Being here in PDX Stumptown is probably the best with retail locations, but Coava has good beans and for availability, Portland Roasters and Nossa Familia are my go-tos for home beans.

    @lucky – at least your hobby lends itself well to living in the PNW: in June when you haven’t seen the sun in 8 months, you should be able to have enough miles to go to Mexico, Australia or ….Tampa lol. Though supposed to be a warm dryer El Nino winter this year meaning that you are “lucky” in more ways than one.

    As Dan was saying, the PNW has tons of awesome food and drink most of it local as well. Cafe Vita, Stumptown are both awesome alternatives and similarly priced or cheaper.

  32. I had a similar problem. Bought park assist wall bumpers on ebay and haven’t had an issue since. Helps that my car is black and they are black.

  33. Nice. I can relate. Couple observations or thoughts.
    Does Safeway still offer airline miles. We don’t have any in the STL but I’ve heard they do or did.
    The Mustang is cool (at least for a week).
    When did mustangs get to park in “compact” spaces and when did “compact” spaces get so big?
    Ignore the losers at Starbucks. Either way they are just there for the free wifi.

  34. Not sure what your politics are but my mother would disown me if she caught me in a Whole Foods due to their anti-union stance.

    Also, Washington State Patrol will ticket you for crossing a single solid white line (other than the HOV lane) as well. If you think traffic metering is silly, you’re going to hate the variable speed zones (the speed limit signs are electronic and it changes due to traffic). Thing is, while counterintuitive, displaying a lower speed limit in heavy traffic actually increases traffic flow.

  35. The best towels I have ever had came from the W Hotels Store. They are the W Superplush Hotel Towels. They are a tad too plush at first – but after about 10 washes (without any fabric softener) they settle into the perfect towel. Have used them for five years straight now and see no reason they won’t go another five. Check ’em out during the next sale!

  36. “I figured he was being sarcastic — shame on me, perhaps”

    One thing you may be surprised about, and then once you adjust, be really happy about — is that folks out there are almost always warm, open, and friendly! (SO not east coasters!) (I have always guessed because of it’s fantastic beauty of the place — and the fact that 9 straight months of drizzle drives away (or kills off) all the gloomy folks!

    I am SO jealous of your move — I have placed a last-date of 2020 on my plan to finish up surviving in (the hot-and-humid-hell that is) Georgia, and move back out to the PacNW!

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