Tag Archives: trading wind for rain

What Really Happens

I’ve done it. I’ve made it a whole month here in lovely Seattle, Wa. Sadly, the Seahawks lost the big game yesterday. It would have been really fun to participate in the energy that would have accompanied them when they returned to the Emerald City. But this is not a Seahawks blog. Actually, it used to be a DIY blog but the DIY is on pause as I try to get everything figured out in the next two months. So let me tell you, what really happens when you move alone across the country.

1. You have a hard time sleeping. I attribute this to my job search which tends to wake me up at four in the morning. Now, you can’t really do much at four AM but I still spend nearly an hour each night willing myself back to sleep, only to wake up around 7:00 AM, just in time to watch the sky turn colors.

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2. You meet a random person when you accidentally crash a UFC fight night (I thought it was supposed to be a Chicago bar! I just wanted to catch the Bulls game!). They actually end up becoming a pretty nice friend and are willing to hang out with you. (They also make sure you eat your first bag of Dicks! I know how that sounds, but it was pretty hilarious and delicious). The other person you meet is someone who just did nearly the same thing as you. I found a girl on Tumblr who moved out here in August and she has become my go-to person for happy hour drinks, gossip, and you-can-do-it pep talks.

3. You get talked into doing activities that would normally not be very appealing to you. Last weekend I went spelunking for the first time. I spent the entire time terrified that I would twist my ankle and not be able to run. Also, it was cold. It was wet. It was dark. Like really dark. It took around two hours to get through the whole cave. Then I hung out in a yurt. That was better. I told everyone I would become a mountain woman, but I guess I didn’t think it would happen so quickly. Also, because I moved out here with three suitcases, one of which was full of plants I have a limited outfit selection. Combine that with not wanting to spend any money I don’t have to… My hiking shoes are also my running shoes. Fortunately I have found things in the house I’m staying at like sleeping bags and proper outdoor-type jackets.

This is my spelunking face

This is my spelunking face

4. You actually forgot that you moved. Yes! This is what really happens. You get a craving for wings or something and then you wonder whats the special at 5 Star, and then you remember 5 Star is in Chicago, so it doesn’t matter what night it is. I mean, they have wings in Seattle, but well. You know.

5. If you move to Seattle you find yourself in a Subaru. I have been lucky to meet some people who either want to get me out of the city, or drop me off because heaven forbid I have to ride the bus at night. I have definitely already rode in at least if not more than four Subarus. That stereotype is true!

6. You give away your newbie status by shamelessly taking photo after photo of a local landmark. In Chicago it was the bean, Seattle has that silly space needle and gosh darn it, I love it. I also happen to live near Kerry Park so practically every other day I join the tourists and snap a photo of the lovely skyline.

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The Space Needle!

So, here I am, Seattle! Find me a job, please. I can’t wait to do more to enjoy this great place, but I’d like to be able to sleep a little better. I’m excited to feel like less of a tourist and more like a productive member of society. Oh, you know what really happens when you move across the country alone? You blog about your boring life as an excuse to share your photos of a local landmark… hehe. Kidding, only a little. I miss everyone come visit please.

Seattle Skyline

The view from Kerry Park at night

xoxo- Nikki

The Cross Country Move Spectacular

Whelp, I’ve nearly completed my cross country move spectacular. Me my three suitcases and two cats made to to the airport and through security, on the plane, and to the house I’ll be renting for the next three months. Yes, yesterday was a big day. I woke up on the couch because I had already packed my bed, showered, and tried to cram the cats in the carrier.

At least Bon Jovi likes his cat carrier

At least Bon Jovi likes his cat carrier…

Now let me tell you. The hardest part of the cross country move spectacular was the 12 minutes at my old apartment that I spent trying to get the cats in the carrier. Let me back up and say that I had gotten a top of the line Sherpa carrier (size medium). This carrier both is guaranteed to be able to fly and sturdy enough that sneaky gatos can’t get out. It would have been the perfect size for one, but this was my only option for the both of them. I could have got them cat valium, but from what I read an assortment of calming treats and sprays should have done the trick. I started by purchasing this carrier weeks in advance. Almost daily I would put a little bit of catnip in the carrier. This really only worked on Bon Jovi who would munch it all up then hang out in the open carrier. Tuesday knew better and stayed away. Twice, I managed to get them both in it and tried to reward them by carrying it downstairs and opening it in front of their food. I also daily fed them the calming treats (not really sure if they did anything, but at least the kitties thought they were getting something). For the first 10 minutes of my journey, it was the opening act at an angry circus. I would get Bon Jovi in only to have to chase Tuesday around the apartment. Naturally who knows where I had packed the calming spray, so a lot of good that did me. So back to cat-catching: Tuesday would be hissing and clawing, and then I would have to try and unzip the carrier without letting Bon Jovi out. He would run out and Tuesday would claw up my arm and then we would have to start again. They would start hissing and paw-punching at each other and boy, you should see my arm right now. Eventually I got Bon Jovi in through the front opening, zipped him up, grabbed a towel, captured Tuesday, opened the top opening and (forcefully) dumped her in. The sounds they omitted were the angriest I have ever heard. Gulp, this was going to be fun. I ubered myself a ride (It cost me less than 20$ to leave Chicago… well, 20$ plus the costs of moving…). I was less than pleased when the driver deposited me exactly halfway between doors to the airport. I had two giant suitcases, a smaller one, a cat carrier with meowing cats, and the world’s heaviest backpack. Somehow I managed to put on the most impressive one-woman show and got all this into the doors in the airport. Then, naturally I was nowhere close to where I needed to be. I attempted to roll my all my favorite worldly possessions towards the Southwest check-in, feeling like a giant spectacle. A good Samaritan helped me roll my luggage to the beginning of the checkout line and a Southwest employee helped me the rest of the way through. They were nice enough to let me go to the counter closest to the end of the line. At this point, only a few meows were escaping my mobile kitty-prison. We checked in, paid my fines for having pets and too many favorite outfits and headed to security. I made it through the initial checkpoints and then they sent me to a separate scanning portal. Upon realizing that I had pets I asked them to inspect us in a separate room. They made me send my shoes and coat through and stand to the side and I anxiously watched as I was at the before point and my computer, prized possessions in my backpack (polaroid camera and photos and wallet with all documents important), and coat/shoes waited for me past the scanner. They found two female officers who made me go through the metal detector alone, then comeback though to pick up the cats. They wouldn’t let me touch my favorite things, so a gloved officer grabbed everything. We then went into a little closet, and they told me I had to take the cats out. I was very worried about this due to the earlier experience at the apartment. I had purchased a leash for each of them so one by one I leashed them and let them out of the carrier. Bon Jovi wanted some snuggles and Tuesday crawled under a table. They took the carrier and scanned it. They made me touch around the cats’ harnesses then scanned my hands for bomb residue. Then they brought back the carrier and said ok, you are good. We’ll close the door and let you put the cats back inside. I put it on the ground and put Bon Jovi at the opening, unleased him, and HE JUST WALKED ON IN. I didn’t even zip it. I grabbed Tuesday, held her at the opening, unleashed, AND SHE JUST GOT IN! Seriously, WTH cats!!! Why all the fuss at the apartment? It took me longer to repack my computer into my backpack.

This is one of my checked bags. I managed to bring a few plants!

This is one of my checked bags. I managed to bring a few plants!

After that I went to the gate, then the other gate when they assigned a new one, got on, got my window seat, made nice with the people around me, and prayed I wouldn’t catch the plague because EVERYONE ON THE PLANE WAS COUGHING LIKE THEY WERE LOOSING A LUNG. There were actually quite a few pets on the plane. I heard a few peeps from the noisy one but they did ok. At the gate before I boarded I booked a car service to pick me up and it was there when I landed which saved the stress of getting a cab. I was smarter this time, on my cross country move spectacular and payed for one of those luggage carts to get all my personal effects from the baggage claim. My driver was kind enough to stop at a drugstore and I got some cat litter and a diet coke. We made it to my sublet, which is a real nice little house in an area of town I doubt I’ll be able to afford in the future. The landlady’s son was doing some yard work and came and greeting me saying “Are you Chicago?” and I was like, “I am!” and he carried most my luggage up the stairs. I came in and met my landlord, who hugged me and said “You’re here!”

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Cats on a plane!

I set up the cats who crawled and looked around and we talked. Then the little old lady decided she wanted to show me off, so we went to the grocery store so she could get a prescription. She took me a few places to introduce me to everyone. The best part about all of this was she couldn’t find her hat and I let her borrow my Chicago Bulls one, so we were both wearing Chicago beanies. We talked to basically every employee in the Trader Joes and even went to the library. We came back and drank some almond-flavored champagne with her son, while we looked out the big picture window. I did some unpacking and then SHE MADE A PIZZA! Pretty certain this lady is my spirit animal. Exhausted from my cross country move spectacular I went to bed at 8:30 and didn’t even hear the lady leave for Mexico at 4:00 AM.

Mount Rainier!

Mount Rainier!

Maybe it’s because I went to bed so early, or I’m still on Chicago time, or maybe I’m just excited about being in Seattle, I woke up before 7:00 in the morning. I am currently sitting in the middle of the couch (with Bon Jovi) watching the sun rise out the window and sharing my adventure here. I can’t believe I actually made it! Now that all that stress from the cross country move spectacular is nearly over (I’m going to have to find somewhere else to live in three months!) I can focus on (whelp,) finding a job. I do, however have a NYE date and regardless of how that goes I am pretty certain that 2015 is going to be the start of everything.

xoxo-Nikki

I am on the cusp

Holy balogna,  I am on the cusp of making this all work out. In October I made the decision that I was through waiting tables. I have soo much more to offer the world than food service. I quit a fairly well paying job (gracefully and with a two-week notice) and really got cracking on my job search and relocation process. Obviously I fell in love with Seattle and hopefully in 24 hours I will have successfully secured a three month sublet.

I was a little naive to think this process would be easy. I have learned my lessons the hard way, so a friend I hardly know is doing me the ultimate favor in delivering my check. I found a little old lady on Craigslist who sublets her home for the winter months while she goes and lives someplace warm. It’s a bit more then I would like to spend but she will allow me to bring along the cats and this way I don’t get stuck blindly renting a studio (and hating it) for a year. I have had some of the most wonderful conversations with this woman. She is very positive and told me she has never regretted any of the risks she has taken. I think my story speaks a little to her because she told me she has others interested in the house but she is holding it for me. Sweet as she sounds, I know better than to just send her the money without a receipt.

Because I am on the cusp of making this all work out I have been researching how to physically move myself and my cats across the country. As of now I have a reservation for a Uhaul truck on December 26 for the whole week. It is EXPENSIVE! I looked into pod moving services but I would still have to get the kitties to Seattle. I do not like the idea of flying them so I think the Uhaul is the best bet. I am currently planning to stop for a night in Kansas city to pick up my friend from her parents house and bring her with me for a little road trip! (I also am looking for a free place to stay). This same friend has passed my resume around her work and they might even have a remote content writing position for me so I wouldn’t be moving to Seattle unemployed! Seriously. This is going to happen. To me! I can hardly sleep at night.

I have started trying to get rid of stuff. The cheapest option is a 10 foot truck so I need to shrink my stuff down to 10 tiny feet. I am trying to sell my TV. My roommate has told me whatever I leave will probably stay exactly where it is. I plan on leaving behind one of my desk/tables, my awesome bookshelf (made from two separate pieces and painted gloss almond).  Things I am taking for sure include my elephant stands, my nightstands, my drafting table desk, my “Eames” chairs (4 total), my 2 chairs that started this blog, my books, my blue rug, my bike, and one of my dressers. It is crazy hard trying to par stuff down. Basically I’m only keeping things that I am sentimental about. Meaning, when I finally get my apartment I will have lots of chairs and side tables but no couch or bed or normal eating table. I am sure I can make that work though.

I hopefully will be able to relax (but only a tiny bit!) once my friend gets that receipt. It really is a kindness I will never be able to repay her for since we barely know each other but I hope she knows I am eternally grateful for her help. A boy wrote a song for me about us just being specks in the universe and it really is crazy how all this is happening. (We’ll save that story for another post). If you’ve missed my DIY adventures hold tight! In 4 months I’ll hopefully be where I want to be and have a whole new home to decorate. In the mean time stick with me as I prepare to trade wind for rain and share this whole adventure with you. I have waited all year and finally I am on the cusp of starting the rest of my life!

xoxo-Nikki