Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Week One

The last couple of weeks we spent in Los Angeles were pretty much a clichéd whirlwind of craziness - bittersweet lunches, dinners and playdates with friends we'll miss, attempts to at least organise our belongings for the packers, and endless phone calls to coordinate the move itself - I have a stack of photos which I'll save for a later post.

We survived, but not without a fair amount of sweat (J & I) and tears (the Faery and - okay - me).
In some ways, though, the physical act of getting our things from A to B - 1,800 km apart - has seemed much easier this time round, compared to a year ago when we moved apartments within the same complex. There's a lot to be said for having other people pack and do all the lifting.

Four suitcases, two backpacks, two adults, two kids, and one caged cat later... we arrived at SeaTac Airport with surprisingly minimal drama, last Wednesday. Everything else we own is currently on a truck somewhere along the West Coast, to be expected any day now. We have the keys to our new place but it is empty for now.

Somewhere between getting off the plane, and getting our rental car.

First drizzly afternoon stroll, dodging slugs.

Even the sides of busy roads here have been beautified.

We arrived to drizzle, and I was little bummed after the amazing weather we'd been having down south. I'd known what to expect, but the immediate grey skies still disappointed me. Little did I know that a day later, the clouds would clear and a heat wave would roll in over the entire West Coast. Seattle is already a stunning city under grey skies, but when the sun comes out to play? Oh my. I cannot get over the green beauty of this place.

With temperatures peaking in the early 30s (Celsius), it was surprising to learn just how much I can sweat - despite these temps being nothing new to me, it was the humidity factor that I'd not had to deal with at all during our three years in L.A. High humidity and no air con in our  temporary accommodation has made for some incredibly sticky nights - reminiscent of Sydney summers. Seattle, I had no idea. There's a cool breeze today, and I never imagined I'd be so grateful for this, so soon after arriving here.

Lucky for us, the area we've been staying in has an amazing lakeside beach, with an equally gorgeous park next to it.  Although we've visited a number of playgrounds and waterfront parks since arriving, we spent several evenings at Idylwood Beach Park (doesn't the name alone sound like paradise?) during the peak of the heat wave, taking in the games of croquet and volleyball, families barbecuing, and kids diving off the lake's jetty as others surf paddle in the distance - all under the watchful gaze of teenaged lifeguards. That old saying 'to make hay while the sun shines' rings especially true around here. Unlike Los Angelenos, I get the feeling that Seattleites don't take the sun for granted.

My first solo sunset stroll in many, many months.

Idylwood Beach Park

Idylwood Beach Park

Kirkland Marina Park

Spins and secrets

The other thing that has me smitten are the (even) longer days. The sun doesn't set until after 9pm these days, which means it's still light and dusky at 10pm. Lengthy daylight hours have always been my favourite thing about summer, and I particularly loved summer in London because of this - many a late evening were spent in beer gardens as the sky slowly turned a deep azure. In the past, I've always been a stickler for strict early kiddo bedtimes, but the long days here are playing havoc with the girls' usual bedtime routine. We've relaxed about it because a) it's been so hot that it takes forever to fall asleep anyway, and b) there's no early morning school run to deal with, so isn't this what holidays are for? Besides, I think J has missed the girls so much that he is savouring his time with them when he comes home from work. Once they are in bed, it's still light enough for the two of us to enjoy a drink outside - even at half-past nine.

It's only been a week, but Seattle summer? I think I love you.

Emily agrees that late twilight hours are pretty cool.


  1. Just lovely - some beautiful shots there. I love that one of the girls on the swing.

    Very glad to hear you have arrived safely and are settling in. Hope your belongings will not be far behind. =)

  2. Awwww LOVE THIS! I've been looking forward to reading this post Mads. So glad you guys are settling in well, and hooray to you all being together again!