So I moved to Seattle

Garden Ninja wrote:
clover wrote:
Downtown or Capitol Hill you'll need a dedicated parking space; most other neighborhoods you'll be able to park on the street. Parking in our garage is $90/month (about average) so we just use street parking.

Also budget for parking tickets... the neighborhood rules here are convoluted enough that most people get nailed a couple times a year, one way or another.

Okay. Good stuff to know. Sound like I should make sure to look for places with a garage. One place I found said they did not have a garage / lot, but that residents qualify for Zone 7. I couldn't find what that meant, but I assume it is a certain type of parking permit.

Correct. What that means is that if you get a Zone 7 permit, you're allowed to park in Zone 7 spots (signs are everywhere, so it's pretty self-explanatory) for however long you want. If you don't have a permit, it's restricted to 2-hour parking except on Sundays and Holidays.

These both looks nice. Looks like First Hill is a bit cheaper than Downtown.

First Hill is much cheaper than downtown. It's still within walking distance of a lot of downtown, though I probably wouldn't do it in the rain, as it's probably a mile or so to get down there. Also, First Hill is home to 3 hospitals, which means you'll be hearing sirens all night. You get used to it pretty quickly and end up sleeping right through it, but it can be a shock to people who are used to complete silence at night.

clover wrote:
Scaphism wrote:
I'm in the middle of deciding where to take the bar next year and Washington is very high up on the list. Collectively you've all made an excellent pitch for the city, so I'm tagging this thread for future reference.

Peer pressure!

Full disclosure though, it's a downright rotten market for entry-level law right now.

That's no different than anywhere else I've been looking.

Garden Ninja wrote:

Downtown

Harbor Steps - This place looks gorgeous. On the more expensive side, especially for the waterfront facing units, but that seems to be true of Downtown in general. Looks like there are some more reasonable options, especially if I am willing to sacrifice a bit on square footage.

I lived there for the first year I spent in Seattle. Know why I lived there? Because my company was paying my rent.

I had a view of the sound *and* a view of the city. I met my wife while I was living there, and she's been quite honest since about how much playboy cred that bachelor pad gave me.

On the downside, it's a bit soul-less. One friend described it as renting an apartment in a hotel.

Harbor Steps are pretty great. The rent is high but you get a ton of building amenities.

You should do this regardless of where you end up, but make renter's insurance and an earthquake rider your first order of business in that part of town... if the seawall goes down that whole section of downtown will end up in Elliott Bay.

Jonman wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:

Downtown

Harbor Steps - This place looks gorgeous. On the more expensive side, especially for the waterfront facing units, but that seems to be true of Downtown in general. Looks like there are some more reasonable options, especially if I am willing to sacrifice a bit on square footage.

I lived there for the first year I spent in Seattle. Know why I lived there? Because my company was paying my rent.

I had a view of the sound *and* a view of the city. I met my wife while I was living there, and she's been quite honest since about how much playboy cred that bachelor pad gave me.

On the downside, it's a bit soul-less. One friend described it as renting an apartment in a hotel.

Sold to the man with the funny accent!

The water view units are bigger, but out of my range. The Courtyard and Partial Water would provide a view of both which would be nice, but are smaller. Depending on how the space is used, it might be fine. (My current apartment is 800, but the bathroom is large and oddly shaped, and I have a large walk-in closet, which I barely use and probably accounts for 60 is 30 sq ft itself.)

I also looked a bit more into Marketside vs Post Alley Court. They are separate buildings, but are right next to each other. Marketside lists the PAC address for contact information, so maybe they are operated by the same company. I am going to skip PAC though, as all their units (at least what they list on the website) are tiny: the biggest one is 550 sq ft.

I'm nearly packed; I think I just have clothing, plus a few things in my kitchen and my computer and TV left to pack.

I emailed Harbor Steps about setting up a tour. I also have a tour of Varsity in Ravenna; I think I want to live downtown, but it doesn't hurt to check it out.

ABF is set; however, they only do drop offs / pickups on weekdays, which means I won't be able to leave until Monday, which makes an already tight driving schedule a bit tighter. I did ask one buddy who's on a sabbatical of sorts if they could help drive, but he already had a different road trip planned.

I'm a bit hesitant to look at ride shares on craigslist, but Goodjers are cool peeps so I'll take a shot here:

Any Goodjers in the Philly area want to take a road trip to Seattle? I just need someone to help drive so I can get there quicker. If you promise not to murder me in my sleep, I'll buy you a one way flight back to Philly. Alternatively, any Seattle area Goodjers want to fly out and help me drive back?

How long are you planning to take? From Philly it's 4 days, minimum.

Alone, if I pushed 12 hour days, it would be 4, like you said, but consistent 12 hours days isn't likely to happen, so it would probably take me more like 5 or 6 which would get me in sometime on Sunday. With another person, taking shifts, I could probably cut it to like 3 or 4.

Edit: The ABF guy came and dropped off the "relo-cube" (earlier than expected, but whatever; at least it's dealt with now). He actually said that I don't need to be there for the pickup, so I'm going to verify that it's scheduled for Monday, then turn in my apartment keys as soon as the office is open on Sunday and head out.

I think I can do that drive in my sleep now, but it's still great. Are you taking the northern route (I-94)?

Since you do Philly to Madison, I'll assume you don't need any Chicagoland advice

Yeah, it's the northern route (which Google maps defaults to). PA Turnpike, through Ohio and Indiana, I-90 through Illinois and Wisconsin, then across North Dakota and Montana, Idaho and Washington.

I have don't Madison to Philly a couple of times in college, but that was years ago. If I remember, the best way to handle Chicago is to go around the city, though I don't recall what the actual route is.

Garden Ninja wrote:
Yeah, it's the northern route (which Google maps defaults to). PA Turnpike, through Ohio and Indiana, I-90 through Illinois and Wisconsin, then across North Dakota and Montana, Idaho and Washington.

I have don't Madison to Philly a couple of times in college, but that was years ago. If I remember, the best way to handle Chicago is to go around the city, though I don't recall what the actual route is.

Google sends you up the more scenic route along the shore, but it's better to go around. If you don't know Chicago well it's worth the extra tolls to avoid plunging through the middle of town.

Before 80/90 splits, while you're still in Indiana, make sure you take the split for 80/94 and keep going straight west. After you cross the state line it will turn into 294 (Tri-State Tollway). go alllllllll the way around until you're heading straight north and you'll hit I-90 next to O'Hare. If you take the cutoff for 290 (the Eisenhower!) before then, you can avoid O'Hare too. In that case you cross 90 in Schaumburg and can hit the Ikea for meatballs. Then hang a right in Rockford for 90/94.

Unless you're stopping to see people in Chicago I really, really recommend timing things so you're doing this part in the middle of the day. You can make it to Madison before rush hour, and even Minneapolis by dinner if you hoof it.

clover wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:
Yeah, it's the northern route (which Google maps defaults to). PA Turnpike, through Ohio and Indiana, I-90 through Illinois and Wisconsin, then across North Dakota and Montana, Idaho and Washington.

I have don't Madison to Philly a couple of times in college, but that was years ago. If I remember, the best way to handle Chicago is to go around the city, though I don't recall what the actual route is.

Google sends you up the more scenic route along the shore, but it's better to go around. If you don't know Chicago well it's worth the extra tolls to avoid plunging through the middle of town.

Before 80/90 splits, while you're still in Indiana, make sure you take the split for 80/94 and keep going straight west. After you cross the state line it will turn into 294 (Tri-State Tollway). go alllllllll the way around until you're heading straight north and you'll hit I-90 next to O'Hare. If you take the cutoff for 290 (the Eisenhower!) before then, you can avoid O'Hare too. In that case you cross 90 in Schaumburg and can hit the Ikea for meatballs. Then hang a right in Rockford for 90/94.

Unless you're stopping to see people in Chicago I really, really recommend timing things so you're doing this part in the middle of the day. You can make it to Madison before rush hour, and even Minneapolis by dinner if you hoof it.

Quoted for truth. Avoid downtown Chicago. 294 to 290 is your best route.

Too bad you aren't coming through KC - I would have bought you a beer.

Charge your phone and post updates along the way, too. Goodjer collective loves a road trip!

SallyNasty wrote:
Too bad you aren't coming through KC - I would have bought you a beer.

If I had more time to make the trip, I'd take a route through KC, and maybe a few other places for Goodjer beer stops. It's going to be tight, though, and I'm paranoid I wouldn't actually get to Seattle in time to start my new job. Well have to meet up at PAX.

clover wrote:
Charge your phone and post updates along the way, too. Goodjer collective loves a road trip!

Definitely.

Road trip checkin day 1

Started about 9:30 AM. Stopped about 12:30 AM. Total of 15 hours.

Ate at the most white trash McDonald's in Mercer PA. I assume the parking lot was paved at one point but now is the most uneven gravel mess. They had signs posted that something was wrong with the machines so hey had no shakes or fountain drinks but that they had cans of coke.and also that they needed ones.

Saw a toll both agent near Chicago dressed as Elvis and playing Elvis music in his booth. I guess you have to find some way to make that job suck less.

Made it to Belvedere, IL north of Chicago, which google maps says is 15 hours so making good time.

That is really good time. Keep it up and you will be here in no time!

Wow. Just be safe and make sure to take breaks regularly.

It's harder to knock out 12-hour days on the stretch between Minneapolis to Seattle, because there's less stimulation to keep you alert. Don't feel like you're behind if you done for the day after 8 hours or so.

Especially if you're not used to driving in mountains... you have another day of driving before that part, but it's better to take it easy and be safe than worry about making time, if you haven't crossed the Continental Divide before. And remember to climb in third or second gear if you need to, and downshift to use compression braking after you're over the top. There will be signs to remind you, but setting your brakes on fire would suck.

And remember to look out the window! And take some photos. And stop at some national parks- Teddy Roosevelt is the one with the buffalo... you don't even have to turn off 94, just use the restrooms there and look at the signs.

And, and, and... yeah. It's pretty. Have fun. Don't sweat the timing, you did enough on the first day to give yourself breathing room the rest of the trip.

Road Trip Checkin Day 2
Started around 9 AM, and stopped around 10 PM, so 13 hours total.

I made it to Fargo, ND, which Google maps says is around 600 miles and 10 hours of driving time. 1400 miles and 22 hours of driving time left.

I probably would have made it farther, but I realized that I didn't have a jack in the car, and I needed and oil change, so I stopped in Madison for a couple of hours to rectify those issues and stop off to see my Dad for a bit.

momgamer wrote:
Wow. Just be safe and make sure to take breaks regularly.

I've been stopping for gas and at least 5 minutes to stretch my legs at around half a tank, which tends to be after 2 or 2 and a half hours of driving.

clover wrote:
It's harder to knock out 12-hour days on the stretch between Minneapolis to Seattle, because there's less stimulation to keep you alert. Don't feel like you're behind if you done for the day after 8 hours or so.

I definitely noticed that already. Driving through Wisconsin (except Madison) and Minnesota (except the Twin Cities) was pretty boring with less to keep me alert so I was typically driving slower. Some of rural Minnesota is kind of scary, in the dark at least. The highway is only lit by the other cars, and exits off the highway aren't lit at all. The last time I stopped for gas, the road off the exit was poorly marked and I nearly drove through it because my headlights were the only lights and I couldn't see anything to either side. The gas station itself was 2 miles down the road in what only barely qualifies as civilization. When I left the gas station I seriously pulled out my flashlight just to make sure that I would be able to find the on ramp back to I94. That's part of why I stopped when I did: I am awake that I could have driven another couple of hours probably, but it isn't as safe at night. I'm hoping to get started a bit earlier tomorrow morning so that I get more daylight driving.

clover wrote:
Don't sweat the timing, you did enough on the first day to give yourself breathing room the rest of the trip.

I was originally planning on a 6 day trip, starting Monday which would have got me to Seattle sometime Saturday night, or maybe Sunday morning. With getting started a day earlier, and having half the trip done in 2 days, I probably will take the rest of it a bit more leisurely. If it takes 5 days, that still puts me in town 2 days earlier than I originally planned.

[obligatory Fargo joke]

600 miles is a solid day. And now you're in the real west!

Garden Ninja wrote:
Some of rural Minnesota is kind of scary, in the dark at least. The highway is only lit by the other cars, and exits off the highway aren't lit at all. The last time I stopped for gas, the road off the exit was poorly marked and I nearly drove through it because my headlights were the only lights and I couldn't see anything to either side.

Bleh, yeah. One winter I spun my car on an snowy stretch somewhere between Fargo and St. Cloud when it was dark and I was too macho stupid to stop for the night earlier. Didn't do anything except scare the crap out of myself, thankfully, but that darkness is unreal.

Glad you don't have any deer prints in your car, either

North Dakota: the plus gas is the same price/cheaper than the regular because they cut it with ethanol. Be warned. It's some kind of state-subsidized thing. There's not a lot to see on 94 except the river valley near Bismarck and the national park later, so make a nice long playlist...

You can probably get a fair chunk of the way into Montana tomorrow, but I'd recommend stopping in Billings (or Miles City if you're taking it easy). After that it will be getting dark while you're gaining altitude, and it's harder to drive the foothills when you're tired and the sunset has been in your eyes for a few hours.

You can play Montana Meth Project billboard bingo while you drive, too.

You're making great time. I giggled when I read your description of Minnesota, though. Just wait until Wyoming - it doesn't qualify as civilization at all.

momgamer wrote:
You're making great time. I giggled when I read your description of Minnesota, though. Just wait until Wyoming - it doesn't qualify as civilization at all. ;)

The Minnesota description is pretty accurate especially the closer you get to the Dakotas. I head up to northern Minnesota every year for an ice fishing trip, and it truly gets to be where you don't anything but your headlights. It is great country to just stop and look up at the sky for breaks though.

Road Trip Checkin Day 3
Started around 8:30 AM CST, and stopped around 7:00 PM CST, so 10 and a half hours.

I made it though North Dakota and a good bit into Montana. Per clover's suggestion, I stopped in Billings, so that's another 600 miles and 10 hours of driving time. That leaves about 830 miles and 13 and a half hours of driving time. Depending on how early I get on the road, and how the trip through the mountains goes, I might push to get into town tomorrow night. Otherwise I'll probably stop near Spokane, which would only leave 4 hours of driving left for Thursday.

momgamer wrote:
You're making great time. I giggled when I read your description of Minnesota, though. Just wait until Wyoming - it doesn't qualify as civilization at all. ;)

This route didn't take me through Wyoming. I'm taking 90 / 94, so it's all through North Dakota and Montana, but same difference basically.

Nothing interesting happened. At all.

I thought Madison felt like a small town, but Fargo is the largest city in ND at 100,000 people. Billings is supposedly about the same population. Nothing else in ND or MT even came close. There were a few little blips of civilization, but only barely. At least twice I got off at an exit that said they had gas, only to find no signage once I got onto the road, and nothing clearly nearby. Several of my gas stops were in these little tiny towns. Like, people threw up some houses, a church, a gas station and bar in the middle of some farmland, and added in some "Hunters Welcome" signs, plus Pro-Life propaganda and ads for Christian Radio for flavor (although the last two were mostly along the highway, not in these little podunk towns). Places like that freak me out.

Most of the exits actually had a "No Services" sign tacked to the exit sign (in ND), or standing by itself a bit up the off ramp (in MT).

Yoreel wrote:
momgamer wrote:
You're making great time. I giggled when I read your description of Minnesota, though. Just wait until Wyoming - it doesn't qualify as civilization at all. ;)

The Minnesota description is pretty accurate especially the closer you get to the Dakotas. I head up to northern Minnesota every year for an ice fishing trip, and it truly gets to be where you don't anything but your headlights. It is great country to just stop and look up at the sky for breaks though.

Oh I agree, the country is beautiful. I took some pictures from the car as I was driving, which I need to look through and see if any of them turned out. I also get that the farming and industry is important, but I do not understand how anyone actually lives out there.

Garden Ninja wrote:
Nothing interesting happened. At all.

I thought Madison felt like a small town, but Fargo is the largest city in ND at 100,000 people. Billings is supposedly about the same population. Nothing else in ND or MT even came close. There were a few little blips of civilization, but only barely. At least twice I got off at an exit that said they had gas, only to find no signage once I got onto the road, and nothing clearly nearby. Several of my gas stops were in these little tiny towns. Like, people threw up some houses, a church, a gas station and bar in the middle of some farmland, and added in some "Hunters Welcome" signs, plus Pro-Life propaganda and ads for Christian Radio for flavor (although the last two were mostly along the highway, not in these little podunk towns). Places like that freak me out.

Most of the exits actually had a "No Services" sign tacked to the exit sign (in ND), or standing by itself a bit up the off ramp (in MT).

Spokane is the largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis... everything in between is what you just wrote. It will look like Chicago to you by the time you get there

You've checked off the first of the 4 B's, which take about 4 hours of driving. So you will probably make Butte (lolz) around lunchtime. Make sure to stop for a sub (or two- one for the road!) at the Pickle Barrel in Missoula, after that.

Drive a little slower in the Rockies, or it will destroy your gas mileage... momentum is your friend, don't brake on the uphills, blah blah. There is an actual Starbucks in Missoula if you're craving a consumerist outpost of civilization.

This next day is a microcosm of the great American road trip, all in one day. Desolate farms, big freaking mountains, real forest, busted-down mining towns, wacky little college town, prototypical truck stops, the whole shebang.

::

Subjective opinion: Don't try to do Billings all the way into Seattle in one day... the map is deceptive, because you have to climb and descend two major North American mountain ranges and cross the Columbia River in that 800 miles. 'Tis a long-ass day even if you know the road. Take it easy on the passes, stop at the scenic lookouts, eat a decent meal, and shoot for Spokane or Coeur D'Alene.

Then you can get a full night's sleep, and see the rest of your new state in the daylight, since you probably won't be headed back out that way for a while after you get here. It'll give you a chance to see the Gorge, the wild horse monument, and the other stuff people take for granted here. Eastern Washington is rather like western Montana with better farmland, and equally boring, but the sun will be at your back and you can make it to Seattle before rush hour.

Plus, the drop from Snoqualmie into Seattle is much more impressive during the day... think of the last two hours of the drive as the grand opening cutscene to moving here. Doing in the dark would be anticlimactic.

(On the practical side of things, there are way more state troopers on the Cascades passes than in the Rockies, so driving the speedy downslope of Snoqualmie at night when you're tired and just want to get where you're going exponentially increases your chance of getting a speeding ticket. Trust me on this one. :D)

Not to derail the thread, but does Seattle have any freshwater lakes nearby? How far in terms of a drive from the burbs?

I will be flying out to Seattle in the next couple of weeks for job interviews, and have been following this thread with interest.

DevilStick wrote:
Not to derail the thread, but does Seattle have any freshwater lakes nearby? How far in terms of a drive from the burbs?

I will be flying out to Seattle in the next couple of weeks for job interviews, and have been following this thread with interest.


Lake Washington is right next to it.

clover wrote:
Plus, the drop from Snoqualmie into Seattle is much more impressive during the day... think of the last two hours of the drive as the grand opening cutscene to moving here. Doing in the dark would be anticlimactic.

Could not agree more. A few months ago I made the trek from Texas to Seattle and the last 90 minutes or so were unbelievable.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
DevilStick wrote:
Not to derail the thread, but does Seattle have any freshwater lakes nearby? How far in terms of a drive from the burbs?

I will be flying out to Seattle in the next couple of weeks for job interviews, and have been following this thread with interest.


Lake Washington is right next to it.

Excellent, thanks. I also see Lake Sammamish a little to the East of Lake Washington as well.

Road Trip Checkin Day 4
Started a bit late, around 9:00 AM MST, and stopped around 7:00 PM MST, so 10 hours.

I stopped at the Spokane Airport, which Google lists at about 550 and 9 hours of driving time. 4 and a half hours left for tomorrow. I did stop off in a couple of places for pictures, gas and food, but I mostly drove. I would have stopped more often, especially for pictures, but I got paranoid that the Rockies would take longer to get through and I'd be getting in late if I didn't hoof it. Plus, I totally forgot about getting that sub in Missoula. Le sigh. At least I get a few hours of chill time before bed, which is definitely nice after a long day of driving.

Since tomorrow is a shorter day, driving-wise, I probably will stop off a bit more often to really enjoy that "opening cutscene" as clover put it.

DevilStick wrote:
Not to derail the thread, but does Seattle have any freshwater lakes nearby? How far in terms of a drive from the burbs?

I will be flying out to Seattle in the next couple of weeks for job interviews, and have been following this thread with interest.

Don't worry about. Honestly, I was thinking of turning this into a Seattle Catch-All, assuming people were interested in such a thing.