Tag Archives: spokane

Step Two: Apartment

About thirty-six hours passed between signing the papers on our new car to hitting the road. We don’t waste any time. Mike was in the driver’s seat for the trip from Spokane to Seattle, and Hanna played DJ (which means she listens to about thirty seconds of a song and then skips to the next). We had a nice introduction to the weather we will be expecting in Seattle; it pretty much drizzled during the whole five-hour trip. The drive turned slightly scary in Snoqualmie Pass (think mountains and lots of wind) when it started snowing. Please keep in mind that a) we just bought a new car, and b) we rarely drive in snow. As we were able to write this, we obviously persevered. Sure was a pretty view once the snow ended:

Washington or New Zealand?

Washington or New Zealand?

After making it to Seattle, we began our apartment search. Apartment-huntin’ is a bit different in Seattle. In New York we would typically go to a broker, ask to see no-fee apartments, and then view a bunch of apartments in a single day. This ease doesn’t seem to exist in Seattle. Most rentals are found on Craigslist, and you sit…and wait…and wait for someone to call or email you back. We sent countless emails and left a billion messages for people. Good times.

Over the course of three days, we saw about ten apartments. We got super excited about one in particular. We had a 1:45pm appointment to view it, and the woman called us at 1:28pm to say that we could come early because no one showed up to the previous appointment. By the time we arrived (literally like three minutes later), the stupid dummies who were late had just arrived. The apartment was in a great Queen Anne location (walkable to a grocery store and many shops), had two bedrooms, and was a decent size. We knew we wanted this place…but so did the couple who showed up before us. Since they did get there first, the apartment was theirs. We hate them. We left there in a mopey mood.

The owners of the last apartment we were going to see were holding an open house from 2-3pm, and we got there around 2:45pm. Upon walking into this place, we (Mike especially) knew that we wanted it. Two bedrooms! Patio where we could put a barbeque! Dishwasher! Washer and dryer IN the apartment! Full bath upstairs and half bath downstairs (yes, it has an upstairs and a downstairs)! Free parking space! Storage closet in the basement! While these amenities may seem standard to some, these things are gold to New Yorkers. This just felt like a grown-up apartment to us.

Another couple was finishing up their tour, and we assumed they would get this place. The woman was pregnant, and this two-bedroom apartment seemed perfect for them. We patiently waited for them to say goodbye to the owners, but to our utter surprise, this couple DIDN’T fill out an application. They said that they would email it. We ran over, chatted with the kind owners, and filled out an application on the spot. We were the last ones to see the apartment, and we left there feeling pessimistic. Even though we explained our jobless situation, we thought that this apartment would definitely go to someone else.

As we were driving back to Hanna’s sister’s apartment, the phone rang. It was the owners of the last apartment. They were pleased to tell us that the place was ours. You don’t even know how excited we were. We zoomed over to the owners’ house where a “WELCOME, MIKE AND HANNA!” greeted us on their front door. We chatted and filled out the paperwork, and the apartment was ours. Officially ours.

Wanna know what we are doing today? Moving in. We are bringing all of our stuff from Spokane to Seattle today, and we are proud to say that we really do have a place to live.

We Don't Have Any Pictures of Our Apartment. Enjoy This Sunny Day in Seattle Instead.

We Don’t Have Any Pictures of Our Apartment Yet. Enjoy This Picture of a Seattle Park on a Sunny Day Instead.

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Step One: Car

Now that our trip is over, it’s time to face real life again. We are hesitant to accept this fact, but it’s been a bit easier this time around. When we returned from our last yearlong trip in the summer of 2011, we visited our families and then went back to the same apartment in New York. As we didn’t have jobs, we left the air conditioners off during the day and pretty much sat in the sweltering dark while job-searching. We had a bit of a hard time adjusting back: we spent a year having wonderful experiences, but once it was over, sometimes it felt as if the trip never happened.

Since our trip that just ended was only a few months, it hasn’t been as hard. Moving to a new place makes it feel like a new adventure is starting. Though we do miss our friends in New York, we are excited about our new lives in Seattle. Shiny optimists we are…

Upon returning to the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, we knew we had three steps: car, apartment, job. Some might say that the third step should have been our first priority, but in order to get from Hanna’s parents’ house in Spokane over to Seattle, we needed transportation. We will not bore you with the details of car-shopping as no one really LIKES car-shopping, do they? If you are one of the few, we will let you pick out our car next time.

Since neither of us are car aficionados by any means (and have not driven on a regular basis in over ten years), Hanna’s dad kindly tagged along. We had absolutely no preferences: color, type of car, new vs. used, etc. All we wanted was a reliable car that had a decent amount of sitting room. Picky, aren’t we? We looked at about five dealerships and discovered that a new car is not that much more expensive than a used car. We would rather rely on a warranty than worry about having to put time and money into an older car.

Since we are such massive Psy fans, we knew which car we wanted to buy:

Yup, that’s right. We bought a hamster car–a Kia Soul. This guy even sold it to us:

Hamster, James Hamster.

Hamster, James Hamster.

We have owned it for a little over a week and have been super happy with it so far. It’s weird to own a car. We still feel like it’s a rental. Guess we’re growing up…

We Don't Live in New York Anymore. We Own a Car. Who Are We?

We Don’t Live in New York Anymore, And We Own a Car. Who Are We?

The Decision

So we tease you with a haiku over a month ago, and then we haven’t posted anything since. How much do you hate us? We know that you are salivating over the fact that our blog is back, and we figured that because it’s the last day of 2013, we might as well get a move on.

Well, hello again, old friends. Missed us?

As Classy as We Will Look in the Next Few Months...

As Good as It Gets. Seriously.

We are currently at Hanna’s parents’ house in Spokane, and we previously overstayed our welcome visited Mike’s family in Cleveland. You must be thinking to yourself: wait, don’t you guys have jobs? Don’t you live in New York? How are you doing this?

Mike moved to New York for college in 2000, while Hanna moved there the next year. After a quarter century (combined) in the greatest city on earth, we made the decision to leave for good and move to Seattle. New York will always be home for us, but it was time for a change to a new city. We are looking forward to a slower pace, Taco Bells that are clean enough to eat in, and no East Coast humidity.

Since our lease was up at the end of November, we decided to just pull roots, quit our jobs, and make the move. As we started talking about the cross-country trek, we thought to ourselves, “Let’s go travel. When else will we be able to see the world again?” Cue visiting our families for over a month and then about 2.5 months abroad. Why not, right? (The proposed travel plan is a different post for a different day.)

Yes, the blog is back, but we aren’t going to be as diligent as we were last time. We will try posting something every day, but we are warning you now that no promises are being made. We will be too busy eating McDonald’s sundaes or watching some crappy reality show on our netbook.

While we fully expect you to check our site every hour of every day to see if we have posted anything, an easier way is to follow our blog and have it emailed it to you whenever we post. (Sign up on the right-hand side of our site where it says SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL. Easy as pie. Apple or peanut butter please.)

Like “Eighty Liters” on Facebook too, and you’ll see when we post new entries. (We can’t be bothered with Twitter. #dontcare.)

‘Til next time. It’ll probably be in about three weeks from now. We’re that lazy.

A Quick Summary of Family Visits

Sound the alarm. Blow the trumpet. Bang pots and pans. (No, we haven’t found jobs yet…) What you are so excited about is the fact that we are finally getting around to finishing our blog. You’ll have new posts for the next few days until we get sick of writing and procrastinate some more.

We made the decision not to blog every day while we were in Philly, Cleveland, and Spokane, and we’re totally glad we spent the time actually hanging out with family. Rather than give you details of every single day, we’ll give you some highlights.

We headed to Philly first to visit Mike’s sister Jodi and brother-in-law Chris. (You may remember these silly characters from their participation in some senior pics.) The two people we were most excited to see (sorry, Jod and Chris) were our nieces. Though we Skyped with them many times during our trip, we haven’t seen them in person for about a year. We spent our first full day in Philly babysitting them, and Hanna was already down for a nap by 10am. Don’t worry; Mike is a responsible babysitter:

Our Favorite Nieces. (Yes, Those Are Mike’s Glasses.)

The next day was spent making the eight-hour drive to Mike’s parents’ house in Cleveland. Obviously Mike drove:

Hey, Kids Are Tiring.

We had a great time reuniting with Mike’s family and rehashing our Tuscan bocce tournaments. The majority of Mike’s extended family on both sides gathered for a party one day, and it was a comforting feeling being in the same place at the same time with loved ones.

Another day was spent at the zoo. Hanna debated going because we found out that there is no longer a reptile house. She hemmed and hawed but ultimately decided not to go because some crazy employee might be walking around with a snake. Mike adamantly denied this, but what did we see upon arrival? A crazy employee showcasing a huge snake. Another massive python was cased in the new elephant exhibit without warning, so these two double whammies made Hanna feel jubilant that she didn’t go.

Hanna Has Taught Both These Girls What Sound an Elephant Makes.

We were sad to leave Mike’s family (especially our nieces and their love for the “Hot Dog” song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) behind, but Spokane beckoned.

Upon arrival in Spokane, we were fed good barbeque, cake, and cookies. Our days were split between going to Hanna’s grandparents’ lake cabin, playing “Just Dance 2” on the Wii with Hanna’s mom and sister Greta, and hitting up Walmart and Dollar Tree for items we needed back in New York.

Family.

At the lake cabin, we engaged in a tension-filled game of Risk with Hanna’s dad, aunt, and Greta. Mike has never played this game before but somehow found himself in the final two with Hanna’s dad. Quickly conquering Australia was the key, but unfortunately Mike lost. He’s not bitter…at all.

We watched the fireworks boom at the lake cabin on the Fourth of July, and we had Bali flashbacks. A local town puts on a surprisingly good display, but neighbors all around the lake also let theirs rip as well. It’s quite a harrowing scene as drunk non-professionals make massive boxes of fireworks explode before your eyes.

No, Not a Picture of Fireworks. Gives You an Idea of the Beauty of the Lake Though.

Our week in Spokane passed way too quickly, but we had to get back to New York at some point. It’s now been about five days, but we miss our families (and the unending food) terribly.

A massive thank you to both of our families for everything! When you guys come to New York, you’ll be specially treated to a ridiculously hot apartment and empty refrigerator.

The Next Two Weeks

We just can’t get rid of the travel bug, and today starts another mini-trip. Makes total sense, right? We’re limiting ourselves to the States this time around. We will be spending the next two weeks visiting family in Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Spokane, and we’ve made an executive decision: we’re not going to blog about it. We want to be able to enjoy the time with our families and not have to worry about writing blog posts the entire time. If you really want to know what we are doing, read this post from last summer (minus the Portland and L.A. parts). We’ll probably be enjoying the exact same things.

When we come back, the job search officially begins. We’ve been casually looking for the past month or so, but it will be full steam ahead once we are back in New York.

You’ll get a few random trip wrap-up posts in the next few days, but we’re gonna be pretty quiet otherwise. Don’t hate us.

Crazy Eyes

Remember Jennifer Wilbanks, the Runaway Bride?

Well, we think we saw her sister or a long lost relative of hers at the Spokane Airport last week. This woman had some serious bug eyes that we couldn’t stop staring at. They totally drew you in and hypnotized you. At one point, Hanna loudly said that she thought the Runaway Bride was sitting next to her.

As this lady was reading her book, she was intensely smiling and bugging out every few seconds. Hanna casually “posed” for a picture so that Mike could snap a paparazzi shot of the doppelgänger. This picture doesn’t do her crazy eyes any justice, but hope it brings some joy to your sucky Monday…

Adios to Spokane. Hello to Portland.

It’s time to leave the Lilac City (Hanna pronounces it “lie-lock”…she’s just wrong). We’ve had a great time eating, lounging, napping….doing what we do best. Thanks to all of Hanna’s family for feeding and entertaining us this past week.

As we now have less than a week left in the States, we will try to keep in mind the brilliant wisdom provided by the fortune cookie Mike recently opened:

Apt, No?

(The fortune cookie was from lunch at Mustard Seed with Hanna’s friend Lindsay.  Good seeing you…thanks again for meeting us for lunch and breakfast!)