20 November 2009

SEATTLE WHAT WHAT and a long drive to get here

Yes, yes, we are here. We arrived just over two weeks ago, are still painting, are still unpacking, are still without a kitchen table, a desk, much-needed additional bookshelves, a mattress, a wardrobe/armoire deal ... Noah gets paid in a few weeks, so until then, there may not be much progress on that front.

But who needs furniture when you can buy an as-is futon from Ikea, disassemble it, fit it into your Civic, and sleep on that?

And more importantly, who needs furniture when you live half a mile or less from these following gems: an artisanal ice cream shop (so amazingly good); literally ten or more Thai places, one vegetarian, another one in a beautiful all-wood temple-ish place, and another one with a super-secret, super-hot red curry; a beer shop that serves and is full of punk music but without any lame attitude (it is obvious everyone is focused on beer completely); a teahouse; a lake; a park; a zoo ... We haven't been to all of those places yet, but we will.

Okay, honestly, I still would like furniture. Ice cream and furniture are not the same thing. But we split a sundae last night made with one scoop vanilla bean, one scoop theo chocolate (I think local chocolate?), cranberry orange chutney, candied hazelnuts, and candied orange slices. I enjoyed it more than I enjoy bookshelves. So maybe they even out.

Now, to share pictures chronologically or what ... I go with chronology.

Niece Liora driving our car as we leave St. Louis ... what a good driver, that one. Knows her colors and how to shift lanes ...

Sunset in Oklahoma or Texas, I am not sure which.

A big, beautiful canyon in ... New Mexico? Arizona? We drove from St. Louis to San Diego really, really quickly, though not quickly by Adam's standards (who took two days to get from Florida to San Diego in a van, carrying his Vespa and books).

Southern California or western Arizona--at this point, I am constantly saying to Noah, Wow, we are in the West! This doesn't look like Missouri or Illinois anymore! And he patiently nods, being the 49-state traveler that he is. That black spot is a cow.

Sequoia National Park! Wherein we leave the cats in a Motel 6 and ascend 6000 feet in our car, then hike around for the afternoon with much gasping for air. But where are the sequoias?

Oh, here they are.

They are really big and beautiful. This was taken in a meadow where, the last time Noah visited, he was within fifty feet of a bear eating lunch. However, I am myself bear repellant and we saw no bears. I have never seen a bear in person in the wild, not in the Tetons, not in Yellowstone, not in Sequoia, and not even when everyone else in the car saw one--when I looked, it was gone.

We drove through Kings Canyon National Park on the way out of Sequoia, since they border each other, and it was beautiful too.

Then, north to San Francisco for dinner with Noah's friends from his years of touring, and then, we thought, let's drive the coastal highway through California and Oregon! It will be legendary! And it was.

But even before this was taken at Muir Beach, our older cat Hobbes was throwing up because, you see, the coastal highway is full of things like hairpin turns at 15 mph and no guard rails and lots of hilliness. So we went back on I-5.

And here, in Oregon, it was still gorgeous. Next, on to Seattle and our apartment!

What's that in the background? Is that FLORESCENT ORANGE PAINT beneath the chair rail and dingy yellow paint above in the main room? Are those paint chips on the floor? Oh yes, they are. Here begins the saga of the apartment. The following photos are all from our "evidence of how crappy this place was/is" file, taken the day we moved in.

Hmm, nice architecture, nice bo tree, nice cat, but really, that color orange? Someone mixed that paint for you? They should be fired.

The bedroom! Pool blue walls, a bright yellow ceiling, and spackle everywhere from the landlord's handyman. When we got in, we asked him, So, are you painting? His reply: Oh no, I let the tenants paint and I'll pay for paint.

Two weeks of painting literally every paintable surface in the apartment, I understand the great deal he is getting from our labor.

The clawfoot tub is truly awesome for taking baths, but it may or may not fall through the floor someday. May neither of us be in it or our neighbor be below it when it does.

This is the "second bedroom"--maybe 8 by 8 feet, two orange walls, one yellow wall, one red wall, and a yellow ceiling.

And ill-fitted carpet.

And a window that doesn't close. Not at all. I stuffed the crack full of bubble wrap yesterday, and it's warmer already.

And that room? With the many-colored walls? It's essentially an insulated second-story porch, and it is falling off the house proper. On the left, it's porch, and on the right, it's house. May it also not contain us when it falls, or hit our neighbor, or hit the chickens.

"After" photos later!

So, as you sit in your centrally-heated places of residence, think of us and our one natural gas heater ... and honestly, it is starting to look a lot better.

Keep in touch, y'all! I will try to do the same.

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