For those of you who’ve been reading this blog for some time, you know that I’ve got a tight circle of best friends– all of which are now scattered away from the place we used to call home. Jenny Two Times moved to Portland soon after I landed in Seattle which means we’re only three hours away from each other (it lessens the blow of being apart). James Dean and Natalie Wood moved inland away from the smallness of our former coastal town. Rae Rae and Run Run have always lived outside of The Cruz and despite teasing me with the possibility of relocating to the PNW, they remain in the Bay Area. (Le Sigh!) Dumpling and his Jersey Girl hauled themselves across the country to North Carolina. Bird is the only one who still nicely settled in The Cruz with her hubby, The Ama, stepchildren, step-grandbaby and her job and schooling.
Because last week, a minor miracle occurred and my girl, Supple, finally moved to Seattle.
Well I’ll be.
This is no small feat as Supp and I came to Seattle on our first-ever visit together over ten years ago. We both knew that Seattle would one day be home to us- we instantly fell in love with it. It just took us longer than we imagined to actually relocate here though. Some perspective: Supple is not big on change. She inherited a strong worry streak from her Mom and godlovethem both, she can sometimes become paralyzed with indecision because of the fear of the unknown. I think we can all relate to that on some level, no? So for years (and years!), Supple visited here and talked about moving here and that was just it- visits and talk. And then she got a job. HERE. Talk about impetus. So she packed up her life and her cats and hauled ass to Seattle.
I remember how hard it was to leave behind the safety of The Cruz and that girl I was there to embark on a new, bigger life full of questions in a city that stops for all pedestrians regardless of their jaywalking, that is gray and wet 9 months out of the year, that barely can boast of a decent burrito (thank you Gorditos for rectifying this!). There were a lot of things about living here that I wish I had known when I arrived so I made a cheat sheet for Supple along with some other welcome gifts that are sure to come in handy during her transition from Californian to Seattleite.
Here’s what the cheat sheet says. . .
A Transplant’s Guide to Making it in the Emerald City
- You will get lost (repeatedly) but that’s how you learn your way around.
- Everyone speaks in N/W/S/E so a compass is your friend. Or better yet, a GPS.
- There are streets with the same name but only differentiated by S or SW or N or E which indicates which neighborhood they are in. I still don’t understand it.
- Pike or Pine? Pine St. is North of Pike St. Pine has an N in it so it’s North.
- Getting your driver’s license and renewing your license plate tabs are done at separate places. They like us to stand in line, apparently.
- There are lanes on the freeway that you need a pass for. Don’t accidentally get on one and get pulled over by a cop like some people. Cough.
- No one calls Interstate 5 “The 5.” It’s either I5 or 5.
- Hard liquor is only sold at state-run stores and they are not open on Sundays. Because of God.
- There is no WA State tax. Makes tax time less painful.
- Seattleites are very friendly but bad with follow through on plans. That’s what they call ‘The Seattle Freeze.”
- Best places to meet new folks are at (surprise, surprise) coffee shops, Underdog Sports leagues, trivia nights and through work. (From my friend Kevin)
- Get a Seattle Mariners home game schedule put it in your car and avoid the Alaska Way Viaduct/I-5 through downtown for the hour prior to the game. Surface streets will get you through downtown and to other highway connections much faster. (From Kevin)
- Never, ever, ever, ever try and park on Pike Place when going to the Market. (From Kevin)
- Don’t call Pike Place “Pike’s Place.” Unless you want to out yourself as a transplant.
- Be ready for people to whine that Ballard is too much of a pain to get to. Tell them to kiss your ass because Ballard is rad and because it’s a pain to get to, we keep a great portion of the riff raff out. (From Kevin)
- There are three Targets and a bunch of Fred Meyers. There aren’t really any Long’s but the closest to it is Bartell’s.
- Anytime the weather is nice-go out and soak it up! Bike around Greenlake, visit the Japanese Gardens, Arboretum, Discovery Park. Seattle has a ton of awesome outdoor activities. (From my friend Jeni)
- People will say they went to “the beach” when they mean Alki Beach which is nothing like the beaches you are used to.
- Stumptown is better than Starbucks or Tully’s and everything is better than Seattle’s Best (blech!).
- In Washington, teriyaki is the California equivalent to the burrito.
Supple, if you haven’t figured it out already, I’m glad you’re here.