Hi Readers – We’re debuting a new section of the Belles today, currently deemed “Belles’ Men on the Street.” Check out Henry F.’s account below of his recent move to Seattle. Don’t forget to give him some love in the comments!
I recently moved from Tampa to Seattle after accepting a position as a technology consultant. I was offered the position a month earlier and immediately started looking for a place to live. After hunting online, I found a reasonably-priced condo in Ballard. The photos showed green shag carpeting in every room except the master bedroom, where the carpet was brown. In addition, the walls were wood paneling and the ceilings were stuccoed, as if the owners were stuck in the seventies. I loved everything I had read about the neighborhood, and the price was right, so after researching on the Internet, I hired some Seattle contractors to bring my future home into the 21st century.
I ambitiously decided to forego hiring a moving company, rent a moving truck and bribe a few of my buddies to travel with me. My travelling companions were Jimmy and Mark, my former college roommates, and our mutual friend, Trevor. I was very concerned that my cat, Magnus Günther, had vanished the night before, and I walked through my apartment complex one final time before we left, calling his name and looking under cars and in the dumpster. I couldn’t find him and we had to leave to stay on schedule, so I reluctantly gave up my search, and we left.
MapQuest put our trip at 46 hours, and we knew we would have to make rest stops, so we only stopped to refuel, and to switch drivers. This arrangement lasted for the first thirty hours, at which time all four of us were bleary-eyed and exhausted. We decided to pull into a rest stop and sleep, and after about four hours, we were ready to hit the road again. I decided to switch to driving the car.
Walking past the back of the truck, I heard a curious noise – a scratching sound followed by a thud and a muffled crash. When I pulled open the door to investigate, a ball of fur flew out and attached itself to my chest. There was Magnus Günther, trembling and hanging onto me as if his life depended upon it. He had slipped unnoticed into the truck when I left the door open while moving. With a sigh of relief, I pulled out his carrier and placed him inside with words of reassurance.
Fifty-seven hours after leaving Florida, we arrived in Seattle. We were so drained and numb from our cross-country trek that we literally collapsed onto the floor of my new home without removing anything from the truck. Thankfully, the shag carpet had been replaced with hardwood floors and the wood paneling and stucco ceiling were gone, and I felt satisfaction as I surveyed my new surroundings through sleep-blurred eyes.
The next morning, we were awoken by my new roommate, Jeremy, standing above us in his boxers, silently staring down at us as he stirred his coffee. I awkwardly stood and made the introductions, and then we got to work moving my things in. Because we were still on Florida time, it was obscenely early in the morning, and we finished before 9:00.
Before leaving Florida, we planned what we would see, and we started the day with a caffeinated beverage from the original Starbucks at Pike Place Market. Kind of a cliché, but what better way to introduce oneself to Seattle? After kickstarting our engines, we headed to the Experience Music Project Museum to check out the Nirvana display. I have always been a fan of the Seattle grunge bands from the nineties, and I was impressed with their collection. Then, we headed over to Lunchbox Laboratory for a late lunch.
Despite the time, Lunchbox Laboratory was packed. When I first read about it, it was still located in Ballard, and I admit I was a little disappointed that it moved to South Lake Union, but the food was every bit as awesome as I expected it to be. I had the Burger of the Gods, and was blown away by the flavor combinations; Jimmy is a vegan and had the same thing (substituting a veggie patty for the meat), and he was equally impressed. Mark opted to build his own burger, and he paid a little extra for a dork patty (duck and pork), just so he could – in his words – say he had eaten a dork for lunch. After our meal, we made our way back to my home and started unpacking boxes.
Since the guys had to leave the following morning, we bought Mariners tickets for that night, and all five of us headed to Safeco Field. I wish someone would have warned me about traffic congestion, because it took a lot longer to get there than I had anticipated, but when we were sitting in the stands, eating Seattle Rolls from Rice ‘n’ Roll and cheering for the team, none of that mattered.
My friends flew back to Florida the next day, and I was left with a roommate who is perpetually in his boxers when at home and a cat who finally left my side and started settling into his new surroundings. As for me, I started my new job the following Monday and slowly explored every inch of Seattle. Every Sunday, Jeremy and I head to the Ballard Farmers’ Market and stock up on produce. I often go to the Ballard Locks for my morning jog, and I love to bring my computer and relax in the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden as I watch the boats go by. Being so close to the water feels like home, and I fall in love with Seattle a little more every day.