So there is the traffic. Thats certainly one thing. Back in the Fall of 2016, I finally saw Waze in action. Sure, I had read about the app in businessinsider.com, techcrunch etc. Heard it was popular. THE app for road tripping, travel, and the everyday commute.
I visiting one of my good friends, Jay Veno, in Connecticut, and we were on our way to Newport, RI. We were in the backwoods of SE Connecticut, if you can picture such a thing. The app was awesome. I could see the glow from the back seat. Almost 3D like. It got us out of a traffic jam, and to our destination, promptly.
So I forgot about it, then, halfway between Phoenix, and LA, downloaded it, and used it religiously right on up the West Coast.
As I now know, traffic in Seattle is a bitch. Its horrible. In rush hour, going 15 miles takes an hour going towards the city. Coming out of the city, it takes, well, 15 minutes. I know, because I make that drive two to three times a week. The problem with Seattle traffic is there is one highway, directly thru the heart of the city, running North and South, that every commuter must drive. Every tech worker, every school teacher, trucker, construction worker, banker, whoever. Everybody going into the city during the work week in the morning is on that road.
In Arizona, my commute was 5 minutes, give or take a red light or two.
So there is that.
Traffic aside, and, believe me, nothing gets you ready for the work week like an hour of traffic hitting you in the face on a Monday morning when your son won’t let you back out of the driveway because he wants to open his door BY HIMSELF, and he wants to buckle his seat belt BY HIMSELF, and he wants to arrange his backpack BY HIMSELF.
But- and I’ll give the city this- one a clear day, headed south, just north of down town, look to the right and look to the left and see breathtaking, snow-capped mountains in both directions. Look at the lake and various waterways with their boats, sailboats, yachts and seaplanes. See the city skyline in the distance, and its not too bad.
Before we dig into the move here, and the corresponding road trip, first, the details and backstory, which you can find here. Many close friends, and followers of the manchamp.com page have already read about it, and already know. If not, fill yourself in, here.
So now that you have the backstory, let me give you a quick cliffs notes on the move/road trip, then I’ll give you some additionally commentary and lessons learned.
Movers came to pack out our apartment and storage unit on April 2/3. The movers were totally awesome. Wagner, the dude in charge showed up a half hour early, and backed his rig right around a hairpin corner, right on into our maze of an apartment building on Camelback Rd. A total professional, and definitely got things off on the correct foot. Him and his 2 guys were complete professionals, and packed out our apartment smartly and completely efficiently. It totally sucked we were on the 3rd floor, with no service elevator.
That took all morning.
Then, we drove about half a mile away, and again, Wagner backed his 18 wheeler into an even smaller space, in a strip mall, during lunch. We opened up the storage unit, and they were in shock – apparently the estimator didn’t really estimate correctly that state of the storage unit: bikes, a sectional, glass table, beds, mattresses and a bunch of loose odds and ends. Loose boxes. Overloaded boxes. Etc. When our estimator came, I said, dude- do what you have to do- but I’m not touching this thing. If you need to repack stuff, do it.
Wagner and his crew did, and they had to track down boxes, wrapping, tape, etc. But the got the job done.
Prior to this, I bought them lunch at In n Out. People that are moving- buyer your movers lunch. Its the right thing to do. $30 for 4 double double meals goes a long way. Believe me.
As they were packing, we did a final happy hour with folks from my old job. As I’ve already mentioned, the folks there that I work with directly are mostly cool, but the company just sucks. Just a poorly run place. Read more about that here. Overall, the office that I worked in had a bunch of decent people, and I’m happy we made final goodbyes.
That was Monday. Tuesday morning, we hit the road, as I was starting my new gig the following Monday up in Seattle, April 10.
So we drove west in two cars, making for Westlake Village, CA, then San Fran- to experience the wonders of the Turkish Baths- as well as a side trip to a speakeasy with my friend Bo, who was randomly flying thru town, as he is a pilot. We continued north thru Medford, and met our property manager at our new place in Lynnwood on Saturday night, around 7. This guy was cool enough to meet us on the weekend, and a Saturday night no less- so that was awesome of him.
Logistics aside, the several day drive was kind of what I expected, but, more thoughtfully, not really what I expected.
Quite honestly, I was looking for some time alone, just to think. The last year had been a whirlwind- full of indecision, inaction, waiting- then, all of a sudden, scrambling, uncertainty, more wait and see, and finally, decision.
Not being in control, especially when there are things of massive consequence on the line, is not a nice place to be.
So, as we ventured west, then north, I found myself in some deep thought. Thinking about, how I got to this point in my life, at 34. How did I find myself in Arizona. How did I find myself first single, then with a son, now, basically with a family. First with a job, then with a semi-career, now- so far so good- with what appears to be a great job, in a new city, with still a bunch of things going on in the periphery, in the background, that will pay massive dividends down the road.
Then, as is easy to do when you are driving down the open road- go ahead and do yourself a favor and take in the scenery. Stare out the window. Look at the fields upon fields of crops in Central California.
Look at the Pacific Ocean and mountains meeting the water on the Pacific Coast.
Call old friends and catch up. In the middle of the day. For no reason at all.
What amounted to a random cold call that I placed to my friend Bo, just to say hi on a Wednesday resulted in us figuring out we were staying in the same neighborhood in San Fran later that night. We met up and burned his per diem.
Then, we were greeted in Seattle by cold weather (coming from AZ) but clear skies.
Blew up our air mattresses for two nights while we waited for the movers.
I showed up at work bright and early Monday morning, put a smile on my face, combed my very long beard, and made the rounds. So far, its been great. More than I can ask for. I can’t tell you enough how delightful it is to have the backing, and the respect, so far, of a very strong, competent, direct, and smart leader. Boss is a word that does not do justice. Leader.
Its made all the difference.
Roughly three weeks in, and there is much more to share.
Looking to doing some exploring this weekend, and to diving into our Manchamp Podcast soon.
Thats next on the list- so far, the Episode roster is getting stronger and stronger- be sure to look out for initial episodes on iTunes & Stitcher.
Thats all for now.
2nd Blog post from Seattle.