Saturday, June 29, 2013

Riding a Gondola

So today was my father's last day in Seattle, and seeing as most of the move in type things were done, he wanted to go explore some of the area around Seattle. He suggested hiking, but I pointed out that the only shoes I had that were moderately appropriate were my Converse Chuck Taylors. So instead, we set our sights on the Crystal Mountain Resort gondola ride, which would zoom us up to the top of the mountain so we could spy upon Mt. Rainier up close.

To get there from Seattle, it's about a 2 hour drive southeast. I was expecting picturesque trees and mountains, which we got eventually. But we passed through a section which reminded me of backwoods South Carolina - trailer parks, fireworks shanties, and we even went by a revival being held at a Christian church. If you had told me we had just crossed the NC-SC border I wouldn't have looked at you twice. One of the fireworks shanties (not even as classy as South Carolina's fireworks warehouses - at least those look permanent and aren't made of plywood) was named "Lost Appendages". Because I totally want to go buy fireworks at a place with that name.

Anyways, back to the point of the trip. We made it to Crystal Mountain and rode the gondola up. Pretty sweet, especially because this marked the highest elevation I've ever been in my life. The view at the top was pretty spectacular, although unfortunately low clouds covered a lot of Mt. Rainier. But it was fine - I don't think this will be the first time weather messes something up for me out here.

So we looked around, ate a brownie at the mountaintop lodge, and decided to walk down via one of the paths/logging trails. Please note that I am still in my Chucks. Please also note that, even though it is the end of June, there is still quite a bit of disgusting old snow on parts of this trail. So, yes, I hiked down a steep snow-covered incline in a t-shirt, shorts, and Chucks. The Northwest is not prepared for my level of badassery.

(I had a picture of the slope, but it just doesn't do it justice. Use your imaginations, and trust that it was remarkable.)

But, despite being completely unprepared for the surroundings, we made it safely down the trail and declared the day a good one. I'm sure this won't be the only hiking/nature-ing I do out here, but I think it was a great intro - no more Appalachian foothills for me!

Friday, June 28, 2013


Went exploring quite a bit over the past few days with my dad, who's still in town. I managed to take a few pictures as well, to help with the storytelling.

I can confirm that Queen Anne Hill does actually live up to its name, and is quite a steep incline. The purpose of the trip was to locate the area Trader Joe's, but after climbing up a staircase built into the hill, we came upon this view.
That is the view from Kerry Park, and it is really stunning in person. Definitely worth the hike up the hill, and it was nice to see something like that when we weren't expecting it.

Then we went on a trip to Sweden's favorite export, Ikea. I had never actually been in one, and I was thrilled to go shopping after I had gone to the online site and drooled over the furniture. So, without further ado, I present to you my couch, Ektorp the Grey!
Yes, I've named my couch. Ektorp is great. I don't think words will explain how monumental this moment in my life is. My first couch - not a crappy Wal-Mart futon, but an actual couch of wonderment!

We also stopped by Pike Place Market, just to walk around and take in the sights. I wonder if going there will ever get old, as this was the third time I've been and it definitely is entertaining to see what's there. Picked up some cherries, which are absolutely delicious.

Then we wandered around and ended up at the Seattle Center (two pounds of cherries stuck in my ginormous purse). And then we saw this:
Yeah. That's pretty sweet. That rainbow was real, not a fancy photoshop effect, by the way. The fountain was pseudo-set up to music and reminded both me and Dad of the fountain at Centennial Park in Atlanta. Tons of screaming kids running around, but it was oddly relaxing to listen to the music and get spritzed by the water in the breeze.

So it's been a bunch of touristy wandering for my first few days here. But I've seen some really cool things, and I can only hope that continues!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The First Day

Well, I've been in Seattle for a bit over 24 hours now. Haven't done much that's exciting - I mean, I got my apartment keys, but that's about it. Really I've pretty much been apartment shopping, which is about the same here as it would be anywhere else in the United States - running around to multiple stores and then realizing you forgot a bunch of things once you get back to the apartment. But I'm going to share some things because I feel like I ought to.

Random observations:
  • People here dress like it's 50 degrees even when it's pushing past 70. I mean, long sleeves and a jacket when you could easily be wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. And it didn't seem like it was just that one random crazy lady whose inner temperature is all messed up - quite a few people were dressed like that today.
  • I'm not entirely sure that my definition of a mall is the same as Seattle's definition of a mall. There was a strip mall that then had an inside like a mall, but it was anchored by Safeway and Target - is it really a mall? Then there was the weird multi-story place that had like four big box stores all stacked on top of one another. And it wasn't really in the city, but north of the city - but then again, I don't know what's classified as suburbs around here. I don't know. Definitely not the wide expanses of strip malls and miles of big box stores that I'm used to.
  • Seattle has a no plastic bag policy. And they charge 5 cents for you to get a paper bag in a store. I think that's pretty cool, but it means I definitely have to remember my reusable bags from now on.
  • It's so green here. All around there are trees that are so lush and vibrant - it really is a pretty place.
  • I have to brush up on my PAC-12 knowledge. A guy at Target saw my Hokies shirt and started talking about football to me - which was fine, but I realized I don't actually know that much about the Oregon Ducks, and I completely blanked on what he meant when he referenced losing the Civil War. (That's the Oregon-Oregon State game, for those who need to Wikipedia it). Although, now that I think about it, it's kind of awesome that a guy started talking to me about sports, regardless of what conference it was about.
  • Comcast needs to make their cable internet directions clearer. Like, wait the whole 10 minutes for the modem to boot regardless of whether the light stays constant or not. And, yes, I realize that sentence didn't make a whole bunch of sense if you haven't installed something like that recently. But I needed to vent, so deal with it. 
And... that's kind of it, I think. Tomorrow is TV shopping which will be awful because TVs are far more confusing than they should be. Hopefully I'll hear something about when my stuff is going to get here - right now my apartment consists of luggage, an air mattress, a deck chair, a cable box, and Costco food. Not really the best setup.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The First Post

Well, hello everyone!

I find it kind of interesting that for a blog titled "Ashley in Seattle" the first post will be written some 2800 miles away from the city. But, I wanted to have this set up so that I can blog to my heart's content once I'm actually in the city next week!

Some background about me, I guess, although I'm sure more background will come out over the future posts - I'm an East Coast girl, raised in the suburbs of North Carolina. I recently graduated from Virginia Tech, and it was that wonderful computer engineering education that allowed me to get a job across the country. That... that's kind of it for a relevant primer.

I'm both excited and terrified to be moving so far away from home. I hope this blog will be a chronicle of my new city experiences, and one that will hopefully help others who may be making such a transition. Or it will degrade into me rambling about random occurrences in my life that no one cares about. Whatever. Either way, it is now successfully on the internet!