Disclaimer: in no way do I intend to negatively compare states I've been fortunate to dwell in...all of them have their positives/negatives and I feel tremendously blessed for all of my time in each of them. This blog is just musing on the positives of my newest home.
1) IT IS SO GREEN! Hawaii was beautiful...gorgeous. After 12 years I NEVER tired of the H-3 drive through the green mountains, looking at the occasional red slash of lava dirt where a mudslide was or the always breath-taking first glimpse of the stunning blue ocean once you topped the mountain and began your decent into the windward side. Lovely! But maybe I spent too much time on the leeward side, where greenery was rarer and dust devils danced on the hot, baking, Ewa farm fields. Everywhere you drive here it's GREEN. Lush. Even in the middle of summer the green prevails.
2) TREES. Everywhere. I keep telling Elton that I feel like I'm back in Louisiana (minus the humidity). Everywhere you go the roads/highways are surrounded by thick trees. It's easy to think you're deep in the backwoods country where Louisiana towns like the ones I grew up in are spaced far apart and the closest Walmart is an hour away. Except then you spot a tiny glimpse of a sign between the trees and you know just on the other side of them is a sprawling mall. It's awesome. Speaking of Walmart the one by my house has a line of huge green trees along its parking lot and when the setting sun hits it, it lights it up in brilliant color. The trees glimmer in sparking gold for a few minutes and it is too lovely to describe. I want to get a picture but every time I see it, I freeze in place and fumbling for a camera seems sacrilegious in a fleeting moment when you're supposed to be simply breathing in God's beauty. When's the last time you froze in place in a Walmart parking lot because of the view? Never mind. That's a loaded question.
3) The VIEW. Every state I've been fortunate to reside in has had lovely views and this is no exception. Lakes. Rivers. Olympia mountains. Rolling green farms with either intriguing barns collapsing after decades of exhausting work or picturesque red ones standing proudly upright. Towns with fancy street lights and little train stations that remind me of that movie where the doggie sits and waits for his owner for years. Mount Rainier when it chooses to peek out of the clouds in its majestic glory...although Olivia calls it MountAIN Rainier and Emma calls it Mount Reindeer, just to laugh when Samuel gets irritated at what he sees as their grievously incorrect pronouncements. Even the people are a view to admire, in Seattle specifically. They are a blend of cultures of course and the mixture between typical tourists, busy locals, and the hipsters is endlessly amusing.
4) The FOOD. There are so many new food places we haven't yet tried and as usual, delving into the local food is a tasty habit of ours! We've found a new favorite local place that our family enjoys...we miss Shiro's in Pearl City dreadfully but the Black Bear Diner will assuage that sadness very well, even if the kids are fully convinced they are actually eating bear meat. And COFFEE. Everywhere. Starbucks of course but oh my word, all the tiny little coffee shops with weird names, nestled in the busiest corners of parking lots but with the necessary drive through window...and so far every church I've been to has a coffee shop in its lobby. Yes, you can worship Jesus and sip your java while you listen to the message. Turns out, the caffeine keeps you awake, focused, and in a really good mood...ha! Coffee is my blood type and I've landed in its coffee utopia!
5) The PRICES. Yes my sister in the Midwest shudders at the amount of rent we pay, but compared to Hawaii prices...well we all know paradise has a price. Everything sold in Hawaii was likely shipped from somewhere else so after years of paying exorbitantly for toilet paper and tooth paste it's great to find what I feel are huge bargains! Milk under $3! Grocery outlet stores! DOLLAR STORES!
6) What "Seattle Freeze"? People warned us that Seattle people 'don't have the Aloha spirit' and can be standoffish. Maybe. I haven't seen it yet. Everyone I've met has been friendly and kind...helpful and nice. Maybe I'll run into it later. Likely when it's football season and in a sea of neon green and blue I show up in black/gold. WHO DAT.
7) Things to DO: new museums, parks, and exhibitions. We haven't even had time to do much of anything other than exploring the Space Needle area but our list of things to do is growing! We love to get out and enjoy all that the local culture has to offer and we can see years of enjoyment ahead of us.
That's it for now. How will we like it when the chilly rain sets in and the days are gloomy? Who knows...I'll have to update this blog when those days arrive and my island kids learn what it means to be 'cold'.