Category Archives: out of the city

To Hiatus and Back Again

The last post on this blog was over two months ago…

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Ames and I have been in hibernation/getting settled mode for a bit.  It’s not that we haven’t been busy.  We’ve done things together and separately.  We just needed time to let some things become familiar and stop trying to make an adventure out of everything.  Adventures are great, but sometimes you just need to find things that make you comfortable. (For me that has involved watching waaaay more television than I have ever consumed in such a short period of time… I’m choosing not to judge myself over this, and I’m calling it my recuperation from the past five years or so of non-stop activity and achievement.)

There have been some fun and exciting things happening though:

Got a bed and a desk.

Here's the bed... don't have a picture of the desk right now.

Job is going great!

A view of my desk at work... Of course that isn't a cookie!

I’ve even started walking to work sometimes.

I see lots of VW bugs here... As well as just red cars in general...

Went to the Skaggit County Tulip Festival. It was absolutely gorgeous! (More about this later)

Proof that we were there

Have been auditioning fairly regularly for theatres… a couple each month it seems. (No pictures of this.)

Am in a book club. I’ve rarely had the books finished before we meet, but it’s very fun!

Planted an herb garden.

They've grown a bit more since this picture.

Got to go home and see my sister graduate from college and play with my awesome nephews!

Zeke and James

Had a lovely first birthday in Seattle, involving cupcakes, a wind chime, and lots of movies with friends!


Love it!

And the weather has finally warmed up on a regular basis… It’s June and we’re finally getting 60-70 degree weather. (I tell you what, it’s not so bad, but the expectation of what June should feel like is the weird thing.) I still do not have a proper jacket for this climate, but that’s on the list.

Got Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook and have done some fun cooking out of it. Say what you will about GP and her “perfect life”, but I like her!  The recipes are more gourmet, but also really simple.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Getting new shoes this week!  REALLY excited about that!

Still haven’t gotten a table or comfy living room furniture, but it’s garage sale season… Note to self: Go garage sale-ing next weekend.

Found the lighthouse at Discovery Park! (more about this later)

There it is!

Done a bit of wandering through some neighborhoods nearby (Saw the Fremont Troll) and exploring Ballard a bit.

That's a real VW Bug... See, they are everywhere here!

A used book store in Fremont. Note the book titles next to the chicken.

Also, I lost my Blackberry on the plane back from Kansas City and I got an iPhone. (Hence all the hipstamatic pics)

Making a life in a new place is kinda hard, but it’s good… Mostly it just takes time.  More to come!  Ames and I are planning some new adventures soon!


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Filed under home cooking, neighborhoods, out of the city, Seattle, Tanya, to do, to see


Amy: This says we need to take the airport exit.
Tanya: Which is right there.
Amy: Okay.
Tanya: But we need 518, right?
Amy: Yeah, which is with the airport exit, according to the directions.
Tanya and Amy (as they pass 518 because of inconsistent signage): WAIT! There’s 518!
Tanya: We did it again.
Amy: Just get off at the next exit.
Tanya: This says we’re going to the airport.
Amy: Surely there’s an exit.
Tanya: SHIT! We’re going to the airport.
Amy: Ummm.
Tanya: SHIT! SHIT! What kind of an airport doesn’t let you leave?
Amy: Wait… that was an exit! That was the street we needed!
Tanya: There were no signs until it was too late! SHIT!
Amy: Car rental returns to the right. Parking to the left.
Tanya: Looks like we’re parking. I’ll just have to beg and plead with them not to charge us.
Cashier: Swipe-
Tanya: Right. So.
Cashier: Swipe your ticket.
Tanya: The thing is, we didn’t actually park.
Cashier: Swipe your ticket please.
Tanya: Okay, but…
Cashier: Don’t worry about it; you can go.
Tanya: Thank you!

Makes you wonder how many people every day end up in the airport parking garage when just trying to get onto WA-518. Jeez.

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Filed under Ames, in the city, misadventures, out of the city, Seattle, Tanya

friends and ferryboats

I love the ferries. I love calling them ferryboats. There’s something about Seattle that makes me want to say ferryboat. I hear other people say ferryboat in Seattle or about Seattle. Though I took the ferry on occasion in Sydney, I never once even thought to call it a ferryboat. What is it, Seattle? Why do you make me happily say ferryboat?

It amazes me how quickly 30 minutes or an hour passes when you’re on a ferry. I suppose the novelty will wear thin eventually and the time will drag, but until that happens to me, I will continue to love taking the ferry. Perhaps my love for the water is because I’m from the landlocked state of Kansas.

As we already mentioned, my sister from Portland joined us the first couple days we were in Seattle. On the day that she was supposed to leave, I was feeling like I needed to steal her away and have some good quality time, keep her from going too soon. My solution was Bainbridge Island – not because I wanted to go visit a small wealthy community that caters to tourists, but because I wanted us to be stuck on a ferry together and have time to just sit and talk.

Tanya opted out of the impromptu Bainbridge trip, so Melissa and I headed off on our own. We didn’t actually do much on Bainbridge Island, had some lunch, looked at some overpriced clothes, walked around, but having a few last hours with her before we said our goodbyes again (we’re getting too used to saying goodbye) was wonderful. Being able to sit on the ferry and talk with nowhere to go or no big distractions really helped set up the mood for the afternoon. Low key, quality sister time. It was wonderful. We saw a few starfish to boot.


The next day, I took the ferry to Southworth to visit a friend. It’s a bit of a hike getting to Fauntleroy (by hike, I do mean bus trip), but then the Fauntleroy, Vashon, Southworth ferry is so much different from the ones to Bainbridge and Bremerton out of downtown Seattle. It wasn’t peak hours and the ferries were running late that day because of the fog and some construction at Vashon, so I was the only person waiting at the ferry terminal for quite awhile. I had a nice conversation with one of the workers while I waited. He liked my shoes. Because the ferries were running late, I caught the early ferry (that should have left awhile before I even got there) instead of waiting for the ferry I was supposed to catch, my reasoning being I’d rather be early than late to meet the friend.

Looking at Blake Island from the ferry.

One of the things I love about this ferry is that the walk-ons get on the ferry before the cars via the ramp. There is no upper deck for pedestrians. Also, the walk-ons exit the ferry first, ahead of the cars. So you get to see the ferry workers (what do you call these people?) doing their job as you stand there and watch as the ferry docks (is that what you call it? See, I’m from Kansas. I have so much to learn.)

While I was one of only a handful of people on the ferry over to Southworth, on the way back, there were quite a few more. One thing I’ve noticed and think is fantastic is how people who drive on to the ferry bring collapsible lawn chairs and sit outside of their car while they wait to board the ferry.

I can see myself someday living across the water and commuting daily via the ferry. Sure, it’s a long commute, but it’s time that can be spent reading, writing, designing, sleeping, daydreaming, doing nothing, being productive, or any other number of things. How much time do I waste every single day thinking about doing all the things I want to do? A lot of time. I would view the ferry as time to get that stuff done. When you look at it that way, it doesn’t feel so much like a commute, just a fun ferryboat ride across the water with time set aside every day to get the to do list done.

There really is no point to this post except to talk about my love for sisters, friends and ferryboats.

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When I left Sydney to come back to America, I had my savings, my motivation and my goals all set out in a neat little row in front of me. My savings were enough to get me to a new place, my motivation was two years worth of good living and good education prepping me for a good new job, and my goal was to make a pit stop in KC to see everyone then off to my new life in some fantastic city in America.

Unfortunately, real life happened instead. Recession. Job woes. Family drama. Top all of that off with a medical emergency that wiped out my savings in one go and slapped me with enough bills to keep me in KC much, much longer than I had intended. I didn’t get the job of my dreams. I had to get any job at all to pay the hundreds of dollars a month in medical bills. I took the first job I was offered, which wasn’t even in my particular field.

I’m certainly not complaining. Turns out I love my job. I work with intelligent and interesting people, and I do unique work that is perfect for a creative type like myself who needed a job immediately in a no good layoff market.

For the first year that I was back, I was really upset about circumstances. How had I come off of this amazing experience only to find myself back in similar situations to the ones that made me choose to move halfway around the world to begin with? But I realized one day that being back in KC wasn’t the end of a grand adventure. It was only a small detour on my way to more great things.


When I visited Seattle for the first time, I have to be honest and say that I was wondering if I would even like it. I jumped on the opportunity to move to Seattle because I needed something different. Truthfully, I’m a rain-hater. How can a person who hates rain be happy in a city that has a ten month long rainy season? As I got off the plane and wandered through the airport to the light rail station, as I sat there watching the suburbs of Seattle pass me by on the way into the city, the entire time I was thinking, “What am I doing? Is this really what I want?”

But I know all about those doubtful questions and that weird uncomfortable way change makes you feel. I know that it will go away if you give yourself a chance to get used to the idea of newness. Within an hour, I was sure of it: Seattle is the place. It wasn’t a random acceptance either; Seattle felt so much like home (like Sydney) that I was in my own little paradise on that trip.

As for the rain thing. It’s the downpour that lasts three weeks that I hate. I can handle the overcast misty Seattle type weather.


I started to make a comparison between the two cities.

Sydney Harbour – Puget Sound
Sydney ferries – Seattle ferries
Newtown – U District
Surry Hills – Queen Anne
Sydney coffee – Seattle coffee (both are known for their coffee)
good ethnic food – good ethnic food
Kings Cross – Denny Way (this is just an aesthetic feeling – read nothing into anything sociological)

Both cities are walkable, have a plethora of unique restaurants and shops, are heavily influenced (in a good way) by their geography, are outdoor, active cities, are pedestrian friendly (you can get by without a car if you live close enough to the city center), the population and density are similar. They’re both dubbed the Emerald City (Weird! And double weird with knobs since I’m from Kansas, although make a Wizard of Oz reference and I’ll punch you in the face.)

I am more than excited to finally make the move to Seattle and continue to find the similarities between the two cities. I’m sure there will be many differences too. I know that Seattle will challenge my love for Sydney as the greatest place to live, and this is something I look forward to. I love Sydney, and I can’t wait to give Seattle the same affection.

And for the record, it actually rains more in Sydney each year than it does in Seattle.

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Filed under Ames, in the city, out of the city, Seattle