Cross-Country Relocation, Part One

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 / 7:31 PM

I'm used to moving, but I've never done anything like this. Three thousand miles is a really long way from home. When I left Sacramento the first time, my last weeks were spent with Cortney, Alex and Katie and doing ridiculous things like camping in the Copelands' backyard. The night before moving out of the dorms, Andrea and I stayed up all night and went to Starbucks at 5 a.m. because of their 24-hour schedule for finals week. Before leaving CV, I had weird encounters with...people. The last night I had the Oxford place, after bottles of wine and campus wandering, a handful of soon-to-be Humanities grads came over and downed more wine by the bottles in my furniture-less living room, followed by more drinks at the pub and more drinks elsewhere after that. My last night in Irvine was a near all-night dance through the Orange County I had learned to love.

But that seems simple compared to the present. What's the best way to start an east coast adventure?

Step one: Say goodbye in style and with love.
Before leaving Rancho, I did the typical outings with my sister soulmates and danced in the dark with bubbles and smiles. You might think I sound crazy, but if you could've only been there...The thing I've learned about moving is to have fun with it. No need for depressing goodbyes. I know that I'll keep in touch with Cortney, Rachel and Alex. It's been eight years so far--how could I not? Follow all this with a morning coffee surprise from Daniel (because what's more surprising than hot coffee!) and a final night with Cortney, and there's all the confidence that I need to fly...

Step two: See the rest of the west.

The west coast, that is. I've been as far south as San Diego and as far north as Portland. There are only three states on this coast and I'd be damned if I missed out on Washington.

Seattle is beautiful, for those who've never been. Downtown Seattle is less shiny than downtown Portland, but it's still got that Bay Area feel. The blocks are filled with coffee shops and rug stores (so random), and the tourist areas don't feel too congested. The Seattle lightrail system is convenient and clean, and the stations remind me of BART. The weather isn't too sporadic, nor does it feel boring and dry. It's breezy, but not cold; warm, but not suffocating. Other major highlight: the central library. Holy. Shit. Ten floors of reflective beauty and books. Plus, art! Music! Maps! I could spend hours there.

The other great thing about Seattle is having the right people to send you off. Ingredients: 1 best friend; 2 amazing cousins; 4 family friends. Stir gently with food (plus a light dose of alcohol) and scenery, and bake at 350 for a couple of days. It's weird to go from seeing someone regularly to being separated by hundreds of miles. But as Dave pointed out Saturday night: even 1200 miles from Orange County, we still lol about the same stupid shit. Of course, I wouldn't trade that for anything. Also, "Hobbits never drink alone." If you're not TFC to be reading this right now, I hope you know I still love you even if you've decided you'd rather be bros with my mom. She's cooler than me anyways.

Seeing Mel and Matt was a lot of fun too. Ever since Kim's wedding last summer, I've missed spending time with all of my cousins. The older we get, the more we appreciate these ties. I love that we don't have to talk all of the time to still have fun together, and still be close to. The more I think about it, the more excited I get for August's reunion. Eight cousins is a lot to have, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Dinner with the Wongs was nice as well. It's good to see the people you practically grew up with in their own environment.

Step three: Fall asleep, wake up on the east coast!
There is nothing worse than a five-hour direct flight and being awake to suffer through the crying children and stuffy businessmen.

Upon arriving in DC, all I could think was, "This airport is really shiny." It's a fucking huge airport, for starters. Second, it's deceivingly chilly for the summer. The second I stepped outside, it felt line Sacramento. But then it started pouring, and it stopped feeling like Sacramento.

The strangest thing so far has been adjusting to the three-hour time difference. All of the usual suspects I text/call/IM on a normal basis feel so far away...

Bonus step: Have an amazing mother.
I can't help you with this one. I just hope you're lucky too.

Coming up next in part two: What the future is like.

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  1. "It felt like Sacramento. But then it started pouring, and it stopped feeling like Sacramento."
    This made me laugh SOOO hard! It says a lot about this hometown of ours and the new places we're going to be. When I start one of those good sentence notebooks, I'm putting this in there.
    I love you lots! I know you're busy but I hope you can keep the updates coming, because I love reading them.