Palm Trees to Pine Trees

Before we start the blog post I have a few items to get out of the way…

  1. I’ve been VERY busy since my last blog post so that is my excuse for not posting anything… A promotion, followed by an accounting integration (multi-billion dollar, 15 thousand + employee company), continuing into a cross country move, moving AGAIN after discovering mold, job hunting, then starting a new job… well lets just say the last year has been interesting.
  2. I have NO idea why old posts have photos that have suddenly turned sideways and/or disappeared. I’ll probably go in and fix at some point… If you know anything about wordpress/blogging/photo stuff and how to prevent things like this from happening, let me know.
  3. There just always has to be a third thing….. so there it is.

OK lets rewind….

Last spring we had just finished (most of) the truck build, and then did a few spring/summer camping trips (check out Gio’s Trips and Brews for some more detail on those). But mostly we just spent our weekends paddleboarding with the local dolphins and manatees. Such a rough life. We were happy, carefree (well except for  the whole working way too much thing) and loving our new Floridian life. We had made friends with the neighbors, met fellow overlanders John and Mandi, (who just celebrated 1 year on the road a few weeks ago – Congrats guys!) and had an actual social life. If you’ve ever moved to another state where you know no one, you realize how significant that is.

So, if Florida was so great, why did we move, you ask? Well it all started with a trip to Bend and Sisters, Oregon for a wedding….and there we saw this:

GT and Greg and Brianne Wedding 231

And this:

GT and Greg and Brianne Wedding 712

Most of my photos from that trip were of the wedding, but just so you know, these are just a slice of the magnificence that is the PNW. We also went hiking, Mike went mountain biking, and we spent some time in a natural hot spring. And did I mention the beer? There’s a LOT of breweries here, and most (ok all) make some pretty dang good beer.

We had one of the best weeks we’ve had in a long time. Good times were spent with friends, and doing some fantastic outdoor activities, but we didn’t even get to do a fraction of what we wanted to do (which was, um, everything). We got off the plane in Florida and looked at each other and said, “I want to go back” basically at the same time. It was kind of creepy actually.

So, we decided to move. Yep, just like that. We realized we missed the mountains, and, well… there’s no mountains in Florida.  I won’t bore you with the details of this, but basically we had the house listed 4 weeks after we got back (after 2 bathrooms remodeled, and chickens sold), and had a buyer lined up 2 weeks later. We spent a long weekend looking for apartments, sold/got rid of most of our stuff, and were moved in to our new place on Halloween. About 9 weeks from decision to fruition.

But we didn’t move to Oregon. We moved to Renton, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. There were several factors involved in that decision. First, work for Mike: He was able to transfer his NY union book to a local in Seattle. He gets a much better wage than in Florida, and better benefits, etc. There is a TON of work here, and it doesn’t look like there will be a slow down for another 5 years or so. He also gets to bullshit and screw around with other like-minded construction-y types. He tells me he missed that part of work. When we were in Florida he mostly worked on jobs alone. Second, work for me: There wasn’t enough work in Bend or Sisters for a sure thing. They’re both great tourist spots, so if you work in the hospitality industry they would be perfect, but that’s not me. And, did you know Seattle is a giant tech hub? Its no Silicon Valley, but there’s a lot of work here. Some big names are: Microsoft, T-Mobile, Expedia, Zillow, Boeing, Amazon, just to name a few. Giant companies need accountants. So, lots of companies = lots of work opportunities (#math). Do I work at any of these? Nope. I work in a growing tech/legal company, mostly dealing with their international expansion (face-palm). Apparently I like to work a lot. The third reason (I told you there’s always a 3rd thing)…Well there is this:


And this:


Lots of this:


Views like this…


… and if that doesn’t do it for you, how about this?


Granted, while we miss our friends (from both FL and NY), being in the same time zone as the rest of our families, the ocean (since its 2 hours instead of 2 miles away, and COLD), etc. there are definite benefits to living on the “best” coast (ya know, besides the breathtaking views, thousands of miles of hiking, and  excess amounts of free camping).

The summers are amazing (so I hear – this will be our first summer) and the winters are mild. I know I practically live in Canada but it rarely snows (at this elevation), and the temperatures drop below freezing overnight and that’s about it. Yes there are cold spells, and yes sometimes they get hit with a freak snow storm, but they’re like the Carolina’s and shut down when that does happen.  There’s excellent skiing within 2 hours and world class mountains within 4. I haven’t skied in a long time but I missed it! The food is another good reason. My pants do not like this reason, but my taste-buds do. There is a stupid amount of good food. In addition to the excess of Asian cuisine (there’s a Pho/Thai/Teriyaki place every 1/4 mile or less) there are also a lot of unique establishments for just about anything you can imagine. There are places that specialize in buttermilk biscuits, doughnut stores that build you something that looks like a hamburger and french fries (all edible and all donuts – Legendary Donuts – they also have one filled with MARZIPAN), delicious barbecue, fantastic burgers (real ones), microbreweries up the wazoo, coffee roasters, the freshest seafood on the freaking planet (unless you catch it yourself) and  SOOOOO much more. Don’t even get me started on the local markets or even the grocery stores. In all seriousness though, we moved primarily for the hiking/mountains/outdoor stuff. We have to do lots of it to make up for all the food, so its pretty much a win-win.

Its a new adventure for us. And we are embracing it the only way we know how…. by buying some land in East Wenatchee, and building a tiny house to put on it. What? Did you think we were done doing crazy things? Nah, that will never happen….

Let the tiny house build COMMENCE!





4 thoughts on “Palm Trees to Pine Trees”

  1. Not to mention the people. The pnw has got to have some of the nicest wildest open minded people in the United States. And a quick hello, I must have followed you when we were planning the panam…I will go back to your archives to jog my memory. Now we are actually back from our trip already, and I love reading about other people’s lives in between overlanding.

  2. Yes you are 110% correct, the people here are unique and noticeably nicer than the East coast… Not sure I can remember you either, did you have a blog on the trip?

  3. What a fantastic read! Thanks Tiffany, for the update. So nice to hear what you have both been doing. What a beautiful place. Best wishes with all your plans.

  4. What!

    You guys ARE crazy. We might need to rent your tiny place when we are done with our trip so be sure to drop it off in Hopkins on your way down south ; ) Make sure Mike uses his drone to aerial document the build. Keep on keepin on!

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