Settling into Seattle

We’ve only been gone a little over a year but it seems like much longer as we settle back into our life in Seattle.  Leaving Shanghai with only a few suitcases, we are hoping that the Seattle port slowdown will end soon so our sea container will arrive in time to move into our new apartment.  I sympathize with whatever they are trying to protest but please RESOLVE YOUR ISSUES and get back to work quickly. I miss my pillow collection and need my pots and pans.  First world problems, right?

The air shipment arrived-now for the sea container!
The air shipment arrived-now for the sea container!

Having lived in Lower Queen Anne in downtown last time we passed through Seattle, we naturally gravitated back to our old neighborhood that has a quaint little movie theater, a Mud Bay store now for all our dogs needs, which are plenty, and a plethora of bars and restaurants for when it stops raining and we finally venture outside.

Our temporary housing is actually quite nice and next to the Seattle Center and Key Arena.  We looked at an apartment here to move into but we didn’t pull the trigger fast enough and lost out when someone else jumped on it before we did–lesson learned.  After seeing lots of places that didn’t get me excited, I finally found a condo for rent on Craigslist and we made haste to see it before anyone else could.  Walking in, I took one look at the water view and winked at Thom.  This was it!  HOT DAMN!  Big enough to accommodate our son too should he choose to move back in while he goes on with his education and with the needed outdoor deck (we’re on top floor) overlooking not only Elliott Bay but the Space Needle too, it was a no brainer to just write out the check and lock it in.  While it is a private condo building lacking the amenities of an apartment building with no gym, rooftop deck, etc., it’s a block from our temporary housing, close to my work commuter bus and I know it will feel like home when we get to move in soon.  It looked like a single guy had it before us because all he had in the living room was a big screen TV and a leather couch.  Can’t wait to decorate!

The "Before" picture of our new living room
The “Before” picture of our new living room-single guy who had it didn’t believe in any decorating. Can’t wait to hang our art onto those walls!

Now, of course, silly us moved all our furniture to our new house in Boise but that has worked out well as we have rented the place most of the time but now we will get to enjoy being there for the holidays with our family.  Score! Thom and I have scoured Seattle for unique furniture (love you Ikea but am ready to move on) and found some great pieces.  Today we got a great deal at a resale shop on a mid-century cherry dresser with leather tab draw pulls-sounds weird but it’s cool.  We bought some furniture in China but not nearly enough so we ended up buying quite a few items at Kasala Outlet.  Nice quality and fair prices in south Seattle by the stadiums.

I've never owned yellow furniture..until now!
I’ve never owned yellow furniture..until now!

We were thrilled with Kasala’s customer service and would highly recommend them.  We went wild with color and may be the coolest of them all with our bright yellow chair and ottoman.  Combo that up with our red chaise from China, the Tin Tin prints and all those bright pillows I collected and it will be a riot of color in our new pad.

Thom actually negotiated down the price (I taught him well), on  a cool old Chinese wood chair at a consignment place for less than $100-a steal.  Yes, we could have gotten it for far less actually in China but not knowing how big our apartment would be, I was hesitant to buy a lot there.  Now, I’m kicking myself.  After we order a memory foam mattress online, I think we will finally have what we need and will get it all in next week after the holiday.  I’m seriously looking forward to recreating the look and feel of our beautiful Shanghai apartment but instead of watching the coal boats drift by on the Huangpu River, we’ll be watching and waiting for our sea container to follow us to Seattle.  Luckily, as much as we move around, home is wherever we lay down our heads at night.

View from our patio deck
View from our patio deck
View from the living room looking out onto Elliott Bay
View from the living room looking out onto Elliott Bay
Wherever Thor is happy is home..hope he likes his big brother Izaak!
Wherever Thor is happy is home..hope he likes his big brother Izaak!

2 thoughts on “Settling into Seattle

  1. Jody

    HI there! I came across your blog as I tried a random Google search of “should I move my furniture to Shanghai”. We are moving to Shanghai August 1st for a two year stint. Our package includes one sea container and one air container. We’re debating whether we should ship our stuff or store it here, since most apartments seem to come furnished there. Though I think we’d be more comfortable with our own things – especially sleeping in our own beds. Would appreciate any insight you might have!

    1. I’m jealous! You will love it there. We took a few things but no furniture and stored it as my package sounds like yours. Most places you will want come furnished but the mattresses are like rocks. I would suggest either asking your new landlord as part of the negotiations to buy a new mattress for you ($1000 for nice Memory foam) OR bring over your own mattress/bed frame. The bed sizes over there are not standard to what is in the US so you will need to buy bed linens there if you buy a mattress in China. If you need more info-you can either check out my blog I kept or we have also just published our book about our adventures that include my husband’s great photos. You can get print copy or ebook here: or it’s on Amazon too. Best wishes and enjoy!


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