The more we've looked into it, the more I think we've talked ourselves into driving the trip to Seattle with the cats. The bottom line is that the process to get the cats on planes (with vet certifications, vaccinations, carriers, tags they'll protest, pressure changes, being handled as cargo, etc.) is awful and expensive. Driving them will be somewhat less awful, still expensive, but lower risk. Assuming that they'll ship both of our cars, and still pay hotels for driving (the agreement seems to read that way), we'll go that route in a one-way rental. It won't be cheap, but I don't think we have a lot of options. I really worry about the fur balls.
The apartment seeking bit I actually feel a lot better about. We called Joe to get an idea of what traffic was like around Redmond, and it seems like we'll be in good shape almost anywhere on the east side of Lake Washington, and where we can avoid having to take the 405 in the commute. It really opens up places along I-90 as well.
We want to be practical, but it's also hard not to want a reasonable amount of space. Somehow we need to balance the two of them. The less the apartment costs, the less time we have to wait to bank cash for an actual house.
So far we've found about a dozen places to look a little deeper into, and rank and sort. There are still a few more towns we need to systematically search through. I feel like we've at least got a handle on it though, and I'm crossing my fingers that places we like have units available.
I'm a little less anxious now after breaking everything down into smaller problems, you know, like programmers do. :) Of course, the recruiter and the re-lo person are both out tomorrow, so I'll have to let my questions stew over the weekend. It looks like the most realistic start date for me now is 11/16, a lot further out than I would like.
Stay tuned for stuff we want to sell and give away!