We've been at the new place now for about a week, and I have to say that overall life feels like it's of a higher quality. Of course, if it wasn't, I'd be pissed since we're paying more for the place, so I shouldn't be all that shocked.
Diana's intense desire to get unpacked was really key to landing quickly, and despite the downside to that, I have to say that it sure is nice to take to a place so quickly. As you might expect, her immediate needs were to get the kitchen and bedrooms functional, mine were to get the office and living room operational. The office got at least to the point where I could use the computer quickly, but needs additional furniture for some storage needs. The living room I didn't really tackle until the weekend, but it's good now even if the wiring of the gadgets is suboptimal. I also spent a ton of time taking care of debris, of which there is way more than last time since these packers sucked at their jobs. I've also got storage/non-essential stuff more or less stacked in the garage, though I may have to rethink it once the cars are in there.
The first and most welcome plus is the natural light. Especially when it's sunny, the place has almost a cathedral like glory to it. Unfortunately, we're in a rainy streak, so we're not getting as much of that as I'd like, and the shorter days don't help. My office is a very comfortable space for me, and I can see how if I had to work from home, I could. Having Simon's room upstairs means we don't have to turn the TV down to 2. And everything through the stereo sounds fantastic in the stupid high ceiling living room. The open floor plan in general has a great community feel to it, and I can say with certainty that I want something like that once we can afford to buy a place. Oh, and seeing the Cascades, relatively close, every night on the way home is just awesome, especially with snow on the peaks now.
The place isn't without its quirks, of course. The living room is smaller than it felt, and my couch kind of sucks in it because it's too big. An electric stove is also not ideal. And the weirdest thing, there's this odd curb on the driveway barely a car length from the house that makes it a pain in the ass to park two cars there. Hopefully it's easier once they're in the garage.
My commute time on average has been somewhere between 7 and 10 minutes longer, so I leave a little earlier. I would really like to start taking the Connector and not drive at all, but it leaves around 7, and it's hard to get up that early. The second route leaves too late though, considering my desire to leave work earlier, so I'll have to just suck it up. As soon as my laptop comes in at work (for wi-fi use on the bus), I'll probably start by doing it three times a week and see how it goes.
In any case, I really it here so far. It's an interesting area that tries to be a series of subdivisions that try not to be subdivisions, and it generally pulls it off. The poor Cleveland kid in me still tries to fight being "one of those people," but I'm not sure that's worth the energy. I like living in the burbs, and it doesn't mean I have to be pretentious about it, or that anyone else already is.
Can't wait to have some people over. I do miss having parties.