I was out this evening, picking up some groceries after Simon went to bed, and did some driving around deep in the development we live in. For some reason, it got me to thinking about Seattle, and comparing the two. If that weren't enough, a repeat of House Hunters from last month actually has a couple looking around the east side, including Issaquah!
Certainly a wave of nostalgia came over me. I'll always feel a connection to Seattle, and of course I miss it to an extent. I've said it before, that Seattle is "better." I still think that, but with a lot more qualifiers, and an evolving belief that Orlando is just different. Much of my love for Seattle has to do with the people, certainly, and it's just going to take time to meet people here. The natural splendor of living in the shadow of Mt. Rainier and the Cascades is hard to beat as well.
That said, there sure are a lot of things about Orlando that I like. The west side of Orange County reminds me a great deal of Snoqualmie (only very flat, with palm trees). Most of the home construction is new, and it's not going to end any time soon. And did I mention that construction is inexpensive by comparison? The couple on TV spent $460k for 1,800 square feet and zero upgrades. The house we're building will cost more than a third less for more than a third more space. And if you're the kind of douche who keeps score about who your neighbors are by their ride, they're mostly driving German cars.
We haven't even scratched the surface for things to do here, but what I never thought about is that you can do that stuff all year. When we were out the other night to score some gelato and see fireworks at Epcot, it occurred to us that we can do that literally any day of the year. A direct hit of a hurricane aside, there is no seasonal issue.
Overall though, I think we're starting to fill in the blanks and see how things aren't nearly as different, or less great, than they might be in Seattle. For example, we've already been to two farmers markets. The library system is equally mediocre to King County (although they do offer free delivery here!). There are great little local shops and restaurants that we're gradually finding. And we don't have to worry about bears, just alligators.
I think we made a pretty good choice. Only the social aspect is going to need a lot of work. And you can bet we'll go back to visit Seattle. Hopefully we can talk my brother-in-law's family into coming back down for another cruise!