Bellingham, Washington. This place is great!! It is the Pacific Northwest at its finest.
As my wife and I are figuring out what we want to do with our day I find myself thinking about the outrageous chain of events that somehow led me to sitting on the patio of the Washington town watching the sailboats racing out of the local yacht club make their start and their beat to weather on a Wednesday night race. A mere 2 and a half weeks ago was my final day at work for Del Monte Foods, Hanford. Content to find another job locally in the Lemoore-Hanford area I had started looking at what was available in the middle of April. At that time an idea had crept into my head.
What if we didn't stay in California for another two years? What if we didn't wait till i finished my degree to start making preparations for a big life-changing move?
I finish my degree in Software Engineering in September '16 a mere 5 months away. Its going to take me that long to get everything ready for a move..... We have to find a job. We have to prepare our current house for sale. We have to purge what we don't care about, then pack what we do. We have just about the right amount of time.... if im not working 12+ hours a day at Del Monte and going to full-time school at night.
Then Stephanie and I had a talk. She readily agreed that Lemoore was not where we want to have spent THE LONGEST stretch of our adult lives. We need a new place even a new chapter to celebrate this next phase.
Fast forward a few weeks and you find Stephanie flying into the gloriously grey Sea-Tac on a Tuesday hell bent on seeing as much of the coastal North-West as we can pack into 5 days. Steve The Infallible is house sitting for us and watching the hounds. So we are free to roam about the country. Our first stop was Arlington which is as picturesque as Chris from the Linux Action Show makes it sound. The only downfall is that we would be close to the ocean but not in an ocean town. My desire to have both farmland and the Puget sound close at hand is insane I know in my head, but we must go further north and see how insane it is.
The problem is..... my desire is not that insane. In the surrounding areas there is rural farmland that is still walking distance to the bay. Now the problem morphs into finding employment. Luckily, there are many good industries nearby and several of them are offering extremely promising positions that I more than qualify.
Stephanie and I were nothing but smiles as we devoured a wonderful meal from the Boundry Bay Brewery, one of 10 breweries in the Bellingham area. After lunch we take our wonderful waitress's suggestion and go for a hike down to the aforementioned coffee shop. This trip was not without hilarity since we took the wrong trail and ended up in a forest that was inhabited by bunnies, deer and homeless people. All the best places are. Our retreat was marked by an attack of mosquitos that sent me into the past, remembering hiking to Twin Lakes above Huntington Lake in Central California. Once we made a course correction and walked half-way to the coffee shop we decided while the forest path was nice and had a great view of the bay we weren't seeing Bellingham. We returned to the car on loan from my sister and circled the entire city. Stopping to check out the Fred Meyer that my sister called the Pacific North West WalMart (Its way nicer). Briefly seeing if the mall was of higher standard than we had in Hanford. And seeing what some of the outlying burroughs of Bellingham proper looked like. They were splendid.
Finally, we had our coffee, it was good. The bay was better. We sat quietly taking in the vista as sailboats moved up the bay racing the rain as much as eachother. Eventually hunger stirred in us and we were inclined to try a little sushi shop in the down town area where we started. The sushi was fresh, but not all that we had hoped for. Tired, fed and still content for Bellingham had lived up to the hype, we set off 23 miles to the south. Mt. Vernon would house us for the night and in the morning we would survey the small hamlets in the area to determine if this area was also good enough to call home.