Dude, we ended up driving over 1000 miles in the week we were in the Seattle area. Good thing that rental cars have unlimited miles. :)
We drove & drove, looking over the various listings that the realtor had sent us. We talked to two different mortgage brokers, and learned a ton of stuff. None of the listings we saw really moved us. After talking to one of the mortgage brokers we decided that we needed to look at higher-priced homes. Still, not too much exciting in terms of the real estate. That was okay, though, since we weren't really ready to purchase anything yet, anyway; the trip really was intended as a sort of get-to-know-you of the area. There's a lot of beautiful country up there; lots of trees & water...and always the view of the glorious volcano.
We got to meet the marvelous mopalia in person, and saw her wonderful garden and house. She is at *least* as nifty in person as she is here in LJ land. Sadly, by the time we get moved out there, she will likely have moved to CA. Ah well...at least we'll be on the same coast! That makes visits WAY more likely than they are now, anyway.
We did finally find a place that was exciting to us, real estate-wise, though we're not ready to move on it at this time...so we're just hoping that it remains available for awhile. Despite the crazy housing market there (as in much of the rest of the country), there's actually a chance that will happen; the property we liked is kind of an oddball. So we're keeping our fingers crossed. If it doesn't stick around, I'm sure we'll find something else equally fun.
We really, really like the area. In fact, we hope to move there as soon as possible. In the week we were there, I had only a single shadow of a migraine, quickly put to flight by a frova and a wading session in the glacier-melt of the Nooksack River. Which wading session our fabulous realtor suggested to us, while driving us around after we looked at the one property we liked. Said property was vacant, and closed up, and hot & stuffy - which I expect is what triggered the migraine. The wading spot is about 2 minutes away from it.
I cannot begin to thank yix and her hubby enough; both for the lovely place to stay and the terrific company. It was neat getting to know the two of them a little, and hopefully, once we get moved, we'll have more chances for that!
Oh, and everywhere we went, we ate - and ate well indeed. I can say unequivocably, that food in WA is much, much better than here in PA. Every place we ate was marvelous, and some of them were pretty darned random. A wide range of prices & types of food, all delicious. The area just keeps looking better & better!