Our Move to the Pacific Northwest: An Update & Kirkland, WA Pictorial!

move to the Pacific Northwest

A Six Month Update!                    

Our Crazy Move to the Pacific Northwest!

Our move to the Pacific Northwest has been challenging, sad, wet, sunny, exciting, exhilarating, and so very different from our old life.

Back in Southern California, we had downsized and renovated our Empty Nest, which was just perfect for two. We enjoyed our small, quaint home, relaxing back yard, proximity to family and friends, and warm weather.

We made the hard decision to move to Kirkland, WA, to be nearer to our newly born grandchildren, James & Josephine.

There has been a lot of adjusting and the climate takes some getting used to also! New dry cleaners, grocery stores, dog sitter, you name it, we had to find it! And, with a much bigger house that needed inside paint and new furniture, we embarked on another home project!

However, this move provided us the time and accessibility to watch these babies grow up, support our daughter and son in law, and begin our life as grandparents. Flying from California every time we wanted to see them would be a hassle and we wanted to be more hands-on. Luckily for us, we could work from home long before COVID offered this newest possibility.

I want to dive into the house design choices, but I will do that in another post. I have been updating my audience through Facebook and Instagram, but many of you do not participate in social media or miss these posts, and I wanted you to know what it was like living here!

We are good!

However, as I type, we are looking toward snow coming our way. Temps have been cold; my walks are very different than they were in California! We live at Lake Washington, so we walk along the lake on our shorter walk days, and the wind can be brisk. We drive about ten minutes away and we walk through an enormous park and then a curve of the lake for a much longer distance. It’s the best of both!

We expect change, right? We are empty nesters; the kids are grown and gone, nothing is the same any longer, and we have all learned to pivot, haven’t we? Last year was not what we expected either, and so far, 2021 is a bit confusing too. But we soldier on, learn new ways of doing things and what I find most rewarding, is that we can learn to do it all very differently and thrive. Are we thriving yet? I think we are on the way.

Here is a little photo essay of our first six months in Kirkland, WA.

move to the Pacific Northwest
My view from the kitchen of Rocco in our new living, dining room. Views of the lake to the right with a large deck.

I wondered how I was going to fill this modern space? I just left a small and charming Spanish house! This new one felt cold and unfriendly and I needed to make it feel like home. Our last one was so much smaller and we were happy with that. But with family and friends coming to visit, we wanted more room, and frankly, when I saw this house, I wanted it. No question. It was the perfect empty nest. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It’s not perfect, but it will be perfect for now and our growing family.

The top floor is like a New York Apartment with a sleek modern kitchen, a guest bath, living room, dining area, master bath, and bedroom. The middle level has guest rooms and baths, two offices, and a family room. The third floor below that has a wine cellar, wine room, pool table room, and an enormous gym. It’s pretty freaking awesome. We paid less for this house than our home sold for in Pasadena which was half the size! Woo Hoo! No California State Taxes either! An excellent financial benefit!

sunset in the Pacific Northwest
The summer and fall sunsets from our deck are spectacular!


farm flowers in the PNW
I found a local farmer for my cut flowers! At great prices!


Juanita Bay Park
Our long walk here at Juanita Bay Park in the summer. We walk here all year-round as well.
The twins’ first visit to our new home. They are six months old now.


I had to include the Halloween photo.  Celebrating holidays with the babies and their parents is a dream. This would have never happened living in another state.



Autumn in the PNW
Our yard is large and has many mature trees that provide amazing Fall color!


More family visits and celebrations!

Four generations of women! My mom and her husband came to meet their great-grandchildren.
move to the Pacific Northwest
Our son Nick and wife Kylie came to visit! They quarantined for two weeks and then drove 12 hours straight from California to see us.
A Thanksgiving family celebration with both of our kids and new grandchildren. A dream!
We had a visit from our dearest friends, Brad and Troy. We rented an electric boat and sailed about Lake Washington. An excellent adventure!

A sneak peek at the living room area

move to the Pacific Northwest
This is before… it took weeks and weeks to paint this house. It was a challenge living in this mess.
After! One view of the dining room, living room. I am super happy with my choices. It has been warmed up and feels like our home now. All of the furniture is from Room and Board.
move to the Pacific Northwest
I am very excited about this conversation space. This is the second floor deck near the front of the house. These Adirondack chairs from Room and Board are rockers and the cedar trees provide shade and privacy. We have a fire table ordered too!
This is the most updated photo of the twins, James and Josephine – 6 months old!

Final Thoughts About Our Move to the Pacific Northwest

Six months ago we embarked on one of the toughest adventures of our lives. Smack in the middle of the COVID pandemic, we sold our house and moved to the Seattle area. We didn’t know where to buy, or how we were going to do all of this. We are fully responsible for Craig’s mom who is 87 and she was coming too! We had lots of pieces to a BIG puzzle.

Everything would be new, like new doctors, where to live, etc, plus all of the work that went into it. I think Craig has had a harder time adjusting and misses California. I definitely miss our old life, but I am more of a realist in that I made the decision, there is no turning back and it will be great. Can’t be emotional. At least that is how I did this.

We are enjoying ourselves and the quality time I/we have spent with our daughter and her family is priceless. I don’t know how Craig’s mom would have ever even met the twins if we hadn’t moved. The babies were not traveling in their first year at least! We are so grateful to be feeling more at home here and our wonderful family in California has been incredibly supportive even though they didn’t want to see us move.

For this move to the Pacific Northwest, we turned everything upside down and truthfully I am still tired by all of it. It’s a happy tired, but to not talk about how incredibly hard and uncertain this has all been, is short-sided. As I write this post today, we are experiencing our first-ever snowstorm in our new city. Living in Southern California, we would only travel to destinations in the snow, we have never lived in it!

move to the Pacific Northwest
Our new house in the snow!

Thanks for reading and for listening and for your supportive comments along the way. It is deeply appreciated!

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12 thoughts on “Our Move to the Pacific Northwest: An Update & Kirkland, WA Pictorial!”

  1. California’s loss is the PNW’s gain. SoCal is a little bit less sunny these days. I’m so happy for you and Craig and your beautiful growing family.

  2. May I say welcome to the area. I also live in the Junita area. And my mother and I made the same changes only it was almost 50 years ago. And we came from Southern Calfornia also. We had lived in a condo but needed to make the change for family also. You have a lot of great Doctors and Evergreen Hospital is great. I would suggest you download the App for the US mail because we have a lot of people that will steal packages and mail. You usually get pic of your mail by 9 am. I have also downloaded the App from the ring. I know when wild animals are in the neighborhood. We currently have a cougar wandering the neighbors. And when it snows it is the main streets that get plowed. Other than that it is a pretty calm town. And welcome from an ex Califorian.

  3. Congrats on your move, my wife and I too lived on Lake Washington in the condo building next to Marsh Park called Marsh Place! We recently ( last July ) packed it all up and moved to Arizona so kind of the opposite of what you and your husband just did! Beach House for Happy Hour is great? When they reopen Hectors, guarantees good breakfast and if you have not tried a frisbee from Acropolis, you are missing out! We do miss our spot on the lake but we also love the weather here in AZ. Enjoy all that is Kirkland and we should stay in touch!

    • We do have a lot in common! We considered AZ, but the twin grandchildren in Woodinville, won out! Beach House – Yes we will! Unfortunately Hectors has been leveled for apartments. Will check out Acropolis. We moved in the middle of COVID so things are so different, but we are trying to explore as much as we can. Thanks so much for taking a moment to share your comments!

  4. My husband and I moved from Claremont, California to Salem, Oregon in 2019 to be closer to my daughter, her husband and our little grandson who is turning 4 soon. I am a retired librarian, so I am still really involved in reading and books. I look forward to following your blog!


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