The last time I wrote about the empty nest renovation was clear back in January. It has been quite the roller coaster ride with so many details, so many decisions, so many ups and downs.
A quick review:
Craig and I decided to sell our home, downsize and leave our beach community of Laguna Niguel after 27 years. We left our dear friends, daily routine, and a house full of memories. Not an easy decision.
We purchased a much smaller, 1937 Spanish Colonial fixer-upper home on a quaint, tree-lined street in Pasadena, CA in order to live closer to our family and my Dad who is fighting cancer.
With so many adjustments and challenges, these past seven months have been really difficult and exhausting, however the quality time I have been able to spend with my Dad has been priceless. The move was truly worth every single minute of heartache or discomfort.
We hired an amazing architect, a well recommended contractor and were finally given approval by the city to begin. Truthfully, we have delayed the start a couple of months because of Dad’s illness. He is an inspiration and has suffered more than any person should ever have to. Dad is still outrunning it and plans to continue on this path!
We have chosen fixtures, tile, marble, granite, appliances and floor coverings. The decision making is overwhelming, but exciting. So… now we needed to find a place to live while the house was under construction. The renovation will include every room and every crevice and to live there was just not feasible.
Craig and I spent a great deal of time looking for a place to rent in Pasadena. We did not have much luck due to the fact that we only wanted to rent for six months and we have a dog, who happens to be 57 pounds, which is considerably over the weight limit (45 lbs) of the condo complexes we viewed. Yes, we even thought of cheating, but they check the vet records!
Additionally, it is very expensive to rent a nice home in this area and still most landlords are not open to renting to dogs; even our energetic two year old, Rocco. Trying to keep these costs down, we searched a little further.
A new adventure in Seattle ~
We have rented a luxury apartment in downtown Seattle that welcomed Rocco and our 6 month leasing requirement. And… it is also the same building where our daughter Alex lives. The rent is at least half of what it would cost in Pasadena. We absolutely adore Seattle and have been visiting there for years. Craig and I can both work from home, so this was not an obstacle. Our son Nick recently moved to San Francisco and no longer lives nearby, we felt free to try this adventure!
I know what you are thinking – What did Alex think? Actually, it was her idea. She has lived away from us in Seattle for nine years and was thrilled to have us finally close by and loves the convenience of us living in her building!
The new digs:
Located in a downtown Seattle area called Belltown, our new building is named Via6 and it is just the coolest place! A multi-use, eco-friendly building, only five blocks from the water and Pike Place Market. Considered a “vertical community”, it is anchored with Tanakasan, a Tom Douglas restaurant, a fabulous market called Home Remedy and a coffee house (of course it’s Seattle). We have an incredible view of the Puget Sound and will fulfill a life long dream of living an urban lifestyle. Here is a quick video of the apartment. If you are reading this via email, click===> here to watch it.
The apartment is small, really small. Living like minimalists, we will take just what we need for the six months. We had a blast visiting IKEA and choosing and purchasing our furniture requirements.
Downtown Seattle has a plethora of dog parks for us to play with Rocco. I can walk to Whole Foods, to Pilates class, restaurants and can even take the Light Rail to Sea Tac Airport. I can fly into the Burbank Airport which is a ten minute drive to our Pasadena home, check on the house project and spend time with the family.
Adventure at midlife! No kidding, who knew we would ever be attempting a move like this?
This is only the beginning of this adventurous move and I know that we can handle the challenges that will definitlely come our way. We can spend quality time with our daughter and live a quasi-nomadic, fairly unusual (for us) living situation.
Next Sunday morning we start our road trip up the coast. The three of us (including Rocco) will stop three different nights on our way to Seattle. We have reservations at several dog-friendly hotels and this will be our first time traveling with a dog. This should be interesting, please wish us luck, I think we may need a little extra help.
Let us know if you decide to come to our newly adopted city. There won’t be any room in our apartment for you as there is barely room for us. However, there are great hotels on every block and many different options!
I will write soon about our Road Trip Adventure and give you more details of the house renovation.
I hope your summer is going well.
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