In which we’ve left Seattle

Well this is it – we’ve finally left Seattle.

I’ve written many draft posts about my feelings in anticipation of today and as of yet, have trashed them all. Mourning change does not stop the inertia that is pushing us towards Minnesota. Mourning can also cloud too many things: both new opportunities and a deep gratefulness for something so special to mourn. Goodbye Seattle friends, for now. Thank you for so many sweet memories and for loving us so well.

Our last stop was by our neighborhood Dick’s on our way to I-5. One, because they are delicious and so quintessentially Seattle. Two, because there is nothing like having a cheeseburger for breakfast to cheer you up.


We meandered south down the interstate all morning and into late afternoon, stopping just for gas. Our goal over the next week is to see eight National Parks, eight states in eight days.


First stop: Crescent City, CA (so just go ahead and knock three states off that list – I like to get ahead early).

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 10.09.45 PM

507 miles – a good first day.

On our way, our little family experienced an important milestone:


I have driven this Jeep from North Carolina to Quebec to Florida and back again, between New Jersey and Pennsylvania and countless trips between school and Tennessee. She has made a true cross country road trip and survived two back to back trips to Burning Man. I have driven this Jeep since high school and she is one of the few things that I've had since before I met Jeff.

I have driven this Jeep from North Carolina to Quebec to Florida and back again, between New Jersey and Pennsylvania and countless trips between school and Tennessee. She has made a true cross country road trip and survived two back to back trips to Burning Man. I have driven this Jeep since high school and she is one of the few things that I’ve had since before I met Jeff.

It’s easy driving on an Interstate, so we made good time through southern Washington, Portland, the Willamette Valley and down into southern Oregon:

We crossed into California around 6:30pm.

We crossed into California around 6:30pm.

First glimpse of redwood trees

First glimpse of redwood trees




After our cheeseburger breakfast neither of us felt like lunch, but hunger returned around supper, just in time to settle into our hotel. After feasting on Mexican at Perlita’s, a strange sound pierced our sunset walk back to the hotel. It sounds like a cross between a whale dying and a angry sigh. I walked to the park next to the ocean to check it out (and because I wanted to see the Pacific again) and discovered that it was the foghorn at the lighthouse blasting it’s warning to incoming ships. We’ve found a white noise app to help us sleep.

Crescent City, CA bay

Moonrise over Crescent City, CA bay

Noisy lighthouses should be seen and not heard.

Noisy lighthouses should be seen and not heard.


Morning update: Read last night that Crescent City is the tsunami capital of the United States and learned from experience that it’s populace must be crazy from listening to that damn foghorn all. the. time. Time to get out of here! On to Lassen.

In which I made a video!

My attempt at a video compiling hours of iPhone video Jeff and I took on our cross country trip:

You can follow along here:

A: Somers Point, NJ
B: Chapel Hill/Durham, NC
C: Knoxville, TN
D: Nashville, TN
E: Memphis, TN
F: The Arch, St. Louis, MO
G: Kansas City, MO
H: World's Largest Ball of Twine, Cawker City, KS
I: North Platte, NE
J: The Badlands, SD
K: Mount Rushmore, SD
L: Gillette, WY
M: Yellowstone National Park
N: Helena, MT
O: Glacier National Park
P: Seattle, WA!

The Sarvases did in fact make it to Seattle!

But my computer just arrived yesterday evening. Whoops! It seems we accidentally left it at Glacier National Park while staying at the Apgar Lodge. The kind people sent it back to me, but because of the remoteness of Glacier, it took until yesterday for it to arrive.

Since our last post in Wyoming, we’ve traveled far and seen a lot! We spent two days in Yellowstone and another traveling through Helena, MT to Glacier. Since Glacier’s famed Going-to-the-Sun road was closed due to snow (ahh! On June 6th! this is summer!!), we cut our trip there short and headed into Seattle. We picked up our apartment keys last Friday morning and have begun the process of settling in, finding furniture and learning what it means to be Seattlites (Seattleians? Seattlers?).

Our first stop was the downtown post office to pick up all the mail we shipped. On arriving and asking for the place to pick up items shipped to “General Delivery,” the woman asked to whom it was shipped to. When I said “Oh, we’re picking up for ‘The Sarvases'” she gave me a really dirty look. Turns out they didn’t appreciate getting all 25 of our boxes to hold for 10 days. Hey, but we paid good money to ship all that stuff out there! When we started to load our boxes into the car however I began to think that her dirty look was less one of contempt and more one of remorse. Could it be that she felt bad about the USPS kicking and stomping on our treasurers? Most boxes were round they were so smushed. Anything breakable was broken despite many, many layers of bubble wrap and inches worth of padding. Out of one box they lost the baby Jesus from the Nativity set I brought back from Africa, even though the bag containing it was tied and packed securely in the middle of the package. Sad.

Round boxes

We have to be thankful that at least they did all make it though and we didn’t lose any important documents or pictures (seeing that we didn’t ship those, thank goodness!)

A picture of all we owned in the world (minus the Jeep) on Friday morning:

Our Earthly possessions

So we began the weekend hunting for furniture and all the life accoutrements that you need to set up a home.

Our first stop was to go to Tukwila, a suburb south of here that had ample furniture stores at not city prices. A special thanks to Symon and Ashely who not only took us out on our first night here to an awesome Mexican restaurant, but gave us great tips on where to find things! In Tukwila we found couches, chairs, a TV and a mattress – all essentials! Unfortunately the couches and chairs won’t be here for a few weeks, but Jeff is happy that we have a TV and I’m very happy we have a real mattress after sleeping on the blow up one for several weeks.

In Renton next door to Tukwila there is an Ikea. We’d never been to one before and thus weren’t prepared for the incredible onslaught to our senses. I mean, I grew up in a place that was never big enough to play host to this monstrosity. It’s HUGE. I mean, acres upon acres of Swedish engineered particle board furniture and every accessory needed or ever conceived by mankind. Good gracious this place is both heaven and hell at once. Our first trip left us googly eyed and wandering from showcase to marketplace to omg, they even have a cafe and kids playground in there. And you can buy frozen swedish noodles to take home with you. So overwhelming. Most of the time Jeff and I walked around saying “sklerg” under our breaths to each other. This is a reference to the last ABC’s Modern Family where the dad, Phil Dunphy is trying to talk his eldest daughter Haley out of moving in with her longtime boyfriend Dylan. He says, “Its no fun. Allan wrenching a bookcase called a ‘neurk’ because you couldn’t afford the ‘sklerg’. We said it to each other so much we eventually named our wireless network that.

For the record, there is no item called a sklerg or sklurg or any variation thereof at Ikea. Sad. We checked. On a monitor left unattended.

There is however cute vegetable themed stuffed creatures in the children’s section. Jeff liked the broccoli.

We came back the next day after our senses had cleared from the initial onslaught for a desk (mine), a dresser (Jeff’s arch nemesis and a course of many frustrations), a chair and a TV stand. After the chaos of the showroom you’re directed to a warehouse of sorts where you find the aisle and section where the piece of furniture you picked out is located. This assumes you wrote the correct directions down off the tag of the piece in the showroom, but no problem if you didn’t – you can wander through 50 aisles trying to find the Hemnes 8-drawer dresser which is 6 aisles down from the Hemnes 6-drawer dresser if you have some free time. Once you have collected all your flat, heavy boxes you can lug them home (delivery starts at $99) and then begin the fun task of assembling them.

Ikea you see are diabolical geniuses. All their instruction booklets come with no words so they can ship their furniture worldwide without silly hangups like language barriers. On the inside are helpful characters to guide you.

I interpreted this panel to mean you needed a friend to help you with assembly. Jeff said it meant you needed someone on hand to pull the razor out of your wrist when after ten hours of struggle the dresser had sucked the life out of you and you no longer wanted to live.

For the sake of our marriage, my new husband’s life,  and to actually have functioning furniture, I put together the TV stand and desk. Two days later the dresser was complete and we could finally get the clothes we had brought out of bags and into proper storage containers. Pictures of the place soon!

Also, pictures of Yellowstone, Wyoming, Glacier and the rest of our trip coming soon too!