I have finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest. I made the drive across the country in three days rather than the four days I thought it would. I got much farther the first night than intended, mostly because there weren't any hotel rooms to be had in Kearney so I went on to North Platte. (Come to find out it was prime viewing time for Sandhill Cranes migrating north.) I also got to have lunch with my Grandmother on the first day which was a nice treat.
The second day, I ran into some snow just outside of Salt Lake City that made me nervous, but I was able to get through it without too much trouble. For a while visibility was maybe 50 yards and the road was nice and steep and twisty. At least it wasn't dark too. I spent the evening in a brand new hotel in Farr West, UT and had dinner at a delicious Mexican restaurant called Bella's Fresh Mexican Grill. My black bean quesadilla was delicious. For the first time in years, I had a quesadilla that wasn't smothered in cheese. It was mostly beans and veggies with just a bit of cheese and topped with salsa and guacamole. I debated stopping back by for breakfast the next morning, but opted for being lazy and had waffles at the breakfast bar in the hotel. (Very tasty waffles, I might add.)
On day three, I made it the rest of the way to Richland. The original plan was to stop somewhere in Idaho, but the weather reports predicted heavy snow in the mountains and I wanted to avoid that again. Turns out that it was a good idea that I pushed on through. The next day the Interstate was closed in places through Oregon and Idaho, with chain requirements in effect in other spots. (I don't have chains for my little car, so I'd have been grounded until the roads cleared.) I did stop in Pendleton, OR to check out the Pendleton Woolen Mill company store. I picked up a cone of yarn and a big bag of "worms" to weave a rug. I got to Richland around dinnertime, so it wasn't even a really long day or a hard drive.
So I arrived in Richland on April 1st and my stuff arrived four days later. A crew of four guys took just three hours to haul half a truckload of boxes and furniture up a flight of stairs to my apartment. It's two weeks later and I still haven't got everything unpacked. I did prioritize my unpacking, leaving the computer room (mostly books and software) for last. I've got plenty of fine-tuning to do yet and plenty of boxes and packing paper to haul to the recycling station, but it's mostly put together.
I've now had a full week at my new job. I spent most of that time completing online training courses, learning about half a dozen new passwords (two of which I promptly forgot and had to have reset) and trying to remember a bucketload of new policies. Nearly all of my co-workers stopped by my office to apologize for being really busy, which was very sweet and also rather amusing. It actually worked out well that everybody was busy as I had the opportunity to get through the training without having to simultaneously get up to speed on half a dozen different projects. I had a chance to start the spin-up more slowly, which I think will help keep me from being quite so overwhelmed. This way I won't be merging into 100 mph traffic at 20 mph.
Next up: establishing a routine for myself. My work schedule is currently set for 8am to 4:30pm, but is flexible. I'm still waking up between 4:30 and 5am each morning, even without the alarm clock. I am not, however, getting my butt over to the fitness room to do some serious time on the elliptical or at least start in on the workout DVDs I've got. I've learned that I feel and function a whole lot better when I get 4-5 hard workouts in a week. Couple that with eating good food for the next six weeks and I should be feeling stunningly healthy by summertime and ready to do some biking and hiking on the weekends.
In the evenings, I have time to cook a quick meal, then to either read, unpack, spin or knit before bed. I've decided to keep my usual 9pm-ish bedtime with lights out no later than 10pm. This means that I miss two of the three prime-time TV hours, but since I mostly watch DVDs or stream TV shows on the internet that shouldn't mess up much of anything. I've gotten used to not watching TV over the past few weeks.
All in all, I've got a pretty sweet life going right now. And to top it all off, the irises I brought with me have started blooming.