All I can say is WOW. The past three weeks of my life have been absolutely bustling, challenging exciting, and restless. This post is way overdue and for those of you in Seattle, you know why. I have been so busy and I literally have spent only one or two nights at home. My life has been a whirlwind after moving to Seattle. I had interviews immediately and am thankful to announce I received three job offers in my first two weeks here. Taking a risk and moving without a job really paid off! It has been quite overwhelming and I’ve had to make a lot of important decisions. I am thankful for the many wonderful, supportive people in my life who have given me advice and helped me navigate through such a crazy and exciting time in my life.
I know this would have not been possible without my months and months of tweeting and connecting with people in Seattle. All three job offers were my top choices and incredible, well known, places to work at. I know working for any of them would have been amazing. Thankfully my situation allowed me to get the best of both worlds. I signed on for a short-term contract at a local social media agency and although it was very short, I’m glad I could be a part of the company and meet new faces. I was then offered my first, permanent full time job. Given my financial position of moving across the country and over 7 months of interviews to land a permanent job, I couldn’t pass down the opportunity. I will start this job next week at @banyanbranch! Things have moved fast, huh? I am so grateful for these opportunities and happy I stuck with my dream and did not give up. It really is quite the social media success story. I’ve been asked about my journey by many people and it makes me feel good that people are so curious to hear how I did it. @Urbandipity wanted to interview me about it all and you can read the story here: Making the Move: Emily Bratkovich Navigates a New City Through Digital Connections.
In the midst of all the interviews and starting a job, I have enjoyed numerous social events like tweetups, wine tastings, farmers markets (Pike Place Market, and yes I now know that its not PikeS Place, a Seattle “no no”) happy hours, summer parties and more. It was a coincidence that my Minnesota Twins played the Seattle Mariners the week I arrived. My boys won and I enjoyed my first experience at Safeco Field!
I’ve received an incredible, warm reception from people here when I arrived. @ImeldaDulcichPR organized a coffee and pastry welcome event for me. My mom was still in town and it made her feel good to see some of the truly amazing people here I know. Two more highlights have been being given Seattle Sounders soccer tickets for “being new to the city.” I had barely talked to him, but @aviel was so kind to tweet me and offer the tickets.
Another highlight was getting a ticket to the U2 concert. How did that happen? Twitter of course. I was invited by the wonderful @mikewhitmore to attend the Social Media 301 conference at Microsoft and a guy, (@yoyomanmichael), who was in attendance, had an idea for a social media experiment. He had four extra tickets and wanted to bring someone from every generation to the concert to get their perspectives of the show by tweeting throughout the night. I was the millennial and along with a gen x, traditionalist and baby boomer, we enjoyed the best concert of my life. It was life changing and I even got our Twitter hashtag #u2sea4gens trending (everyone else had AT&T and no service!).
It definitely has not been easy throughout all of this. One of the trickiest things has been transportation. If you know me at all, you know my sense of direction is horrible. I literally get lost on my own street. So getting around Seattle has been, well, interesting to say the least. I’ve taken the wrong bus (I will spare telling you how many times; I can’t even keep track), gotten lost walking around the city (while raining) for hours in heels, gone the wrong way on one-ways, taken taxis and given the driver the wrong address, not realized there is a special “early bird” special when parking and then paying over $25 to park for three hours, and finally my car battery dying on me in an overflow parking lot and waiting for AAA for three hours, resulting in me missing two events. I learned to NOT challenge myself to not using my GPS during the heart of rush hour and in a new area of town. What was I thinking? Who knows, but I do know I’ve overcome it all and now I can just look back on it and laugh.
Throughout all the craziness of life in the past three weeks, I have learned a lot about myself. I have proven how strong and determined I am. I don’t think anyone, even my closest friends, thought I would really make the move to Seattle. There have been a lot of highlights, but it hasn’t been all peachy keen. I’ve experienced moments of fear, homesickness, heartbreak and endured many challenging situations with people and life decisions. However, I truly believe things happen for a reason and I know Seattle really was my calling. I feel that I am meant to be here. I look forward to sharing my journey here with you all!
It has taken me far too long to report on the final day of the infamous #seattlebound roadtrip. In case you are wondering, yes, we DID make it! I’ve been enjoying all that Seattle offers for about a week and life has been pretty crazy. The final leg of the drive was definitely exhilarating, but it was also much of a blur. I was anxious, nervous and excited to finally be in my new home.
We left Portland early Wednesday morning because I needed to be at my apartment by noon to meet the roomie before she left for San Fran. I was in awe when we finally approached Seattle and I saw the beautiful skyline. It was Mama B’s first time in the city and as we got closer to downtown she became stressed with the traffic. “This is worse than LA,” she said. Yeah, I know. I’ve already been warned! I’m definitely nervous to drive in the city, but my first goal will be to avoid parking tickets-an issue for me…..
We arrived with no problems (except getting stuck in the wrong garage at my apartment) and I marveled in the view from my place. Thanks to a girl I knew on Twitter that had just moved from Seattle to San Fran, I was lucky enough to take her bedroom in one of the best spots in the city: Lower Queen Anne.
My mom and I spent most of the day unloading all of the millions of bags and boxes (I’m amazed how much we fit into my little car). Thankfully there was an elevator! I met my roomie and the cat. My puppy, Gizmo, at home will be jealous. That evening we went to dinner at Pesos, an amazing Mexican restaurant right down the hill from me. I had eaten there for brunch during my visit in January and enjoyed a mimosa, but this time I discovered that I like margaritas! Pesos margaritas that is. I’ve never been a fan of margaritas or guacamole, but this roadtrip sure showed me that it IS possible! Woo!
I am so thankful that my mom drove with me out to Seattle. It was certainly a roadtrip to remember and the beginning of my new life here in Seattle. I’m already thinking ahead to my next roadtrip: Napa Valley anyone? I love that I’m on the west coast and my dreams are finally coming true! Thank you to everyone who followed my trip! I appreciate your support!
Day three of our #seattlebound adventure started off with a nice continental breakfast and, of course, a stop at Starbucks. I ordered a venti-iced coffee with hazelnut to hold me over for the long road ahead. It tasted better than ever after drinking below par coffee for days! The day was off to a great start, AND it wasn’t raining!
We left Missoula, Montana and drove through Idaho where we saw gorgeous views of Couer D’Alene. Unfortunately, we missed the exit so I didn’t get any photos! It felt good to finally be in Pacific Time Zone (especially after getting stuck in a one-lane road of construction for about 30 minutes).
Most of the scenery during the drive was flat and boooooring except for some interesting landforms. I tried to fill the time different ways and I learned a couple things: 1- Painting your toe nails in a car while going over bumpy roads and mountains is not a good idea. 2- Every gas station should be full-service. (Way to go Rufus, Oregon!) 3-I thought Montana had bighorn sheep? Why didn’t they come say hi to me? The spotted cow/horses loved me!
We stopped at an amazing place called Country Mercantile, which I thought looked like a shack in the middle of nowhere but turned out to be a gem! It was foodie heaven! Filled with fresh fruits, produce, sauces, dips, candy and more, I was in awe! I picked up a gift for someone and my mom did as well.
Thanks to my fellow tweeps who informed me that Walla Walla (an amazing place for Washington wine) was an hour east of the direction to Portland (our destination for the evening to visit my sister Holly), Mama B and I saw a sign for Preston Winery up the road and we made another pit stop. How can you NOT stop for Washington wine during a Seattle roadtrip? That is just wrong. We were the only people there and the woman was very friendly. My favorite was the Pomegranate Blush and the Chardonnay. They had a buy one, get one free sale that we took advantage of so I already have some delicious #wawine to bring home to my new place!
The weather turned nasty again, but we finally made it to my sister Holly and her fiancé Evan’s place in Portland. We went to one of their favorite places to eat called ¿Por Que No? All I can say is: I officially found a guacamole I like! Hallelujah! If you know me well at all, you know that I despise avocado, which is quite a travesty as a foodie. I ordered chorizo and shrimp tacos and a local beer. The meal was absolutely perfect!
Another foodie’s dream is to visit the famous Voo Doo Doughnuts in Portland. I had heard people raving about them and seen it on the Food Network several times. I marveled in the scrumptious, artistic donuts. We got a dozen so I could treat some of my amazing tweeps in Seattle when I arrive! I LOVED that everything was pink, my favorite color. Their line is, “Everything is better in a pink box.” So true!
Evan and Holly gave us a tour of parts of Portland to finish off our evening. I’m so glad my sister will be so close to me so I can visit her! We said our goodbyes, but I know I will be road tripping there this summer. The day was great with fun stops-Starbucks, foodie shopping, wine, tacos and donuts. What else is better? An accomplished day three of #seattlebound! Seattle is next! FINALLY!
We woke up at 6:30 am sharp ready to tackle day two of our #seattlebound adventure. It was raining (of course) and I knew as we departed our barn style motel in the Badlands of North Dakota that there wasn’t decent coffee anywhere near by. About an hour later on the road we saw a sign for “The Coffee Den” and decided to give it a shot. Little did we know that we were entering Dinosaur Land. I’m not kidding.
The town of Glendive, North Dakota has dinosaur figurines EVERYWHERE. I thought the people there had to be just nuts. I tweeted asking if someone could research it for me and within about two minutes I had more than five people answer me with town facts. That is the power of Twitter for ya! Love it. Apparently the town used to do archeological digs there and has a dinosaur museum. Interesting. The coffee was so-so but nothing special. It is always nice to try the local brew, but I wanted Starbucks!
The weather got very nasty and we could barely see at times driving through the heavy rain. We even hydroplaned a couple times! It was a long and tiring day of traveling, but the stunning scenery made up for it. We were near Yellow Stone National Park and passed over the Continental Divide. The snow-covered mountains were breathtaking! It was hard to believe it was 88 degrees in Minnesota.
After lunch at Subway in Bozeman, Montana, more McDonalds coffee and seeing lots of spotted horses that I kept mistaking for cows, we finally made it to our destination of Missoula, Montana. I was so happy to see civilization, which included a Starbucks! We checked in at our really cute hotel called Ruby’s Inn and went downtown to the Iron Horse Brew and Pub. It seemed to be the hot spot for college students. Coincidentally, I was wearing my bright pink Arizona State sweatshirt so I got some stares. I think everyone in that town knew eachother.
Mama B and I sampled some yummy interesting beers. I finally decided on the Kettlehouse Cold Smoke Scotch Ale! So adventurous of me. It was great! We weren’t too hungry and it was late so we shared some appetizers for dinner including seared ahi tuna and edamame. For Montana, I was quite impressed! I am beyond excited for the ahi, sushi and sashimi in Seattle. My mom has no idea what is in store! I think we will be eating a lot of it during her three day visit seeing as how I how I went to sushi four times in six days during my Seattle trip in January.
After dinner I got really good practice with the GPS on my phone. We are REALLY good at getting lost-practically experts. Being as smart as I am I typed in my phone that our destination was “Ruby’s Café” instead of “Ruby’s Inn” which took us completely the wrong direction. Oops. We saw all of Missoula.
Thank you so much to everyone who is supporting me through this trip! I am receiving so many tweets from people I don’t even know saying they are following my #seattlebound tweets. That makes me very happy and grateful to know I have so many amazing people in my life! It has been a fun ride and your tweets are keeping Mama B and I company along the way!
The big day finally arrived! May 9. Nine is my favorite number for many reasons. My birthday is March 9, my soccer number was number nine and Mia Hamm’s number was nine. Good things always seem to happen to me on the 9th. Today was no exception! My journey to Seattle began!
I woke up this morning at 5:30 am to a rumbling of loud thunderstorms. Normally I would be ecstatic as I love storms; however, I was worried it would delay our travels. I immediately thought to myself that it was very fitting to wake up to rain on the morning of my Seattle departure. By 7:30 the rain had tapered a bit, and after stuffing way too many things in my poor car, my mom and I were off! I couldn’t believe I was finally leaving Minnesoooooota.
I made the mistake of not drinking any coffee before we left and then waiting too long to stop. Unfortunately, I had to sit through about two whole hours without coffee. Tragic, right? Sadly there were no Starbucks to be found (I even downloaded a “Find a Starbucks” app on my phone) which wasn’t surprising since we were surrounded by fields and cows. Thankfully, I got my caffeine fix at McDonalds and the trek continued. As expected the drive through North Dakota was uneventful and boring. There isn’t much to see. As a tweeter told me, “the state tree is a telephone poll.”
I had fun as my mom’s co-pilot tweeting the entire time with my #seattlebound hashtag. I didn’t plan to do that but it kept me busy! I don’t know how I got through the drive from Arizona to Minnesota last summer without a phone that had internet. No tweeting? WHAT!!! A lot of you were concerned I was tweeting and driving, but don’t worry! I was very responsible!
My dad underestimated us girls and the itinerary he made put us staying in Bismark for the night; however, my mom and I were speed demons on the road and made it even further-the BADLANDS! Sounds scary. I should research why the lands are so bad? Hmmmm….Anyway, we made it to our hotel (which looks like a barn with horse stalls…) where the town has a population of 30 with three females.
We were ready to unwind so we stopped at the local saloon for some “action.” It was a fun place and we enjoyed a drink while listening to country! I felt so WESTERN! I looked like a total tourist using my pink phone and taking photos…yes, typical me. My mom and I finally found a place to eat after realizing nothing is open in this town. It was cafeteria style and their “special taco night.” No bueno! An amazing thing that happened was that I ran into a girl who went to my high school in Minnesota there! I couldn’t believe it! What a small world.
We are ready to tackle day two tomorrow. Billings, Montana and Couer d’Alene, Idaho are on the agenda. Can’t wait! Follow #seattlebound for updates! It is bed time. Goodnight!
What was your favorite roadtrip?
It is a Monday morning and after waking up early I wanted a good laugh. Who doesn’t? I found some fun Twitter cartoons I thought you might like to get your week started. Enjoy! (click on them to enlarge)
Have you found any funny social media cartoons? Please share with me! Happy Monday!