The newbie's assessment: SEA v. CHI summers!

It’s amazing how when you move thousands of miles away from your comfort zone your life inevitably takes a 360 degree spin. This summer has been breezier and more brisk than I’ve ever experienced, primarily because it was my first Seattle summer and first (of many) away from Chicagoland.

My top 10 list of why Seattle summers significantly trump the Windy City summers (augment the list if you wish!!!):

1. That’s easy ā€“ no humidity, stickiness or blazing heat that makes you feel like your feet will sink right through the molten-like ground.

2. No need to wear tank tops or shorts everyday, if at all.

3. If you live in Seattle you’ll barely, if ever, clamor for an air conditioner (every Chicago-area resident knows that the air conditioner is a summer mainstay if you are to survive).

4. You can haphazardly cross the summer streets without worrying about getting plowed over by erratic cabbies. Shortly after my arrival here, I could not help but be shocked when I realized the immense respect Seattleites have for crosswalks.

5. The constant picturesque views that the amalgamation of the sun, Space Needle, Puget Sound and surrounding lakes provide.

6. No bugs – or barely any. Ever live in Chicago? Pesky mosquitoes are summer bullies that relentless chew you up with no respite. Bugs love the muggy Chicago summers, and they are a constant companion to the blistering heat.

7. Wearing outerwear at night; you definitely won’t require a jacket on a summer evening in Chicago.

8. Coffee chillers are not necessary. Not a big fan of coffee chillers, always like mine piping hot and during summers in Seattle it doesn’t get fiery enough to yearn for a chiller instead of a cappuccino or drip.

9. The seafood is wondrous, though this is not exactly summer specific since this is the Pacific Northwest.

10. The Cabernet Sauvignon tastes so much sweeter when you are not dripping sweat.

56 thoughts on “The newbie's assessment: SEA v. CHI summers!

  1. I’m with you, Karen! Now let’s see how you do through the no sun season šŸ™‚ I have “grow lights” in my home office and all windows and high view across Lake Washington into Seattle. Didn’t do as well in the tall pines of Bridal Trails in Bellevue. Now I know why “territorial view” is so important in listing descriptions.

  2. Hey, Ardell! How’s your daughter doing? …Yes, we shall see how I cope with the no-sun season – should be interesting to experience first hand. I am bracing myself for it! Luckily, I’m not near a window at work so I think I’ll be oblivious to the pitter-patter of the rain on the building during the winter season. I’ll have to look for a territorial view if I ever find a way to buy some property; I’m trying to pocket everyone’s real estate advice in my head until one day when it hopefully becomes applicable to me. šŸ™‚

  3. Hi Karen, number 8 is my fave, it’s one of the reason’s I moved here from Southern Cal…I just can’t enjoy a hot cup of coffee when it’s 80 degrees outside! The relentless sunshine in the Southwest (born in Arizona) is another of my top 10 reasons (I posted on my blog awhile back) that I moved to Seattle…I really like your top 10!

  4. Thanks Deborah! Figured it was appropriate to sum up my experience of a Seattle summer as it winds down. I like the chill in the air over the humidity, but that’s just me. Chicago has a lot that Seattle doesn’t, but I when it comes to the overall comfort level I think Seattle wins. I had a neighbor back home who moved back to Chicago from Arizona and she said, although the heat was dry, it was brutal – but then she had to get used to the CHI winters again!

  5. Karen,

    My daughter’s doing great. Totalled her car on an L.A. Freeway though, a week after she got it. Her first car. Got a new one today. Always something with three daughters.

    Glad you are enjoying Seattle so far. You should pop over to Kirkland for another girls’ night out before the weather changes. Have you spent anytime on The Eastside?

  6. Right on! I’ve been through Chicago several times, and grew up eastward … I can’t stand the hot, humid summers, and love the fact that in Seattle, my hair dries after I get out of the shower.

    #6 is a little off, though; if you head out into the mountains the mosquitoes are the size of small dogs, and draw enough blood to make you woozy. ;-(

  7. Def. haven’t spent enough time in the area mountains, thanks for the tip, Forrest. Are the mosquitoes only around the mountains in July and August? Because I know they aren’t there in Sept., having hiked there in previous years.

    Oh geez, sorry Ardell about your daughter’s accident, poor thing! I feel so bad for her, she’s been through so much! Send her my best. Haven’t spent much time on the Eastside at all, I need to get out there more, especially before master’s classes at SU start up again in October. We should do another girl’s night for sure; I’m totally game. Who else is in? I can prob. do anything on a Fri. or Sat. except the weekend of Sept. 14.

  8. Joe Zekas,

    Chicago summers?
    1. car jackings
    2. gang wars
    3. B.Obama
    4. trash on Loop
    b. gangs on loop,wait,I said that
    5.lots of crime
    6. no thanks

  9. #4: The people are so beaten down by the depression of winter that they will stand, zombie like, at a cross walk at 3am without a car for miles in site waiting for it to tell them to walk – or, worse, they’ll use orange flags, wait until everyone is stopped, then saunter across so as not to spill their coffee. People should be forced to live in NYC (I imagine Chicago is similar) for at least a year just to learn how to live efficiently in crowded spaces.

    While your car is being stolen (we’re #6 in the US) the cops will be writting you a ticket for J-Walking – the downfall of all civilized nations.

    And – when you need a cab… forget-about-it – it’s faster to rent a car then finding a cab.

    I won’t even start with the whole passive-aggressive thing going out here.

    (here for the mountains and the sound and putting up with the “city” [and I use that term VERY lightly] for the jobs šŸ™‚

  10. Yeah, mostly this time of year … July, August, and especially near any kind of standing water. Which we have plenty of around here … sadly it’s the trade-off for living in a temperate rainforest.

  11. Ardell,

    Yes. I’ve been to Seattle, though not enough to say I know it well.

    Of all of the reasons I can think of to favor one city over another, the weather comes in near the bottom of the list.

  12. What’s neat about any kind of geographical location is that people’s preferences for living there are ubiquitous – people live in different places for wide ranges of reasons. For some the weather comes in at the top of the list, others might live somewhere because the deep dish pizza is exceptional – it just depends.

  13. good points…who the heck needs summer to be…well…summer. nothing more enjoyable than sitting outside on a seattle summer day until…7pm when you have to go inside to escape the chill.

    the humidity in chicago may be awful in a tanktop and flipflops all summer, but if you think you’re escaping humidity here – wait til the “humidity” of nov. 1-june 30 when it’s actually so humid that you the water falls like rain…also, there’s a wonderful humidity in the buses that dampens you wonderfully. very relaxing on the bus all winter.

    one thing i can admit to is that our family budget for iced teas has never been lower.

    the other thing i love is the annual seattle message to newbies where they always sell you the following 2 things every year:

    1) oh, this is our worst summer ever. it’s always warm and beautiful.
    2) oh, it never usually rains this much in the winter. it’s just one of those off-years.

  14. Meh. It’s six of one, and half-a-dozen of the other. I actually rather miss the temperature extremes. It makes it feel like there are really seasons, rather than just “rainy” and “not-yet-rainy.”

    And I also liked the bugs. They provided some background noise. Nights out here are way too quiet, unless you’re in a high-traffic area.

  15. Having grown up in Kansas, and now traveling there monthly again, I have to say I’ll take the mellow Seattle summers over the hot, sweaty Kansas heat anyday. I’ve been to Chicago in summer and it’s about the same – including the horrible mosquitos, june bugs, and all other manner of bugs. We have bugs here too but of a more benign nature – although I had forgotten how much I like lightening bugs. Last night’s lightening storm also reminded me how much I like the electrical storms of the mid-west, as long as I’m not standing outside in the middle of it. Heading back to KS again this week for 10 days so I’ll see what the end of summer brings me. According to it will be in the 90’s for the first few days. Ugh. Thank goodness I bought an air conditioner for my apartment.

  16. Just coming from Florida, I would definitly have to agree with the wonderous lack of humidity. And I love that my new apartment does not have an air conditoner and I don’t have to use the one in my car. And in Florida I was a mosquito magnet. Here, next to the Sound, I haven’t seen any. (But hiking in the mountains is a different story. Some of the biggest mosquitos I’ve ever seen live in Mt. Rainer park.)

    On another note, I wanted to thank you for referring me to Temp Yours. I will be heading there tomorrow for the interview/tests.

  17. Jillayne (I think you’re the one who wrote it), Bush is “starting to sound like a bleeding heart, liberal, enabler (heaven forbid)” because he’s belatedly MUST admit that this real estate nonsense of the past decade is threatening to destroy what’s left of the economy?! Please! I hope you’re being sarcastic. Just as real (and badly needed) Universal Health Care would severely curtail out of control hospital group, insurance and pharmaceutical profits, a badly-needed TRUE real estate overhaul threatens your very lucrative well-being at a time when $200,000 worth of house is selling for .5 million or more. And, most in your field are more than happy to sell these over-inflated walls and a roof for more than they’re worth. The WHOLE system stinks.

    Housing should be a right (like health care), not a priviledge.

    What’s wrong with us?! What’s happened to us?

  18. Oh sir X-man, I’m no real estate guru, but everyone’s got a profession and you can’t point the finger at one individual (and I’m not referring to Bush) for a society’s problem. By the way, I’d advise you to actually READ a post before posting your irrevelant comments. Thanks for dropping by!

  19. Hey Katherine!!!
    Great to hear from you, and that Temp Yours is taking care of you! They are great people there and extremely accommodating; good luck with your interview, you will do well – rest assured.

    It’s been so neat reading about your blog regarding your move from Fla. In fact, one of my few friends here just moved to Destin, Fla., which really bummed me out, but now he’s giving me a hard time because he’s at the beach everyday, though I don’t think I would trade the sun for the bugs. Although, like you and others have said, there are plenty of mosquitoes here, but they are just more furtive about their existence. Keep me posted on the job search etc., and congrats on you and your husband’s big move! I’m glad everything went smooth with the move šŸ™‚

  20. Ah–so it’s very much like a frappuccino or iced coffee! šŸ™‚

    When you get used to the summers, you’ll start drinking iced drinks again. Many of us rely on them. I have an iced latte every morning from April through October. šŸ™‚

  21. You are so right, Sandy, I’m sure I will be drinking the iced drinks in the dead of winter soon! No joke, I used to wear sandals in the snow throughout most of high school in Chicagoland; maybe I was just being a rebel though, LOL šŸ™‚

  22. Hi Karen,

    I thought about you today as I was sitting here looking out my home office window at all the sunflowers in bloom in my neighbor’s yard, along with the fall colors that are starting to blaze around town. Fall is my absolute favorite season in Seattle because:

    All the fall colors on the trees like yellows against bright green, orange-to-red maple leaves next to red plum trees, the way the blackberry bushes start to turn yellow (if they haven’t been sprayed dead by someone trying to kill them for good), the cold sunny mornings after a night’s rain that are crisp and smell fresh, and the smell of wood-burning stoves in the early evening when there’s a breeze in the air.

    Some things are starting to die, only to come back to life in the spring. Fall always feels like a good time to shed parts of my “self” and start growing something new inside.

    Let me know what YOU think about fall in a couple of weeks!

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