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My Top 10 Pet Peeves About Small Town Living

My blog entries have mostly highlighted what is wonderful about living on the Olympic Peninsula. But I’ve shared very little about my pet peeves. This has a lot to do with the fact that there are so many attributes and so few disadvantages.

It’s taken me just over 2 years to realize that Sequim isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. But it comes really close! So in the spirit of full disclosure, I present my 10 biggest “adjustments” from a big city past to a small town present.


  • Since people who’ve never heard of Sequim rarely pronounce it correctly,  unless it’s a known local, I no longer say I live in “Squim” I say “See-quim.” This way I don’t have to repeat Sequim’s spelling.  If I simply mispronounce Sequim the first time I utter it, magically the common person will get the spelling right. I hate to mispronounce my city to a customer service phone rep back East whose never heard of Sequim; but I hate even more to repeat its spelling.


  • Boots, an umbrella, a raincoat and a hat must travel in my car at all times. This means less room for other stuff like my dog’s bed, real estate signs and groceries. It doesn’t matter if sunny skies are predicted. This brings me to my next point.


  • The weather forecast is almost always wrong. The only time I can accurately predict rain is if I’ve washed my car.


  • My car’s exterior is almost always dirty (see above bullet-point.)


  • Though premiumly located and easy to access, the local Costco doesn’t feature the abundance of larger Costcos in more populated areas. Which is great because it means the absence of parking wars. And though I’d much rather have a smaller Costco than no Costco, how I miss those single serving  pre-packaged organic salads.


  • Mailing a birthday card to California a few days before a birthday? Better make it a belated birthday card because that card may take up to a week to arrive.


  • Target, Sephora and Trader Joes have become idealized and exotic destinations. One must plan, make shopping lists, and in some instances; bring along a cooler. I stock up on Smashbox BrowTech to Go like I stock up on Trader Joes O’s and Speculoos Cookie Butter.


  • Animal owners who find solace in leaving their small indoor pets at home with a doggie-door need a new game plan. We have coyotes and eagles here!


  • The ubiquitous CA taqueria is hard to find in these parts. So are doughnut shops, acai cafes and poke bars. We have at least 20 coffee stands but I can’t find a pearl tea to save my life.


  • Expect to travel for mainstream live entertainment. McStadiums are nonexistent here. Instead you may find some tribute bands performing at the casino like U253 performing on St. Patty’s Day. I’ve also seen advertisements for Heart to Heart and Petty Fever.


These “complaints” (that really are more like mild annoyances) can easily be perceived as attributes, not disadvantages. For example, I may not like to prepare for rain with a sunny day forecast but it’s not like preparation is a bad idea. My muck boots have saved my faux fur heels from irreparable harm. And not having an abundance of chain store shopping options has a way of reducing impulse purchases. Making a shopping list usually means spending less money. Long car rides to Seatac ensures time for introspection, quality conversation or even enjoying a good podcast. Of course I can’t think of any advantage to not being able to get my street taco fix but I’m sure I can find a great  how-to foodie podcast somewhere between Sequim and the Hood Canal Bridge.


September 2017 Housing Stats for Sequim, WA (98382)

Click the link below for September 2017 residential housing stats for Sequim, WA from the Northwest MLS.

Statistics from the NWMLS

Of note is the $65,394 average sold price increase from Sept 2017 to last September along with 15 fewer days on market until sale compared to last year.

If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about Sequim real estate, please contact me.


A Washington State Ferry Tale Experience

As a new-ish Washington State resident, I’ve recently discovered that I have options when traveling to the most menial destination. When I learned that I could either drive or take a ferry to Seattle, I was perplexed by this either/or choice. Who wants to sit inside a car when I can shave off 30 minutes and experience travel by ferry? This travel option is both intriguing, in a romantic swashbuckling fairy-tale sort of way, and a little intimidating in an unknown new experience sort of way.

Movement from one body of land to another by way of a large water-bound vessel conjures wonder and excitement, especially when you’re me and your travel amounts to planes, trains and automobiles. But yet many Washington State residents travel to and from work via ferry with the same regularity as people who live on the East Coast commute via the subway.  But we’re not talking leaving your car behind and boarding BART or Light-rail. We’re talking driving a vehicle onto a ferry and driving it off.

View once boarded the ferry parking terminal. Many remain inside their car.

The first time I traveled by ferry was when my husband and I went to Seattle. We drove to the Bainbridge Island terminal in order to take a ferry directly in to Downtown Seattle.  A safety-flag carrying attendant directed us to a line where we  would wait for the next ferry. We then joined hundreds of other vehicles into our designated lane. So seamless is the transition from parking to sailing, if you remain in your vehicle you may not even realize once the ferry has departed.

Since it’s about a 30 minute trip, riders have the option of staying inside their vehicles or vacating them to enter the main deck. After climbing two flights of stairs, I entered the main deck where I was rather taken aback by what I saw.  I was not expecting to see built in Winnebago style tables and plastic benches next to the windows along with a cafeteria complete with two people working cash registers.


I love how even the kiosks are adorned with artwork

The cafeteria fare consisted of canned soups heated inside institutional steel containers (the kind with the hole on top of the lid for the ladle), a popcorn and soft pretzel heated unit, an assortment of tea, hot chocolate, coffee and a plethora of overpriced convenience store-looking packaged sandwiches and snacks.

Salt to settle your motion sickness?

The workers are friendly and it’s nice to have a little cafeteria instead of vending machines. After I purchased a cup of soup I walked around the retro strictly functional interior where I observed travelers playing cards, board games brought from home or reading books.They even sell playing cards inside the cafeteria.

How cool is this the concessions store sells playing cards? Go Fish!

Some travelers bring a travel pillow and curl up on a bench to nap.  One family brought  along their lunch to dine at one of the many window booths. Best part is, every seat has a view.

Up yet another flight of stairs, the open-air deck offers breathtaking views from every vantage point.

Rows of benches where passengers can enjoy the view


An array of idyllic homes on Bainbridge Island

The return trip from Seattle to Bainbridge Island cost more than the reverse trip.  But unlike Bainbridge Island, Seattle offered more appealing pre-boarding concessions. Once you pay and park, depending on how much time you have prior to boarding the ferry, you can leave your car and enter a “mini-mall” just for ferry travelers. There’s a wine-bar, an espresso place, a Subway and a taqueria . It’s all so bizarre and funky but yet perfectly appropriate. An announcement alerts travelers when it’s time to board the ferry. Thanks to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) app, I can determine whether this makes sense for me depending on my time frame.  I can view the number of spaces remaining and time it just right so that I can pay and drive on the ferry just before it departs.

I imagine my ferry fascination will gradually wane over time just like everything else. The beautiful thing is unless one is traveling to a nearby island like Whidbey, transportation by ferry is not required, it’s an option. Just like taking the bus. But if I have all the time in the world and wish to take in the Washington State vibe, let the wind run through my hair while gazing down below at the chilly and often choppy waters, the ferry can be both therapeutic and enjoyable.

Approaching Seattle!