Well, it was a hotel that took pets, okay? And we had a cat in tow. And it would only be for one or two nights. And it was cheap.
But we were damned hungry, and the "breakfast" looked less than appetising - so we ducked out of the hotel, across a puddly parking lot, and into the restaurant next door - Eleni's, a Greek place, which fed us and caffeinated us and warmly welcomed us, and it was from there that we climbed into our hired car, drove to the estate agent's, drove to the final signing for the house etc., and got the keys to our new place. Into which we moved that very afternoon. It was a cold and empty house, all we had in it were a "Care package" we had sent to ourselves before we got here which consisted of a couple of blankets and a few small cooking pots and eating utensil type objects - and a couple of really cheap folding wooden chairs which we had picked up at the thrift shop so that we'd, you know, have something to SIT on. Our lower floor was a great unfinished cold concrete bunker; the garden was a wilderness of bramble and blackberry; it quickly became obvious that the heating we had was, um, less than ideal - but we were home. Home. We had fallen in love with this place when we had first seen it and now it was ours, really ours, and we had all the time in the world to start making it pretty and comfortable.
Four years ago, today.
We've been living in our paradise for four years. The house is transformed, the blackberry wilderness now has budding lilacs and several rhododendrons, and the front of the garden is burgeoning with bulbs - two of them, daffodils, are going to pop any moment now.
Sometimes it seems as though we came here yesterday - four years is not that long. Sometimes it seems as though we had never lived anywhere else.
Happy fourth anniversary, Pacific Northwest. We love you.