Monday, March 12, 2007

So Cal Thinkin

So, I’m sitting here in California, in 90 degree weather in early March and sipping a pear mojito while seriously considering if I could live anywhere aside from the Northwest. Back home in Seattle, it’s probably 45, maybe 55, and it is no doubt cloudy and the rain is falling.

Palm Spring is a refreshing change of pace. The sun is a marvelous thing; the mere presence of sunlight can make someone happy. Unfortunately, back home, the sun isn’t reliable until July. My wife and I have been seriously discussing down here the subject of moving after I’m done with law school. There are a couple of options on the table:

1) Boise. On the upside we have lots of friends from college and the town is growing. It is also much cheaper to live in Boise than Seattle or here in So Cal; we could sell our home in Seattle and take the current 400K profit and make a nice payment on a really, really nice place in the treasure valley. On the downside, it is, well, Boise. I’ve always thought of Boise as a cleaner, emptier version of Spokane, which isn’t necessarily a compliment. Also, my wife couldn’t find the same type of work she does now in Boise. She’s an accountant but she specialized in high end financial services, the type where if a client doesn’t have at least 5 million they can’t dance, and despite Boises growth these firm just don’t exist there yet. She could go back into general accounting, but that option doesn’t sound appealing to her. If we were to move to Boise she would probably stop working.

2) California - the OC. On the upside it is warm, which is a big plus. I used to count myself as the type of guy who appreciated seasons; the fall colors, the skiing in winters, and the blistering summers in Idaho, but, I think, I have grown out of that. I would be happy with an eternal summer. In addition, we have family and friends down here. A number of my pledge brothers moved down here after graduation and my wife’s maid of honor is an attorney in L.A. There are also plenty of career opportunities for both of us. California is thick with work for lawyers and L.A. has several firms that cater to multimillion dollar investors that would love to recruit my wife; so financially it’s probably the best move. But, it is California. Even in Palm Springs were are amazed with the crowds and the throngs of humanity moving about, and this is from people who live in the city of Seattle and a multi million person county. But the crowds in Seattle are nothing to those in S. Cal. And it is expensive. We would not gain any cost of living advantage by leaving Seattle for So. Cal. And you also have the occasiaonly violent brush fire, earthquake, plague and pestilence. Also, if the end of the world is going to occur it will probably start in L.A.

3) Coeur d’Alene: The advantage here is that it would be a return home for me, and my wife has lots of family in Spokane. It would also be a similar financial situation as Boise, we would gain on house prices but there really isn’t the type of work available that would interest my wife. If we moved she would be a stay at home mother. But we, well I, love Cd'A and the chance to return home is very appealing. I can already imagine buying a house, an older home preferably and fixing it up, sitting up a small practice and helping people start new business ... etc. This is my preference but probably a very, very remote option.

4) Hawaii. This is the dark horse option. Sure, it has all the climate benefits of So. Cal without the hassle of actually being in So. Cal. Sure, the cost of living is high, but it's Hawaii. On the upside, the Hawaii bar is much easier than California bar and there are a few finanical firms that cater to the Japanese that my wife could work for ... so ... I think this is just dreaming, but oh, what a dream.

We probably won’t leave Seattle though. Despite the pull of friends and family in Idaho or the siren call of sunshine in California; we still love Seattle. Our house in a fine neighborhood in the city, there are plenty of career opportunities for us, and we are basically happy. Now, if global warming would only kick in and chase a couple of these clouds away….

P.S. I’ll try and post some about our trip down here in Palm Spring….be advised that stories of laying by the pool or golf might be all that I post in the coming days.


Katrina said...

I have a friend who has called San Diego home for her whole life, and I always love my trips down there to visit her.

But the moment I stepped foot in Northern Idaho, at the advanced age of 21, I knew had found my own personal hometown. I hope we never leave.

It's amazing how the heart is drawn to a place. It sounds like Seattle has claimed yours. :)

Phil said...

Hey Matt, my family and I were down there last week too. Just got back tonight and I'm playing catch-up on all my favorite blogs.

You didn't happen to make it out to Disneyland at some point, did you? I got a "Go Vandals!" across a crowded Main Street when someone spotted my Vandal hat.

My high was ruined an hour later when a store clerk saw my Idaho drivers license and said "Boise State, man, what a football game!"

Matt said...


Nope, it wasn't me, we didn't get out to Disneyland this time. I'm alway surprised at how many Vandal are in California though. Too bad about the BSU comment, but what can you do? I was in the airport and I was wearing a Vandal t-shirt and a guy in an ASU hat came up to me and started talking about how upset he was about the hire of the "big D", we had a nice bonding experience complaining about him. I told him that I hoped they had better luck with him than we had.