Sunday, April 26, 2015

$15 Well Spent in Tacoma

Archway to Museum of GlassI'm still getting used to walking everywhere, carrying groceries home, and dealing with various weather conditions. Overall, it's been very sunny here with only a few days of overcast skies or rain. But after walking everywhere for a few weeks (and getting a parking ticket for being parked more than 72 hours in front of my apartment), Matt and I decided it was time for a road trip. We headed to Tacoma on Saturday (I thought it was the state capitol - obviously I didn't pay attention in elementary school).
See Chihuly artwork in TacomaSummary: it's a really cool city and it grew on me just during the few hours we were there. Lunch at a local brewery called Harmon Brewing and then a walk around to explore. We found the museum of glass across the railroad tracks from the brewery, which included a bridge of Chihuly's work in the ceiling above. If you know me well at all, I'm not the guy to spend $15 to walk through a museum, so we glanced around and kept walking. Few blocks later we found another brewery called Pacific Brewing and Malting Company, where I spent $15 on beer. It had a really cool history - the same location was opened in the late 1800's and then with prohibition in the early 1900's was shut down. Just last year, it reopened in the same location after being closed 98 years. That was worth celebrating with a beer and a picture of the doors opened wide with the logo engraved into the cement at the door.
Pacific Brewery and Malting Company in TacomaWe also had a run in with the police. Thankfully, it didn't involve a ticket but instead an off-duty police office who grew up in Tacoma and told us the best spots to hit during our short day trip. He recommended a large park called Point Defiance which is a 702-acre park including a zoo, beaches, hiking trails and more. A short drive later, I was standing on the rocky Owen Beach and driving around a 5-mile loop of some of the prettiest scenery I've discovered in Washington. It was the perfect weekend trip and great way to spend $15.
Shoes of the rocky Owen Beach in Tacoma   Seagull perched on a rock at Owen Beach   One of the many lookouts along the 5-mile loop through Point Defiance Park

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The best Tweets of Take Your Child to Work Day

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Meeting people and knowing no one: A humbling experience

Most of you know me as an outgoing, funny guy that everyone likes. Most of that is right :) but I'll have to admit I've never been in a situation like I am here in Seattle. It's amazing how my life has suddenly shifted from knowing everyone around me, getting invites to parties and gatherings, and having to choose what events I can make it to on a weekend night - to - knowing no one. I'm now forced to figure out ways to meet people, create friendships, and let people know I exist in a huge community I could very easily get lost and go unnoticed.
So, it begs a question, how do you meet people? How to you build relationships and expand your circle of friends? I know in Colorado Springs I became too comfortable in my circles and didn't often make the effort to reach out further than my comfort zone. Now, even after 10 days here, I'm convicted to be more intentional to welcome new people to my circles. I was born and raised in Colorado Springs and for the first time I'm having to experience being the new guy in a city, and quite honestly, it sucks. I'm open for suggestions and ideas how to build my social circles so I can do more than just sit around the house, sit along in a coffee shop, or walk the streets aimlessly.
Granted, there are plenty of homeless people around here that seem really friendly and always talk to me as I walk by, I'm hoping for some friendships and relationships that are a bit more.....sane. It is nice to have a roommate here from Colorado, so we're able to explore and discover new places together. Plus, I have a friend from high school here, so we've been able to connect and she's introduced me to some of her friends. It's still a bit depressing to only meet 1 or 2 new people a day. I've got to find some larger events where I can meet multiple people, hopefully cool people. The extrovert in me is getting anxious and annoyed.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Week 1: People and places of Seattle and so much more to learn

Pike Place Market at sunset #nofilter #seattleguy #pikeplace #androidphoto #perfectnight

A photo posted by Toby Lorenc (@ejucatedguy) on

Hard to believe I've already been in Seattle a week today. It's been a busy week of exploring and figuring out where to shop, dine, and park. I've already caved and done the touristy Pike Place Market which was a pretty cool spot at sunset on Friday night.
It's about a 30 minute walk from my apartment which is nice because it's close, but I'm not right in the heart of downtown craziness on a daily basis.
There are plenty of interesting people here indeed, from hipsters to homeless and they're all equally as amusing to watch. Here are some highlights:
*I watched a homeless woman throw down all her stuff on the curb, drop her pants and start peeing right in front of me
*I live a block from some sort of mental treatment facility, so there are often people at the park across the street from our front room window waving their arms wildly in the air, shouting obscenities, and having interactions with themselves and others which are hard to explain.
*A black guy at a brewery down the street from my apartment who had on his Ray Charles shades inside, along with a funky hat. He looked like a jazz musician. As soon as I sit down, he gave me a fist bump (not sure why) then he started talking and I didn't understand a word he said. We just kept laughing together, I'm sure for some reason that he knew but I was in the dark.
....I'm not sure I can even capture some of the other experiences in words, but more to come, I promise.
I've also had a chance to go out with my old high school friend and her boyfriend a few times, most recently last night for his birthday. A fun night of thai food in Capitol Hill and bowling after up in Lake City (my first time up there). I also for the first time threw a bowling ball and hit the gate (the metal thing that goes down after you bowl). They weren't particularly happy, but I hit restart multiple times and nothing happened, so the next logical thing seemed to be throwing a ball to reset it. Bad timing.
Anyway, still keeping my eyes and ears open for a job and doing my best to meet new people and network. It's weird being in a city where I don't know anyone and takes a little more energy and effort to be social.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Seattle Now Home to a Popular Attraction: Toby

Well, after 5 months of not working I've taken a huge step and continued not to work. Here's a quick recap to catch you up:

After multiple job opportunities falling through, I decided to find myself a city first, then find a job. I was ready to quit my current job for multiple reasons, but when my brother was scheduled for surgery in November in upstate Montana, it was the deciding factor. I made the long drive with my dad just a week after I had quit my job and a day after I bought my 3rd car within a 5 month period (that's another story). We drove up and stayed in Montana for two long weeks (long because it was stinkin' cold). After returning, I started traveling in the hopes of finding a city and to see various relatives, attend weddings, etc. Dallas, Omaha, Des Moines, Hilton Head were some of the main destinations with many stops along the way since I was driving on most of these trips.
During this time, I had a friend tell me about an opportunity to live in an apartment in Seattle (Capitol Hill) for 3 months. The owner went to Portugal and wanted someone to stay in his place while he was gone through the end of June. It didn't take me long to say "yes" and figure it out from there.

I arrived Sunday night after 2 long days of driving. Unpacking didn't take long as I just brought the necessities but adjusting to a new life will take a while. Here are some of the things I'm not used to:
1) Living in a busy downtown area, directly off a bustling street
Kitchen2) Getting into our apartment means going through 3 locked doors. Don't loose your keys!
3) Fighting for downtown parking so you can go home.
4)'s a one bedroom. Containers and boxes down the middle gives us each our own area but quarters are a little tight. I haven't lived in the same room with someone since college.
5) This is my favorite: I have to sit to pee. The owner is a little particular about a few things, one being "splashback" on the wood floors in the bathroom so he's asked us in various instructions to sit down when we take a piss (I'm sure you noticed the pic at the top of the post - that is taped to the toilet tank to remind us).
6) It's chilly up here, but it's beautiful. Everything is incredibly green and bloomed already in mid-April.
7) Hearing everyone I tell them I'm living in Seattle, say: "Oh, it rains there all the time"
8) Living in walking distance of anything I need or want (breweries, stores, entertainment, restaurants, etc).
9) walking home with groceries and having to pay for grocery bags if you don't have your own
10) a very old, quirky building which means: no dishwasher or laundry in my unit. It also means half our windows "look out" on a brick wall to the next building 5ft away.

BathroomMy rommate (Matt) and I spent Monday getting keys made, shopping for groceries, and setting up our living space. He got here about 2 weeks before me, so he's already done a great job of setting it up. Also, he has a friend here who is oddly enough dating a girl I graduated high school with. Small world. We went out to dinner with them last night at Hopvine Pub in Capitol Hill, just a few blocks from our front door. Today, I'm online looking for some ways to earn money plus I went on a long (2hr +) walk through the city to get familiar with the area. There's lots to see and some absolutely amazing homes. The city is laid out as well, including multiple parks like the one across the street from our apartment.

Anyway, I intend of keeping a regular journal of my adventures here in Seattle if you'd like to keep up with me. Probably the best way is to use the links to the right to Follow By Email or RSS feeds. I will post these to Facebook occasionally too.