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It's been 5 years since we left the New York City area for Seattle. Those who know me also know I'm very fond of Seattle. Seattle is frequently voted one of the best large cities to live in. There are mountains, there is ocean, there are islands gallore. The nature here is second to none.

Seattle is also a fairly progressive city. We try to take care of Mother Nature here in the Pacific Northwest, hence why a lot of buses run on electricity and many more are hybrids. In fact, I doubt you can go anywhere in the US and see more hybrid cars and trucks. It seems like everyone has a Toyota Prius.

Rain? November - March tends to be more gray and dampt than all-out rain. Still, there is a lot of drizzle during these months. Many cities in the US receive more actual rainfall in a year - including Atlanta and New York. However, Seattle has a lot more cloudy days. It seldom snow up here. The temperature is very mild. Seldom does it get hot (but summers are amazingly sunny and dry) nor does it get very cold. You want snow? Just head up to the mountains. There is a ton of it up there. I still remember something like 30 days in a row with some form of rain. That gets tiring! You really want a dry day after that.

Seattle is located at the shores of Puget Sound, sandwiched between two mountain chains - The Olympics to the West and the Cascades to the East. The Cascades contains some of the tallest peaks in North America, including Mount Rainier and St. Helens. To the north you'll find the incredible San Juan Islands, an archipelago stretching up towards Vancouver, BC. The Canadian part of the archipelago is called the Gulf Islands. To the south Puget Sound continues until it dead ends near Olympia, Washington's state capital.It is common to go whale watching in the Puget Sound, in fact it's not uncommon for a whale to get close to the busy waters of Seattle. There are several pods of Killer Whale's as well in the area.

The other major cities that make up the Seattle metro area are - Bellevue (east), Everett (north)plus Tacoma and Olympia to the south. The actual city of Seattle is only about 600,000, but there just isn't that much room for expansion, so it's the suburbs that keep growing (like where we live in Sammamish which is in the foothills to the Cascades).

The population of the metropolitan area is about 3.9 million, ranking it 13th largest in the US. The greater Seattle area is home to many large companies such as:

Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, Nordstroms, Costco, Safeco,, Nintendo of America, Washington Mutual, Safeco, PACCAR, Weyerhaeuser, REI, Eddie Bauer, UPS, (since moved), RealNetworks (and several other companies) and T-Mobile. Fishing is a large part of the Seattle economy.A lot of fishing vessels head north to Alaska. Timber is another large part of the Pacific Northwest economy and of course tourism. There are several ski areas, but the best skiing is north at Whistler.

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