Day 323

Well folks, I’m officially 30. I wouldn’t say I was ever afraid of leaving my twenties behind, but I totally understand those who find it to be a stressful occasion. I mean, now that I’m in my thirties, I’m really running out of excuses to grow up, aren’t I? Hopefully, it’ll be another ten or so years before people start questioning why I own so many toys (fingers crossed).

Thankfully, I didn’t have to start this new chapter of my life alone. Two of my best friends in the entire world hopped a plane from Cleveland to help me celebrate in style. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see someone you haven’t seen in almost a year. I knew I missed my friends and family, but the emotion that poured over me when they got off the plane was a bit unexpected. Exactly one year ago, the three of us spent my 29th birthday fire-roasting marshmallows in our backyard, slow-cooking pork under coals and building a pillow fort in the living room. Now, we’re on the other side of the country. It’s crazy the difference a year can make, right?

I won’t go into detail about the weekend, as I know my grandma keeps up on my blogs. So, I’ll just say that we had a really good time and Seattle showed me it’s a city that knows how to party. We ate a lot of food, drank a lot of beer and swapped a slew of stories. My only complaint about the whole thing is that the weekend ended far too quickly. I wish they could’ve stayed a few more days. But, alas, I’ll see them again in three months—a time that doesn’t seem too far away at all.

Having said that, we did pack a lot of fun into two short days. We ventured to the EMP Museum, grabbed a water-side breakfast at Lowell's, where we devoured more than our fair share of crab. On Sunday, we also ventured outside the city and enjoyed an afternoon of hiking at Rattlesnake Ledge. Finally, after we walk no more, we headed back and finished the whole thing off with a birthday dinner at Quinn's Pub, where I tried Foie Gras for the first time (It was pretty darn good!). All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday.

Sorry I don’t really have anything project-related to report on. We’ll be back to our normal routine come this Thursday. In the meantime, I encourage everyone out there to go do something unexpected today.

-Steve-

Day 319

When I first arrived at Y&R Group Seattle, I was excited to discover that I’d be tagging along to this year’s Seattle Interactive Conference. Now, I haven’t attended many professional conferences in my career. So, I’d say there was an equal part curiosity mixed in there too. What would I be doing? Where would I stand? What would I wear? The sheer stress of it all!

Once I snapped back to reality, I looked into the conference and found out this year’s event was all about highlighting the ‘makers’ of the world. Now, if you’ve been following along from the very beginning, you might remember my interview with professional maker, Steve Thompson, of Red Tettemer. He immediately came to mind when I discovered this new information. It’s really too bad they didn’t ask him to be a keynote speaker. I think he would’ve nailed it.

So, yesterday was day one of the conference and it was more exciting than I ever could’ve imagined. First off, YRG really outdid themselves with their awesome booth. It trumped every other company there. The morning featured artisan coffee from a local purveyor, while the afternoon brought a delicious blend of cheese, fruit and popcorn. To cap off the evening, the team even shared some area brews and small bites with the remaining attendees. Oh yeah… and these were all presented in front of a lush backdrop of freshly carved wooden bears, enormous pine trees and well-placed mood lighting—all to help push the booth’s theme of celebrating all things Seattle.

The Work of Cey Adams

Of course, such things don’t come to fruition without a lot of hard work. That's why I spent most of Wednesday helping load in the trees and furniture (Yes, I offered to help). It was a great opportunity to chat with team members and see the vast amount of planning that went into designing and building the space. I wish all of the conference goers could get a sense of how massive the project truly was, because I think it would help them appreciate it’s grandeur that much more. Although I will say, I think everyone was thoroughly impressed with it as is.

Following the last seminar of the day, I ended up at the official conference after party to chat up the diverse group of creatives, tech folk and local makers. It was very interesting indeed and I had a great time learning about Seattle's small industries and wares. But, alas, that brings us to this very moment. I’m actually gearing up for Day Two of SIC and greatly looking forward to seeing what inspirational speakers I get to hear today.

On top of all that, we’re nearing the arrival of my two best friends! I can’t recall if I mentioned it before, but they’re flying in from Cleveland to help celebrate my 30th birthday on Sunday. It's actually a pretty momentous occasion, because my one friend has never stepped foot on an airplane before. Eventful week? I’d certainly say so.

-Steve-

Day 309

I think I picked the best day of the year to leave Austin. Between ACL, the Austin Comic-con and a UT home game, there was plenty going on downtown Saturday. It also meant no one was flying out of the city and I'm pretty sure I was one of only 10 people in the entire airport. Although long, the flight was rather relaxing and I arrived into Seattle without a hitch. I did have a moment of panic when we landed though. Once the wheels touched down, I turned my phone back on—as most of us usually do. Well, Foursquare popped up almost immediately and said, "Welcome to Anchorage". Since I had fallen asleep for an hour or two, I didn't know what to make of this news and had to ask the person next to me, just to be safe. Thankfully, she assured me that we were, in fact, in Seattle.

I’ve only been here a day and I can already tell I really lucked out with the location of my AirBnB. Located on Pike Street in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, my quaint little studio apartment is right in the center of a vibrant and bustling area. Yesterday, I spent a majority of the afternoon just walking along Pike Street into downtown and was amazed with the number of artisan shops, eateries and stores I came across. From gourmet groceries to pubs and crafts, I’ve already acquired a rather lengthy list of places I need to check out during my time here.

While venturing around the city, I also took a moment to visit one of the city’s many piers. It’s pretty bonkers to finally see the Pacific Ocean after all these months. Yes, I am aware that I didn’t really see the ocean. Technically, I saw Elliot Bay, but come on; it’s close enough. Regardless of what body of water it was, the whole experience made me stop and appreciate all of the opportunities I’ve received in the past 10 months. To process that we started this whole project on the other side of the country is a bit surreal. It just goes to show what we can do when we put our minds to something and give it 110%. 

Self-reflection aside, I’m overjoyed to be feeling fall weather for the first time this year. It was 65º and partly cloudy when I arrived—a most perfect forecast, if you ask me. Lastly, I wanted to mention that this month is going to get a little crazy. Not only is it one of my shortest stays in a city, but I also turn 30 on the 19th and my two best friends are coming to town to celebrate. I promise to recap the entire… well, most… no, some… uh… as much of the weekend as possible. You only turn 30 once and I plan on partying my heart out. 

Well, I'm off to my first day at Young & Rubicam Seattle. Tune in Thursday for a recap of my first week. This is going to be a good one—I'm sure of it.

-Steve-