We have been living in the Seattle area for 4 months now. I still say "we just moved here" when asked, but really it feels like so much longer than 4 months! In this short time I have made the following observations:
1. The Blinding Sun -- In winter, there are definitely more gray days than sunny ones, so when the sun does happen to make an appearance, I feel like a vampire living in a darkened room and someone just opened the blackout shades. Sunglasses are a MUST. In fact, Seattle is one of the leading markets in sunglasses sales. (The link is to an outdated story, but it's interesting nevertheless.)
2. Men in Skirts -- kilts, that is. They are basically cargo skirts rather than the Scottish kind with a tartan pattern. I guess it's a thing in Portland too, but one of the more popular brands is Utilikilts, which is actually a Seattle-based company. If I am being honest, the first time I saw a man in one, I was definitely taken aback. When a woman is dressed in a menswear-inspired outfit or clothing that she has purchased in the men's section of a shop, I don't take a second glance, but this "look" was just so new to me, I tried not to stare!
3. Zealous Sports Fans -- Having lived most of my life in San Diego, I am no stranger to sports team fandom. Many San Diegans are crazy about their Padres, Chargers, and Aztecs. And those who don't care for San Diego teams, pledge allegiance to other teams. In the greater Seattle area, however, fans have seemed to take their devotion to local teams to another level, and I was just not expecting to see that here. The Seahawks are huge here. I have seen cars painted blue and green. and I can't step into an indie toy shop without finding a section devoted to Seahawks-emblazoned toys. You can even get special design license plates to support your favorite team.
4. Lower Speed Limits -- I expected terrible traffic and slow driving because of it, but I did not expect to see 60 mph posted on the freeways here! I am accustomed to 65 mph in San Diego, which actually means 70-75 mph. I am used to it now, but in the beginning I felt like I was moving like a snail even when there wasn't traffic.
5. SNOW -- They told me about rain (so much rain), but I did not expect snow this winter. It has been cold enough to snow a handful of times but not really cold enough to stick. Still, it has been fun to wake up and look out the window to find giant snowflakes falling from the sky!