I am moving to the SF Bay Area this fall for a 2-yr stint at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. I grew up in Oklahoma, have lived in San Diego for 10 years, and am searching for the place where I want to settle down. I would love to get away from the horrible So Cal traffic and find a wonderful quality of life. I'd love to live on the water (any kind) and have snowboarding/hiking/water to play in all around me. I can't do a really small town, but am not sure I want a huge one either (remember the traffic comment). I'm very interested in the northwest (my parents live in Seattle now), and am already considering Portland, Seattle (and surrounding area), Bellingham, and maybe somewhere in BC. My fiancee, dog, and I have 5 weeks in July/August to explore, and we'd love some feedback/help on places, routes, and sights to consider!!