Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What A Trip

I know this is my third post in one day but I have to blog about our trip. My pictures are lacking, because we mostly used Kim's uber-camera. All I have are shots I snapped for posterity, almost none with me and/or Kim. She has all the really great pictures, but at least that way I'll leave her something to blog about. So here it is, our trip to Forks/La Push/Seattle. (Warning: LONG)

The 7 hour drive (which we made in less than 6) seemed more like three,
and was gorgeous, of course.

We drove to Port Angeles where we had planned to eat lunch at La Bella Italia, the restaurant where Edward takes Bella in Twilight. Little did we know they don't open till 4:00, and we didn't have time to wait. However, the doors were unlocked and the guy inside was unbelievably friendly. He let us in to take pictures and use his bathroom. Then, we were off to Forks.

I don't even have a picture of the "Welcome to Forks" sign, but I'm sure you'll see it eventually. Forks do I say it? A hole. Stephenie wasn't kidding when she wrote that there was only one stoplight in the entire town. The people who live there were...odd, but unbelievably nice. Like, overly nice. They are milking this Twilight Tourism for all it's worth. Which was good, because they didn't make us feel like complete idiots for asking them where imaginary people's houses were.

And although it was definitely nice for sight-seeing, I was a little disappointed at the lack of rain. This was Forks! The rainiest place in the U.S.! How dare the sun decide to shine.

Our first stop was the Thriftway/Forks Outfitters (kinda confusing, two stores melded into one). Bella grocery shops at Thriftway in Twilight and works at Forks Outfitters in New Moon/Eclipse. We had so much fun assigning characters to people we saw. All plain looking brunettes were instantly Bella, every cop we saw was Charlie. Alas, no Edwards to be found.

Bella's truck is parked outside the Chamber of Commerce. That was pretty
cool, because it seems to be her exact truck.

Inside the Chamber of Commerce was a crack up. An old couple was inside handing out maps to all the Twi-sights to giddy teenage girls (and two extremely cool moms from the Tri-Cities). They showed us their prized possession, an album they'd put together of all things Twilight, including all the mail they've received for Bella Cullen. Not kidding.

They even whipped out a small box addressed to Bella.
I asked what was inside and they replied, "Tampax." O-kay.

With our maps in hand, we set out to find somewhere to eat. Problem. There is nowhere to eat in Forks. Not a single McDonalds, Taco Bell, Wendys...thank goodness there was a Subway built into one of the gas stations, which featured the Twilight Sandwich. Of course, we had to get it. (Mike Newton made it for us. He was nice.)

Okay, I know it looks disgusting, but it was delicious.

We were super-stoked to be eating our Twilight Sandwiches in Forks, WA.

Then we set out to see the sights.

This was Bella's and Charlie's house.
(Sorry real people who live there. I know you must love the 50-90 tourists who come stand outside your house every day and pose in front of your sign. At least we didn't ask to see Bella's room, right?)

This was obviously a stretch. The good people of Forks desperately wanted to have a Cullen's House on the map, so they chose the biggest, nicest house they had--a bed and breakfast. But, it was on the map, and if they say it's the Cullen's house, then by all means, we're taking a picture of it!

They change the sign outside each day to explain the Cullen's absence.
It was nice of Esme to leave a note for us.

This is the school (duh.)

This is the parking lot where Edward saves Bella from the van.
Can't you just see it?

We also got pictures of Carlisle's parking spot at the hospital, the Forks Hotel, where we stayed, and probably other stuff I'm forgetting.

Then, we were on to La Push. For some reason, I was really excited to go to La Push, which is odd because I am so not Team Jacob. But I couldn't wait to stand on First Beach.

It was gorgeous, and although you can't tell from the pictures,
it was a warm, beautiful, sunny day.

We were really hoping to see a bunch of black-haired, bronze-skinned teenage boys (or any Quileutes, for that matter), but there were none to be seen. I was also determined to find those
multi-colored rocks Stephenie talks about, and after some serious searching, I think I may have found one. At least in my mind it's one.

I thought for sure this had to be Bella's and Jacob's log.

So crazy...this rock looks like a howling wolf.

I just love this picture.

Proof that Jacob was here.

Kim has the picture of what I am sure has to be Jacob's house.

We didn't stay in La Push too long (you can only take so many pictures of the same beach) before heading back to Forks. We got back at around 7:00, and although we weren't hungry, we ate dinner at some pizza place just to kill time. (Bella was behind the counter taking orders.) Then we headed back to our hotel because, well, Forks is a hole and there was absolutely nothing left to do. We read and did the Twilight Trivia that the Chamber of Commerce gave us, and ended up going to bed pretty early because we were both exhausted. The best part of the hotel was the super-thin walls that allowed us to hear the bikers next door get up and pee in the middle of the night. Sweet.

The next morning we ate breakfast at a diner then headed to Seattle. On the way there we stopped in Port Angeles again at the book store that Bella decides not to go into in Twilight because all the books were about spiritual healing and the lady inside looked like a hippie. It was actually a pretty decent bookstore where Kim finally found a copy of Twilight to buy (Forks had NONE) to have Stephenie sign at the concert and I picked up some souvenirs. We drove around for a while trying to find the spot where Edward rescues Bella from the would-be rapists, but gave up after about ten minutes.

We made it to Seattle just in time to find The Cheesecake Factory (I'd never eaten at one) and have some of the famed Avocado Eggrolls. They totally lived up to all the hype. I ate them, onions and all (!) Next time, I will get them without onions though. Then we had some cheesecake. Oh. My. Gosh. I don't remember exactly what mine was called (something about black tie, or white tie I think) but I remember exactly what it tasted like, and it was to die for. We left stuffed to the brim.

Then it was off to the concert. Once again, we were surrounded by teenage girls wearing Twilight-themed shirts (my favorite was one that said My Prince Charming is a Virgin Vegan). Once we got in the doors, I ran into my cousins that I knew were going to be there but never thought I'd actually see there. That was cool. We finally got into the auditorium and while we waited for the concert to start we messed around with our cameras (I gave up after 5 mins., Kim worked with hers till she got amazing pictures. She has all the pictures of the concert, I have none) and grew giddy with anticipation. There was one guy in the whole auditorium who was there to see Justin Furstenfeld, not Stephenie, and I was sitting next to him. It was hilarious to hear him whistle and go crazy for Justin, and sit still and quiet for Stephenie.

The concert was amazing. Justin Furstenfeld was awesome. Funny, laid back, cool. He sang 4 of his songs (which were extra cool because it was just him and his guitar, totally acoustic) and then Stephenie came out. Of course everyone went crazy screaming. She sat down with some deejay guy who asked her the questions she'd picked from what the audience had submitted (we missed out on that, don't get me started.) Some of the questions I already knew the answers to (like what advice would you give someone interested in writing) but some I didn't. She explained each book cover (I knew some, but not all) and said that (gasp!) Breaking Dawn is definitely the last book in the series because the story is finished, there is nothing more. But she did promise Midnight Sun but said she cannot promise a date for it, but will let us know as soon as she can. It was so amazing to sit and listen to her, I was in awe. Then Justin came back out and played some more songs, but this time they were songs that Stephenie had chosen and she prefaced each one with which part of which book it went with. That was awesome. (Example: Hate Me is when Edward leaves Bella in New Moon) I loved all the songs and can't wait to get them on iTunes.

And that was it. It was only about an hour, really short. Then we had to sit and wait for our turn to get our books signed. We sat and talked and read and listened to the music for about an hour before we got the brilliant idea to try and be last in line so that maybe Stephenie would talk to us. (Since the concert got done so much earlier than we'd thought, we didn't feel so rushed to leave.) Since they were letting the rows in the back go first, we moved up to the front, adding at least another hour to our wait time. However, we weren't the only geniuses with this idea, and despite our efforts, there were still at least 30 people in line behind us. Still, it was pretty exhilarating to be standing across from a tiny card table from Stephenie and watch as she signed my book and handed it me. I said thanks. She said you're welcome. It. Was. Awesome.

At that point I was dead on my feet, the exhaustion and emotional ride hitting me. But we were so close to the end of the line that we hung around outside the glass doors till she was done, thinking maybe she'd walk out the doors by us. At first it seemed she might, but at the last second before reaching the doors she turned and went down an escalator. Sigh.

So we went home. We got home at 3:30 this morning. It was so worth it, a trip I'll never forget. We had so much fun, and I'm having a hard time coming down off of the Twilight high and coming back to reality. If you're still reading this, thanks.


Heather said...

Sounds awesome, glad you got to go!

Ms. Kristen said...

OMGOSH!!!!! That sounds so fun! I love every detail!

Ms. Kristen said...

One more thing...!
I loved what was inside the box for Bella.....Tampax....I always wondered what she did during that time of month!
Your trip seems memorable.....and I am glad yor posted every word!

Shayla said...

I can't wait to see all the pictures from Kim. Only you would run into cousins in Seattle of all places. :-) Loved the pics of you and Kim eating your Twilight sandwiches, too funny.

Melissa Mae Johnson said...

I hate you. I am so jealous! I want to go to Forks and pretend like the Twilight characters exist. No fair.

Lisa said...

Well...I am assuming it would make more sense if had I read the books...I am so out of it. But I think I will read the series eventually...I'm still working on Harry Potter :)

Kristi said...

Sounds like fun. The beach looks like all Washington beaches. No matter how sunny it is, they're always clouded over with a wet mist. Glad you could catch a great escape!

::DANDEE:: said...

I felt like I was there with you. Thanks for the details I loved them all!

debsters said...

I think that's awesome you got to experience this. I used to be a die hard Northern Exposure fan and I remember Brad and Phyllis pulled off the highway in Roslin coming home from Seattle and it was a total treat.

Andrea said...

Wow, talk about obsession. JK, I totally tried to get Barlow to take me up to Forks while we were in Seattle a few weeks ago, but he didn't go for it. I had NO idea things from the book would actually be in the real town! Crazy. Glad you guys had so much fun, Kim's pink polk-a-dot shirt is REALLY CUTE.

Jodi said...

That trip sounds so awesome! Thanks for all the detail and pictures. I felt like I was experiencing it with you. Can't wait to see more pictures and hear more about it!

Kris said...

Seriously, this was so fun to read. I loved seeing all of these pictures. I too felt like I experienced everything with you. Thanks for the details and for sharing your trip with us. Glad you and Kim had a great time.

Rachael said...

I think I am going to go with the standard comment of jealousy. Trips like that are too rare. I loved this whole post, but I must say, my most favorite part is.....drum roll...... .............Bill's "I got Spooned in Forks" t-shirt idea! That man is brilliant. I laughed so hard. And later through out the day I would think about it, and start laughing again.

Amy J. said...

Your favorite photo is incredible! I loved seeing the pictures to go with the story and you did not tell me about the Bella mail and the Sub!

ashley said...

Okay Alicia, now it is my turn to gush about your trip! Wow, I feel like I was there and these pictures were great! They were classic shots of everything I've been wanting to see there, so thanks! The pictures of First Beach are absolutely beautiful. I loved the Twilight sub. Too me it looked delicious, which I'm sure it was. What a bummer about Bella Italia, that is definitely something I will have to remember in the future if I ever make it to Forks. So the Bed and breakfast at the Cullens place, can people actually make reservations and stay there? (I bet it's booked 6 months in advance!)

I loved reading everything about the Concert Series you went to. But I'm still insanely jealous that you got to meet Stephanie, and that she signed your book! I watched the Concert Series from LA on youtube and it was SO good. She answered so many questions about breaking dawn and finally talked about all of the books. So I can imagine that the Seattle questions were just as good! One of my favorite parts were hearing all the songs from Justin Furstenfeld and then having Stephenie say how this song inspired a certain part from the book. It was great, and I'm glad you loved it too! What a way to top of such an amazing series.

Shayla said...

Okay, I just read this again and had to comment on the pic of Jacob's "paws". I love that one!!

B said...

the Bed and Breakfast you just call and sometimes they have rooms sometimes they dont. during the winter they usually dont have many people. (I work there) :] but ya we get like a ton of twilight fans come and take pictures and my friend lives at the "swans." she says its crazy how many people go there.Forks Outfitters and Forks Thriftway is not two stores merged into one. Trust me. thats a little bit about the store. and how it is expanding becuase its the only store in town. so like... they have to be getting bigger. and its not a thrift store. Ace and Thriftway are in Forks Outfitters.
We dont need fast food. the places we eat at are the In Place, pizza... sullys. i dont go to subway a ton. At the Coffee Shop i met the director of the movie! she came in and was just looking around nd she was like "have you heard of twilight?" we were like yesss and she said "well im directing it". then we got pictures with her and she said she will put them in the bakc of the movie but im not sure if she will.
Tommy hilfiger did a commercial down at the beach right before this whole twilight thing too.
I will admit forks is a boring place to go if you dont know anyone to show you the places. Its a hicktown. not a hole :] on the edge of a ghost town before twilight so of course everyone is milking it up. and those people who gave you the map are not a couple. Marsha and Mike. They just work there and have forever. ...but anyways back to what we do in forks. we do a lot of quading becuase of all the logging roads and random places they lead to. I dont go to the beach but maybe once a year... we have sports tournaments. Innertubing Kneeboarding Wakeboarding out at Lake Pleasant. Walk up and down Main Street.Go Mudding. Work. Once you live here you know what there is to do around here.
lets see what else...
Its sunny here all the time! haha we just got out of a thunderstorm. but it was 90 degrees a few days ago. i agree that we dont have the greatest weather. but look at our surroundings. Mountains Mountains and... more mountains. :]

thats all i can think about right now... Forks is a great place to live because you know everyone haha.