This one's gonna be long...
My cell phone alarm clock went off at 5am, Chris and I got up and dressed then I woke up Allie. I grabbed my camera (which was still plugged into the computer from Monday night after I blogged) and we headed out at 5:50am. As we were driving across the 520 bridge, I turned my camera on to take a picture of the magnificent Mt. Rainier and it immediately turned off while this dreaded message flashed across the screen: battery low. AHHHHH!!! Forgetting to unplug it from the computer must have drained the battery. Chris suggested we buy disposable cameras so we got off the freeway and went to a 76 gas station. Here's how my conversation with the clerk went: "Do you have any disposable cameras?" "No." "Do you know if there is a Wal-Mart or electronics store open right now?" "No." And I walked out. So very helpful...
There was a Safeway just down the road so I bought four 27-picture disposable cameras. I asked the clerk if there was a Wal-Mart around and told me there was and gave me some complicated directions. It was too out of the way so I settled with my disposables.
Finding the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry was super easy, there were signs all the way there. $41 dollars later we had our 3 passenger/1 car ticket and boarded the ferry named Puyallap. (Sorry, I won't have pictures of these early hours until after I get the one disposable camera I used developed). As soon as we saw someone get out of their car, we got out too. We went up two stories to the passenger deck and since Allison was hungry we had a good excuse to get some breakfast. Allie got a danish doughnut, Chris got a blueberry muffin and I got a sausage egg muffin. After eating we walked to the front of the ferry and proceeded to shout, "I'm the king of the world!" with arms outstretched and everything. Chris and Allie got cold and went inside but I loved the wind rushing through my hair and the beautiful views surrounding me so I faced the cold and stayed outside the whole half-hour ride.
Once we docked we drove off the ferry and made our way through the cute town of Kingston. About 45 minutes later, just as we were approaching the town of Port Angeles (our first Twilight-related stop!), we saw a sign for Wal-Mart. Oh Wal-Mart how I love you. We ran inside and bought a semi-cheap digital camera that used AA batteries and got some extra AA batteries - just in case. I think having a dead camera battery in the first place was a blessing because my camera battery would have died anyways because I ended up taking over 350 pictures. We didn't see another Wal-Mart the rest of the day, so I would have been stuck buying disposable cameras again. With this new AA battery camera, I just bought extra batteries so I could take as many pictures as my heart desired - and my heart definitely desired. Here's my first picture of my favorite store using my new camera:
It was just a five minute drive from Wal-Mart into Port Angeles. My google map instructions lead me right to La Bella Italia - the restaurant where Bella and Edward ate (well, just Bella because Edward doesn't eat). The sign said it didn't open until 4pm. We looked inside and what I saw made the whole trip worth it.
Do you see the Twilight book sitting on the table? To me, that meant this place was legit.
I flipped through Allie's copy of Twilight, just to double-check, and sure enough, if you look at the 6th line of the page, there it is: La Bella Italia.
It's totally how I pictured it in my mind's eye.
A few doors up from La Bella Italia is a movie theater where I'm sure Bella, Jacob and Mike watched a show.
And a few doors down is the bookstore where Bella was under-enthused with their selection (although we went in and I found it quite well-rounded).
In their window display, Port Book and News is making the most of their relations to Twilight. If I didn't live in Utah, I would be right here for the midnight release of Breaking Dawn.We drove down to the docks and enjoyed all that Port Angeles has to offer.
We decided to come back to Bella Italia for dinner on the way home.
The drive to Forks was so beautiful, only seeing it in real life can do it justice. At one point we drove through the Olympic National Forest and the road went right alongside the lake.
I have never seen such blue water before except in pictures of Hawaii and the Philippines.
Entire mountains were absolutely covered with trees.
We saw about 30 of these log-carrying trucks throughout our journey. I'm just glad that trees are a renewable resource. Every few miles there would be a sign saying: Trees harvested in 1985, replanted in 1986, next harvest in 2036. It's nice to know that loggers are at least attempting to make people feel better about what they're doing by letting people know what they've done, how they've fixed it, and when they're planning to do it again.
About an hour after leaving Port Angeles we saw the first "signs" of Forks. I asked Chris to pull over so we could get out of the car and take these pictures. I really was in Forks! As we were taking the last shots, another car pulled over to the side of the road - more Twilighters I'm sure.
Our plan was to find the Chamber of Commerce and see if they could tell us where the Twilight hot spots of the town are. As we drove along the main street, I kept seeing signs for places I wanted to go - the community hospital, the police station, the library, the high school. I managed to take a picture of the Thriftway (the only grocery store in town)
and the library from the car.
We kept driving and the houses and buildings started thinning out - did we miss it? We turned around in the next parking lot - which happened to be the Chamber of Commerce parking lot! How serendipitous.
This was one of the signs they had up in their front window. Me too me too! (Thanks Dald for the sweatshirt :)Once inside I was overwhelmed with where to start. There was so much Twilight paraphernalia around, my mind was buzzing. Luckily, one of the ladies working there grabbed our attention and took us over to a table where she proceeded to hand us an envelope full of pamphlets and directions to points of interest in and around Forks. Then she pulled out a binder and flipped through page after page of STUFF... From pictures of Stephenie Meyer and her various trips to Forks, to the thank you card that she wrote herself (the lady opened her signed copy of Twlight to prove that the signature inside and the signature on the card were the same), and a dozen letters that various companies have sent to the Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Bella Cullen, such as Geico Insurance, cosmetics companies, life and health insurance places... a weird thing for companies to do if you ask me. And she's not Bella Cullen...yet! The lady also said that they're going to park a red truck outside for people to take pictures with. I bought some Twilight bookmarks and earrings made by a Twilighter then we left.
Outside, I saw the van that takes people on tours of the town every Saturday. Here is a link to the website where you can find out more about the Twilight Tours.
And here is where they keep track of how much it has rained that year in Forks. So far they're up to 5 feet. That's incredible.
We drove back to Forks Outfitters and went inside. I totally felt like a tourist, carrying around my camera and wandering around a grocery store of all places. I found a Forks High School t-shirt and matching beanie and stood in line. As we were walking away I overheard a conversation that proves this is a small town, just like Stephenie Meyer wrote about. The girl who rung us up was wearing a name badge that said "Sassy B." The guy behind us said to her, "Hey Sass, how's it going?"
"Pretty good. Lunch break?"
I bet they've known each other since birth and their great-grandparents knew each other, too.
Then we drove to Forks Community Hospital where Bella was admitted several times throughout the series.
Around back there was a sign that made my heart do a little dance.
This is so great. I only wish there was a black S55 AMG Mercedes parked in front of it.
Next we drove to Forks High School - Home of the Spartans.
This is the parking lot where Bella was saved by Edward from Tyler's van.
We peeked into a lot of the empty classrooms trying to find a biology room, but we were unsuccessful.
A lady saw us looking through the windows and told us summer classes were going on in another building and that we could probably get a free lunch from them. So we walked over to the building, but felt really weird about it, so we turned around.
Forks High is a bunch of random mis-matched buildings, but it fits Stephenie's descriptions perfectly.
Bella sat at this bench to work on some trig problems when Mike came to talk to her about going to La Push.
This is the sign on the front of Forks High:
We didn't go to the District Office because it was already past 12:00. Maybe next time. And believe you me there will be a next time!
Then we drove around town to see if we could find a house that looked like Bella's and/or the Cullen's. On our quest we drove past the Police station where Charlie works.
This is the house I thought looked most like the Cullen's, just a few houses down from the Forks City Hall:
They must think so too because look what's on their mailbox:
And this is what I think Bella's house would look like, except surrounded by trees. Surprisingly, there aren't as many trees as one would think in Forks, they're mostly on the outskirts of town.
The lady we talked to at the Chamber of Commerce told us that Sully's up the road serves a special "Bella Burger," so that's where we ate lunch.
Sure enough, when we walked in I saw this sign on their window:
Allie and I both ordered Bella Burgers and they came with complimentary vampire teeth and a smiley face (with fangs!) drawn on the wrapping. How cute is this town?
That pretty much checked everything off my list of things to do/see in Forks so we made our way out to First Beach in La Push.
The clouds were starting to roll in at the beach.
I found a fire pit where Bella first met Jacob and he told her about the "cold ones" and werewolves.
I picked up a variety of stones to put in a jar and look at to always remember this day.
The beach is covered with massive amounts of bleached and salted driftwood - apparently the flames are blue when first lit.
Some day I want to take a boat out and explore the cave in this ginormous rock.
I wish we could have stayed longer at the beach and laid out for awhile, but Allie was anxious to get back on the road.
Next, we wanted to go to the Hoh Rain Forest because the map said it was only 12 miles from Forks, but once we got to the Hoh Rain Forest turn off, the sign said it was still another 13 miles. We didn't have enough gas so we turned around.
On the drive back to Port Angeles the gas light went on and we totally stressed out because we were on the winding road by the lake with no shoulder in case the car died and no hopes of reaching a gas station for at least 15 miles. Luckily, we found a gas station after the "empty" light had been on for over 26 miles.
Back in Port Angeles we went to Gottschalks where Bella went with Angela and Jessica dress shopping.
Since it wasn't quite 4pm, we perused the streets and went into several cute boutiques.
Just after 4 we walked up the street and into Bella Italia. When Bella ate here with Edward she ordered mushroom ravioli, a dish which isn't even on the menu but since they've had so many requests for it they will now make it if you ask for it. No one except my dad is a big mushroom fan, so Allie and I shared a pizza and Chris ordered strawberry creme brulee. Everything was delicious.
Here's me and my Edward eating at La Bella Italia:
After dinner it was time to make the long trek home.
So you know how in Leavenworth they turn everything Buvarian? In Sequim, WA they turn everything Native American. Here is a Chevron featuring totem poles:
The ferry ride home was a breeze and I was able to take the pictures of Mt. Rainier I wanted but couldn't on the way over.
It's amazing how many people and cars one ferry can hold - they're very efficient.
So, here's my Twilighter theory about going to Forks and Port Angeles: You have to know where to look. If want to find Twilight stuff, you have to go to the right places. Otherwise, I think the locals are more than happy with their lives pre-Twilight stardom. It seems like they all want to keep on living as if there was no such thing. But that's just my opinion. ETA - A few days after we visited Forks an article came out in The Seattle Times that pretty much concurs with my theory. Click here to read it yourself.
Twilight Tuesday was one of the best days of my life. It's so fun to go somewhere I've never been and see sights that mean so much to me, even if they're based on a fictional book. I hope to get back to Port Angeles and Forks again some day, and I hope it's raining next time so it will really feel like I'm in the book.