Wooooaaaahhhooooaahhoooaa hoooaaa hoooaaa hooaaa! < ——- (That’s me singing the intro to Eyes on Fire from the Twilight soundtrack)
Okay, so I think I’d blush a hell of a lot less writing out details of my sex life than in writing down this excursion to Forks, Washington, the location of the sparkly vampire drama / romance of the Twilight books.
This was a trip filled with excitement and self-loathing. It’s no secret that the poorly written literature of the Twilight books has some kind of hidden power over the average teenager and / or stay-at-home housewife. Something about emo vampires and werewolves in neurotic and controlling relationships make people regress into the mental state of a screaming Justin Bieber fan. I am one of those giggling Twihard victims – barely hanging onto a lifeline (tiny shred) of my self-respect and human dignity. Jonathan is a fan but on a much more masculine, face-saving, “They’re a good read, I guess” scale. My only saving grace is that the movies sucked in comparison to the books, and I can point that fact out as some kind of badge of proof that I’m not THAT far gone for the saga.
Regardless, I have been bugging Jonathan’s family to make the 5 hour excursion from their house to Twilight land since Jonathan and I had begun dating about 4 years ago. And maybe it was the pity of pregnancy that triggered them to cave in, but for some reason this trip was the one that they finally gave in on, haha.
The drive into the Olympic Peninsula is exactly as the books and movies depict. Lots of green, lots of moss, lots of wilderness, lots of RAIN. (Which I love. Screw you, Bella.) The town of Forks is super tiny and nothing special if you’re not A) Pretending that this town is infested with vegetarian vampires or B) Making fun of the tourists giggling and swooning and taking pictures of everything. And there were a surprising amount of tourists in a town with absolutely nothing to do but gawk. The tiny little town went from 1,500 visitors a year to well over 40,000 after Stephanie Meyer immortalized it in her Twilight books.
Everyone and everything in the town is Twilight themed. Twilight themed food, music, décor, you name it. A lot of the local business owners and staff stay in character, talking about the characters as if they really exist. The local hospital has a reserved parking space for Dr. Cullen. Bella’s truck is parked outside the visitor center. And so on and so on and so on. A lot of movie props are on display all over the town, like Charlie’s police uniform at the Forks Police Station and Dr. Cullens doctors coat at the Visitor Center.
It turns out that my mother-in-law Connie Jo has a friend who has a friend who works at Forks Outfitters (the location where Bella works in the second book) and during our tour of the town she decided to stop by and say hi. She had never met him before, but knew that his name was Michael. So she asked the clerks at the front, who then proceeded to get really confused because they weren’t sure if she was talking about Michael Newton from the books, or the “real” Michael.
After visiting Forks, we drove 30 minutes out to La Push and the Quileute Indian Reservation. I was curious to see how a proud, heritage heavy Native American tribe would take to being immortalized the world over as being cheesy caricatures of vampire hating shape-shifting werewolves. Apparently, “cha-ching” is Indian for, “We don’t mind.” The reservation was every bit as werewolf themed as Forks was vampire themed. They even had a local pretending to be Jacobs grandfather, and his house was open to visitors who are invited to sit around the fire and listen to the werewolf lore of the Quileute Indians. Which is cute, and quaint, but the idea of waltzing into someones house and listening to him pretend to be the relative of a fictional wolf-boy is a little too… umm… creepy for me.
The hike from the road to the driftwood beach of La Push was gorgeous. It started raining on us, which I LOVED. The scenery is awesome and I would love love LOVE to have been able to spend a weekend reading the Twilight books surrounded by such scenery. (There goes that schizophrenic fandom again, “Look at those twihard dweebs they are so retar… OMG, I CAN PRETEND TO BE BELLA HERE!!”)
On our drive out of town we stopped in Port Angeles, and ate at Bella Italia, the restaurant that Meyers has Edward and Bella eat at on their first date. I guess she Googled this random Italian eatery before including it in the book, and now it’s a tourist hot spot. I ordered the Mushroom Ravioli that Bella orders, (I know, I know, SHUT UP) and it was a sweet and romantic way to conclude our Twilight pilgrimage.
Unless you’re already in the area or are a slobbering Twilight fan that makes felt replicas of Bella’s pregnant womb and gibbers like Kristen Stewart trying to deliver a line, I wouldn’t recommend making the trip out to the middle of nowhere to see Forks. The sights in the Olympic Peninsula are breathtaking and worthwhile for nature buffs, but Forks, La Push and Port Angeles really are just tiny blips on the map. Still, it makes for some great geek-cred bragging rights. ^_^
Here’s some photos of our Alice and Jasper Cullen cosplay for the Breaking Dawn Part 2 release. We took the photos last year in the Sequoia National Forest – not a BAD sub for Forks, right?? 😉