Sunday, August 30, 2009

Big Giant Nerd Trip 2009

I have never denied that I am a Big Giant Nerd. I suppress my Inner Geek- but I let my Outer Nerd have free reign. Well, my friend, Lisa, and I decided to let out ON's go on a little uh... "literary tour." We are both fans of the Twilight series (scoff if you must) so we decided to make a pilgrimage to Forks, Wa.

It was an adventure from the first ten minutes. We got half way to the airport and Lisa realized she'd forgotten my buddy passes. So we had to get back to her house, grab them and speed (within reason) back to the airport. Luckily our flight was delayed so we were okay to get on the flight.

We flew into Seattle and rented a car. I had printed out directions from the airport to our hotel- but the car rental place isn't at the airport. So we got a little lost and were a little nervous because that doesn't seem to be the most wholesome area for two girls who have no idea what they're doing to get lost in. We finally found the right road though and headed north. We knew we were not going to have any real time in Seattle, but we both hoped that we could at least see the Space Needle. As fate would have it, our Hotel was right across from the Space Needle. It was lovely all lit up at night.

That night we stayed at the Seattle Pacific Hotel. It was probably the most ghetto hotel I've ever stayed at- and one that charged you fees for the stupidest things. I'm glad we only stayed long enough to sleep a bit and grab a shower. Speaking of the shower, I laughed the whole time. It was like trying to take a shower in a high powered car wash. I felt like it was trying to blast my skin off. I've never seen a shower quite like it.

The next morning we headed down to our continental breakfast. We wanted to eat first because we were afraid if we checked out then went to eat they wouldn't let us "because we were no longer guests." We wouldn't have missed much- some stale bagels and soggy muffins. There were a couple of animal heads on the wall (I wish I knew how to do pictures, it wont let me add them how I want to). They were looking at each other and each had one hoof pointing upward out of the wood... it was weird.

We headed out toward our real destination. We got lost a little- googlemaps is very confusing. But we're women so we didn't have a problem asking for directions. I didn't realize when I'd printed off the map that we had to take a ferry. So we had the added expense- yet pleasant surprise of taking the Kingston Ferry. We got there just in time. We were one of the last cars on- Not that it really would have mattered. We weren't in a hurry.

I love the water. It was so nice to go on the passenger deck and be out in the fresh... watery air (I don't want to say "sea air" because it's too inland to be sea). We hopped back in the car and headed on our way. Again getting a little lost- but not much.

Our first stop was Port Angeles. Some significant events take place there in the books- so we had to spend some time there. We stopped at "Bella Italia" where B and E had their first date. We wanted to eat there and order the mushroom ravioli, but they were closed for a private party. Rude. So we ate at some random Chinese place. I miss Idaho Chinese food. hmmm...

Anyway, we hit the road at top speed toward Forks. I was the designated passenger because I wanted to be able to check out the scenery. The driver doesn't get to do that as much. It is so incredibly beautiful going through the Olympic National Park. We spotted car-loads of other Twi-hards along the way- even made friends with some of them. We finally got to Forks and (both giggly and very silly) got out and wandered around. We found what the town has deemed Bella's house (it does not fit the description of location in the book... but it's not real, so what are you gonna do?) We went to their high school, and the hospital where Carlisle works. Parked outside the Chamber of Commerce was Bella's big red truck, right across the street from the store she worked at. Hahah... All kinds of fun things.

My favorite part of the trip- by far- was going to the Quileute Reservation, LaPush. We went and hung out at First Beach for a couple of hours. It was wonderful. I've never worn a sweatshirt to the beach before. I've never see a driftwood beach before. I've really only seen the sandy California kind (except for one shingle beach in England). It was covered in rocks and driftwood... no, drift TREES. I can't imagine the waves that would have brought those ashore. Trees three or four feet thick- and fifty or more feet long, roots that stood up ten feet in the air with the tree on its side... it was crazy. It was beautiful. The waves were great. We were there while tide came in. There were lots of surfers.

Sadly, we had to leave the beach. We headed back to Forks. It was just past 6:00 and everything was closed. Too funny. Luckily a couple of the diners stay open for out of towners like us (and can I just say that every motel in town had "No Vacancy" signs up? You know we weren't the only ones there!) We went to one of the diners to eat. It's a good thing we weren't in a hurry- because "hurry" is one word that town does not get. We were at the diner for over and hour and half. It was fine with me- It's not like we had a lot to do otherwise. We headed back across the street to the Forks Motel where we stayed. They had Wifi connections, but neither Lisa nor I could connect. When we asked the guy at the desk, he told us he didn't know anything about the Internet. I just had to laugh.

We hung out in our room that night (maybe we watched the movie, maybe not). The next day we were up, breakfasted and out before too late. Lisa had to work Sunday so we had to head back to Seattle to catch our flight. I secretly hoped we would miss it just so we could be out of Colorado for one more day- but we made it. Instead of taking the Ferry again, this time we took a southern route and went across the Tacoma Narrows.

It was a super fun trip. The nerd in me is satisfied for now. I'm trying to think where else we can go. Hmmmm... My sisters really want to make that trip. I would totally do it again- and recommend it. If for nothing else, the scenery. You really can't beat the beauty of the Olympic National Forest. It really is quite magical. Stranger things have happened than Golden Eyed Vampires.


Cammie Kate said...

I love the Olympic Peninsula! I would someday like to live in Sequim, about 15 miles east of Port Angeles. There is a lighthouse out there that I have been a keeper at twice. You get to stay out there for a whole week totally separated from the world except for the hikers that walk 6 miles out on the spit. They have a radiation therapy clinic in Sequim and I would love to be near the water. I am glad you had fun. Isn't the ferry ride fun.

Fish Family said...

That is awesome! Embrace the nerd-ness! It sounds like you had a ton of fun, and I loved the pictures of the animal heads on fb. Weird.