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.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Silver Lining

I heard somewhere that it's best to look on the bright side of any situation. I don't know who could have come up with such a concept (snicker) or if there is really truth behind it- but for the last few years I have been mentally compiling a list of reasons why I'm glad I'm not married. The list is much, much longer than this- but here is a a snippet of the list. I'll add to it as I feel appropriate.

  1. I don't have to deal with in-laws. I've heard so many horror stories that I'm glad I won't ever have to worry about whose family we spend which holiday with. I won't have a mother-in-law to judge me secretly thinking that I'm not good enough for her son.
  2. I don't have to worry about divorce. I've seen so many people dealing with divorce the last few years that it makes me sad. People I thought were MFEO- but couldn't make it work.
  3. I won't ever get cheated on. If you don't have a husband, you don't have to worry if he's really at the office late... or with his Secretary (this isn't something that if I were ever to get married I would worry about... cuz if it ever happens, I will trust him with my heart and he would never do this... I hope). I may watch too many movies.
  4. I will never have to worry about being a widow. One thing that breaks my heart is seeing couples who are together for years- decades- and then one of them dies. I honestly don't think I could handle losing the one I love. On the same topic- I've seen an increasing amount of young wives losing their husbands and again- I can't imagine the pain of finally finding the one you want to be with forever- only to have it taken away and thrust back into the single life (shudder). I do not envy those people even a little. Is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? I'd rather not know what I'm missing.
  5. I will never be a mom (this is actually a huge minus- but work with me here). As it sits right now- I'm the perfect mom! I've never yelled at, spanked, or put my kids in time-out. Because they have never misbehaved (haha). I don't have to worry if I'm scarring them for life or if they will grow up to be normal functioning adults.
  6. I don't have to have a fit about the toilet seat being left up. I've never really heard my friends complain about this- but it's pretty cliche so it must be true... right?
  7. I am not a nag. If chores don't get done- it's my own darn fault. Those socks on the floor? Mine.
  8. I can come and go as I please. I can go out with friends whenever I want- as late as I want. If I want to take a trip- I can. If I want to up and move- I can. I only have to worry about Numero Uno.
to be continued...

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Elizabeth Bennett and I have a lot in common. I have always fancied that if I were to write a book about my life and the characters in it, it would resemble a modern day Pride and Prejudice.

I have (and I'm not going to mention names just in case they read this. I don't know if I want them knowing who I think of as whom-- they can assume away) one sister who is a silly, over the top flirt, dramatic and runs away to get married (okay, that one is kind of obvious). There is another who is dramatic, prone to complaining and moodiness- but put her in the right situation and she's a lot of fun and can be quite pleasant. I have one sister who is very righteous and is always quoting scripture and another who is so sweet and never says a bad word about anyone.- and everyone loves her. I have one parent who is level headed and thinks things through and sees things more logically than the other- where the other parent revels in gossip and trying to marry off the daughters (very unsuccessfully, I might add).

I have even had my Mr. Collins. You know, the surprise proposal of marriage from someone who professed to love me but didn't know me at all. I didn't love him- I wasn't even slightly interested in him that way. I was thrown into his company because of circumstance- not necessarily choice. It seemed like it was more a proposal of either convenience, or he thought, "Well, I need to get married. It's not likely anyone else will ask her to marry- so she should be pretty willing to marry me... right?"

Uhh.... Wrong.

Anyway, lately I've been relating more and more with another Austen heroine. I never thought that Marianne Dashwood and I had anything in common. But lately, to my chagrin (I have always considered Marianne a pathetic mess...) I've been more sympathetic toward her. Recently, I've had my own brush with a Willoughby. Our introduction wasn't quite as memorable as Marianne and the mysterious stranger from Allenham (we met at the bank where I work) but through the months that followed, we flirted and even spent some time together talking, laughing and playing the piano. At one point I may have even fancied myself in love with him (though I really have no frame of reference to compare to). I thought things were going well. I thought he liked me too. His feelings were always implied but never declared (enter the pathetic mess).

Then, quite literally overnight, with no explanation, my Willoughby left me- metaphorically. He didn't up and move to London (or in my case, Denver) or anything, he just disappeared from my life. We went from talking on the phone, seeing each other, or at least texting everyday... to absolutely nothing. It was at this point that I went through my Marianne moment. I mourned him. I cried at his extended and unexplained absence. I sat around and racked my brain trying to figure out what I could have possibly done wrong to drive him away. And then I acted like a giddy fool when we inadvertently ran into each other again at a public gathering.

It has taken months (okay, a year) of friend therapy, crying, and replaying every moment in my head to figure it out- but I think I'm finally to the point where I can stop wondering what I did. Maybe- just maybe it wasn't really me. I have come to the conclusion that I wasn't so much in love with him- as I was the idea of him, or more accurately, the idea of who he had the potential to become.

In my head I imagined being there for him to help him through all the issues he is "trying" to work on. I saw myself being a good influence- being the stable rock he could rely on when the rest of the world thought him too weak and left him to drift on his own- and hoping that he would realize that he not only wanted me- but he needed me as he became stronger and came to understand his own self worth and destiny. But that's not going to happen. He has chosen his Miss Grey and her Fifty Thousand Pounds over my Marianne. Miss Grey may not be an actual person so much as a lifestyle or something else that seems more appealing to him. He is taking the "easy" way out instead of sticking with it and fighting for something that could have been wonderful.

So isn't this the time of the story where Colonel Brandon comes? I mean, strictly staying with the story it should be someone I already know, but I can't think of anyone who would fit the description of brooding romantic (trust me, if I did... I would not be writing this)

Somewhere in one of these stories that are my life, I'm still casting the part of either Darcy or Brandon. I won't be too picky. I would even take an Edward Ferrars- though I'm no where near as self sacrificing as Elinor Dashwood and probably don't deserve one of those. If It happens in two fictional novels, it's sure to happen in real life, right? That's a totally healthy way of looking at things.