Saturday, August 20, 2011

Land of the Twilighters

So to spare our family friends who could care less about Twilight, and think I'm slightly to completely nuts, I've broken our vacation posts into two parts. Twilight highlights, and all of the rest. Forks is pretty much a tiny, one stoplight, one drag town sandwiched between the ocean and the forest. So far as I could tell, you either work at a store in town, or are a logger. I imagine a lot of the town's income comes from us crazy Twilight people. You actually have to wait in a little line to take a picture in front of most of the book landmarks. And the people in town are very good sports about it. If you go to the visitors center on the south end of town, they will actually give you a packet for Twilight. There's a map to all of the spots, fun facts, and trivia. The women there explained, rather disappointedly, that Catherine Hardwick wanted to film the movies where they were set, but Washington wouldn't give them as good a tax break as other states. I'm pretty sure no one in Forks voted for Christine Gregoire. Filming the movie there would have really put them on the map. I talked to some of the shop keepers in town and they would all tell me about how these stores sat empty for ten years. The town was kind of dying off. The town is kind of a jumping off point for back packers and a home base for serious fishermen. But suddenlly all these tourists started showing up asking about places in these books. People in town started reading the books, one lady told me their library didn't even have a copy at first, and getting in on the act. Now there are stores dedicated just to Twilight. And a lot of stores that would have otherwise probably gone out of business, are doing well by carrying large selections of Twilight stuff. There's stuff I never would have even thought of. I mean who would have thought you could buy Twilight rainboots and scrapbook paper in the same store? I never heard a single bad word about the hordes of crazy women that descend on the town, but I did get some nasty looks from some locals. I get the sense that the actual Quiliets are slightly less amused.
This is the Italian restaurant that's in the book, and also used in the movie. I really wanted to eat there but it's more like a date restaurant. It wasn't super expensive, but the people looked so civilized, and it was nice. We didn't fell like unleashing our children's considerable destructive talents would be appreciated.

Some of the home owners in town are very generous with us Twilighters as they call us. This is a bed and breakfast that stands in as the Cullen's home. Personally, it was not what I'd imagined when I'd read the books, but apparantly it's the closest thing they have around. The top picture is the white board on the front of the house. They will let Twilight people come up on the porch to take pictures. The owner's wife writes little notes everyday from "Esme" about what the Cullen's are out doing. I heard that if the owner's are outside in their garden when people come to take a picture, they will go inside so people can have an "authentic" experience. There are quotes from the movie, describing the house, taped to the windows. And an Edward cutout in the top bedroom window. The funny part is you can pay to go inside for set amounts of time to see "Edward's piano" and "Carlisle's office". Being a bed and breakfast, you can also stay there and pretend you're having a sleepover with Edward, but I think they charge you extra if you shred the pillows and break the headboard.

They have duplicates of Bella's truck in front of the visitor's center. The top one is her truck from the movie, the bottom her truck from the book. The sign on the movie truck makes it sound like it's the actual one, but I'm not sure.
My sweet hubby who let me drag him on this nutty trip posing as my Edward. I'm sure he was silently laughing inside the whole trip.
The Forks police department let's you stroll right in to see the shadow box collage they made. And wander around taking pictures of their cars. I don't think crime is too much of an issue here.
These people's house looks just like I'd pictured Bella and Charlie's in my mind. I didn't even have to look at the address to know it was the right one. They must be very good natured about the whole thing. They've made a sign that says "Home of the Swans" and put it in their front yard. And they let you stand in their yard to take pictures. The visitor's center's map tells you what people will tolerate. I can't imagine having cars line up in front of my house all day long and people hopping out to take a picture in my front yard.
This is inside a really awesome store called "Dazzled by Twilight." They have a little branch in Port Angeles, but their main store is in Forks. The whole inside is totally decked out. They have grass like flooring, and twinkle lights on the ceiling. They have all sorts of cool scenes. This is a set of lockers that are decorated like the Cullen's.
The "Swans" house from a distance.
The hospital has a desigated spot for Dr. Cullen.
A side door on the outside of Dazzled by Twilight. Inside this door, they have a whole display of old medical tools. They also have these cool pictures of the actors photoshopped in old cars and clothes and stuff. They're in sepia so they look like all of these pictures of the Cullen's through the past century.
One corner of the shop has a mural of La Push painted down the wall and this motorcycle.
Bella and Edward's tree in the store. There's also a small gazebo decorated with twinkle lights, a cutout of Edward in his suit, and a cutout of Edward, Bella, and Jacob with Bella's face cutout. I took a dorky picture in it, at the top of this post.
The high school sign. This spot had the longest line to take a picture. We're not talking Disneyland or anything, but still.
Down at La Push beach, people write on the logs with burnt sticks. Lots of "we were here" stuff. There was this group of five college girls down on the beach on their own Twilight tour. They asked me to take a picture of them on the logs. It seemed like the kind of thing I would have done with my summer break. The funny thing about being in Forks was that in my mind it was nothing but Bella and Edward's town. I couldn't get my mind to stop looking for actors from the movies around every corner. In my imagination, I would work every random person in town into the story somehow. It was so much on my mind, the first thing I did when we got home was crack open Breaking Dawn, and read like I'd never read it before.