A week ago, the Hubby announced we were going away for the weekend. He had it all planned, had a sitter, and had reservations. We leave Friday after work. A little known, but important, fact about me….I hate surprises. Why? First, I’m a control freak….I believe I can plan everything better as I will, of course, remember something that someone else will overlook and will prevent the house from being burnt down. But, the main reason is because surprises were lorded over me as a kid. And, because I have a temper and am stubborn (Taurus here born in the year of the Ox), so my reaction after being tormented with a surprise is to say, “I don’t care what it is, I don’t want it.” Let’s just say a surprise strained several friendships when I was 16. I know, that was 15+ years ago, but I can’t help it. It brings out the worst in me.
So, after initially freaking out about the details, I resigned myself to going on said surprise. Why? Because I needed a weekend away from my life. I had total and complete faith in my friend Mexi who was kind enough to watch them even after spending the week teaching. And, the Hubby and I needed time together to have adult relations.
Where did we go? Forks, Washington – the setting of the Twilight books. I loved the Twilight books. I like good stories. I like unique perspectives on vampires. And, I like anything that takes place in the Pacific NW which is where I call home. While I consider myself computer-geek girl, I try hard not be geek girl over places related to books and movies. But, I decided “fuck it”, I’m going to have fun….and with my husband….in a way other than one involving a bed. (Hey, check-in time wasn’t until 4pm on Saturday, so we had to do something.) 🙂
The drive into Forks was wonderful despite the downpours of rain at times. The Olympic Forest is the only rain forest in the 48 contiguous states, so rain is pretty much expected. Friday night, we drove to Olympia, WA where it took us two attempts to find the hotel. The youngest is obsessed with Red Lion Hotels after a year ago, we were forced to spend two nights when our kitchen was being redone. When we saw a sign for a Red Lion, we had to stay. We decided we couldn’t find it, and we would go on for another place. Let’s just say, the next place was 45 minutes away, had we gotten there. After driving into a dark forest (or what seemed like it) and getting laughed at by a couple of clerks at a small town 7-11, we went back to Olympia where we finally found it.
I’m glad we missed it. The next morning, it was beautiful. You can always tell you are getting close to the ocean because of the fog that rolls in from it. And, the fog made some of the views along the way surreal. And, you could tell we were skirting the Olympic National Forest because to the right was solid forest while to the left it was farm land.
The west side of the Cascade Mountains is completely affected by the weather patterns in the Pacific. And the night before, the weather person said a “high pressure” was settling in off-shore. To an Oregonian or Washingtonian, this means sun. It means clear skies – and no rain. What did we learn? That may be true normally, but the weather is a little less predictable when you drive by and through a rain forest. One minute, it would be blue skies with a little fog occasionally. The next it would be raining. But, overall it was beautiful!
For you non-Twilight fans, this is the truck our heroine Bella drives in the book. I’m surprised I have a clean shot of the truck, actually. There were swarms of mothers and daughters around it. There were some guys too – but many you could tell were just along for the ride. At the visitor’s center, the two people were kept hopping. While they could have just thrown the map at you, they actually spent about 5 minutes with each group that came through. The envelope with the map also included trivia and other info. The 5 minute walk-through of the self-guided tour info included info on the best place to start, which streets to avoid because they are impossible to make left-hand turns onto, and such.
Tomorrow, I will give you a guided tour of the town and La Push’s First Beach. And, I’m sure I will also be kicking myself for the crappy food I ate all weekend. I need advise for eating while traveling, especially if you can pack for yourself ahead of time. But, that’s for tomorrow!