Ok, so if you haven’t figured it out already I am a nerd. I love Star Wars (all 7 movies, the Clone Wars series, the books, I am waiting for the online game.) I’ve read and re-read the Harry Potter series, Chronicles of Narnia and the Twilight Saga several times. (Yes, I said 7 SW movies, I am including the Clone Wars movie in that.) If I could go visit Coruscant, Tattooine, Naboo, or any of the SW planets I totally would. I plan to one day go to Orlando and check out Hogwarts, and catch Star Wars Weekends at Disney.
That being said, I got to indulge my inner fangirl and visit Meyer’s setting for the Twilight Saga. So I don’t 100% agree with her portrayal of vampires, Dracula didn’t sparkle. However, I like her books, even though I resisted reading them until Cameo convinced me to give them a try. The town portrayed in the movies looks nothing like the town portrayed in the books, you’d think Forks was some blooming metropolis if you only went based on the movie. That is not the case. Forks is like any small town, one main road with the businesses on either side, smaller side streets filled with houses. There were some nice houses too, and some gorgeous gardens. Following 101 South from Port Angeles before you get to Forks is a turn off that will take you to the Quileute Indian reservation, which we did drive through, also not an exact portrayal in the movies, but it was close. Just past the town of Forks- well about 20 miles away is the Hoh National Rain Forest which we also visited. The whole area is just one scenic visit. The transit hub in Forks is full of backpackers who are happy for a meal at any of the tasty choices in town. The motels are small town, but welcoming and overall not a bad place for a visit, you can hit a beach or a rain forest without driving more than a half hour in either direction. Port Angeles is about an hour away (unless you are stuck behind two boat trailers that are driving rather slow.) Driving through Port Angeles you can hardly believe Bella could get lost in the town, or that she would attract any lurking punks. The weekend was great and I appreciate Tim and the kids putting up with me!
If you ever visit, The Forks Motel is a pretty nice place, you can have pets there for $15 extra per pet, which is about standard these days in most hotels that will let you bring a pet, and you can make reservations online. The beds were comfortable and they have a heated outdoor pool open during the summer season. We also ate at Forks Coffee Shop when we arrived, the omelet was HUGE, but delicious. The staff is friendly and the service is quick. We ate and then after checking in to the hotel we took off to visit the Pacific coast. Dogs are not allowed on La Push, so I only have one picture from there, but a little farther north of La Push is Rialto Beach where Dixie and Bella got a chance to put their toes in the ocean and apparently Bella felt it necessary to eat a lot of tiny pebbles. The Latvis family can now say we have driven coast to coast in 2011; we have touched the Atlantic and Pacific oceans this year.Rialto beach is bordered by enormous driftwood trees bleached white by the sun. The ground is full of smooth stones and patches of gritty sand. In the distance you can see the reservation as well as cliffs suitable for diving- if you don’t mind plunging into shallow water below. Just beyond the small stretch of beach is an impressive evergreen forest. The area is full of hiking trails, if you’re in the Olympic National Park you can’t take the dogs, you can take them in some areas in the Olympic National Forest. Considering how full our car is now, I don’t think we could have found room for two large dog crates. If we had we might have left the girls at the motel so we could hit a few trails. (Luckily here in Tacoma we are able to take them on the trails with us at Point Defiance metro park, leash and poop scoop rules do apply.)
If you’re still with me, here are the pictures you’ve probably been waiting for me to get to! All my fellow Twifans…and no, I won’t name you because I’m nice like that. To the Krispy Kreme boy we got our coffee from, thank goodness you have a sense of humor, sorry to report, we didn’t see any vampires or werewolves on our trek to the peninsula, but thanks for the advice! Oh, I didn’t tell that story, did I? We were on the road from Tacoma just after seven am and stopped for coffee, the boy noticed we had a car full of kids and dogs and a roof carrier so he asked us if we had exciting plans for the weekend. I am sure he expected hiking or camping or fishing, not Tim’s straight faced answer of “Vampire hunting.” Tim can keep a straight face when throwing a one liner like that, I just shook my head. (Imagine Brad Stafford if you will, the krispy kreme kid sounded just like him, so in my head Tim is talking to a young Brad.) With a chuckle the kid is obviously trying to hold back he tells us that luckily we are safe from vampires in Tacoma, he hears they’re farther out on the peninsula. With that we were on our way.