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Dorks in Forks
theladyjess

So, it all started back in April or May when I heard that Forks holds a celebration on September 13 in honor of Bella Swan. I thought, “Cool, maybe I should go.” I told Kenzie, my sister, about it and she was all for a day trip. The subject came up every now and then over the months but not much was discussed.

 

Late July:

My husband, Chad, is home from Japan for the summer and we start discussing where we should go for a few days before he has to go back to Japan. Victoria, BC? Leavenworth, WA? Seaside OR? Chad busts out with “How about Forks?” I’m like, “What??? Seriously? You’ll go to Forks?” He assures me that he’s not joking. Bad thing to do.  I have my computer on my lap and I immediately do a Yahoo search for Forks. Up pops www.forkswa.com the website for the chamber of commerce (C of C) and I start looking at hotels. I start coming up with ideas of things we can do while in the area before realizing that Chad won’t have enough time off before he leaves to go on a 3-4 day trip with me and our family camping trip so one will have to go. Unfortunately the trip to Forks is put on hold.

While doing research for the trip that never was I came across info for Stephenie Meyer Day. I was now more determined than ever to go and once again brought up the idea to Kenzie. She has to work on Saturdays so Sunday was the only day she could go. As the weekend approached I went back to the websites I found to see the schedule of events and plan our day trip. 

September 4th (one week before SMD):

I stumble upon a blog for 98331 Gear www.98331gear.com , a store in Forks that sells Twilight merchandise. I comment on a shirt they will be selling stating that I’ll be in town for Bella’s Birthday.

Wednesday September 9th:

Around 1am I’m surfing the net and check back at 98331’s blog. Staci, the store owner, had posted a new blog the day before about vampire makeovers the store was going to offer. I commented that I am a makeup artist and would be willing to help if she would like. At 10pm she posted that she’d love to have me help and to send her an email. MSN was coming to town to cover the events and she was kinda freaking out. I fired off an email and waited for a reply.

 

Thursday, September 10th:

No reply from Staci and Kenzie is starting to flake out on me. “I’m not sure if I want to go. It’s a long dirve.” Waah, waah, waah. STFU Kenzie! I’m still debating about going because I’m not sure if I want to go alone. I want to go on Saturday but not by myself. Yeah, I’m 31, but I’m totally pulling the girl card and not wanting to go to the bathroom alone. I post to my Facebook, “Anyone want to go to Forks with me this weekend?”

Friday, September 11th:

I get up around 11am (I know, you’re jealous but I don’t work so I can sleep in), shower, and check my email. Still nothing from Staci but I figure she’s busy preparing for the weekend so I give her a call. When she answers I can tell she’s stressed. I explain who I am and she is relieved that I can come. She asks me to bring my kit, what she’s planning to do, and that she’s starting around 10 am. I hang up and immediately start to panic. 

OMG! Where am I going to stay? No one has any vacancy. Do I want to go up tonight or get up and be on the road by 6am? Am I crazy? There’s no fucking way I’m getting up early! Over to the computer, look up www.forkswa.com and start calling the hotels they have listed. No vacancies. No, sorry, we don’t know who might have a room. After about 5 hotels I give up and go over to hotels.com. Shit out of luck, they have no listings for Forks what so ever. Hmm…Port Angeles then. Ahh! Days Inn. $80 a night? Sure, all I need is a bed and a shower.

Ok, hotel is done, now onto my makeup kit. Shit! I still haven’t cleaned my brushes. Gotta grab the brush cleaner and take it with me, I’ll just clean them in the room before I go to bed. Good thing almost everything I need is together in my rolling case. I pull out the dirty towels, grab a few clean ones and some extra applicators since I’m not sure how many people I’ll be doing.

Out to the storage shed to grab a small gym bag for my clothes and my folding makeup stools. Since I don’t know what the set up will be I’d rather bring them and not need them than leave them and not have them. I’ve made that mistake before and my back paid the price for the next week.

Makeup done, now onto clothes. Of course my ‘I heart Boys Who Sparkle’ shirt has to come. I’m wearing that one on Saturday. What else? Oh, my black shirt with white trim and two pairs of black skinny jeans. Oh, but the weather report says it’s going to be in the mid to upper 70s. I better grab my black white and pale blue plaid skort just in case. Add some under clothes, my bathroom bag and some jewelry and I’m done.

Woohoo! I’m on a roll. Now to tackle the check book so I know how much I can spend. Thank God it balances on the first try; I don’t think I could handle trying to find any mistakes right now. Pay some bills, get a deposit ready and I’m done. Pack the car and I’m ready to leave.

Before leaving the house I need to write down the address of 98331 Gear and of the Chamber of Commerce so I can input them into my GPS. I also try to print off a copy of the schedule of events but for some reason I can’t get it to print. Fucking computer! I don’t have time to fuck around with it; I’ve got to get to the bank before they close for the weekend.

Somewhere in all of this I’m on the phone with Kenzie a few times. She wants to bail on Sunday and I’m like, “No way, you’re going!” She’s all, “I feel like such a dork for wanting to go.” I say, “Well, then we’ll be dorks in Forks! Now, are you coming up and staying with me on Saturday night or are you coming up Sunday morning?” She finally agrees to come up on Saturday and she may even be able to get off work early. I want to make t shirts that say “Dorks in Forks Totally Twihard” but I don’t have the time to run to the fabric store to get the necessary supplies.

I’m out the door and on the road by 5:30pm. I stop by the bank and jump on the freeway. I stop again to fill up my gas tank and grab a bite to eat as I head up Highway 16. Traffic on Hwy 3 slows to a crawl l just past the Poulsbo exit due to the stop light at the intersection of Hwy 3 and 104. Once I turn onto 104 things get going again and I’m soon passing through Discovery Bay and Sequim (rhymes with swim). I finally pull into the hotel at 9:30 or so after stopping at Safeway to pick up some soda, water and snacks. Of course there’s a long line at the counter and only one desk person. 

Once I’m finally in my room and my brushes are clean I sit down and log onto www.imdb.com to see what’s new. Of course the new trailer has to be released on the day that I have shitty internet. I try to watch the trailer but all it will do is load for 3-4 minutes, play for 1-2 seconds and then load again. This goes on for almost an hour before the entire trailer is loaded and I can actually watch it. OMG!!! Awesome! Now I can finally go to sleep. I still have an hour drive ahead of me in the morning and I want to stop by the C of C before I start makeup.

Saturday, September 12th:

I get up at 6:30am, hella early for me. Once showered, dressed and make up applied I’m ready to hit the road. God I could really use some caffeine. As I’m headed out of town I see a Safeway and low and be hold they have a Starbucks. There is a God! Once I’ve got my venti double blended caramel frap with extra caramel in the cup I’m on my way. The drive is beautiful and I’d stop to take pics if I wasn’t on a schedule. Why do all the slow drivers insist on being in front of me? Move damn it! I need to be somewhere!

 

Woo! There’s the “Welcome to Forks” sign! Almost there! I enter town from the north end and the C of C is at the south end. I pass through the “downtown” area on my way through town and I’m surprised that most shops aren’t open yet even though it’s just after 9:30. I arrive at the C of C about 20 minutes to 10 and I really have to pee. Like, they better have a bathroom in there or I’m going to pee my pants have to pee. As I chat with some other Fampires as we wait for them to open I’m wondering to myself if I can wait until they open. Finally at about 5 to 10 they open the doors and I’m able to get some relief. I pick up some of the free publications they have for the weekend, my map of Forks, and buy two books—Twilight Tours and Twilight Territory. I sign the guest book and I’m on my way to 98331 Gear to help with makeovers. 

     
 

When I get to the store things are kinda crazy. MSN is setting up for the interview, the back room is hot because of the lights and Staci can’t start the interview until her daughter gets there. People seem to be coming in waves so the store is empty then full then empty again. I grab my kit from the car and fill my apron pockets with what I’m going to need. It’s a good thing that I packed my stools because we need them. Staci’s daughter finally arrives and I find out from her that she’s the ASB president for the high school and has been doing tours of the school all morning. I don’t want to be in the way and the back room of the store is sweltering so I hang out up front and do a little shopping as I wait. 

As soon as MSN is gone the back room cools at least 10 degrees. They only had two lights but man those things put off a ton of heat! Because we got started late we have several makeovers waiting. I’m used to pressure and speedy makeup from doing weddings so I just move into make up mode. Ass in the chair, powder, eyes shadow, eye liner, mascara, sparkles, done, on to the next one. The mad rush finally calms down and Staci steps out to see what else is going on in town and I pull my kit together and put my supplies away. 

Around 1pm Kenzie calls to say she’s on her way and I leave the shop to do some shopping as I wait for Kenzie. I want to check out Dazzled by Twilight www.dazzledbytwilight.com and am amazed by the store. Apparently everyone else wanted to go shopping at the same time I did because the store is a mad house. I spend my time browsing and find a little monkey with a button that says “hang on tight spider monkey”. Kenzie and I have this thing about chimpanzees. It’s all the fault of the Bare Naked Ladies and their song Another Postcard http://www.mtv.com/videos/barenaked-ladies/35812/another-postcard.jhtml If you haven’t heard it, go check it out. It’s a very catchy little tune, but I digress. After I leave Dazzled I head to the park. Or at least I think I’m heading towards the park. I end up going the wrong way and after about a block and a half I duck into a motel office to ask where the park is. Yep, that’s right; I’m walking in the wrong direction. I’m usually very good with finding my bearings but today I’m directionally challenged. Now I’ve missed the group photo.

Now that I’ve finally found the park I do a little shopping while I wait for Kenzie to get here. There are vendors selling original jewelry designs but I’m not the type to wear Bella’s charm bracelet or something that has the names of the books on it. I prefer things that are more of an “inside” thing. Something that to understand what it means you’d have to know what it is talking about. Like the pendant that I found made by Bitten&Dazzled www.bittenanddazzled.com that says “Plus que ma propre vie.” Angela has some awesome jewelry designs—bracelets with quotes from the books, ear rings, pendants, key chains, and bookmarks. I love her stuff and spend some time chatting with her. She tells me about a Twilight event coming up at one of our local malls and I offer to help her at her booth at the Tacoma Food and Gift Festival. She also tells me about a Twilight cruise. I’m like, “Seriously? A cruise?” and she’s all like, “Yeah, they want me to be a vendor.” And she gives me a brochure.

I check my watch and it’s almost 4pm, time for the documentary but Kenzie still isn’t here. Of course the ONE THING I really want to do this weekend and it doesn’t look like I’m going to make it. I’m debating about going on my own but I know if I go then she’ll get here and be all pissy ‘cause she can’t find me and doesn’t know where to park. I just stay put in the park and hang out with Angela. Around 4:30 Kenzie calls to say she’s just passed the Forks sign and where should she go. She sees the park and just meets me there. 

Kenzie makes a quick circuit of the park. As we wander over to where Bella’s truck is parked we see another attendee who’s dressed as Charlie (she’s dressed in a flannel shirt with jeans and police style sunglasses and has her hair braided. Anytime she’s in character she holds her braid over her upper lip). One of Forks’ finest is picking up the police car they have on display and he lets “Charlie” sit in the car and turn the lights on. It’s nice to see that even the police can get into the spirit of the weekend.

Kenzie’s seen everything in the park so we jump in her car and move it to where I’m parked. We run back into 98331 Gear so I can pick up my makeup kit and I can pay for my shirt. Staci is back and I ask if she has the Eddie Bear in the store and if I can hold him. He’s so cute and cuddly. I’m really hoping that the store will come out with all the Cullen men in bear form. I pay for my “Forks makes me wet” shirt and Staci compensates me for my services. I’ll be back next year if she’ll have me. I love the girls in this store and their merchandise is great! I mean, how could you not like a store that sells shirts with saying such as “I got fanged in Forks,” and “I got licked in La Push”? If you come to town you have to stop by and say hi. You just have to! Staci also has the most autographed merchandise for sale I’ve seen in town.

Kenzie and I head down the street and I inform her of my plan of attack. Today we’ll shop for a bit, grab a bite to eat and then head to La Push for the Quileute story telling on the beach, while tomorrow is reserved for sightseeing, more shopping and birthday celebrations in the park. Our first stop is JT’s Sweet Stuff where I find the cutest stuffed werewolf wearing a little red shirt saying Jacob. I’m not necessarily Team Jacob but he’s too cute to pass up. I also pick up an “I partied at Bella’s Birthday” badge. The badge looks so official that while in other stores people stop to ask me questions.

 

We make a stop in the Dazzled by Twilight tour shop where the writers of Twilight Tours are here signing books but I’ve forgotten mine in the car. Maybe tomorrow. I see that they have a Japanese promo poster for the movie, but it’s not the full size one like what I have. We head two doors down to the actual Dazzled store. If you ever come to Forks this is the place for all things Twilight. Bumper stickers, shirts, sweatshirts, jewelry, mugs, glasses, books, you name it it’s here. Kenzie is on the hut for a Cullen baseball shirt. The store isn’t crazy like it was when I was in earlier but it is hella hot. I remember that I only packed my lightweight jacket and I know it’s going to be cold on the beach so I’m looking for a sweatshirt. I can’t find the one I want in my size. Hellooo!!! Not all of us are a size 2! I settle on a red “Lifeguard, First Beach, La Push” one instead. It may not be exactly what I want but at least it will keep me warm. I love shopping with Kenzie—she never fails to ask for a military discount. She scored us a 10% off our purchases.

By now it’s after 6pm and I haven’t had anything to eat since I scarffed down my McDonald’s pancakes in the Safeway parking lot this morning. We need something quick because we still need time to get to La Push so a sit down restaurant is out of the question and Forks lacks any fast food chains with the exception of Subway. We decide on Sully’s Drive In. Two words: tater tots. I fucking love tater tots and Sully’s are hot and crispy. Aside from tater tots they offer burgers, shakes, malts and pizza. I’m definitely coming back the next time I’m in town.

Sully’s was a good choice because it didn’t take too long. We were in and out within a half hour or so and were on schedule for the story telling. I’ll admit, I’m an impatient driver. When I drive you need to go the speed limit or faster or get the hell outta my way! Shortly after turning onto the 110 to La Push I pass a car, not that it made that much difference. Down the road a little ways we get stuck behind a van that insists on going at least 5 mph below the speed limit. As we poke along we pass the Boundary Line but I’m in too much of a hurry to stop to take a pic and it’s getting dark, fast. Soon we pass Third Beach, then Second. We round a corner and our breath is taken away. On the opposite side of the road is a gorgeous span of ocean with the sun setting along the horizon. If only there was a place to pull over to take a pic! Finally the dumb ass van turns into the parking lot for the hotel. Kenzie and I are now trying to find our way to First Beach, and after turing around twice finally find it. In reality it wasn’t that hard but they didn’t have any signs pointing the way, and remember, today I’m directionally challenged.

We get to the beach and park but we’re confused. Just as many people are arriving as are leaving. Kenzie goes up the main dune and looks down the beach to where she sees a bon fire. I look and decide there is no way in hell I’m walking that far so we get back into the car and drive back towards the hotel. I find a parking spot along the dune and Kenzie gets out. She asks some people coming off the beach where if we’re in the right spot only to be told that the story telling is already over. What a fucking waste! We drive 20 minutes; turn around a total of three times for nothing!!! And the really shitty thing is that Tinsel Korey, “Emily” in New Moon, was supposed to be there signing autographs and posing for photos. Total fail.

Since the story telling is out we head back to Forks to attend a free concert. The Mitch Hansen Band is playing at the Twilight Lounge. I don’t know crap about who they are; only that it’s free unlike the Twilight Music Girls who are playing somewhere else for $20 a person. What the hell, if we don’t like the band we’ll just leave early. We’re like an hour early but that just gives us a better choice of seats. I grab some free stickers and a Twilight trivia from a table and start quizzing Kenzie. She knows the answers to practically every question (not that the questions are that hard) down to the order that the wolf pack first phases. I guess it helps to read the series six times.

The band comes on at 9:30 and the first song is “Jacob Black”. I’m like, “Wait a second. Sarah sent me a video of this song on Facebook but it wouldn’t load.” I immediately grab my phone and log onto Facebook mobile to tell her I’m watching the band live. When the flyer said the band played music inspired by Twilight I assumed they meant the soundtrack. Nope. When they said “inspired by” they meant the books. They had songs about Bella, Edward, Jacob, Alice, and they all rocked. If you have never heard them, check them out NOW!!! www.themitchhansenbandblog.com They’re trying to get onto either the New Moon or Eclipse soundtrack. If you go to their website they have directions on how you can help them by contacting Summit. I’m so into their songs that I go up to the counter and buy their CD when I get another soda. After the concert I have them sign it and they’re all really cool, friendly guys. The drummer is Japanese so I put the fact that one of the few things I can actually say in Japanese is “thank you”. He seems kinda surprised but smiles and says “you’re welcome” back. I really need to work on my Japanese more, but again, I digress….

 

After the concert Kenzie and I head back up the street, in the opposite direction of the car, to Dazzled. Why? I don’t know. It’s like the place has its own gravitational pull and sucks you in. We chat with a lady who supplies the store with some merchandise and she tells us how Target ripped off one of her shirt designs. We also chat with some other people who were at the concert, some of the employees, and some people who are doing some late night shopping. 

We finally leave Forks around 11 or 11:30, I don’t even remember. We decide to take one car back to the hotel because they’re no reason to take both. On our way we crest a small hill and see the moon just above the tops of the trees in front of us. Epic.   Fucking epic. The moon is a HUGE, low, orange, waning harvest moon. It couldn’t be any more perfect. It’s like the moon from the New Moon posters is now hanging in the sky right in front of us. We’re both speechless at the sight of it. If I had a better camera and a tripod I would have stopped right there and taken a few photos, but alas, I didn’t. Sucks to be me. As we continue on our way I nearly hit a raccoon that’s right next to the road.

Sunday, September 13th:

I think I was asleep within 5 minutes of my head hitting the pillow. I was wiped out! 7am came waaay too soon. Kenzie being Kenzie, refused to get up so I showered first. Really I don’t remember much of getting ready and emptying the room. We want to stop at the Hungry Bear Café on our way to Forks for breakfast. When we arrive around 9:30 we’re surprised to find that they’re still closed. I’m too hungry to wait and I’m on a schedule. We end up at the Forks Coffee Shop; a really old, run down café in town, but the parking lot is full so the food must be good. (Travel tip, always eat where the locals eat.) Kenzie and I order the same thing—a bacon, egg and cheese English muffin. They have old issues of The Forks Forum­ on the walls. It’s interesting to see what made news years ago in this tiny town. Our issue is from 1957 and has a story about two residents who attended a wedding in Yakima. Such news!

After breakfast we start our “tour” of Forks. The town has designated certain houses as the Swan house and the Cullen house. There’s also a reserved spot at the hospital for Dr. Cullen. Our first stop is Forks Outfitters. It’s not really its own store, it’s situated between the Thirftway and the Ace Hardware, which are kinda two stores in one. I find a Forks shirt and a Cullen baseball shirt that I might give to Chad but I might keep for myself. I haven’t decided just yet. After the Outfitters we head over to the Swan house. It’s a blue craftsman style house with a nice yard. Not quite how I pictured the house but it works. A lady who pulls up behind us asks me why it doesn’t look like the house in the movie. I explain to her that the movie wasn’t filmed in Forks and the houses on the tour are just houses that resemble what’s described in the book. I swear, some people are just fucking clueless!

         

After Bella’s house we head over to the hospital. If there hadn’t been a sign pointing the way to the ER I would have never known the building was a hospital. It looked like it could have been anything but a hospital. I’ve worked in clinics bigger than the Forks hospital. We stop and I jump out of the car to take a picture with Dr. Cullen’s sign. Next stop, the high school where we take a pic of the sign before moving on. Two more stops before we head to the park for the birthday festivities. On our way to the Cullen house we pass City Hall where the police station is. Since its Sunday City Hall is closed and we have to settle for a picture of the sign instead of going inside to check out their Twilight display.   Our last stop on is the Cullen house. It’s an old farm house that is now a bed and breakfast. You can tell the owners think it’s an honor to have their house be the Cullen house because every day Esme leaves a message on the wipe board for passersby letting them know what the Cullens are up to that day. This is the place I want to stay with Chad when we’re able to come up here. The place looks so peaceful and serene. The type of place you can just escape what’s going on around you. 

   
 
 
 

Yea!!! I’ve stayed on schedule and we’re headed to the park for the Birthday celebrations. Cake anyone? Who doesn’t love cake? Especially free cake. As we’re waiting for the cake cutting an announcement is made that there is still openings for teams for the trivia contest. I look at Kenzie and ask, “What do you think? Wanna do it?” We go over and sign up with our team being the Dorks in Forks. As I’m asking Kenzie if we want to find anyone else to join our team the two ladies who shared our table last night show up to sign up for the contest too. We invite them to join our team and they accept. After all, why wouldn’t they? Kenzie and I are just plain awesome! Kenzie gets us both cake, but it’s on one plate. She eats hers and then as I’m trying to eat mine she keeps going after it! Damn it, leave my fucking cake alone!

There are a few vendors in the park today that weren’t here yesterday so we look around and visit with other attendees as we wait for the group photo. After the group photo it’s trivia time! There are a total of 9 teams, with three rounds of three teams. As the first round is starting a few drops of rain fall from the sky. One of the girls playing freaks out and goes, “It’s raining!” I shout out, “It’s Washington!” She’s all like, “But it was sunny yesterday! I got sun burnt!” Again, I say, “It’s Washington! Did you not read the books?” Apparently even though the books take place in the rainiest place in the US, and we’re currently in that place, this rocket scientist can’t get the fact through their thick skull that it might actually rain here. When it’s our turn to play we’re doing really well. We would have won if Kenzie would have conferred with about who Mike thinks about taking his car to. She said Hastings before I could stop her. We all know the correct answer is Dowlings.

Things in the park are winding down and Kenzie and I want to get some shopping in before we head home. I found out from another attendee that Jerry’s Lock and Key has the license plate frame that I want. I stop in to pick it up only to find out they’re sold out. I order the “I drive like a Cullen” frame and head down the street to meet up with Kenzie. We head over to the pharmacy to see what exclusive items they have. The great thing about the shops is that each one has exclusive shirt designs and other merchandise that you’re not going to find in other stores. I don’t find anything that I can’t live without and neither does Kenzie. 

Once again we’re at Dazzled. I don’t know why we’re here again, we just are. I chat with the two cheerleaders who work here. I first met them yesterday while they were on duty outside the store in their cheer outfits posing for pictures. They’re in their cheer outfits again today and are relieved that things are winding down. It’s been a long weekend for the two of them.

Kenzie and I say our goodbyes to the cheerleaders and each other. As I walk back to my car I decide that I’m going to make a quick trip to La Push to get some pics since it was too dark last night. I make quick stops at the boundary line and at the welcome sign. I head down to First Beach to take some pics of the water and the drift wood. I meet some other people who are on their way out of town as well. They were staying at the hotel just down the beach and gave me the low down on the story telling. The time in the flyer was incorrect; the bon fire was at 6pm not sundown. They were lucky enough to come back to the hotel in time for the story and got to meet Tinsel Korey. Next year the tribe and the C of C need to plan better so people don’t miss out on the events they want to do.

 
 

My time in Forks and La Push is coming to a close. I still have a three hour drive ahead of me and it’s already 5:30. The dive seems longer than it is and my back is killing me which only makes it worse. I had an awesome time and can’t wait until next year. I’ve already started making plans in my head of costumes I can come up with and shirts I could design. I hate to admit it but I think Twilight is becoming more than just a fun hobby. But I promise I will never become a screaming fan girl. I swear I won’t.

For more pictures of Forks, La Push and the festivities go to http://s73.photobucket.com/albums/i204/theladyjess/


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