If you like sexy-ish teen vampire literature, and even if you don’t, you might know that the Twilight series (yeah, that famous one!) is set in Forks, Washington. I both love and love to make fun of the books, so judge me as you will. After all, I was born in Olympia, WA, which is down the road from Forks, and spent my college years in Phoenix, the other setting of the Twilight books. So Twilight holds a weird sort of personal connection with me. Plus, I love books with sexual tension but not actual sex (you know the feeling, girls!), so until the last book I was pretty enthralled. The last book, well.. I just pretended that I was Bella and I had someone that I had this intense soul-binding mental bond with and it was still pretty cool. Bella is the best Mary Sue ever.
Well, ANYWAYS, as you also know, I am back in the US right now vising my family, and so there is no way that I could not take advantage of a nice day and tour the real Forks. Okay, my mom suggested it, and since I don’t have a car as I’m just a temporary visitor, I jumped at it. But really, nice days are few and far between in this part of Washington state, which is one thing that the books were very right about. I haven’t seen the sun for three days because it’s been foggy and/or raining nonstop. And this is August. By the time January rolls around, I am going to be dying to get out of here, family and Twilight proximity or not. January is when I’m making my final move to Hawaii, by the way. I may also visit Japan for a bit. I figured that since I have to wait four months for Sansa to clear cat-customs, I might as well stay through the holidays and make up for 15 years of not coming to visit and all of that.
Anyways, we got in the car and drove down a winding forest road to get to Forks. When you get to Forks, you know it. Look:
You can’t miss it. That two-lane street there on the left? That is sort of the highway. It just becomes the main street of Forks at the South end, and then keeps going on out the other end, a journey which takes you all of.. about 5 minutes, 6 if you hit the traffic light. I’m totally serious. The town is tiny and only about 3,000 people live there, give or take depending on the year. The road/”highway” keeps on going after Forks toward La Push and Port Angeles, also both settings in the books.
Well, right beyond the sign is the Forks Visitor Information Center, which is really just a Twilight store. Inside, I was too embarrassed to take a picture inside, but my mother took one of me anyways patting Bella’s head, because they had life-size cardboard standees of the movie actors inside. Jacob is a lot shorter than I’d imagined.
LUCKY FOR ME, THE PICTURE IS REALLY BLURRY. So, I don’t feel bad for not posting it here. :3
Oh yeah, it’s also the Chamber of Commerce (which makes sense, since Twilight makes Forks most of its money these days), and you can pick up free driving maps there that show you where all of the Twilight locations are. The Twilight movies were actually filmed in Oregon, because Forks is too small to support a film crew, so that’s another trip that I’d like to make before I leave the area. So while it doesn’t look like the movie, Forks is the “real” setting for Twilight. The city was quick to seize on the tourism opportunity, and there are tons of things to see for fans. I think that we got them all, so keep scrolling!
As you might have seen, parked outside the Chamber of Commerce/Information center are two red trucks. One is Bella’s truck from the books. The other is the one used in the movie. I like the license plate.
I don’t know why the rear window is shattered. Did Edward get a little rough one night? Anyway, I can’t blame Bella for loving her truck. It is really, really cute! The book version, anyway!
The movie version, not so much. At least to me. I like the rounded design of the older Chevy, but I like those old, roundy cars to begin with.
Okay, once you’ve picked up your complimentary map, taken some pictures of Bella’s truck and the Welcome to Forks sign, you can move on down the road. About a half a block, anyways. Here on the left is Forks Outfitters, where Bella had her part time job.
Forks Outfitters is part of Thriftway, Tullys Coffee, and an Ace Hardware. Thriftway is the only grocery store that I saw in the entire town, but it’s actually pretty well stocked and pretty big. I saw almond milk, almond yogurt, and coconut milk creamer there! I also tried to get a soy milk chai tea latte at Tully’s, but the milk is sooooooo sweet it’s like it’s doused with sugar. They wouldn’t take it back, even though it was really undrinkable. Sad.
But there is a Twilight gift shop right inside of Thriftway, which is nice. Also, supposedly they page Bella sometimes over the intercom, but I didn’t hear anything either time that we stopped there (first time for coffee and to check out the gift shop, the second time to get lunch).
Would you believe it that I forgot to bring some spare batteries, and my camera ran out right then? We got some in Thriftway. I should have brought extra, since it’s been running on the same batteries since I left Japan. Dur. Anyways, thank god for Thriftway! We got back on the road, and drove… about another half a block and turned right. There was Forks High school. These pictures were taken last Wednesday, and they don’t match photos I’ve seen of the high school from a few years ago, so it looks like they have replaced the entrance sign and possibly did some more reconstruction. Thank you, tourism dollars!
Across the street is another Twilight gift shop and some cute homeless cats who like to lay on benches. I wish that I’d had something to feed them. Oh, by the way, you can also buy “real letterman jackets worn by Forks High students!” in the gift shop. I don’t know if this is creepy or not. I’m not sure if this is at all seedy like the used-underwear thing in Japan. What do you think?
Back on the road, if you turn right and go one more block (we are two blocks in now, hold your horses!!!), you can get to the Cullen House. It’s actually a cute little bed and breakfast, and I honestly prefer the movie version because it looks cooler and is out in the woods like it’s supposed to be, but I would be totally lying if I said that I do not want to stay here. I do. I really, really do, but it was booked up solid. Advance reservations are definitely necessary.
There is a funky castle outside. I imagine that it was not there before Twilight became big.
There’s a great message hanging by the door for all those curious. Definitely get out and take a look!
I was thinking of reclining on the bench, but I was wearing a dress, so…. sorry. (^o^;;)
We pulled out after this and drove back toward Main Street, where I saw this sign. It’s probably not connected to Twilight (or is it?), but I couldn’t resist snapping a photo! Children have been playing here! (duh)
This is the Forks City Hall and police department, about 10 seconds down the road from the Cullen House. Charlie used to have a car parked here, but it’s no longer around. Sadly.
Alright, on the other side of the main street and another two blocks down (about a 1-minute drive, max) is Forks Community Hospital, where of course Dr. Cullen works.
It’s one tiny building. XD;; Out back in the administration building parking lot is this sign:
It used to be a different sign according to photos, but I bet that a crazy wolf stole it.
So, next and last on the sightseeing list for Forks was Bella’s house! It’s of course not the same as the house used in the photos, but it was one of the only 2-story houses in the entire city, so the owners volunteered to have their house be the Swan House. Very nice of them! Supposedly the room upstairs is painted like Bella’s room, and the cupboards are the same colors as the movie version, which is cool! But a real family lives there and we couldn’t see as they understandably had the curtains drawn today. ^^ It’s not often that it’s so bright outside, after all!
We went to La Push next, which was full of Werewolf sightseeing, and I snapped a few pictures of the rest of the city to give you feel of what poor Bella must have felt when she first arrived. ^^ Remember, this is probably the only sunny day they’ll get all year! ^^;;;
(I kid– if you like tiny towns, then it may be the place for you!)
This is another gift store. We were bored with gift stores, so we didn’t go in, but I probably will next time. ^^
This is the Dazzled By Twilight gift store, which was destroyed by fire last year.
We also stopped at a hamburger place, and they had a Twilight special! Pretty much everywhere had something. I should have brought my camera in, but I wasn’t expecting to stay as I was on a temporarily gluten-free diet to test whether I had an allergy or not (I don’t, thankfully!!). We ended up getting delicious tomato-basil soup and almond-milk yogurt from the grocery store before heading over to…
La Push!! In other words, werewolf central! It was actually neater than Forks for me, and the beach… oooohhhh my god the beach! I’ll write about it next, with of course plenty of photos!
Leave me a comment you guys, please! *shamelessly begs* ^o^