Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mom and Kyle go to Forks!

Hey all you twilighters, have you ever read the books and wondered what Forks really looks like? Not the "Forks" in the movie (all of the Forks locations in the movie are actually various parts of Oregon and British Columbia.) but the real Forks, the real La Push. Well, I got to go see it! This summer my family had a family reunion up in the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington. We were up there for 9 days, and we only went to Forks for a few hours one of the days, so it was definitely a side trip. And good thing it was, because Forks IS A TINY TOWN! One of the smallest towns I have ever been to in my life! But this post is not just about that. Its really about the family reunion. I have the most wonderful extended family in the world, I really do. They are all so sweet, and fun, and awesome that combined with the drop dead gorgeous Washington scenery, it was pretty much one of the best trips ever. Get ready for a lot of pictures! It was just me and Kyle, and all my relatives!

My post HAS to start with my Uncle Wendell. He is the best grandpa in the world. I would not have been able to go without him helping me with Kyle. Most of you know already that Kyle is quite a handful, but for those who don't, KYLE IS A HANDFUL! He has so much energy, and is so curious about everything! I was 6 months pregnant at the time, and with no Joe to help me.....well, lets just say I was so grateful for My Uncle Wendell. He basically took care of Kyle for me every day, always sweetly, always with a smile on his face, always like it was no big deal and like I was doing him a favor for letting him constantly take care of a wild and crazy almost two year old. I was so humbled by watching someone be so willing to serve someone else so happily. But I have always thought of my Uncle Wendell as the nicest person I have ever known, bar none. My mom told me that at his own wedding reception he stayed after it was over to help clean up! He is so cool. Once again, THANK YOU UNCLE WENDELL!!
Kyle's first airplane ride. It was quite the event. He spent the entire two hour flight opening and shutting the window shade, kicking the seat in front of him, pooping, and crying! But it wasn't that bad : )

"Just you and me mom! "

Our trip started in the rain forest. Yes, there really is a rain forest in the USA! August is the "dry" season, so most of the moss that covers EVERY surface there was actually brown! Still flippin' amazing though!

Cool, right?

My awesome family. Left to right. Uncle Will, Alex, Kyle and Uncle Wendell, Aunt Nola, Alicia, Aunt Cheryl, Daniel, and Esther

After the rain forest we spent the night in Forks. The "twihards" (of which I, a grown up, responsible 26 year old mother of four am most assuredly NOT...well...maybe a teensy bit, but only a little!) went all around town to see all the twilight stuff! The town prints up Twilight maps so you know where to go. Below is a corner they had set up in the local store. The one store that you have to get pretty much everything at. See the sign? The Twilight Zone, get it? hardy har har.

Bella's truck. I have no idea if this is the real one from the movie, but if not, its basically the same one.

I think 3,000 people is stretching it.

Well, better get me some of those!

Despite the fact that Twilight and New Moon were not filmed in Forks, the town has designated certain spots as the Twilight landmarks that would be the real thing if in fact the Twilight story were real. I think its safe to say Forks is a little Twilight crazy. Of course, I had no problem racing around and seeing all the sights myself.... : )

This house is called the Cullen house. I have no idea who owns it, but it is the house that has been designated as the home most like the the Cullen's house described in the books. Obviously it is huge, white, deep in the woods, and right next to a river, so I understand why they picked it.

This is the real Forks High school.

The hospital......

They even have a parking spot that is reserved for Dr. Cullen!

This is the home designated as Bella's house. Charlie apparently drives a van when hes not rounding up the ruffians of Forks.

Myself, I was amazed by the size of their mailbox!! Look at that thing! What kinds of mail does the "official Swan residence of Forks" get every day, wow!

Ok, you have absolutely no idea how much Twilight merchandise was for sale. It was everywhere, and everything. You name it, you could buy it with something relating to the Twilight saga on it. There was only one thing that mystified me. WHAT the HECK are vampire droppings? Seriously.

We stayed the night at the Forks motel. No vacancy!

Nearly every store had a claim to Bella, Edward, or Jacob. Bella shops here! Jacob digs our burgers! Edward's dentist!!

The Quileute reservation is breathtakingly beautiful. It has as many references to Twilight as Forks does! For instance.....

There you will find Bella's Bulletin Board! Here you can write messages to Bella, Jacob, Edward, or just your thoughts in general. And boy, when you read those notes, you realize how serious Twilight is for some people. You don't mess with Twihards. For them, Edward, Bella, Jacob, and vampires are real people. Some of my favorite notes are below.

My cousins Alicia and Esther.

Apparently Bella is a very good actress.

This Twihard had a lot of thoughts she wanted to express.

Mmmmm... such love expressed in just a few words : )

Team Jacob, Team Edward....Team Alice!

After this fun diversion, it was time to hit the beach!

Driving down to La Push beach was a treat in itself. The scenery there, the lush woods all indescribably beautiful. Fortunately, since I cant describe it, I have pictures : )

This is the real beach that is in Twilight. La Push. Holy smokes it is so beautiful. There are seriously no words for how amazing it is. Its so breathtaking that you cant seem to take it all in. You just walk, and gawk...and gawk some more.

Kyle and Uncle Wendell. This is how Kyle spent about 85% of our trip. He had the best view!

Two of my four sisters. My 24 year old sister Elise on the left, and my 28 year old sister Jessica on the right. They are so fun and happy all the time!

Kyle really took to Uncle Wendell. For a week he had a pretty cool surrogate grandpa all to himself!

Look at this driftwood! Whole entire trees! Driftwood is supposed to burn cool colors, but it is now illegal to burn the driftwood on the beach so we couldn't check that out! Its way prettier to stare at though. And climb over! Those trees are so huge its quite the workout! Isnt it cool how the forest comes right up to the shore? I've never seen that before.

Ah yes, the Treaty Line : )

After the beach, we drove down to Port Angeles, where the family reunion was officially starting the following day. Along the way we saw some more cool stuff. We saw a bunch of these old boats just marooned along the shore!

The next few days of the family reunion, we did what my family does best....hike! I love to hike. This was a cool one. It took us up to the very most northwestern tip of the continental United states! Here is the tip of it, look at those caves, wouldnt they be fun to go explore? Sigh, such gorgeous scenery.

Ok, the one and only pic of me, at the northwestern tip! Please forgive my appearance, I was 6 months pregnant, and it was before I started exercising!!

What would make this tree look like this? So awesome!

In Port Angeles, Twilight fever was still going strong. This store had EVERYTHING twilight. I almost bought a felt mushroom stuffed ravioli keychain (not kidding) but changed my mind at the last minute. I kind of wished I had bought it!

We also went on a whale watching trip. So fun! I saw the tail fins of two whales, so I didnt really get the full experience, but the highlight for me really was hanging out with my family.

Not just my Uncle Wendell, EVERYONE helped me with Kyle. It was so great to have four kids, Esther, Alex, Daniel, and Ben, there to play nonstop with Kyle. And they loved it, and he adored them! Thank you so much guys!

By this time Uncle Wendell was Kyles best friend. Mom? What mom?

Kyle and his first cousins, once removed.

My wonderful Aunt Cheryl and Kyle. Its funny that it really took an entire family to help with one small two year old. But it really does take that much effort : ) Kyle is a force of nature.

Dressing up is always fun : )

This is what Kyle would do when he wanted to get down but Uncle Wendell is surprisingly strong!! We tried one time to go up on deck, and as you can see, an ocean dip was just a few short steps away. For this reason, Kyle and I spent most of the whale watching trip.....

.....down here. The view was awesome though : )

Kyle is the only one of my kids to get crazy long and thick eyelashes. Look at these things! He could use them to sweep the floor! Not that he ever would, but can you imagine these babies with mascara on them? Its so unfair, I am jealous of my sons eyelashes!
Isnt Port Angeles beautiful?

More hiking with the fam. This is my 19 year old sister Kathryn.

Hiking here in Washington is so beautiful you forget you're exercising! You just trek in a daze of astonishment!
My awesome sister Elise.
My oldest sister Shannon. One of my best friends on Earth. She loves the boys so much!
I think this trip was as fun for Kyle as it was for me. I got to see all my family, and Kyle got to have all my family pay endless attention to him, with no competition from his brothers! Pretty sweet deal!

Grandma lovin up her grandbaby!

Arent these forests so cool? Everyone should take a trip to the Olympic Penninsula. It is so amazing up there!

Our last stop before home was dinner at this AMAZING resort. I think thats called...cascade lake? I will have to look it up. The resort has this dock that extends far out into the lake. The water is so clear you can see to the rocks on the bottom where it is shallow! So amazing. So beautiful!
And then home! Kyle is naked because I didnt feel like getting him dressed for the plane ride home. Just kidding. We had a layover, and Kyle had a blowout, and of course I had forgotten to pack an extra outfit on my carry on! That story will be its own poop file sometime down the line. But it doesnt seem Kyle minded being naked very much. Dont worry though, I took this picture right before dressing him in the outfit I found in the airport giftshops.
Such a fun trip! And I am definitely going back one day. Its too gorgeous not to! I love nature, I love Kyle, I love my family!