Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Pilgrimage, Of Sorts

One afternoon this winter Zoey's Godmother, Sarah, innocently asked Zoey if she had read any of the Twilight books. That was the beginning of an obsessive reading jag. I had to buy two books still in hard cover! For a tween! Zoey cannot stop talking about these books and she has read them each three or four times.

My week of vacation came and we had no plans. Tom and I looked at weather all up and down the west coast. It seemed to be uniformly 50 to 60F with clouds and rain. So, we headed to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington since it is always 55F and rainy. We treated Zoey to a pilgrimage of the Twilight settings. This is the story of a vampire, a werewolf and the human girl they both love. It is definite chick lit. I have to put away my inner lit crit so I do not dampen Zoey's enjoyment.

Our first stop for the Twilight tour was Port Angeles. We dined where the characters Edward and Bella dined. Having had scads of mediocre Italian food in my life, I was skeptical, but game to eat at Bella Italia in Port Angeles. Boy, was I surprised! There was a decent kids menu which Vivi enjoyed. We had the calamari as an appetizer and it was so tender and sublime. Yum! Their wine list was extensive and varied. Tom highly recommends the Camaraderie Cellars merlot he had. It was divine on the palate.

Then it was off to Forks. It is the main setting for the novels. It is a typical logging town, surrounding by amazing scenery. Small, friendly, damp, damp, damp. We saw many houses that could have been Bella's. This was the one that stuck in my mind.

Forks is a small, easily navigable town. We had no problem finding the high school. It is ambling and varied in it's paint and architecture. There seemed to be at least three main entrances.

Zoey got a real kick out of walking where these fictional characters once walked. She enjoyed gaining new insights into the landscape. She was putting together how landscape can influence plot. I think she learned a great deal. She has some girlfriends who are now quite envious. All for a trip to Forks.

We even spotted a Forks Police Department patrol car.

Next we went to the Hoh Rain Forest in the Olympic National Park. What a spectacular place. Again, Zoey gathered valuable information. She remarked on how this forest matched her conception of place in the books. Stephenie Meyer choose this area for its cloud cover and its rain. Her vampires could easily hide here as there are very few sunny days.

There were monsters for everyone. Vivi got to hang a bit with Bigfoot. She has been fascinated with the idea of Bigfoot for over a year now, so seeing a chainsaw sculpture along the way was thrilling.

We ended our pilgrimage with a walk on First Beach in La Push. Bella cements her friendship with Jacob, the werewolf, here. In the second book Bella also dives off one of these haystacks into the ocean. Bella spends many hours contemplating her life among the monsters here.

We all enjoyed our visit to the Olympic Peninsula. Tom wants to go back and base us out of the Sol Duc Hot Springs. Then have he and Zoey hike over to the Hoh Rainforest. I think that would be pretty nifty. Although, I think I need a trip to sunny Oregon first.


Lynne said...

What a neat gift you gave Zoey. I'm sure she'll remember that trip forever. And now the seed is planted for your Vivi to read that series too!

Meggie said...

Wow! What a great idea to visit the area in Zoey's books. What a great vacation and way to encourage her reading. I can see why she is the envy of her friends. Vivi doesn't look very fearful of Bigfoot.

Busha said...

Oh my gosh! What an adventure. I love that Zoey got to experience such incredible nature to help bring her imagination alive. has Vivi seen the movie "Harry and the Hendersons"? A fun Bigfoot movie that has been a family favorite for years.xoxoxoMarianne

Susan Gets Native said...

OMG! There's a vampire in that mossy tree! Do you see it!
: )

My own literary journey was when I started reading the Harry Potter books while we honeymooned in the UK. Having never seen a real train station, I "got it" about Platform 9 3/4.

Dave said...

Wow, sounds like a great trip. From the looks on the kids face they had fun.

mon@rch said...

What a fork of a time you guys had! Starting to look a little bit like summer there!

RuthieJ said...

That sounds like you guys all had a great trip Trixie. And how cool to visit places that are in books Zoey loves. I like reading books that take place in Minnesota too--especially when I've been to that particular place and can picture it in my mind's eye.
Awesome photos too!
P.S. Did you see any good birds??

birdgirl said...

OHMYGOSHH! I LOVEEE those books! I'm so jealous...

birdgirl said...

Seriously. Green with envy right now. Tell Zoey I said hi!

P.S. jealous.

Susan Gets Native said...

BTW, I saw a preview for the Twilight movie tonight.
I had never even heard of this book before and now it's all over the place.

Mary said...

Trixie, what a wonderful tour. I'm sure the girls are still dreaming about it. They are lucky to have you :o)