Forks, Washington, and What I Found There
Liz_Nash braved brotherly disdain, flammable hardware, and the rabid Twihards of Forks, Washington, all to bring us this awesome post. –Sparkitors
“Liz, do you want to go to Forks?” Now there’s something I never expected to hear.
As it turns out, my parents felt a little guilty about accidentally catching my Mac on fire (true story). They offered to extend our Vancouver/Seattle vacation so that we could see the one and only Forks. I jumped at the chance, considering that, as a university student, I like to spend my parents’ money as much as possible.
Bella didn’t lie about Forks being isolated; it’s about twenty miles from the middle of nowhere. Since we didn’t have Edward’s homicidal-yet-adorable driving ability, it took us a long time to get there from Seattle. Heck, my brother, Tyler, practically grew a beard during the drive.
Speaking of Tyler, he’s a twenty-something grad student whose idea of a good time is not, surprisingly, debating the pros and cons of Edward vs. Jacob. He definitely expected a “WELCOME TO THE ETERNAL FLAMES OF HELL” sign to greet us on our arrival.
When we actually got to Forks, I expected emotionally vulnerable and slightly deranged girls to be running around chanting Edward’s name. I did, in fact, find people doing basically that—except they were 50-year-old men. I heard a guy who looked like he would happily murder me in my sleep quoting the book to his (also male) friend.
At one point, my family stumbled into a diner and asked how many people in Forks that day were tourists. “Pretty much everyone,” the waitress said, twirling a knife that, had she let go, would’ve taken my eye out. “Forks has three things: Trees, pies, and vampires.” Well, she had me at pies.
Rabid fangirls—I saw a few drooling at the mouth—can have a great time running around trying to find all the Twilight references in town. There’s the “Vampire Threat” sign, Carlisle Cullen’s parking space, and Bella’s truck. Take a moment to reflect on the fact that a truck—a lousy one at that—is a huge tourist attraction. Disney World's got nothing on this place.
While I was disappointed by the distinct lack of werewolves in jetpacks, the town did have some awesome souvenirs. Forks High School cheerleading outfits? Edward costumes...for dogs? Life-size cardboard cutouts? Forks had it all. (I do not have a Taylor Lautner cardboard cutout in my room. No. Definitely not. And I certainly do not pretend to make out with it. Don’t be ridiculous.)
Tyler loved the town for another reason. He managed to get through the day by making sarcastic comments, and by the time we were ready to leave, he had received three phone numbers from romance-starved female tourists. (“I love this place!” he yelled, punching the air in glory.)
While Forks might not be for everyone—there’s a distinctive lack of palm trees—it has a wonderful sense of community. I hate to say it, but the fiery death of my Mac was totally worth it.
Where would you most want to be a literary tourist? (We vote Cair Paravel, but it's a weird road trip.)
Related post: Blogging Twilight
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