Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Forks: the play by play (Day Two)

One of the amazing shots Andrea took Saturday morning.

It's 6am and it's Move Day. I went to bed around 2am and I was hoping I'd get more sleep than this but feet woke me up, itching (I got some ants bites the other night while sitting around a beautiful fire). I'd set my alarm for 7am and I know if I lie back down I will sleep through my alarm.

But this is good, right? I will be tired at the end of the day, but I am excited enough to push through and, plus, I have a lot of work to do. We are picking up the keys at 10am and I still have a little bit of packing left; I wouldn't be able to blog if I haven't gotten up this early.

Okay, let's get on with Forks!


Andrea got up early. She went for a walk and watched the sun come up through the fog. She took some incredible pictures. I was a little sad that I'd missed the sunrise, but mostly happy for her. She needed the peace and quiet more than I did. I woke up around 7:30 and we wandered down to breakfast. As soon as we opened our bedroom door, the scent of home cooking wafted into our nostrils.

Some people were already downstairs eating. We chose a table and Bill, our most gracious host, asked us if we wanted Italian Eggs a la Edward. We did, of course, and so his wife Susan began to prepare our meal. I had never had Italian Eggs - an egg (perhaps poached) sitting onto of a slice of French bread with marinara and pesto sauce. This is not the type of thing that I would normally order so I had no idea how delicious it was going to be. We ate filled with gratitude. It was the perfect start to a vacation day.

After breakfast we got ready to begin our Forks adventures. I had Andrea take a picture of me with our rental car, whom we'd named Lola (Lily was our GPS). I really liked Lola. She starts with the push of a button and gets the best gas mileage of any car I'd ever known.

Me and Lola.
The view from the porch.
We went to Bella's booksale first. We got some books for our kids. I found a book by an emergent pastor from Port Angeles and another called Adventures in Prayer from the 1970s. In it, a name and address from Washington was scribbled. We meandered around Forks for a while, taking pictures at the hospital. Which, we agreed, was kind of a weird thing to do. We had a bit of trouble finding Dr. Cullen's parking spot. After circling the building a couple times, a very nice man on a tractor helped us locate it. Dr. Cullen does not, by the way, get to park close to the entrance.

Bella's booksale at the Forks Library.

Dr. Cullen's special spot.
After that we took a tour of the high school. Our guide actually attends Forks High School. I really felt that the people that had worked to put the tour together had gone to a lot of trouble to add some special touches. This was the first time it hit me that the people putting on Stephanie Meyer Weekend were local people who lived and breathed Forks. It wasn't a grand commercial endeavor. I thought that was pretty cool.

The high school is small, but it's divided
up into a couple of buildings and our guide said
that walking to and from was no fun at all in
the Forks rain.

Our guide kind of looks like Jessica, I think.
Token picture with the sign.

After the tour we went to the park. Again, local people made this happen. The more that hit me the more my more my gratitude for this special place grew.

This is one of my favorite pictures.

These people were look-alikes. James is on the left.
Jacob is on my other side. The girl on the right is
supposed to be Bella, I believe, but I think
she looks more like Jessica.

Andrea and I with Bella's truck.
We took a group shot at the park. And afterwards, we drove the 15 miles to La Push. We ended up at 2nd Beach, because we were told it was prettier than 1st Beach. We knew we had to walk through the forest to get to the beach, but we didn't realize that it was a 1 1/2 mile hike. I'm so glad we didn't. Andrea wouldn't have gone if she had known and we never would have gotten to experience that beautiful hike (which she ended up actually enjoying).

My camera is not meant for taking jumping pictures,
but that didn't stop me!

Andrea walks faster than I do, so I ended
up with a lot of pictures of the
back of her head.

This was when the peace really started to sink in.
This walk was the pivotal moment for me. This is the point in the trip where I truly left all of my anxieties behind and was truly able to just be. This is where I fell in love with Washington. I feel like this hike changed me deep in my core. It enhanced my desire for peace, love and beauty.

A prayer tree where people added rocks, shells, feathers
and notes as a symbol of their prayers.

Close up of the prayer tree.
I'm not sure that the hike was as peaceful for Andrea as it was for me. The beach is her happy place and she was eager to get there. She hadn't been to the west coast since she was born and had promised herself that she would dip her toes into the Pacific Ocean. This act, perhaps, was the moment where she was able to release her east coast anxieties.

I like this shot because of the shoes.

I had to eat my words in this video. Right after I turned the camera off, a huge wave drenched my shoes in cold ocean water.

Soaking wet shoes. :(

I was much happier barefoot.

This doesn't begin to portray the bigness of the beach.
After the beach and the walk back we were officially exhausted, but the good kind of exhausted - the peace-filled kind. We went to eat at the only restaurant in La Push. After living the DC area for the past couple years, it's odd to go to a place where you can't get anything you want. Really refreshing, though. You lose a sense of gratitude when your city constantly spoils you.

Andrea, full of peace, looking out the restaurant
window at 1st Beach.

I took this picture at the restaurant. I
was so happy to finally get a decent
picture of my tattoo.
After the restaurant we attempted to go to a campfire that was supposed to be on the beach. We waited and walked and never found it. I had put my flip flops on and so walking on the dark, windy, cold beach was quite unfun. We eventually gave up and later found out that they'd moved the event to the rec center. This was my least favorite part of the trip, but I was glad it happened after our wonderfully peaceful day. I was armed with enough tranquility to handle it.

We drove home in the dark rainy night on a winding road. I realized, funnily, that I was enjoying the drive! My least favorite thing to do is drive in the rain at night - but on this road with very little traffic, full of the peace of 2nd Beach, it was actually fun. This realization left a deep impression on me. You know those things you hold in your heart as a part of your being? Those things, good or bad, that make up who you think you are? Washington was working to steadily chip away at those things for me. Ever since, I've found myself examining who I am and who I want to be.

We got home around 10pm. Andrea was eager for rest. I poured a glass of wine and enjoyed the last fews moments of the day. We went to bed completely at peace, knowing that the next day had the potential to be just as wonderful as this day had been.

PS. I wrote the first half of this yesterday - this morning, as I type - we are officially moved in!!


Jess said...

"Andrea walks faster than I do, so I ended up with a lot of pictures of the back of her head."

HAHAHAHA. Classic. :)

Andrea said...

Yes, I walked fast :) Also, she was always behind me, so when I did a 180 shot, her head was in's all fair. That was my favorite day EVER!