Saturday, July 30, 2011

Our Twilight Tour

When we talked about going to Washington for Vacation there was one thing my girls wanted to see: Forks, Washington! Yes, that's right, Forks, the town the Twilight Books & Movies are set in. So I found tours & booked one I thought sounded the best. It's called Team Forks!

Zach & John of course were not interested in doing the Twilight Tour. (Go figure, right?!) There was one thing Zach really wanted to see (besides Mt. Rainier of course) There is in Washington State a Rain Forest. (Who knew? Not me! Zach did though!) :) It's one of a very few Non Tropical Rain Forests in the world. So we looked that up to. (Gotta Love the Internet!) And it is on the Olympic Peninsula, not far at all from Forks! (Score!)

So the boys dropped us off for our Tour & headed into the Rain Forest, then came back to pick us up. We continued on around the Peninsula, making a complete circle. And let me tell you, some of the most beautiful country we've ever seen. More trees than this City Girl, Desert Dweller has seen in her lifetime! Though I did find out Forks is the logging capitol of the world! Guess that explains all the trees! (I'm so smart, I figured that out all on my own!)

Our Tour was supposed to last 2 - 3 hours. We were having so much fun, it went a little over 3 and a half hours! We saw, among other things, the High School, The Hospital Dr. Cullen worked at, The Police Station Bella's Dad works at, Bella's house, The Cullin's House, Jake's House, The Treaty Line, The La Push Beach, The restaurant Bella & Edward go to in Port Angeles. Yes, it was a little cheesy, but also very cool! Kind of like us! :)

Forks is a cute little town, everyone seems to like the attention Twilight has brought their way! There are several tours & gift shops. One restaurant we saw there in town had a sign posted outside that read: Vampires & Werewolves welcome, shirts optional! :)

Now the movies weren't actually filmed in Forks. The Books are set there & the places described in the books are really there. They took stills of the houses, school, town, etc. to build their sets, but most of the filming was done in Canada & in Oregon. On the tour bus, between stops we watched a behind the scenes video on the making of the movies!

I'll show you the Rain Forest pics first & save the best for last! :) They really loved seeing the Rain Forest & talked about how incredible it was! The pictures can't really do it justice.

Told you it was Beautiful!

John, in a land of Giants!

Moss, it guess it rains a lot in a Rain Forest!

That's Zach under that tree

Even the fallen trees grow new ones!

Hope you enjoy our Tour of Forks as much as we did!

The Hospital

Actual Parking sign outside of the Hospital

The High School

Bella's Truck as described in the Books

Bella's Truck that was used in the movies!
(It's a few years newer than the other one I believe)

Bella's House

The Cullen House as described in the books
(Though the one they built for the movies was much cooler!)

"Alice" was home!

Edwards Piano & the Graduation Caps!

Lexi & Erica with Alice, their favorite Vampire!

The restaurant in Port Angeles where Edward & Bella had their first date!
You can even have the Mushroom Ravioli that Bella ordered!

The Treaty Line!

Jacob Blacks House

Team Jacob!

The Beach at La Push

The girls ready to hear the story about "The Cold Ones"

Don't Jump!

We even found "wolf" prints in the sand! :)

And I thought I'd save the best picture for last! Jacob & I going for a spin on his motorcycle! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mt. Rainier

We left Arizona really EARLY Monday morning & drove for 2 days through California, Oregon & into Washington State. To get here . . .

Entrance to the Mountain

The Lodge with the Mountain as it's backdrop

Paradise Lodge on Mt. Rainier National Park, where our 19 year old son, Zach, has been working all summer.

Zach in his room he shares with up to 3 others

We got to see where he lives, works & plays! Met some of his friends & co-workers. Then he showed us just a tiny bit of his mountain!

We even did a little hiking! (A very little, I mean this is me we're talking about here!) :)

It is so Beautiful there! We saw some breath taking scenery. Including some Awesome Waterfalls!




Yours Truly


The Bridge we are sitting on goes right over the Christine Waterfall, and Zach said all the Shuttle Bus drivers call it Butt Bridge, and I think I now know why!

Zach in front of the original Shuttle Bus

While on the Mountain that day we saw some Deer, Chipmunks, Foxes, and even a Black Bear! It was so exciting, but I didn't have time to pull my camera out before the bear was gone. :(

When Zach was in High School he & his friend started a company making & selling Long Boards. He called us the night before we were leaving to go see him & said his partner had made a board for a friend of his up there, could we go by & pick it up? So we did & brought it with us. Just wait till they get our delivery bill! :)

Zach & his friend Mark with his Flyboys Long Board
with the mountain as their back drop

Zach left us all clean shaven with a buzz haircut! But after two and a half months, his hair is much longer now & he even has a goatee for the first time in his life! He looked so much older. :(

Zach with his sisters playing in the snow
there was still so much of it

He said when he first got there back in May, when there was 18 feet of snow on the ground (it's down to about 10 feet now!) & he didn't get his boxes right away with all his winter gear in them, he thought, what have I done? But, now I can tell he really loves being there! He's made all kinds of new friends from all around the world! He loves being in the wilderness & hiking! He said he doesn't know how he's gonna handle being back in a city and with the heat of Phoenix! Ouch! He only has about 3 weeks left there, then he will come home & start his second year of College.

We've really missed having Zach around, and we're so glad we got to see his mountain! We took him with us for a couple of days & went into Seattle. More Blog posts to follow soon of the rest of our adventures . . .

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

To Read Or Not To Read?

That Is The Question . . .

I just finished reading the Hunger Games Series. Different from my usual reads, but very good. These books grab you from the get go! Right from the start you find yourself caring about the characters & you really want to know whats going to happen to them. They get pretty intense & do have violence in them, but are a love story at the same time. So after reading The Hunger Games, I knew I wanted the next Book I read to be something a little lighter. :) Decisions, decisions!

Now this next Book was something of a Dilemma for me, you see my FAVORITE BOOK OFF ALL TIME is of course, Little Women By: Louisa May Alcott! (I'm sure you are getting sick of hearing, or I mean, reading about it if you've read this Blog for any length of time now!) :)

Having said that, when I fist saw this next book, my immediate reaction was "I so have to read this book!" Then the more I thought about it, I got nervous. Would this book take something away from the magic that is Little Women? Would it ruin it for me? I couldn't let that happen! Then the Borders near my work closed & I saw the book there for 60% off. I couldn't resist! So even though I've had it for a while now, I still couldn't bring myself to read it. But, after finishing The Hunger Games series, I thought this just may be the book I need to read next. It will be good to take on Vacation with me! You know I NEVER take a vacation from reading! Except of course when I had young babies & no time to myself. But thankfully that chapter of my life is over! :) So I'm taking the plunge . . .

Like so many girls, Kelly O'Connor McNees didn't like how Little Women ended with Jo & Laurie not together. And she thought there must be a reason. So she took it upon herself to research the life of Louisa May Alcott, who never married & some would think probably never knew love. So, how could she write about it the way she did? humm. Many of her personal Journals she burned, but not all of them. And it is with those Journal entries & letters she'd written, this Author has come up with a FICTIONAL story of a summer when we know the Alcott family went to stay at an uncles home in Walpole, New Hampshire. Louisa was 22 years old, and Little Women wouldn't be published for a few years.

So, as Curiosity Killed the Cat, I started reading. And 2 things happened that helped me to know it was going to be okay! First, In the second chapter I came across this quote "she began to wrestle with the question that would trouble her all her life: Why would God give a woman talent if He meant her to be confined to the kitchen and washtub?" Oh, yeah. I'm in! :) Then the Author Tweeted me! I know it's silly, but I get as giddy as a Pre-Teen girl at a Justin Bieber concert when an Author of a book I'm reading or have read, follows me on Twitter & especially when they Tweet me! You know how I love to talk about Books! Especially if I can talk about them with the person who wrote them! How cool is that?!

So, what are you reading this summer?