Coming Home – Twilight Pilgrimage Part 5

Coming Home – Twilight Pilgrimage Part 5

 

I’ll miss you. No matter how short a time you’re gone.  ~Alice Cullen, Midnight Sun, Chapter 1, p.27

Aunt-Heather-Piper-on-Bellas-Truck
Me doing my Emmett impersonation. The license plate was the actual one used in the movie.

Monday morning rolled around, it was time to go home.  With a bitter sweet feeling Nicole and I exited our hotel room and loaded up the car.  The tire, the one that was flat from the night before, was a little low but not too bad.  Seattle – Twilight Pilgrimage Part 4  I used the other can of Fix-A-Flat and we stopped by a gas station just to top it off with a little air before heading to the airport.

It was a rainy, dreary, hazy type of day, similar to the previous.  Typically what you'd expect from Seattle.  Nicole and I were spoiled with beautiful weather up until Sunday.  The weather did made it easier to exist stage right, but it was still hard.  We had that I-just-want-to-stay-one-more-day feeling.  Although, keeping my eye on the prize, I couldn't wait to see Kyle and my family.

Dropping off the car was the easiest part of our trip.  We pulled up, paid for the rental and handed over the keys. Done!  This trip was the first time Nicole and I traveled together and our gates were almost exactly right beside one another.  We sat in a general area between the two, reliving our trip, before I pulled out my book and continued with my relaxation.  Nicole already started to look up flights to come back for Stephanie Meyers weekend.  Very tempting, but I would certainly want to at least see Marianne first.  Admittingly, I was rather intrigued by some of the events that happen that weekend.  I guess at one point everyone gathers down at La Push, First Beach and build bonfires. The Quileute elders come out and tell the legends of the their people.  Now that is too cool!

While we sat there alternating between shooting the breeze and getting lost in our books, Nicole told me to go check my gate, because naturally I was not paying attention to the time.  My first response was "I'm good" without even checking the time or the ticket counter.  Nicole's insisted by saying, "Just go check!"  Well, she was right!  My flight was already boarding.  Good call!  I would have missed my ride!  Always leave it to my sister to keep in squared away.

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Hoh National Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula

By the time I transferred flights in Chicago I was held up a bit, due to a computer issue on the plane.  I guess the computer needed rebooted.  All they had to do was ask me and I would have pushed the button. (sarcasm)  Once that was resolved I was on my way home bound.  By the time I touched down in Pittsburgh Nicole was already home.  Keep in mind, I left before her and I still had an hour drive to my house from Pittsburgh.  It was probably about 1:00 am before I unlocked my front door and dropped my luggage in the living-room before my head hit the pillow.  I had to work the next day and the morning was going to arrive too soon.

It was a great trip!  We couldn't have asked for nicer weather and better hospitality.  I learned so much about the history, the area and the people, and the general culture.  At one point, I felt like a native.  This was my type of vacation, a lot of scenery, trees and hiking.

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I will admit, I did miss Kyle terribly! It also didn't help that for most of the trip, I had no cell phone service, sometimes spotty at best.  I'm used to getting a hold of the family when I feel like it.  In turn, I'm also used to them reaching out to me when needed.  In fact, weeks later I was talking about the trip to Kyle and he turned to me and said with his head down, "Aunt Heather next time, can I come with you guys?"  O my buddy!  That just broke my heart.  I said, "Absolutely!"  And you know what?  I really mean it.  I would never tell Kyle something that I didn't intend to make good on.  Actually, I think he would have enjoyed the trip, well, maybe minus all the Twilight stops and photo opportunities but he adapts pretty good.  He is much like the rest of the family, we like to see new sights and learn about the area and the culture.  I think he has the potential to be a world class traveler.  Now that, I would encourage any way I could, ten fold!

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Map of the US at the Forks Chamber of Commerce

No matter how you look at it, traveling is bittersweet.  Loving the excitement of making the plans, counting down the days and the energized feeling of looking forward to a vacation.  But then there's the flip side during the trip, the slow moving feeling when each hour has passed and then each day, until the trip has come to an end.  Then on the other hand when a trip has ended, it's a great feeling going back home, seeing the family, sleeping in your own bed, and unpacking and washing your cloths.  The memories are great, just missed.  Although there's still that opportunity to relive every minute while telling the tails of the trip.  Sometimes the stories seem more exciting the second and third times around.

While traveling to different places, I certainly do enjoy my time when I'm there.  However I would never want to take up permanent residence anywhere I've been, except maybe Seattle.  I don't know what it was about the city and the surrounding areas that I loved, but it worked for me.  Maybe it's because we did have nice weather, or there wasn't a lot of tourists because we went in May.  The town that encapsulating Beth's Cafe was so cute and totally quaint.  It seemed like everyone in the town ran or walked and had a dog that accompanied them.  It was a really nice neighborhood overlooking a body of water, which was framed by a park.  I love it!

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Me in front of the Forks Timber Museum & the Chamber of Commerce

Another place that caught my fancy was Port Angeles.  Again, another really lovely area with beautiful neighborhoods, neat little shops and a perfect view of the ocean.  Not to mention, I could totally live in a place that is supplied with fresh seafood consistently.  Port Angeles is a little bit of a hike from Seattle, but not too taxing.  It's remote enough without being completely isolated.  At least they have Italian restaurants and a movie theater.  Thumbs up!

Seattle itself, was not what I expected.  I guess, I was waiting for the "grunge" type of landscape but it wasn't.  It was very clean and actually well kept, at least the parts I saw.  We were told from one of our tours, it's the newest built city in the United States.  The oceanic view plus the greenery surrounding the coastline made the experience complete.  I know it was just by chance but I loved the sunny blue days that were a bit chilly.  As I mentioned to Nicole, I'm guessing Seattle was much like Maine, although I've never been, yet.  It was that nautical fell that I liked.  I'm not really a pastel seashell, palm tree, type of person.  I'm more of a barges, ports, trees, rocky cliff sides and seafood type of gal.  Which was Seattle.

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Twilight World Map.. I am amazed at the distance the fans have traveled to make their very own Twilight Pilgrimage.

Something else that I was fully aware of, but still took me by surprise, were those travelers before us and the ones soon to follow us, taking the same pilgrimage to Forks.  I wonder what their thoughts were of the city?  The Chamber of Commerce has a map of the world were they encourage visitors to place a pin from their hometown.  This map was amazing!  Covered in multicolored pins, there were places marked that I didn't even know existed, let alone think people actually inhibited those remote places.  Example, there were pins, not just a pin, but plural pins from these tiny islands above Russia!  Yes, above, meaning right next to Antarctica.  Really?  There are Twilight fans all the way up there?  Yep! Of course, I can't image there is a lot to do in their area but read, so that makes sense.  These Twilight fans made a trek to the other part of the world, from one remote location to another.  It's almost comical.  Yet, what an adventure to for them!  Kudos!  I would have done it too!

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Signs on the wall of a restaurant in Forks...they've embraced it!

I'm sure Stephanie Meyers couldn't have fathomed the popularity surrounding the books that were a result of a dream she had years ago.  What is neat is all the details that became a part of our trip, all because Stephanie Meyers chose to do her research and build this very real place into her fiction story.  Making over $50 million plus a year, I know Stephanie Meyers is not concerned about my thoughts and opinions but, great job!  Thanks for bringing us on this adventure that seems to be staying for a long time.  I hope to see more good things in Twilight.  I think it's great!  A really great read and fun to be a part of it all.

Nicole-with-Twilight-crew-Aunt-Heather-Piper
Nicole posing with the Twilight crew... this picture is absolutely ridiculous!

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