Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bella!

Well, Bella Swan-Cullen, happy birthday. You're eighteen! Again! (I'm trying to be happy for you..and not bitterly jealous.) The whole town of Forks has thrown a big party for you. Dances, scavenger hunts (not to be confused with lunch), costume party, and tours of the high school. We all know how you love to be the center of attention, so I'll bet you're just thrilled!

I had hoped to go celebrate this year, Forks is about a 4 hour drive from my place, but my plans were thwarted. I'll catch you next year for your..err...eighteenth birthday.

I know the good people of Forks have mixed feelings about all the attention the Twilight novels have brought to their area. All those uncomfortable things you can imagine crazy fans doing have happened there. People traipsing all over the town, through funeral processions on First Beach, stealing the gas cap from "Bella's" truck. However, the new-found fame of Forks has brought an incredible amount of tourism to the area. And tourists spend money, and that's something this struggling little lumber town can always use.

The Forks Chamber of Commerce and the whole town really, has been very welcoming to fans. There are tours, and fun mementos of the story, like a replica of Bella's truck, and a sign at the hospital declaring Dr. Cullen's parking spot. You can also drive up to Port Angeles and enjoy the mushroom ravioli at Bella Italia.

If you ever get a chance to visit Forks, plan to spend a few days. Beyond the Twilight-related activities, this area is beautiful. I highly recommend a few days at the Lake Quinault Lodge as well. Bring a raincoat, some sturdy hiking boots, and a sense of adventure.

Also, please be respectful. Forks and La Push are happy to have the tourism, and will welcome you to their towns, but people live their everyday life there. Be sure to express your appreciation for opening their town for exploration.

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