Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In Honor of New Moon-Forks and La Push

OMG you guys! Thanks to being Retweeted so much on Twitter and getting new followers I got so many more views of my blog than I ever have before! It was so wonderful to see. The most views I had gotten in a single day was 24, but yesterday I had 162 and they came from all over the world. People from Japan, Australia, Italy, Guatemala, Spain, Brazil, United Kingdom and Venezuela as well as all over America. I have felt so blessed over the pat few days that it is difficult for me to put into words. If any of those readers return another day, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Check out this map of all of the locations of people who read my blog yesterday. AMAZING!

One of my followers on Twitter read my blog about going to the Knoxville premiere of New Moon and gave me a wonderful compliment of the header photo on my web page. It is not of La Push beach, but is of Rialto Beach near Forks, WA. My son and I took a trip there for Spring Break back in March. It was a treat for myself for graduation. The nice comment made me decide to share some of my other photos from the trip. I have shared a couple of them in the past, but now that I hopefully have more people who will return to view this blog, I thought I would share a few more from my pilgrimage. I also have never really blogged about the trip and I wanted to do so in honor of the film The Twilight Saga: New Moon being released in a few short hours (squeee) and the amazing people who read my blog about the Knoxville premiere of New Moon...where I met Kristen Stewart. ;o)

We drove in after landing in Seattle. It was about a three hour drive and let me tell you, there is almost NOTHING on the road between Seattle and Forks.

We got to take our first ride on a ferry across The Puget Sound in our car, which was neat. In Port Angeles there was a Fashion Bug and a Wal-Mart, but once we passed all of that, there was nothing. A funny part of our adventure occurred on the drive. We had to use the restroom so badly, but it's not like it is where I live. There were no gas stations or fast food restaurants at which we could stop. We came to one place that was a video store/convenience store and they had a Twilight poster in the window so we stopped there. As we were walking in there was a sign that said, "No water in building so no public restrooms" and I thought, "What do you do, then?" There was a small restaurant next door and I asked the lady if they had a public restroom and she said not unless you were a customer, but then she pointed out a Port-O-Potty across the road. We ran across the road to use an outdoor Port-O-Potty with snow coming down outside and let me tell you, that seat was COLD! It was an adventure though.

Shortly after that we got into the Olympic National Forest and it was snowing. The photo above is of Lake Crescent, which is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and is mentioned in the Twilight Saga. When I was taking this photo, I heard something moving in the woods and immediately thought, "Oh! A werewolf!" and jumped in the car. Zane said he saw something white moving in the woods, so wwho knows. Hahaha!

This photo was taken the next day, which was uncharacteristically sunny. It was actually the ONLY nice day of the four days we were there. This sign was reproduced for the film and is a popular tourist spot located on the side of the road as you enter Forks after crossing a bridge over the Sol Duc River, which Bella jumps in Breaking Dawn.

Of course this is the sign outside of Forks High School and was another sign that was painstakingly reproduced for the film, Twilight.

Once we saw the easier to find sights, we went to the Visitors Center where they have Bella's truck and posed with the sign. The green wreath on the front of the truck was in honor of St. Patrick's day and the people working there were so nice. Not surprisingly, the least friendly people we encountered in Forks and La Push were the servers in the different sit down restaurants we went to. The people at Sully's Drive-In where they have the delicious Bella Burger were super nice, though.

At the small hospital in Forks they have a reserved parking spot for Dr. Cullen and amazingly nobody was parked in the spot!

It was suggested to us that we go to the police station where all of the officers answer to the name Charlie. This was probably my favorite place that we went. A majority of the officers were out to lunch, but the lady working there, named Cyndi was so nice and took us on a tour of the police station. She also informed me that the Twilight tourism that has hit was just the "shot in the arm" that the town needed. I believe this, because Forks is the town that time forgot. there isn't much other than the Twilight tourism. The only fast food restaurant in the town was a Subway located in a gas station.

Driving from Forks to La Push there is this sign and I nearly died when I saw it! It references the treaty line that Stephenie describes in the novels. The treaty line is an invisible line that the vampires must never cross. This was a total surprise and such a nice added touch. The folks in the area are so savvy and it's a wonderful thing for them to take advantage of the tourism that Twilight is drawing in.

My baby boy was so happy to share this experience with me and we were thrilled to be in La Push. "It's La Push!"

Once we saw the Twilight sights in Forks we headed to La Push and went to First Beach, which is where Bella and Jacob sit on the driftwood tree and Jacob tells Bella about the legend of Quileutes and "The Cold Ones". The tree probably wasn't as big as this one, but I couldn't get over the size of the driftwood.

The beach there was just as Stephenie Meyer describes it. There were rocks in all of the colors of the rainbow. Looking closer at them, they were green, purple, yellow, and pink. The pieces of driftwood were everywhere. It was so beautiful that my son Zane jumped for joy.

When we were walking down First Beach there was a set of large paw prints in the sand. The strange thing was that there wasn't a dog anywhere in sight. I couldn't resist taking a photo of the possible werewolf paw print. :o)

A massive and gorgeous driftwood tree on First Beach. It was so beautiful and looked like a piece of artwork.

We went back to La Push the second day and it was so cold and rainy. There was a man fishing the inlet there and there were seals swimming around him. Shortly after I took the above photo, the fisherman had to fight to get a seal out of his net. It was such a neat thing to watch!

To warm myself at the end of the day I had to try "Vitamin R". Charlie and Billy Black drink this beer in the film Twilight. It can only be purchased in the Olympic Peninsula area and it was pretty darn tasty.

This is Ruby Beach. It is said that on a sunny day the beach is a red color. Of course when we there it was VERY rainy and cold, but it was still so beautiful.

On the way back from Ruby Beach we went to the Duncan Cedar. This is the world's largest Western Red Cedar. It is 178 feet high and 19.4 feet in diameter. It wass very difficult to get to. The road was very narrow and mostly gravel. My rental car lost traction at one point and it scared me a bit. It was amazing to see and a bit unreal!

On one of our other day there we went up into the Hoh Rainforest where we saw some of the largest trees I have EVER seen as well as The Hall of Mosses.

This is another huge tree we saw in the Hoh Rainforest. I had to get a photo of it not only because it was so large, but because it looked like one of Treebeard's feet from Lord of the Rings. I am a huge fan of Lord of the Rings also, so this was a cool sight.

This was in the Hall of Mosses. I loved this spot in the rainforest. It looked like it could have been a setting for Twilight. My mother even agreed with me when she saw the photo. It looked like Bella and Edward should have been standing there with him telling her, "Say it. Out loud." "VAMPIRE!" It was just so beautiful.

We stayed at The Olympic Suites Inn and they had this cute sign out on the road. It cracked me up. As far as the place itself, it was terrific! It was very affordable and it had apparently been an apartment in years past. There was a living room, bedroom, kitchen with a stove, a restroom and a patio. The staff there was so friendly and if you ever plan on travelling to Forks I highly recommend staying there.

I love this photo looking down Forks Avenue. There is a logging truck driving down in front of us and so few cars with the rain falling down. It is a perfect photo of what the small town of Forks is really like. So peaceful, rainy, and remote.

It was such an amazing trip. It was a long voyage from Tennessee to Forks, but it was well worth it to get to see some of the spots from my favorite books. It was also great to take in some of the other beautiful scenery in the area.

For good measure, I also just want to share another reason I love the Twilight Saga. This is from the 3rd set of outtakes from the Vanity Fair photoshoot done by Bruce Weber. These photos just keep getting better....*Le SIGH*
One more quick thing...the official trailer for Remember Me has been released! This is a film starring Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Emily De Ravin, and this gorgeous guy you might have heard of, Rob Pattinson. This movie actually looks amazing and the trailer will be shown before the film New Moon. I have not read any spoilers on the film, so I know nothing about it. Apparently there are 3 sex scenes in the film! When I see these I will either be really jealous or I will spontaneously combust. Check out the preview and thanks to for the heads up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Morning After A New Moon In Knoxville

OH WOW! Yesterday was quite a day. On a "not-so-Twilight" subject to start. My day started with a black cat crossing my path as I was leaving to take my son Zane to the doctor yesterday morning. I crossed out the cat and went on my way. Luckily Zane was tested for H1N1, regular flu and Strep and tested negative for all three! They did a CBC and decided he just had a virus. I was so glad it was nothing serious, so that I was able to go about my day without worrying.

So then I was off to sit and wait for Taylor and Kristen to arrive at The Pinnacle 18 for the premiere of The Twilight Saga: New Moon. I looked at my clock before getting out of the car and it was 11:40am. When I arrived, there were signs saying that the theater was closed for the special event and there were policemen and barricades. I freaked a little because I was afraid that they weren't allowing people who didn't have tickets. Luckily the cop looked through my bags and let me go up to the red carpet area. There were maybe thirty people there when I got there. I was going to sit behind group of ladies, but they pointed out that there was plenty of space on down where I could be up front. I thought maybe they didn't like the look of me, but I'm glad they said that, but more on that later.

I moved on down to my spot and set up my chair and prepared for the long haul...little did I know. SHEESH! I watched as preparations were being made and the red carpet, beautiful flower arrangements and lighting were being put in place. Anyway. Shortly after that, two young girls came to stand next to me. They were attempting to take a self portrait, so I offered to take the photo. I'm glad I did because we quickly struck up a conversation and bonded over our love of all things Twilight. Danielle was Team Jacob while Hannah and I are both Team Edward so we looked through the new issue of Vanity Fair and tried to convert Danielle. (In the photo left to right: Hannah, Danielle and me)

During the course of the next few hours there were lots of people who started filing in. Some girls in homemade t-shirts declaring their love for Taycob came to stand next to us. There were also tons of people with signs. I wish I had gotten a photo of one that said, "Save a motorcycle. Ride a werewolf!" It cracked me up! Another photo I wish I had gotten was of a man who had in red contacts! It freaked a lot of people out, but was so cool. We spent some of that time deciding what we would want to have signed if we got lucky enough to get autographs. Luckily I was prepared with 3 Sharpies that Danielle, Hannah and I split them and well, it's a good thing we did. ;o)

There were also tons of media outlets that were there conducting interviews. I was featured on a couple of local news channels, WATE 6 and WBIR 10, which was exciting for me. Also there were people from REELZ Channel and the Oxygen Network. I'm not sure when those things will be on, but I will definitely try to keep my eye out. There were people from Radio shows (Mark Anthony from Star 102.1's Mark, Kim and Frank: Such a nice guy) and websites (Adina from TayLautnerDaily) that conducted interviews with fans all around us. People were there handing out different things like coupons, lip gloss and Team Jacob signs.

There were people in place wearing tuxedos with tails to open doors for the attendees. There were also executives that were hanging out to speak to the fans and to keep us apprised of what to expect as the day went on. We went from thinking Kristen and Taylor would be there at 4pm to conduct an interview. Then we were told it would be 5:30pm, but it was at that time that the fans with tickets to the film got to enter the theater. We were informed that they had already arrived in a darkly tinted Chevy SUV and were greeting the V.I.P.s in the tent around the side of the building. and They would then get in the SUVs to come around the building for the red carpet event. THEN, we were told it would be 6:30pm or any time between 6:30pm and 7pm before they would come our way. While all of these times were thrown around the crowd all around began to grow and get closer and closer in proximity. I stupidly still had my chair set up, so I folded it up and tried to keep all of the crap I had out of everyone's way. I don't know what I was thinking bringing all of that junk...the mom in me trying to always be prepared, I guess.

Then, because we were all so close together we could hear what other people were saying about their prospective "inside sources". One said that she was told that Kristen had left her dress for the event on the airplane and hat someone had to go back to get it. The airport is close to where I live which is approximately 30 miles away from the theater. Then a girl who had the same "inside source" that I did, said that it was true and one of the executives said it was true as well. By this time my new friends and I had been standing for about 7 1/2 hours and had not eaten or gone to the restroom. We were all getting very impatient. Then the executives and the Knoxville Police officers began moving into position and we knew our wait was nearly over.

From where we were standing we looked to the right and saw a black Chevy SUV with darkly tinted windows heading our way. The crowd went wild! When the car stopped in front of where we were people got out and walked right into the theater. We were then told that the Executive V.I.P.s would arrive first in five cars and then Kristen and Taylor would come in separate cars. Not everyone knew this, so the folks further back and in trees freaked out each time. Then the two cars came around the corner and we knew.

The cars stopped in front of us and Taylor got out first looking amazing in a black suit. He walked up to the media area while the fans all around were screaming, myself included! Then we saw Kristen and she looked gorgeous She walked over to the media area and we couldn't really tell where either of them were. We saw Taylor to the side under the awning greeting some fans who had tickets to the screening. The crowd was so thick that it was so tough to tell where they were. Once we did figure out where he was, we were wigging out! Then Kristen walked past where he was and out to the fans behind the barricades. People were behind me pushing me against the railing and she wasn't even close to us.

I started snapping photos and wondered to myself, "Is she going to come all of the way down here? Oh please, oh please, oh please!" She kept getting closer. I had my hard bound copy of New Moon and my blue Sharpie and when I realized that she just might make it down to where I was, I quickly pulled the lid off of the marker with my teeth and tucked it into the binding. Next to me was a group that had four little girls that had their school notebooks for her to sign. She stopped and spent some precious moments with them. She gave hugs and signed the autographs directly to them. Then I realized I was next and all I could think was, "HOLY SHIT!"

She stopped in front of me and I held out my book and asked her to sign it. She grabbed my Sharpie and my book and began to sign. I had to think of something to say! UGH! So after hearing the of the dress complication I said, "Your dress is so beautiful." and gave me a sincere look and said, "Thank you." I just looked at her and said, "It is such an honor to meet you." She was so sincere and humble in her thanks. She was trying to hand me back my marker, but my hands were full, so she put the lid on it and put it back in my book. Then she moved on to sign a photo addressed "To" my new friend Danielle and I was kicking myself for not asking her to sign my book "To Amy". Oh well. She continued moving down from fan to fan and I continued to take photos and then I think I went into a bit of shock. Two of the up close photos were taken when she was signing my book. Plus her make-up looked so beautiful and her skin is FLAWLESS! By the way, her dress was Jason Wu Spring 2010 if you were curious. SO beautiful and worth the wait.

We began chanting Taylor's name in the hopes that he too would come our way, but apparently their time was very limited. He had gone to greet the fans further down from where we were behind the barricade. Shortly after that he retreated to have photos made under the awning and to do interviews. I was amazed at how much time Kristen spent with the fans. Then she was gone. She followed Taylor to the spot for photo-ops a few minutes later and I attempted, unsuccessfully, to take a great photo of Taylor from a distance. The only decent one I got was after they had gone inside the theater to greet that crowd. You can see the edge of Kristen's dress in the shot.

I was going from being in total shock to being completely giddy. It was such a surreal experience. We were told that they would not be coming back out the way they had gone in, so everyone decided to pack up and retreat. As I was leaving I was interviewed by a reporter from the local newspaper, The Knoxville News Sentinel. She addressed the idea that I didn't fit the demographic of a typical Twilight fan, since I am 32 years-old. I wish I had thought to tell her that there is no real demographic. Twilight transcends all of that and appeals to people of all ages. If I am in he paper though, I'll be sure to let you know. But, I digress...I was parked close to where the tent was set up outside the theater and there were fans waiting to hopefully see Taylor and Kristen as they were leaving to go back to the airport, but my car was parked so far away and my feet hurt so bad, but I was ready to get home to my baby. In the past 72 hours I had been so excited that I had only gotten about 9 hours of sleep altogether, so I got in my car, turned on my New Moon soundtrack and drove home in my beautiful haze. When I got home I took a photo of one of my most prized possessions.

The best thing of all is that the whole thing was for charity. I wanted to share a couple of professional photos taken at the even, too. They were both just so stunning in person! I always loved Taylor but I have had mixed feelings about Kristen for a while mostly caused by jealousy *blush*. She was so kind to the fans and the little girls that were next to me and had been so patient for so many hours. Now I have great respect for her and I am probably on my way to being one of her biggest fans. These two huge stars took time out of their super bust schedule to make an appearance to help raise money for Variety, which is a local charity that helps handicapped children to become mobile so that they can be more active participants in their daily lives. A great cause!

If you made it to the end of this blog today I want to thank you for reading. It was so wonderful to get to be around people who understand my love of Twilight! Plus, I am hoarse, can barely speak from screaming and I'm exhausted, but yesterday was in the top five greatest days of my life and I am so glad to have gotten to share it with you all. I hope you'll leave a comment and maybe return to read more in the future.