WASHINGTON STATE
SEATTLE –POULSBO- PORT ANGELES- FORKS- LA PUSH
LAKE QUINAULT- RAINFORESTS- PORT TOWNSEND

I flew into the Seattle International Airport on a quick non-stop, still arriving early enough to enjoy the entire day. I hopped into my rental car and drove out the ferries. The first thing I noticed was the magnificent beauty of the trees in the most unusual color of what I would call chartreuse in artist’s language, a very cool yellowish green. Quite beautiful and eye capturing. Not like the yellow of the fall leaves that have almost a pear hue, the Seattle trees of spring took on a color significance of their own.

Once out of Seattle, the colors deepened as the Seattle terrain was replaced by deep forest greens of the firs and evergreens that predominated the land. I took the ferry across to Port Angeles, a well worth experience in itself. With a view of the notorious Space Needle to my left, the Seattle seaport behind me, a huge snow capped rocky mountain to my right on a bright and sunny 70 degree day, we were approaching an island in what I would call Cape Cod architecture. The homes were beautiful with their thatched roofs and walls in pure wood with big windows in predominately earth tones and white trim very similar to the homes in Nantucket and the Martha’s Vineyard area.

Once off the ferry, I found myself in a totally relaxed yet upscale area. The only time I remember feeling this vibe since living in Ormond by the Sea, Florida as a pre-teen and young teenager was in Cape Cod while playing miniature golf… the type with the waterfalls, caves, trees, and bridges where they serve soft serve ice cream with multi-colored sprinkles on top. I could already tell that this was a vacation and not just a trip.

On the way to Port Angeles, I found a very cool place to have lunch, a small Nordic town called Poulsbo. The quaint area offered one of a kind gift shops, boutiques, and restaurants making this waterfront town quite charming. In a storybook setting, I found myself completely in wonderment as I walked down the cobblestone side streets, checking out every nook and cranny in a quick Gemini fashion not to miss out on anything of importance yet not to waste a single moment of time.

Looking out at the river, I again noticed the beautiful magnificent snow capped mountains across the way. The air was fresh and clean. Within 1 hour of arrival, I had already come to the conclusion that Washington State was one of the most beautiful states that I had ever encountered.

On my way to Port Angeles, I found Sunshine Lavender Farm, an old fashioned red barn, with fields of lavender where I was enticed to stop in. What a cool experience! In the gourmet department they offer everything from organic lavender sugar to lavender tea. They have lavender candles and essential oils as well as soaps and sachets in the gift department, a small café, rows and rows of gorgeous dried lavender wreaths ad swags, lavender printed kitchen towels, you name. It is decorated in what I call French Country interior design. I purchased a large dried lavender swag tied with purple ribbons for my mom, a similar smaller one for me, and a Victorian style mahogany key holder (with a clear glass door knob, skeleton keyhole, and a brushed silver doorplate) that I placed my lavender swag across when I got home The sales clerk wrapped the lavender bunches nicely in purple tissue with silk ribbon after dressing them in pure lavender essential oil. After that I went for a walk in the lavender gardens and relaxed in a purple Adirondack chair on the outside porch while enjoying the refreshing lavender tea.

After that I stopped and bought a new digital camera and headed out to Forks for my final stop for the night. Before, I go on I should mention that I put together a beautiful array of Twilight themed decoupage gift boxes filled with Vamplified items to market into the Forks gift shops.

I booked a cute little room at Shady Nook Cottages, checked in, and then went out for dinner. The town of Forks was a small town out in the middle of nowhere. By the time I arrived it was nighttime. I checked in and was quite pleased with my charming little cottage. I unpacked my car and then headed out for dinner. There are only a few restaurants in this small town of population. I checked out a few of them and decided dine at Plaza Jalisco, a Mexican Restaurant with a good menu to choose from.

After that I drove around for awhile and found the only nightlife, a bowling alley with a sign that appeared to be made in the 60’s. The place looked kind of desolate and it was getting pretty late so I decided to explore the town a little more by car before checking into my room.

The next morning I had breakfast at Fork’s Diner, a mom and pop type diner most noted for their homemade oversized pancakes. I ordered one which was enough as it was quite satisfying and filling. They made good coffee and iced tea too.

After that I stopped into a produce stand and stored up on some fresh fruit and bottled water. After dropping off my groceries I headed out to the Dazzled by Twilight store at 61 North Forks Ave. It was about half and hour before my scheduled tour. I spoke with the owner and traded her a bottle of our official wine the Vamplified Cellars Estate Spirits along with a couple of sample items from our Vampire Collection in exchange for store merchandise including a few calendars that I use to decoupage gift boxes.

The tour was fun and informative. We started out with all the highlights of the Forks area that was in the Twilight book including Town Hall, Forks High School “Home of the Spartans”, where Edward and Bella first met, the Cullen home which is now a Bed and Breakfast called Miller Tree Inn, the hospital where Dr. Cullen worked and more. Forks Chamber of Commerce was still gleaming with surprise from the storyboard that was given to them by director Catherine Hardwicke, just one day before I arrived.
 
Then we arrived at the official boundary line between the vampires and the werewolves. Hhmm… Dare I trespass? Well perhaps I should….

La Push is 12 miles from Forks and home of the Quileute Tribe. According to folklore, the tribe ascended from wolves through a transformer containing the God seed of hidden knowledge. The tribe's ancestral heritage traces them back thousands of years into the Ice Age, concluding them to be the most ancient of inhabitants in the Pacific Northwest region.

La Push is a gorgeous coastal area with sea sprayed rocks, tiny islands, and an abundance of evergreen trees. We went to the Quileute Village, and visited with merchants in the Indian tribe where they hand weave really nice quality crafted hats, mittens, scarves and sweaters along with other handmade beautiful items which they sell in the shop. After that we stopped at a rustic style restaurant in a heavily wooded area for lunch before returning to Forks.

After the 3 hour Twilight tour, I went down the road and found a sign that led me to an exquisite gift shop called Leppell’s Flowers and Gifts. I am happy to announce that “Vamplified”, my private line of merchandise is now officially available in Forks at Leppell’s on Spartan Avenue just down the road from the high school where Bella met Edward. So for all of you vampires out there looking for the absolute best in apothecary items please make a note to look into this classy establishment. I even made some custom boxes as a nice packaging touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



After spending some time in town browsing through the stores, I decided to head back to my cottage to rest and then get ready for the evening. I decided to go to Port Angeles and have a mushroom ravioli dinner at the notorious Bella Italia. Port Angeles is a quaint, casually upscale beach town just about an hour from Forks. The restaurant has a warm feel in tasteful décor and good smooth jazz to easy listening music. It was comfortable without being pretentious and what I would consider a wise choice for a 1st date. I give Stephanie Meyer credit for adding this restaurant into her work as it reflects her brilliance by adding yet another spark of romantic chemistry between the characters portrayed as Edward and Bella in the making of Twilight.

The food is exceptional as well as the service. They offer locally grown organic cuisine on the menu and have a superb wine list with over 70 bottles to choose from. The wine I ordered was notably aromatic with deep flavorful undertones and well worth mentioning. It is called Cesari Mara Valpolicella Ripasso.

After dinner, I went out to the waterway where the ships were docked and walked around in the evening cool breeze. It was a pleasant night as I strolled along the wooden planks lined with fine art sculptures while listening to the water as it gently swayed into the concrete bank. Then I drove back along the scenic route to Forks and checked into my cabin for a good night’s sleep.

The next morning I decided to drive out to the Hoh Rainforest which was on my way to Lake Quinault. Driving into the rainforest there were a few gift shops and cafes and small cabins on the very narrow street. The rainforest was lush with foliage with running streams, extremely fresh, crisp, cool air and lots of greenery. I even saw a couple of elk which I had the opportunity to photograph.

On the way to Lake Quinault, I stopped at Kalaloch Lodge, the only place around for several miles, and had lunch at the restaurant overlooking the ocean. The view was spectacular and so was the food. After lunch I took a few moments outside to feel the cool breeze brush against my skin as I inhaled the fresh scent of salty ocean air. There were exotic botanicals flowering in colorful bloom.

When I arrived at my final destination for the evening, advertised as “Lake Quinault Lodge… where the rest comes easy” I discovered that it just about sums up this magnificent retreat. Listed in the National Register of Historical Places this resort offers everything from croquet to canoeing. There is a main lodge with big oversized leather chairs and a fireplace with lots of books on loan to choose from. There are very few small gift shops in this town and a lot of natural scenery to take in. It is located in the Quinault Rainforest where there is hiking and picnic tables. I reserved a fireplace lakeside room and enjoyed a day of rest. This place is perfect for the high profile types who want to get away from it all.

After a good night’s rest, I got up unusually early and decided to take the scenic route back to Seattle airport instead of rushing. On the way back, I finally got a chance to see some of the famous Washington State fog roll in and what a cool sight to see! I decided to stop in at Port Townsend, a historical Victorian town with ornate architecture, one of a kind boutiques, and fine dining. I really enjoyed my time there and enjoyed my shopping spree.


Then I continued the scenic route through Poulsbo once again and hopped on the ferry back to Seattle. On the plane back to Burbank, I took my first aerial photographs which I thought came out quite nice!