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Pre-flight – Twilight Pilgrimage Prequal

C’mon, Bree. Be my bestest bud forever. Please?  ~Diego, The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner, p.42

Text 1 Aunt Heather PiperEver since Stephanie Meyer created the Twilight book, published in 2005 and then released the remainder of the series, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, The Short Second Life of Brie Tanner, and the not-yet-officially released Midnight Sun, my sister and I have been wanting to go to the location of where it all takes place.  The Twilight books are on my list of top books ever!  I’m not sure if I’m embarrassed to say it, but I’ve read each of the books at least three times, and they never get old!  My sister is the guilty party who got me started in the series and the movies.  I remember our conversation exactly, she said, “Heather you have to start reading the Twilight books, they are so good!”  I rolled my eyes and said, “Nicole, “I’m not reading some teenager books.”  Nicole chose to push the subject further by saying, “Heather, trust me just read Twilight and if you don’t like it, then you don’t have to read the rest.”  Fair enough I thought.

new-moon-bella-edward-woods Aunt Heather Piper
New Moon - Bella & Edwards

Well, Nicole’s persistence paid off and I was hooked by chapter three of Twilight.  What makes the books so appealing?  Enough to sell over 116 million copies world wide?  I’m not really sure.  But I do know from my perspective the story is one of a simple love story that encapsulates danger and action without gore, scandal or drama.  It almost omits the day-to-day issues and responsibilities and lets you run free, well not that you can run with a vampire, ’cause their fast. (pun)  Somehow Stephanie Meyer created this world that draws you into it and you become entranced, almost memorized by the simplicity of a small town filled with monsters, who happen to be good people, well at least the residence.  Not to mention they take place in a real life place called Forks.

Text 2 Aunt Heather PiperWhen Stephanie Meyer had her dream about the vampire and the girl, she needed a setting for her story.  Where does one find answers now-a-days?  The internet of course.  She actually Googled the rainiest place on the continental United States, and what popped up but the one and only Forks?  Then of course, she did her do diligence and really researched the town and surrounding areas, hence La Push Beach and the usage of the Quileute Tribe.  This is where my story starts.

Since the books, and no doubt the movies have been released, Forks has been put on the map, literally. I’m not really a big fan of the movies, it’s more like the movies make the books so real and exciting, but regardless it’s all fun.  Fork’s, a small rural town with a population of roughly 3,000 people, positioned in the middle of nowhere on the Olympic Peninsula, is a hot spot for Twilight fans, even to this day.  Nicole and I ran into at least a dozen fans passing through the area, but I’ll get to the stories as they unfold.  Now that the background behind this trip has been established, let the trip begin!

Text 3 Aunt Heather PiperI have always wanted to see Seattle and visit my cousin who lives outside of the city.  With this trip I was getting my cake and eating it too, plus a pilgrimage to Forks!  Nicole and I decided to do an extended weekend, sneaking out and back from Wednesday, May 16th through Monday, May 21st.  My sister was flying out of the Dulles Airport and I was coming from Pittsburgh.  The anticipation of this trip was like two children getting ready for a field trip.  As word got out about the trip, my friends wanted to come ‘vampire hunting’ and instructed me to ‘watch out for Victoria’ and so forth.  My sister and I did the typical count down and romanticized about the trip beforehand.  The weeks and days leading up to our departure we would text funny messages like, ‘I want to go here’ and show a picture from the movie.

When I travel, there are certain things you can count on.  I always pack light, as I’ve mentioned in Traveling Habits and speed walk everywhere, especially in airports.  By nature I am not a person who strolls or takes their time to get from point A to point B, I walk with a purpose, even if I’m not in a hurry.  All this sounds great, except you can also count on me arriving at my destination without bags, because the airline lost them, or me missing my flight all together.  The mismanagement of bags, I certainly can’t control, but it does seem to happen to me, a lot. Then let’s discuss my missed flights.  Sometimes it’s not my fault, just the luck of draw with flight delays and schedules.  Unfortunately, more than not, it’s usually my fault.  Missing flights on a number of occasions is a result of not allowing enough time to tackle lines and traffic, or not paying attention to my emails when flights are moved around and are ahead of schedule.  My sister is well aware of these minor hiccups involved with me traveling and her method to alleviate them is to threaten me.  A conversation with Nicole would always seem to include “And you better not miss your flight.  I’m not waiting for you.” or “You miss your flight and you’re on your own.”  All empty promises, but quite funny! Even up to the minute I was suppose to leave, I worked a half day on Wednesday, and Nicole was texting me asking if I left yet and reminding me of my departure time.  What I was not aware of, was that she registered my cell phone for calls and text message updates.  Boy, she covered all basis!  And she had alerts on my flight information sent to her phone as well.   That’s my sister, very thorough!

Text 4 Aunt Heather PiperLeaving work halfway through the day on Wednesday, meant that I would have made it to the airport without stress.  But I decided to take a slight detour before heading to the airport.  You see, Kyle asked me for a new folder for school a week prior, he said, “Aunt Heather my fold is in two pieces and I need a new one.”  Well, I can’t have Kyle running into a roadblock such as a torn folder holding all his homework, now could I?  I had an extra plain black folder at the house and I put it in the car to leave with him, but alas I kept forgetting to pass it along.

Now, there I was leaving work, suppose to be heading straight to the airport, but I looked down in my front seat to see Kyle’s folder.  What to do? What to do? What else?  Stop by his school and drop it off with a note!  I will admit it was a bit out of my way, but I didn’t care, although my sister’s voice chirping in my ear about not missing my flight was certainly going off as clear as day.

As I pulled up to his school I was all wound up, getting ready to leave for the airport and sneaking Kyle his folder with a note, it was already a great day!  The minute I stepped into the school, who stepped off of the staircase into the hallway leading a line of kids?  The one and only Mr. Kyle Piper!  He saw me first and all I heard was, “Aunt Heather! What are you doing here?”  Being totally surprised and taken aback, I said, “I came to give you your folder silly.”  He just looked at this plain black glossy folder, and said, “Ok”.  I gave him a sideways hug, since full hugs and kisses are totally forbidden, especially in front of all his friends in school.  I asked him “Where are you off to?” with a reply of “Math class”.  Just then a few of his friends tried to catch my attention and waved at me, and then they reached for the folder in Kyle’s hands.  I heard a few voices whisper, “What’s the folder for?” and “Let me see it.” Wow!  If I would have known this folder was going to get such attention I would have purchased him a really cool one, like The Avengers or something better than just plain black, but at least it wasn’t pink!

Text 5 Aunt Heather PiperThis entire encounter took maybe five minutes.  I didn’t want to hold Kyle up, since I didn’t have permission to be in the school anyway and let alone hold up the line of students and distract Kyle.  I told him I was off to the airport to meet up with Aunt Nikki in Seattle.  He said, “You’re not going to be home this weekend?” I said, “No buddy, remember we talked about his.  I’m going to Seattle with your Aunt Nikki, I won’t be back till late Monday night.  I’ll be missing only one of your baseball games.”  He gave me a pensive look as if our plans were finally making sense to him and disrupted the flow.  I reiterated that his Gigi was still going to be picking him up on Friday.  He gave me a cute little sideways smile, before I darted right back out of the door.

As I left, I was so excited that I called my mom and told her about my little chance encounter.  It really left me with a great feeling!  Even though I knew I was going to miss him, I got to talk to him and I got one last little hug.  That meant more to me than anything!  Sometimes it’s just those unplanned chances in life that really stick with you and make the world of difference.  That was one for the books!

Next stop, Pittsburgh airport, but first one more detour.  I had to fuel up the car.  Being completely on empty is not a new concept with me.  I tend to forget or wait until I am on fumes before I fill up the gas tank.  When I noticed that I was in the danger range, according to the fuel gauge, I thought, ‘Nicole would kill me if I didn’t make my flight because I ran out of gas!’  Stopping at Sheetz, which was on my way, I also picked up a burrito M-T-O for dinner, win win killing two birds and thinking once I got situated I would eat.  Perfect!

Text 6 Aunt Heather PiperGetting to the airport in good time, I was pretty relaxed, never loosing any of my excitement built up previously.  It’s a good thing too, because I had to park way out at the furthest end of extended-long term parking.  There were NO parking places.  I don’t mind walking, especially on nice sunny days when I have enough time, in fact I must admit I enjoyed my walk.  It helps to stretch out my legs and burn off some energy before having to be confined to a plane seat for hours.  I must say, this time the only issue I ran into was at security when they accused me of having a container of liquid in my bag.  What? I knew I didn’t have anything like that, I try to make sure I remain in compliance with the airline rules, as to not be delayed.  Here the lady with the latex gloves came over to me to inspect my bag further and she pulled out my burrito.  She said, “What’s this?” and I quickly put her mind to rest by saying, “A burrito.”  Really?  It has Sheetz M-T-O written all over the wrapper.  At first, I thought I was going to have to unwrap my dinner to prove to her it was in fact a burrito, but she put it back in my bag and instructed me to continue on my way.  I guess they are only doing their job and trying to keep everyone safe.  It just took me off guard.  Maybe the foil wrapping made the machines go off?  Who knows but now I was on my way.

I actually really enjoy sitting at an airport.  I always get a new book, and this time I bought two new ones, each one being two books in one, The Vampire Diaries.  I’ve always wanted to read those books and I thought it was appropriate on this trip.  Sitting there reading with no interruptions, except for text messages between me and Nicole, is my favorite part of traveling.  That is the time where I can relax and my vacation begins.

to be continued…

Published inBooks, Movies, ShowsCommon SenseEducation & LearningFamilyMilestoneObservation & ImaginationReminiscingTravels

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