For What It's Worth

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Tell Me Something Tuesday:


Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question: Tell me about your home town.

Answer: When I first moved to WA, we lived in Longview – of squirrel bridges and squirrel fest fame. We now live in Kalama, WA and I’m inching closer to brushes with fame and celebrity lol

Kalama is a very small town – population under 4000 – and doesn’t have much going on. But what we do have is adorable.

There’s downtown which consist of a small grocery store, the post office (which I LOVE because it’s tiny and no one is ever there – even during the holidays), city hall, a hardware store, the library (which is VERY tiny and hardly ever open lol), several vintage/antique shops, a laundromat/coffee shop & a few small restaurants – a Chinese, Mexican, a burger joint, The Twisted Grapevine (beer,wine,coffee, small bites) & Willie Dicks Taphouse (cheeky name but good locally sourced food – mostly hot dogs with fun names like the Scooby Snack lol).

And that’s it. You need to drive about 25-30 to get to any type of shopping like Walmart or a chain grocery store & all that.

Kalama has two claims to fame.


The first is the Columbia Inn Restaurant which serves basic, but yummy, comfort foodand had two famous visitors – Elvis Presley and Jack Benny.

According to the Elvis History Blog – Elvis had “three eggs, the yoke broken and fried hard; 10 slices of bacon, fried to a crisp; a side order of hash browns; one bowl of dry cereal; one bowl of peaches; and five cups of coffee with cream” for breakfast during his stay in 1962. You can even stay in the same room as he did if you plan ahead since it’s usually booked during the summer.



And the second…A Twilight filming location. Forks high school exterior shots were filmed at Kalama HS – less than 5 minutes from my house – including the pivotal scene where Edward saves Bella from the oncoming car in the parking lot. A lot of the movie was filmed around here and nearby Oregon and not a weekend goes by that we don’t see cars circling the school parking lot & people out taking pictures. lol



One of my favorite things about the area though is the Port of Kalama on the Columbia River. Just a few minutes from downtown, the city has just finished a big renovation project at the park. It now has a beach that I love walking along, picnic areas, courts for soccer/volleyball/tennis and more, a small amphitheater for summer concerts and movies, lighted walking paths. There are also new amenities and McMenamins Harbor Lodge where you can grab a bite to eat or spend the weekend.



We usually grab a coffee or hot cider and take Fonzi down there for a walk or to watch the ships and trains go by. It’s stunning no matter the weather. I can also see parts the Columbia from my house (between houses) and can hear the fog horns at night which I love.

I’m really looking forward to the summer and being able to take Fonzi down by the water for the concerts or a picnic by the water.

So there's a glimpse of my small but quirky town!

34 comments:

  1. Well you've got Chinese and Mexican so thank goodness for that lol. I need both of those on a regular basis. Although to be honest I'm not as bad with my diet as I used to be. The Twisted Grapevine sounds fun too (love that name). Sounds like a fun little small town!

    10 slices of bacon and 5 cups of coffee! Wow hope he wasn't eating alone!!

    The fog horns do sound like they'd be cool. :)

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    1. The Lucky Dragon is a favorite of locals and the two small coffee shops and laundromat are always packed. lol I still need to try a few of the other places.

      That was Elvis' meal! lol His group got their own separate order.

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  2. I would love to live where you are! My town is not exciting and has high crime and issues with drug and alcohol abuse. No bookshops, hard to get parking where you want...oh yes I'd love to move!

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    1. It's a very low crime rate because no one is here lol Homelessness is an increasing problem all around us though. It's very bad out here.

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  3. That sounds nice. I can't imagine living in a small town though after living here in Las Vegas. There's always something going on here.

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    1. It's been a really big adjustment. You can't just go out and get something.

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  4. Um, I want to move there! It sounds amazing and like everything I've ever dreamed of. And how did I not know about the Twilight filming!? Care for a visitor? Lol.

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    1. It's a really wonderful area for raising kids. Not so much when they're older because there's nothing to do but when they're younger - it's very family oriented.

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  5. Now that’s a small town. :) I love the little downtown area. So different from what I’m used to. (I live in a city of close to 1 million residents.) Pretty cool with the claims to fame. That was quite a meal The King had! And it’d be fun fun to see some of the Twilight locations. I loved those movies back in the day. :)

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    1. VERY small town. Vancouver is our biggest nearby city and that has almost everything we need.

      I thought Ocala, FL was a small town until I came here lol We used to go to Orlando a lot for our city fix.

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  6. Our towns are about the same size though we have more businesses because we have a state highway going through with lots of chain fast foods along there. Neat about the park and beach on the river. I love going down and walking in our river park or catching the concerts and movies in the park during the summer. The fog horn would be cool. LOL, Jack Benny and Elvis and Twilight- cool!

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    1. They're trying to attract more businesses. They just built a distribution/buisness park so we'll see what comes.

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  7. Wow! You collected some fun facts here. I admire a man that can put away 10 pieces of bacon. That's why he was the king.

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  8. I’ve been through Longview, but not Kalamath. I will have to come and check it out. You can’t beat the views in the Pacific NW. A big change from Florida!

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    1. If you've been to Longview from Portland - you've driven through Kalama. Blink and you miss it lol

      I lived in horse farm country in FL so we had nice views there too especially on foggy mornings.

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  9. Kalama must be the only tiny American town where the Winchesters haven't fought some kind of monster LOL. At least you have Elvis, Twilight and Jack Benny (whom I have to admit I had to look up to know who he was LOL).

    It sounds like the perfect place for you! I'm sure your next (extended) summer will be even better than your first WA one.

    As for me, I live in a 33,000-something inhabitants coastal town with some medieval remains, and I could never envision living in a tiny one like yours! We have little enough here as it is. Like for instance, lots of places where to eat and banks and real estate agencies and laundromats, but shortage of shoe/bag shops and hardly any place left where to buy household appliances. Lots of shops (even medium-to-large-sized ones) that had been there since the dawn of time closed due to the economic crisis. Others open where they used to be, last for some months or a couple of years, and ultimately die as well. We've always been economically dependent by the local steel factory, where most of the men worked - but it's been years since it fell prey to the crisis as well, bought and rebought by foreign companies as some kind of investment but basically left to rot, with workers on layoff for extended periods. That took a toll on the town.

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    1. I don't know anything about Jack Benny either - other than hearing his name aroudn growing up.

      Longview sounds like your home. The population is about 35,000 and it was a big logging/papermill town that lost a lot of jobs. Most of the businesses left and the economy is pretty bad along with homelessness.

      A few smaller businesses keep popping up but it's hard for them. They have to close early just because there aren't a lot of customers.

      It was quite the change for me from FL. Ocala was a small town but so many people are moving to FL that everything keeps growing. Almost to the other extreme and it's too busy/crowded now.

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  10. Omg it's soo old timey, I would definitely come visit for a day trip!

    And you can't beat that sunset!

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    1. It would take you an hour - tops to tour everything lol

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  11. Omg you live in Twilight town :D

    Considering what we have nearby, then I guess my "town" is not that little

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    1. We have to drive at least 25-30 minutes to get to any type of full size or chain store. We have the basics but on a small scale and everything closes really early.

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  12. I can't believe people are still interested in where Twilight was filmed! I'm curious about the locations of films that I've enjoyed, but I don't know if I would necessarily go out of my way to see them. If I'm in the are? Sure. Driving hundreds or thousands of miles? Nope.

    It's really lovely where you live! The small-town vibe is STRONG. ;)

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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    1. They filmed all around here and nearby OR so there's a driving tour. Almost every single weekend we see groups in the HS parking lot lol

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  13. I LOVE small towns! I consider my small too! Lovely pics! :)

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    1. I've lived in a few and they usually aren't very welcoming but this one is nice.

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  14. Aw, it's so quaint! I love it. And it's too funny that a lot of Twilight was filmed there. Nice claim to fame. :)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I joked that I could go vampire and werewolf hunting out here lol

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  15. Wow, how cool about the Twilight location! I knew a lot of the first film was filmed in the PNW but not the exact locations. Lol. I think I've had my fill of small town life for the next hundred lifetimes. Where I live may not be as small as your town but the small town mentality and lack of modern amusements is not my thing anymore. Lol.

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    1. The lack of stores is a problem but I will say the small town mentality is not the same here. It's very open and welcoming. I've lived in small towns before and they weren't like this.

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  16. It sounds awesome Karen! I'd love the water... I need to drive 15/20 minutes to get to a supermarket so 30 doesn't seem too bad. And you have a few take out places! We only have a fish and chip shop. The takeaway places in Salisbury don't deliver this far out.

    I liked all the trees in the twilight movies. If a lot of it was shot relatively near to you then you live in a super pretty part of the world. :)

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    1. That scenery is pretty much what our area is like and it is gorgeous. Oooh fish & chips! Mmmmm

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  17. I adore cozy small towns and I would love the harbor area! That's great that you see people driving around looking for Twilight filming locations. Is it weird seeing the school when you are out and about because I'd be thinking of the movie every time. Ha ha. Thanks for sharing your photos. 👍✨

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    1. I literally have to stare at the school/parking lot straight ahead of me every time I go home so yes, I do think about the movie every time lol

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