Gilmore Girls

I have been really excited about writing this post for a month or so now. 
It's no lie that I love Gilmore Girls. If you don't know what it is, let me tell you a quick synopsis.
Lorelai gets pregnant when she is just 16. She keeps the baby and names her Lorelai, but calls her Rory. She raises her in a cute little house in a small town called 
Stars Hollow, Connecticut this will be important later in the post. 

Rory and Lorelai live a lovely life with fast talking, clever wit, lots of cultural references, and too many love interests. 

This show has been a favorite of mine for several years. My sister was flipping through channels one night and stopped on the WB to see the pilot episode. It was great. Because we weren't allowed to watch TV on weekdays, we would sometimes sneak downstairs to turn it on really quiet or sometimes I would go to my friend's house to work on our political science homework every Tuesday night... 
Later in seasons 5 and 6, I got mad at the show and felt like it was getting gross and the comedic timing just wasn't the same. I heard they got new producers and I stopped watching for a bit. 

But then I heard about the final episode and I watched clips of it on youtube many a times. It really is the perfect last scene to a series. 
Last fall I would always have a break on Tuesday for lunch between noon and 1, which happened to be when Gilmore Girls reruns were on. On one Tuesday, I was enjoying some tomato soup and flipped to channel 28 to find the last episode had just begun. I watched it, like normal. But this time, I went to class a half hour late because I had to savor every minute it was on. Few times in my life have I cried as hard as I did in that final episode. I felt like an era was ending. 

Last summer, my friends Sarah and Brittany were chatting about GG as we like to call it now. I have seasons 1-3, so I brought them down to Provo and we started inviting girls in the ward to come over, eat otterpops, and celebrate the Lorelais with us. When Sarah and I moved in to the same apartment last summer, we were pleased to find that our newest roommate, dear Shayna had the entire series on DVD. We started where we left off and it became a roommate tradition to eat our Cafe Rio, run to the grocery store to grab Ben & Jerry's and then watch an episode or 2 or 3 or 4 of Gilmore Girls. 

In the final weeks before school was ending, we were just starting season 7. We all had odd time schedules so I ended up watching the last part of season 7 while packing up my room. It was interesting re-living Rory's life while I was ending up my college days. Going to her last college parties, while I was. Reflecting on broken engagements, as I was. Seeing her pack up the boxes with Paris, while I packed. Wondering what to do next, like I was. It may sound cheesy to those that don't love Gilmore Girls, but when you grow up at the same time and somewhat shared memories, you just feel connected. 
The night before I graduated, my roommates and I gathered one last time to watch the final episode. It was lovely. We laughed, we cried. I am sure going to miss those girls. 

Fast forward to why I am doing this post. Well because Emily had a crazy idea that I loved. She read about Stars Hollow on wikipedia and learned that Amy Sherman-Palladino (the creator and producer) went on a vacation to Washington, CT and went for a little visit to the downtown. From this visit and others to Essex and Wallingford, she got the idea for Gilmore Girls. In fact she started writing the pilot on a napkin called Ralph's ... (like Luke's). 

So Emily and I did a pilgrimage of sorts. In preparation the night before, we watched the road trip to Harvard where they stay at the Cheshire Cat. Great episode. We figured it would be good prep because they were doing the opposite of us. We were leaving from Harvard and going to CT. 

Emily (and her co-workers) called every car rental in the Boston area until she got her hands on a Jeep wrangler. Why you ask? 

Well because Lorelai drove a Jeep Wrangler. Hers was a greenish tan. Luckily we happened to run into a greenish tan Jeep Wrangler while we were in the town of Washington, CT. See for yourself: 

When we got there, we visited the local places with real Washington natives. I told Emily to try to avoid telling people why we were in town... you know, I didn't want them to think we were crazy. But we met a lovely little lady at a yarn shop and it just spilled out. But don't worry, she said people come around all the time for the exact same reason! 
Ok here Washington Food Market, which may have inspired Doose's Market that Taylor owned and Dean worked at. 

We also had to visit the bookstore, because Rory was super intellectual and would love to hang out here. Plus her and Jess had some awesome flirting scenes here. I was hoping to find a Jess for me, but alas all we found was the Awkward Family Photos book, which is fabulous. Emily bought it for me later and I can't get enough of it. 

Kind of crazy, but this is the town hall in Washington, it doesn't look like Miss Patty's dance studio at all, but it is beautiful so it deserved a photo. 

Next we headed to Wallingford and then stayed at a bed and breakfast in New Milford. Both of them looked even more like Stars Hollow than Washington. I was thrilled when I saw this gazebo in the center of town.

Then we found the park bench. Remember all those scenes when Rory would just be reading on the bench or waiting for the bus? 

I certainly do. For this next pose, I was planning on photoshopping Dean or Lane but I get enough time with photoshop in my real life. 

As we were walking around the town, we found some fun things and some not fun things. The curved railroad seemed quaint and rustic. So we captured a few shots and did mini portrait sessions for ourselves. Don't be surprised if you see those as profile pics in weeks to come. 

note: don't worry, this one will never be used as a profile pic. What am I even doing? 

There was fun of those creepy carnivals going on in the park next to the railroad. Trust me, the railroad tracks seemed safer. If this were Stars Hollow, it could be like a Stars Hollow High event, definitely not something for us Chilton fans. 

This appears to be the cool hangout in town, besides the carnival. If you look close, the boy by the tree was indeed giving me an odd look as I zoomed in with my big lens to snap this photo. Little did he know that I needed to capture everything on this trip. 

Now, back to the New England that we love. Isn't it so great that there are flags everywhere?

This is a bank. Beautifulest bank I've seen. 

a lovely church, it kind of looks like the church where Rory showed up late to when Lorelai was becoming Sukie and Jackson's baby's god-mother. 

This is the same church, but this picture kind of looks like Luke is in an old truck driving past. 

Gilmore Girls, you were good to us.


Erin said...

OMG. LOOOVE Gilmore Girls! So much fun! I'm totally jealous.

Love, Erin

Ali said...

Oh my goodness! I love this. I'm jealous of this adventure. Heather, Kelsey and I used to sit on heather's bed in the dorms, eat cereal, and watch GG just about every Saturday morning of winter semester. It was fabulous. I have so many wonderful GG memories. :) This looks like a blast!

Stephanie said...

Whaaa....!!! I didn't know these places were real! cool! I'm so glad you got to go! It's fabulous! I loved gg too. wayyy too much!

Sara said...

becca i'm dying! what a beautiful post. i must see this place some day. why did we never watch gilmore girls together? in high school i would watch it with my sisters and my mom, and if we had missed the episode on tuesday night my mom would let us miss first (and sometimes second) period the next day. a few times she even called us to turn around after we'd left to come home to watch it. that actually sounds like a great activity for tonight...

Reags said...

Gilmore girls taught me all I needed to know about life. Thank you GG.

melimba said...

Yes. Yes. Yes.
Why I didn't fly out for this homage trip is beyond me.
Lovely. Great work. Lovely post.

Layne Bushell said...

oh my goodness becca...i laughed and cried! I'm going with you guys and kelli and Wendy the next time! I've been sooo busy this summer...I have 20 episodes on my DVR to watch...I'm totally having GG withdrawls. I even would give Kelli a GG monthly update in my letters to her in Australia!!! So glad you guys are having fun!

emily snyder said...

love love love everything about this post!! it was soooo much fun and i miss you more than ever. the only thing i can think of wanting for my birthday is to have you come back out for another adventure!!

Sarah Middleton said...

There are few people in my life who understand my love for GG like you do. I love everything about this post. EVERYTHING.

Life, Love and a Lil Sauce said...

LOVE this post! I am so glad you guys did this! I just wish you would have attended the local chapter of the DAR while you were there!

Brittany said...

I can't even handle this. GG is the stuff of life. Roadtrip perfection.

Unknown said...

Oh my God, I am not kidding when I tell you I have looked and looked to find a place like Stars Hallow. I cannot believe how much the town looks like it!! Do you think the people were of similar character? Thanks so much for your post (a year later). My friends and I also call it GG and since it's ended, every summer, we watch it from start to finish until the fall. There is no show in the world like it and nothing could ever come close. I will be planning my trip to Washington, CT!