Tag Archives | travel

Epiphanie Camera Bag Giveaway

Have An Epiphanie

Remember when all camera bags were black and basic?  It takes a truly talented and clever person to realize that we lady photographers may enjoy a more stylish mode of photography equipment transport.

Not only are Epiphanie Camera Bags fashionably aesthetic, their functionality fits the lifestyle of someone like me who writes, networks, photographs and needs to apply lip gloss.  This is what it means to have an epiphany, and I’m sure that’s exactly what happened when designer Maile Wilson, professional photographer for fifteen years, decided to create these amazing and appropriately named bags.

Epiphanie Bag in Clover

the “Clover” Epiphanie Bag in Fuchsia


My Epiphanie

My Epiphanie bag has traveled with me on media tour, and recently to BlogHer Food in Seattle, Washington.  My bag does hold quite a bit, but I’m always more amazed at how well it holds my stuff, in addition to how much…. it always fits my purpose just perfectly.

Epiphanie Bag at BlogHer Food

Having an Epiphanie at BlogHer Food in Seattle Washington


And now, I’m the proud owner of the “Lyric” Epiphanie Bag in Mustard, and am packing it up for BlogHer’12 in New York City.  With my Canon T2i, macro and zoom lenses, pocket wallet, business cards, iPad, lens wipes and- of course- lip gloss, this bag holds everything in it’s perfect place and (most importantly) will make me the most stylish blogger at this powerhouse conference.  If you’re on Twitter and Instagram, be sure to follow me for live photos throughout the event!

“Lola” Epiphanie Bag in Mustard


The Giveaway

This is probably our most exciting giveaway yet.  To kick off my trip to BlogHer in New York City, we’re hosting a giveaway of an Epiphanie Bag of the winner’s choice.  Click on over to EpiphanieBags.com to check out their shop then enter our giveaway below. We know this is going to be very popular so we gave you lot’s of ways to gain extra entries that you can do each day!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Goonie For A Day in Astoria at Scenic Cannery Pier Hotel

The “We Love Dreamers” State

Setting off for stop number four in The Organized Cook’s Cookbook Launch Press Tour, we landed in the green, gregarious city of Portland, Oregon. The plane of returning Oregonians gave bewildered expressions (due in part from lingering Las Vegas hangovers no doubt) as we bubbled “We’re in OREGON!!” The response is usually the reverse for passengers arriving to Sin City, not from. Our trip agenda bursting at the seams, an almost uncannily omniscient state slogan welcomed us in- “We Love Dreamers.” I think we could borrow a bit from Utah’s state slogan, the last state we were in, to say this is the right place

Crunch time until air time- 8 bags and a cozy little kitchen later, it was show time in the FOX 12 KPTV Studio on the set of “Good Day Oregon”. Aided by an exceptionally supportive crew, Toni sailed through the cooking segment along side her TV talent Andy Carson, both comprehending and charismatic (not all Weathermen are created equal). Yes, modern-day moms can get dinner on the table every night without spending all their time and money to do it! With a gracious goodbye, GPS navigation was programmed to the site of our remaining adventure, a place to clear our heads of noise from blinding lights and compass us in to collective future direction: Asotria.

Good Day Oregon Morning Show with Andy Carson


The two hour drive decorated with breathtaking scenery of endless walls of tall, emerald hued Pines, led us to one of Oregon’s best kept secrets. The enigmatic and yet unambiguous waterfront locale swallows you in the moment you arrive. Without room reservations, we arrived on a recommendation by Mr. Carson to what I now believe to be the Gem of Astoria- the Cannery Pier Hotel. Typifying the hospitable nature personified by the Oregonians, the hotel staff made adjustments to their near-capacity situation to fit us in, accommodations endlessly offered from the reception desk.


Astoria Vacation Cannery Pier Hotel

The 2-hour drive from Portland to Astoria was majestic with an amazing diner as a stop-off.

cannery pier hotel

The majestic Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria


Our rooms were serene and tranquil, facing out over the Columbia River, backed by the lush landing of Washington state across the majestic mint-green 4-mile stretch of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. Seagulls swooped and perched, impressive barges crawled by in the current, and an eternal brackish breeze lent it’s constant cleansing therapy. With all our cares compartmentalized and distant, new chapters where opened of unimaginable potential.

After being treated to wine and hors d’oeuvres in the lobby, a glossy classic car and driver chauffeured us downtown to a bustling eclectic dinner spot off the main street. After a seafood filled supper of European proportion, we made the complimentary return ride in the same 1939 Buick Special, and fell asleep to riverfront views and the lulling sounds of water lapping the pier. 


Canner Pier Hotel, Astoria Oregon



The Cannery Pier Hotel Taxi



View from our two-bedroom suite penthouse at Cannery Pier Hotel



This antique car is available to take guests into town


The Oregon Film Museum

Once the movie set for the opening scene in Goonies, this bank turned jail, is now The Oregon Film Museum.  The movie, Goonies, begins with the Frateli brothers performing their famous jail break before the famous police car chase to a hideout where they eventually have a run-in with the gang of courageous adventurers, the Goonies, who defeat the Frateli crime family after being chased through an underground cave of danger and treasure.  That jail was actually an old abandoned bank.

The history of Astoria is quite interesting, as our “taxi” driver explained that economically the town has been very depressed for decades.  Although the filming of movies like “Free Willy”, “Kindergarten Cop” and- my favorite- “Goonies” helped, the city was unable to sustain any longtime financial momentum.  That was, until the 100th Anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 2005.  The centennial celebration brought a lot of tourism focus to Astoria, and it soon began to grow and develop its tourism industry.

Trendy sandwich delis and artsy espresso shops began to emerge along with a few fabulous dinner spots.  The signs of Astoria’s economic slump are still everywhere, with newly redeveloped businesses neighboring shops that look like nobody has entered since 1972.  Steep hills brought us to residential areas  where freshly painted Victorian houses sit next to decrepit ones that looked like you could push over with your finger.  But this is what gives Astoria its authentic quaint charm that only a true Goonie like myself could appreciate.


Oregon Film Museum

The Oregon Film Museum, Astoria Oregon


Before the light fog could lift off the early morning hours, bikes were provided us to go exploring along the River Walk. After passing by sleepy sea lions basking and barking lethargic on the dock, we ascended the hills to the famous and must-see cinematic sites. Perhaps it’s greatest Hollywood accolade, the Goonies house hides up the hillside and around a gravel drive, accessible only by foot. After a quick visit appropriately omitting the Truffle Shuffle, our 1950’s replica bikes coasted down the slope to John Jacob Astor Elementary, where an aggravated Arnold rebuked “It’s not a toomah!” in Kindergarden Cop. True to form, a friendly neighbor appeared to show us where key scenes took place around the picture-perfect school.

Sleeping lions waking up gave us an hour of entertainment.


Astoria Vacation

Yes, it’s the Goonie house. And, the view from the Goonie house is the Kindergarten Cop school.


With a surreal scene before us, we pedaled our way back down to the CPH to make haste to catch our flight out of Portland. An hour late for check-out, we drug our bags, dreams in tow, reluctantly away from the coast and back towards the desert plains of Nevada. After being in a time-warp of self-discovery and creative outlet, an oath was sworn to make a timely return, truth resonating from Mikey’s sagacious words that in Astoria “down here it’s our time, it’s our time down here.”


Cannery Pier Hotel Astoria Oregon

Astoria will be seeing me again, and I’ll be staying at The Cannery Pier Hotel!


Traveling Mom

Since this trip was part of our press tour for The Organized Cook, I was without kids for my Astoria getaway.  However, my advice for families looking to travel to Astoria for a family vacation is this- if your children are old enough to watch and appreciate the Goonies movie, this may be a great spot.  There’s not a lot, if anything, that I could see for younger kids to do, as my younger kids would not have appreciated the town.  On the other hand, Rayana, my artistic and authentic fellow Goonie-at-heart daughter will love it, and I plan on bringing her very soon. 

And when we do come to Astoria for our Goonie adventure, I’m sure to be staying at The Cannery Pier Hotel!



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