video: the hidden house bed and breakfast

The Hidden House is beyond charming. A small, three bedroom bed and breakfast right on the coast, it is the ultimate romantic escape. I see a rainbow hover over a cargo ship from the front yard. Connie and Mitch, the owners and truly accommodating hosts, are welcoming and friendly the second I arrived. Inside the restored Queen Anne Victorian, there are at least three roaring fireplaces, and five weiner dogs running about the house in a well behaved manner. Original pieces of art are hung throughout the house, and I find discoveries around every corner.

This is a very intimate, relaxing place to escape to for the weekend, and I love the attention to detail in service, scenery, and room decor. Never before have I fallen asleep to the sound of sea lions, or woken up to a view of the coast from my bedroom window, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And while I felt completely tucked away from all of society, I still had the convenience of phone service and WiFi (if necessary). The neighborhood is charming for morning strolls, and only a short drive away from scenic downtown Astoria. I will be back!

The Hidden House
837 38th Street
Astoria, OR 97103
(503) 325-8138


video: nepal on exchange

Nepal on Exchange is the place to go for sustainably created, fair trade clothing made in Nepal. Part of the proceeds go back to orphanages and charities in Nepal. Liven up your wardrobe with their beautiful supply of brightly colored, cheerful goods. I love Nepal on Exchange for their playful array of hand-felted accessories, like the hat I’m wearing here!
(Lily Chooses Local!)

Nepal on Exchange
1421 Commercial St
Astoria, OR 97103
(503) 298-0991

video: h&m store opening

It’s 40 degrees outside on November 11th, 2010, ¬†and I can hear the crowds before I see them. They chant, “H&M! H&M” methodically as if to a prompter. I round the bend and see barriers holding back flailing teens – is Justin Bieber here? Confused tourists and passerby look around in bewildered states and wonder what the fuss is about.

The line wraps completely around the block and disappears. Every time I think I discover the end of the line, I am directed further and further back, an entire 6 city block lengths before the true end of the line. Some people have been waiting here since the night before at 10 or 11pm; while others hoped for a decent place in line at 6am. I show up an hour before the 12 noon opening and think I’m doing well! There is more H&M chanting at the entrance and loud hip hop music coming from an unknown origin.

The countdown to the door opening at noon is dramatic: the crowds funnel into the shiny new space, and the line moves forward for about five minutes before coming back to a screeching halt. As I figured, the store has already reached capacity. I move the length of one block every 20-25 minutes and wonder if I will ever get in. After another hour in line, I still have not gotten inside! I abandon the wait and the hunt for cheap clothes so that I can go to work. I will be back, and maybe I will actually buy something If they didn’t already run out of every item in the store!

H&M at Pioneer Place
700 SW Fifth Avenue
Portland, OR
(503) 228-5800