no matter where you go, there you are

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

goonie's never say die

this post is inspired by ABC Family's recent weekend airing of The Goonies.

When first mapping out the trip, Molly had one thing that topped her list of must-go-to things: Astoria, OR. Astoria is a small city on the northwest tip of Oregon where the 1985 classic film The Goonies takes place. It also happens to be where they shot the film. No exterior location stand-ins necessary. What I didn't know, and learned upon arrival was that it is a very popular movie city and has had a number of films in the last few decades be shot there. Kindergarten Cop was my favorite of the films listed. They have a newly opened Oregon Film Museum located in the old jailhouse where, not so coincidentally, they shot The Goonies.
The museum was really neat and catered to all ages and levels of knowledge about the film industry. It's small but quite cute and I really enjoyed going there.

We arrived in Astoria around lunchtime after driving from Portland. Our first stop was the visitor's center where they provided us with a couple of maps of the area and some recommendations on places to see, the film museum being one of them. After having fantastic weather the past week, I was disappointed that it was cloudy, a little rainy and a bit dreary. But looking back, I'm not too surprised since Astoria is on the ocean of one of the rainiest states in the country. After seeing the film museum, a few things could be checked off of our Astoria to-do list. Seeing the jailhouse, seeing the Flavel House museum (but not visiting) and Molly's purchase of a Goonies shirt. We then decided it was best if we found a place to eat since breakfast had been much earlier that day.
Flavel House
Back to the film museum for a bit I said above, it was small (only 4 rooms) and very family and all-age appropriate. First was the "introduction" room. A small entryway, the walls and ceiling were covered with movie quotes, all of which were taken from movies shot in Astoria and the surrounding area. If you could identify a certain number of them, you'd get a prize. The room to the left of this one was scarcely decorated and housed only a few glass display cases. However, the items inside made up for the emptiness of the space. Each display had a number of Goonies' props such as the treasure map, an original script and on-set pictures.

The first of two main exhibit areas was where the jail cells hadn't been torn out and is designated as a homage to The Goonies. They have merchandise, film trivia, behind the scenes anecdotes and even a hook in one of the cells where you could pretend to be the Fratelli brother faking his own death.

However, it was the last room that I enjoyed the most. On the walls were chalk outlines of the various positions one might find on a film set. From production designer to actor, director to locations manager, they had everyone! On each outline there is a description of the job position and an actual production designer or director, whomever the job is about, is quoted, sharing a story from whichever movie they worked on in the Oregon area. I thought this was really neat and a very simple way for kids to learn about the film industry. In addition, there were pieces of film equipment in the middle of the room with tags labeling each item with its correct film lingo. For example a clothespin on a film set is called a C-47.

Before leaving we stopped by the teeny gift shop so that Molly could purchase a new Goonies shirt and off to lunch we went. Not knowing what parking would be like downtown, we pulled into the closest spot and strolled along the streets.
Liberty Theater, featured in Kindergarten Cop

Along Rt. 101, across from the water was a cute little cafe we stopped in for lunch. It was all ocean themed and reminded me a lot of something you might find on Cape Cod. The salt and pepper shakers were adorably cute, and different on each table. Ours were of a suntanning man and woman. The food was good and we enjoyed our time there; getting ice cream for dessert was the icing on the cake.

Following our mini maps, we navigated our way to Mikey and Brand's house passing by the elementary school used for shooting Kindergarten Cop. The house sits up off the road and they have a wonderful sign that welcomes all Goonies, but only on foot. Standing in front you could see the house hadn't changed much and Data's house sits right next door as always.

Although seeing filming locations like this is always neat, there were some other really cool homes such as this giant purple and dark teal one sitting atop the hill across from where we'd parked.

Next stop was the Astoria Column, a 125-ft tower that has 14 murals painted around its exterior depicting important moments in Oregon's history. There is a spiral staircase inside which leads to a small observation deck at the top.

The view was wonderful even if we had to squint through some fog and clouds. You could see the entire city, the harbor area and plenty of ocean.
it was quite windy
There were lots of families visiting and they all had these disposable looking paper airplanes with them. We later discovered they bought them at this little gift trailer in the parking lot and it's a "ritual" to fly them off. The most amusing part was watching the 2nd parent below following the plane and attempting to catch it before it landed. One kid had a good throw and caught the wind because his plane went soaring into the trees.

Now that we'd seen all of the main attractions of Astoria on our list, we hopped back in the car and made the hour drive to Ecola State Park, another major exterior filming location for The Goonies. And when watching Kindergarten Cop with Molly's sister at the end of our trip, we saw it was used for that movie too. The park's roads are windy and hilly and it leads through this dark, luscious forest. At the main lot, we parked and looked out over the ocean. Immediately, Molly recognized the view with the iconic rock formations in the distance from when the boys first approach the restaurant. It was called Chapman Point...coincidence or fate?

We took the little trail to the viewpoint where I guess there are seals or sea lions at certain parts of the year...I don't know, all we saw were birds.

As we made our way back to the field/picnic area, Molly told me this was definitely the place where the restaurant was built. Excellent. And pretty nifty if I do say so myself.

The last leg of our visit began when we decided we wanted to hike down to the beach the field overlooked. It didn't look that far down and even though there was a sign posting that it was semi-strenuous hike, we went for it. Instead of just being a straight descent to the beach as I had perceived it was going to be, it was a winding trail through the park and the amazing forest we found ourselves in. The slugs were ENORMOUS and disgusting.

Although we'd been hiking for at least 20 or 30 minutes, it wasn't until the last bit where it was actually steep and finally dropped down to the beach. However, once we got to the beach it was really cool. We took off our shoes, splashed in the ocean and had a jolly good time. The rock formations (nests, I think they're called) were massive now that we were close up.

After our frolicking we threw our shoes back on and made the ascent back to the car. Although it was an unexpected hike, it was really pretty and good excercise since we'd been in the car for most of the past 2 days. As we were driving back out through the winding roads Molly pointed out to me that they definitely filmed the sequences with Brand on the bike and most of the road/bike scenes in the park. Since rewatching the movie, I would most certainly agree with her.

Last thing: here is the first Bank of America we encountered after leaving New England

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