Guess who is the proud and extremely happy owner of her very own Jo Totes camera bag? Thanks to my amazing and thoughtful aunt, uncle, and cousins I am! I took a belated birthday trip to California last week to visit my family in Monterey and play around in Napa. While I was there, they not only surprised me with a delicious meal at a fancy restaurant and a yummy marzipan-covered cake, but they also gave one of the best birthday presents I've ever gotten. I can't tell you how shocked I was when I opened my wonderful gift. To understand how thrilling this acquisition is to me, allow me to share the saga of my quest for a Jo Totes bag:
A long time ago in a galaxy pretty much exactly where I am now, I started seeing giveaways for a pretty camera bag making the rounds in the blog world. The bag is not only sturdy with padded inserts that can be rearranged to suit one's camera configuration, but it's also absolutely adorable. It comes in all sorts of trendy colors and styles with cute contrasting interior fabrics. A much nicer alternative to the plain, androgynous camera bags that dominate the market. Just the thing a budding photographer like myself needs in her life. For over a year I've been dutifully entering every giveaway I can track down but the bag always goes to some other lucky soul. Why couldn't it be me?!
I will admit that there came a time when I began to despair that the big prize would forever elude me. Coincidentally, this was around Christmas last year so I started dropping subtle hints for my husband that what I hoped to receive from Santa was this bag. Christmas came and went with no bag. Then I saw that some fortunate ladies were bequeathed the bag by their mates for Valentine's Day. Again with the hints. February came and went. Still no bag. Down but not out, I rallied again for our anniversary in June but my pleas fell on deaf ears. As a final resort, I went ahead and put together a birthday wish list for my milestone 30th birthday and sent it to my husband. I even prioritized the various items on the list with the bag at the #1 spot. I also made sure to mention it a few times on Facebook in case that still wasn't obvious enough for him. Alas, I knew all of my plotting had failed when I heard him in the other room surveying my wish list and he said, "Ninety dollars for a camera bag?! That's not going to happen!" Hey, at least I had that warning so I didn't wake up on my birthday expecting one.
The good thing is that someone did notice my shameless begging on Facebook: my lovely relatives. They sneakily went ahead and picked out the perfect bag for me without my having a clue! The best part is that I was torn between two colors, teal and sugarplum, so they kindly made that tough decision for me. As you can see, I couldn't wait to start using my new bag and carted it around Napa with me. It's such a beautiful area that I simply couldn't leave the hotel without my camera and what better way to carry it than in this stylish bag? I hope my family reads this so they can know how very happy they made me. Love them!
My slightly undignified look of glee