Anyone for Maple Syrup?

Nothing was going to wipe off my smile when I saw the final Bookstore sign at Heathrow Airport and settled in to my seat on the Air Canada flight to Vancouver. Heading back to this neck of the woods was definitely the icing on the cake of the Bucket List Book Adventure. The engines roared into life and the lady seated next to me was a gentle Vancouver resident returning from visiting her grandchildren in the UK….the flight attendants were still fresh and perky, and the menu looked fine.

Then came the announcement from the Captain. A light had indicated a possible engine issue, so we waited for an hour on the tarmac for it to be checked, and whatever they did to it….then we we able to proceed. Usually I strap on my faithful travel pillow and catch as many zzzzs as possible, but strangely I was on full alert in case that light reflickered. So it was a movie marathon for me. Well any excuse to watch fun classics Miss Congeniality and First Wives Club, as well as cackle over the documentary on Canada taking us on the stereotypes from East to West and finishing up with Where the Crawdads Sing. Yes, the eyes were hanging out of my head, but I was going to be ready for any situation…..actually it was a smooth and pleasant flight.

Instructions on how to get to the Three Kittens Guesthouse out of Vancouver in adjacent Burnaby had been prepared by my LSM back home and all would have been well, had I followed them to the letter. I guess the weariness was setting in because when I took the Skyrail to the City Centre, instead of changing and getting the Skyrail on to Burnaby, I got on the regular bus. BAD CHOICE! It stopped at every stop along the looong route and it took over an hour and it was getting dark, and it was sprinkling rain. So after I realised my error, I decided to look on it like a HopOn Hopoff Tourist bus and enjoy the various and many changes of inner city, Chinatown, suburban cultural sites and 50 stops later we arrived at the big Metrotown Station opposite the HUGE shopping mall.

Luckily it was still buzzing and I was able to purchase my local Canadian SIM and find a taxi to take me to the Guesthouse. (#7288 below) Sadly, the energy of Dwhali celebrations seemed to have sapped the ability of the taxi driver to find the number of the place and he left me in the dark and rain to try to find it. Another challenge! After getting soaked despite my umbrella, I managed to find a local who knew where I needed to go, and I finally made it to the destination next to the very interesting Deaf Support Village – and soon crashed into the sleep of the idiot who had done a movie marathon instead of napping on the plane.

Vancouver is the home of my extremely organised and welcoming cousin on my father’s maternal side, so it is always a joy to catch up with the Coltrin crew. Carol had gone to great trouble to arrange a day trip across on the ferry to Vancouver Island to a very different part from that which we had seen or met them at on previous trips. So it was with great anticipation and heavy bags under the eyes that I headed on the Skytrain to meet them at a more convenient station. In the light of day, it was easy to see that I could have walked to the Guesthouse the previous night and got the same amount of soaking as via the taxi…….sigh!

What a fun day at Sidney-by-the-Sea. This is a very small, welcoming town which had earlier, under the guidance of the Tanner family established it as a Booktown. The tourism and more contemporary food outlets and boutiques added an air of tourist temptations and although it has four bookstores, it is no longer touted as a distinct Booktown. It is just a gem though.

All four stores were different, and alluring. Even the male Coltrin contingent found themselves rummaging amongst the secondhand delights of the Haunted Bookstore; marvelling at the now amalgamated maze of Mrs Tanner’s wonderful collections at Beacon Books; the new offerings at the store still bearing the Tanner name but now owned by the Mayor; and the rare books sprinkled in among the antiques at Galleons. All bookstore owners and assistants were very amiable and willing to share their stories. I have loads of podcasting lined up for Word Fest Toowoomba from this day.

Of course I am now looking at discardimg my final few items of clothing to accommodate the new weight. Don’t laugh – my latest purchase is Bibliomaniac by Robin Ince. 😱🤣

Sidney-by-the-Sea is a sauntering kind of place. The gin distillery with its purple gin which got the nod from the boys, the sea aquarium, the fish market pier and our luck in seeing Princess the locally loved seal bobbing patiently under the pier knowing the tidbits would come, the sea front and the good toilet access at the local Starbucks were all highlights.

Even the ferry rides over and back were fun. The food on board was quick and filling, and there was even the kindness of being dropped at the guesthouse door at the end of a great day.

With a much needed day of test up my sleeve yesterday I walked up to the Metrotown Mall and had half a lunch, took photos of the very livable Burnaby satellite city and carried my other half back for dinner. And then crashed and slept some more. The body clock is very out of kilter.

And now I am gearing up for a day trip to Steveston in the Richmond area. Another adventure awaits. I am as sick of the jacket as you must be…only a couple more days.

3 thoughts on “Anyone for Maple Syrup?

  1. Feeling for you in your mini-adventure from airport to accommodation. Gary and I did a similar thing in Tokyo, walking from train station (like a city in itself to 2 overwhelmed Qlders) and trying to use a printed map at nighttime to get to our hotel. Talk about going around in circles! Sidney-by-the-sea looks charming, and being a Booktown makes it even better. Looking forward to seeing you back home sans puffer jacket🙂


  2. Thanks for sharing the adventure.  By the way, Kathmandu is having a puffer coat sale.Yours sincerelyLesley M King0418 886 053

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.