April 18, 2011
Life can be very unpredictable and even more so when you are on vacation and in a place you are not familiar with. Yesterday, the almond croissants were so good as dessert we decided to have them for breakfast. Hey, we are on vacation. The only problem was that we didn’t buy any extras so we would need to make a quick run to Granville Island Bakery. We figured it shouldn’t take more than few minutes, say 15 minutes each way. We got dressed without taking our usual morning showers and jumped in the car expecting to be back in a shake. It was a beautiful morning with bright blue skies and white puffy clouds as we crossed the Lion’s Gate Bridge with basically no traffic, but then as we approached downtown the traffic stopped. We had seen flags flying for the past week promoting Sun Run Day but we had not given it much thought until we were boxed in and could see people in running gear coming from every direction to participate in the 10k run.
I took a quick left to see if I could drive around the event, which I managed to do by going several miles out of the way with our GPS continually updating the directions to our destination. We, in effect, made a big circle back to Granville Island. As we drove down the approach ramp I noticed they blocked it off behind us. Oops, there would be no quick return, I thought. It was early and the shops were just opening and with so much of the normal traffic blocked off we had no problem finding a free parking place right next to the bakery, good for 3 hours.
Knowing we were stuck, we decided to have our almond croissants and tea on the island plus do a little shopping before returning. The bakery had no almond croissants when we showed up, they told us they were baking. Great, they would have really fresh hot almond croissants in about 15 minutes; we would wait. Looking around I spotted a small vase I really liked made out of porcelain china. The artist came out from behind the counter and greeted me and explained that the vase I liked was fine china fired 4 times and had the same colors as his pieces selected for the Macau Museum. As it turned out, the artist, Joseph Chiang, was very famous; he designed the landscape statues and the modernistic forms to represent diving and cycling for the 2008 China Olympics held in Bejing.
With vase in hand, we returned to pick up our hot almond croissants and get a cup of tea. Only this time we ordered some extra ones. Yum, yum, yum. Donna and I both agreed the hassle had been worth it. Thinking the race must be over by now we decided to pack up our goodies and return to the motor home but to our surprise we were stopped as we started to leave the island and told that the Sun Run was the second largest 10k run in North America. From the spot where they stopped us, we could see the race route and it was full of racers from start to finish and they were still coming. The traffic guide had a map and he showed me how to get back, we would need to take an even a longer route to get back and most of it was bumper to bumper.
In fact, by the time we got back, it was time to break out the sourdough bread, and have lunch. Before we had left Granville Island, Donna had bought stuffed grape leaves, rolled stuffed eggplant, tomato basil tortellini and several types of olives to go with our sourdough garlic cheese bread. Our short, just a few minutes trip, turned out to be over a four-hour ordeal but the food was worth it!