February 12, 2017

FRIENDLINESS AT EVERY TURN

The people I met in my holiday at the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada have been very friendly.  I was asking a gas attendant where I can get cheap but good breakfast – he said Tim Hortons and at that point a man came in and in a friendly tone offered me directions. This is one of numerous turns of kindness.

But let us start when I started my trip.

After leaving home at 11 am to ensure me and my car would have a slot, I boarded the 1 pm ferry boat at Horseshoe Bay to sail to Langdale terminal 45 minutes away.  From Langdale, I drove for around an hour the length of the Sunshine Coast Highway to the very end Earl’s Cove where I had to board another ferry to Saltery Bay, 30 minutes away. 

It was a dark December 5:30ish when we disembarked and I was hungry.  Thankful I had data.  I was able to find online an interesting sounding place to eat, Skeeters Jacks, which turned out to be popular among the locals.  Tonight was the first of my friendly encounters.



Vanessa was the welcoming server who served the last beef ribs special for the night.  It was good.  But the tempting selection of cheesecakes and cakes in the big glass display was not the best.



BTW, there was no sunshine while I was in the Sunshine Coast for the first week of December 2017.  It was overcast or snowy or rain.

To be continued …


February 11, 2017

The BOARDWALK Restaurant in LUND BC


When I left Vancouver at around 1 pm, my ultimate destination was literally the end of the road, the end or beginning of Highway 101 (also called Sunshine Coast Highway) which is tiny Lund, British Columbia. 

It was now a dark 8 pm and there it was the well-lit Boardwalk Restaurant where you have to walk through a boardwalk to get there.  At night, you really can’t see the pathway to the boardwalk to Boardwork.  I had to ask the guidance of the receptionist at the Historic Lund Hotel.

The owners of Boardwalk, Roy and Rayana Blackwell, used to own Mr. Pickwick’s Fish and Chips in Marpole and downtown Vancouver.  The couple decided to sell Pickwick’s and move up northwest. During summer their new place is as busy as Mong Kok!


Roy and Rayana Blackwell

Boardwalk’s Fish and Chips has the most golden, crispy delightful crust coating fresh fish fillets (halibut, pacific cod or salmon).  Dipped in their fabulous tartar sauce, the marriage is bliss in your palette. 



The dining room of the Boardwalk is an original bunkhouse.  Rayana writes “It was one of five that was floated down from Toba Inlet in 1926 but I do not know when it was actually built.  They were built for a logging camp for the loggers to stay in. Once here they were homes until about 1982.  The one we have is the only surviving one and is the dining room.”

As proof, you can see the aerial picture of all 5 bunkhouses in Lund inside the restaurant of the Historic Lund Hotel and still spot the original Boardwalk.

Right across the hotel, as you dip at the end of Highway 101 facing the small harbor, you will see a marker of Highway 101.  Locals claim it is part of the same 101 road in the US that eventually connects with the Pan-American Highway which either ends in Quellón on Chiloé Island, Chile or down Ushuaia, Argentina (which claims to be the southernmost city in South America)


Rayana Blackwell at the Zero Marker of  Highway 101 (Historic Lund Hotel at the right).  Boardwalk Restaurant is in the left side of the harbour.
The Lund assertion is not true.  Highway 101 is strictly within Canada, within the Sunshine Coast, and does not connect with US Route 101.  US Route 101 does not even reach close to the US-Canada border.

Somewhat of an explanation see A Coastal Road Trip, From Canada to Chile? which basically debunks Lund’s claim as the end or start, or being part of the imaginary Pacific Coastal Highway.  Except the fact that Lund is indeed the end or start of British Columbia’s own 99 mile or 159 km Highway 101/Sunshine Coast Highway starting or ending in Langdale BC before the water hits.

Lund’s most famous frequent visitor is singer Michael Buble who built a home facing the harbour for his parents. 

Unseen from Lund’s Harbour is Finn Cove where the local fishermen live.  You have to drive on Finn Bay Road which spuns off from Lund central.


MANIFEST EMILY


Manifest Emily

I was talking to the owner of a heritage home in Powell River’s Townsite who kindly showed me the exteriors of his house and the garden at the back.  I asked him for a recommendation for a breakfast place.  He uttered “Magpie’s” which is in Cranberry, a suburb adjacent to Townsite.  It was a quick 10-minute drive.

See the words in the sidewalk signage "Food That Makes You Fell Good Again!

Magpie’s Diner is in a big space with a long shelf of books lining the wall behind the counter - the kitchen visible through a window square hole.  



My Magpie’s Not-So-Big Breakfast ~ Cad$ 10.00 consisted of 1 large egg, hashbrowns, 1 slice of toast, 1 pork sausage, 1 bacon slice and 1 slice Canadian back bacon. If you double everything, for an additional Cad$ 4.00, it’s called Magpie’s Big Breakfast.  The diner claims to make everything from scratch, though I think the hashbrowns and bread were too perfect in shape – the kind you get from a supplier.  It was alright which included a tiny paper tub sampler of their in-house made blackberry jam.  When it’s that small – everything seems to taste better.

The small tub of the diner's own concoction of blackberry jam

While waiting for my turn to pay, I overheard my server who was now functioning as the cashier talked with a couple about the overnight snow now all over.  Emily said, “We need to manifest the snow.”  Manifest the snow?  Never heard of that before.  So curious me asked Emily did she really say “manifest”?  As in “reveal” the snow?  "Show" the snow?  What did she mean?  She laughed and explained she often listens to self-help radio programs where often the advise is to self-manifest as in to see the inner self and accept who you are. 

I guess Emily meant we have to accept the snow outside and its slowing down effects in commute, the need to shovel the sidewalk, etc. etc. and go on with day to day life.  Let us manifest ("accept") the snow.  Let us manifest the idiosyncrasies of life.

Emily was right.  There are things beyond our control and we have to live with it to our very best.  Otherwise, what is your choice?

To be continued …

Note: Magpie's Diner used to be located inside the Rodmay Heritage Hotel in Powell River's Townsite