February 12, 2017


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


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

February 10, 2017

The Friendliest Mail Carrier in the World

The Powell River Historic Townsite is a marvelous step back in time, a Hollywood set of small town North America in the 1910s.  Except it’s alive with real residents today.  Boys and men shoveling snow.  Mill workers reporting for work at the paper mill, the reason why the Townsite was built 107 years ago. 

Dr. Henderson's House
The buildings and houses for several blocks still stand albeit with remodeled interiors, although the first physician Dr. Henderson’s house is being rehabilitated and is open to the public.  Make sure you look at the sloping down kitchen sink counter – what a practical design to keep the area dry!

I was in the Townsite at least three times.  On the second visit, I was taking pictures outside the 1929 Federal Building.  The brick structure housed the Post Office, Customs and Excise and the Canadian Telegraph operations until 1974.  Now it is a brewery, aptly called the Townsite Brewery.  You can sample and buy their bottles inside.  Their Perfect Storm brew is something to “brew” for!

A lady postal carrier was passing by and asked if I am looking for a good place to eat.  Pleasantly surprised at her friendliness, and it was lunchtime, I asked stupidly, “Can you tell I am a tourist?”

Sharlene - the Friendliest Mail Carrier in the World

On my third visit, I saw her again and thanked her for recommending the cafĂ© inside the 1931 former Bank of Montreal.  By the time you read this, a yoga studio has replaced the eatery in the spacious (the size of a basketball court) huge glass windows, high-ceilinged cavity with shiny hardwood floors cased in by brick walls.

We had a lovely chat and Sharlene gave more suggestions on what to see in the Townsite.  She told me there is a lady who works for the Rodmay Hotel (first built in 1911 as Powell River Hotel) who may be willing to tour me inside. 

Sharlene was all-smiles, and unobtrusively helpful.  The world needs more people like her.

Thank you Sharlene and hope we reconnect when you get a chance to visit Vancouver.

To be continued …