Sunday, November 7, 2010

Excuses, excuses

So you can head on over to Coffey. Tea. And Literary. if you want to hear my excuses for being MIA lately. Suzie and Meredith were nice enough to pick up the slack! But no more. This agent is back and ready to blog.

And the first thing I want to tell you guys about is a book store chain I recently discovered in British Columbia while attending Surrey International Writer's Conference (SIWC). It was quite a journey....



I arrived in Vancouver in the middle of the night (Cathay Pacific--best airline ever!) and was ushered straight to my hotel. Because it was so late and I had worked earlier that day, I was more than a little bleary-eyed. Basically, I didn't pay attention to my surroundings. As soon as I got to my room, I crashed.

The next morning, I woke up with a rumbly in my tumbly. So I pulled back my curtains (I was on the 12th floor) to see if food was near by. This is what I saw:


I spy something edible....



I threw on a sweatshirt and headed over. Only to discover that EVERYTHING in the store was in another language that I couldn't read. So I picked the first thing that looked recognizable and brought it to the register. Where the cashier somehow swindled me into buying TWO boxes (she'd be some terrifying competition if she were a literary agent...).

Each box had 18 Choco Pies. Dude.


But the conference didn't really start up that day for me (I arrived a day early because of the red eye flight I took) and I wasn't sure if food was available, and I looked both ways outsides of my hotel and nothing. See:



To the left.


To the right-->




The Choco Pies held me over until the afternoon (although, after 3 I thought I might puke), but by that time I decided, if I didn't eat real food soon, I would wither away into my bed sheets, unable to take a single pitch or teach a single workshop. Now, any who knows me, knows I'm not one to shirk on my duties. So I threw my sweatshirt back on and took the stairs down 12 flights (I was trying to pump myself up for a long journey), and walked outside. And this time, I took a right and kept walking.

Well, I didn't need to go far before I ran into a HUGE shopping mall (that wasn't there before, was it?).


This shopping mall had a food market in it (something I now adore Canada for).


And you didn't have to lift a leg on the escalator (seriously...freaked me out at first, but then I used it 6 or 7 times for fun).

AND...look what I found right across from the book store (this is clear proof that the Literary Gods had a hand in designing this mall):

I grabbed the coffee first. Then I went shopping at Black Bond Books.


Yay! Canada loves THE DUFF! Look at it snuggled right between The Hunger Games and Thirteen Reasons Why...brought a tear to my eye. (This selection was made by Christina, a Black Bond employee--thanks, Christina!!)











Of course I had to buy a book (I don't think I've ever walked out of a bookstore without buying something). This time it was Stephen Hunt's THE KINGDOM BEYOND THE WAVES.

And I met the manager, Trish Petrie, who put up with my yakking all afternoon (I can't hold back when it comes to talking books!).



I also discovered some hidden talent in the book store. Check out these pictures done by Black Bond bookseller April Pierce:











When I left, new book in hand, I thought "It can't possibly get better than this."

Well...I was wrong. Because I turned the corner and lo and behold, one of my FAVORITE treats of ALL. TIME.


I had three that weekend (hey, I needed to stock up--they're not in NY anymore!).



**In case anyone is wondering, yes, the hotel had a restaurant and room service. I finally came to my senses and ordered a grilled chicken sandwich that night. :-\**

13 comments:

Becca C. said...

You seem like you had fun! I live about an hour away now, but I grew up Surrey and have definitely been to Black Bond. That's Guildford Mall, isn't it?

Remilda Graystone said...

I love Canada too! One of my favorite places in the world. Glad you're back and didn't starve!

suzie townsend said...

I love that you ate Choco Pies for breakfast.

Livia said...

I bet there's some way to make a homemade orange julius. Something like orange juice and powdered milk I bet. Google would know.

Katt said...

Soooo glad you enjoyed my home town! SiWC wasn't in the budget this year...
The last time I attended I did a Master's class with the amazing Janet Reid...
Glad you finally found the Mall and real food too !

Chiara said...

I've never been in Canada, but I'd love to one day!! It must be very nice. I've no tasted Choco pies but I love Maryland, choco biscuits that I didn't stop eating in England.

Magan said...

LOVE the choco pies story. My husband did the same thing when we were in Sicily...except he ate the entire box in one sitting and felt absolutely no remorse. I will not tell him that we can find these mystical choco pies in Canada...then I may have to live with them for all eternity and I really can't say no to them this time.

Shari Green said...

LOL! Loved reading about your adventures in foraging. And yay for Black Bond Books!

Latoya Alloway said...

Thanks for sharing your trip with us. It looked awesome. And things really do get up and move around when you're hungry and tired. They only return when your senses come back and you've eaten and slept.

Alicia said...

So sorry to hear about your Orange Julius lackage. I love that place, especially the raspberry ones. We've still got 'em here in Utah if you're ever out this far.

Mike Koch said...

Sounds like a fun adventure, reminds me I need a real vacation myself.

Misty said...

Here's a recipe for and Orange Julius Drink:
1 6oz can frozen orange juice
1 Cup of water
1/4 Cup sugar
10-12 ice cubes
1 Cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Blend on high speed about 30 seconds.
Serve right away.

Enjoy!

Joanna said...

OMG! Misty--thank you!!!

I will try that this weekend.
Awesome!

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Five Random Things About Suzie

1. I drink so much orange soda, it's probably running through my veins. I've been known to go through a twelve pack of diet sunkist in a day.

2. I'm legitimately nocturnal (or a vampire). I will be so exhausted at two pm that I'm falling asleep standing up - it has happened before, at Six Flags no less - but as soon as the sun goes down I'm wide awake.

3. I have a gorgeous unused $6000 Reem Acra wedding dress hanging in my closet, and it showed up on my doorstep the same day my (now ex) fiance broke up with me. And thank God for that. I wouldn't have wanted to waste that dress on him.

4. Social anxiety plagues me daily. I write a script and practice in front of the mirror when I have to make a phone call, but most people who interact with me have no idea how nervous I am (or perhaps they lie) because I've worked so hard to try to overcome it.

5. I'm actually worried that I will never love my children (when I do have them in the far off future) as much as I love my dogs. I just like animals better than people - they're sweet and innocent and soft and furry - is that so wrong?