RICKTER SCALE: The Bride’s excellent Vancouver adventure

Rick Stiebel | Columnist

If you haven’t been to Tsawwassen Mills, make it a must for your next trip to the mainland. You could combine Hillside and Mayfair malls with the Bay Centre, and it wouldn’t fill one side of the parking lot. I guarantee that mecca of shopping stretching as far as the eye can see will plant a smile on your partner’s face will last the four hours it takes to check out what lies within.

If you’re both feeling the need for a New York moment, take her to Saks Fifth Avenue for a taste of shopping in Manhattan while you enjoy a slice of foldable New York pizza in the supreme court of foods. It’s in the middle of the mall, the perfect place to recharge before you hit the next couple of kilometres of stores that beckon in all directions.

Make sure you check out Bass World. It has an other world feel the second you enter and are greeted by a gargantuan tank of live bass. There’s also critters that don’t move placed throughout the store, a collection of zombie bears, bison, wolves, deer and other animals who served as someone’s target practice once too often. They have been lovingly stuffed and set in synthetic natural surroundings, perched high above the store shelves on grassy hills and knolls to stare down at you with a glass-eyed gaze that begs for a selfie. Whether you hunt, fish or simply like wearing camouflage, based on the thousands of crossbows I passed, if Bass World doesn’t have it, it doesn’t exist.

Surviving the Tsawwassen Mills mall crawl ate up the first day of a four-day sojourn. After our trip to Mount Washington was ironically snowed out, I dedicated the week to pleasing the Bride by attempting to put a dent in the list of Joan’s must dos in Vancouver. That includes a trip to Dressew Supply, one of the largest purveyors of zippers, buttons, fasteners and fabrics on the planet.

I believe the key to a happy marriage is treating it like a playoff game. If you can handle the stress of scoring enough to get to overtime knowing you can’t win, things will work out just fine.

Another hurrah highlight was Legacy Liquor Store, where the Bride picked up a bottle of Irish gin not available on the Island that she’s been tracking like a sniper since her trip to Ireland in June. The price and the label confirmed that it is indeed produced in small batches, obviously handcrafted by card-carrying members of the Leprechaun union.

A key for me was surviving B.C. Ferries new no smoking regulations, which forbid flaming butts not only on the ship, but also anywhere on terminal property. I only cheated four times, once there and back before each sailing, cowering behind the bushes like Sean Spicer, and once each way on board, outside on the deck.

Although I managed to dodge the smoking police – the bright yellow security jackets are a dead giveaway – I had perfected several fake foreign accents to plead my ignorance, just in case.

•••

Rick Stiebel is a Sooke resident and semi-retired journalist.

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