The Fabulous ‘Le Bon Marche’ Tour to Ladner – Sept 8, 2013

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What an absolutely spectacular day!
We departed Capilano University promptly at 8am following our ‘WestJet’ inflight service of Timmie’s coffee and Fratelli’s scrumptious cake loaves.  The day was off to a great start!
With Frank at the helm, it was a pleasant one hour drive to the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary  Ducks, sandpipers, chickadees, Canadian geese, red-winged blackbirds and even a beautiful female Kingfisher and a Peregrine falcon were all spotted as we meandered the trails.  The early morning marine fog gave the sanctuary a mysterious feel and I felt I was in another world a long way from a bustling metropolis.
From here we drove over to the Westham Island Herb Farm and were delighted by the fresh farm produce, home baked cookies, freshly picked basil, the pumpkin patch scarecrow and of course Bruce, who loves to sing and does it very well.  A few of us went into a shopping frenzy and I left the farm with many bags and no cash left – now that’s the way to shop.
Next up is the ‘main’ event, the Ladner Village Market  and what a market it is.  You can find virtually anything in this market, and you KNOW it is a good one when vendors from Whistler, Harrison and all over the lower mainland have their booths set up here.  There was music, food, crafts, jewellery, specialty items, flowers, the works.  It is a virtual shopping mecca and the number of bags brought back on to the bus proved it so.
The shopping and walking portion of our ‘triathalon’ completed, it is time for wine and eating.  We zipped off to Wellbrook Winery for a taste of their delicious fruit wines.  Wellbrook Farm is owned by Terry Bremner of the Bremner fruit juice fame.
We stepped in to the restored turn-of the century Old Grainery Store and stepped back into history.  The floor is original and the wine bar was salvaged from one of the buildings.  The old farmhouse and barn are beautifully restored, and vintage tractors and farm equipment are prominent as you enter the yard.
We were greeted with a sample of the incredible Bremner blueberry juice and then on to the various samplings of wine, from White Cran Apple, to Blueberry to the fabulous Raspberry Dessert Wine.  Each and every one of them were fantastic.  And not to be outdone by the Market, we did some formidable shopping here as well.
It is 3:30pm and we all know that means it is Happy Hour (it is 5:00pm somewhere!) and we are off to the RiverHouse Marina Restaurant for wine & appies.  We basked in the sun on the deck overlooking the Frazer River and regaled stories of our bargains of the day.  Laughter and comaradarie carried us back to Capilano University where we reluctantly said adieu until our next tour.

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