We went into Vancouver today to do some Christmas shopping, and survived. First stop was Granville Island, where we went to buy chocolates at a store somewhere between the market and the brewery, which are my points of reference in that chaotic place. I walked out the wrong door of one building because I could see water and ducks outside, and stumbled upon The Crystal Ark, which is a funky little stand-alone building where you can buy amethyst bookends for hundreds of dollars, or small, inexpensive rocks for your nature-loving children. There is a small area in the back corner decorated to look like a cave that is inches deep in lapidary. Kids are allowed to romp around in it, and you can also buy it by the scoop. I could have spent a lot of time and a lot of money in that store, but it was not on our tightly-scripted itinerary, so I bought only a few stocking stuffers (better hammer in the stocking nails deep this year).
And then we went to the brewery, which also was not on the itinerary, but there it was.