A sticky bun may have saved her life.
Thy Tran of San Francisco was at the Boston Marathon on Monday - she was there to root on her 63-year-old mother run in the annual event.
But, as Mom was running, Tran, a 44-year-old food writer and chef instructor, stumbled into Boston's famous bakery, Flour, known for its sticky buns.
Tran hesitated. She wanted to see her mother, Chau Smith, cross the finish line. The Missouri woman had trained hard for this event, and the family had flown there to support her.
Still, there were those sticky buns.
So, Tran went inside and bought a treat.
"I really needed the sticky bun," she said.
But the dutiful daughter also took the bakery's beautiful wrapping paper and folded into a flower for her mother. On it, she wrote "Congratulations Mom for the Boston finish."
Tran was headed out of the store to greet her mother in person for finishing the marathon when the explosions hit, killing three and injuring more than 100.
It took three hours to find her mother, who like many runners, was stranded on the street, cold and without cell phone coverage, as police secured the permineter looking for suspects. Smith is no stranger to explosions and shrapnel - and this event was especially traumatic for her. As a young girl in Vietnam, she was caught up in the war; her leg still has some shrapnel remains.
Finally, thanks to the help of passersby, Tran found her mom, who was OK, even though she never ended up crossing the finish line.
The family on Tuesday was still shaken up.
"It was really stressfull and scary," Tran said.
They're still debating whether they'll come back again to participate in the Boston Marathon. For now, all they have left is the wrapping paper flower from the famous bakery and the sticky bun, still sitting in its bag.