How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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Rocky Mountaineer: Gobsmacking Spaces

We called it a day after the late dinner around 9:00 pm. Ugh. I don’t like eating this late.

As always, I expected Mary’s suitcase to explode on mere eye contact. I had valuable space in mine; Mary negotiated I help her downsize her bulging case. How could I refuse? Five or ten pounds ended up in my luggage. What are sisters for?

What is it about travelling that I can’t wait to hit the breakfast buffet? I always overeat when on vacation. You’d think I’d be stuffed to the gills and push back. Maybe I was, but I figured might as well enjoy being served as opposed to serving, while the opportunity presented itself.

After breakfast, refreshed and fed, we explored what we could of Lake Louise and the Fairmont. This would be our only chance as our stay was only for one night. The proximity of the magnificent mountains so close to the hotel had me gobsmacked. How else can I explain my experience? I’ve seen pictures over time, but being there was another matter. Imagine a half-frozen lake, snow on the ground, mountains as a backdrop and dressed in jeans and tees, minus a jacket. The date: May 20, 2017. It boggles the mind. The day provided warm sunshine and balmy weather.

I have too many pictures to present here. These few might give you a taste of my giddy experience. First the famous Fairmont:

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Breathtaking surroundings and heavenly backdrop to the Fairmont:

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We enjoyed a last lunch after checking out. Nervous the luggage might be forgotten in the room and miss the bus, we first wandered to the registration desk and were directed to the area for the bus and luggage wicket. I relaxed when I saw our bags had indeed been transferred from our room. The fellow tagging our luggage laughed out loud when he saw me watch him eagle-eyed.

Just a few plagues telling visitors interesting facts:

With time to kill, I grabbed a comfy chair in the lobby and proceeded to finish my book. Can I share a secret? I’d borrowed a book from the cruise ship library but hadn’t finished it. No way can I leave a book without knowing the ending. My plan—a good one, I thought—was to leave it in the Fairmont Hotel lobby with a note to please return to the ship. With so many tours parading back and forth, I felt confident some good soul proceeding to the Rocky Mountaineer and Alaska Cruise tour would find the book, smile, and do the good deed. I wish I knew about the book’s journey.

An arm’s length from where I finished reading, I noticed a group mill around with garment bags slung over their shoulders. They disappeared and returned dressed in traditional costumes (I assume) for picture taking. I wanted to ask questions but did not wish to intrude. It wasn’t clear whether they were English conversant and I didn’t want to put anyone on the spot. Of course, Mary and I took advantage of this colourful photo opportunity. Curious, I looked around but could not discern a specific photographer for them.

Next on October 19th – Rocky Mountaineer: An Unexpected Bonanza

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

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Rocky Mountaineer: Mind-boggling Views

Someone left a disgusting yellow mess on the floor in the facilities. No bump on the tracks came to mind. Someone missed the bowl or had been in an awful hurry. I did not see the woman cleaner with her basket of supplies so I threw a handful of paper towels on the floor.

In our car, a ten-year-old boy travelled with his grandmother. He should have been in school this fine May day, but he proved to be a smart kid. His gran didn’t stop explaining things to him and he asked fantastic questions and gave well thought out answers. Amazing. I wouldn’t be surprised if he holidayed with her often, far and wide. Lucky fellow.

Cheese and wine service arrived. The chef arranged a ¼-inch thick slice of white cheddar on a 2-1/2-inch cracker, a piece of dried apple and a piece of dried apricot. The cart came through only once; the booze cart came by twice, before and after the cheese treats.

Many breathtaking mountains, too many views. Where does not stop taking pictures? Looking over the photos on my iPad, I wondered how I’d pick and choose which ones (of the clear ones) to keep. Trees, not towns surrounded us so I had no idea in what locations I took most of them. The majestic views both overwhelmed and oversaturated my brain. The mind-boggling mountains soon left me numb to their magnificence. I wonder if people living in the midst of these mountains begin to dismiss them over time. Do they ever lose their magic?

Pretty buildings announced our arrival at Lake Louise Station: quiet but exciting. Another bus emptied before ours. Two days on the train had been enough. Little had I known miles and miles of trees, mountains, other trains, and rivers could leave me cross-eyed and wonder-blind.

I’d seen pictures of the famous Lake Louise Fairmont, but seeing it in person was still an experience, especially the looming snow-capped mountains flanking the hotel. Wow. I could not breathe.

Once again, I was reassured to find our luggage had been removed from the previous hotel and like magic reappeared in our new one. It is worrisome and nerve-wracking wondering whether someone forgot bags somehow. So far, so good.

Next on October 5th: Rocky Mountaineer: Winding Up and Winding Down

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles