The alarm on Mary’s cell woke us. After a long and restless night, I peeled myself off the sheets. Thank goodness, I had woken in the night and turned on the air conditioner. The room had cooled to a comfortable temperature. A couple minutes later, around 5:30 a.m., the hotel phone bleeped. We had not requested a wakeup, but I suppose due to the previous night’s blackout, staff did not want us to miss our bus.
We rushed through dressing and were out the door, our bags left for pickup inside our room as we had found them the day before. Complimentary coffee service waiting in the hotel lobby cheered disgruntled bleary-eyed early risers. The time: 6:00 a.m.
Our bus arrived. The tour split into two groups: one to Lake Louise, the other to Banff.
At Rocky the Mountaineer station, our driver backed in, parallel parking next to another bus already there. Within minutes, another bus arrived and did likewise beside us, and another and another. What syncopation. What timing. Such grace like a well-practiced ballet. A radio operator called out drivers one-by-one to line up beside the train. The buses followed one another in a Congo line, pulling up as close as they could to the adjoining railway car assigned to each tour group. The same staff from the previous day greeted our party with cheery smiles and enthusiastic voices as we ascended the steps inside. The atmosphere created was of old friends meeting again.
As promised, our gift voucher purchases from the previous day awaited on each passenger’s seat. My one-size-fits-all black silky sweater pleased me. With tax added, it cost 35 cents more than the voucher allowed. Being less than a dollar, this amount was waived.
The breakfast cart arrived with cranberry and apple juice cocktails. The cranberry juice gave the apple juice a rosé hue; the apple flavour reigned. Parfaits were also available instead. Next came fruit salad and a decadent croissant, jam, and butter. Following this, the chef served a combination of scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns with a smattering of corn for colour, and three roasted button mushrooms from his cart. Divine. No toast in sight, but I did not miss it.
After breakfast, an attendant collected money for purchases and any returns.
Due to the blackout at the hotel the night before, the train manager announced each passenger would be gifted a trip journal for the inconvenience. I expected a gratuitous knockoff notebook. Wrong. The padded navy cover might be moleskin. Made in Italy, on the back, there is a large B with Pierre Belvedere’s name. The front shows off Rocky Mountaineer brand insignia and their name. I guesstimate about 240 or so lovely pages.
- Salmon Arm: foodie groups would be interested in the organic farming
- Modern buildings
- Have invasive Mountain Pine Beetles
- Shuswap Lake: looks like letter H from the air
- Cannot buy cabins/houses here—never go on sale
- Rent houseboats instead
- Houseboats have all the amenities, including large screen TVs
- One Rule: must bring houseboats ashore at night in case a storm blows in
- Sicamous: Houseboat capital of Canada
- Sicamous means squeezed in between, a First Nation’s word
- Houseboats are self-sufficient, the lap of luxury, even Jacuzzis
~ * ~
Why such a fuss over the journal? I l.o.v.e. notebooks. You wouldn’t believe my stash. That’s a whole other post.
~ * ~
Next on September 21 – Rocky Mountaineer: Freights Trains and Mountains
© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles