We had not received any notification about our return trip except that we were to take the Rocky Mountaineer back to Vancouver and that we were leaving on Sunday. Since it was the weekend, we didn’t hear anything from our agent. We weren’t sure if we were going to be picked up. I knew our friends Lee and his wife were leaving so we thought we might get up early and go wait with them. So Shawn and I got over to the lodge office around 7:30am just in time to see the shuttle bus. The driver was actually looking for us to take us to the train station. Another couple who were from Britain got on the bus. The wife went on and on about how their company did nothing to help them and they spent three days in their hotel room. They said they were always waiting for a call from their agent. Every tourist in Jasper had the same story. Thank goodness we made something of our unexpected stay!
We got to the station and they couldn’t find our information so they sent us inside. I had all my papers with all my information. We were on the silver service. There are three services – basic, silver and gold. I decided on silver because it had an area where you could take photos outside. The people were very nice. They took my papers and a few minutes later said that everything was fine. They handed back the papers and then gave us our train passes. We were happy we had come early because with all the tourists and all the upsets, I figured things would be chaotic.
We went to find a seat. Some guy had left his phone charging on the seat but was no where in sight. We sat down and he appeared. I guess he had gone out for a smoke before he got on the train as there was no smoking on the train at all. Lee and his wife came by and we talked – mainly about Lee’s tour with Chad. We had some good laughs! Lee and his wife had booked the gold service so this would be the last time we would see them until we got to Kamloops (one night stay- over on the way to Vancouver). They gave the signal and directions of where to get on your particular train. When we got on they had a red carpet and lots of people to help. We got on and we had our names checked and made our way to our seats. It was a domed car where you could see all way around. The train had two levels with the bathrooms and dining cars below and the domed car above.
All the seats were gold – I guess that should have been a clue. Before the trip began, I went up to the front and asked a question and the attendant started telling me all the benefits of the “gold” service. I was really surprised and wondered if we had gotten on the wrong train but then they had checked off our names. So we were excited because we were upgraded. Something good happened!!! We settled down to enjoy the luxury.
We were the second seating for breakfast but in the meantime we had pastries and fruit at our seats. I ordered a Bloody Mary but the attendant suggested a Caesar – the Canadian version. We were under way and the train attendants gave their safety speech.
We were seated in the middle of the car. All the seats ahead of us were taken up with an Australian tour. They were all senior citizens and loud and noisy. Shawn and I were able to change our seats toward the back and we each had our own seats across from each other – so it was nice with our own space.
It was finally our turn to go to breakfast. There were only a few in our group. We sat with a husband and wife from Britain. They were very nice and we enjoyed their company. We had our cameras and were able to hop up when anything interesting was announced.
We traveled through the Canadian Rockies – lakes, waterfalls, trees and of course, mountains. The tallest mountain in Canada is Mount Robson. They said it is rare to see the mountain top. It was a beautiful sunny morning when we started out so we lucked out and got some great shots of the mountain. We also got to see the breathtaking Pyramid Falls. We had a great time taking scenic photos and just enjoying the ride, the service and the gourmet meals.
Our lunch time was not until 2pm and it was about 3:30 when we finished. It was a three course meal and very good. We were stuffed by the time we arrived in Kamloops. We arrived around 4:30 and exited the train and were taken to the hotel. Our luggage proceeded us and was in our room when we arrived.
We decided to go out and walk around and see what we could see. We walked down to the local park which was situated near the beach and dock. We had a fun time taking photos and walking through the park and watching the people. The weather was warm – in the high 70s and a lot of people were enjoying the beach.
It was getting late and we were tired. We went back to the hotel. After such a big lunch, we decided not to eat any dinner . It was nice to watch the evening news and then get to bed early. We had another early rising ate breakfast at the hotel and then were taken to the train to continue our trip back to Vancouver.
Unfortunately, as we got closer and closer to Vancouver – we got slower and slower. One time we had to wait more than a half an hour to let another train go by. By this time, we were tired and just wanted to get to our hotel as it was already getting late. We finally arrived and were taken to our hotel.
The hotel was called the Georgian Court and was very nice. It had an Italian restaurant so we decided to eat dinner there. It took forever to get waited on and there weren’t that many people in there. There was a very pretty girl waiting on us but she didn’t really seem to know what she was doing. I wasn’t going to leave a tip as the service and food left a lot to be desired but at the end the waitress apologized and told us that she had just arrived in Vancouver from France and that this was her first day on the job. Hopefully, she will improve! I went back and found her at her station and gave her a tip and wished her good luck.
The next morning we had to get up very early as we had a 7am flight o LA. We checked with the hotel desk and he called to make sure our driver was coming. We got to the airport in plenty of time. We had to take Delta but they farm out their flights so it was some company I never heard of. I was so mad when we found out that Delta charges $45 for checked bags when we boarded at the beginning of the trip. At least this company only charged $25 and the guy’s computer was down so we only paid for one bag.
The flight home was fine and we arrived on time but unfortunately, our luggage did not. So we had to fool around with the luggage person – giving all our details. He thought the luggage would be there that same day. They called that evening saying the luggage would arrive at 1am. He missed the prediction by an hour! So I had to stay up to get it .
The trip was a mixed bag – disappointing that we didn’t get to Banff and Lake Louise but then we enjoyed going around Jasper with Mr. Taxi (Chad) and we were upgraded to the gold class on the Mountaineer Train. We did get quite a few photos and hopefully, I will get them into an album and sent out before the summer is over!
Hi Dianne- great story telling. Sorry your trip was a mixed bag, but at least you didn’t get caught in any of the flooding. ‘Looking forward to seeing your photos. Love, LIsa