Oh Lord it feels good to be back on the train again. Now I understand what David meant when he turned toward me from across the aisle and said “I am so happy to be back on the train.” He told me this with a mega grin on his face. That was way back in Jasper just after we climbed back on the train after a two-day layover. I am thinking about David now that I am back on board the train after two days in Winnipeg. I must agree with him it does feel good to be back on the move again.
It’s late, sometime after midnight and I am up in the cool dome car all curled up with my alpaca shawl . It’s minus 37 outside and I am sipping a cup of ginger tea under the canopy of windows in the dome car. I’ve already met a new train friend, another handsome fellow, and we’re sitting in the dark by ourselves watching the night sky and watching the wintry prairie landscape zip by. The full moon is still following me lighting the rural farm scenes as we pass in the night. The farmhouses are dressed for Xmas with twinkling multicolored reindeers and stars, reflecting holiday cheer up into the still dome car. Making me feel warm and relaxed.
Since I have two nights to spend on board between Winnipeg and Toronto I ‘ve decided to upgrade and get the full meal deal. Which means I get a cabin for one and all my meals included for the price of a hotel room. I feel bad baling on my coach ticket as I actually like it better in coach. The windows and seats are more comfortable for gawking at the landscape. I also find it is less lonely. When you have a cabin your all by yourself it feels a bit claustrophobic in there. Not like coach where you have lots of faces around you. I actually didn’t mind sleeping in coach all curled up in the fetal position with the drool running out of my mouth for all to see. But I am not sure if my fellow travel mates liked seeing me in my pj’s. I prefer to sleep with my long john’s and t-shirt which didn’t make for a pretty sight. The other problem is I hate sharing a bathroom with 3o or so other people. So I thought what the heck, I’ll treat myself to a cabin with my own bathroom. Now, I will be able to brush my teeth to my heart’s content and no one can see me in my finest.
I have my own private self-contained cabin. It’s as cosy as a button with a tiny stainless steel corner sink, a wee bowl toilet under a lift-up day seat and a super-duper comfy bed , fluffy duvet and all, that flops down out of the wall. All you have to do is twist the handle and it all falls down to create an intimate sleeping space. My favorite part is lying in the bed with the lights out and staring out the window at the passing night scenery. It’s pretty neat laying there rattling and shaking along memorized by the shadowy moving shapes in the dark.
I learned two important lessons the first night in my little room. First, lock all hooks on the bed when you get up in the night. The toilet is under the bed so when you have to go you-know-what in the middle of the night, you need to squish yourself between the bed and the door. Then you lift up the bed and stick it back in its cubby hole. Next you should make sure it hooks back into its latch and LOCKS before you use the toilet. Yep, I forgot a step and the bed bounced off my head a couple of times while I tried to do my business. “Yowser that hurt!” I moaned out loud to no one.
Next came the lock on the door. Make sure that before you lower the crooked hook into the steel latch that you are strong enough to pry it up again. Those blasted doors are made so solid it’s hard for anyone to hear you screeching for help when you’re locked in. Since no one was around to rescue me I tried lifting the hooky thing again. This time the latch seemed to pop right out on its own with one good panic twist.
I have a massage bed that’s something else. It feels like someone is under my bed and is kicking, kneeing and elbowing me. My feet are literally bouncing off the bed. It’s like there’s a herd of stow-away children under my bed. The whole bed is vibrating and bouncing with the train motion. Gee, they could probably make extra money on this bed. Remember those old massage beds that use to be in hotel rooms and you put in a quarter and they wiggled. Well this bed beats those all to hell. Certain folks might like this but not me. It’s keeping me awake all this thumping and grinding. My butt and feet are doing the hokey pokey and not by choice.
You get three solid squares a day in the dinning car. I don’t know if it was the atmosphere or just plain damn good cooking but the food and drink tastes way better than I’ve ever had in any restaurant. I fell completely off my gluten and dairy free diet.
My diet and me went down fast and hard just like the first time I tried skating. The first night I gobbled down Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding . For dessert I wolfed down chocolate caramel cake with whip cream. Then I happily washed it all down with a couple of glasses of wine. Oh man it can’t get much better than that and that was only the first meal I still have seven more to get through before Toronto. Yummy!
I blame it all on the crew. They’re the ones cooking, serving and seating everyone. Treating us like family feeding us like it’s our last meal. Then to top it off they sit you wherever you fit in so you never know who you are going to share your meal with. I know sitting with strangers usually gives people the hebee geebees but trust me it’s the best. Believe it or not I normally wouldn’t like it but it feels right on the train. Being pampered by the staff who all are interesting characters themselves. Sharing with strangers eating, relaxing, talking, laughing is how life should be lived. Yep, it’s definitely Via’s fault that I am chowing down things I shouldn’t , drinking, definitely yapping too much and giggling too loud. Damn them.