Train From Kamloops to Banff

Hi everyone.

Really have a lot of stories to tell you of my travels through the West Passage, but I’m having trouble getting my pics from my camara, iPad and notes and getting it on my wordpress account.  So I’m storing it all and will put it all together when I get home.  In the meantime, I’ll just show you some of the photos I’ve  been taking.  image image image image image image image image image image image



Nightmare Needle Mishap, Stories from the Train (Kamloops to Banf)

This picture was taken at sunrise in Kamloops.


Nightmareimage Needle Mishap, and Stories from the Rocky Mountaineer Train (Kamloops To Banff)




I’mimage afraid I didn’t do a good job stabbing myself in the stomach yesterday…wrong angle, didn’t go deep enough or something went terribly wrong. As a result, it got quite bloody and I rather convinced myself that I hit an organ and was goiimageng to die right here in Kamloops. Although it was only 9:30ish here, it was about 1:30ish at home where I proceeded to call Bobo for help. Not that he could do much about my situation anyway being thousands of miles away, but I thought I’d ring and say good bye. I figured he would calm me down. I knew he was still up, but he hides in the man cave downstairs and I’m sure he didn’t hear the phone ringing because although I phoned 4 times…no one was picking up upstairs.


imageLucky for me I got a free messaging account called “What’s App” and wrote to Boo, my Aussie cousin, who called me immediately to calm my frazzled nerves. It’s always good to have someone on the other side of the world to talk to when you are having a crisis.  The connection was not that good. She told me to move closeimager to the window. I then Looked out my window and was aghast to see a very large electrical hydro tower.  Great! Huge Electromagnetic field on the same level as my room. Sure that’s exactly what I need at this point in my life. Boo told me to phone the concierge and move. Was not happy that I had to get out of my PJ’s, grab my luggage and move to the last room in the hotel on the second floor, but figured that was preferable to getting zapped while I slept.  Remembered in one of my psych courses that your brain waves are wired/active when you are close to these towers so I didn’t feel I exactly had a choice about moving, even if I had to change hotels.

Anyhow, my abdomen is quite blue and bruised this morning and all I could think about was how I was going to have to find a nurse/Dr on this bloody train because I was not going to try do the needleimage thing again tonight. Then I thought about asking the train crew if they could find me a medical clinic in Banff, but I think we are arriving at around 7:00 and it probably will be closed. As luck would have it, Heavens Angels are clearly watching over me because the very first person I told my sorry tale to at breakfast this morning was from New Zealand and she happens to be a nurse! Life is good once again… Especially when it’s snack time and Yu are offered Merlot with cheese and crackers.  God Bless Nurses!


imageIMG_2426Breakfast consisted of fresh fruit and a croissant so crispy on the outside that it tasted like the real ones made in Paris.  So yummy.  I ordered the eggs with salmon, home-made potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes and lemon creme fraise.  It was so good I ordered it again the next day.



Stories on the train…..
IMG_2965For over two years, a woman named Ms. Johnson would religiously go outside her house and wave to the trains going by. One day, the engineer decided to give her a little package so he slowed down the train, and threw her a little gift on her lawn of her house. A few days later, her son emailed Rocky Mountaineer to thank them for the gift and said, “How did you know it was her birthday?

IMG_3038Near Kamloops we went by a place called Salmander Lake….A man bought a house and did realize that a train went by it very day and blew its horn. He got so agitated with all the noise the train made, he decided to get his rifle and shoot every train that went by.  He also decided to shock everyone by wearing absolutely nothing when the train went by except for his “gumboots.”   The CP Rail couldn’t have that so they decided not to blow the whistle anymore near the guys house and changed the train switches so it didn’t make so much noise.

IMG_2625We were also told a story about the first train robbery… By Billy Miner.  Rode by horse with 2 friends to a train that had gold on it, startled the engineer, told him to “Put his hands up!”…. That’s where that phrase came from. Disconnected the car with the loot and said.. “Good night boys, sorry to have troubled you.” Got away with gold and a bond worth $8000.
He became too greedy and decided to rob another train, but this time in Kamloops on a train that had been delayed for 5 hours. Kamloops….Bad idea. Arid, no trees. Told the engineer to “Put his hands up” and proceeded to disconnect a car, not realizing he had the wrong one. It was full of mail, not gold. But the mail was worth at least $3500, unbeknownst to him, which was a lot of money in those days. So he took off with his friends with nothing but $15.  The RCMP got some Indian trackers after them who discovered them hiding in a remote cabin. Billy told the police he was just there to do some gold digging and convinced him of this. Friend then shot and killed one of the cops. Billy was  captured and sent to prison for 25 years. He only remain incarcerated for one year for that crime.  Apparently he walked right out the front door and was never seen again!

Check this out…a his and her port-a-potty on the railroad!




This was my hotel…It was called the Rimrock (Banff).IMG_2906 IMG_2907 IMG_2918

Now the view at dusk was incredible!   However, I was still bummed out that I didn’t get a room at the Fairmont Banff.  I went to the Hot Springs which was located across the street…but was somewhat disappointed.  Not really in pristine condition.  I was kind of expecting something more grand like the Caracalla Spa in Germany.  Now that was magnificent.  Oh well.  Still having a grand time.IMG_2917 IMG_2909 IMG_2922

On Board The Rocky Mountaineer (Vancouver to Kamloops)

Tuesday, September 22

imageGot up 4-5 times last night, anxious I’d miss my train. Managed to get up at 5:45. Got to the lobby before the limo driver.

imageThe Rocky Mountaineer Station was interesting.     We were serenaded by a gentleman playing a black baby grand piano.

imageThey had a Scottish man in a kilt play the bagpipes and then they stomped on a whistle thing on the floor before yelling, “All Aboard”.


The landscape is quite beautiful. The mountains are so tall it’s a good thing I’m in one of the domed carriages so I can see everything. First the mountains were nice and green and full of trees. Now it’s arid and drier. We even passed a section where there had been a fire.

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An interesting tale about an area where Simon Fraser said in his journal that he passed through where no man should ever have to go. He named it Hells Gate because it was very narrow and treacherous to pass.   Apparently only once in history was a steamboat able to make it upstream. The Sassy River was named after the guy. He did it by getting 150 Chinese men on ropes to haul it up the river. Wonder how many people he lost?

Another interesting place we passed which was (formerly?) called Trunk Hill Sanitarium, in Kamloops.

It used to house tuberculosis patients in the olden days until a cure was found for the disease (Kamloops area was chosen because the air was arid/drier).  The patients/caregivers had to be self sufficient because the people in the town didn’t want them anywhere near them least they caught the dreaded disease.  They had there own supply of water and grew there own crops.

Then when TB was no longer a threat, it was turned into a Sanitarium.  Had to close it down eventually because they found asbestos in the building.  Tunnels were found which were built below the ground to get from place to place when it was cold.

We passed The Most haunted place in Canada tour…ghost town near Hells Gate if you are interested in driving all the way down there to hear some interesting tales!

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Capilano Bridge, Vancouver Lookout, Gastown


Monday, September 21
Finally we had one good day of weather so I went on the Capilano Bridge.  It was amazing.  There was a HUGE Suspension Bridge, a tree top walk and a cliff walk.  I’m okay with heights, but bouncinging on that bridge with about 100 million ther people sure wasn’t great for my back.  Time for an oxycocet after I got to the other side!  Guess my newly radiated bone didn’t have enough time to grow back yet!  Ouch!

That place was REALLY amazing.  It was so nice breathing in the fresh rainforest air.  Did you know that the smell of pine forests kills lung cancer cells?  Hopefully it worked on whatever’s growing in my lung!  I definitely could breathe better!

Having issues getting pics in here so I’m posting them all at once!














Then I went to a 4 D film called Fly Over Canada (filmed from BC to the East Coast) and got nauseous because I didn’t really eat anything that morning and I didn’t really feel like flying and smelling weird scents.  Walked over the the Vancouver Lookout…waste of money if you have been to the CN Tower first….doesn’t compare.

Met up with Sharon and Make in Gastwon and had a lovely lunch at an Italian trattoria.  I had soup and gnocchi.  It was too much food so I told Sharon we should pack it up and give it to one of the many homeless people we see in the streets.  She thought that was a good idea.


Didn’t take her long before a woman walked up to her and told her it was her birthday and could she spare some change.  Sharron yelled, “Well, Happy a Birthday” , and proceeded to hand over her leftover pasta.


Me, I started talking to an Indian carver perched on the side of the road making masks.  Bobo told me to look for a mask because he wanted one.  Well these masks are well over $1,000 in the art gallery’s.  The guy on the corner wanted $700.  Needless to say, I didn’t purchase one.  Found out the carver also had a tumour in his back,  fractured his spine, and had metal rods in his back and was going to have surgery the next day.  Gave him my gnocchi!  Hope he liked them…he said he never tried them before.  Wished him luck on his surgery and told him I would pray for him.


Headed home early and went into the steam room to try to get my achy breaks bones to feel good.  It worked.

Another Rainy Day


image image imageimage imageMy happiness bubble burst today.
I woke up and its raining again.
I got to the concierge at 8:41 am and he told me my bus already left.
I was suppose to be there at 8:40. WTF?

Well that wasn’t true and my heart stopped for a short time and when the bus finally arrived the grumpy old man (who wouldn’t pick up my luggage and put it underneath the bus) tells me he is not dropping me off to my hotel, but one nearby. Yet on my voucher it says it’s going to drop me off at my hotel. Apparently that’s not true. So now I am either going to have to kill myself and lug my luggage a couple of blocks to my hotel in the rain or take a taxi. That should be good for my back.

I need my Bobo.  I need my Fairmont slippers and bathrobe.  And I’m really going to need my eucalyptus steam room after I lug my luggage around town because I’m calabrese, I have a testa tosta (hardheaded/stubborn)and I’m not paying someone to take me a few blocks to my hotel.

And to make me positively miserable, the grumpy old driver only listens to Country Music. Two and a half hours on a bus playing country music! Kill me now!

Oh, things are looking up! My ear phones are in my purse and my iPads in my lap as I write my woes to you this gloomy, rainy day.

Good bye country music! Hello One Republic!

Oh oh.  I have to go to the washroom and there isn’t a washroom on this bus!

I’ll Write later.  My stops coming up!

Whistler Gondola By Night

imageReally loving being pampered!  Buffet breakfast.  Went shopping at Lululemon…my downfall in life.  Picked up 2 more items!  Lunch buffet salad and veggie wrap.  Spa treatment facial and ayuvedic massage where they pour hot oil and herbs all over your body.  And today, I feel like a million bucks!  Hardly sore at all.  Forgot to take my tamoxifen…wonder if that has anything to do with it?

imageLast night We went to an exclusive party.  We were shuttled to the base of Whistlers Gondola and made a 25 minute trip up the mountain to the Round House restaurant.  Half way there we briefly stopped at a way station and the doors opened and a waitress came inside the gondola and offered us crackers, with goat cheese and some delicious spread on top.  Outrageous, eh?  And hang on…it gets better.  She leaves and someone else comes in with CHAMPAGNE!  Now glorious is that?  I tell you, I’m on top of the world!


So apparently, unbeknownst to me, it was suppose to be a 70’s disco party….and we were suppose to dress up and drink.  Bobo didn’t get that part of the program.   Wouldn’t have lasted in skimpy clothes up there in the cold mountains anyway.  It was raining and freezing.  Dinner was a buffet…salmon, roast beast, squash ravioli, corn on the cob, potatoes and salad, home made gelato ( rum/pecan, vanilla bea, and banana), chocolate brownies, nanimo bars, fresh berries.  O, and they had on of those cool ice sculptures with a tube running through it to make your liquor cold.  Unfortunately he wasn’t making chocolate Martinis , only  vodka.  That was disappointing. I’m don’t usually drink, but I’m game for one of those!


imageimageimageimageNo one goes up the mountain at night….exclusive parties only.   Riding down the gondola in pitch darkness is quite an experience, let me tell you.  Thankfully they gave me a blanket which I kind of forgot to return when I got off.

It’s raining again today.  Wanted to go up to the mountain to get some pics. But I don’t think that’s happening unless the weather clears up.  Oh well, back to the eucalyptus steam room!

Life is so good when you don’t have to pay!  Just enjoy!



I Love My Bobo

Oops!  Just found this in my draft folder.  Must have forgotten to post it.

Good news!  My husband Bobo recently won an award at work….best mortgage underwriter (nominated by brokers).  So he gets a free all expense trip to Whistler, British Columbia. And guess what I told him? He ain’t leaving without me in tow! No way!

WE are going to be staying at the luxurious Fairmont Whistler Hotel. Ba Bing!!! Bobo is none too happy about this event as he says he will have to go to meetings for 3 days. Not me however!  I will be taking in the sights and galavanting outdoors!

Damn back, however. You’d better believe that I’d be downhill skiing on those mountains if I didn’t run the risk of fracturing some more of my vertebrates. (I can just hear my Australian cousin saying, “She would be crazy enough to do it too!”).  Oh well, heard there is a gondola I could go on.  Besides, I guess I could always use the Fairmont’s spa services if I overdo it or the weather is yucky. Afternoon High tea perhaps? Hahaha! Love them scones, fancy little sandwiches and glorious tea! Getting excited! Wish I could invite some friends, though.

After the conference, Bobo is coming back to reality, but not me! I’m going to fulfill an item on my bucket list! Ever since I was in grade 5 and my friend Leanne Murray showed me a picture of her family’s trip to Lake Louise, I have had it in my head to go there.  Now’s my chance.

I missed an opportunity to go out West with my cousin from Australia because I was getting married and couldn’t afford it. In 2012, when I was out of commission after surgery to cement my fractured vertebrae and put two titanium metal rods in my back, I vowed if I ever could walk again I would go to Lake Louise (and Italy) and not have any regrets. When my hubby told me he won a trip to BC, I took it as a sign from the Mighty Lord above!  I just got handed the perfect opportunity to fulfill my quest!  And I was going to take it!

So I have also booked a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer, Gold Service, so some poor sucker who isn’t me, can deal with my baggage everywhere I go. Get my own damn chef too. And I’ll be asking for some champagne as soon as I get on board. This is gonna be fun! I’m going to Kamloops, Banff, Lake Louise and Calgary. And there is some crazy ride on a helicopter (if I don’t chicken out) too.

Like my husband says, “You can’t take it with you”.

I love my husband.