The Ng's climbed aboard the Canadian VIA Rail train enroute to Jasper in the early part of November for our annual "vacation in the winter time". (Vancouver is typically grey, rainy and wet this time of year, so it's a perfect time to get away.)
Though some may think we were crazy to bring a two year old on yet another 16 hour journey, the train turned out to be a remakably fun mode of transport for Erich:
- The coach class had wide open seats facing seats (similar to sitting business class on an airplane)
- The washrooms, though not huge were certainly bigger than airplane washrooms and were cleaned regularly.
- The train afforded us the luxury of being able to walk up and down through cars.
- Included in the train of cars was an observation deck, a games/activity area, a cafeteria, and a dining car - all of which meant that two year olds can have lots of fun exploring while we all took in the breathtaking view of the Canadian Rockies.
When we arrived in Jasper, we checked into a suite at the Jasper Inn. The Jasper Inn was a reasonable hotel. Our one bedroom suite included a small kitchen and a wood fireplace; we made use of both extensively. With the kitchen, we were able to prepare all of our own meals. This meant of course cost savings, guaranteed healthy meals and additional family time. The fireplace afforded me and Erich male bonding time as I dutifully passed on how to start a wood fire, the proper way!
After settling in, buying groceries at the local supermarket (photo left), and exploring the quaint (albeit partly closed due to off-season) town we settled in for a good night's rest. Unlike Erich, who could actually fit across two seats on the train to sleep, Karen and I had not gotten as much sleep as we would have liked. We traded positions throughout most of the night while we tried to get some sleep.