Saturday, January 3, 2009

Day 15: On VIA's Canadian

This morning breakfast was being served at 7:00am to 8:30am. We headed over to the dining car around 7:45am, right after Jon had his shower. There was a lot to choose from. Jon ordered the cinnamon bun which was fried in butter, with oatmeal to start. I had eggs benedict for my breakfast. We both thoroughly enjoyed breakfast.

After breakfast we spent some of the morning in our room watching the scenery and doing the digital thing (iPods and Computer games). We headed to the Park Car where we met lots of great people and were trying to maintain three or four conversations. We had a layover in Foleyet because we were way early. We weren't supposed to be there until 11:16 and we were about two hours early. Michelle delayed her presentation of Frequently Asked Questions until we were on the road again. We even quizzed her on a couple of things.

Just after Michelle's presentation we had first seating for Lunch which is the seating we chose for today, so we again headed to the Dining Car. Jon and I both had the Lamb Chops and mmmm were they good. For dessert Jon had the vanilla ice cream (some of us heard "pail of ice cream" when the attendant told the other table) and I had the pecan pie. For the afternoon we spent most of it in the Park Car enjoying the view and we stopped in Hornepayne for about an hour, because again we were early. Jon got out of the train and took some pictures and ran over to the general store to pick up some junk food. It was pretty cold outside about -13C. I stayed inside the car and visited with the other people in the car. There is one guy named Cash who calls Jon, Johnny because then it's Johnny & Cash. He is very talkative and has lots of stories to tell. He's from Vancouver Island traveling from Halifax. He's trying out all the different classes of service during this trip. He started with Comfort Class and has worked his way up to Silver and Blue Class which is 1st Class.

Michelle waited until we left Hornepayne before putting on her trivia game. Everyone was asked 38 questions and two of them were two pointers. The highest score was the older couple in front of us who scored 38, we scored 32 and if I didn't listen to Jon on a couple of the questions we would have had 34 points. The first place winners won a CD of Music to Travel By and a badge and the rest of us had the choice of a keychain, pin, badge, or bookmarks. Jon and I both chose the bookmarks, as we can always use bookmarks and we already have too many key chains. The remainder of the afternoon was spent visiting and watching the sun set over the Northern Ontario frozen lakes and rivers as well as a whole lot of trees.

Around 5:30pm the first call for Dinner was made and we headed to the Dining Car again. The Dining Car is three cars in front of us, so at least we are getting some exercise along the way. Dinner Jon and I had the Prime Rib dinner which came with soup I had the fish chowder and Jon had the Tomato and Red Pepper Bisque and then we had starter salad with a Maple Mayonnaise Dressing, boy was it good! The attendant came by and gave us all fresh baked dinner rolls which were still warm when delivered to the table, and then shortly after that our dinner was served. Again mmmm mmmm good! Dessert was a choice of Creme Brule Cheesecake or a Silver and Blue Chocolate Tort. We went with the Chocolate tort, which Jon nicknamed "Death by Chocolate" and boy was it. As our friend Cam would say it was disgusting, it's a good thing we ate it all so that no one else would have to suffer the torture of finishing it. After dinner we retired to our room where I am writing this and Jon is playing on my iPod. We have no idea when these updates will be sent out, maybe in Winnipeg, but we are still writing in hopes that they get out sooner or later.

Dennis, our attendant just checked in with us to see if we want our beds made up now or a little later. He was going to grab a bite to eat. We told him to go and get a bite to eat and then come back to make up our rooms. I am looking forward to sleeping better tonight, but we will see. Breakfast tomorrow starts at 6:30am.

We are an hour early into Armstrong, ON which is where we are to change our clocks back one hour. If all the people we are supposed to pick up are at the station we can continue on, if not we have to wait until they get there or until 10:19pm to depart. Looks like we may be early along most of our trip, so Lynn and Lawrie, phone 1-888-VIA-RAIL to find out if we are early into Saskatoon, SK if you are meeting us there for hugs. We will be into Winnipeg and have a layover of about 4 hours. Tomorrow lunch is at 12:30 for us and dinner is at 7pm.


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