May 13th 2012 – Day One
About a half our later we arrived at the beautiful Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver Canada. We were greeted at the door with impeccable service and smiling faces. “We’re so happy to have you join us today Miss Memme!” “Would you like some water or something to drink?” they asked? All while giving us our room keys and wisking our luggage up to the room all before I took my first step into the hotel! I felt a welcoming sense of relaxation after an emotional start to the day. It was a warm sunny day in Vancouver, which made everything around me sparkle. My room had a beautiful view of the Waterfront., with a welcome note from the hotel manager and honey infused chocolates. The honey is from the bees that make their honey on the hotel property.
interesting story of time passed. I could see in Randy’s eyes that he has grown to love this place where families, young couples, friends and lovers come from all over the world to experience the trip of a Lifetime.
Right then Hu’s daughter----- walked up to me and stood there looking up at me with her big brown eyes and said “Happy Mothers Day Tanya!
My heart filled with love, happiness and a tinge of sadness as I opened the card that said…..Happy Mothers Day! Happy Mothers Day. From : Ava. I remember thinking to myself…that was one of the most thoughtful things anyone has ever done for me.
As I walked outside where the majestic Rocky Mountaineer stood in all its glory, I was instantly thrown back in time when men wore hats and women wore dresses. I could hear excited passengers boarding, tickets being punched, the resonant sound of the train’s whistle blowing and he train engineer yelling “ALL ABOARD!” As that moment faded away in my mind, I stood there starring at this magnificent beast! Looking forward to tomorrow and the journey that lies ahead in my home country of Canada.
After a restful night in Vancouver we head over to Rocky Mountaineer to board the train and begin the first day of our Journey through the Rocky Mountains! Walking up to this beautiful beast of a train is always an overwhelming experience. Randy Powell gave me the most wonderful introduction the all of the guests just before we board the train! I was thrilled to blow the train whistle and give the age old call “ALL ABOARD!!” With the rush and the excitement of the guests anticipating their journey we all board the train! We have a big gang with us boarding the train! Darryl Kinson and the KTLA crew, Randy Powell the President and CEO of Rocky Mountaineer, JP Guerin (Michelin Award Winning Chef), Hubert Wat (VP Global Marketing), Coco Souter (Brand Specialist) and a few others from Rocky Mountaineer!We eventually find our way aboard the Gold Leaf car where our adventure began. The Gold Leaf car is a double decker car with a golden viewing bubble upstairs and a fine dining restaurant downstairs. After waving goodbye to the folks at the station, Randy and I sit down to chat over a glorious breakfast made by JP! The day already started with lots of laughs and lots of fun!
After an incredible breakfast of eggs, smoked salmon and caviar, Randy took me up to the Golden viewing area where Darryl had me interview him and find out more about this luxurious experience. At this point we weren’t quite in to the Rockies yet but it was still very exciting to see the foliage and wildlife and get to know the guests on board! Throughout the day we were treated like royalty! The most incredible service, amazing views, to die for food all while relaxing, laughing and creating everlasting friendships through the Rocky Mountains.
I was happy to see that Randy was such a funny guy! Every time I added a little fun and goofiness to the interview he went right along with it! When JP served us our dessert after lunch I wasn’t sure who would finish it faster since it tasted soooooo good! Randy talked about his beautiful family and his getaway cabin in Ontario, Canada. We were from the same part of Canada, and had many stories to share! I learned about the journey he took to get to become the President and CEO of Rocky Mountaineer. He said, he’s the happiest guy with the most incredible job. The train is his office….ya can’t get much better than that! I also had some fun conversations over a lesson in the kitchen with JP Guerin the MasterChef of the train. He’s one of the few chefs awarded a Michelin Star rating
and after tasting a few of the things he cooked on the train, I could understand why! JP is an outdoorsmen at heart, with a great passion for food. He loves what he does and you can see it in everything he does. No Matter what he created, simple or complicated, everything tasted like a slice of heaven. Eating this incredible food while floating through the Rockies was a dream come true!
Today was a time of reflection, a time to finally disconnect from the crazy world I live in and reconnect with LIFE and what its really about. I missed my daughter Ava. I haven’t been home for a few weeks because I’ve been shooting for Sell This House Extreme in San Antonio, then came straight to Vancouver with less than 12 hours in LA. I wished my family was here experiencing this with me. Its beyond words and far better than I ever expected. I started to think about my past, some of the ups and downs of life, past relationships, new relationships, choices I made and things I let hold me back. I was remembering Canada when I lived here and loved here and how wonderful a country this is. I’m Canadian living in the USA…..How lucky am I to have lived in two of the most incredible countries in the world.
We traveled through the rainforest and the desert, (yup! The Canadian Rainforest and Desert in CANADA!) beautiful lakes, rivers and waterfalls and just ahead in the distance I could finally see the Rockies!
As the sun started setting and the train came to a slow stop at a town called Kamloops. As we walked off the train we were greeted by theKamloops Mounted
Patrol! They looked so poised and confident on their beautiful horses. We checked in to The Coast Hotel in Kamloops. Some of the gang met for dinner and the rest ofus went straight to bed. We were pretty tired from the excitement of the day! I called my mom and checked in with her and Ava, missing her so much. I fell asleep with my cell phone in hand while I played videos of Ava over and over again. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and what the second day on the train will be like and what we will explore! We’re off to Banff Springs bright and early!