Canadian Railway Trip – Part 2

As an aside, let me first say that my list of blog posts to read seems to be growing by the minute. I am trying to catch up without deleting posts…I am a loyal reader, if nothing else, here in the blogosphere! But I feel this also needs to be completed…for all MY faithful readers! 😉 So I am writing Part 2 of the Canadian Railway Trip today.

Today, I think I will talk about scenery. Note two things…we went in March/early April and spring had not really “sprung” yet. Also, taking photos from the inside of a moving train can be less than fruitful. Lawrence, a Britt that we came to really enjoy, always had his camera around his neck and was also at list a bit annoyed by this fact. He has traveled the world on trains, though, so I think he knew what he was in for!

Going through the files, let me see what images I can find…we started off from Vancouver at night, so not much to show until the next day.

The first daylight leg of the trip goes through the Northern Rockies. This time of the year, we still see lots of snow and ice, but the views can be stunning.

IMG_0046 They try to announce when photo opps are coming up. This is the best shot I was able to get of Pyramid Falls, with droplets on the window and the bright sunlight blowing out the highlights.

There are a few places where you can actually get off the train…very welcome, even in the frigid weather. A short walk around Jasper on this chilly day…

Wildlife abounds along the way, and again, they try to let you know if something is coming up.

At one point, we were just sitting on the tracks (which is not uncommon, more on that later). Only to learn that we were waiting for a herd of long-horn sheep to cross. Above are the shots I was able to grab of them as the train passed by. I think some of these guys are telling us, by their pose, what they think of the train being on their turf!!!!

Moose seem to be what everyone wants to see in Canada. We were fortunate to get a bit of a distant glimpse of a mother (called a cow) and her not-so-little one (called a calf). Given their size, they actually have a rather stately gait.

No, Dorothy, we are not in Kansas…though it looks like we could be! The plains…

My favorite day for pictures was this beautiful morning…it may seem that the images are boring when you expect the majesty of mountains and Canada, but I was enthralled with the colors, textures, reflections, and lines…

You get to stop often (as mentioned above), as the freight trains have priority on the rails. They pass by very close to you!

I like that these empty cars were the same, but different colors…and always enjoy graffiti. (Is that wrong?) And yes, that black line on the side of the pictures is the edge of my window…close!

To wrap up this mostly visual review of scenery, here is a must-get shot from the last car…

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Until Part 3…thanks for looking!

All images © Valorie Webster

Oh Laughter, Please Save Me

I thought this beautiful…and ti ely, as my husband dreamed I died last night!

Chasing Life and Finding Dreams

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.

That myth is more potent than history.

That dreams are more powerful than facts.

That hope always triumphs over experience.

That laughter is the only cure for grief.

And I believe that love is stronger than death.

~Robert Fulghum~

This quote on laughter made me think of this poem about losing someone to death.

~~

Like air, I crave you.

In my darkest of hours, you save me.

Pouring through my mind,

your melodies fill in the cracks

of my

broken

heart.

My soul weeps in loss.

I grieve so deeply,

I feel like

I am dead too.

But you sneak in,

behind my dark veil

and wet eyes

just when I am about to…

jump into a cavern

of endless grief.

You make me remember

her jokes,

her laugh,

the time she danced without a care.

I smile, even giggle.

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Canadian Railway Trip – Part 1

Having already traversed the northern United States via Amtrak, Portland, Oregon to New York City, a few years ago, we decided to try the Canadian Railway system this year. It is touted to be much better than Amtrak and different scenery, especially as it goes further north in the mountains. It is also more expensive, though with the great exchange rate on the Canadian dollar, not so bad. We boarded the train in Vancouver, British Columbia and were headed to Toronto.

Via route

The train station in Vancouver is like many…an old building that has been used for years and houses the bus station too. This one was charming and sufficient in what it had to offer.

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So let’s get started. We booked a sleeping car, as the trip is over four nights. Comparatively, the car we had was smaller and bigger than our Amtrak trip. (We had to change trains in Chicago before and changed room types…thus the and) It is like an RV…use of every space. This cabin had bunk beds, which fold down, and then two chairs during the day.  Funny truth, we slept in one bed all but one night…tried the bunks and the room felt so cramped…plus, we used to sleep in his mom’s twin bed, so we could do this! We also had a toilet and a sink/vanity. The shower was shared and a few steps down the hall.

The train seemed to rock and roll more than I remembered, but we refrained from putting that old note on the door, “If this train is rockin’, then don’t be knockin’!” It would have been on every door!

On the first night, there was no real food service, as we departed about 8:30 PM. They did offer nice h’ors doeurves and champagne in the lounge car, so we could toast the beginning of the trip.

20160329_203915 Otherwise, we settled in and got adjusted to our new digs…and remembered how to sleep in a twin bed!

The food is included when you get a sleeping car. Three full meals a day and snacks/beverages all day and night in the lounge car. The food was quite good…better than Amtrak. And don’t worry, one never leaves hungry from these four-course meals. Also, given that there is little exercise to be found, other than the walk from the dining car to the lounge car or your room, you don’t really need that much food!

 

I didn’t get pictures of all the menus, but different every day and an effort was made to include local dishes. Riding the rails and having good food with new friends and beautiful scenery was certainly not bad!

After meals, we would hang out in the lounge car with some really nice people…British, Canadian, Aussie, and US…quite interesting and engaging!

I will leave the trip post at this point and continue in part 2.

Note: Except for the map, all images © Valorie Webster

26 Weeks Letter Challenge – D

Am I behind? I think I am still within the right week, but going on a trip gets me all discombobulated…now there is a D word!

At any rate, I am following Lumar’s Challenge with the letter  IMG_8840  this week. Check it out and join in, if it appeals to you!

IMG_4176 Welcome to my post…which Doorbell would you ring?

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Now that you are here, let’s roll the Dice and see what we get. (A little lesson here…historically, die was the singular for dice. Today it is one dice or two.)

 

 

We must have our animal for the week…

how about a Drenched Dog, dear….oops, I meant Deer!

IMG_8669_7660 It seems no one likes to go to the Doctor, but this guy looks pretty nice and his assistant is just plain pretty!

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I think we should wrap this week up with a beautiful spring image…Dogwoods!

Thanks for looking and reading my lighthearted approach to the letter D!

All images © Valorie Webster

Who’s Awesome Today?

Reblogging from a guy who finds the good!!!! Have an “awesome” day!

Simple Living Over 50

You-Are-Awesome-PictureAhhh, I slept in again and it was wonderful. Of course that means that I have very limited time to write this post this morning so I will just share a secret with you. Who ever you are and wherever you are it is important to know that you are “Awesome”.

Don’t deny it, you know it. Of course their are those who will try to steal your joy today. There dwells those energy vampires in many of the places we will be today. It’s OK because the one thing that all vampires have in common is they “Suck”. LOL. Yea, I am having fun with this.

Nothing or no one will stand in your way today in bringing joy to someone else life while finding it in yourself because like I said. “You are Awesome”! Now go get um cupcake.
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Blood Sugar- 103, Weight- 191.3

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Thursday Doors – April 14, 2016

Big doors, little door and shutter doors…there is a plethora of blue doors to be found in Greece! The white and blues with the sunshine and blue skies are stunning…even almost blinding!

If you have not visited Greece, and get a chance, I suggest the smaller island of Sifnos. The pace is slower, crowds are less and you still get the beauty and simplicity of their architecture. The people are friendly and laid back.

Even if old, abandoned or small, the blue is still evident…

And if blue is not your color, go somewhere else! Or, you could keep looking…

Yes, I had to sit on that lovely little porch!

Happy Trails and Door Searching!

PS – How could I forget…drop by and check out Norm’s Thursday Doors and join in the postings, if you wish! Thanks, for hosting, Norm!

(all images © Valorie Webster)

26 Weeks Letter Challenge – C

Lumar inspired me to try this challenge…so far, so good! Join in?

This is for the week of C:

IMG_5290_4863 If you happen to be following this letter challenge with me, you may wonder why I have so many pictures of letters. Well, I didn’t have a good c, but the reason I have letters at all is for use in montages…a creative and fun way of expressing that I learned from Carol Leigh some time ago. She does some fascinating work!

So, here we go…let’s see what I can find to post this week!

Carrot Curls_7054  Carrot curls

Cat…trying to hide in the shrubs and shade…
kitty in the shade

Colorful spirals_9494_0069 Colorful coils…though they are really slinkeys, that doesn’t start with c!

IMG_9347 Casting…could say catching too, but that is not guaranteed!

And the last selection this week is Checks…a digital image I created…

checks

 

All images © Valorie Webster