Disclosure: Yes, I am a Rocky Mountaineer Brand Ambassador. I fell in love with the Rocky Mountains as I traveled by this Canada Rail and want you to as well.
THIRTY SEVEN YEARS
That’s how long Mr. S and I have been married. As our wedding ended, our honeymoon began…unfortunately, not as planned. Our romantic trip to the South of France would be put on hold and we did a quick trip to New York in its place, promising that once the family issue that kept us close was resolved we would go. We never did.
Last week I wondered why we have not made the effort to take that relaxing, romantic trip together. Oh, we’ve gone on vacations, but most with Ben or a dog (or both) in tow. Now as empty nestors with a married son who has a life of his own, we began talking about it.
Mr. S asked me about my Journey Through the Clouds that I had taken this past April. He had seen the photos that I posted and heard me jabber on and on about the Gold Leaf Service on this luxury train and the majesty of the Canadian Rockies that awed. He rarely asks about my travel, and honestly, this was the first time I saw a twinge of jealousy come over him (if I took ski or golf trips it might be different, but I don’t). What better way to celebrate than to escape the suburbs for a few days in the majestic mountains?
From the moment the decision is made
Rocky Mountaineer takes the pressure of the trip from worry, to we’ve got you covered. Mr. S doesn’t like long vacations, so the short Journey Through the Clouds from Vancouver to Jasper is perfect for us. Because trips can be customized, the options of how far you travel (from Vancouver to Seattle), adding days at the beginning and end to explore the cities, linking up two routes for longer travel, are all packages that can be booked.
Our romantic journey begins in Vancouver
A horse drawn carriage ride through Stanley Park sets the tone. The smell of the horses and clip-clop of their shoes against the pavement remind us that we’re here to slow down and enjoy each others company, without bills, children, or work. Our nights will be spent in hotels (there are no sleeper cars on this train), and we opt for a little more luxury than we would have if we had kids in tow. This is the honeymoon we never had.
The Romance of the Canadian Rockies
Sitting side by side gazing out the glass domes in Gold Leaf Service as a peaceful world of wonder and wildlife pass by, my mind wanders. I feel so happy being away from the city, the pace, and work. There is no wifi on this train, and I stressed about it, only to realize how much I’m enjoying being disconnected from the weight of the world. The oversized, comfy leather seats remind me of my fathers recliner that hugged me as a child. Being incredibly comfortable helps that moment of ahhhh…..happen quickly. A glass of wine in hand (he prefers beer), courtesy of our onboard hosts and a glance at each other. We gaze out of the expansive dome hoping for a glimpse of a moose, elk, bear and big horn sheep (we see plenty of them on our journey).
A Romantic Meal…or two or three
We are both amazed at what magic Executive Chef Jean Pierre Guerin can whip up in such a small (moving) kitchen. The white linen service seat four at a table, but we are able to find a small table for two at the far end of the dining car. Mr. S and I owned restaurants years ago, and he marvels at the fresh local foods that Chef curates for these Pacific Northwest inspired menus. This is far from the elephant ears we used to get while skiing in Canada, it is a compendium of comfort and gourmet wrapped up and delivered to us with care.
Menus change daily, and we enjoy both breakfast and lunch on the train, with dinners in each of the towns along the way. To accomodate all of the guests easily there are two seatings (you will switch back and forth), with coffee and scones to hold you in the morning if you are on the second seating, and wine/beer and snacks in the afternoon for second seating diners.
Stealing moments to ourselves
This luxury train never feels crowded, but we sneak away to an outdoor vestibule to feel the fresh air as the train slowly careens the mountain landscapes. We feel up close and personal with nature, and because the train slows to a crawl for photo opps, we know that we’ll be able to catch that photo that we plan on framing when we get home.
We make certain to be outdoors for the views of mountains, and just when you think you’ve taken in all of the awe that you can, you stand face to face with the magnificent snow-capped Mount Robson and the steep of Hell’s Gate at the narrowest part of the Fraser River. We gaze out hoping to catch a glimpse of migrating salmon.
Hoping to see Northern Lights in Kamlooops
I had been to Kamloops before in bad weather, and hoped that we would catch a glimpse of the northern lights in the open sky. We are surprised by the dining options in this small town and looked forward to spending the night here.
Our mutual travel bucket list experience ends in Jasper
We end in Jasper at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This has been on our bucket list as long as we’ve known each other, and checking in to our cabin with its view of the pond and grazing elk outside the door are almost surreal. We are here. Why did we wait thirty-seven years to do this?
We may have taken our many years ago, but we vow to honeymoon more regularly and we begin looking at other routes on Rocky Mountaineer. I suggest that we walk down the center aisle of the car to renew our vows next time. He doesn’t hear me. I can see that he’s miles away in the mountains and reliving his luxury train vacation.
and if you’re lucky…
You may even catch a glimpse of a bear.
- For more information and to book your 2nd (3rd, 4th or 5th) honeymoon visit RockyMountaineer.com