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Posted by on Jun 26, 2009 in North America, TripJournals |

Pride Travel’s Rocky Mountain Rail Journey Through Canada – Day 1: Transit to Vancouver & Vancouver

Day 1 – Transit to Vancouver, Vancouver

Never wait till the last minute to pack your suitcase(s)…. at least don’t wait until that last minute to launder and pick out the clothes, fold them, and organize your travel gear. Wise words to live by, and ones we always strive (yet, sadly fail) to adhere to. It’s the curse of the frequent and experienced traveler. Subconsciously, we think we have all the time in the world; we’ve done this a thousand times before, after all.

Of course, as is always the case with travel-day, there are over a million things that needed to be done: chief among them, one high-visibility deliverable that MUST be emailed, bills that MUST be paid, chores, chores, chores to prepare for the almost two weeks away…. and OH! don’t forget about who’s baby-sitting the cat!

Somehow, the universe grants us a boon once again and we manage to arrive at the airport, check our bags in, and pass through security to board our plane timely just a hair’s width apart from being late; the cost, our fragile sanity. Flight to Vancouver completed, we take the annoyingly long taxi cab ride to downtown. On a busy afternoon. At 5pm. Oh, and it’s Friday.

So, you can imagine my state of mind arriving at the front desk. Front Desk staff, sadly at all hotels, are always under-trained and under-empowered, and I was ready for something to go wrong. Not at the Fairmont Waterfront… we were quickly checked in and handed our room keys to the top floor, our Bay-view room awaiting with a wide view of the harbour and Vancouver bay. Exhausted from the days trials and travels, we inadvertently sank into the bed at 6pm.

I awoke at 10pm, hungry. Our only meal so far had been on the airplane (although refreshingly good, very light). I quickly realized that our plans for sushi tonight went out the window; Vancouver has the best selection of Sushi and Japanese cuisine outside of Japan. Then it dawned one me: the best part of luxury hotels…. great room service and food, with a smile.

Sure, you pay $50 for a light breakfast or as was our case tonight: sandwich, appetizer and beer. But, oh is it so yummy. The crab cakes exceedingly good, lacking only the battery oily taste that so many often have… all you tasted was seasoned, slightly breaded, Crab! In fact, having stayed at 5 star hotels for work or pleasure before, I have rarely been disappointed with the food. Of course, at $399 / $499 / or 99,999 per night at these luxe hotels, if you don’t like it, just say so, and voila, steps are taken to fix the situation or you don’t have to pay for it. It’s all about quality and service. Beer not cold enough (that was me tonight)? No problem. It’s on the house, and go ahead and replace it with one from the minibar. Now that’s service. Say what you will about luxury hotels charging you $15 for bottled water or $9 for an itsy bitsy tiny glass of morning OJ, but the quality guarantee is what we pay for.

Satiated and quenched, we start to wind down the night and prepare for our (hopefully) full day tomorrow. There’s so much to see and do in Vancouver, we have no idea yet what the day will bring.

Make sure to look at the itinerary map and photos posted to see our journey’s route by visiting our facebook page by clicking the button at the bottom of our homepage at www.pridetravelonline.com or directly by using this URL : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pride-Travel/82073804377?ref=ts 

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