The first part of my holiday was spent locally. We went to a play a few towns over. I love live theatre. Though it is really expensive ($46.00 a ticket) I don’t mind spending it to go to a quality performance. Considering I almost never go to the movie theatre or spend money on entertainment it is money well spent. It also choose wisely the shows I go to because it is so expensive. This play was Agatha Christie’s, The Mousetrap. (If you have seen it you know you are sworn to secrecy about the end and who the murderer is. I figured it out within minutes of the character entering *wink*) Anyway, it was really good and we all enjoyed it.
The next morning we headed out and caught the seaplane to Vancouver.
We took the tiny water taxi and went into Gastown and I enjoyed it for about an hour then it became too much. It is loud and busy and there isn’t a place to just be quiet. I will say it is full of colour and culture.
From there we got on the train and started our journey from Vancouver to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Oh, what a trip! Beautiful and magnificent does not come close to describing the scenery. Describing the Rockie Mountains is beyond words. It is a spiritual experience. It is also so nice to sleep on the train, it rocks you to sleep. The chug-chugging is so calming.
We met a lot of nice people and some not exactly nice. The second evening during the dinner service we sat with a loud and obnoxious man and his wife. He had strong opinions on everything. At one point he started in on unions (he owns a business) and how bad they are. I made it clear that it was not a subject I was interested in pursuing but he pressed on. Neither my husband or I said much and the topic eventually fizzled out. He then went on to tell us about the very expensive car he had just bought his wife. And then he started on how he didn’t think he should have to pay for a woman to take maternity leave. **(I was seething at this point.) In Canada women get one year for maternity leave. He was baffled and made it very clear that he hoped that would never happen in America. Then this. Our server came to our table and was of Asian decent. This man started making comments about “squinting” and he was mocking his accent. At this point I wanted the floor to swallow me up. On the train you are seated at certain times to allow everyone to get into the dining car so there was no place to move to a different seat. We were so embarrassed and at the end of the meal I apologized to our server and made it clear that we were not with them. My husband left a big tip.
All the other meals we sat with the nicest people. Kind and interesting and a story. People from all over the world. A nice young man traveling alone from Australia. Men and women from China. People from the US and Canada. In all we spent two nights and three days on the train. One thing about train travel is the many delays. Passenger trains have to yield to freight trains. Our arrival into Saskatoon was 6 hours delayed. No mind though. we just put out feet up and enjoyed our time together. The whole trip was a real nice time of reconnecting, something we really needed as a couple.
When we arrived in Saskatoon we had a bit of trouble with the car rental, How can there be no governing body for these businesses? The rep said he “couldn’t find” our reservation and because of that we would have to pay three times the rate. Of course there was not Internet access so we could pull up our copy (Note to self: Carry all copies off all travel confirmations!) We found out later that he was lying because we called the head office and spoke to a supervisor who said the reservation was there along with the update when we called in and told them our train was running 6 hours late.) Anyway, we still have not got that sorted but my husband will deal with that later.
The next part of our trip was spent in Regina. We chose to spend a lot of it driving. I was born and raised never more than 15 minutes or so from the ocean and the mountains all around me. Saskatchewan is forever and ever flat for as far as the eyes can see. There are short spaces that have vallies but it is flat! And sadly there is a tremendous amount of flooding. Farmers have lost huge amounts of land to the flooding. Last time we were in Saskatchewan there was a drought and it showed. Now huge parts of the farmers fields are literal lakes.
OK. That is all for now. More later. For now I will leave you with this.
**In Canada a woman pays into benefits that will give her time off after her baby is born so it is NOT the employer that pays for a woman to spend time with her baby. What the man was saying is he didn’t think he should have to pay to train a new employee to take her position until she comes back. And for the record, Maternity Leave only pays about 60% of a woman’s previous wage and she has to have worked a minimum of 700 hours to claim this benefit.