Hi, Mom!

Just got your email, and yes, I’m still continuing my blog, but it’s only about Vancouver at the moment. I’ll be getting back on the trains soonish (though I’m honestly not looking as forward to it as when I left Halifax – the Arctic air blasting down on me from the overhead fans is making me shiver just thinking about it, especially when it goes on for hours and hours and hours and the only place to escape from it is the stinky bathroom with people banging on the door to get in).

Just sayin’.  😀

Wish there were warm-air trains; maybe the Rocky Mountaineer has warm air. It doesn’t have wifi, though, or even electrical outlets (at least VIA’s trains have outlets). Pretty weird, if you ask me, considering how much $$$ they’re going to charge you to ride on it next year. I sure hope the dancing boys are handsome!

It rained earlier today, but the sun is back out and the beach looks more glorious than ever. It’s like Vancouver had a crying jag thinking about me leaving, and then when I told her I’d be staying a bit longer, she dried her eyes and smiled again. And now… well, maybe I’ll be staying a little bit longer.

Even though the hostel is shutting down to travelers tomorrow, it’s staying open all winter for large groups. The dorm I’ve been sleeping in for the past few weeks (yikes – that long?!!) was down to just three of the fourteen beds filled, and then we got invaded this morning by a group of Japanese school girls who are not only filling up the empty beds in my dorm but overflowing into the neighbouring dorm. There are around 400 beds in the building, and nearly all of them are filled now with school groups. Most people just come back for the night, so I don’t see that much of them, but a few of us “regulars” who more or less hang around all day hold the fort for them until they get back.

In fact, the place was a fort of sorts for a while. It was built as a military barracks, and then morphed through a number of stages (including being a hippie squat for 15 years during the 60s and 70s) before being leased in the mid-80s to Hostelling International (HI), which also runs the other two hostels in Vancouver (and which are also full to overflowing right now with large tour groups). And I thought travelling after Labour Day would mean fewer crowds!

I tried to book a ticket on the Cascades train (Amtrak) from Vancouver to Seattle, but it was sold out for all the days I wanted. Maybe I’ll go on it next year when I tour the States (oh, by the way, Mom, I’ll be touring the States next year :D).

Thanks for the financial update about Toronto. Strangely, I’m looking forward to going back there, if only for Whole Foods and the beef patties at Bathurst Station. Sure doesn’t take much to make me happy!