Rocky Mountaineer Train for Heroes
Part Two (read part one of the story)
The big day came, and we headed off to Vancouver. We arrived at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, headed right back out to witness the supermoon eclipse, and then settled in. The next day we were faced with the reality of traveling with a child who lives with a chronic illness. A concerning health issue arose and we spent the morning treating him as best we could and deciding what our next move would be. Thankfully, he took a turn for the better and the concierge recommended a tour bus to take us around Vancouver for some sight-seeing. It turned out to be a fantastic day that ended with our meet and greet with the other families and the staff from the Rocky Mountaineer.
The Rocky Mountaineer team went above and beyond for all of the families on this journey. It began at the Rocky Mountaineer Station where the Train of Heroes was announced and the Starlight Children’s Foundation was introduced. Two of the kids from our group blew the whistle for the All Aboard call and we set off on our adventure while 202 Rocky Mountaineer employees waved us off.
It was the largest wave off in the history of the train, and that was due to the special children on board.
On the Rocky Mountaineer, we were given the royal treatment in one of the newly refurbished dome cars. The seats reclined, offered lumbar support and had foot rests that the kids seemed to enjoy the most. While we had trays and lots of room at our seats, we moved to the elegant dining car below for breakfast and lunch, where we were treated to lavish meals and outstanding views.
A parlour car was available to us to play games, take part in drum circles and juggling lessons and even get our faces painted. You may think the kids were the only ones getting in on the action, but the adults were just as keen. Rocky Mountaineer staff Tyler was dubbed “Sparkles” by the kids when he accepted some glittery face art.
Robyn and Alicia took care of us in the dome car. They ensured we all had drinks and snacks, and they shared their unending knowledge of the history and terrain in the area. I don’t think I ever saw them without a smile. Holliday had a demeanor true to her name. She has many talents, including juggling which she taught many of the kids. She entertained everyone in the Parlour car and included all of us in fun games where we searched for wildlife outside. At the end of our two days with them, we all felt a bit like family.
The kids were offered cooking classes with the talented chefs aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. Avery took advantage of two classes where she learned to make dishes like potato salad, tomato salad, salmon, chicken with spaghetti squash and an apple tart. She even learned how to properly plate a dish, and was given her own Rocky Mountaineer apron for her participation.
Brandon and Becky tended to our needs in the dining car. No request was denied, even when we asked for items that weren’t on the menu. The kids’ pasta with tomato sauce became a pasta with white cheese sauce for my particular little man, and Kellen was made a grilled cheese when he wasn’t keen on the menu options. The fine dining was a definite highlight of the trip. We all went home wondering who would bring us such delicious meals each day!
Check back tomorrow for the final portion of our story!