I was trying to think of a title for this post, so I asked Bo and her family if Winnipeg had a slogan. Much debate and Googling ensued. Winnipeg does have a slogan, which apparently no one knows without looking up – it changed seven years ago. I’d tell you what it is, but I’ve already forgotten.
As you may have guessed, I’m in Winnipeg now. On Wednesday we left Halifax on ViaRail.
We were SO excited, because this time we were allowed to check our bags through to Toronto (we found out later that they could have gone all the way to Winnipeg, but this worked out just fine). I don’t remember if I wrote about the Ocean route in a previous post (Montreal to Halifax), but at that time we were not permitted to check our bags – we ended up in a tiny cabin with two good size suitcases, two carry-on size duffel bags, and two purses. Oh, and also two of us. It was cramped, to say the least.
Trains are filling up… it’s that time of year, I guess. We did “claim” a corner of the Park car – the last car on the train.
Bo talked knitting with a woman from Chicago, and we were entertained by Steve, the Activities Coordinator – he’s a man who loves his job! The train was an hour late getting into Toronto, and those of us catching the commuter train almost didn’t make it. We were walking down the platform at a fairly good clip, and caught site of the commuter train – the attendants were lifting up the mats that covered the gap between platform and train and closing the doors. We had to run. It wasn’t pretty, but we made it. Then the train stayed in the station for about 15 more minutes. I think they were loading our luggage 😉.
It was a smooth, um, train. You can say it was a “smooth flight” for a plane, what do you say for a train journey? They plied us with food and drink, and it was very comfortable.
The Toronto station (Union Station) is very comfortable, which is a good thing, as we had a very long (over five hours) layover. Rather than go out for dinner, we hunkered down in a comfy corner and took turns going for a Toronto wander. On my wander I picked up an extension cord. Bo and I have been fighting (okay, fighting is a little too extreme of a word!) for electric outlet use – there are only ever two plugs to use, and between us we have up to six devices that need charging. We made good use of our layover:
The waiting area got full… so very very full. Guess what? The train was also very very full. It was a totally different experience, and we spent a bit more time in our cabin.
Winnipeg is very pleasing. Mosquitoes are not. We’re staying with one of Bo’s brothers and her sister-in-law. They’re lovely and make me laugh. We’ve been out wandering around Winnipeg during the Aboriginal Day(s) celebration, to the Museum for Human Rights, and to several extremely amusing family events.
In addition to mosquitoes, I have another complaint about Winnipeg. Cats fear us. We keep trying to pet the cats that we see… calling “hey kitty kitty” on the boulevard outside the house where they apparently congregate… carefully approaching cats that are under cars or crossing streets (at least they’re crossing the streets after seeing us!)… making kissy noises into someone’s yard… etc. They all keep running away. Sigh. We’re nice people, honest… just a little starved for some cat -brand affection…
Ah well… Never give up, never surrender!