Years went by and, this past November, I started suggesting we revisit the plan. My parents, now in their 80’s, said they were too feeble to travel. They can both walk but they have a number of ailments that, not surprisingly, afflict people at their age. I said I would gladly accompany them.
I spent a day booking the train, the hotel, and the return flight to Toronto. They were by my side as we made our decisions together. The entire trip would only be a week but it was all we needed to savour the experience.
We left on Sunday, May 21. The train was supposed to depart on the Saturday but, due to a delay (incoming freight trains that use the same tracks as Via Rail often cause this problem), we had to wait until Sunday morning. This was only one of the tiny glitches that marred our excursion.
We saw a lot on our trip but the highlights, as we expected, were the Rockies.
When I look back on the trip, my favourite part was simply spending the time with my parents. We laughed a lot, especially when we staggered like drunks down the narrow hallways of the moving train, almost collapsing on people reclining on their berths.
I am glad that the planning of this journey finally came to its fruition. We shared memories and I learned a bit more about my parents even though I’ve known them for over 50 years.
I will remember this trip for the rest of my life.