Heading into Day 2 of our train trip, we decided to skip our tasty train breakfast because we arrived earlier than scheduled in Winnipeg. We were supposed to arrive in time to give us a good two hours to wander around the city, but because we arrived earlier (and the train will never leave early), we had three hours. Rather than staying on the train for breakfast, while it was stationary in the Winnipeg train depot, we decided to head out and see if we could find breakfast or brunch somewhere in the city. And so bright and early, we headed out into Winnipeg. We considered dropping in on a few of our favourite customers, but it was pretty early, and I'm also pretty sure that while they may like buying their stationery from us, they don't actually need to see up appear on their doorsteps. We wandered around, and being a bit aimless, we didn't stumble across any brunch diners, as I kind of assumed we might.
Via Rail Canadian Train Trip Winnipeg Train Station
Inside the Winnipeg train station early in the morning.
Winnipeg Parlour Coffee Shop
We did stop by for coffee and pastries at Parlour, which was a nice break from the rattling cups on the train. And then we stumbled across the perfect park!
Wonder Pens in Winnipeg
Caleb is a big fan of steering wheels, and in a train! It was not only great to get off the train for a walk around, but good for Caleb to get some climbing and digging and sliding around in. Unfortunately, I received two mosquito bites in very quick succession, so we had to depart. Jon was laughing at me until he got bitten a few minutes later. And our last stop of the morning - you can always count on a donut shop to be open nice and early.
Bronuts Winnipeg
We hustled back to the train in plenty of time (actually, we had the earliest lunch slot, so we were mainly hustling back to eat lunch on time, rather than making sure the train didn't leave without us). After lunch, we had a nice long nap, a bit of roaming around the train, and then dinner and bed.


Here are a few shots of the inside of our cabin, our home for the trip.
Traveling on VIA RAIL Train Canadian
It was a bit tight, so hard to get photos with a lot of perspective, but the idea is that on one side we have the beds (upper and lower berths), and on the other side, we have the sink and toilet, which is closed off by a door.
Via Rail Canadian Train Trip
Via Rail Canadian Train Trip
You can ask to get your lower berth folded up, or your upper berth raised, or both, during the day. This gives you room for two large single seaters. We chose not to do that because we had Caleb napping during the day, so we had our beds out all the time. They also can just make up the beds for you with fresh sheets, which was really nice the one day they did it when we forgot to leave the sign out on the door to not do anything, although incredibly embarrassing since our cabin was an explosion of toys and clothes and snacks.
Via Rail Canadian Train Trip
Here's our little toilet area. To add to the delight of the trip, there were buttons everywhere to call for an attendant, including a surprise one in the toilet area. We taped a sheet over the button by the bed, but at one point we heard this ringing over and over, and looked over to discover Caleb pushing the button repeatedly. It's a hard thing to resist for a two year old.
Via Rail Canadian Train Trip
Another hard thing to resist: the tissue paper box right at Caleb height. We use cloth napkins in our home, so this was a real treat that was used with great abandon. Noses that did not need to be blown were attempted with five or six tissues at once, drips were immediately wiped, tissues were tucked into pockets. After our box was emptied, what do you know, it was mysteriously refilled by train elves.
We didn't find it too noisy between the cabins (we couldn't hear our neighbours on either side, although I'm sure they could hear Caleb when he was loud enough), but we could definitely hear people talking and walking through the hallways. And the biggest disaster of all: I lost my Lamy 2000 4-colour ballpoint pen. If I was at home, I would mobilize anyone and everyone available to help me look, but of course, that would be unreasonable on a train, and I'm nothing if not reasonable. Mostly to stop me from tearing apart our cabin, Jon said it would turn up at some point, so I should just continue on and it would appear before my eyes. I'll let you guess how that went over.


I hope it's not too much a spoiler to say that we're already in Vancouver! We're loving the fresh cool air here, and obviously enjoying ourselves a bit too much, as I've been having a hard time keeping up with the blog and Instagram and other things (although of course go figure Jon is having no problem keeping tabs on the shop and answering emails). We're staying in an Air BnB and enjoying such luxuries as having a TV, using disposable diapers, and an excellent supply of hot water for showering. More to come on our last days on the train, making it through the Rockies, the view from the Dome Car, and our meals on the train, as well as our arrival into Vancouver and our adventures here in the city.

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August 02, 2016 — wonderpens


Habits Of Happy Couples

Habits Of Happy Couples said:

Keep the faith, my Internet friend, You are a first-class writer and deserve to be heard.


Anonymous said:

Thanks so much for following along with us! There will be more to come, both the last leg of the train journey and also in BC :)


Anonymous said:

It was four days across, which seem long but passed by very quickly! Unfortunately with Caleb we had to pass up on some of the BC food we’ve heard so much about, but we did get a few bites of seafood and sushi – more to come!

And good news on the Lamy to come as well ;)


Anonymous said:

Thank you for the kind words! (I am hoping the intriguing is a compliment, haha!)

Brian K.

Brian K. said:

Hi Liz & Jon,

Thanks for the updates about your trip. It sounds very interesting. How was the time going through the mountains?


Anonymous said:

The mountains were truly breath-taking! I’m hoping to write more about our last two days on the trip, which will be going through Alberta + the Rockies, although the pictures really don’t do it justice! – it’s the photographer ;)


Anonymous said:

I completely agree – riding through the mountains and seeing the country up close is something spectacular, and it’s something you have to see to really appreciate how expansive our country is. I’ll share some more pictures soon, although it’s something to see with your own eyes! :)

Chris S.

Chris S. said:

Wow, you’re out here already!! How much travel time was that? Hope now you’re getting your fill of Chinese (and all the sub-groups) food and real West Coast fare.

So sorry to hear about your Lamy…


Harry said:

It’s great that you add photos to your blog. Keep it coming and have a fantastic time with your family.


Serena said:

Oh, those dome cars are incredible. I feel like every Canadian citizen should travel in one at least once/decade! Did you know that Canadians eat more donuts/ capita than people from any other country? Hope the Lamy turns up. If not, at very least, I hope it’s found by someone who really appreciates it.

Michael Simon

Michael Simon said:

You capture the experience in such an intriguing way, both in words and pictures!

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