Jacksonville 904 January/February 2016 : Page 14

R&R ̈ WORDS BY ANGIE ORTH sively listening to the history, geography and folklore of the re-gion as it passes by outside the window. The hosts are at once warm and welcoming, informa-tive and obliging, and most im-portantly, they are keenly aware of nifty sights around every pass, from eagles’ nests in defunct telegraph poles to notable small towns with fascinating pasts. And speaking of notable towns, since the Rocky Moun-taineer travels only during day-light hours, nights are spent in destinations like Whistler and Quesnel. My overnight stay was in Kamloops, B.C., an adorable frontier outpost with farm-to-table breweries like the Noble Pig Brewhouse, whose charming proprietor served up fried pick-les that rival any I’ve tasted in the South. Back on the coach, anticipa-tion builds early and everyone wants to know what’s on the menu. Breakfast and lunch, sourced from the very regions the train passes through, are served in the private lower level dining car (also with huge win-dows). As part of the culinary ad-venture, there are fresh morning scones and an afternoon wine and cheese service delivered di-rectly to your seat. The food and wine (or other beverage—there’s a full bar) are always flowing and included in the price, as is lug-gage delivery service to and from each overnight hotel. Imag-ine never having to lug heavy bags or wait at a carousel—it re-ally makes one feel quite posh. Adding to the overall feeling of sophistication, there’s never a call to strip for invasive security checks when boarding the train. It’s remarkable what a little dig-nity will do for a weary traveler’s morale. Where commercial aviation is mostly about getting where you’re going as quickly as possi-ble, an unhurried, multi-day adventure onboard the Rocky Mountaineer is a once-in-a-life-time experience. With stress-free departures and arrivals, a never-empty glass (or belly) and pain-less luggage handling, for once it doesn’t take any imagination to live in the golden age of travel, Rocky Mountaineer THE RIGHT TRACK Traveling from Vancouver to Banff via a luxury train egend has it that an air of sophistication and gentility once accompanied the act of traveling. Refined passengers dressed up for flights, packed endless trunks with morning coats and dinner jackets and en-joyed their epic journeys while string quartets provided the soundtrack. Impeccably tailored flight attendants with sparkling smiles passed around ice cream sundaes and Champagne, and no one paid extra for the privi-lege of stretching their legs or bringing a suitcase. Does that description overly romanticize yesteryear? When I’m wedged in a child-sized economy-class seat between an angry drunk, a noisy chewer and a seat-kicking unaccompanied minor, glorified yesteryear is where my frequent flying imagi-nation takes me. Fortunately, all is not lost in the travel realm, as I was re-cently reminded on a rail trip through Canada. There are still L magnificent, memorable and pleasant journeys to be taken and the act of getting from Point A to Point B can be as entertain-ing as the final destination—in the right context. Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, a train expe-rience that embodies the best of modern conveniences, gourmet cuisine and stellar service, along with an unhurried pace, I discov-ered an uncommon glimpse of the idyllic transportation jour-neys I always hope for, but never seem to encounter. The Rocky Mountaineer boldly claims to be a life-changing trip, and since it first left the station in 1990, nearly two million guests have tested the assertion (multi-day trips start around $2,000). On my jaunt from the Vancouver, B.C., to the Rocky Mountains in Banff, Alberta, we passed by coast and countryside, farmland and mountains, with chalky turquoise rivers snaking under towering railway bridges and the occasional bear or caribou pop-ping up to say hello as we disap-peared around another bend in the tracks. The bi-level coach in the pre-mium Gold Leaf service features a glass dome up top so rather than craning to see out a tiny window, the views open up bold and bright all around. You never miss a burst of snow flurries, an engineering marvel like Spiral Tunnels in Yoho National Park or a tumbling mountain waterfall. Guests are encouraged to wan-der around, both inside the train car and outside on the open-air vestibules, so the vibe, while plush, is never stuffy or formal. And when it’s 90 degrees back home in Jacksonville, it’s a real treat to inhale the fresh, crisp air of the Rockies in the height of summer. The onboard Rocky Moun-taineer hosts are engaging story-tellers, and while it can feel like a lot of information to process as they narrate the journey, there’s something soothing about pas-14 : January/February 2016

R&R: The Right Track

Angie Orth

Traveling from Vancouver to Banff via a luxury train

Legend has it that an air of sophistication and gentility once accompanied the act of traveling. Refined passengers dressed up for flights, packed endless trunks with morning coats and dinner jackets and enjoyed their epic journeys while string quartets provided the soundtrack. Impeccably tailored flight attendants with sparkling smiles passed around ice cream sundaes and Champagne, and no one paid extra for the privilege of stretching their legs or bringing a suitcase.

Does that description overly romanticize yesteryear? When I’m wedged in a child-sized economy-class seat between an angry drunk, a noisy chewer and a seat-kicking unaccompanied minor, glorified yesteryear is where my frequent flying imagination takes me.

Fortunately, all is not lost in the travel realm, as I was recently reminded on a rail trip through Canada. There are still magnificent, memorable and pleasant journeys to be taken and the act of getting from Point A to Point B can be as entertaining as the final destination—in the right context. Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, a train experience that embodies the best of modern conveniences, gourmet cuisine and stellar service, along with an unhurried pace, I discovered an uncommon glimpse of the idyllic transportation journeys I always hope for, but never seem to encounter.

The Rocky Mountaineer boldly claims to be a life-changing trip, and since it first left the station in 1990, nearly two million guests have tested the assertion (multiday trips start around $2,000). On my jaunt from the Vancouver, B.C., to the Rocky Mountains in Banff, Alberta, we passed by coast and countryside, farmland and mountains, with chalky turquoise rivers snaking under towering railway bridges and the occasional bear or caribou popping up to say hello as we disappeared around another bend in the tracks.

The bi-level coach in the premium Gold Leaf service features a glass dome up top so rather than craning to see out a tiny window, the views open up bold and bright all around. You never miss a burst of snow flurries, an engineering marvel like Spiral Tunnels in Yoho National Park or a tumbling mountain waterfall. Guests are encouraged to wander around, both inside the train car and outside on the open-air vestibules, so the vibe, while plush, is never stuffy or formal. And when it’s 90 degrees back home in Jacksonville, it’s a real treat to inhale the fresh, crisp air of the Rockies in the height of summer.

The onboard Rocky Mountaineer hosts are engaging storytellers, and while it can feel like a lot of information to process as they narrate the journey, there’s something soothing about passively listening to the history, geography and folklore of the region as it passes by outside the window. The hosts are at once warm and welcoming, informative and obliging, and most importantly, they are keenly aware of nifty sights around every pass, from eagles’ nests in defunct telegraph poles to notable small towns with fascinating pasts.

And speaking of notable towns, since the Rocky Mountaineer travels only during daylight hours, nights are spent in destinations like Whistler and Quesnel. My overnight stay was in Kamloops, B.C., an adorable frontier outpost with farm-totable breweries like the Noble Pig Brewhouse, whose charming proprietor served up fried pickles that rival any I’ve tasted in the South.

Back on the coach, anticipation builds early and everyone wants to know what’s on the menu. Breakfast and lunch, sourced from the very regions the train passes through, are served in the private lower level dining car (also with huge windows). As part of the culinary adventure, there are fresh morning scones and an afternoon wine and cheese service delivered directly to your seat. The food and wine (or other beverage—there’s a full bar) are always flowing and included in the price, as is luggage delivery service to and from each overnight hotel. Imagine never having to lug heavy bags or wait at a carousel—it really makes one feel quite posh. Adding to the overall feeling of sophistication, there’s never a call to strip for invasive security checks when boarding the train. It’s remarkable what a little dignity will do for a weary traveler’s morale.

Where commercial aviation is mostly about getting where you’re going as quickly as possible, an unhurried, multi-day adventure onboard the Rocky Mountaineer is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With stress-free departures and arrivals, a neverempty glass (or belly) and painless luggage handling, for once it doesn’t take any imagination to live in the golden age of travel, even just for a few days.

On the way home from Banff, my flight was cancelled and I had to sprint through O’Hare to fly standby on another airline. With the memory of how good travel really can be fresh in my mind, I just sighed and let my imagination take me back to the Rocky Mountaineer.

WHEN THE CATS ARE AWAY

NFL extends International Series

IT LOOKS LIKE THE JAGUARS will be spending even more time across the pond. In October, the NFL announced that it had extended its agreement to play regular-season games at London’s Wembley Stadium for an additional five years, meaning that at least two games per year will be played at Wembley through 2020. The Jaguars, who previously had committed to playing one game in London per season through 2016, will continue to play annually at Wembley throughout the agreement.

Since introducing International Series games in 2007, the NFL has achieved accelerated growth in the UK. According to the league, Sunday viewership of NFL games has more than doubled and the Super Bowl audience has increased more than 75 percent. The league also has developed new and stronger business partnerships, and according to internal research, has a UK fan base of more than 13 million.

“Our four-year London initiative has been every bit as rewarding as we anticipated, certainly due in large part to the league’s commitment to the UK and the world class experience that Wembley Stadium has provided the Jaguars, our fans and our partners,” says Jaguars owner Shad Khan. “This is great news for the Jaguars and the stability of the team in Jacksonville, which has come to embrace London as our home away from home.”

Earlier this year, the NFL and the English Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur franchise announced an agreement to play a minimum of two games per year during a 10-year partnership at Tottenham’s stadium, slated to open in the summer of 2018.

NFL clubs also approved a resolution to continue playing international regular-season games through the 2025 season and expanded the league’s ability to play those games in countries and territories beyond the UK. Football in Japan, anyone?

by Courtnee James

Read the full article at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/R%26amp%3BR%3A+The+Right+Track/2377468/288388/article.html.

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