Thursday, August 28, 2008

GLR Runs out of Steam

Well, I figured this day would come, but I didn't think it would be until after the fall tour season. The following news clip says it all.

GrandLuxe Rail Journeys is closing down operations on Aug. 29, the company announced internally Tuesday morning. Employees were called into a meeting by Tom Rader, chairman and owner of GrandLuxe, who told them the company would
cease operations with the return of the train to Tacoma on Aug. 28. In a letter rafted to send to clients, Rader wrote: “We are financially unable to continue operations.” Later in the letter, Rader said he was aware that consumers with booked trips will want their money refunded, but, he wrote, “At this time we just do not have many answers to your questions. … I am personally deeply sorry that we have failed to provide your trip.” He urged those who paid by credit card to contact the card company for refunds. Evergreen, Colo.-based GrandLuxe, formerly known as American Orient Express, operated train journeys around the U.S. and Mexico.
As for me, I flew from Jackson to Grand Junction to spend my time in between tours. Since there are no more tours, I'm stuck. I'll see if I can get an inexpensive flight back to KC soon. Even while I'm here in Grand Junction, I'm doing some freelance PR and I'll get back on the subbing wagon once I'm back in town.

I still have a number of pix to post from the beautiful Northwest tours. I'll post those as soon as I can.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Northwest Navigation

I just started my second Great Northwester National Parks tour yesterday. This is absolutely beautiful country! I'll be sure to post photos when I'm off tour. Last tour had some really great people. One woman was 76, but she didn't look a day over 65. She had done everything in the world, including synchronized swimming, flight attendant, coach at Stanford for most of her career and travel the world.

I can't read my current group yet. They seem indifferent to the tours. Today we were in beautiful Mt. Rainier National Park, and they didn't oooh or ahhh. A smile or nod would suffice ...

Once I finish this tour, I'm off to John's in Grand Junction for a couple weeks. I'll be sure to post tours and my commentary for the trip then.

Happy rails!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Birthday Boys

I'm getting ready to head off on my Northwestern Parks Trip with GrandLuxe tomorrow morning. I've had a great time during my month off. I went down to Texas to visit John's family and go to his high school reunion, which was fun. I spent a weekend with my gal pals and visited everyone else. Life is good!

There's no question that I spent time with my nephews. Since I'll be on tour for my birthday, my mom had a birthday dinner for me with my brothers and their families. What makes the birthday so fun is watching how excited they get over singing happy birthday and blowing out candles. Check out my birthday pie!

The gifts are creative as well. Wyatt, the four-year-old, gave me packaged fishing worms for my birthday. He said if I didn't fish with them, I could make a necklace with them. Very creative!

Here's the motley crew - Myself, Wade, Wyatt, Levi and Chase. Happy trails!