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Day 1 - Saskatoon

December 5, 2011 — Natalie Thomas arrives in Saskatoon and is greeted with crisp air, berry jam and friendly Weather Network viewers. Follow her magical journey aboard the CP Holiday Train.

Natalie Thomas joins the concert in Saskatoon
Natalie Thomas joins the concert in Saskatoon

Natalie Thomas, reporter

My first step outside of the airport in Saskatoon was met with a cold, crisp air. After days of dealing with December rain in southern Ontario, it was a refreshing change.

I hopped into a taxi to get to the CP Sutherland Yard, and my driver's name was John. He had moved to Saskatoon from Romania five years ago, and he just adores this city. He raved about Saskatoon being a great place to live. (It reminded me of the scene in the taxi cab at the end of The Terminal with Tom Hanks. Great scene!)

When I arrived near the train station, I met up with two of our official weather observers from Saskatchewan: Joyce from Saskatoon, and Micheal from Prince Albert. We had warm drinks and talked about all things TWN. They also gave me some Saskatoon Berry jam and pie filling as a gift. Ryan, one of our viewers from Saskatoon, also brought me some Saskatoon Berry jam. Can't wait to try some on my toast when I get up in the morning!

I'm not going to lie: by the time the train arrived at about 9pm, the cold air was no longer refreshing. My legs were burning from the cold and I could no longer feel my fingers. When the CP Holiday Train concert began, the temperature was sitting at -7 degrees, but it was feeling closer to the minus teens with the windchill. I was told that “this is nothing” and “we've seen a lot worse.” I also saw dozens of children bundled up in their snow gear, smiling and having a blast. So I stopped being a baby and started dancing to the Christmas carols to keep warm!

Natalie joins the Holiday Train as it makes its way from Saskatoon to Calgary
Natalie joins the Holiday Train as it makes its way from Saskatoon to Calgary

My favourite part of the night was meeting some TWN viewers after the concert finished. I was able to speak with some people and take some photos. I wish I could have stayed longer but the train had to leave.

And so here I am, about to take my first sleep on the CP Holiday Train. It's a wild experience. The train is very old and regal. It's beautiful and fascinating. At the same time, for a girl with an active imagination, it's also very mysterious. I feel like I'm in the game of Clue. I'll take some photos for you in the daylight and you will see what I mean.

Off to bed now.

Next stop: Regina. Hope to see you there.

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