In Jim Cook's Archive


I’m writing about my vacation rather than any economic news because, after nine days, I’m out of touch with the markets and face a deadline at the printer. That’s what a vacation will do.

My wife and I were overdue for a vacation so we decided on a trip to British Columbia with our neighbors. The four of us flew to Calgary, Alberta where we rented a car and headed for Banff in the Canadian Rockies. We stayed one night at Rimrock (, a wonderful hotel with fine dining rarely matched anywhere. The next day, we drove to Lake Louise to observe the immense glacier and the beautiful lake it feeds. Then we were off to Jasper three hours to the north, through awesome mountain ranges and ice fields. We checked into our motel and went to bed early.

At 8:00 a.m. the next morning we climbed aboard the Rocky Mountaineer train ( and settled in for a two day ride to Vancouver. Almost immediately the staff began to spoil us with snacks and beverages. For breakfast and lunch, we went down one level from our vista dome to a dining area in the car. The forests, rivers and mountains swept by endlessly. At 5:00 p.m., we stopped in Kamloops, British Columbia where a bus took us to pleasant accommodations for the night. Early the next morning we were back on the bus and onto the train. This day’s scenery was different but interesting. By late afternoon we were in Vancouver and on our way to a luxury hotel.

That evening we walked a few blocks to Water Street in downtown Vancouver and found a table outside at the Water Street Café. The food and the people watching were marvelous. In the morning we took a cab two miles to Stanley Park, on the harbor for our morning exercise. From there you can see the impressive Vancouver skyline which has grown rapidly in the past 10 years. The city is almost 3 million people of an ethnic variety not equaled anywhere. After lunch in our hotel, we caught a cab to Granville Market. This area is comprised of small shops run by individual entrepreneurs. In one large ramshackle building fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, flowers and groceries were piled high in mind-boggling abundance. Scores of small operators rent tables and stalls to offer their goods. I contrasted this rich bounty of food produced by capitalism and its entrepreneurs with the starving populace of socialist Venezuela. It’s a contrast that should be rubbed in the face of Bernie Sanders and the know-nothings that support him.

The following day we drove a rental car onto a large ferry that took us to Vancouver Island and its main city of 400,000, Victoria. There we visited the famous Butchart Gardens with its truly incredible flower displays. The next day we flew from Victoria to Seattle and home to Minneapolis. Then it was back to work on this newsletter.

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