SLC: More Than Mormons [UU Interview Part II]

12 Mar

So remember it’s Thursday and we’ve just arrived at the Greyhound station (after an 18 hour ride) at 6AM.  We are tired, we are carrying luggage.

Salt Lake City 1

-Hazel my 2008 GPS has never been updated.  It’s worked out OK.  But this trip, I guess she said enough is enough, and she would only do simulate–no directions at all.  Rendering the GPS useless.  This is most unfortunate and I’m going to have to do something about that before we move.  BUT it looked the city was this way, so I started walking that direction while Cool booted up directions on her phone.  This wasn’t entirely arbitrary–I had previously looked, and looked at Google Maps, scouting where our bus went, location of our hotel, restaurants, and the school, so I felt confident we could ascertain where things were.  The map had showed our hotel within easy walking distance of the Greyhound station.  The phone said to turn 180 and walk in a way that looked abandoned, out-of-town, and sketchy.  Her phone has never been good to me so I was sure it was shenanigans and she was taking us on a wild-goose chase.  It was still dark outside, there was construction, and I had to drag my suitcase–I was very nervous.  I like to know I can run away if someone messes with me.  There would be no running away in this particular scenario.  Also, it was cold.  And the walk seemed long and random, under interstates, and through neighborhoods.  I really hoped the GPS was taking us in the right direction!

-I saw the sign for the hotel and was relieved.  I also had to call my mom for her birthday before she went to school.  She cried and cried since she hadn’t expected me to call.  I think she was very happy I called.

-We had called to confirm our reservation would be held til morning.  I KNEW it would be an issue, and did not want them to give away our room.  Sure enough the guy working the desk seemed very confused and asked if a smoking room was all right.  Had they not saved our room???  After an 18hr sleepless bus ride, you just need to put your stuff down, use a private bathroom, shower and nap.  And not in smoke!  So I was going to be very crabby with them if we had no room til 3PM.  After much struggle a gal finally came up and got us a room.

-I knew if I didn’t run then (right then) it wasn’t going to happen.  And (very) unfortunately they did not have a treadmill.  So I had to run outside in the parking lot.  After a long bus ride and super-long walk carrying luggage, the run wasn’t so bad, actually.  I was already warmed up from stress/pulling luggage a long way and pretty happy to be out of just the one sitting-position.  This run would get worse with each passing day.

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-We had to take advantage of the free hotel shuttle to the airport in order to pick up our rental car.  It was a bummer that the shuttle left at 9:30AM, because that only left a half hour for a nap (by the time the check-in, run, and shower were completed) and we were exhausted.  I had slept well for less then 2 minutes on the bus.  I know this because it was less then one song on my ipod.  And only drifted for maybe an hour.  But we dragged ourselves to the lobby to catch the shuttle.  And I was afraid because our driver was on his cell phone while driving us–even though it’s also illegal in Utah.

-We got the car and I drove back to the hotel.  I had been hoping that the religious influence in Utah would make the drivers polite.  It was not to be.  Utah has picked up the bad habits of multiple states:  The Texas last minute lane change, California stops and generally unsafe speediness, Seattle passing on the right, Idaho pushinessaggression, and Spokane tailgating.  The driving was awful!  And I was freaked about the rental car because even one scratch or ding would make my life a nightmare.

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-I thought we might want to nap, but mostly we were hungry.  And I wanted to scope out the interview location and time how long it took, so we went straight to the University.  Even though at this point my eyes were hanging out of my head.  The instructions were written by the program director and turned out to be horrible.  Here’s an example.  She said to turn left at building 420 (on the right) then go back to the parking lot, and turn left before going up a hill, then walk up the stairs by the dumpster to the building on the left.  Which translates to:  Take the first right (ignore building 420 entirely, because it is passed our turn and on the opposite side of the street) and park in the 2nd parking lot.  Walk up the stairs to the building behind the one directly in front of you.  So we were lost and confused and making u-turns and driving around parking lots for more then 45 minutes.  By the time we were finished I had no idea how long a direct route might take.  Oh, and it was “snowing” more like a wintery slush, but that did not entice anyone to slow down.  I was happy, however, to see the plows on campus came out almost immediately–and this wasn’t even true snow!

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-As you can see from the photo, I’m super-tired.  But for Cheesecake Factory, you make it happen!  I was grumpy, tired, and starving after that debacle so we went to the Cheesecake Factory for meal #1 (of 3).  It was situated in a lovely indoor/outdoor mall that had a stream.  Very nice location!  I got the blazin buffalo appetizer which was so big I could not finish it.  And some coffee drink so I could function.  We’re going on 27(?) hrs of no real sleep here.  The place was pretty busy especially for lunch time.  Our waiter never brought the bread he promised, never offered water, never refilled (or offered to) my coffee, and never asked how our food was.  He did help the people on either side of us, which was off-putting.  It was like he was too busy, so he figured we wouldn’t tip well anyway and just ignored us.  Finally, I had to track him down and ask for water, a coffee refill, and some more dip–it’s annoying to have to do that.  We took cheesecake to go–mine was the upside-down pineapple.  As a self-fulfilling prophecy, I did not tip well for the subpar service.  But I hate that, because I totally would have if the service had been just adequate or better.

-We walked around the lovely, clean mall and really started to like this city.  Which I was surprised about, because I anticipated being able to get used to it and live with it.  The people didn’t have that desperate, dirty air about them, like Spokompton does.  There were kids but they were with their parents not running amok and no one was screaming or cursing at them.  The shops were expensive (Steve Madden, Coach, Solomon, AE), but it was fun to window shop.

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-I couldn’t go on at this point.  I would have liked to explore or do something, but I was fatigued and I knew if I pushed it too hard I would get sick:  Bus germs + chilly weather + tired = sick.  So we just went back to our room for some television and cheesecake.

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-The TV at the hotel did not have cable.  Which I didn’t anticipate or think was a thing anymore.  I hadn’t thought to even ask about something so obvious.  The 5 stations it did have were very staticy too–so we ended up watching stand-up on Netflix.  Good ‘ol Netflix–how did we ever live without that?  I say watched, but about a half hour in, I felt overwhelmingly tired and couldn’t keep my eyes open or my head from nodding.  We went to bed at 5:30PM (which is 4:30 in our time zone).

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Next, it’s interview day!

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