Post Interview Wind Down:
-As you remember, Friday evening I was tired and dehydrated from the 6 hours of interview stuff. But we were in SLC and we were going to maximize our time. It was back to the Cheesecake Factory for meal #2. Friday night was the most crowded that we saw the mall/restaurant. Our wait to get in was 60-90 minutes. But our waiter was the best we had. A nice and cute gay (I’m assuming) fellow who was prompt, and lovely. I got the salmon rolls/sticks as a lighter meal since I’d overindulged to such an extent the day before, and since I’d already had a big sandwich. It was good, but there were only 4, so I’m glad bread was involved. The cheesecake was the lemon mousse one. Which was also, obviously, good.
-We went to bed around 10PM. You see how my sleep schedule got all messed up but I reverted to morning person almost immediately?
I did pop up at 12:45AM and couldn’t get back to sleep for an hour. Then I woke up at 4:45AM and had to coax myself into light surface sleep until 6:30AM. The only reason I didn’t just get up is I knew I had to run first thing, and I didn’t want to do it (at all, really) in super-cold weather.
-I ran out in the EconoLodge parking lot for the 3rd day in a row. Since it was later, it was slightly warmer. But my shin-splints were terrible. Also, I didn’t like people spectating–umm I can SEE you lingering around watching me.
-Traffic was light–especially for 9:30AM on a Saturday when most other places are busiest. I have no idea why no one was about, but I was glad it was congested and we didn’t have to mess about. Mormons–what happens on Saturday that no one is driving around at peak weekend hours???
-the Zoo was empty–especially for a Saturday–I LOVED it for me. It was great not getting pushed and blocked. And there was no loud, unruly kids ruining my time. It felt really chilly though. The temp was probably 45-49 F, but the wind was whipping about. I recognized that chilly NV wind, and I hadn’t missed it. . .
-They had a lot of turtles–I always love a giant turtle, and this one had a baby next to it.
-Black footed cats are like tiny ocelots–smaller then Choco-Luv! And they snuggled each other.
-The male lions were sectioned off at the time (for cleaning?) and very unhappy about it. They roared and it was so loud! That would be scary out in nature. The female lion started out alone, then they let another female out and they were so happy. They chased and played, and it was cute.
-The bears were funny to watch.
Rhinos are HUGE!
-There were tiny primates with itty bitty faces and hands. They ran amuk, but knew to pose for our cameras and did so with much experience.
-The orangutans recently had a baby, who was 4 months. The older sister carried him over to a window to see someone’s fast food. She showed him off, and he was already climbing. Seeing the two interact was really special. It was also really special that instead of running, screaming, and pushing I saw two different little kids go hug the gorilla statue with love.
-I want to get the sticks of lion shirt and the orange tiger ball cap some time. As it was, my luggage wasn’t going to accommodate much more.
-At cheesecake Factory meal #3, Saturday was randomly the LEAST busy, as was the mall. I don’t know if this is an anomaly, but I hope not. Again, do Mormons do something on Saturdays? I got the chicken scampi in a lunch portion (a mild dish to avert any stomach issues before I had to sit on a bus for 14 hours), and was super-confused when the sausage pasta was delivered. Did they bring it to the wrong table or was my order wrong? I don’t like wasting a perfectly good plate of food, and I’m OK with spicy sausage pasta, so I just took the plate they gave me. Our waiter acknowledged my dish was wrong and asked if I wanted a free cheesecake. The order was wrong, but I didn’t want to be all pretentious and make a big deal about it–it’s really not, and I liked both meals–so I said no. Then I was regretful, because who turns down a free cheesecake???! He should have just told me that’s what he was going to do, instead of putting it in my hands.
-I got the peanut butter, butterfinger, cookie(?) cheesecake and it was my favorite of the ones I tried. It also turned out to be free which was awesome! Well, I didn’t actually try it until we were on the bus Sunday, so I’ll tell you more on this later.
-The 2nd nice outdoor shopping center was cool, and featured a nice fountain.
-At the Walking Company they test your feet. I didn’t know I have super high arches. And apparently I pronate, which will eventually hurt my knees. It doesn’t bother me yet.
-We went to the Planetarium, but were too tired to pay to watch a show–I would have fallen asleep in a dark room with a comfy chair. The planetarium was busy and had a lot of interactive things, but I was soon paranoid of germs–a sanitizing station would have been good.
-Just like people in my program said, the homeless were all congregated in one area 400 x 400 (outside the planetarium). I liked that we didn’t see them everywhere like we do here.
-We initially set out to find the coffee shop by my program, but forgot a road, so ended up driving around. It was good to explore the city.
Next up: Our long, long, long journey home.