Bradford and I took a litte mid-week break yesterday from Provo, and work, and school, etc... Bradford picked me up from work at one o'clock and we headed up to Salt Lake City for the day.
Our first stop was in Sandy for lunch. We had a two for one coupon to Sweet Tomatoes, a soup/salad/pasta buffet. It was so good! I ate way too much, of course, but because the food was all pretty healthy I didn't feel disgusting afterward. I think my favorite things there were the Ginger soup/broth and the itty bitty teeny tiny ice cream cones. Seriously, these things were adorable and held just enough ice cream to top off the meal. I wish I had taken a picture of it... Here's one of Bradford though, enjoying a tasty leafy salad:
After we finished lunch, we headed further North to downtown Salt Lake City. We parked the car and then walked to one of our favorite spots in all of Salt Lake City. Sam Weller's Bookstore. I love that place. We only make it up there a few times a year but we love it every time we come. Its a three story new and used bookstore and they have a collectibles section that has really really old books, rare books, special edition books, and also just really nice copies of books. Bradford and I have been building a small collection of classics. I think we have 25-30 leatherbound or wanna-be leatherbound gold lettered books. I started buying them years ago and more recently have started to buy higher quality ones. At Sam Weller's we can almost always find really nice copies for under 40 dollars. Its a lot of fun. Yesterday I had a hard time choosing just one... I found about ten that I wanted but we ended up just buying The Three Musketeers as well as Anna Karenina. After we made our selections from the collectibles we wandered around the rest of the store and ended up picking up a Tagolog-English Dictionary for Bradford. We made ou purchases, walked back to the car, and then headed off for Hogle Zoo! We were initially planning to see My Fair Lady at the Pioneer Theater Company but we found out that the show for that night was sold out, which we were kinda bummed about, so we decided a trip to the zoo to see some fluffy animals would help cure some of that disappointment :).
We saw all sorts of animals, lots of monkeys, some big cats, lots of birds, elephants, rhinos, a few bears, snakes, and lots of fun litte furry guys too.
The first animal we saw was a bunch of turkeys. Throughout the park there were turkeys and roosters and peacocks just walking around. Bradford was walking up to one of the turkeys and the turkey started to cluck and get kind of agitated and so we decided it was time to go elsewhere... Turkeys make me nervous anyway... one too many bad run-ins earlier in life. Here's Bradford posing with Ms. Turkey:
I also took a picture of one of the roosters for Bradford. He loves chickens/roosters and he got excited when he saw them.
There was an exhibit of a family of monkies (I can't remember what kind of monkey there are...) and they have a 6 week old baby and he was darling. He was jumping all over the place and playing with his mom and dad, running around, tackling clumps of grass... It was very entertaining and we got to be pretty close to them. This is a picture of the baby in one of his calm moments staring at a family member. I think he wanted whatever the big one was playing with in his hand.
There was also an inside monkey exhibit and in one of them there was a bunch of lemurs and one of them came running up to us when we walked up to the glass and he put his hands on the glass, so I did too (don't worry, I didn't tap on the glass) and I thought he was really liking our interaction until the next thing you know he and his cage-mate started screaming and making a really scary sounding yell... I was very glad for the thick glass in between us. Apprently I made some offensive hand gestures in lemur or something.
After the monkeys we saw a cougar that was swatting and biting at bothersome flies, some black bears who were very shy and hiding from spectators, some elephants, two rhinos, soem warthogs that were surprisingly really cute. and then we saw one of the most amazing animals ever. A Red Panda. I wanted one so badly after that. He was darling! If he wasn't a wild and slightly dangerous animal (though he looked as sweet as anything) I really think I might have climbed into his home and snuggled him. He has one of the cutest, sweetest, faces ever. I wanted to get a picture of him but when I went back to get it he was in his inside area and I couldn't get a good picture because of the glass. Next time...
We then saw some giraffes, which made me miss Kenya, and then we saw a tiger. I wanted him to go swimming in his little pond thing but he was too busy pacing back and forth at the top of his hill that he lived on. across from his exhibit there were some lynxs and they were beautiful. One of them was really preoccupied with the pacing tiger. His stare was locked on Mr. Tiger the entire time we watched him. He was even pacing to match the tiger's pace. I think he secretly wants to be a tiger.
My favorite big cat was a leopard. He was taking a nap on some very cozy looking grass and he looked very, very soft. Another furry friend I would have glady cuddled with minus the potential of death. Again, I wish I'd gotten more pictures but I either didn't think of it in time or there was glass that affected the shots.
We also saw a white alligator. He was lounging out on the bank of his pond and I found him very comical, even though he wasn't doing anything but laying there, sprawled out, and relaxing. I kinda liked him. As we walked into his exhibit there was a cave thing you had to walk through and it had a waterfall coming off of it so Bradford and I took a couple pictures in front of it:
We also saw some penguins that were really cute. I think it must have been nap time though because they all looked so sleepy. This one was my favorite, I think he was sleeping standing up (maybe that's normal for penguins... hmm, I'll have to wikipedia that)! I also took a picture of one of his fellow penguins.
We went inside their reptile/desert animal exhibit. Along one wall was all the snakes and bugs and creepy crawlies. On the other wall was birds and fuzzies (like a REALLY cuddly looking prairie dog that I swear was smiling at me...) and things that were less scary to look at. I stuck closer to that side of the exhibit. At one point Bradford had to prepare me for a sight I could hardly stand. Two bunnies! I don't know what it is about bunnies but they are one animal that can get me to squeal like no other... they were very fun to watch. Next to the bunnies was another cute furry friend. A sand cat. He was sleeping in a hollowed out log and poked his head up at us. Very cute.
We saw some very pretty birds, and on our way out of the park we saw this parrot:
He was chriping and kind of cooing, and he seemed shy but also like he wanted us to see him and admire him. It was so cute (boy I'm using that word a lot... I just can't help myself!). He even made a full turn on one of his perches and posed very nicely for us. I liked him a lot.
After we said goodbye the friendly parrot we heard another bird talking. Earlier we had seen a very quiet Macaw parrot and I thought it sounded like it was coming from his location. Sure enough, we made our way over to him and he was more than willing to give us a show. He was such a crack up. He kept doing funny litte tricks like the one I got him doing in this picture:
Ok, so you can't really see what he's doing very well, but he would hook his beak on his cage and then let go with his feet and just hang from his beak, and he'd wiggle his wings back and forth. The harder we laughed the more he did it. It was so neat. Such a smart animal!
And, of course, what Zoo is complete with a giant lion mouth to drink from? Classic.
We left the zoo, and made our way back south to Provo. Then Bradford remembered that there is a Filipino market up this way and he wanted to find it so we could buy some food so I could experience and he could reminicse (he served his mission in the Philippines). It took us a little while to find it (we stopped at a 7/11 to buy slurpees and get directions...) but it was worth it once we did. Bradford was really excited and it was neat to see some of the things he'd told me about. As we were paying, the clerk asked me if Bradford was my brother, haha. I laughed and said that he most definitely wasn't my brother and Bradford said "I wouldn't kiss my sister like I kiss her." The lady said, "Oh, well you guys look alike." It was kinda funny.
We drove back in to Provo and stopped at Maceys to pick up some groceries for Bradford and then we went back to my apartment made some pancit sandwiches (kinda like top ramen noodles on white bread). Bradford used to eat them in the Philippines and he introduced me to them about a month ago and I found myself craving them. We had some peppermint herbal tea as well and then we watched a movie.
It was such a nice day. Such a needed break, too, from all the surrounding monotony. And its always nice to be with Bradford, no matter what we're doing. I know he needed the break too so it was great to get out and do something enjoyable and different.