22 Mar Last Full Day
We started off a bit earlier today, at least for us! After breakfast, it was on to The Living Planet Aquarium. Not a big one, but definitely an adventure, filled with great fish (the kind for looking, not eating….I don’t do fish!), for both viewing and even touching for some!
The day warmed up quite nicely, reminding us of home, at a beautiful 70°! We made our way north to Salt Lake City. On the way, we stopped at Ronie’s Love of Birds, a wonderful exotic bird shop that used to sell birds and supplies. Now, after several years of not being able to compete with breeders and seeing how ill-equipped most folks are to really care well for their birds, she no longer sells. She only adopts and then adopts birds out once she has nursed them to health. Jonathan’s love of animals really shines around and about birds of all kinds, so it was a treat and more education for him.
From there, we meandered through some of Salt Lake City’s side streets, enjoying the depth of some of the older home architecture. We landed for several minutes at Olympic Cauldron Park, the location of the 2002 Winter Olympics cauldron and medals stand. The boys weren’t much impressed, but nicely obliged as Colleen and I ooh’d and ahh’d at some neat history and snapped a few souvenir pictures.
Next, we found our way to Hogle Zoo. We spent a great couple hours enjoying the animals and basking in the sun. But there was a larger purpose here. Several months ago, after Jonathan had been at Heritage a short time, a friend recommended that I sign up for emails with Groupon and Living Social out of Salt Lake City to see what deals may come our way since we knew trips here were in our future.
One that I snapped up was a great deal on a one-hour photo shoot on location near Salt Lake City with a professional photographer. It had been several years since we had a family portrait done, and I’ve loved the contemporary on-site shoots I had been seeing many friends have done. We couldn’t get it set for December’s trip, but we were finally able to do it today. Can’t wait to see how they turned out, but I suspect they’ll be great! I’ll post a bunch on my Facebook page when I can!
After we wrapped up the photo shoot, we stopped for dinner at a place called Cafe Rio. There are several of them throughout the area, and they’re reminiscent of Baja Fresh. We decided they’re even more fresh! The freshest (literally) flour tortillas I’ve ever had, which surely was why they were the tastiest as well. Our taste buds are peeled for an opportunity to indulge there again before we depart Utah!
Once we landed back in Midway, we hopped on ooVoo and spent some time with may parents in Texas and my sister in Simi Valley. For those unaware, ooVoo is an online video calling service, and it beats Skype by miles I must say. If you do ANY video calling, ooVoo’s quality surpasses Skype and you can video conference with (theoretically, if you have enough internet speed) up to 12 other people!
Anyway, we had a great time catching up, and it’s a fantastic way for the rest of the family to spend some time with Jonathan. They obviously don’t get any time with him while he is at Heritage, unless on a home visit.
Which segues to the final thing I’ll mention for tonight. We’ve had a couple hiccups here and there with Jonathan, but nothing major. While he is very concerned that those hiccups will keep him from being able to do a home visit, we’ve tried to assure him we don’t believe they will. While they are minor hiccups in the large scheme of things, and I won’t go into details here, they are certainly things we will bring to our debrief therapy session tomorrow. These hiccups are the reason families do these visits. It’s kinda like working out the kinks on something that is hopefully being well overhauled.
That said, we are already planning for Jonathan’s first home visit to happen April 12-16. It will be short on purpose, because they know from experience that especially the first home visit can be overwhelming for the student AND family. It is the next step in the process of “testing” and “working out the kinks”. For those local to us that may want to see him, let me know and we’ll see what we can arrange.