Today was suppose to be an optional 4th day of training calls Day of Action. Based on the email I got last night, there were going to be 2 sessions to choose from, at 1 hour each. Then there was something in the afternoon, but it the email didn’t say what. I was going to attend, but the email also mentioned that more people signed up for the day than they had space for. In the end, I decided to use today as a rest day instead of another training day.
Somehow I managed to sleep in until 2pm. I woke up at 9:30am naturally and thought I was awake, but drifted back to sleep and didn’t wake up again for 4.5 hours! I guess that means I really needed the sleep!
Once I did get up, I went out. I walked over to this store I had passed on the way to/from the Convention Centre that looked like a souvenir shop. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything worth while in it. The only bumper stickers they had related to Denver’s sports teams.
I then went outside and caught the free Mall Ride bus. This is a bus line that runs north and south along the 16th St Mall in downtown Denver, and it’s completely free. I rode it from California Street to Wynkoop Street, which is apparently the street that Denver’s Union Station is on.
I got off when I did because I had discovered there was a local bookstore around this intersection. Wow, it was an awesome bookstore! I was very impressed. It was in an old building and used real wood bookshelves throughout. But it had seats and tables everywhere in the store, and there was a lots of room to walk around. Even though it had a lot of stuff, it didn’t feel cramped. People were camped out everywhere. And there was a coffee shop inside the store. Oh, and they sold both new and used books.
I would highly recommend a visit to the Tattered Cover Book Store if you’re ever in Denver. Apparently, there is more than one location, but the one on the 16th St Mall is awesome. I ended up buying a LOT of books! I have a serious addiction.
After my shopping spree at the bookstore, and pondering why I always manage to go to bookstores without my reusable bags, I took the free bus back south to the Cheesecake Factory. It was quite busy, partly because it was a Sunday, and partly because there’s some sort of girl’s volleyball tournament in town and there were volleyball teams everywhere talking up space and making a lot of noise (including my hotel). It took about 10 minutes before I got a seat, but it was a great seat. I had pasta, which was great, and I managed to get a lunch-sized portion, so it wasn’t overwhelming. (p.s. The Cheesecake Factory’s portions are insanely large, so the lunch-sized portion was massive.)
Since I was full from my pasta, I ordered a cheesecake to take with me. A 6″ strawberry cheesecake! Thankfully they must freeze their cheesecakes, so it not only stayed cold till I got back to the hotel, but it’s still fresh inside the little fridge in my room. (There’s a sign inside the fridge that says it’s not a very cold fridge and isn’t designed to keep food cold at a safe temperature. But it seems to be doing a great job anyway.)
The only downside of bringing a whole cheesecake back to the hotel is that I completely forgot I don’t have a plate, a knife, or a fork. I probably could have called room service and asked for those things, but I had a spoon leftover from yesterday, so I used a flimsy plastic spoon to eat some of my cheesecake tonight. The strawberries were still frozen, so I didn’t end up eating very much.
When I got back to the hotel, I went to the valet parking desk and asked the guys there is I could get my car at 9am tomorrow (i.e. could they have it ready). They told me they don’t really do that because it doesn’t take long for them to get a car. He suggested I simply call down 10-15 mins before I needed it and it would be ready. (This, then, shed some light on my problems yesterday with the valet. Apparently the person who was manning the guest services text chat didn’t know the rules and promised something they should not have promised.) I also asked if I could organize and load some stuff in my car tonight, and they said yes. They even brought the car up from a lower level so I could get to it easier. I ended up bringing down a bunch of stuff (about ½ of what I need to) so I don’t have to worry about it in the morning.
But here’s the rub … they had backed the car into the parking spot, so if I tried to open the trunk, it would have hit the concrete wall, so I had to move the car forward a couple of feet. That wasn’t a problem, easy-peesy. BUT, when I got in my car to move it forward two feet, I discovered that someone had moved my seat dramatically. They moved it down, back, and reclined it. The only person who would have needed this sort of adjustment is someone who was 7 feet tall, and I didn’t see anyone that tall working the valet. So whomever did this was just being an idiot. The thing is, when I bring my car places like my dealer, they NEVER move the seat. My experience has been that valets or mechanics don’t touch the seat unless it’s absolutely necessary. I was quite peeved and will add this to my list of things to mention in my email to the guest experience manager.
It’s now 10:30pm and I’m watching Return of the Jedi. A New Hope and The Empire Fights Back was on last night. (Actually, I think the first 3 movies were on too, but I didn’t catch them.) I’m pretty much ready to go in the morning, probably around 9am. My goal tomorrow is to drive to Jackson, Wyoming, which is just south of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons National Parks. I’m going to stay there 2 nights and then go home.