I have a reservation!!!
So I finally made it to REI last night and managed to get a friend to come along too, so the trip and shopping was great. It was almost derailed when I got home to find that the car was missing. My boyfriend had taken it to get beer supplies. I told him I was going, so it was a real big annoyance to have to wait. But the shopping was great and I managed to spend 600$, ouch. I got an awesome pack, a set of great poles, a new pair of boots (that I have to break in) and a nice camp towel. I also got a few more packages of prepackaged food. I really will not be relying on this for the whole trip but the first part will be a difficult leg and I don't want to have to worry about food, preparation, or space. This will make for a hard trip with easy cooking then hopefully the trip will get easier and the food will get better as I start cooking on my own.
I had my exit interview this afternoon. My job has been rough the last few months since I had to take over for someone who left rather suddenly. I wasn't supposed to have to do this aspect of the job and have been bored to tears for the last six months. Because of it, I have not been working on any research or advancing the project I was working on and this was very frustrating. So, I told the interviewer this and got everything off my chest. I feel better that at least someone in charge of hiring here will know. Otherwise, the community here was great and the employer was great too. I really liked some of the benefits and wished I had taken better advantage of them.