Tag Archive | Cicely

For Bill

I met William “Bill” R. Walker and his lovely wife Evelyn in the fall of 2001. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, it should. They are my best friend Cicely’s parents. Meeting them was like meeting the real-life cross of the Huxtables and the Cleavers. I was instantly envious that Cicely had such great parents. They had come to Virginia Beach to visit Cicely and me in our rented condo, the condo which we now refer to as the “Argo Ct. Experience”. Bill and Evelyn were warm and effusive. They instantly whisked us off for shopping and dinner. I remember that first dinner distinctly. We went to Bangkok Garden, a local Thai restaurant. The food was so authentic that Evelyn and Bill were instantly transported back to when they lived in Thailand. Bill even spoke to our waiter in Thai, which delighted and startled him. If that wasn’t funny enough, Bill declared he was going to drink the sauce directly from the bowl of his Ginger Chicken. Evelyn was mortified. Cicely and I laughed. He didn’t do it. Although, he was “this close”. It was a wonderful evening – the first of many unforgettable times spent with the Walker family. It goes without saying that Bill and Evelyn became like second parents to me.

Bill worked in North Carolina after having spent a few years in Kuwait. Evelyn split her time between NC and Nashville, TN where she was caring for Cicely’s grandmother. Cicely and I would frequently visit Bill in NC. We would go to get mini-escapes from college work and our jobs as waitresses. It was serene and peaceful. I nicknamed their home the “Fortress of Solitude and Naps.” As a bonus, we were able to do our laundry, too. As college students who hated laundromats, this was the epitome of luxury. We once arrived while Bill was at work, loaded up our laundry, and fell asleep. Bill woke us proclaiming that he thought he’d been burglarized, but burglars don’t do laundry.

Cicely and I celebrate her birthday during one of our many visits

I relished these short visits. They were mostly spent relaxing, enjoying meals and having movie marathons with Bill. He’d regale us with stories from his work overseas and embarrass Cicely with stories from her childhood. Because Bill was also a photo enthusiast, we would “talk shop” about photography while Cicely read. We would make plans to go on photo safaris. Bill was very athletic and we’d trade adventure stories. Even in his 60s, Bill was still an avid cyclist and tennis player.

During one of our visits, Bill was considerably less energetic. He dismissed it and stated his doctor diagnosed him as being anemic. In March 2002, Bill was headed back to the doctor because he was feeling worse. That visit brought the worst possible news. Bill had Leukemia. It was a shock. How could someone so healthy and vibrant get so sick? Bill immediately began chemotherapy. We were all hopeful he’d pull through. Bill was a fighter. He had been a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War and followed that up with government work in many of the world’s hotspots like Panama and Kuwait. If anyone could fight Leukemia, it was Bill.

I was wrong. Leukemia had gotten a head start with Bill. Even with the chemotherapy and other treatments, Bill deteriorated quickly. By the summer, Bill was physically half the man he used to be. He was frail and thin. It was heartbreaking. All the while, he was very upbeat and determined. The months and treatments passed quickly.

Before we knew it, it was Thanksgiving. Because I knew Bill loved pie, I had found a local pie maker and brought an extravaganza of pies.  I bought 6 different pies – all his favorites. He cried when he saw all the pies. I told him that pies are not supposed to bring tears and that they must be terrible pies if they made him cry. He laughed. We had a pie party. By then, Cicely had moved back home to spend more time with her dad. At Thanksgiving dinner, I announced that I was moving to California. Bill and Evelyn were both very encouraging. They told me it was time for me to have my big adventure. It was the last time I saw Bill.

Between the holiday rush and packing up to move, I didn’t get another opportunity to visit Cicely, Evelyn and Bill in NC.  In January 2003, I arrived in Southern California. Shortly after that, Bill passed away surrounded by his family. I was unable to attend his funeral.

I knew then as I know now that Bill’s positive influence in my life cannot fully be measured. At the time, I was estranged from my father and had broken up with an emotionally abusive boyfriend. I was on the road to being what one might call a ball-busting man-hater. I’m not kidding. Bill doted on Cicely and was the kind of father I always wished I’d had. Bill and Evelyn frequently teased one another and “drove each other crazy”, but you could still feel the love after 40+ years of marriage. He actively volunteered and was an upstanding member of his community. Bill reminded me that there are good and amazing men in the world. If that wasn’t enough, he treated me as well as his own daughter. Bill’s time in my life was brief, but it left an indelible mark on my heart.

Because I was unable to attend his funeral, I wanted to find some other way to honor Bill. Initially, I thought I’d participate in the MS 100, which was an event that Bill regularly participated in. I quickly scrapped that idea when I discovered that I was in no way shape or form a cyclist.

My awesome friend Ben

My friend Ben trained for the L.A. Triathlon with Team In Training. Helping him fund raise and seeing him train inspired me. I was all set to train for the Nike Women’s Marathon with Team In Training. Then, life got in the way. I had a career that took all of my time. I stopped being active and put on weight. Years passed. I got married. I got divorced. I moved back to Virginia. I forgot about Team In Training and fundraising to commemorate Bill.

Regina and I after the Rock N Roll Denver Half

It wasn’t until last year that I thought about Team In Training again. I ran the Rock N Roll Denver Half Marathon with my friend Regina. Seeing her with the rest of the Team In Training Denver chapter convinced me.

Newest member of Team In Training

Here I am. After 8 years, I think it’s time I finally honor a man who meant a lot to me. I’m raising money for an organization that is fighting to find a cure for the very disease that took him far too soon. I don’t think any family should go through what the Walkers went through.

Please support me as I train for my 1st Marathon. It’s always been on my “Bucket List” to run one. I’ve tried to lotto into the Nike Women’s Marathon twice. This felt like my year.

Of course, donations will be greatly appreciated. I’ll have several fundraisers in the months coming up.

For those that would like to donate now, here is a link to my Team In Training page.

This will be quite an adventure. If you’d like to follow along with my marathon training, please feel free to read Anne K. Running Away.


If you only get one

If in life you’re only allowed one best friend, time and time again I’d pick the one I already have – Cicely. At the writing of this post, we have been friends for 10 years. Of those 10 years, we have only lived in the same time zone for 2 years. The rest of the time, we’ve been physically separated by thousands of miles. That does not deter us.. at all. Thanks to cell phones, the internet, and plane tickets we are as close as ever.

If you had told me at the MacArthur Mall Chili’s that this woman would become my best friend, I’d have laughed in your face. After all, this Trollope was on a campaign to get me fired for reasons that aren’t 100% clear to me to this day. Thankfully, I diffused her plan and somehow changed her mind about me. Then, we became fast friends and eventually roommates.

I’m convinced that our time as roommates solidified our friendship for life. We rented a condo that would make even the evilest of slumlords blush. All I have to say is broken water heater, flooded condo, and carpeting that was never replaced. I leave the rest to your imagination. In addition to the craptastic condo, we were working college students. Both of us worked multiple jobs to make ends meet and go to school full-time. If one of us was short on cash, the other would cover for her. We were a team. It was tough, but our lives were not glum. We had a menagerie of..um.. boy toys to keep us occupied whose names were inconsequential so they received nicknames like “Cabana Boy” and “Façonnable”. If we got bored with them, we window shopped, watched Sex and the City on VHS (?!) and ate cupcakes. (We were ahead of the curve on the cupcake trend.) That time was awful and wonderful all at the same .

We graduated from college and went our separate ways physically. She to North Carolina and I to California. This did not break our bond. When we both married idiots who both ironically had the last name of Rodriguez (no relation), we were the best Maids of Honor around. For her wedding, all I’m going to say is “Vegas Wedding”. I think the fiasco can be inferred. It was so bad that we have sworn to never return to Las Vegas. For my wedding, she was the ultimate Maid of Honor. I dragged this poor woman in the blazing SoCal Summer heat to ferry people from the airport, pick up wedding favors, arrange flowers, wrangle my family, and various other wedding madness. When my wedding day turned out to be the most disastrous day, she calmed me down and wished me the best.

These little anecdotes really don’t express my deep affection and love for this woman. In all seriousness, she saved my life not once, but twice. In the midst of our college experience, I suffered a major depressive episode (read: nervous breakdown). I was overwhelmed by familial pressures, school, and work. (This is being simplistic) When the days of not getting out of bed turned into weeks and my thoughts became suicidal, it was Cicely who urged me to seek professional help. She even had the name and numbers of professionals ready for me. The whole time she was compassionate and made no judgments about my condition. If not for her intervention, I doubt highly that I would still be here today.

When the marriage that she had wished to be the best turned out to be the worst, she was there. Initially, she was a shoulder to cry on and sounding board for my venting. When my sadness turned to hopelessness and despair, Cicely was among the first to tell me that there is no shame in ending a failing marriage. When I was finally fed up and bold enough to leave, she was there to drive me home. The whole trip she alternated between consoling me and making me laugh. Again without her support, I wouldn’t have had the strength to leave a marriage that nearly killed me.

Today in honor of her birthday, I’d like to toast my very best friend, Cicely Walker. She is a tour-de-force. I am happily Gayle to her Oprah. She keeps me grounded and laughs at my foibles (there are a lot). She is the sexiest and smartest woman I know – a deadly combination. Most importantly, she taught me how to be tough in the face of adversity and to do so with style, grace, and panache. When my hand is on the panic button, she is always there to gently ease and/or pry it off.

Happy Birthday, Cicely. I know you hate the idea of birthdays, but without it you wouldn’t be here and I’d be bored and lonely. I love you more than words can say!

P.S. I promise that I won’t let you marry another asshole 😉

XoXo, Anne K.

Where did summer go?

photo by Darius Daniel

I admit it. I’m a terrible blogger. I go through short phases where I write with exciting frequency which are then followed by droughts of silence. I can’t help it. Sometimes I disappear because I am so emotionally spent that I don’t have it in me to share my experiences. Other times I don’t write because frankly it’s a lot of work. I treat each blog post like a magazine editorial complete with perfectly retouched photos. Lastly, another reason why I don’t write is because I’m just too damn busy living my life. {Cue “Live Your Life” by T.I. & Rhianna… LOL} This has been the case as of late.

This summer has been the busiest summer I’ve experienced in years. There was no way that I could keep up with the blog posting. The best that I could do is post photos to Facebook and let me friends decipher my goings-on.

So what have I been up to?

There have been birthdays to celebrate.

Grandma’s 103rd Birthday

Auntie Fely, my sis Cathee, Me, Mom, and Grandma

The Birthday girl - can you believe she's 103?

Jacqui’s Birthday – Lady Gaga-themed Party

Jacqui The Birthday Girl and her main man Dan

the Birthday girl and me

I’ve seen A LOT of live music. Here are some of the shows I’ve seen.

Passion Pit at the NorVa

Rogue Wave at the NorVa

Interpol at the NorVa

Interpol at the NorVa

Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun at HK on the Bay - photo by Darius Daniel

Vinyl Headlights at Backstage

Public Enemy at the NorVa

There are more shows that I’ve seen, but didn’t get around to photographing.  A good portion of what I’ve seen are local bands. You gotta support your hometown music. After all, they gotta start somewhere.

It’s also be a summer filled with art.

Chalking of Ghent

My sis Cathee and my nephews Ethan & Franky

Art Everywhere Closing

National Gallery of Art – Washington, D.C.

My bro Nate hanging out at the National Gallery of Art


photo by Nate Kabaitan

Lollipops and 45s – Phoebus Gallery

Last Tuesdays at 45 degrees Lounge – photography by Neleh Sawsiengmongkol

Style.With.Pull – Phoebus Gallery

I entertained some houseguests.

My cousin Jovan

My best friend Cicely

I did A LOT of eating and running, but I’ll save that for their very own posts.

With all these activities, can you understand why I haven’t posted?

NYC: Eat ‘Til You Drop

March 11-16, 2010

Warning: This post is not to be read on an empty stomach. Also, this post is heavily laden with images. It’ll take some patience, but it’s worth the wait.

A trip wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t sample as much of the local fair as I can. This trip was no exception. I was feeling particularly deprived since Virginia Beach doesn’t have quite the selection of eateries that Los Angeles does.  Our main focus was ethnic cuisine and CUPCAKES! Good Gawd! I’m thankful we did a lot of walking. Otherwise, I would have returned 15lbs. heavier. Here’s a pictorial of some, but not all of our epicurean exploits.

Magnolia Bakery
401 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014

Review: With cupcake afficionados, there is a bit of debate over who has the better cupcake – Sprinkles cupcakes (L.A.) or Magnolia Bakery (NYC). As someone who has sampled both, I can honestly say it boils down to personal preference. Both make superb cupcakes. With Magnolia, I enjoyed the moistness of the cake as well as the airiness of their frosting. Because of the nature of their frosting, I did find the cupcakes best consumed immediately lest the frosting turn into a gooey mess. Oddly enough with Magnolia, my favorite dessert is not their cupcakes. I am HUGE fan of their banana pudding. {I blame my cousin Rhed}. I won’t recount how many cups of Banana Pudding I consumed except to say the amount bordered on the obscene.

Yum Yum 3
658 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036

Don Giovanni
358 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036

Cupcake Cafe
545 9th Ave
New York, NY 10018

Review: While extraordinarily gorgeous, the cupcakes were dry and dense. The flavor was akin to cupcakes made from Betty Crocker box. We were very disappointed.

Cupcake Cafe cupcakes

New Wonton Garden
56 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

Babycakes NYC
248 Broome Street
New York City, NY 10002
Review: A visit to this cupcakery turned out to be a tad controversial and a bone of contention. Babycakes is a Vegan and Gluten-free bakery. The former Cali girl in me really wanted to try their confections. Babycakes bakes with all-natural, organic and delicious alternatives free from the common allergens: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs. The majority of their cupcakes are sweetened agave nectar. As someone who has had many Vegan desserts, I wanted to see how Babycakes stacked up. The problem came because I did not warn my dining companions Cicely and my cousin Rhed that it was a Vegan bakery. As a Southerner, Cicely was particularly disappointed. I captured the look on her face as she tasted the cupcakes, but I shan’t post the photo lest she kill me and never speak to me again.

The verdict? They cupcakes are pretty good considering how they are made. Do they compare to regular cupcakes? Absolutely not. As compared to other Vegan desserts, they are quite tasty.

The Hello Kittys with Babycakes Cupcakes

Magnolia Bakery
Rockefeller Center
1240 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY

Note: Our trip to Babycakes angered the Sugar Gods according to Cicely. The wrath of the Sugar Gods entailed several delayed trains and getting completely drench in the torrential downpour. To appease the Sugar Gods, we needed to make a stop at a cupcakery that served “REAL” cupcakes. There is some credence to her claim. Once we got cupcakes, our night improved, as did Cicely’s mood.

The Hello Kittys with Magnolia Cupcakes

The Hello Kittys with Little Cupcake Bakeshop Cupcakes

Little Cupcake Bakeshop
9102 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Review: We scheduled a tweetup at this bakery. Because Cicely and I were not familiar with Brooklyn, we did not realize that this bakery was inconveniently located. With the inclement weather and several train delays, we arrived shamefully late to our own tweetup. I would like to say that the cupcakes made up for the delay, but I can’t. I found that the cupcakes were inconsistent. Either the cake was dry and seemed old or the frosting was gritty and too sweet. The company with whom we had the cupcakes with more than made up for the trek.

Gray’s Papaya
539 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10018

La Crepe
51 Spring St
New York, NY 10012

Oh Taisho
Frnt C, 9 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10003-7850

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
19 Old Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

New Home Search: New York City

I am rediscovering my hometown. I am thankful for the opportunity to take a moment and plan what comes next. But as I’ve said like a broken record, I am a city girl.  I love it and miss it desperately. The burning question is which city shall I inhabit next?  When I moved to Los Angeles, it was  a blind and impetuous move. It had its ups, but mostly downs. This time around I intend to do more thorough research. Aside from my  general love of cities, I have other criteria. I am in search of a city that is economically feasible, creative job market (read: I can get a job in design or advertising), cultured with a strong art and craft scene, ethnic diversity, and restaurant scene. A tall order I know, but in a way Los Angeles has spoiled me. There isn’t a set timetable for my next move. In my ideal universe, it will be early next year, but we’ll see.

Near Times Square

March 11-16, 2010

Not even two weeks after my cross-country road trip, I was coerced invited by Cicely to meet her in the Big Apple.  NYC had never been a consideration for me as a place to live. That is, until I met Cicely. I’ve known her for almost 10 years. In that time, she has talked incessantly about NYC and how she’d ultimately like to live there.  I had my misconceptions about the city and always thought that I could never hack it here.  So, I moved to Los Angeles instead. We all know how fabulously L.A. turned out. Courtesy of Cicely’s and few of my other friends’ (Pamela, Amber, Karla, and Anthonine) strong suggestions, NYC made the list of cities to visit and consider as my next home.

So, I took a Chinatown bus to NYC. For those that aren’t familiar, Chinatown buses travel between major cities at a minimal cost. In this case, my roundtrip ticket between Virginia Beach to New York City was $60. The stops are either in Chinatown or a in front of an Asian grocery. A tad odd, but workable. The bus left Virginia Beach at 1AM. We arrived in NYC at 6:45AM. When you do the math on that travel time, it’s disconcerting. I’m glad I was asleep.

"The View" from our Studio Apartment

I arrived before Cicely and checked into the studio apartment in Hell’s Kitchen that we were renting for the weekend. The apartment was spartan, but comfortable and well-situated near the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Times Square. I took a short nap and met the lovely Amy of ABCD Design for a late lunch in The Village. (Amy, do you recall the name of the place?) After lunch, I got a tour of the Village. Amy had me so enthralled with her stories of living in this part of NYC that I completely neglected to take any photos of the area. {Bad photographer:( } I did get to peek into some antique shops. After my outing with Amy, I wandered around the Village and parts of SoHo on my own. I was in design nerd heaven. I popped into several few furniture and design stores. I went into sensory overload at Paper Presentation. I am very proud that I didn’t buy a single thing. Then again, my strict budget had a lot to do with it.

Washington Square Park

Once Cicely arrived, the tomfoolery and adventures began in earnest. If you know anything about us, you know that things are never dull when the two of us are in cahoots.

Cicely and I, however, selected an inopportune time to visit. We happened to be in NYC during RECORD rainfall. Not just rain, sideways and windy rain. Of the 5 days I was there, it rained 4 days. 😦 The weather reports had predicted rain and I had arrived prepared with a raincoat and polka-dotted rain boots. We still spent a good part of the trip drenched. In spite of the deluge, we had a good time. The rain would not stop our fun. We traipsed all over town. We had delectable meals. Shopped. Ate cupcakes. Saw the Statue of Liberty. Ate some more. Shopped some more.  Had lots of cupcakes.  A torrential downpour was not going to stop us.

For part of the time, my cousin Rhed played tour guide. Having Rhed join us was a welcome relief. As much as I love my iPhone, it was cumbersome trying to read subway maps on my iPhone in the rain. As someone who lives in the city, Rhed was able to direct us to the most efficient subway routes and exits. The knowing the right subway exits is key. I can’t tell you how many times Cicely and I would arrive at the right stop, exit on the wrong side of the station and have to walk several extra blocks. There were moments when both of our patience was being tested.

Cicely and I even squeezed in a Tweetup (meeting with folks from Twitter). Serious subway delays caused us to be shamefully late. We didn’t get to see as many people as we would have liked. {Am really sorry to those that we missed}.

I didn’t think it was possible, but Cicely and I had more fun in New York than we did during our cross-country road trip. I was so sad when Cicely returned home on Monday. I stayed an extra day and half. Rhed and his roommate Dave generously let me stay at their apartment for that extra night. With that extra day, Rhed and I geeked out. We are gadget aficionados. As such, he indulged my requests to go to B&H Photo, first Apple Store in NYC, Lomography store, Muji, MOMA Design stores, etc., etc.  We did A LOT of shopping and walking around, which is good because we snacked a lot, too.

What’s the verdict? I am absolutely smitten with NYC. I felt like I belonged. The city simultaneously excites and scares the beejezus out of me. NYC is urban and gritty. L.A. was residential and glitzy. Of course, I am skeptical. Am I smitten because I was on vacation? When the vacation buzz wears off, can I live in this city? Besides, who falls in love with the first place they visit? Who does that?! So, I am going to check out other cities and visit NYC a few more times before I make any final decisions, but I gotta tell you NYC has set the bar REALLY high.

At Journey’s End

February 22-23, 2010 – Cross Country Trip – Day 5 & 6

Our spirits were high, but being on the road was taking its toll. Exhaustion was causing us to hit the road later and later. Day 4 had us waking up at around 11AM.  Our hostess Jennifer was very gracious and made us breakfast despite recovering from surgery. After brunch, we said “goodbye” to Jennifer and moseyed on.

Cicely and Jennifer

Since we missed our last two cupcake stops, we were determined to go to a cupcake bakery while in Atlanta. We surmised that there had to be several bakeries to choose from. This time, we made sure to do our research first. Our search brought us to Sweet Pockets Cupcakes.

Sweet Pockets Cupcakes
4338 Paces Ferry Road,
Atlanta, GA  30339


photo by Cicely

The cupcakes were delightful. Although, I was relieved that they had mini cupcakes. I don’t think my body could handle the sugar overload of the last couple of days. Fueled by an enormous sugar rush, we set out for Cicely’s mom’s house in North Carolina. We had barely gotten out of Atlanta when we got sidetracked {read:seduced} by another outlet mall. Don’t ask my why they are so alluring. I can only say that I am enthralled by ridiculous discounts.

After our latest shopping frenzy, we were starved. Cicely gleefully suggested we go to Krystal Burger. I had never had Krystal burgers before. As a Burger Aficionada, I enjoyed them.

With all of our stops, we arrived in North Carolina at an almost ungodly hour. I was so excited to see Cicely’s mom Evelyn. I hadn’t seen her since Cicely’s nuptials, which was 5 years ago. Evelyn has a way about her that makes you feel as though you’re instantly family. She also has a wicked sense of humor. In the same breath, she welcomed and admonished us for arriving so late. At least, we were armed with a peace-offering. We picked up some barbecue from one of her favorite restaurants.

We all stayed up late and chatted all night. It was hard to believe, but the Cupcake Tour was over. Cicely was headed back to Texas from here and I had the last leg of the trip to drive on my own. After spending days in the car and numerous snafus, our friendship was intact, if not better for having taken the trip together. Truth be told, I’m not sure I could have survived such an emotional trip without Cicely’s help.

After some brief goodbyes and a few more photo ops, I headed on to Virginia.  It was a mere 4.5 hour drive, but it felt like the longest leg of the trip. I was on my own and left to contemplate what had transpired and what was to come next. It was overwhelming. I’m not ashamed to admit that when the enormity of it all hit me I cried. Just when I thought I was going to cry myself dry, I had arrived at my destination.  After 6 days, 10 states, and 3,050 miles, I was back in Virginia. Leaving L.A. was the closing of a major chapter of my life and this trip was the perfect way to close it. It had been an exciting, hilarious, and cathartic trip.  In short, it was the trip of a lifetime.

iPhone picture

Keep on Rolling

February 21, 2010 – Cross Country Trip – Day 4

After another night of heavenly sleep (courtesy of my friend bourbon), Cicely and I went on the road again.

Great sleep = Happy, Sunshiny Anne (photo by Cicely)

Our first stop was Lila’s Cakes and Chocolates. We didn’t do our research again because it was closed. I was heartbroken. I was looking forward to having some beignets and a mini kings cake. No luck. We trudged on.

photo from Film Shreveport/Bossier

The Hello Kittys & I pause for a photo op at the Log Cabin Grill (photo by Cicely)

I hoped to have Cajun food. Some time in the middle of the afternoon, I pulled off of the highway in search of some Louisiana style cooking. We noticed a restaurant called the Log Cabin Grill had a crowd waiting in front. We took it to be sign that perhaps there would be good local cooking to be found. When we sat down and looked at the menu, we realized we were wrong. It was a Tex-Mex restaurant and its popularity is based on the fact that it is DIFFERENT from the local flavor. {Sigh} The trip was turning into a comedy of errors. Being the clever gal that she is, Cicely reminded me that Louisiana has great seafood and that I should order the fried shrimp. It would probably be delicious. I’m glad I took her advice.

Fried Jumbo Gulf Shrimp with Cajun Roasted Potatoes

Crabcake Appetizer

The Hello Kittys try to blend in with the scenery

Cicely presents the ever versatile Hello Kittys

After our filling lunch, we journeyed on. Since her cold was worsening, I forced Cicely to take some Sudafed and rest.  With Cicely asleep and the iPod fully charged, I sped through Mississippi. Once we crossed into Alabama, Cicely took over. Because we spent the previous day lolly-gagging, we were all business and drove straight through Alabama, only stopping to refuel the car. We were on a mission. We wanted to make it to Jennifer’s (a high school friend of Cicely’s) home in Atlanta at a decent hour. After 9 hours and 597 miles, we made it.  True to form, we got there at a less than decent hour. Jennifer is a gratuitous hostess because she didn’t mind our very late arrival. Once we were there, Cicely and Jennifer caught up with one another and I passed out in Jen’s easy chair. The trip was taking its toll.