GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Thursday, June 14

The End of the first phase

Picking up where I left off yesterday.....

After the Martin Luther King Jr, National Historic Site, I headed out to meet with Lara and the kiddos for lunch. Lara and I met when I lived in Virginia before she and her husband Nick were married. I haven't had a chance to catch up with them in real life since their wedding. Since they now have two children, the oldest of which is three, it was good to be able to sit down to lunch and just chat. Lunch ended just in time for me to head off to World of Coca-Cola Museum in Downtown Atlanta. I know it wasn't a serious historical exhibit but it was a fun chance for me. I did go to see the vault, where they keep the secret recipe, but really I think that exhibit is over-rated. The chance to see the changes that have been made to the logo, the bottle, and even the signage fascinated me. I also got the chance to see a bottling plant in slow motion. It was pretty cool. The coolest part, was the tasting room. There were 64 different flavors on tap for visitors to try. Various brands of the Coke family from around the globe, including things like Nestle and Fanta. Beverly from Italy was just nasty... but the drinks from South Africa, Brazil, and France were pretty good.

After almost an hour and a half at the Coke Museum, I jumped in the car and headed to a local Barnes and Noble for the Laurell K Hamilton author event. Now, Laurell K is not someone I talk about regularly. Her books are very dark, and there are very few friends I recommend her to. I think she is an awesome writer and her heroines are the kind that kick butt and take names. Usually women who have learned to take care of themselves. Yet, there is a lot of violence and quite a bit of sex in the later books in the series. This is the first time I have attended one of her events and it was interesting. Her husband Jonathan was with her and even answered a few questions. They were very open about many topics that most society seems to shy away from. Granted, I was surprised at some of the questions that people asked. But I guess after more than 20 years as an author who writes the scenes she does, shy wouldn't be in her repertoire. Yet, you could tell she wasn't completely comfortable being the center of attention. The first thing she did, after introducing herself and Jonathan, was ask the staff to remove the podium so she could pace. I have some pics on my phone, but haven't had a chance to download them. Yet, the session was an open Q&A, and she answered every question that was asked. She then took pictures with everyone that stood in line. It was pretty cool.

After the signing it was off to the home of another friend of Boo's for a good nights rest (or to read until 2 am and then snag a few hours sleep) before heading on to the next leg of the trip. I had planned to take longer on my drive from Atlanta to Richmond Kentucky, but there wasn't anything that really interested me. So the only places I stopped were at the Welcome Centers. I took a few minutes to stretch my legs and take a picture and each center in Tennessee and Kentucky. There is an awesome outdoor Appalachian Museum just outside of Knoxville. I went to it on my original journey from DC to Utah 3 years ago, so I didn't feel the need to go again. (I put the link in there because anyone who is in the area really should stop in and see it.)

So a quick 6 hours and I was at the cat farm,..... without cell reception. I am feeling a little adrift. How can I live without my phone? So, it has been quiet here, I took a long nap this afternoon and I plan to hit the hay here in just a bit. I am not sure how long I am staying. I have to check in with my recruiter. It will depend on when I need to be to work. But I am here till at least Sunday. :)

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