Here's the rundown:
In the evening, we attended a Matthew Perryman Jones concert in Conyers with a group of friends from church. It was my first MPJ show, and I was surprised to see him with a band-- well, a drummer and bassist. It was definitely a rockin' experience, though he did have some acoustic sets mixed in. The church, Rockbridge Community, has been putting on a fantastic summer concert series-- it's the same place we went to see Andy P. and Randall.
In the morning, we hosted another one of our Waffle Breakfasts for the residents of our apartment complex-- but had an unusually low turnout. However, we did have enough cinnamon rolls, fruit, and breakfast casserole leftover to share with our fellow church-goers the next morning, so at least some folks enjoyed the bounty.
During most of the day, we were thwarted in our efforts to get ANYWHERE around Atlanta due to the high volume of construction projects that encircle the city this summer. We eventually reached all of our destinations-- from Slope's in Roswell for lunch, downtown Atlanta in the afternoon, to Decatur for dinner, and then back to Doraville-- but not without a few detours and U-turns. No wonder we put so many miles on our car each year!
In the afternoon, we miraculously found free parking in downtown Atlanta at the CNN Center. Two friends, who have both been out of town (or the country) for about a year, wanted to meet at the busiest place in the city. Becky has been teaching as a missionary in Romania and is going to Cornell in the fall to get a degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, while Carmela is working with Campus Outreach through Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. Their original plans of playing in the Centennial Fountains were overruled by the afternoon rains, but just getting to sit and chat with them was enough of a treat for me!
In the evening, we spent some time with Becky and other friends at the Brick Store. It was my inaugural trip, and I think it really is an experience everyone should enjoy. We evetually were able to snag room for 10 folks upstairs among the cozy, rough wooden benches and tables. They have an eclectic and extensive selection of almost every brew imaginable, and the pub food is fantastic. (Well, don't try the Chicken Salad Melt, but the chips (fries) are great with some malt vinegar and salt!) I hadn't had chips 'n vinegar since my summer in England a few years ago--it's definitely an acquired taste-- but I crave it now. Next time, I'm getting their acclaimed fish 'n chips!
We celebrated potluck after the morning church service, and even with a small summer attnedance the fish and loaves multiplied so that everyone was satisfied. Some of the older folks in our church were not able to make it, though, due to health reasons, and their absence was strongly felt. One couple in particular has watched over all of us "youngsters" like adopted grandparents, inviting us for home-cooked dinners and fiercly competitive games of dominoes. They are missed.
In the evening, (after the obligatory Lord's Day nap!) we drove to the nearby Brunswick Zone for a bowling party with our residents. As a promotional event, the alley provided free games, shoes, snacks, and a hour and a half of games for as many folks as we could get to attend! About 7 families showed up for the festivities, and we ended up with 3 bumper lanes because there were so many young kids. We all had a blast. I'll be honest, I'm not usally much of a bowler. Case in point-- we went bowling with a group of other Apartment Life CARES Teams a few weeks ago and I didn't break 55 in either of the two games. However, last night, perhaps because the bumper lanes gave me confidence or I knew I wouldn't get to finish a full game, when I joined in on one group's lane, I scared two strikes, two spares, and a score of 120 before they shut down the computers. 120! For all you professional bowlers, that's nothing, but for me, it's incredibly rare! I *might* have done that once before, back in high school, but I honestly can't remember. I felt horrible because I had told them all I was a terrible bowler at the start of the evening, but by the end, the little girls were jumping around saying "Mrs. Allison is the winner!" *sheesh*
We made it home just before the Dennis deluge. It rained the entire night and into this morning. My parents, thankfully, were not affected by flooding though there was a power outage in South Alabama for a while. I'm just praying for all the folks from Apalachicola to the Gulf Shores/Pensacola area who've been hit twice this year with hurricanes-- they restoration efforts were just getting into full swing this summer.
Now, it's back to a busy week of graduate school and work and carpools downtown and evening meetings and late night reading for Team Redd. I'm preparing for the latest Harry Potter release by attempting to re-read all 5 previous books before Saturday. One down, four to go...