October 19 – Atlanta to Chattanooga
A morning well spent catching up with friends over the breakfast table. Followed by a tour of North Point Church where both Dave and Meg are employed. The facilities are beyond impressive but despite its mega church status and huge building it all has a feel that it’s not the processes but the people that are the reason it exists. It was wonderful to hear about the work both of them do. To be honest I’m not real keen on these huge evangelical churches – there have been too many scandals- but I trust Dave and Meg and their down to earth faith and their bullshit radars so I trust that North Point is a place with a heart for people and social justice. Both Meg and Dave thought I would enjoy Andy Stanley’s latest book – the premise being that the Old Testament is called that for a reason and apart from historical context and background to the coming of Jesus, has no bearing on our faith as Christians. When you think about the things Christians are judgmental about, they all have their basis in an Old Testament Levitical law, never from the words or teachings of Jesus. I’m fascinated and looking forward to reading it.
Then lunch at Chick Fil A. Josh was anticipating this very keenly and enjoyed every minute of it. The chicken was so tender (soaked in pickle juice) and the coating tasted like old school Kentucky Fried seasoning. Waffle fries and a vanilla thick shake topped it off. I was a bit torn about eating there because of the controversy over not paying for birth control on their employees health care, but Dave and Meg outlined all of the other areas they do good work for the community and their employees and I was swayed.
Next we visited an outdoor mall as I was desperate for my hair to feel normal again after sea and pills and sweat, so I went for a ‘blow out’. When Josh saw me he laughed and said I looked so American! My big hair is ready for Nashville!
It was then time to pack and hit the road. Farewell again Adamson’s. It was wonderful hospitality so typical of Meg. The south suits her! And it was fun to talk and laugh with Dave again.
Two hour drive to Chattanooga through some pretty places and typical American things waffle houses, IHOP’s, water towers, red neck trucks and so many Baptist churches.
Checked into the Westin with the friendliest bell hop ever!
Then we hit the streets to meet Josh’s friend Olivia and her husband Cam who run a craft beer venue down town called Barley. After a first hello in person ever (they met on a Smashing Pumpkins message board 11 years ago) we had a beer and then thought we better have something to eat. Those IPAs really hit you!
We ate dinner at The Bitter Alibi – (You were with us the whole time). A fusion of American staples with Asian flavours. We chatted to a local couple who gave us some tips for Nashville then we headed back to Barley.
Tried a few more beers and listened to the band playing. The singer reminded me of Jess.
Josh is heading out to party and celebrate their love of music with Olivia and Cam when the bar closes! I’m heading to that delicious bed with all of those soft pillows.