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Grapevine : June 2011
Finally, I looked at him and said, “I have not had a drink for 14 years, 11 months and five days, today.” It seems that there is a univer- sal understanding that if someone is counting days from alcohol, there must be a good reason. The waiter stood up straight and loudly proclaimed, “no grappa for you!” My smart phone tracked my progress via text messages: “Welcome to Italy,” “Welcome to Austria,” and “ Welcome to Croatia.” Cycling through the river valley on the Croatian border was breathtaking. The water was so clear, mirror images of the landscapes reflected the whole way. As Slovenian maps bear little relation to Slovenian roads, there were some testing times when some of the cyclists felt the need to double-guess the kindness of strangers and the directions we were given. My solution was to keep my mouth shut and volunteer to go scout the alternate route in question. So, I’d cycle off and explore, come back and report a dead end so we could all con- tinue as directed. I was reading my Grapevines and emailing my AA buddies but, af- ter 13 days, I was really missing my meetings. I prayed for comfort and God gifted me with the opposite of drunk dreams. I started dreaming that I was in AA meetings. On the last cycling day, I woke up with a clear recollection of having been in mara- thon meetings all night long. I had one day back in Ljubljana before we flew out, so I called the two numbers Trevor had given me. neither were in use. The meeting times he had given me were for Tuesdays and Thursdays. This was a Wednesday, so I asked the hotel if I could use their computer, and discovered one English–speaking meeting listed on the U.S . Embassy website for a Wednesday night. I stud- ied some online maps, but the click boxes were also in Slovene. Somehow, I managed to find a map showing that the meeting address was only two ki- lometers from my hotel. I went down to the coffee bar and asked the guys if the map I had was accurate. They all spoke some English and drew an alternate walking route for me and I set off to see if the meeting existed. Following the directions to number 14, the location listed was a huge apartment building. So, where would the AA meeting be? I headed around back and looked for a base- ment, walked down some steps and straight into a locked doorway with AA and Al-Anon meeting schedules attached to the door. I took a photo of the schedule, returned to the coffee Finally, I looked at him and said, ‘I have not had a drink for 14 years, 11 months and five days, today.’ 14 June 2011 GRAPE_12-15.indd 14 4/29/11 5:57 PM