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Grapevine : June 2011
“no grappa for you!” I n sobriety, one of my healthiest cravings is for travel and adven- ture. Recently, I booked a two week hiking and cycling trip to Slovenia. When I checked the AA website for Slovenia, I discovered it to be entirely in Slovene, using the Cyrillic alphabet. So, I emailed the AA international office and received a response from Trevor in Italy. He told me there was no definite info for meetings, but he did have an address for a possible meeting and two phone numbers. I set off with my smart phone loaded up with the audio version of the Big Book, some speaker CDs, a few Grapevines and a lot of prayer. The Julian Alps border Slove- nia and northern Italy. The country is devoid of pollution and the hiking was incredible. I sent my sponsor a photo of a mountain we climbed and she sent a message back asking, “Did you touch the hand of God?” Some of the hiking was so extreme, that I not only touched the hand of God, I reached out and grabbed it, pray- ing out loud as I heaved myself over a vertical cliff face and rolling onto a tiny grass plateau at the peak. On top of this particular mountain, there were three Germans who greeted me with applause and offered to share their flask of brandy. Another day, at a mountain hut beside an Alpine lake, we were offered a tray of homemade blueberry brandy shots. One morn- ing,Ihadabitofatummyacheand the hotel made me fresh mint tea as a soothing agent. The waiter sidled up to me conspiratorially and said, “What really works is grappa. Let me get you some grappa. Really, grappa is what you need.” I smiled and politely declined all these various offers everywhere I went, but this waiter was insistent. At the border of Slovenia and Northern Italy, the universal language of sobriety is spoken aa on the road 12 June 2011 GRAPE_12-15.indd 12 4/29/11 5:57 PM