Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published May 2011.

Web Exclusive: Surprise Picnic in the Wilderness

A couple's persistence far from home leads to a fun day of unexpected fellowship.

"We felt we had known these people all of our AA lives and were welcomed with open arms."

In 2009, my husband and I were traveling on a well-deserved vacation from our home in the Colorado Rocky Mountains back East to see his family. We had just spent a week with them and had a wonderful time. We found ourselves in Nashville, Tenn., and decided to get to a meeting to celebrate my nine-year anniversary in the AA program. We looked up available meetings online as we now do regularly on vacations, and found very few actually posted online in the Nashville area. We did find one that we could make it to, and we set off to find our meeting.

When we arrived in the general area, some type of festival was going on and streets were blocked off in every direction. We decided to just park on the outskirts and walk to the meeting. As we drove around we started to notice the kind of neighborhood we were in … very rough and scary. If we went to the meeting it would mean walking back to our car in the dark around 9:30 p.m. We also had some of our belongings strapped to the roof of our car in a storage container and decided it would not be a good idea to leave our car or our things in this neighborhood. Every time we would reconsider just parking and going, a strong feeling inside of me would indicate that this was not a good idea. We reluctantly went back to our hotel room with no meeting.

-- Renee J.

Divide, Colorado

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