One year a while ago I had the pleasure of travelling the United States for a year. Previous to this in sobriety I was able to visit Hawaii. We went to meetings from Seattle to Maine to Florida and back to Southern California. The only states we missed were Montana, the Dakotas and Alaska. In most stated we were able to find an AA meeting. All this took was to call the local 411 and ask for Alcoholics Anonymous. We were never turned down for any requests from our AA brothers and sisters. A member would come and pick us up and take us to a meeting and then usually we would go out to eat after the meeting. We were returned to our hotel after thoroughly enjoying ourselves and making new friends.
The best meeting, we attended was in Nashville, Tennessee. After the meeting we went to eat and were there until 5:00am. There must have been about 15 people and the conversation ranged from riding the mechanical bull at one of the local watering holes to how many people had eaten alligator, among other very important topics to AA people at 2:30am. We did not stop laughing the whole time. I think we slept the rest of the next day.
We have been to a hotel that had an indoor pool in Wisconsin that was operational even with a blizzard going on outside. We have been stuck at the gambling tables for 4 days in Reno, Nevada while interstate 80 was shut down due to snow. And the best clam chowder to be found was in Connecticut. We found a puppy on the interstate and named him Alabama. Once we returned home, we were able to find a permanent home for him. We have had breakfast on the waterfront in Boston and ate alligator in Mississippi. Catfish and hush puppies were also on the menu in Tennessee. We have passed the site where Woodstock was held and also the site in Roswell, New Mexico where there were alleged UFO’S were to be found. We also visited the site where the first atomic bomb was set off. And the best garlic potatoes were found at the Giant Truck Stop in Gallup, New Mexico. And we visited Cabala’s outdoor equipment and clothing in Nebraska.
AA members would never cease to amaze us. One man came out in a blizzard in Nebraska so I could go to a meeting and take my 10-year chip. We had a regular who picked us up in Evanston, Indiana to take us to a meeting. What we learned about AA as a whole was that the same spirit of altruism was present no matter where we went. These AA members actually cared about us and our sobriety. And they were eager to hear tales of what sobriety was like in Southern California. So, there was something here for everyone. We made lifelong friends with the members In Yosemite Park. We truly lived the program during these trips. I would highly recommend to anyone who is able to go to a meeting in another area different from where they live. You never know who or what might pop up.