The Road to Monza

It has been 4 months since my last Blog post, and much has changed in both my life and my outlook.  I have put the past behind me, and I am firmly focused on the future.  To explain a bit more, I will repeat what I posted on Facebook.

Eight months ago, I set off on a five-week journey around the world, which I described in great detail on this Blog.  That trip gave me a chance to reflect on my life, both the joys and successes, and the traumas and tragedies.  It was also a way to say goodbye to my wife, Melinda, who lost a valiant fight against cancer last November.  In January, as I sat on St. Kilda’s Pier in Melbourne, Australia, I came to understand that the real purpose of my trip was to learn to feel alive again.

When I returned to the US, the adjustment back to normal life was not easy.  I found myself continually trying to relive the past.  I posted a few blogs about past trips, and it seemed my eyes were clearly focused on the rear view mirror.  One day, I woke up and decided it was time to embrace the future.   I now am off on another foreign journey, this time to the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, Italy with my son Chad.  I also have a new love in my life, and her name is Rhonda.  She will be joining me for part of the trip.  In sum, I am indeed feeling alive again.

I started my trip to Italy off with a solo 3-day drive through the hills of Piedmont.  This is an ancient land composed of small medieval hilltop villages, where some of the finest wines on the planet have been made for centuries.  While it’s not exactly undiscovered, this is one of the few places where old Europe still survives.  There is a great sense of family and tradition, and a joy for living life in a simple way.  I spent my first night in Alba, home of the illusive white truffles of Piedmont.  The next two nights I was in Borolo, home of the finest wines in Italy, which are made from the Nebbiolo grape.  I will have more posts on this part of the adventure later, but here are a few pictures from my first three days in Italy.



The Cathedral in Alba


The Pedestrian Mall in Alba


A Local Band at Work


Black Truffles in the Alba Night Market


Gelato of Course


Nebbiolo Grapes Ready For Harvest


My Barolo B&B


The View From My Room


A Major Barolo Wine Producer


A View of Barolo Village


The Local Coffee Spot


The Nebbiolo Grape


Along the Barolo Wine Route


The Beautiful Village of La Morra



A Mom and Pop Wine Operation


A Beautiful Day in Barolo


Sums Up the Local Attitude


The Vineyards of Barolo


A Typical Wine Shop



3 thoughts on “The Road to Monza

  1. Brad, it is good to hear from you! As Melindas’s 57th birthday approaches in the next few days, I have been thinking of you and hoping for an update.

    Hail to the Nebbiolo! This grape has thrived for centuries and brought joy to the world. Visiting this region seems a perfect launch for your new life. Give my love to Chad and Rhonda. I will follow your posts with alacrity and a little jealousy!


  2. What a wonderful experiences you must be having, seeing parts of the world that most of us only dream about. Although moving ahead must be difficult, you seem to be making the transition with ease. Life should be enjoyed and with those we love. I am glad that you are finding happiness. You deserve it.


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