the prologue: Michelle & I have been riding together for the last three years. We have done plenty of local trips, Guzzi rally in western NY, Vermont weekend, the Catskills, and more western NY, to name a few. She's seen all the pictures from Euro tours & heard the stories, and after Joe & I went to the UK last year (wandering around England) and left her at home, she said "it's her time!" So this year Joe & a group of lads from the New England area headed over in July, and Michelle & I made our plans for September. The maps came out shortly after Christmas, the arrangement for rental bikes was made with MotoMader in Aarau Switzerland and the flights were booked. It was countdown time. We had a rough plan: The plan included some of the best passes the Alps have to offer, along with a helping of Dolomites, and side of Lago di Garda, and visits to the Ducati museum & the Moto Guzzi factory. There was also a strong possibility of meeting up with inmate Tagesk of "Riding in Tuscany" fame and his lovely Capa Superiore della Famiglia. We also hoped to have a drink with inmate "Cooltours", master of the [FONT=arial, Arial, Helvetica]Schwartzwald [/FONT]and a local of the Zurich area (and a new dad! ). So with that,, the plans were set. Now it all depended on the countdown.