The Napa Valley Disaster

Last month one of my Best friends told me she wanted to go to Napa for her Birthday and do a girls trip out there. The problem was our other friend wanted to have her birthday In Napa too and said she came up with the idea first.

Oh man. It was the battle of the Napa Valley Birthdays.

After going back and forth about it, my friends decided neither one was gonna go. Well that was “great”…except I had already booked everything since I’m the “event planner”.

I decided I would go by myself since the resort room was non refundable. My best friend changed her mind a week before the trip and apologized about everything and said she wanted to come with me if I still wanted her to. I said “Are you kidding?? Of course! Let’s go!” However a day later I lost my phone at the beach and lost her phone number.

Long story short, we both tried to get ahold of each other but sadly weren’t able to. The day came and I reluctantly left to Napa Valley by myself.

I stopped at my local Burger King before starting my trip and the drive thru girl was really happy to see me. “Heeeey! How are you??” She said.

“I’m good how are you!?” I said. We don’t know each other…but we’ve seen each other enough over the years that it feels like we know each other. I mean she knows what I like to eat hahaha. Anyway she seems awesome.

An hour into my drive a cop saw me on my phone while driving and almost pulled me over. I saw him in the lane next to me out of the corner of my eye. I braked a little hoping to let him go ahead of me but he braked too. Then I braked a little more and he braked a little more too. Oh no. That was a very bad sign. I could feel him looking at me but I told myself not to make eye contact with him. Instead I started praying out loud, “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ…” I held the steering wheel tightly and looked at the road ahead of me. Suddenly the cop drove ahead, flashed his blue and red lights for a second and then sped off into the sunset.

I didn’t understand what had happened…except: Jesus Christ. It works!

A few hours later I’m finally getting closer to Napa Valley but my cell phone service was gone out of the blue. My phone started acting really weird too. It seemed to be operating on its own. I also noticed the battery was low so I connected it to the car charger but it wouldn’t charge even though it showed it was charging.

I had to get off the freeway and find a McDonald’s to get WiFi from so I could navigate to the Resort. I ended up in the bad side of town at almost midnight. I knew I had to get out as quickly as possible. It stressed me out to think that my phone didn’t work and I couldn’t make a phone call if I needed too.

The road to the resort was long and dark. There was almost no lights and it was empty with not a soul in sight. I drove slowly and gripped the steering wheel peering my eyes around wondering if I was going to die. It felt like I was driving myself to my own doom.

Then suddenly there it was: The Meritage Resort. Its one of the biggest resorts in all of Napa Valley. I felt a little bit better to see so many cars and large condo buildings. Still, it was almost midnight and there was no one around. I parked my car and reluctantly headed to the lobby to check in.

As I walked towards the lobby I felt a weird vibe. Almost as if I was walking into a ghost town. Why did I feel like this? I tried to shake the thought away.

The glass sliding doors opened and I walked into a luxury resort lobby. I looked around wondering if anyone was there. It just seemed so…empty…and creepy.

I’m not one to be easily scared but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was not right.

Suddenly I see two young women behind a counter. They both looked up at me at the same time. They didn’t smile. Then one of them said, “…someone will be with you shortly.” She used a creepy mono-tone voice that I’ve only heard in scary movies.

Then an older man with a bald head and creepy eyes came out of nowhere and in an equally creepy voice asked me what he could help me with. They all looked like characters from a scary movie. I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Where am I? I thought.

I told the concierge I was checking in. He asked for my ID to bring up my reservation and I handed it to him. As I stood there waiting, I restarted my phone and thankfully my cell phone service came back. I called my mom right away and told her I had just made it to the resort and was waiting for my room keys in the lobby. Everyone looked at me when I said that.

I got my room keys for room 3318 but couldn’t find parking and returned to the lobby minutes later. The concierge told me I could park down the street and walk to my room. Except…it was almost midnight, I was alone, and that was a long walk in the dark down the empty street. He sighed then added that I could park close to the lobby and they could have a bellman take me to my room if I wanted.

I agreed to that and the concierge sighed and rolled his eyes saying he would go get a bellman. They weren’t busy. I seemed to be the only guest in the lobby. I couldn’t help but notice though that the concierge didn’t really want to help me. He seemed happy at the thought of me walking alone down an empty street.

A minute later I walk up to the front entrance with my luggage and see a young guy waiting. He’s looking at me but not saying anything. As I get closer I asked if he was the bellman. He nodded but kept a solemn look on his face. He took my luggage and loaded it onto the golf cart. I felt like I was on an episode of The Adams Family. The bellman was just as creepy as everyone else.

I stayed on the phone with my mom though until I got to my room.

Once in my room, I locked my door and got myself settled in. I was sitting on the bed and realized that I still couldn’t shake away that creepy feeling. Something just didn’t feel right.

So I turned on the TV in hopes that some background noise might make me feel better. All the late night news reporters from the area looked creepy. Then the satellite signal seemed to go out and the reporters looked distorted and even more creepy. I changed the channel.

The only movie I could find was “Girl Interrupted.” Its based on a true story about a mental ward. Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder star in it and Angelina plays a sociopath a little too well…

I watched it for a few minutes but the creepy vibe just got stronger. I turned the TV off and tried going to sleep. Luckily I was able to fall asleep quickly.

That night I had a nightmare. I dreamed my mom was in trouble and in danger of being killed. I had to find her and help her. I never have nightmares but I had a nightmare every night that I stayed in Napa. Go figure.

I got up the next morning and got ready to do a little shopping. I went to the Napa outlets and I have to say, I’ve been to different outlets and this one is top notch. I found some great blouses for my mom at Talbots and a beautiful dress for myself at banana republic.

Next I stopped at Home goods and got Layla and Sophie some heart print blankets (for the fall) and a monkey stuffed animal for my boyfriend.

Later I had dinner reservations at an upscale restaurant called Brix.

It was one of the most gorgeous settings I had ever seen. Yountville, a town just up from Napa really is dreamy. It looks like the setting for a Hallmark movie.

The restaurant was absolutely ravishing and stunning with its modern decor, gorgeous landscaping and outdoor seating showcasing the lush grass, perfectly manicured roses and grape vineyards in the distance.

All the people in the surrounding tables looked so sophisticated and stylish. Thank God I dressed to the nines myself otherwise I would’ve felt completely out of place.

Dress is from Banana Republic, heels are GUESS
They wished me a happy Birthday haha…it was supposed to be for my friend.
The back of the restaurant – they grow their own veggies.
Ribeye steak, Mac and cheese, and spinach
Strawberry short cake biscuit for dessert

I was alone at a table for two but that didn’t bother me. I was enjoying the experience of being there surrounded by the gorgeous nature around me. I really didn’t feel alone anyway. There were so many people around me and everyone seemed to be happy and enjoying themselves. It honestly felt like I was invited to a millionaires backyard party. I loved how happy everyone was.

The food was good but not great. I had a ribeye steak and a strawberry short cake for dessert. The food definitely passes though. I would give it a 3 out of 5. The views were a definite 10.

There was one guy who stared at me as if wondering why I was alone. He seemed so perplexed by it. He stared at me from his table as if wanting to come over and ask me. I wanted to laugh and say, “Don’t worry about it. Jeeez.” Can’t a girl dine alone sometimes? My goodness it’s not a crime. Who knows…maybe he was worried. If he was worried maybe he had a right to be. I really shouldn’t be out all alone.

Anyway I left the restaurant and headed back to my resort room to run myself a nice bubble bath in the big tub. I had started my period and felt crampy and bloated which is probably the worst thing that can happen to a girl on vacation but I tried not to let it ruin my trip.

After my bubble bath, I put on some comfy pjs and I watched some tv in the living room. The only good thing on was Dr.pimple popper. As disgusting as it is I couldn’t stop watching it. She removed an ear growth a man had that looked like two balls hanging from his ear. He had been bullied for it almost all his life.

It was nice to see him gain his confidence back after she removed it. I felt so happy for him.

I went to sleep and the next day I got ready for my Bike Tour through the Vineyards.

I went to the resort lobby in the morning to pay for an extra night at the resort and I overheard another guest telling the concierge that their resort room seemed to be haunted. She said the lights kept flickering on and off the whole night even though they were turned off. She said her friends didn’t get a good sleep.

After I left the lobby that morning I stopped at a gas station to get some Tylenol and a coke for my cramps. It really sucks being on your period on vacation. Anyway after my cramps settled down and I was ready to the join the bike group.

I arrived at the bike shop and the lady there told me I could join the group but I would have to wait for someone to take me in a van to their location.

After around 30 minutes, an older little lady arrived in a white van, loaded my electric rental bike and off we went to join the group at their current location.

I had missed the first two wineries but I didn’t mind. I just wanted to get something out of it since I had already paid for the tour.

The older lady in the van and I were having a good conversation on our way to meet the group but as soon as we arrived she ended the conversation in mid sentence, got off the vehicle and loudly yelled, “Mike! I got one more for ya’!! I got another one for ya Mike! Denise is here!”

I unbuckled my seat belt and looked out the window. Mike our tour guide walked over quickly and eagerly. It felt so strange. It was the first time someone made me feel like I was an object instead of a human being. I kept replaying the older lady saying “I got one more for ya! I got another one for ya Mike!” It just didn’t sound right to me…I’m a person not some cattle being dropped off to the farmer.

Before I knew it Mike and the owner of the winery came up to me and started hugging me and groping me. I had no idea what was going on. They were grabbing me, hugging me and putting their cheek against my cheek. I was sandwiched between these two older men. I was in shock. Then I walked away from them to join the others at the table nearby.

I told my mom about it and she told me I should’ve put them in their place. She was so mad. I wish I would’ve told them to stop but I was too shocked. I thought: maybe they didn’t realize what they were doing? Maybe they were just extra friendly?

I tried to brush it off. There were two couples in our group – an older couple and a younger couple. They were the nicest people and I loved talking with them. Then Mike and the winery owner came over and we began wine tasting which I felt pressured into. I don’t normally drink anything and I’ve never been into drinking wine…but I did it because it was a group setting and I didn’t feel I had a choice.

For the record I still don’t like wine. I wish I did because it seems so fancy and sophisticated but I just don’t like the taste of any wines. Anyway, we had a picnic lunch which was nice. Mike and the winery owner kept smiling at me. I thought maybe they were just extra happy from the wine.

The winery owner decided to give us a surprise tasting last minute that wasn’t on the list…it was a “dessert wine” – extra sweet. The strange part was that he didn’t pour it in front of us like he normally did with the other wines. He brought small glasses out already pre-filled. I normally don’t like to drink anything unless I see them pouring it in front of me. I didn’t think anything at the moment though.

I drank the dessert wine out of courtesy. It was entirely too sweet and at the same time strong. I didn’t like it but I didn’t want to be rude. Afterwards we got ready to leave and Mike helped me with my bike helmet even though I didn’t ask him for help. He said he would put it on me and adjust the straps for me.

Again, I sort of froze. I didn’t want to be rude so I let him put the helmet on me. Selena, the girl from our group, and her husband stopped and stared as Mike adjusted the straps around my face. I knew they thought it was weird. It was weird for me too but I didn’t know what to do or say. I should’ve told him I could do it myself. I’m slowly learning that there’s always a nice way to say it.

We began our trip back to the bike shop and rode by the most gorgeous vineyards, beautiful homes, hills, trees, and landscapes. It truly was an amazing experience. I hadn’t rode a bike since I was kid.

Judy and her husband (from Virginia) rode behind me and Selena and her husband (from Texas) rode in front of me. Judy fell twice from her electric bike but luckily she was ok both times. It’s odd that while I will never see either couple again, they made a lasting impression and I’ll never forget them. They were the sweetest people.

If you’re ever curious about trying out an electric bike I would definitely recommend it. They make it so much easier to go uphill because of the motor assistance.

Group photo: me, Selena & her husband, Judy & her husband

Anyway we got back to the bike shop, took group photos outside and then said goodbye to each other. Afterwards Mike came over to me and whispered that I could still use my bike for two more hours if I wanted to. I was about to decline but he didn’t give me an option. He told me to come with him inside so he could show me a map where we could go.

As he was showing me the map one of the female bike-shop employees overheard and came over. “Mike, are you going to give a private tour?” Her voice was stern. She raised her eyebrows and waited for an answer as if catching him red handed. Mike seemed caught off guard and didn’t know what to say. They stared at each other. I wondered what was going on. Finally he said, “No. she’s going by herself.”

The thing is I hadn’t paid for a private bike tour. Mike was just offering it to me. He didn’t offer it to anyone else in our group and made sure to semi whisper when he told me about it. Everything seemed strange.

He continued to show me the back trail on the map and said, “when you get there you’ll know why I sent you.” I imagined it was a beautiful place but the way he said it seemed creepy. He no longer seemed as excited to show me the map. He suggested I stop at the Chandon winery for wine tasting as my last stop and sent me on my way.

I got on my bike and pedaled away. I couldn’t believe I was doing this…I was going on a bike ride all alone through a back trail…this wasn’t like me but I didn’t want to say no to Mike. I almost felt like I couldn’t tell him no. In a way I felt pressured into it. I told myself it would be fun and exciting though to pump myself up.

As I left the Main Street of Yountville I made my way through a back trail and right away felt happiness as I soared by the gorgeous vineyards and hills. This was great!

…Until I spotted a Prius car parked by a hill where the trail started to bend. It seemed suspicious. The car was parked backwards facing a dirt hill instead of the opulent views around. There was a guy sitting inside waiting…waiting for who?

It could be nothing…but what if it was someone who was waiting for me? It would be too easy to knock me over on my bike and grab me. I started to pedal faster and my heart started racing. There was no one around. No one would hear me scream. I panicked. Why did I do this? Why did I come alone? Would I end up being a “missing person”?

Suddenly I saw a few bike riders pass me and I felt relief. I calmed myself down and tried to think good thoughts. It was nothing. The car wasn’t even coming behind me. It didn’t seem like the guy in the car had even seen me.

The trail was normally lonely with a house only every few miles.

I continued on the trail and enjoyed the gorgeous views. I felt so brave for doing this alone. I mean I was basically risking my life being alone in the middle of nowhere. In a way it felt exhilarating. I kept thinking, I’ve never done anything like this before…How exciting! I might die but how exciting!

The beautiful trail of vineyards and winery’s came to an end and I made my way along the freeway with plenty of traffic.

I stopped at the famous Napa Valley Sign and a crazy rich Asian lady took my photo in portrait mode

I thought about stopping at the winery Mike told me about but ultimately I decided I didn’t want more wine tasting. It looked lonely and hidden up on a hill and I didn’t get the best vibes either. So I pedaled passed the winery and headed back to the bike shop.

What was Mike thinking sending me there alone? It would be too easy to do something to me. Im from out of town and alone – I would be the perfect target.

Anyway, I’m just glad I didn’t end up going to the Chandon winery and I’m glad the Bike shop employee interrupted Mikes plans of going with me for a private bike tour. Who knows what he really had planned…

I have my angels and Jesus to thank for for always protecting me though.

Once I was back in the resort condo I changed quickly and headed to the Spa to get a massage by a female. She was really good and I enjoyed the massage. I noticed though that there was a huge difference in how she massaged me and how my former MT (massage therapist) massaged me. Obviously this women stayed professional. My ex MT? Not so much. My ex MT was basically doing the 50 shades of gray massage on me.

That’s my “I have cramps because I’m on my period” face…so lovely.

By the way…I’ve been back to my Chiros office since the whole Awkward incident happened. I go for chiropractic adjustments every few weeks. It’s a bit awkward and I could tell both the staff and I remember what happened..but at the end of the day it’s not my fault My ex MT pulled the 50 shades of gray massage out on me. So far I’ve had good luck at not seeing him.

Anyway, after my massage at the resort, I headed back to my room, and changed my clothes so I could go see a movie at a nearby theater.

I was really excited to see Peter Rabbit 2. I wasn’t excited to be having an argument with boyfriend though. Why was he doing this during my trip?? Did he want to ruin my trip? Jesus…

He was jealous that I was going on a bike tour with a group of people…and that’s when he said something I’m sure he knew was going to make me upset.

At the same time it was a weird experience for me to have an argument with him. Believe it or not…that’s actually the first real argument I’ve ever had with a boyfriend. It was nothing really bad, we’re both very respectful towards each other but we just weren’t seeing eye to eye on a matter.

The truth is I’ve never been in a relationship long enough to have a real argument. Mostly I always break up with them within the first few months – which is not exactly anything deep. It’s all just butterflies, initial lust and excitement.

Anyway, I never knew what an actual relationship was like. I guess I was a relationship virgin. So in a way it was interesting to have an argument with my boyfriend. I kept remembering the movie where a guy smiled and said, “Ohmygod were having our first argument!” He found it endearing that they had reached that level of their relationship.

Spoiler alert on Peter Rabbit 2: It was not that funny. The rabbits are still adorable as hell, but the movie plot is severely lacking a cohesive plot, it seems all over the place and a lot of it seems to just be for shock factor. A lot of the jokes fell completely flat and no one laughed. I was pretty disappointed. Hell! I tell better bed time stories! Jesus Christ. I almost wanted to walk out of the theater.

Maybe they should hire me for Peter Rabbit 3. I have good ideas. just a thought.

Anyway, things didn’t get better between me and my boyfriend and the next morning I broke it off. I walked out of my condo dragging my luggage to my car, angry that he ruined the end of my trip.

Couldn’t he have at least waited till I got home to pull this crap on me? Jesussss. But no. And did he know I was on vacation? YES. I was so mad.

We ended things on a good note though. Maybe this is just the end of the road for us. Almost a whole year…almost every day…and now it’s over.

Well. Life is funny isn’t it?

Anyway, my final 2 cents on Napa Valley: I found out Napa Valley is Haunted with Ghosts! Other people have said the ghosts like to steal energy from your batteries which would explain my phone going crazy right before arriving in Napa. The battery was almost gone and it wouldn’t charge despite being connected to the charger and showing a charging bolt. My phone was completely acting crazy too. It has never acted like that and it hasn’t acted like that since.

There are soooo many Ghosts stories in Napa. It’s really bizarre. I would’ve never imagined.

So…go at your own discretion. Obviously Yountville, located north of Napa, is GORGEOUS. It’s something out of a movie – a very romantic movie. The views are incredible and there are so many nice activities to do, like bike riding, hiking, hot air balloons, golfing, horse back riding, mud baths and hot springs as well 5 star restaurants. However… I might never go back.

Between the ghosts and possible rapists/sex traffickers, I’m not thrilled about going back.

Sometimes being home is actually really nice.

Thanks for reading,

Denise