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Captain’s Log: #ANerdGoesToNapa

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Ok, I’m just start this off with a ripped bandaid: I was in Napa last month when the 6.0 earthquake hit at 3 in the morning.

My mom had planned this great, relaxing yearly family trip to Napa, CA months and months ago. She was so stoked about the trip mainly due to the Napa Valley Wine Train she managed to get us tickets for and keep even after 3 different reschedules. The neat thing about this train is that it takes you into St. Helena and back to Downtown Napa, all while serving you local wines and super fancy hors d’oeuvres, appetizers, dinners and desserts. Seriously, the silverware is actual vintage silverware. We starting in the wine tasting car, where we were served a starting glass of wine (me a glass of Merlot, my mom a glass of Chardonnay), along with a plate of  slices of sourdough bread with different cheeses and prosciutto, a Serrano pepper, seaweed salad, grapes and more. At one point, I managed to get to the back of the train (we were in the last car) and get photos of the vast Napa Valley and some of the side of the train.

Once we were moved into the dinner car and our order was placed, we were treated to a hot towel to clean our hands with, a salad, and more bread. I can’t begin to explain how amazing the food was! We didn’t even manage to finish our meals after stuffing our faces full of the fancies and wine. We end the evening with coffee all around, Crème Brûlée and a chocolate cake (with a candle for me to blow out). They gave me a small pack of cork coasters with the train logo on them as a souvenir for going for my (sorta) birthday. It was a slow start to the evening, but picked up a lot around dinner. We made it home around 11 and we all eventually passed out in our fluffy beds around midnight.

The earthquake hit just before 3 in the morning on Sunday. News reports said 3:30a, but we were out in the parking lot by a few minutes after 3. I was jolted awake by my mother’s yelling and spent the remaining time being unsure of whether or not the building was going to collapse down on us. The second it stopped, I did what I was always taught in school to do: head for cover under a door frame. So there we were, my dad still waking up and blind as a bat without his glasses, my mom freaking out and praying loud for Jesus to save us, and me trying to keep everyone from talking about how we’re gonna die.

Once I had my wits a bit more about me, I took a chance and ran back to the night stand in the middle of the room for my cell phone just in case we needed to call 911 for any reason. Naturally, it was on the way back to the bathroom that I ended up tripping and taking a chunk out of my toe on a dresser drawer and then trip on all the additional dresser drawers, a TV, a shelf, my dad’s cane, and the microwave. All within a 10-foot walk. *takes a graceful bow* You have no idea how happy and grateful I am that this is all that happened. Then, we got the fuck out of that building. Fast. Naturally, my clumsy ass was the only person who got hurt in our hotel.

In the thick of it, I didn’t get any photos. I did get some accidental footage while using my phone’s video camera flash to navigate my mom and I back in the hotel room an hour later to grab our stuff, but nothing you can really make much from. Turns out the shelf behind the TV fell, knocked the TV over and the dresser drawers fell on top of that. The microwave crashed to the ground, as well as my suitcase and stand. My makeup was thrown to the floor and my favorite eyeshadow was shattered. My dad’s glasses rolled under the bed for their own safety and his cane laid untouched in the middle of the floor. The wine bottles stayed safe, as did we. We cut out of Napa at 5a and managed to avoid the issues most were experiencing by taking an alternate route. 20 minutes out of Napa we finally saw power again.

We were extremely lucky to have not been Downtown when the earthquake hit like my mom had originally tried desperately hard to have us stay, and the public was far luckier that it had not happened during the Blues, Brews and BBQ event that was in the Downtown Napa area where many of the historical buildings fell apart. I’m very much convinced that this unfortunate event happening in the middle of the night while everyone was tucked safely into their beds. My heart goes out to those individuals, as well as those who’s homes and businesses were destroyed in the quake.