by CJ on THE VINE
posted Jul 22 2014 9:22AM
Let's face it ... pictures tell the story as much as words can when it comes to describing the fair experience. What can't be pictured is how I lost my voice after just one carnival ride. After doing live broadcasts Wednesday through Friday I invited my young adult children to come on out to the Napa Expo and have some mom/kid bonding time. To intice them, I told them I would go on any ride of their choosing. After surveying the rides, we stopped in front of one that consisted of two arms extending outward and attached to a car that contained seats front and back for perhaps up to 8 riders. One car was already pretty full, but the other one sat empty. We had thought to watch the ride once before making the decision to hop on. No such luck ... as the ride stood still ... waiting for some foolish victim to walk through the ride entrance. You guessed it, my kids and I became those victims. In making the decision to go on the ride, I figured, "Oh, what the heck, how bad it be?" and disregarded my inner voice that cautioned me to take a little time to think this through. Big mistake. As I was climbing into the car, I did ask the attendant if the ride went upside down. He kind of snickered and said yes. Sitting between my kids, I told myself this was a memory they would never forget. That was a prophetic thought ... for both myself and them! As the ride began, it took no time at all for us to be flung up into the air, twirled around, spun upside down and plunged back down to the ground. No joke, I could have reached down and touched the pavement, we were that low. I felt the scream start from deep inside, exploding into a piercing shriek that didn't stop for the entire duration of this ride. I don't know if my screaming gave my kids permission to scream too, but they were right there along with me. I kept telling myself that this too shall pass, and I can get through it, but the ride just kept picking up more and more speed, as I was tossed over and over and over again. When it finally started slowing down, I kept screaming until I was convinced it was really over, and I had survived (barely). Now the thing is, I've been to the fair before, and even gone on rides that took me around and around and upside down. For some reason, though, as I shakily stepped off this one, I could feel my insides rebelling from the nachos I had enjoyed a mere 30 minutes before entering the carnival area. Usually things settle down after a few minutes, but not this time. My kids persuaded me to hop on to the ferris wheel ... which looked tame, and actually was a calming experience. But the nausea remained with me for the next few hours. My voice went almost immediately. It stayed that way for the next 3-4 days. While I have no plans to go on any more carnival rides in the near future, if ever, you can still have Big Fun at the Napa Town & Country Fair. I even took some pictures as evidence. Looking forward to next year already!
by CJ on THE VINE
posted Jul 2 2014 10:58AM
Sometimes we take things for granted that we think will be around forever, but don't necessarily take action to ensure they really do. I was thinking about this a couple of weeks ago while shopping for a Father's Day gift for my husband. In an effort to support his ongoing projects I began the hunt for a work table where he could place his tools. I checked at Home Depot, Lowes, looked online but everyone knows that the go-to store is Sears when it comes to tools, garage orgainzation stuff, appliances, etc. Sure enough, when I checked them out, I found several work tables. So on Father's Day I dragged my guy off to Sears and made him make the final decision. He found exactly what he wanted. I've heard Sears is a somewhat endangered store, and an argument could be made, I suppose, that it's less relevent today, and yet, me and my husband often find ourselves heading there for tools, a lawn mower ... a work table. It's just that the visits are far between, so it's not hard to wonder how they stay sustainable. Last weekend we had a live broadcast at A&W restaraunt in St. Helena. You may have heard they've reopened. And the current owner is a previous manager - Pete Knight. Pete knows a little bit about running a successful A&W. After leaving the St. Helena site, he headed to Lodi, the birthplace of A&W, and bought a store there. Under his leadership it's been going strong for the last 15 plus years. So he's employed some of the same winning strategies in St. Helena ... including bringing back cruise night. That's why 99.3 The Vine was there ... to announce to everyone that anyone could bring their classic car or truck for viewing ... and buy root beer floats for just 95 cents! Did you know A&W has been around for 95 years? I didn't. How long has it been since you've had a root beer float from A&W? For me, I can't remember. So I made up for that on Saturday. I got lost in the creamy vanilla ice cream and the sharp taste of the root beer swirled together in a perfect blend, that on a hot day, is the final word in satisfaction. A&W is open seven days a week and cruise night is every month through October. Like Sears, I'd like to see A&W stick around for another 95 years ... and we can do both, with one tool or root beer float at a time! Happy 4th of July ya'll!