My bad experience in Napa
Wednesday the 8th 2013. Sitting at the San Francisco airport I never thought I would be that angry. I knew I would be sad about leaving the city that made it to my second favorite in the world just after Barcelona but I swear I would never imagine this sadness and just confused feelings.
Do you remember my first time in the US in summer 2012? I went to visit my American boyfriend of that time living close to Washington DC. It was my first time in the US and after he left me on the streets of Brooklyn at 2 am on Friday night in my PJ’s and barefoot still with other 3 weeks in the US ahead of me with no accommodation arranged, I swore I would never go to the US again. I celebrated the Independence Day as Independence from my ex boyfriend!
But hey, the travel dreams are just bigger than any man!
And then I was invited to visit Utah so I planned also a visit to casinos in Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and California. The Utah plans were unfortunately cancelled just a few days before I got there (yeah, the tourist board was super unprofessional with this one!) and I hated the US for the second time already.
But everything comes in three, right?
And so did my back luck in the US.
After the initial mixed feelings about Las Vegas, I truly fell in love with San Francisco and I thought all my bad luck in the US was finally over.
I was wrong!
One of the things I did in San Francisco was also trying the exquisite cuisine on board the Napa Valley Wine Train. It turned out to be my best train experience ever. Until something else happened …
I met there a guy (he no longer works where he did at that time but the important thing is he lived in Napa when we met). He had the deepest blue eyes ever, I swear! But as he looked gayish and especially in San Francisco area you never know if the guy is gay or not, I didn’t really pay much attention to him. That was on Tuesday.
And then I got his email inviting me for dinner on Friday after his meetings in San Francisco that day. I had plans every single night out of 10 staying in San Francisco apart from that one. So I took that as a sign and accepted his invitation ….
Everything was great and it turned out to be the most romantic evening of the whole 2013.
We both chatted about the future possibilities and we decided I should cancel my plans in LA starting on Sunday and just explore more of Napa Valley instead.
I hardly ever change my plans. Even less because of a guy. I’m too demanding for that and too much in love with traveling.
But this time I thought ”Screw you, plans, I can visit LA any time” and decided to give this guy a chance. It didn’t make sense at all for me to stay in Napa, a place of some of the best American wines, as I don’t drink alcohol.
It also made no sense to me to spend time with a guy who was passionate about wine as much as I hated it. And who looked nothing like what I was looking for in a guy. Not like my ideal man. But then I remembered my conversations with a few of my friends after my last break-up telling me to maybe find a different guy. So I gave myself a permission for that.
He was not traveling, not working online, he was settled and had a beard. Nothing of this looked appealing to me AT ALL.
But at least, he had no perfect ribbed body like my ex boyfriends screaming to the world ”look at me, I am an asshole”.
Unfortunately, my dad’s last sentence before I left my home town in February ”please, just not another American guy” was really bugging my mind.
However, I believed in one thing. People deserve a chance. And initially, it was just for 10 days in Napa after all before I’d leave to Mexico. Just 10 days of giving Napa town and its surroundings a chance to see that it has a lot more to offer than just the famous wine.
So there I was, taking my ferry to Vallejo where he was waiting for me on Sunday afternoon.
The whole week was amazing. I was supposed to catch up with work back in LA that week so I was happy he was at work until 5 pm. I had so much work to do I could easily spend 6 months just writing without taking any new trips!
And then, every afternoon he showed me around, we went hiking and even took motorbike trips to the places with the best views of Napa. He even made dinners for me. We also went to Stinson beach, my beloved Sausalito, and even for a bit to Sonoma and Santa Rosa. I really appreciated all of it. I so did!
I was happy. It was one of the happiest weeks of 2013 for me, if not THE happiest one. I even posted about it on Facebook. I don’t say I’m happy that often on my Facebook profile.
But on the other hand I was also upset. I was sad that in a few days I would have to leave because no matter what, I have worked on my travel plans with many people and taking my travel blogging job seriously, I could not disappoint them and just cancel any more of my plans to give this guy more time. Like I said long ago, travel bloggers and relationships are never easy.
But what if it was the time for me to settle down?
I tried to think of the best solution for both of us. I had travel plans until the end of August but might be able to sneak in California in between for a few days.
A week passed. I had the so hated ear infection so didn’t sleep the whole night from Saturday to Sunday. My mind was also busy with hundreds of thoughts.
It was early morning. He was doing his workout or whatever.
”Amelia, Ameliaaaa!” I was trying to get some sleep finally when at 8.40 am on Sunday morning I heard someone banging on the door. Then on the bedroom window, and back on the door.
Just heard ”Amelia” name like 30 times.
So I opened the door just to see still a bit drunk blonde girl asking me about Amelia.
”Who are you? Where’s Amelia if she’s not in bed? Where’s Ryan?”
”They are not here” I replied and closed the door.
If there were hundreds of different thoughts on my mind before, now they multiplied by thousands. I just did not understand anything. Was there supposed to be a different girl in Ryan’s bed? WTF?!
I sent a message to him. He got back within a few minutes asking who was looking for who. The only explanation I got from him was ”You know, I let people crush my bed when they get wasted at weekends and I sleep on the couch. The blonde girl was looking for her best friend.”
It made no sense to me why she would not know her best friend did not sleep in this bed. I knew Ryan lied. And after I changed so many plans to be in Napa, lost some $800 doing so and gave him a chance, it felt horrible to find out all this.
However, the worst thing was about to come. He left to have a coffee with a friend of his and left me in bed just like that. I thought that if I got some sleep after a sleepless night and really painful earache, I would feel better and this stupid situation would look different. Maybe there was just a simple explanation for this.
But once again, I was wrong.
Ryan came back after an hour and started screaming at me we had to talk it over. I had no idea what else he wanted to talk about as I really didn’t understand what was going on and him telling me more lies would not help. He got even angrier that I refused to talk to him in his house and threatened kicking me out with police.
I was in shock!
I knew that if I left, the whole nice week would be gone and no matter how much he would regret it all afterwards, he would never see me again. And that was just not what I wanted.
He left again and when he came back, I was just about to take a shower. He asked me again to talk it through.
”If talking for you means screaming at me with no reason and threatening me with police just because you are not honest here with me, then I am not talking to you.” I replied and shut the bathroom door behind me to calm down in the hot shower.
I was pretty fine afterwards and ready to forget about everything. There were still 3 more days in Napa and I thought the best would be to concentrate on my work that day while he could make different plans so we would both cool down.
I realized I was wrong again when I saw he unfriended me on Facebook. A while after, his landlord came to talk to me. He was in shock like me and was trying to help. Ryan told him to kick me out of the house because I didn’t want to talk to him. Well sorry but talking is not screaming like crazy, not in my opinion!
We talked it over with the landlord and he offered me help getting me a press stay at the hotel he was working for. I was just not willing to spend more money after I lost already $800 because of Ryan. And at least the landlord was a person with character even though he didn’t really understand Ryan’s behavior at all!
I said I was going to leave under one condition – Ryan behaving like an adult and coming over to tell me everything into my eyes. He did come back but just blamed me saying I didn’t give me a choice when I refused to talk to him about the whole situation. At least he offered to pay me back those $800 I lost changing my plans because of him. I would never come up with that idea myself but it would be fair, especially after how he treated me, so I agreed. But he said he didn’t have a check with him right now. He lied again because when I was packing, I dropped a pile of papers from his kitchen table by mistake and saw his checks there. It was just one of his many lies.
So I packed my stuff and just left. Yes, just like that. He stood there as if nothing happened. As if we did not even know each other. As if I was just a stranger walking by on the street.
I spent the next 3 days at a 4 star hotel in Napa swimming as much as I could (even though I should not with my ear infection but needed to get some exercise and happy serotonin) and trying to get some work done. Just doing anything not to think of this situation. But it was a mission impossible.
I saw Ryan’s office, the Wine Train, from my balcony. I heard the train horn each time it left. I also saw Ryan driving out of work. And I had to walk around the office each time I went to get some food.
And he just kept coming with excuses and more lies. First he told me he would give me my money back asap. Then he said he didn’t have any money and I had to wait until Friday which was his pay day.
I felt sorry for him and there were still all the great memories I had from our week around Napa. I still missed him and didn’t want to end it all up in a bad way. So to be fair, I told Ryan to give me just half of the money back so we would be equal.
But then I found out Amelia was his ex gf. I mean maybe not even so ”ex” after her best friend did not even know she would not find her in his bed. And I also remembered our conversation from a few days ago about how our parents both thought us to save money and never stay with 0 on our account. So the fact that Ryan had no money until his Pay day on Friday was just another lie. I was sure about it. I mean who doesn’t have $400?!
I could not believe how many times he lied to me in just less than 2 weeks. Nothing of this made sense to me. Not after he told me he split up with his wife (yeah, another thing I was not happy about when I met him – he was married before!) because she was not honest with him.
I mean, if someone does something ugly to you you really dislike, do you really do the same thing to someone else? Is this the way you treat someone who dedicates time to you?
Believe it or not, he did apologize via a facebook message. But he also threatened me with American law and policemen again afterwards and not sending me my money at all. And it’s Friday already and I have not seen any money. I’m sure I will not. Not after all his excuses and lies.
It just makes me furious to see that someone who seemed to be a great person, or at least he pretended it very well, messes up something and just cannot behave like a person with character and be responsible for his actions.
I hate liars. I hate people playing with others’ feelings. I hate people playing with others’ life.
And I hated that it was exactly what he did. I could only laugh at his ”I won’t do anything to make you angry” that must have run out of his mouth by accident on the first day.
I did not see Ryan since the Sunday incident. I was just a minute from him and he had no guts to make me leave with at least a neutral feeling if not a happy face. He had no guts to behave like a man and change the situation to better.
Because you don’t do all this to someone you invited over for 10 days. You don’t kick out anyone just because YOU fucked up. Not when the person changed important work plans for you. You just don’t do this. Not in this situation, not in any.
The last time I heard from Ryan was a disgustingly nasty facebook message I read before I boarded my flight to Los Cabos at San Francisco airport earlier on Wednesday morning.
I took my seat.
”Please, just take off already! Come on, move!” was the first time I have ever said that to myself when leaving a destination after years of traveling.
I looked out of the window and saw the San Francisco city disappear in the fog just 30 seconds after the take off. As quickly as I lost the view of the San Francisco bay, I also did lose my last good memory of Ryan. If it was our motorbike trips, Napa sunset views, finger-licking dinners or his huge blue eyes, I won’t tell you. I cannot remember it any more.
That was my second experience in the US ever. Also my second bad experience. No more American guys, dad? Hell, no! I promise!
Apart from all this, I really liked Napa. But will I ever come back? I doubt that!
Simple as that, I repeat … travel is better than sex anyway!
So my dear friends, do you still think I should give a chance to a guy who straight from the beginning is completely different to the one I am looking for?!