“Can you believe this is our life?!”
That’s what I was asking my girlfriends while soaking up my surroundings during the inaugural “Rock the Rails” music event.
I was happy, and I wanted to spread the love.
And what’s not to love? I mean, we’d just taken the Napa Valley Wine Train to V. Sattui winery to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy play in the vineyard.
Wait. That’s a lot right there. Let me back up and give you some more background…
I was recently invited to join some friends to experience the very first of the Napa Wine Train’s newest event series, “Rock the Rails”. The Rock the Rails event invites guests to enjoy dinner and drinks aboard the train while traveling to a concert at a winery.
We embarked the train at the depot in downtown Napa and were promptly greeted with a glass of bubbles (ain’t no better way to kick off the night).
As we departed the station and made our way through Napa proper, we noticed that this part of the train ride maaaaaybe doesn’t highlight the most lovely parts of the city. It’s mostly warehouses and fences. Not too scenic.
As it turns out, that’s the point of the whole Rock the Rails event series — it actually benefits the “Rails Arts District”.
What’s that, you say? Well, because the first section of the train ride isn’t very awe inspiring, the Rails Arts District project is working to get landscaping, murals and sculptures created in order to beautify this cross-town path. In fact, they already have a couple murals completed and each one is unique and colorful. It’s going to make a big difference to riders’ experiences in the future, and we were happily checking them out as we made our way through the corridor.
Further along the railroad the train left the city behind and the vineyards and wineries started to make an appearance. We happened to be going up-valley during the “magic hour” when the sun was setting and colors were the most flattering. I took about 102 pics through the window.
Here is just one of those photos, because most of them had my reflection from the inside of the window. Professional photographer I am not.
It was really interesting to see the normally familiar trip through the valley from a slightly different perspective. It was like being on a little vacation in my own town. That, and I wasn’t the one driving. Which was nice.
Anyway, around this time our food arrived. Oh, did I mention that this round trip train riding event comes with food? Oh I did. Ok. Well, to reiterate, we’ve got a train, food, drinks, and music. It’s the whole shebang.
Score? Ali: 1, plate of Local Cheeses & Charcuterie: 0. That little plate of deliciousness didn’t stand a chance…
Pulling up to V. Sattui Winery, we could see the party had already started. The opening act was already on stage, and I believe it was Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88’s, or perhaps it was Lost Dog Found — but because we were the last car on the train to disembark we didn’t have much of a chance to listen. *Sigh*
Regardless, it was a lovely setup. Really, quite magical in the distance and twinkling in the dusky evening.
Usually V. Sattui is a very popular winery here in Napa Valley. So much so that it’d been a while since I’d voluntarily joined the crowds for a visit. But tonight was different. Tonight the only visitors were those of us lucky enough to experience the inaugural Rock the Rails event, and I was glad to be back after so long.
We rolled in, picked up some wine from the lineup, and headed out to the vineyard to watch the band.
I’ll say, it was really fun. I’m not generally a huge fan of swing, but this band, playing live, just made everyone want to dance. So we did.
We elbowed our way to the front and danced with drinks in hand. They played some of their earlier hits, some familiar covers, and some new funk. It was a great party, and we all had a super fun time.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at V. Sattui Winery
As parties do, it eventually came to a close and we re-embarked the train for our return trip to the depot.
They’d saved dessert for the ride home, so between the selfies and dessert it was a quick (and dark) return trip.
Ahhh, good times. Can you see now why I’d mused to my girls that I couldn’t believe it was our life? Because we felt — and knew — that we are indeed very lucky.
A concert in a vineyard. It should be on your bucket list.
Interested? Find out more about the Napa Valley Wine train and the Rock the Rails event.
Ice Cube Says:
Chickity-check yo’ self
before you wreck yo’ self.