Cheers! My Birthday Celebration with the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours

After losing my grandmother a few weeks before my birthday, I really needed to celebrate life. I know she would want me to do that. This year, I decided to ring in a new year of life in wine country. My soror traveled up from So Cal to visit. This would be her first time in Napa. I didn’t want to drive so instead, we bought bus tickets for the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours.

Let me tell you something, going on this bus tour was one of the BEST decisions I made. The Napa Valley Wine Country Tours bus isn’t just any bus. It’s a limo bus that looks like a VIP club lounge on wheels. We paid $119 for an 8-hour trip, visit to 4 wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties, continental breakfast and lunch. It was worth every penny. The tastings aren't covered in the bus fare, but they ran about $10-$25. Wineries won't charge you for tastings if you buy a bottle. I recommend this for tourists and any Bay Area locals who have folks visiting from out of town and want a short excursion to Nap…

Nate Parker Doesn't Have to Apologize

It seems like every time a big story breaks about some famous person doing something wrong, people demand an apology. Sometimes an apology is not enough.

People want Nate Parker, star and creator of the Nat Turner film Birth of a Nation to apologize for the gang rape he was found not guilty of being a part of. People honestly think he's going to apologize for something that not only he says he didn't do, but the justice system said he didn't do? Seriously?

Hell no he's not going to apologize. And what's an apology going to do? It's not going to bring the victim back. This is an example where an apology is not enough.

Nate Parker was either so arrogant, or stupid, not to have media preparation for, if and when this rape trial story broke. He saw himself more as a victim and showed little remorse for the whole situation. You can tell he learned very little about rape culture in his earlier interviews.

I don't want an apology. Actions speak louder than words. He should take some of that FOX films money and donate it to programs that help rape survivors. Or, hold events for boys and men to talk about respecting women and consent. And I think he should share what he tells his college-aged daughter about sexual violence to the public. Right now it looks like he don't give a damn and just wants to push this movie.

People can see Birth of a Nation if they want. I really don't care. And I'm not judging people who do see it. I'll wait until it's on video. With so much violence and racial tensions going on I'm not comfortable going to see that movie in the theatre. Also, I am sitting out on this because I do think he and his friend/college buddy/co-writer of this film raped that woman. I'm also disturbed that a historian of Black history said there are a lot of inaccuracies in the film, including a gang rape scene that supposedly moved Nat Turner to rebel. Apparently that's not true. Two men accused of gang rape, write a fictional rape scene in a historic film. I'm cool. I'll go see Lupita N'yongo's Queen of Katwe.

Update: There's a rumor going around that Oprah offered to help Nate Parker with some media strategies when his rape trial came to light. And he declined. If this is true, he made a stupid mistake. I always said that Hollywood would never greenlight a Nat Turner film. And from what I understand, others have tried to get his biopic made. I wonder why Nate Parker was able to do it.

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