The day after our wedding, we packed up the car and drove south to wine country.
Being frugal (read: poor) we decided to camp in Napa Valley before my interview the following day.
As a wine lover, I was elated to see so many familiar names as we drove up Highway 29 towards St. Helena. We drove past Chandon, Cakebread, Turnbull, Beaulieu, Beringer, and so many more. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
Setting up sleeping bags that night, I wasn’t thrilled about a camping honeymoon. Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed sitting around the campfire with a big glass of Cab in my hand that evening.
The next day we drove to San Rafael for my interview as a caretaker of a Napa estate. I loved the view out my window of the beautiful green hills. And heading over the Golden Gate Bridge I marveled at its magnificence and almost forgot how nervous I was.
We arrived at a nondescript building that required buzzing in, which made me nervous all over again.
A very kind woman was expecting us and welcomed us inside and requested we please be seated. Sitting there, on the edge of my seat, I looked around the two-story room and I saw an entire wall filled with company names.
Later I discovered these were all companies owned by the principal I would hopefully be working for.
After waiting for just a few minutes we were asked to follow the kind lady up the stairs and into a conference room. The room was richly decorated with a long mahogany table, surrounded by tall leather chairs in the center.
The poor country girl inside me felt out-of-place, and I had to remind myself to just be me. And to breathe.
We sat down where directed, and then three well-dressed men with notepads came in and sat opposite of us. They were all pleasant, but I also knew this was very serious business for all of them.
The interview lasted over an hour and I felt very good about my responses. I gathered my self-confidence and if I didn’t feel like it on the inside, at least on the outside I was poised and calm.
What surprised me was how awkward Judd seemed.
He laughed nervously too many times and I was uncomfortable with a few of his answers, but chalked it up to nerves on his part.
We were excused after shaking hands and hearing promises of, “We’ll get back with you”.
By the time we had crossed over the Golden Gate, my phone rang and the nice gentleman I had originally interviewed with said I was one of three that would go on to the next round, which was with the principal.
He asked if we could come back the following week, and when I explained we would need to head back to Oregon soon, he rescheduled the interview for the following day.
I could hardly contain myself in that moment. It was all I could do to be professional and say, “Yes, thank you, that works for me” and hang up the phone before I screamed.
My nerves were raw when I rang the bell to a lovely home in Sausalito the very next morning.