Road to Recovery (2)

by leahplotz

It’s been a long two weeks, but I’m keeping my chin up!

Today helped. 😉

Backtrack: International Student Orientation day. I won a day trip with Cafe Bus to the Yarra Valley, famous for its wine production in Victoria. Two of my friends were quick to book with me, and in the end, today was the perfect day to get out in the sunshine, sample some wine and pick some strawberries.


10:30am: Round One at Coombe Farms

I think it’s safe to say that we all needed this trip. Already knee high in schoolwork, well, we just didn’t want to even touch on that subject. We imagined we were in Europe (or Iowa!) all day: the hills, the lushness of the fields….my neck got real long whenever we drove past machinery or cattle! And that smell! Ahhhhh, that smell! The dogs roaming about like they should… just a great day out of the city.

Notable stops:

  • Yarra Bend park. Tens upon thousands of bats live here; it was cool to see them in their “home.” Funny story about that place. I screamed. I’ll tell ya about it some day over a Pinot Noir.
  • Dominique Portet winery. This 9th generation French monsieur is putting a little bit more “France” into Australia, and it made me smile.
  • White Rabbit [boutique] (micro)brewery. Apple cider to make your taste buds dance, lovely white ale. They support the creativity of their brewers and do things a little off-grid. Here is where I made my purchases (cider).
  • Our last stop took us all by surprise: Killara Estate. The view explains it all:

Check out that color! Killara Estate winery

At the end of the day, we went to a cafe in the city in order to recap our joy and bottle it up ourselves for a rainy day. It felt so incredibly wonderful to have spent it with these girls; they challenge me and make me laugh. They have been unwaveringly patient with me even as I adjust to my new medication…even I get surprised at my behavior at times. But we just had so much fun today!

I was thinking about this on my way home, exhausted but feeling sentimental. I saw I got a package from my old friend Jennifer from Davenport (Iowa). I went about “unpacking,” making food, being moody, and put off opening it, which I don’t normal do with packages!!! In this package, I eventually found, was a small envelope, nothing else. Very Jennifer: Let’s just say she’s less of a writer and more of a designer.

So in that envelope, red tissue paper. In that red tissue paper, a small box. In that small box, a necklace. The tears started flowing! The charm hanging on that necklace was in the shape of Iowa, with “IOWA” written on it. The other charm was a small heart.

What a beautiful way to end a beautiful day.