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Wine, Chickens and Love: My First Australian Birthday

Starting your life over completely is a scary, overwhelming and wonderful thing.

Along the way you run out of money, meet amazing new people, and parts of yourself come to life that have lain dormant for ages.

You have great days and weepy ones, and sometimes, right when you need a shot of hope in the arm, something good comes along to cheer you right up and give you renewed courage.

Like a birthday. In Australia.

I turned 37 this weekend and have to say it was the best birthday I’ve ever had. πŸ™‚

My bear pulled out one surprise after another to make it a beautiful week of great memories and new adventures and I love him for it. πŸ™‚

He started with Nearly Birthday Day, whisking me away to town for silly little things that make me happy. Like taking me to a new thrift store and letting me pick out whatever treasures delighted me: a slightly gaudy medieval necklace, a rather lethal looking rake, two wonderful old books by two of my favorite authors (John Buchan and Baroness Orczy), and a splendid hand-painted champagne bottle that looked like something from Eastern Europe.

We went to a tiny, local butcher and bought bacon that was over a foot long (!!) and a pork roast with a thick rind that will make the best cracklings. Then he loaded up with all sorts of fresh fruits and veg from the outdoor market – I’ve been juicing and cooking like mad with all those yummy things! Next stop was the shopping center for a hot date in the Food Court where we dine luxuriously on hot dogs, potato wedges with gravy, and coffee milkshakes.

Later bear surprised me with a lovely filigree pendant, two new chooks – gorgeous Belgian ones in soft gray with bright red combs – and three adorable baby ducks who cheep like crazy when they see food. We also had dark chocolate mud cake and a jolly visit with dear friends and wow, I felt utterly spoiled.

birthday presents
But the dear fellow wasn’t done yet. Sunday afternoon he picked me up and took me for a drive up through the hills near Toowoomba to the Preston Peak Winery.

It is a gorgeous, sprawling estate of vineyards and flowers with a chapel and reception room for weddings overlooking the valley.

We climbed up further to the tasting room and cafe perched above the grapevines lining the hillsides and took in the stunning views.

Preston Peak Winery drive

Tearing ourselves away from the scenery we entered the Preston Peaks Winery tasting room and were greeted by Kor Ersoy, a lovely Turkish man who made us feel so welcome, answered all our questions, and lavished us with samples. While everything was good, my favorites were the Wildflower series, Golden Gleam (White Muscat), and the delectable Touriga Port.

Preston Peak Winery
After all our sampling we were more than ready for some solid food, so we wandered over to the cafe to see what they had to offer.

What they had was a stunning view, cool breezes blowing in through the open windows, and a menu chosen to suit the wines they produced. It was perfect!

We were ravenous so we ordered our bevvies: iced coffee to perk us up after all those tastings, wine and Double Sars (double sarsaparilla) to go with our meal, and then tucked into a feast: spring salad, warm cheesy bread, to-die-for pizza, and an antipasto platter with olives, sun-dried tomatoes with lavender, pesto, salami, smoked ham, caramelized sweet onions, and roasted capsicum. Phew! Needless there’s no way we could eat all of it, and I happily did not have to cook the next day. πŸ™‚

We drove home as the sun was setting over the hills, sleepy, full, and so very, very happy.

It was the best birthday ever.

What is your favorite birthday memory?




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erin - Happy happy birthday dear friend! Β I know that you have come so far and it’s such a gift to be grateful for the present and enjoy life right where you are!

Krista - Thank you so much, dear Erin. πŸ™‚ It feels like this birthday is the start of good things and I am excited and grateful. πŸ™‚

Cheryl Tieszen - Ooo-la-la!Β  Sounds like the beginning of a very beautiful friendship!Β  πŸ™‚

Krista - He’s such a luv, Cheryl. πŸ™‚ The best man I’ve ever known. πŸ™‚

Delia Tiarks - So glad dear Krista, that you had a wonderful birthday!!! Β Sending my love to you, Happy Birthday!!!!!

Anonymous - This was a wonderful walk through your day with you… how wonderful to be so blessed by another human being… there is still love in the world! Happy Birthday and God bless your each and everyday. He loves you so much! Every good and perfect gift cometh down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning

Krista - Oh, thank you, dear Susan. πŸ™‚ There IS still love in this world, and kindness and goodness and friendship. I’m so grateful. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, dear Delia! πŸ™‚ I love you muchly!!

vianney - Happy Bday, thank you for taking us along with you on your special day!! how fun!!

[email protected] - Happy Birthday Krista. What a perfect birthday weekend spending time with people you love and enjoying the beautiful countryside. It’s great you are so happy here

Krista - Thank you so much, Vianney. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you enjoyed it too! πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Jenny. πŸ™‚ I AM happy here, so happy, and very, very grateful. πŸ™‚ xo

Jeanne @ CookSister! - Oh Krista – I want your baby ducks!! Β Too adorable. Β And the pictures remind me SO MUCH of South Africa! Β Just gorgeous – those agapanthus particularly! Β Your birthday sounds heavenly πŸ™‚ Β My favourite birthday we were in the Karoo (middle of nowhere!) in South Africa with friends and started the day with ostrich egg omelette and then hiked to the “mermaid’s pool” – a very deep natural pool under a high waterfall and had a birthday swim with my best friends. Β Such a happy day!

AstraLibris - Happy, Happy Birthday! Wishing you all the joy the universe can hold! Such beautiful photos of glorious celebrations… So happy for you!!! πŸ™‚

Cathy - Krista, your birthday celebration sounds like it was absolutely brilliant. Β Thanks for sharing it here. Β My favourite birthday would have to have been my 30th. Β We were still in Sydney then. Β I had my closest friends celebrate with me.

Faith - Happy Birthday, my sweet friend!Β  What a beautiful birthday this was, Krista…perfect in every way.Β  You deserve every happiness and your bear is truly a knight in shining armor.Β 

Fiona - What a wonderful day! I remember when I was four and my Mum made a thatched cottage birthday cake with liquorice allsort windows and more recently a wine and cheese picnic with friends outside my dorm in Exeter. Then last year was a superb high tea at Chateau Laurier in Ottawa…
P.S. Love the book choices!

Lisa - Happy belated Birthday in Oz, Krista!Β  I loved reading this entry, especially about all the love and that delicious birthday meal, which effected my salivary glands greatly!Β  Then the photos of the spread really got them going, so I had to scroll back up to the gorgeous scenic photos so I wouldn’t start gnawing my t-shirt lolΒ  I’m so glad you had a beautiful, amazing birthday!!

Ulysses S. Rant - So happy you had such a wonderful birthday, K! Those pictures are fantastic.Β 

Andi Perullo - My gosh it was the most perfect Bday EVER!!! You deserved it darling! Looooooove these pics.

Jared and Breanne Mosher - I missed wishing you a happy birthday on our actual day….we were out and about…so I’m doing it now. =) This post made me so very, very happy for you. I am SO glad that you are where you are and that you could celebrate with your man, sounds like he knows how to make you happy.Β  Hope this year ahead holds much beauty and healing for you, friend. So grateful for you in my life!

Krista - Aren’t they outrageously cute, Jeanne?! πŸ™‚ I just love them. πŸ™‚ Dear friends of mine lived in South Africa and their pictures were so stunning. I’d love to visit your home country one day. πŸ™‚ Your favorite birthday sounds absolutely incredible – like something out of a movie. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you so very much, Astra! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you like the pictures. I just love this beautiful country!

Krista - Celebrating with close friends IS the very best sort of birthday, Cathy. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much, dear Faith. πŸ™‚ XO He is such a luv and makes my heart happy every day. πŸ™‚

Krista - Oh wow! That cake sounds amazing – so fairytale-ish. πŸ™‚ Ohh, and a wine and cheese picnic sounds marvelous!!! AND high tea – oh girl, you’ve had fantastic birthdays. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you SO much, dear Lisa! πŸ™‚ I’m delighted this day made you smile and drool. πŸ™‚ If you’re ever in Oz, we will have to go to that winery together. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thanks muchly, dear Tom. πŸ™‚ Miss you heaps!

Krista - Thank you so much, dear Andi. πŸ™‚ Isn’t it such a beautiful place?

Krista - Oh Breanne, I’m so grateful you’re in my life too!! It cheers me no end to read of your life, to think of you and your man and your girls building a beautiful life in Edmonton. I miss you heaps. πŸ™‚

Anonymous - Happy Birthday Krista! Best wishes for a wonderful year ahead. xoxo

Krista - Thank you so much, dear Cailin! πŸ™‚ xo

Velva-tomatoes on the vine - So very awesome! I can see it was one fabulous day. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Velva

Will - My Spanish Adventure - Glad to hear they get better after 30! I’ve got my 26th coming up and I’m absolutely dreading it. It hit me last night just how quickly time moves. Hopefully if I keep on travelling I can reverse the years right?

imenm - Happy Birthday Krista! What a beautiful celebration….your Bear is quite thoughtful indeed! I love the labels on Preston Peak wine…stunning.Β 
This all looks so wonderful….am thrilled for you! Much love, Imen xx

Nisrine - Truly gorgeous pics. Happy birthday to you!

Fabuleuxdestinbrenna - Aw Happy Birthday Krista! It seems like you had a beautiful day !!! Lovely πŸ™‚

Andrea and John - Happy belated birthday!!!! I’m a bit behind on my blog reader…hope the year ahead brings you wonderful things =)

Ayngelina - What a beautiful start to a new year. Happy birthday.

Weirdcombinations - Krista Happy belated bday! Sounds like you had a marvelous time. That’s how birthdays should be! πŸ™‚
Pics are incredible as usual. I love the pic you took of the agapantus. We have lots of these here in California and I think they are beautiful flowers.
Cheers,
Heguiberto

Krista - It sure was, dear Velva! Loved every part of it. πŸ™‚

Krista - Oh they get better and better, Will! I love getting older. πŸ™‚ Yes! Keep on traveling and each year will seem like a gift instead of a burden. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much, Imen!! Aren’t those labels splendid? I loved them too. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much, Nisrine! It was a wonderful birthday. πŸ™‚

Krista - I thought so too, Ayngelina! The perfect start. πŸ™‚

Krista - No worries at all, Andrea! I have been too and totally understand. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Brenna! I really, really did. πŸ™‚ Just thinking about it again makes me smile. πŸ™‚

Krista - I remember seeing these for the first time in California and thinking they were SO gorgeous and exotic looking, like something you’d find along the Nile in Egypt. πŸ™‚ So glad you like them too!

Leslie Pearson - I’m soooo glad to hear that you are happy! You deserve all the happiness in the world! xoxxo Leslie

Pizza, Roses and Sunset at an Australian Winery » Rambling Tart - […] only been there once before, five months ago when we visited to celebrate my birthday, yet our Turkish host, Kor Ersoy, not only remembered us, he remembered where we lived, what we did […]

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