Studying for midterms is different this year. Last year, I did it all on my own. Anxiety levels were unbelievably high. This year, anxiety is still high, but I’ve found myself a great group of gals who learn at the same pace as I do, who are patient when I have questions, and who respect my thoughts, opinions, and ideas. We work together on every subject, and walk through all the details and concepts we each need to understand to be excellent clinicians. We never move on from a concept until everyone has understood it.We laugh so hard that we cry sometimes, and bring each other treats. It feels so lovely to be in a safe space where I can learn and be stupid, and to know that eventually I will reach a the place of knowledge I need to be at. Studying can be intimidating, but it doesn’t feel so bad with these friends.
That being said, our little group of amazing women have been getting together at each other’s homes to study, and shortly before the Clinical Skills midterm we got together in Vineland, Ontario at L.’s place.
Vineland is about 40 minutes southeast of Hamilton, in the Niagara Falls region. It’s a tiny suburb of the municipality of Jordan, Ontario. It’s one of the nicer parts of Niagara, and given that I had only ever really seen Niagara Falls proper (which is beautiful, but shockingly commercial and actually quite desolate when you get into the town itself …) it was time to explore further. I didn’t realize such a beautiful place existed in Ontario.
We decided to get together here with the intent of studying all day Saturday and then roaming through the vineyards that are immediately adjacent to L.’s home. Boy, was that that best study break I’ve ever had! After 9 hours of studying, some cheese and fresh apples from the neighbouring orchards, we set out on our excursion.
We checked out two vineyards for some wine tasting, including Flat Rock Cellars (above) and Megalomaniac Winery (below). L. showed us around in style, that’s for sure. Megalomaniac had huge chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and friendly, prompt, and quick service. Flat Rock had friendly service, fresh baked goods, and a view that was to die for. Apparently these wineries are open in the winter, and Flat Rock puts on big fire pit where you huddle outside and sample the wines while taking in the view. I’ll be back for certain.
After tasting as much wine as we could, we made our way through the countryside and took in the beautiful autumn colours surrounding Vineland. I’ve got to admit, Ontario is pretty gorgeous in the fall with the changing leaves and greenery. For me and O., who is from PEI, this was a pretty awesome experience. We kept asking to stop to take photos, incredulous at the brightness of the colours, even on a cloudy day.
If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend taking a drive through the Niagara at this time of year. The breeze was warm, the colours were rich, and the company was great. Don’t think I could ask more from a study-break little adventure, could I?