A Smorgasbord of Nelson Delights
When I came across this photo the other day, I laughed so hard. You guys, for all of the glamor people attribute to a life of travel, this pretty much sums up the majority of my time spent....wherever I am...and apparently at any age. There is a piece of me that loves to go and do and see all of the things....and then there is this need to seclude myself with a book (or Netflix or drawing) and preferably with a cat. Luckily for my emotional development I don't have dolls on my bed anymore but somehow I still end up with half of my bed covered with random crap like books, my purse, clothes, notebooks, my computer and goodness knows what else. I must be preparing for when Ryan Gosling inevitably decides to move into this space subconsciously reserved for him. Suffice it to say, this photo of me at age....eleven?....Mom?....is MUCH cuter than an any modern equivalent yet just as representative. For those wondering, the book I think is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Obviously a thrilling read.
As for rest of my time in Nelson, I'll share a few of the not-so-boring highlights with you!
Every Saturday, Nelson hosts a farmers market for local wares and food. It's been ongoing weekly for something like 30 years! I kept meaning to get a good photo of the market but somehow that eluded me! In any case, it was fun to walk around and see the cool products people make and sell, partake of the food trucks, and chit chat with people. A few weeks before I moved here, I'd done some research on minimizing waste and found online these reusable bags for produce and bulk items. Well, they originated in Nelson so I found the market vendor and bought me some eco swag. Afterwards, I went to the grocery store and I had to laugh at how engrained habits are. There I was standing in the bulk section, reusable bags newly purchased in my purse, and I was like "Oh I'm not sure how I want to use these. Maybe I'll just use plastic this time like usual and then figure out how to use these bags next time. I had to eyeball roll myself. Seriously, Tiffany! Get yo damn eco baggies out! I did and they were magic. Plus I felt very cool and eco-chic. I mean, look at those mermaid colors! (If you're interested in some of your own, go here)
On to my roommates...flatmates...I don't know what to call anything anymore...I have been SO lucky to live with these ladies. Mel is an outdoor-loving-conservationist-Maori translator. She was recently awarded a grant to write a book. How cool is that!? She's also done heaps of solo-tramping in the south island and makes her own bomb dehydrated meals. Hester (Ocean's mom) is a dance therapist and used to have her own improv business. She teaches Open Floor Dance classes and mixes her own music/sets for each one. Her music rocks! They are both introspective and thoughtful and funny. It's been so great to share a house with them! And Ocean, our youngest roommate, is a doll. The lady be fierce like Beyonce and fearless like Jeb Corliss. Except when it comes to wekas (a native bird)...she's not a fan. I am going to miss playing legos and babies with her!
One of the benefits of living with my awesome flatmates is that I get to sponge off their cool friend groups (I've met a lot of really stellar people!). So when one of Hester's friends hosted a hangi, they invited me along! A hangi is a traditional Maori method of cooking food in a pit in the ground. Mel, Ocean, and I went over early to help with the prep. A few hours later, voila! Deliciousness.
In general, NZ really has the cafe thing down. But my favorite one in Nelson is the East Street Cafe. I mean, this place is on point. They serve vegetarian food and everything is SOOOOO yummy! Occasionally Mel and I will go there work on stuff (her on real work and me on reading my latest YA fantasy novel) and we usually end up getting a warm bev and these potato chunks with vegan aioli and sweet chili sauce. I also recently discovered this brownie perfection...then I rediscovered the next day...:D Guys-- so good.
Luckily at the secret garden house I am super close to the ocean. I drive or walk along the waterfront nearly every day. I love seeing people paddle boarding, sailing, swimming, etc. Remember how its getting wintery here? Yeah it doesn't stop NZers. They are hardcore.
I've already written other posts on the other-worldly camping nearby (read here) and the awesome Nelson Fringe Festival (read here) and could really go on and on about all of the things I love about this city (but then what fodder would I have for future posts?!) so I will leave you with these highlights. Cheers to you Nelson, it's been more than I could have dreamed! Next stop is Auckland before heading home in less than a week!