“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Away from Home

We flew to Nelson for the 4 day Easter weekend. Here's photos from our visit to Abel Tasman Park on Easter day. To drive from Nelson, on the top of the North Island on NZ, to Kaiteriteri, where you get on the water taxi, is only about 1 hour. We were dropped off at Torrent bay, hiked to Bark Bay, and finished at Anchorage (Toto, I don't think we're in Alaska anymore!). The water was so beautiful and clear, next time I'd like to see what's underwater.

We especially liked Cleopatra's Pools, which is where this picture of Darin was taken. We're glad we hiked instead of kayaked, because of the number of motor boats ferrying tourists in and out of bays. Abel Tasman is, understandably, a very popular place to visit. While in Nelson, we stayed at Grampian Villa. For some undetermined reason, they upgraded us to this luxurious room- Darin is enjoying the complementary port. The bed was huge and comfortable, and the furnishings were unlike anything I've ever enjoyed. One sort of weird/funny thing that happened there was upon returning from our dinner out, the hostess's adult son was watching a television show describing why Jeffrey Dahmer was one of the worst serial killers. This was in the lounge directly across from our suite. Anyway, I'd definitely go back there and recommend staying there. The location is really quiet and walking distance to the town center.
The other cool thing about Nelson is that our fellow American blogger friends, Angela and Don, live there, and we finally got to meet each other face to face at the wonderful Saturday Market. Too bad we don't live closer, because we would love to play poker with them. Check out their blog here.
The weekend prior to the Nelson trip, we had some friends up to the farm for a picnic of cheese, wine, pasta salad, and savory muffins. The family we met in Fiji were there, and we played a game we learned in Fiji. This game requires trying to hit a watermelon with a machete while blindfolded, after walking to it blindfolded.
We walked around the property, and Ruby fell in the stream. In a flash, Clint was lying on the steep edge of the stream reaching for the surprised puppy. Here's the puppy hero on the right.
As a "land-warming" gift, Adam and Roberta got us this adorable gnome- his name is Gunter. He lives in a hollow tree near the gate, keeping an eye on things for us while we're away. What a cutie, eh?
Darin is off to the US for 10 days, visiting his Mom who turns 80 this month, and doing some work in San Diego. Most importantly, he's going to bring home lots of stuff that is cheaper in the US than in NZ, and stuff we just can't get here, like Goldfish crackers and cherry Nibs- you know, health food. I think I'll ask him to stuff some Doritos in his bag if there's room on the way back. Because, as you can see from our photo below, we are simply starving to death. Ha ha! (not)

Finally, an update on what I've been reading and watching. I bought some comics at the best comic book shop EVER, Big Brain in Minneapolis, MN. I have a funny/tragically sad book of US political comics by Tom Tomorrow that I was reading on my Easter/Zombie Jesus holiday. Recently I got around to reading the brilliant, funny and Apocalypse Nerd by Peter Bagge, who I've been a fan of... forever! I love his work. I had read #1 and 2 back in the US, and got #3-6 last November. #6 was the final issue.

Movies watched recently include Candy, with the drug-overdosed and recently deceased Heath Ledger, starring him as a junkie, Junebug, which was boring but not awful, and The Hills Have Eyes. I'm not sure how I managed to NOT see this before, but it was pretty horrific, in a good way. Mutants + violence = creepy goodness.