My first few days in Nelson

Trip Start Jan 11, 2011
Trip End Jul 01, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, January 14, 2011

Hi Everyone!

I apologize that I haven't given any details about Nelson yet. This, though, has been my first free moment since I arrived 41/2 days ago. It has been a whirlwind of fun!

Fist of all, I want to introduce everyone... I am currently staying at Jeff and Sally's house in Tahunanui (a part of Nelson). Jeff is the vet that I will be interning with at Town and Country Veterinarian Clinic in Richmond (also another part of Nelson). I have yet to meet Jeff and Sally yet though. They are currently in the States (ironically) visiting family. I actually won't meet them for another couple of weeks. But I do have a flatmate, Mable. She is the mother of one of Sally's good friends here in Nelson. Mable (92 years old and full of energy!) is just visiting her family from outside of Chicago and will be living with me until the end of January. She is great company!
Diana is her daughter (Sally's friend). Her, Mable, Bruce (Diana's husband), Taya (Diana's daughter who lives in Aukland), and Arion (Diana's son who lives in Queenstown) have pretty much adopted me. Arion actually arrived at the Nelson Airport around the same time that I did so instead of having to take a taxi after my long trip, I was so pleasantly surprised and warmly welcomed by Diana's whole family! They have included me in so much since then too! Diana and Taya took me to the grocery store right away so that I could get food for breakfast and packed lunches at the clinic. And they have included me in every meal. They have been so sweet!
There are two other people I would like you to meet, Sonja and Brendon. They live in the apartment under Jeff's house, and Sonja works for Jeff. They also have included me in so much! They invited me for dinner Friday night. We had shrimp with an amazing home-made mango salsa. Then they were so sweet to include me when they went to see a concert at a cozy bar on Tasman Bay. We heard a great country/bluegrass band called the Easterns from Christ Church. The venue, band, and atmosphere was perfect.
Then Saturday, because both Taya and Arion were in town for a short while on holiday, Diana and Bruce had a party to get all of their, Taya, and Arion friends together, and of course they included me in that as well. I was a bit overwhelmed at first with meeting so many new people all at once but in the end it was a blast. Everyone in Nelson whom I have met so far are so welcoming and friendly! It was really funny, though, because both Bruce and Arion are red heads (also known as Gingers, Gingas, and/or Fanta Pants- yes red heads are much loved here in NZ!) and so many people thought that I was a long lost relative ranging from a sibling to a cousin. I had to explain my connection quite a few times. :)
Then after the party, I finally had a chance to visit the beach of Tasman Bay which is only about a 10-15 walk from where I am staying (I think I am falling in love with the beach)! Arion, Gray (Taya's boyfriend), and I got down to the beach just as the sun was setting. It was a bit chilly with the cool sea breeze but beautiful. I wasn't planning on getting in the water all of the way but as I was explaining how clean the beaches were compared to Ocean City Maryland when I was thrown in! I'm glad I was though. It was all a lot of fun. Both Arion and Gray practically live in the water (Gray loves to surf and Arion is a white-water rafting guide) so they were entertaining.
After the beach, Arion, Taya, Gray, some of Taya's girlfriends, and I went to experience the night life of Nelson. We met up with Regan (one of Arion's childhood friends) who was hilarious and also so nice! We went to a bar where Regan and Arion's friend was playing. They got me to try a cider (I know not a shot, Amazing!). It was pretty good and it should be as I found out that Nelson is home to 13 different breweries of different fruit ciders. I had a a cider made from Feijoa fruit (like a small guava). After the bar, Regan, Arion, and I went to dance club called Elsewhere. It was a blast! Then we missed the last bus at 3AM but luckily everyone in Nelson is nice and the bus came back for another round 40 minutes later! LOL! While we waited Regan and Arion did some capoeira so time flew by with the entertainment! :) I didn't get home until 4:30AM but it was all worth it!

I have seen, felt, and experienced so many new things in just a couple of days! I am having the time of my life! :)

Next up...Abel Tasman National Park!
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Elena on

Wait, you're falling in love with the beach...and your new friends do Capoeira? I thought I was the one going to Brazil!

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