24 July 2011

Did we mention the view?

We've spent the last two nights at The Wheelhouse Inn, a group of self-contained vacation cottages in a residential neighborhood on a bluff overlooking the ocean in Nelson. Our hosts are Sally and Ralph Hetzel, expatriate Americans who left their home in Long Beach, CA, on a sailboat in 1974, sailed around the world, and then dropped their anchor permanently in New Zealand.

Sally and Ralph have created a remarkable lodging option in Nelson. Our rental unit could easily sleep six. It has a well-stocked kitchenette, a patio (with grill), spacious living areas, its own laundry room, and a million-dollar view at one-ten-thousandth the tariff.

That's the view from the livingroom. It's also the view from the kitchen and the bedroom, because the west-facing walls are almost entirely windows.

Ralph is also a ceramics artist. The kitchen is stocked with what we assume are his whimsical pieces, but his signature works are outside, peeking in from the bushes.

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