Day 16 – Thursday, July 4, 2012
Our final day in the Azores and to make the 4pm flight we’d need to leave home around 1:30, which gave us the opportunity to have one last fish lunch, prepared by tia Ana, who felt like our second mom by now
We had a great visit with tia Ana over breakfast then I took off on a solo walk as the kids were busy watching a movie and the two Ana’s were deep in conversation. So I went for my last walk of the trip at a nice slow pace, taking time to try and notice the small things along the way. The beautifully painted tile work on the buildings, the small, green vines growing out of the stone walls, the voices of the people I passed along the way, the “Se Vende” signs on the houses for sale, the smell of the salty air and, what I remember the most, the long slow rolling of the waves which curled and crashed upon the rocky shoreline. We had been here for over two weeks now and it’s definitely been our favourite trip to the Azores, likely because the kids are older than previous visits, but we also kept to a reasonable pace, and the weather was excellent. This is also the first time in my current job (almost five years) that I haven’t taken a Blackberry on vacation to keep up with the email, which is really the only way to have a true break.
We said our good-bye’s to tia Ana and tio Joe, then made our way to the airport, where we met up with several other family members. We got checked in, then had time for a beer with the family, said good-bye, and were off to the gate, then departed right on time. As I type, we are on the flight home, and just enjoyed a good meal and a great family movie (We Bought a Zoo). Looks like we’ll be arriving in Toronto on time and should be back in our house by 8pm if all goes well.
Ana noticed something this morning that really sums up the Azores for us. It was a short paragraph printed on the side of the milk carton and translated into something like this:
“This is milk from happy cows. They eat from fresh Azorean pastures and breathe pure island air to the rhythm of nature. All cows of the world want to live in the Azores!”
If we could only all be so lucky!