Saturday, April 13, 2024

Azores 2024 - Goodbye Green Island, We Will Return Soon

Our last morning. The flight leaves shortly before 5 pm so we still have half a day before we need to be at the airport. Ana and I take a final morning walk and have coffee at Sunset Beach. We talk about the trip, the things we loved, all the new discoveries, the crazy weather (from hurricane storms to sunstroke), the incredible people, all that is new, all that is old, and what role this island will play in our own future. Because it will play a role. This island is a special place for us.

About half the family shows up to say goodbye yet again. We pull out the leftover pizza and cheese and bread and all have lunch together. The conversation turns to menopause (as it seems to frequently with Ana) and she explains menopausal rage. I add my own explanation, using the Incredible Hulk as the most appropriate comparison.

“You guys know Marvel? You know the big green guy?” I ask.

“Yeah,” says Paulo. “Shrek.”

“No man, the other big green guy. The Hulk. He gets even madder than Shrek. That’s what menopause rage is like.”

“Oh,” Paulo says thoughtfully.

“But really, menopause is far, far worse for the man than the woman,” I say.

“That is total bullshit,” storms Ana as her face starts turning green.

“See,” I say pointing to her. “Rage.”

Natercia brought a bottle of strawberry infused sparkling wine and pours everybody out a measure. Paul delivers a classic toast:

“May our wives never become widows.”

After another round of goodbye hugs we are off for the airport. Natercia and Paulo accompany us in their car to help transport some of the luggage. After a quick stop for gas, then returning the rental car, Ana and I meet them and John and Maria in the terminal. We have a chat then say the final, final goodbyes. Ana is crying as she hugs Natercia. Natercia’s worn a different pair of fancy shoes today so I take a photo of those before hugging her, and she appreciates that.

We are going to really miss these guys.

I gaze out the airplane window as we take off. It is windy and feel like the plane is going to be blown sideways, but it takes off and we rise into the air. The plan takes a turn west and I watch as the island becomes smaller. I scan the ocean for whale activity, but see only the white flashes of cresting waves, and soon we reach the cloud line and everything turns grey. I don't know when we will next return, but I am sure it will not be six years from now, and Ana and I may well be in a different phase of our lives when we do.

At 10:00 pm on a cool Saturday evening, we step into our Paris home and hug our beautiful daughter Stella who has made it through two weeks on her own. Magnus is in Toronto and we'll be happy to see him next weekend. We really missed both of them.

And thus ends our 2024 trip to the Azores.

No comments:

Post a Comment