Azores: Saying Goodbye

And then the last day finally came. We were all so sad to think about leaving – the Azores and our friends.

We packed up the house – I think we left it in fairly good condition – and headed back toward Ponta Delgada. Our flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until 3:00, so we decided to visit the António Borges botanical garden. So the boys had one last hour to go nuts together, ignoring the fact of their linguistic odds.

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

Mina wasn’t nearly as disgusted as she looks here. Her issue was that there were chickens roaming nearby, and she doesn’t approve of loose chickens at all.

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

We did spend a lot of time in the playground, but don’t forget this is a botanical garden! Next to the playground was a bamboo grove.

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

Mina wandered in as if she was acting out a fairy tale. Don’t worry: she comes out again.

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

There was also an enormous rubber tree, which the kids simply adored. I like to think the tree adored them as well – surely if it has any sense of the world around it, it must take pleasure in these wee beasties climbing all over it.

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

We finally tore the kids away from the tree and explored the rest of the park. It turned out to have levels upon levels – look closely and you’ll see little Linus heading down a hidden staircase.

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

At the bottom were locked grottos. I wonder whether they are ever open.

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

Mina wasn’t thrilled about heading into the dark caves, and I was even less so – lots of spiders to get caught in hair. But she ventured in just the same (and so I had to as well).

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

Ducks! What is that duck doing outside of a cage! Someone stop it!

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

You can tell that at some point the boys said, “Enough plants!” and ran back to the playground. Mina stayed in the garden a while longer, providing scale against everything.

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

We took a little breather knowing that a long flight was ahead of us.

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

António Borges botanical garden, São Miguel, Azores

And then… We said our goodbyes, which was so hard. Promises to find another place to meet again soon. I do hope we’re able to manage it!

We made our way to the airport, swatted all of the cereal and other debris out of the backseat of the rental car, and made our way into the terminal.

Where we discovered that our flight was delayed 2.5 hours. Poor little Ponta Delgada airport – so small it has to stick the international travelers in a tiny glass room so all the locals can stare and pity us. A little girl came over to share her Peppa Pig toys with Linus and Mina. They all ended up covered in stickers before we were finally allowed to head to the plane.

Yen took a video of us heading across the tarmac. Poor Mina! I didn’t realize she was trying so hard to keep up, but she never complained.

Look at this seasoned traveler! He’s just enjoyed his dinner – or anyway the meatballs and cake out of it – and now he’s watching that part of Spirit where the horse destroys the train (over and over and over). Shoes off, comfy clothes on.

Yen, by the way, sits across the aisle from us. I’ve been trying to let him sit elsewhere on flights so he, at least, can get a little sleep. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

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Mina, meanwhile, is the World Champion of Falling Asleep Anywhere. She was trying to eat her dinner – you can even see that she’s still clutching a napkin. But she fell asleep after just broccoli and jello.

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And now we’ve been home more than two weeks. We can still feel the warm breeze and see the lush green when we close our eyes. But we’re also planning the next vacation soon. Who thinks Guatamala is a good idea?