karen and swenny’s great azorean adventure

mama, 2012
My mama enjoying a local beer at a swimming hole. 2012

Last month, my parents came to visit for two weeks.  It’s always a pleasure to see them.  I genuinely love my parents.  I know it’s difficult for my mom, that both her children live on various continents, oceans away from her.  While it would be nice to live in the states closer to my family, the opportunity to live abroad is too incredible to pass up.

Even if I weren’t connected to the military, Montana, let alone Havre, has very little to offer my artistic pursuits.  I love Montana—however, as I grow older it becomes more and more clear that while Montana is still my legal residence, but it isn’t really home anymore.

Two weeks on Terceira isn’t the most action-packed adventure two people can have.  Enjoying time on this little Azorean island consists primarily of eating a lot of delicious food, drinking a lot of amazing wine, laying in the sand, and swimming in a slightly chilly ocean.  The weather was not ideal the first week, but we did our best to enjoy the island with many long indoor lunches and dinners.  We also visited the phenomenal Algar do Carvao, a stunning cave created by the hollowed cone of a volcano.

Algar do Carvao, 2011
Algar do Carvao, 2011

We were also able to catch the opening parade of Angrafest.  Marching bands and dancing teams from villages all over the island (and a few of the other islands) prepare for months for these festival performances.  Each group has fantastic handmade costumes based on the yearly theme.  This year’s theme was Carnival, and we were not disappointed.  The pure joy radiating from the participants was absolutely contagious. The festivities lasted well into the early hours of the morning, but we headed home around midnight.

angrafest7The weather improved for the second week, and we were finally about to able to get outside and enjoy the beach, visit swimming holes, and eat in the sunshine.  We shared a lot of delicious food, local drinks, delightful stories, and laughs.  It was simply a joy.  And I’m so grateful to have been able to share part of my life on this tiny island with my parents.

It’s always a little hard to see my parents leave. Understandably, it’s nice when I’m able to get back to my normal routine.  I feel fairly unproductive when I’m hosting houseguests.  I love sharing my home and this amazing island.  My art, my blog, laundry, and housework all become less important and I become less productive–but it’s worth it.

dinnerMy mama left me this sweet thank-you note.  I found it when I changed the sheets on the guest bed after I took them to the airport.  It made me tear up a little.  The older I get, the more I appreciate my parents and value my time with them.

I love my parents.  They’re neat humans.

Letter from mama, 2012
Letter from mama, 2012

2 Replies to “karen and swenny’s great azorean adventure”

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