Story of my life: I’m behind on posting something. But I’m just generally late doing anything and everything, really.
I’ve been back from vacation for a week and three days. Eleven days ago, I was on an island in the mid-Atlantic caving in a lava tube and eating fresh octopus and drinking regional wine for 1,25euros a glass. Ten days ago, I was in the dead center of the state of Missouri. Today, I’m back at my desk. I’m still 97% unsure what time zone I’m in.
The single dumbest, but greatest thing happened on the last night. We went to Quinta Dos Azores for dinner (their ice cream is the bomb, ps!) and during my directions acquisition, I came across a review by a girl (probably) my age, who was living there with her boyfriend temporarily while he played basketball, said they come there like three times a week. As we’re sitting there eating, this very girl whose life I had just stalked (way too hard) walked in and sat down right next to me! I felt like I was seeing a celebrity but not a celebrity and I couldn’t stop staring and feeling super creepy like I knew this girl but clearly I don’t know her.
Is that weird? That’s super weird. I feel really weird over my level of excitement seeing this girl. It took every fiber of my being to not go up to her and be like “hi, I’m so creepy but I swear I’m friendly and harmless. I saw your review and it brought me here and now you’re here and I feel like that just makes us instant friends, ok have a great life, bye!” but my brother would have been mortified if I acted like my normal weirdly over friendly self.
We also went caving in a lava tube in Praia da Vitoria, which was one of my favorite parts of the trip. We went with the same guys who took us rappelling, climbing and ziplining in the jungle. For the caving, we descended via rappel about 50ft underground and had nothing but little helmet lights to guide us around.
We also rented a smart car to drive around the entire island on one of our last days. My favorite stop was in Biscoitos (translation: biscuits!) where the lava rock pools are. We wandered around the Calheta dos Biscoitos, which is the largest of the lava rock pools with clear blue waters that you can actually swim in. There’s also a wine museum in town, but we didn’t stop in. Kind of kicking myself for it – but I’m currently almost done drinking the bottle of red wine I brought back so it’s like I’m there. Kind of? We also drove up to the highest peak on the island, Serra de Santa Barbara (1,023m), but the clouds were really low that day and shielded the peak and the surrounding view. Bummer!
Definite highlight was the “Tour de Azores” meal we had. It was a four course meal of regional cuisine made with local ingredients (cheese and beef from the nearby farms, fresh fish, etc.) and local wine pairings. I have dreams about the charred octopus and bread soup still. Sigh.
Coming back, I scheduled myself yet another stressful marathon travel day. Another four airports later, it’s midnight when I land in Denver, I collect my wine stuffed suitcase and drive the 40 minutes home from the airport to shower, repack a backpack, love up on my cat and sleep for 3 hours before going BACK to the airport at 630a to head to Missouri.
You know what state is the absolute f*cking worst? Missouri. Or Kansas. Honestly, I hate them both. Sorry not sorry, but driving in I-70 for 17 hours is not how I like to spend my life. It doesn’t usually take that long but a (semi-planned) pit stop it Wichita delayed the trip home.
Note to self: never drive through Kansas or Missouri again.