Tag Archives: B&B

Saturday April 30 – Last Day in Azores

Our last morning in Sao Miguel was partly sunny. The other guests at Casa dos Hibiscus, Pilar and Emmanuelle, had left by 6:00 AM to catch an early flight, so we didn’t get to see them again. I had told Susana that I’d be down for breakfast about 8:30 AM, so I finally got up and dressed a little after 8 AM. There was again the wonderful assortment of breads and homemade jams, passion fruit yogurt, hot green tea, juice, and some of the homemade chocolate cake from the night before. I was not able to eat very much… I told Susana I felt full from all the food I’d been eating all week. She laughed and said that was the Portuguese way, to eat and enjoy meals and company.

I made comments in her Dos Hibiscos Guest Book – and remarked over a water color a guest had painted last fall when visiting. I promised to write a good review for her on Trip Advisor; she already has some good reviews on AirBnB, and had just started listing on Trip Advisor as well. She was happy that, the night before, two young “Nederlander” men had booked for the coming week, as it had been empty till the following Saturday. We conversed about our stay, her plans for the day (including a vet visit to give the younger dog Lyka an injection), and the story of how she got her current cat Shawnay, and her daughter’s sadness that the black cat had still not reappeared and it was now a week since it had disappeared.

I went upstairs to the room to finish packing. I tried to carefully pad the Azorean ceramics I’d bought in the middle of my suitcase to be checked at the airport, and also wrapped clothing around the ceramics in my carryon bag. Susana told me the blue flowered ceramics are the most difficult to paint, so I was even more pleased with my choice. Hopefully nothing will break on my trip home!

After packing I got some more photos of the house and garden, and a photo of Susana and myself together in front of the orange hibiscus flowers. I felt a little bad that Susana had gone to all the trouble to clean the swimming pool and make sure the pH balance was just right, but I had been gone during the days on activities, and it was still a little cold to be swimming. We both agreed that it wasn’t wasted effort, as probably the Nederlanders will take advantage of the pool during their stay this coming week.

Since the flight back to Boston wasn’t until 5:00 PM, there was time to try once more the route above Ribiera Grande across the mountains to Lago Fugo and hope it wasn’t foggy and rainy this time.

Sure enough, although there were low clouds, there were great views both to the north of the island at one viewpoint, a view down to Lago Fugo at another viewpoint. Clare and I laughed at how the clouds could cover the peaks, or one part of the island, while another part was enjoying sunshine – talk about localized weather! Lago Fugo looked grayish green due to the cloud cover overhead.

 

13895013_10103168678200336_774287882524539514_nComing down the mountain, which was a bunch of hairpin turns, at one place the Atlantic Ocean could be seen both to the south (near Lagoa) and to the north (Riberia Grande)! Although there were clouds above the mountain peaks, the ocean in either direction looked bright cerulean blue, reflecting clear skies above the water.

It wouldn’t be a day of me driving without trying a few wrong turns and getting lost. I’d taken back roads out of Fenais da Luz, and ended up doing a kind of zig zag until I caught up to the highway. And again coming down off the mountain, I didn’t want to go straight to the big city of Ponta Delgado, so tried first a small village, then got turned around on one way roads and ended up way out in the country, circling round again to where the Lago Fugo highway came down from the mountain again! Clare was wishing she was the one driving instead of me. Then I gave up and tried the new highway towards Ponta, getting off at the Marginal highway exit and going towards S. Roque at the first roundabout.

Deciding against patronizing Cais 20 again, signs were followed to “Oceanwaves” (Ocas do Mar), which turned out to have parking available, and was situated next to the rocky beach. Cheese fondue, beef kabobs and light salad… enjoyed with white wine sangria… was the13872654_10103168678260216_7609863916163914721_n perfect lunch.

Finally it was time to head west toward the aeroport, return the rental car and check my larger suitcase. Hertz charged me 7E because apparently I returned the gas tank at 4/8 instead of 5/8 (it had looked just over ½ tank to me, but oh, well). Aeroport security is very tight. I had to produce my passport and boarding pass several times, had my bags looked through at security (the x-rays of my ceramics did look a little strange, I admit). I like to visit the restroom one last time right before boarding, but the boarding area for Gate 5 to Boston was past another checkpoint, so I had to go back to the snack counter area, use the facilities there, and then go to Gate 5 to wait another ½ hour.

13901499_10103168678270196_2237531371828405184_nAs the Azores Airline A330 Airbus soared out over the ocean, beginning its steep climb in altitude, I felt a mixture of completeness at having made the most of my week-long vacation to Sao Miguel, and sadness it was over too quickly. However, I really missed my Sheltie, and was happy that tomorrow I’ll be home and see my puppy dog again!

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Overnight in Boston

I was booked overnight for a single room at the College Club of Boston on Commonwealth Avenue, not far from the Boston Public Garden. From the Back Bay railway station, I had a choice of walking a few minutes, catching a bus one stop, then walking another few minutes for 9 minutes travel time, or just walking for 11 minutes travel time. I chose to walk. Of course, I think the walking times on Google Maps were set by 25 year olds in good shape wearing track shoes, but that’s just an educated guess from an older woman in her 60s.

It had been raining earlier and the streets were wet, but it was a wonderful evening for walking. The temperatures were still in the high 60s and humid, so I got hot walking to the hotel  (I’d been a little cold on the train and put on an extra sweater). The streets were well-lit and it was obviously a nice area – nice businesses, hotels, well-kept older homes turned into condos/apartments. The other people on the street were mostly well-dressed older couples out for the evening or college students out on a Friday night. I did see a couple other people with suitcases, and cabs dropped people off at hotels.

The College Club of Boston was as easy to find as they promised, and I’d been given a code to get in the front door.  I was greeted by the concierge, given a room key, told about the Continental Breakfast in the morning and shown the elevator. I stayed in the “Oberlin” room – all the rooms are named after colleges. Mine was a single – twin bed, charming antique secretary, dresser and bookcase, lovely lamps and artwork that all felt appropriate to a house built around 1860 as a Victorian townhouse, when the French influence resulted in a slate mansard roof. Each room is decorated with a particular style. The larger rooms have their own bathrooms, the single ones (half the size and half the price) have a shared bathroom down the hall – but it was elegant, marble, sleek, lovely.


For late dinner I walked back down Commonwealth toward the Public Garden, then a few blocks around to the Apres du Midi restaurant – which was awarded best French restaurant in 2011. They had just put out the sidewalk tables again, so I sat outside, enjoying the flower boxes on the railing beside me and passersby. After questioning my waiter, I decided on roasted chicken breasts, which were served in a delicious sauce over orzo and a few vegetables. I started out with a white wine from the Loire Valley – it was crisp and light and suited the meal and the evening. The French bread brought at the beginning was delicious, although I didn’t care for the olive oil to dip it in. There were some very tempting desserts – I almost got the lemon meringue pie with raspberry mousse, but then remembered my pants are already tight on me! But what a perfect meal and what a perfect evening!!