After Espana, We would finally travel to the Azores Islands where my mom was born. Specifically Ilha Terceira (the third island).
While we could not access the military base to see her true home, we got to explore a good deal of the volcanic beauty throughout the island. As such, there were miles of colorful hydrangeas, hollowed volcanoes to explore, natural pools, and lush mountains. We stayed at a luxurious hotel in one of the two cities, Praia di Vittoria. Afterwards we would explore Angra di Hermosa. Angra is most noteworthy for its colorful buildings, Monte Brasil, and for being quite modernized. Back in the day, my mom would go to church and visit family here. Lastly, I got a chance to participate in a mini-bull run (tourada) with one bull and learn how to drive stick shift.
Overall, this trip didn't have a lot to it, but what was more important was bonding with my parents on a beautiful island. We shared great stories, laughed, got frustrated, and enjoyed the time we hung out together. I think it helped create an appreciative respect for my parents that can really begin to grow now. Furthermore, while I know many of you will not ever make it to the Azores and it is not one of my big highlight countries(it is but isn't a part of Portugal), I think it was a wonderful time for the blessings that it was.
Next up; Portugal!