September 2016

At 5 months pregnant with our son, Hudson and looking at my upcoming travel schedule and not seeing any big adventures on the books, I started to get uncomfortable. Most international airlines don’t let you fly past 6 months pregnant so I knew an overseas trip was out of the question for the time being and this was just about the worst punishment you could impose on me. This being said, I put my energy into planning an epic family vacation once Hudson arrived and we were able to do some traveling. I had heard from a few friends how much they had loved visiting The Azores and while perusing Groupon Getaways (part of my daily routine) I saw it pop up as on option. The great thing about Groupon Getaways is that they do all the planning for you: you get your plane tickets, hotel accommodations, and sometimes a rental car all included in the (usually very low) price. The bad thing is that the travel dates are typically non-negotiable and you pay the same price for your 3 month old as you do for yourself so when traveling with small children it doesn’t really make sense to purchase these. Instead I turned to my favorite travel companion (next to my husband) www.google.com/flights to see where we could fly to. Since we travel quite often, we had enough Alaska Airline miles to get our family of four plus our nanny to any city in the US, so I started looking at flights from Boston for the dates we had available and The Azores popped up! We paid less than $600 for each nonstop ticket from Boston to Ponta Delgada and only having to pay the taxes for Hudson (3 months old at the time) as he rode in our lap on the flight.

We flew from Seattle to Boston where we stayed the night and spent the following day walking around the New England Aquarium, laughing as our daughter, Isabel “Izzy” – 2 years old, grabbed 5 stuffed penguins in the gift shop and wouldn’t let go until dad bought her one of them. Instead of getting a rental car for these two days, we saved money by using Uber in and around the city and used the hotel shuttle to get to and from the airport. We took a red-eye from Boston to Ponta Delgada and picked up our 12 passenger cargo van from the Ponta Delgada airport the following morning. We weren’t quite prepared for how old the city would be, which translates to VERY narrow cobblestone streets and with Brian being the only one able to drive a car with manual transmission – he was the lucky one to get to chauffeur us all around the island of Sao Miguel – and what a beautiful island it was! We spent our 10 days on the island staying busy with scuba diving, swimming with wild dolphins in the ocean, visiting Caldeira Velha which are these gorgeous waterfalls which spill into hot springs you can swim in and Ponta da Ferraria which is another hot spring location, but these are right under the ocean floor so you swim in this little cove filled with hot water pouring into the Atlantic. Our daughter, Izzy spent a solid hour standing on the volcanic rock, laughing hysterically as she was getting splashed with the water shooting out of the rocks as the waves came in and out.

Every day spent on this island was a completely unique experience and one that won’t soon be forgotten. We feel very lucky to have been able to bring our children along with us on this adventure and are anxious to take them back someday when they’ll be old enough to remember such an amazing trip.