The Ryder Cup win for the Europeans means we can be good sports. They deserved it, darn it. So now we don’t have to worry about any ill feelings toward America’s Golfing Couple in the Azores. Where are the Azores? That is the question of most people when you mention the destination. Surprisingly though, the response from a number is one of recognition due to a friend or family member from there. And when that is the case, they all say it is going to be a great trip. For us, it is a place we visited long ago as kids, in the National Geographic Magazine. Now, the reality of a subtropical volcanic archipelago is ours, 1500 miles west of Portugal.
We left the fruit loop hills of New York yesterday morning, waving goodbye to the brilliant fall foliage reflecting on the water. Always wanting to leave before it gets ugly, the timing couldn’t have been better as the temperatures dipped to a frosty level and the clouds misted to the ground last week. We packed the last of our green tomatoes in a paper bag and piled them in the car with clubs, suitcases, electronics and documents. The drive to Philly was as pretty as autumn gets. On the red eye to Lisbon, the anticipation of the island golf, playing in the Ladies Access Open Pro Am, experiencing the hot baths under waterfalls and a whole lot more made us realize we better rest up and so we did as best you can on a plane. In Lisbon we boarded SATA airlines, a refreshingly clean, efficient and friendly experience with yummy food, Portuguese red wine and voila, we are here on the Sao Miguel Island at the Hotel Marina Atlántico with a balcony view of the marina complete with yachts, fishing boats, freight liners and a well lit cruise ship. Next time we will book the SATA direct 4 hour flight from Boston or just cruise in.
We’ve got our internet and trekked down the street past sidewalk cafés to a little mall for an adapter cable, Euros and we are set for dinner at 9 – sometimes past our bedtime but not this week. There will be no diet plan except our plan to Taste Portugal as the tourism slogan dictates. Our first round of golf is at 8 in the morning with fun island adventures to follow.
Dinner was fabulous at Esphinas with local triggerfish laced with mustard sauce and Azorean style steak finished by chocolate cake that oozed with rich hot fudge and Carpaccio pineapple. Did we mention not dieting? Nighty -night and stay tuned as we share daily the allure of the Azores.