Helen’s first 2018 Post!

Soooooooo hello!!!! It’s me!!!!!! The one everybody has been undoubtedly waiting for, faces pressed against all available media screens desperately pressing the refresh button for the slightest hint of a post from Helen Culpepper. Well here I am, to bring you a first hand account of our spectacularly beautiful and fascinating journey through the Azores!!!
With that, let’s start talking about stinky brown pool water. Quite a smooth transition I know, but that’s seriously the first thing that fascinated me on the trip. See, our first hotel, the Furnas Boutique Hotel, had these pools with volcanic minerals in them. They are naturally warm and really bouncy. You could press buttons and watch all these different waterfalls turn on. It really was spectacular.
Another spectacular thing about the Azores and another weird topic to start off with are the lizards. So. Many. Lizards. They’re brown and stripped and love the volcanic rocks. They’re quite cute if you like the whole pet reptile thing which I do. That’s becuase actually ten months ago I had a gecko, Mystic, he’d been my pet for ten years and sadly passed away the night before school started (he was quite cold blooded for doing that and now I might throw up for making a joke like my dad would). Anyways it was really nice to see lizards running around again; reminded me of playing with Mystic, or more accurately, holding him in my hand while he stared at me without blinking….He had no eyelids…
Moving onto our next hotel, the one we’re actually leaving right as I’m writing this post, was this Airbnb house we rented. It has a real wonderful view of the ocean. I harp practiced on the steps leading up to this look out platform. It was really beautiful to play my pieces there but the best part was watching all the drivers on the road below me looking around like “wtf?” Because though they could hear me with their windows rolled down I was way too high to see.

So I spent a lot of my days at the house there playing peacefully but my nights I spent angry and awake in bed. See, there’s this certain kind of bird in the Azores, it’s called the Cagarro and it sounds like a cat going through a trash compactor while singing jazz. So, terrible. It would swoop by our window screaming it’s head off, determined to keep us awake. Now, I’m a real pacifist. I save all the bugs in my house and put them outside, I never kill spiders, etc. But at 4 a.m. yesterday with a horde of Cagarro screeching in my head, I was ready to take out a chain mace and start swinging.
Luckily our next activity wasn’t so loud. It was rappelling and waterfall jumping up in the mountains of the island. Reppelling down waterfalls was actually pretty easy. After the first one I was pretty cocky. Then I took a look at the waterfalls we were going to jump off of and my mouth went surprisingly dry considering I was swimming at the time. The drops went from seven to fourteen to twenty feet down. After nearly losing my helmet and my dignity on the second jump I was first in line for the last one. I was NOT going to think about it hard otherwise I was sure I’d be taking the walk of shame marker by a dusty trail that you could take if you couldn’t jump. Anyways, I stood at the top of the waterfall looking down, trying not to think about looking down from the top of the water and trying not to think about not thinking about the top of the waterfall or more concerning, the bottom. So I eventually jumped and didn’t break every bone in my body so I categorize it as a big success.
Well lastly I’d like to add that while I was writing about the damn birds we were in the car and my father was giving the “bird”. He gave a single fingered salute to the car insistently honking behind our car. Two guys leap out of the car and start coming towards us, let me rephrase that, two POLICEMEN leap out of the COPCAR in FRONT OF THE POLICE STATION and start coming toward us. My dad was able to apologize them into submission but it was still a fabulous moment for Maddy and I, watching our father get IN TROUBLE.

Sooooooo that’s about it for this post. SEA U SOON!!!!!!


Helen’s first 2018 Post! — 10 Comments

  1. Helen–Your descriptive post was delightful to read! It sounds like you are having a blast, despite the noisy birds. Scott and I are living vicariously through you–keep on writing when you can! Love to you, Maddy, your Dad and extra special hugs and kisses to your Mom!! Xxoo P&S

    • Patty and Scott, we are happy that Helen’s post perked things up in what must be a very trying and emotional time for you. We send our loving thoughts to you and your mom. Dan, Mars, Maddy and Helen.

  2. Great writing Helen! You should become an author 😉 your descriptions are fabulous. (btw it’s “Rappelling” that you do descending from a cliff with ropes & a harness (repelling is what you do to an ugly boy that asks you to dance…) and I couldn’t spell to save my life when I was young – – it’s only spell check that saves me now!!! However… nothing can top your dad getting into trouble with the Gendarme… And I didn’t know that lizards don’t have eyelids! Glad you guys are having a blast, we take off for Pulton Bay in 4 days, it’s a 3 day drive to get there – ugh! But that way the dog gets to go (can’t leave Belle-of-the-Ball at home)! Hard to believe but it’s been 50 years since Grant bought PB.. And the cabin shows it, lol it’s starting to fall apart. Anyway be safe and have a blast – love to all- ASxxxooo

    • Have a safe trip Sue! Bella must love the Wolves howling at night! Enjoy! We promise to get the girls there soon. It’s an amazing place!!

  3. Oooo, Dan groveling in front of Azores cops, sounds PRICELESS!
    (And Dan, we want a full report on what you had to say to appease the local authorities 🙂
    Nice post, Helen!

  4. What an experience you are having…and what great memories you are sharing, Helen! Keep up the super journalistic work for all us landlubbers! -A&B

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