By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Column: Another tale about being stranded on an island — almost
Azores 2018 1
A view in April 2018 along the Sete Cidades hiking trail in the Azores. - photo by Shannon Casas

So, we’ve been stranded on the deserted island for a while now. I haven’t played my guitar. I am using plenty of soap. And my husband is currently using a knife to chop some potatoes. We still seem to have everything we need.

If you missed that column, it’s available online, along with everything else in the world. Because life now only exists online.

We’ve talked about the virus. We’ve talked about life online. Most of us are tired of talking about the virus and life online.

So, today we’re going to talk about that one time I almost literally got stuck on an island.

It was almost exactly two years ago.

My husband, two sisters and one at-the-time-almost brother-in-law set out for the Azores. The chain of islands is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean about 1,000 miles off the coast of Portugal. 

We hiked, we drank wine, we went to hot springs, we hiked some more. 

Azores 2018 3
A lake is shrouded in fog in April 2018 on a hiking trail on the Sao Miguel island in the Azores. - photo by Shannon Casas

If you’ve got to be stranded on an island, it’s certainly not the worst.

After a week of adventures, we arrived at the small airport in our rental car.  We got out. My husband looked at me and said, “Where are the passports?” 

Now, sometimes he likes to pull my chain. I had a sinking feeling this wasn’t one of those times. But still I asked, “Are you serious?” Yes, he was. 

We searched our pockets, our luggage and our rental car. 

My husband was certain he’d left them in a drawer at our Airbnb. He put them there for safe-keeping. Only, the Airbnb was locked tight. 

We frantically called our host, who was an hour away. Our flight was in just more than an hour. 

If we couldn’t make the flight, we still needed a place to sleep, so she headed toward Ponta Delgado.

We waited in the airport. We found photos of our driver’s licenses in our phones. We tried to speak with airport security about what could be done.

We would have caught another flight eventually, but this wasn’t the Atlanta airport where the planes usually come and go every few minutes. We would likely have been stuck at least an additional day, if not more. And at that time we had five kids waiting for us back home.

The rest of our crew eventually went through security, leaving us in the airport lobby. We waited. We watched, hoping against all odds that our Airbnb host would arrive with our passports.

Then — a miracle happened. She arrived with our passports with just minutes to spare.

Now, it was a blessing we weren’t at the Atlanta airport, where you’ve got to ride the plane train to get from security to your concourse. 

In this security line, we could see my sisters on the other side drinking wine. 

We were feeling frantic. They get anxious about flying but were arguably more relaxed than we were.

We joined them, though there was no time for wine, and we all made the flight. 

2018 Azores 2
The view from the airplane at the Ponta Delgado, Azores, airport just before takeoff in April 2018. - photo by Shannon Casas

I have never been more relieved to be on an airplane in my life. 

We could all use that feeling of relief right now, but I don’t think we’re there yet. It may be quite a while before we’re there. But we will one day escape our islands.

In the meantime, a trip to the Azores is out of the question. But if you have some travel stories, I’d love to hear them. We can at least mentally travel to places other than our home and the grocery store.

Shannon Casas is editor in chief of The Times and a foster parent. 

Regional events