Mini Vacay in São Tomé

Last week we took a short trip to São Tomé and Príncipe, a Portuguese-speaking island nation just off the coast of Gabon. The embassy here in Libreville oversees American operations both in Gabon and São Tomé so Ben went to work. Little girl and I tagged along to play. This was our first trip as a family of three (save for the long haul from the U.S. to Gabon, which I rather not think about right now…still too soon), and because the trip consisted of both a short flight and hotel stay, it was a good practice-run for any other vacations we may decide to take in the future. “May” is the key term here…because traveling with a 15 month old is no walk in the park, as we discovered. But she loved, loved, LOVED playing on the beach (note to parents with toddlers: beaches with tidal pools are AWESOME), which made the not so pleasant moments of the trip (night wakings, screaming during final descent, etc.) worth it. We didn’t see much this time around, but hopefully we’ll be able to go back at least once or twice while we’re living on this side of the world, as there is plenty to see and do — cocoa plantations, deep sea fishing and beautiful waterfalls just to name a few. Below are some pics from my walk near our hotel.

São Tomé and Príncipe is a former Portuguese colony, and much of its architectural influence can still be seen across the city.
São Tomé and Príncipe is a former Portuguese colony, and much of its architectural influence can still be seen across the city.
Breadfruit is a popular staple here.
Breadfruit is a popular staple here.
Interesting relief on an apartment building
Interesting painting on an apartment building
    We stopped by the "popular" park and checked out how the São Toméan kids play. A lot like us, as it turns out.
We stopped by the “popular” park and checked out how the São Toméan kids play. A lot like us, as it turns out.
Eco-friendly lawn mower
Eco-friendly lawn mower
A view of our hotel from afar
A view of our hotel from afar
The contrast of the old European-style cobblestone sidewalks against the tropical backdrop was beautiful.
The contrast of the old cobblestone sidewalks against the tropical backdrop was beautiful.
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