The Other Prince William: A Love Story

Yesterday I watched this beautiful yet tragic love story between a Hungarian woman and a British Prince named Prince William. This is the love story of a namesake of the current Prince William of England. I never heard about this story and found it so sad, beautiful, romantic and tragic. Interestingly enough, the woman in the video currently lives here in Colorado. I found this similar to the movie “Titanic” where the woman at end has a necklace, but as you’ll see, the woman in this video has a lasting memory of her prince with something else.

There are love stories and there are love stories that are simply so beautiful you wouldn’t believe they actually existed. This is one of them. I hope one day I’ll finally have my fairytale ending.

Video Credit: Kayla Gillis

Remembering Sept. 11: 15 Years Later

Dear friends,

It seems like just yesterday that we experienced tragedy, yet it’s actually been 15 years. For those of you who are new to my blog and are new subscribers, New Jersey was my home since I was 5 years old every time my mother and I would come to visit from Brazil. Every four years we’d come up to visit my grandfather and visit relatives. Sometimes, we’d stay longer from a few months to a year. During these times, we’d go visit NYC since we lived less than 2 hours away, so thus began my relationship with New York City. I’ve never had a bad memory that occurred in NYC. Eventually, when I finally moved to NJ to stay after High School in Brazil, I would visit NYC many more times as a young adult would-exploring what was waiting for us there. I had dreams of moving there one day and even knew what kind of home I wanted. I had everything all planned out. I loved walking around the city and had met many interesting folks there; a place with so many things to see and experience it would take a lifetime to complete them all.

One particular day, we had the idea of going up one of the Twin Towers to visit. As you may know, I am terrified of heights yet I thought it would be something I’d never forget. Once inside the building, we took a long ride up in the elevator to the very top. I felt slightly dizzy as I walked out of the elevator and saw how high we were. The view from the top floor up in the Twin Towers were amazing. I walked closer to the glass wall and looked down. The taxis were so small, like bugs, and I felt like the tower was even swaying a bit, but perhaps that was just me. I thought how beautiful it was from up there and it seemed so peaceful. Very quiet. I honestly remembered even then this was something I’ll never forget. The feeling of being so high in a building I saw so many times coming into NYC from NJ. Sitting in the car as a child, I’d wait looking out the window to get the first glimpse of the two Twin Towers. Once I saw them, I’d get so excited. Now I was finally up in one of them and I was left speechless.

On September 11th I happened to have the tv on watching a morning show when they suddenly cut to breaking news. Reports were being said that a “small airplane” had flown into a tower. I saw the video and thought it was odd. I remember everything of that day. What I was wearing, where I was standing and the kind of day it was outside. How could a plane just crash into one of the towers? I was glued to the tv and was watching it as my heart started to race. I had no idea how worse it was going to get that day. I watched as the second plane hit the tower with my hands over my mouth in disbelief when it showed on tv. Sadly, the copilot of the second airplane was someone I knew; he was my childhood friend’s cousin. My stomach dropped. All those people on that plane (and the plane before that). As the day wore on, there was so much chaos and I felt like I was living a nightmare. So much sadness and grief that day.

I still get emotional when I watch documentaries about 9/11. It’s tough. My heart goes out to every single family that lost someone that day. The story of the heroes on the third plane I will always remember their story as well. As anyone who has experienced loss from a tragic event, you learn to cope. The pain remains, yet you do your best to keep your loved ones memory alive.

15 years and yet it feels like yesterday.

We will never forget.

Do you remember where you were or doing that day?

The September 11th Memorial and Museum from Amanda on Vimeo.

My 2016 Summer Song

Every year during the summer, I choose a song that reflects how I am feeling or what I am going through up to that point. This year I chose the song “The Sun is Shining” because of the lyrics. This song just makes me feel good, the video is filmed flawlessly and it just is special to me. It’s great to remind people that no matter what they are going through, they will get through it. I remind myself how I have dreams and goals and I won’t allow something to ruin my aspirations and determination. I have to work hard to get there. Speaking of which, I ‘ll be starting up kickboxing very, very soon. More on that later, but until then, please enjoy my summer 2016 song “Sun is Shining”. I dedicate this to all my newest subscribers and to all my blogger friends who have stuck by me through the years. Thank you. I love you! xoxo

Video credit: Axwell Ingrosso

Song: Sun is Shining

I dance in the car, do you?

Hey guys!

I found this gem of a video a while ago and shared it on Twitter. I love this song and video so much I wanted to blog it to my subscribers. As you know, blogging on WordPress allows me to look back at a certain time of my life and remember the good times. I work with adults with disabilities (Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy etc) and I absolutely adore them; I wake up and am excited to know I will make a difference in their lives and help them with their goals. I also like to have fun with them when we go out into the community. Those special moments I cherish so much. I’m making memories with them AND they see how fun it is to hang out with me such as dancing to music in the car, hehe. When I first saw how they were dancing in the car, I thought, “Omg! That’s exacty what I do with my hands too! The head shake, the rolling of the shoulders etc” So much fun!

Video credit: Superfruit

Song: This Girl by Kungs X Cookin’ on 3 burner

Downtown Brazilian Olympic Party 2016

When I heard there was going to be a Brazilian themed partay downtown Colorado Springs, I knew I just had to go. One, I love me some Brazilian music (it enlivens my soul and spirit) and secondly, it sounded fun! So, we headed down around 5:35 pm and didn’t leave until 10:30 pm. Here are some things we saw while there.

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Leaving the public parking lot, we walked down this little alley way and saw this. Seeing three colors on a wall is just pure eye candy for anyone with a camera. Hence, this picture.

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I love architecture and looking up is always something I must do when walking around. This was on our way to the festival or partay as I like to say.

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There were a good 100 people already walking towards the road block and the roads weren’t quite filled yet. This was my first time walking around downtown and I’ve lived here 19 months! I live up Northeast which is a good 25 minutes away, so I hang around up there most of the time. It was nice, I should come down there more often, there are tons of cool restaurants and shops. My kind of town baby!

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The way they had it set up was kind of funny. There were several things going on, so you would hear yells, shouting and clapping from different parts of the road. There were set times for performances and dances, so people would be like herds of cattle moving from one area to the next; it just made me laugh in a weird way to see a huge crowd move like schools of fish, haha. Anyways, here were some lovely ladies performing a typical Northeastern Brazilian dance.

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This samba dancer was not only gorgeous, but she wore my favorite color and her outfit was the closest to what the samba dancers in Brazil wear. Sometimes the feathers they wear is so extravagant, it weights up to 50 pounds or more!

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Here are some players from a Boulder Samba school. They did a fantastic job and I felt right at home when they did their performance. I was impressed! They are called Bateria de Alegria.

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Oh, to be flexible like that once again. I used to be able to do that when I was in middle school taking gymnastics.

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Flowers are sprinkle around town. Nothing makes a town more attractive than gardens of flowers on the sidewalks.

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It was soon getting dark and people were watching and cheering the Olympians as they walked into the opening ceremony. The loudest cheers from the crowd that night was, of course, when the team from the USA came. Did you know there are 19 Olympians from Colorado? Pretty cool.

We had a fun night and I love crowds. I love walking around and taking in the sights and sounds. The entire time there I wanted to dance with all the Brazilian sounds and music pumping through the speakers. I haven’t had that much fun in a very long time. It was due time.

Here are some things we saw Friday night. I chose specific music to go along with the dances. The only one I wasn’t to do that was the Bateria de Alegria Samba school. I was having issues with my Windows Movie Maker and their sound got deleted. Luckily, I found a song similar to what they were playing. Enjoy the video!

Dear Journal: July 12, 2016 A dying yellow rose

*This blog entry is more of a self analysis of how far I’ve come and how I deal with things. This is why I write so that I can look back and learn how I handled things. ALL comments welcomed, especially from my subscribers who have followed me for years.*

Dear Journal,

It’s been a while since I’ve written. The past six months have been such a learning experience. I’ve learned that I’m a lot stronger than I’ve ever thought I was. I’ve learned that I have immense patience and can perform under pressure. I’ve also learned that the truth always comes out at the end no matter how hard or sneeky my coworkers people may think they are.

Taking time off from blogging to enjoy the many adventures life offers here in Colorado has been much needed. Things are great in all areas of my life and I’m happy and content. I have great friends who are there to support me and a precious 15 year old son who brightens my day and who teaches me new things like the Pokemon Go game that has taken over the world. I’m a freakin’ dinosaur and 100 years old, so I had no clue this game was coming out and now I want to drive everywhere so he can catch some at the park. I think the game is great because it’s getting kids out to explore the parks and not be inside all day. Exploring and being outside is normal for my son and I. I love nature and I think I’ve instilled that in him because he loves taking pictures of flowers and little bugs he finds on our hikes. Watching his fascination with the smallest things in nature is marveling and inspiring.

I met this fascinating woman when I first started my new job. Cicily is one of those people who is pure sunshine when she walks into a room. We got along immediately and we bonded by discussing books (she’s an author), life in general, ping ponged sarcasm back and forth to each other and of course, our love for music. We worked side by side for a few months before her cancer returned and she had to stop working. I’ve had to deal with my own grief watching my own mom go through remission off and on in a period of ten years. That journey was long, yet it gave me time to get prepared in some way. However, when my mom passed away, it was somewhat sudden within 72 hours. With Cicily, it’s been over a course of 4 months. At first, I wasn’t sure how I was handling this the past few months. I kept thinking, “I want to help her, but am I emotionally strong? Can I do this? This is bringing me a few steps backwards from what I’m trying to do in dealing with my own grief.” I had mixed emotions. There were moments I would be driving and I would burst into tears knowing I was losing a friend. A dear friend. A single mom leaving behind 3 children. The cancer stopped, but then it came back with a vengeance that I had never seen before, even with my own mom. It was startling. My friend was so tired of all the treatments. She knew she had only a few months left. Her doctors said she would be lucky to see her birthday and this was back in late May. I was truly scared for her. Guess what? Her birthday is today. July 12th. Today we’re having a party for her at her house, but her organs are shutting down and all the signs of death is looming over her and this appears to be the right time when she has some energy left to share this day with all her loved ones. Death is so near. She knows it. We all know it. I’m so happy she’s come this far and is able to celebrate her last birthday. Over the course of the past months, I’ve sent her text messages and have visited her. Recently we discussed her funeral arrangements and about packing up her house. She knew I was familiar with this and wanted my opinion. Over the course of these months, I’ve had to mentally be strong. Not just for her, but for myself. If I was feeling emotionally fragile, I would not visit her that day. I needed to recharge and get it together. This whole situation has been tough. So recently when I was feeling great and felt like I could see her, I did fine. We talked about things, laughed and got down to business. Anyways, as my friend will say goodbye for the final time to her kids today at noon (they have to catch a plane), my heart can only imagine what she will be going through. Forever goodbyes are painful. After her party today and the days following, I am one of the people to help her with hospice and being with her for a few hours as others will be helping around the clock. I’ve never done hospice before. It’s all new to me.

People are brought into our lives for a reason. Even if it’s less than 8 months or so. What has Cicily taught me in knowing her for such a short time? I’ve come to realize that she has shown me that I am strong. Emotionally. More than I have given myself credit for. She has taught me to never settle for less and always remember I deserve better in anything and everything. She’s taught me the ability to ask myself tough questions even if I already know the answer to them.

She also wanted yellow roses for her funeral as they are her favorite flowers.

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Yes, that’s me after waking up. My brain is slowly turning it’s squeaky wheels after a foggy realization that I’m taking a selfie. Probably one of my favorite selfies because I’m in a vulnerable (this what you get seeing me in the morning lmao) and natural state. My hair is messy, I’m not wearing makeup and my eyeliner from last night remains reminding me that I can still stay awake out late at 3 am. My red bed sheets keep me warm as they appear to swallow me back into dreamland. My son said I look 12. My friends say 19 or 20. Lmao. This was taken July 1, 2016.

Xoxoxo!

Hold my heart (like a newborn baby)

I think this is why I’ve been single the past 17 months. It’s not so much as guarding my heart, it’s more about finding someone who will treat you with respect. The way someone treats me gives me an enormous overview of how they see themselves. I have massive respect for myself and I do my best to value and gently hold someone else’s heart. However, in return, they may just take a quick look at my heart and toss it aside like it was nothing because there’s always someone else, like we’re all on some kind of conveyer belt of dating. Picking up my heart off the ground, because these years it’s gotten harder to break my heart (maybe a scuff here and there), I think, “Are you serious? My heart is not a football.” Sure, my heart may be bionic with self respect, but it deserves to be handled gently at the same time. Be rest assured, I have hope there’s still guys out there that will take a much longer look at my heart like an art piece that is complex with beauty and value it to protect it with all his might.

This may or may not have been inspired by true events. The characters or events in this story may be pure, uh, coincidence.

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Denver Botanic Gardens

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Walking around Denver Botanic Gardens was very beautiful and I’m happy to share some of what we saw. Now that we are in the Spring season, the trees are in full bloom. That Colorado blue sky though!

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I came across a very angry orchid flower. It was screaming! Beautiful, but sassy orchids in the tropical room.

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Gorg plant, but I’m not sure the name of it. I love the tones in this particular plant.

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This stretches a long way and I just thought this angle was just so pretty. When I edited my name at the bottom of this picture, it came out huge here on WordPress. Sorry about that. But let’s take a moment and notice how all the little blue flowers look like they are yelling. Nature has a sense of humor and I’m bound to find it!

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If pink is your favorite color you would be in your glory walking around here.

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I like to find ugly or things that would normally be overlooked and make it spectacular. Here we have reeds sticking out of the water. They have nothing to offer. However, I loved how the sky reflected on the water. I was mesmerized.

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Blue flowers melt my heart-just like I fell in love with these flowers when I saw them.

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This reminded me of my childhood growing up in the Amazon jungle. Be still my beating heart.

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Growing up seeing these plants all your life isn’t too shabby. I felt right at home when I saw these.

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I might blow up this photo in size and hang it in my bathroom. It’s got that organic, fresh and zen feel to it. I was literally standing over this plant to get this shot.

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My mom would have loved these flowers.

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I love sculptures and this certainly caught my eyes!

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One of my favorite spots at the Denver Botanic Gardens! You can walk around the pond or sit on one of the benches facing the gazebo. To the far left is where we sat at the restaurant (not seen in the photo) where the service is friendly, the views are amazing and the food is delicious! I was raving about their fries and their pulled pork sandwich for days!

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Japanese garden.

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This bridal gown was up on the second floor of one of the plant rooms showcasing local artists work. Actually, it was in the same level as the tropical plant room. I love the skirt!

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If I lived closer to Denver (I live an hour away) I’d become a member to come sit here everyday. It’s amazing how so many plants can replenish your inner soul. This woman was just sitting there enjoying the atmosphere and I don’t blame her. This particular walkway reminded me of a park by my house down in Brazil called “The Bosque”. It was here that I’d go there and run around with my friends or have picnics with my mom, exploring and hiking around the trails. Here is a short video of what the park looks like. It literally is one of my favorite places in my hometown, I have so many great memories from there. One day I’d love to show my teen Adventure Boy this park, so he can get a feel (other than the humid air) of what kind of things I did as a teen. The video is here. Check it out!

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Behold a tree house! We were heading up to the top, but there were cones in the way in one of the stairs. By then, I had looked at the time and realized they were going to be closing soon so we forgot to head up the other way to go up. Maybe this coming Saturday we’ll head up to the top. Anyways, this tree house was epic! If you live near Denver, definitely check out the tree house in the tropical plant room. This is one of my favorite pictures even though it seems like any other picture. I like it!

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I love this house! Nothing brings out the romantic in me to see vines climbing up an old house with so much character. I could have sat there and come up with a short love story just by looking at this house. Yes, this is in the Denver Botanic Gardens park.

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So there ya go. Just a few pictures that I took whilst visiting Denver Botanic Gardens. This probably is thee longest post I’ve ever done in the past 5 years I’ve been blogging here on WordPress.

VIDEO COMING SOON! STAY TUNED!

Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

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This week’s photo challenge is to choose a picture that represents our “state of mind”. What you see outwardly is not often reflected in what is going on inside, therefore, I thought this picture was a prime example of my state of mind. What is it you ask? How can I explain this? Ok. The shadow depicting wings from the man (in relation to myself) represents my goals and dreams that I’m currently working on. No one can see that unless I either tell them or they get to know me. My mind is always planning as I’m looking at the bigger picture. But on the outside I’m just another person you walk by or stand beside in the elevator. Everyone has different sizes of wings (goals), some are prime and ready for take off…others have just returned and they have teathered wings to show it so they need rest. Everyone is traveling on their own journeys in life. I don’t know if that made absolutely any sense.

This picture that I took was taken at The Fine Arts Museum here in Colorado Springs. This piece is by the Cuban artists Ron and Una Brasch. Their “Spreading Its Wings” artwork is only here until March 20th, so if you live here in Colorado Springs, make sure to stop by and check this out in person!