Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

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Oh look at that! It’s a self portrait of myself after drinking too much carrot juice. I took this picture a few weeks ago with my Sony camera when we went to Old Colorado City and have wanted to post it on WordPress for the longest time. I’m so behind on my Weekly Photo Challenges, I feel as though I am running behind the Weekly Photo Challenge bus and waving my camera shouting, “Wait for me! I’ve got pictures to share! Let me catch up!”

One of the first stores we visited had the coolest sculptures and Mexican artwork. This was a garden wonderland of weird shaped animals with a hint of Picasso deformity in their anatomy and South Western Indian art craft. I did take several videos of it, but I have to put it together. I saw this face and admired the paintwork on it; there were others, but this was a bit spooky, but beautiful at the same time. We did end up buying a handmade circular Mayan calendar and hung it up on our wall, but during the night, it fell and smashed into four parts. Gluing it together did no justice to it, so this means another lovely trip through the Garden of the Gods (a lot of orange there) to this cool and quirky store to pick up another Mayan calendar.

Bloggers Note: If you’ve noticed I haven’t been around to your blog for the past weeks, it’s because my email notifications of hundreds of bloggers I follow were being sent to my bulk folder and not my regular inbox.  I only was getting 8 notifications a day when in reality I follow several hundred bloggers. I think it’s fixed because my inbox is back to overflowing with notifications once again. Another blogger mentioned to me that with WP always updating, perhaps it was a glitch. I seriously thought the unthinkable happed; the Blog apocalypse happened and everyone I was following simply just vanished due to no notifications of new posts. And that, my friends, would reflect a very orange face!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

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This was taken at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs last year. Yes, the rocks are that big. If those people were twice their size and standing on that platform, the rock on the right would still tower above them.

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We were driving along a highway in Colorado and I saw these homes. I just thought it was so quaint. Those homes seemed so far from society, placed on the side of a big hill where they appeared untouchable. I can only assume there was a small road alongside the three buildings.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

To be honest, I was too lazy to go back and find a picture that represented me for this weekly challenge. Instead, I decided on two pictures I took this past Sunday when we went to a dog park.


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I love taking pictures of doors, patios and especially windows. This window was on a church that we passed on our way to the dog park. Luckily, the traffic light was long enough for me to whip out my camera and snap this window. How does this picture represent myself aka express myself? Well, for starters, I am like this specific window. Beyond the exterior, I am a simple girl. I am precise, artistic, simply elegant, delicate yet very strong (wrought iron strong if you will). I’m open, yet private, but just enough for you to take a peek at what I’m all about.

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This next picture was taken at the dog park considered one of the “Top 10 Best Dog Parks in the USA”! How can you not love the mountains in the background and the rolling hills of trails to walk on? By the way, the dog park is called Bear Creek Dog Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was truly enjoyable. There are creeks and many trails to explore which isn’t found in a typical dog park.

How does the last picture reflect me? I am one full of love and care. I tend to burst out in laughter, love, kindness, compassion or any type of energy that spread out and grasps anything in its way. I want to bring light to darkness. If anything, you’ll always feel pure, but gentle warmth from me.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

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Yesterday we went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to explore a bit. While there, we saw the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun up further in the mountain looking grand and serene as it towered above us. We were already about 8,000 feet above sea level at the zoo as it was, but I had to zoom in quite a bit to get this shot and had a bit of fun editing it afterwards as you can tell. After taking the picture, I just stood there and looked at it for a few moments. Another day I will go up there and take more pictures of it, but all I could do was just look at it from afar. But there it stood as if it was just overlooking the Colorado Springs town below with a sense of serenity. The Shrine is beckoning.

Sunday in Manitou Springs, Colorado

My son and I took a stroll through Manitou Springs today and I thought I’d share it with you. Today was our third day in Colorado and we were anxious to explore a little since we had previously passed through this town a few months ago.

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I absolutely love dreamy little corners of the world where you can just sit and have a cup of tea and appreciate life. I must come back when it’s much warmer.

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Dreamy little place to shop.

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I used the window as a frame for the background which was quite fascinating.

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Bear alert!

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Adventure Boy, my 13 year old love of my life.

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I was getting odd looks as I was taking this picture. Why would someone take a picture of this? Because I saw something beautiful blowing in the wind and I wanted to capture it! Hence, I bring you this…

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Beauty in ordinary things. I see it everyday. I want to see it everyday. I must.

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Pretty.

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Canals are great! I felt like I was in Europe for a few minutes.

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Seeing a glimpse of life in plants peeking behind windows just made me stop and take this picture. Instead of curtains, this made the whole picture so beautiful.

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Came across a wall with this painting on it. Who was he?

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I was initially admiring this gorgeous bird house until….

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I saw the bird house had an adorable resident already living in it.

Manitou Springs is a quirky little town, but I captured just tidbits of it all. To visit it, would take all afternoon because there is so much to see there. Below is a short video I shot today and I hope you like it.

Manitou Springs December2014 from JavaGirl on Vimeo.

Why Wednesday!

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(Sarma, Arabika Massif)

WHY, is that I will refuse to jump out of a plane and go parachuting, yet I would be willing to descend into the dark abyss of said cave pictured above? Why?! What is wrong with me? Since I am terrified of heights, why is it that it doesn’t bother me to descend into a cave? I think because I have a slight more control of how slow I am descending via the ropes rather than falling through the skies in a very fast speed. I know with parachuting and spelunking, the final destination is the ground…but I tend to like to take my time when it comes to descending…hence my less fear of heights going down into some dark cave.

This cave called Cave Sarma world’s is the second biggest discovered cave in the world. It is also the most challenging, so if you want some major mental and physical challenge then this is the cave for you!

I don’t see myself going to Vietnam any time soon, but Son Doong is the world’s biggest cave and I would definitely check it out if I had an opportunity. For now, I’ll just explore it vicariously through this National Geographic documentary safe and sound in my living room eating my warm chocolate chip cookies and almond milk. Cave exploring, seeing and hearing rushing waters, climbing over rocks and wearing caving equipment, yes please! Ok, I admit. I wouldn’t go as far as these explorers and researchers did, but I would descend and explore for half an hour and then scramble back up. You have to make sure you always have an escape exit when in a cave!

If you do watch the video below, wait until you get to the 18:00 minute of the documentary. All I can say is that it’s very Jurassic Park-esque and beautiful. Those lucky cave explorers!

Video credit: Threeland Travel

Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge

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Where there is music, there are people who come together to listen and watch. This was taken when we were on Royal Caribbean returning back from one of the islands. Yes, the picture is a little blurry, but I believe I was slightly dancing as I was holding the camera. Besides, I love the bright and festive colors in this photograph.

Blogger’s Note: I’ll be posting more later on. Once I’m officially in Colorado near Christmas time, I’ll be posting up more pictures and videos so stay tuned! A huge thanks to all my newest subscribers-you’re the best!

12,095 feet up in the mountains!

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See those mountains off in the distance? We had to go through them to get to Aspen. Driving along this road and seeing those majestic mountains in front of us made me very excited and brought back to mind why I find mountains so fascinating. Down where I was born in the jungles of Brazil, we had hills off in the distance covered with trees. The first time I really saw mountains was when my mom and I went to Colorado when I was 17 years old. I briefly remember my time there such as feeling the lack of oxygen and feeling breathless. I remember it was cloudy and very cold, but that was it. I thought the mountains back then were cool, but nothing like the ones I was going to see this day. Part of me was thinking, “How are we going to pass over those mountains? They are so big!”

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See that tiny snake like winding road below? We came from there. I remember when we were driving down there looking up to where I am (standing to take this picture) and thinking, “Wow, we will be up soon!” The roads leading up the mountains were narrow and scary! But, that is what made it fun! After the bridge that was suspended high up in the air, I could handle snake like narrow roads with no rails along the side of the road! There were many points in the roads going up the mountains that if you were not careful of driving, you could end up rolling OFF THE MOUNTAIN! The drivers coming the opposite way (from Aspen) had the unfortunate luck of being on the left side closest to the cliff! This road is not for the faint of heart!

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From this view point, you can see the road we’ll be on in a few minutes. But can you see that cliff drop off?

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I love this picture. Once we arrived at our location “Independence Pass”, there is a trail you can walk on. On our way up there, it was snowing! Good thing we wore jackets and wore hats, I mean, we were on a mountain after all! This trail looks like it goes straight to the heavens.

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Simply amazing. By this time, I was mesmerized by where I was. I was taking it all in.

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Love the reflection of the sun on that lake. This picture is on my phone as my background picture. I show it to everybody and tell them I was up there. 🙂

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This photo is special to me. When I took this picture, I was thinking of my mom. It’s almost like I can reach through the clouds and caress her cheeks or try to hold her hand for a few seconds. My mom’s presence is always with me in everything I do, but for that small moment, I felt like I was so close to her-up in the clouds. Simple picture, yes, but it speaks volumes to me on a personal level. I miss my mom. They say when you’re on a mountain and you see the majesty of how big the mountains are compared to how small one is, a lot of things come to mind. There are a lot of thoughts that run through your mind when you’re on top of the world.

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Coming up here was one of my favorite things I got to do while visiting Colorado. Something tells me, this won’t be the last I’ll be up here because, after all, I will be moving here next month (not this mountain, I mean Colorado Springs). I’m already in love with the mountains and I already feel like Colorado is my home. There are so many fun things I’ll be doing and experiencing once we move here that I can’t wait to share them with you!

Below is a quick video of Independence Pass. For more information, check out the official website. http://www.independence-pass.com/

And this next video I did just for fun. What happened was that we ran into a very foggy area in the mountain that appeared spooky. This was on another day and we were trying to find the wolf sanctuary, but our GPS on our phones were not working because of our location. We kept driving and driving, but got more lost as we went deeper into the mountain. We decided to finally turn around at one point and head back to sunlight and civilization.

This clip is of us finally coming out of the mountain.

As we were driving, having no internet on our phones and feeling helpless if anything happened up there, I thought adding creepy music to this short clip would be kinda fun. I always thought I’d be a good suspense filmmaker. The end is what was creepiest. Just the fact that there was vast amounts of land on both sides and anything could have run from out of nowhere and attached themselves to our car was enough to get my imagination into overload. Haha.

Vacation: Haiti 2014

Dear Haiti,

Thank you for your hospitality. Your warmth of your tour guides, the beauty of your country and the healing waters of your ocean exceeded my expectations. We both loved it so much and hopefully will return again in the near future.

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This is the beautiful cruise ship that took us to all four countries. This was the view from our boat that took us to Malfini Beach, a private Royal Caribbean cast away beach. If you ever go on this cruise, I highly recommend going to this beach. It is well worth it and you’ll fall in love with it.

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This was a fun picture to take.

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It was funny, while Adventure Boy and I were swimming, we saw this boat come to the beach. Our hosts on the beach, local Haitians, had ordered take out. You can see one of the tour guides picking up the food. The boat later turned around and left. Did they get Chinese? Greek? I bet it was a delicious Haitian cuisine. Once on the beach, we were served a special punch that tasted amazing. No lunch was served because that was going to be on Labadee Island after our 3 hour time on Malfini Beach ended.

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Our mats. We had the best time on them!

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A yacht on the beautiful waters of Haiti? Yes please!

Look at the water! I couldn’t take my eyes off of the colors of the water. The water was so warm and calm…and clear! Floating on my back, closing my eyes and feeling the sunshine on my face was one of the best feelings in the world. I let everything that caused me stress go and allowed the waters to just gently caress me. Basically, we spent 3 wonderful hours swimming and exploring the sea life under us.

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After spending 3 amazing hours at Malfini Beach, we were then whisked away on a boat to Labadee Island where we had a delicious lunch. The cords you see in the background are the lines for the zip line. I thought about going on it, but decided it was funnier and better to watch others scream their heads off as they descended. I, on the other hand, just sipped on my pina colada as I laid back on my chair enjoying the view in front of me. The picture below is my view.

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Cabanas! They are the reason why I want this type of bed in the future. I should have rented out one, but thought of that way too late.

VIDEO COMING SOON! Please check back to see if it has been posted. Thanks!