Let’s go into my secret garden…

Do you remember that book and movie “The Secret Garden”? I’ll never forget watching it for the first time and how enchanted it was to go into an unknown garden. From that time on, I’ve been fascinated by large gardens; it had such a profound effect on me. Gardens can represent our inner thoughts and soul. How often do we allow others to come into our sacred garden? Everybody? A few? Or only a few every 10 years? All of us have gardens, so to speak, and each one of us are readily working on them. Some abandon their once glorious gardens until someone decides to come along and nurture what was once so fertile. Others, maintain their gardens everyday and year without much effort. For me, my garden is very rich and full of love, butterflies and imagination. For me, my doors to my garden are heavily guarded by gates of trust. It’s not often I let others come into my sacred world, but when I do, they are the most incredible people I have ever met. These people are the ones who tell me everythings going to be ok when I have a bad day, or its ok to cry once in a while and not have to feel like superwoman everyday…or the ones who make me laugh with their funny stories. I love to laugh! I need to laugh. Times are hard for everyone and people need their spirits lifted. They make my garden so much more beautiful and richer. It feels incredible, there are no other words to describe it.

Thank you to all the bloggers I nominated who commented. Your gratitude shows immense character to me. People who say thank you are so humble and sweet in a world that is always so busy and thoughtless.

The picture above is of my mom’s archway that she lit up with lights towards the side of her house. I thought it looked so magical and cute when I went to visit her. The right of the picture (you can’t see it), she does have a garden and two white pillars.

These thoughts I just had to share with you.

The Versatile Blogger Awards go to….

First and foremost, a huge thank you to Munchow for awarding me the “Versatile Blogger Award”. WordPress has over 400,000 bloggers worldwide, it’s quite an honor. I think this is a great idea as it gives a chance for other bloggers to specifically give this fun little award to their favorite bloggers. If you are named below, I’m giving you this award because I just think your blog rocks! There are 4 main rules to this.

1. Name 15 bloggers.
2. Inform the bloggers of their nomination and award.
3. Share 7 random things about yourself.
4. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award pic on your blog post.

Here are my 15 bloggers I awarding and my reasons.

1. Reason: Josiah was one of the first people to comment on my blogs. I like his internal way of writing and expressing himself. That stood out to me.
Josiah's Blog Page

2. Reason: Chris is a fantastic photographer and his blog posts of his trip in South America is simply amazing to read. I also love the way he writes; it keeps me captivated.
Santiagonorth Blog

3. Reason: Delightfulness’s blogs are right to the point, yet funny at the same time. I like her outspoken way of writing. I wish I could be that bold.
Delightfulness Blog

4. Reason: Jan Simson also has a captivating way of writing which I love. I like his interesting views on life and his surroundings. 19 years old and analytical about life in general-very fascinating.
Jan Simson's Blog

5. Reason: Dave White is an artist who contributes to charity by selling his paintings to feed the hungry. I love charity blogs and this one deserves recognition.
Dave White's Blog

6. Reason: Nikkibi has a fun way of writing and adds delicious looking photos to her blog. You’ll like reading about her hot spots she eats at with her bf and her many adventures.
Nikkibi's Blog

7. Reason: She’s family! Sarah blogs over at BlogSpot, so I’ll let her slide this time. Just kidding. I love you Sarah! She’s very outspoken too, but also incredibly sweet. I love having her as a cousin! She’s starting up a store where she’ll sell scarves and other cool things. I’m waiting for my scarves to come in the mail soon!
My cousin's blog

8. Reason: Lemonissimo is a family man and loves to post pictures of his family doing things! Family is important to me, so it’s always great to see how much fun they seem to have together. His kids are so cute!
Lemonissimo's Blog

9. Reason: Liza writes from her heart on her blogs. Her primary focus are her poetry and the psychology of human interaction and communication. I’m all about communication, hence the reason why I nominated her.
Liza's Blog

10. Reason: Kristoffer is my ex-boyfriend, but we remain close friends. He’s gone through a lot in his 29 years and wants to share with the world his trials and tribulations. He blogs when he can since he’s very busy.
Kristoffer's Blog

11. Reason: Winsomebella has been one of my first subscribers since I joined WordPress. Her “likes” have always kept me upbeat to write more and share my photos. Thank you Winsomebella! Her blogs are fun to read as well.
Winsomebella's Blog

12. Reason: Robin is a 24 year old who blogs about balancing her life and eating healthy. I enjoy reading her blogs a lot.
Robin's Blog

13. Reason: Colleen Ponce is an amazing artist! Check out her drawings on her page. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.
Colleen's Blog

14. Reason: Tim is an aspiring filmmaker. His blogs are written to document his journey throughout the process. I’ve always liked the insights into filmmaking and all the behind the scenes details in making a movie. He’s new to WordPress so check out his blogs.
Tim's Blog

15. Reason: Alex is my Brazilian friend. His blogs are in Portuguese, so if you can understand or read it, you’ll like his blogs.
Alex's Blog

7 Random Things about me:

1. I’d like to “swim” with sharks at my local aquarium.
2. I’ve been interviewed on tv and appeared in 2 local commercials in Brazil .
3. I want to zipline someday
4. I love making my own pizza.
5. I could use a nice neck massage right now.
6. I wish they would put Pepsi in a bottle!
7. I would love to see the Northern Lights.

Morning fog

Good morning my friends! Today I woke up surrounded by a cloud otherwise known as fog. For a photographer, fog can conjure up images of an untold story, a romantic poem or a mystery to be solved. Fog brings mystery to nature. I played around with some colors for my readers to come up with their own take of fog during Fall. The middle photo is sepia, but I feel the warmth of the picture through the photo.

Magical little hotel in Chile

I must tell you of this magical place called “The Magic Mountain Hotel” in Southern Chile in the Huilo Huilo Reserve. This cute and fairytale looking hotel has 9 rooms with modern amnities. Each room is named after a specific local bird. Upon arriving you will hear and see water cascading down from the top of this volcanic shaped lodging place. This hotel is surrounded by natural wildlife and boasts the longest zipline in South America. Even though the rooms and walls are fully built from local trees and stones, don’t be fooled by it’s rustic appearance. There is internet access available for those who must need a form of communication to the outside world. One of the most fascinating things about the hotel are the hot tubs that are built from tree trunks that are filled with hot water that overlook the forest below. There are many outdoor activities to fulfill your adventureous spirit. I think this place offers a very close and intimate setting with nature. During the winter, I can only imagin how quiet and secluded it is. Imagine sitting by the fireplace sipping a hot drink while telling stories of the last adventure you were on with complete strangers from all over the world. The next time I go to South America, I’d like to stop over in Chile and check this place out.

Let’s take a walk in the park

This Autumn has been very special thus far. With the extra rain and snow, it has kept most of the trees green and has made the Autumn fall leaves not be so fleeting as it usually is. Most Autumns of the past, the leaves change so fast before I know it, the trees are all bare and skeletal looking. The trees are still changing and have the look of a “mango” as I like to describe them. When I say “mango”, I mean that the tree itself is still greenish at the bottom and slowly fades to three shades to the very top-it’s quite beautiful! I think we are nearing their peak, but I still see green trees and hope for the best of enjoying more trees changing. I was driving back home today and passed this park. Other days, I’ve said that I must stop and get out to take a few pictures, but I never do. Today I did and I was thinking about all of you out there who read my blogs and wanted to take a few pictures for you. This blog is for you.

I was also listening to “Queen” and their song “Bohemian Rhapsody” while driving. It’s very hard to sit still when that song comes on the radio. I especially love their song “Crazy little thing called Love”. I hear Sasha Baron will play “Freddie” in a movie; I must watch that movie when it comes out as I am a big fan! Overall, it was a good & and productive day. How was yours?

My visit to the September 11th Memorial Park

How is everyone doing? I had worked on this video as soon as I came home from NYC and finished it Saturday afternoon. Due to the snow we got, my internet was running slower than usual and I could not upload this video. I must’ve tried 10 times, but luckily on the 11th try, it finally uploaded. I love Vimeo! They have to approve all videos and they have always approved mine, so I’m very happy to share this video with all of you.

My trip to NYC Friday was a lot of fun! Even though we walked a lot of city blocks, it was a good memory for all of us. It was good we went on the day we did go because the freak winter snow that fell upon the East Coast the next day!

In the video, you’ll see our cab driver. He was the nicest cab driver I’ve ever met because he was super friendly. He said he was from India, but was born in Denmark. It was interesting what he said about his passengers and all the stories he told about NYC. For a majority of the time, I felt like I was in the show “The Amazing Race” because we were racing other taxi cabs and we were swirving and darting in and out! The second cab driver told us how he was up washing windows of a building (not the Twin Towers) and saw the planes crash into both buildings. He said his boss told them to get down and go home. His story was incredible.

I’ve been to NYC many times, but I filmed this video for my friends and readers who have never been to NYC before. It was a Friday night, so we saw a lot of people later on running around in costumes going to parties.

Our time at the Memorial was very nice and somber. When you enter it, it’s not a sad feeling until you see the massive square hole of where the towers use to stand than you understand how truly big the castastrophy was. I didn’t see anyone cry, it was more of a quiet and reflective mood I sensed from everyone. When you run your hands over the names of the people, it’s sad to know they once had dreams and hopes too. The feel of the stone where all the names are carved out is incredibly smooth and cool to the touch. You’ll notice I filmed a name of Michael Horrocks. He was one of the pilots of the second plane that crashed into the twin towers. We know his family. I know his cousin very well. It was a surprise to find his name so quickly.

I was happy to see the “Survivor Tree” standing tall and flourishing. She is a beauty! There are many seats to sit down on to reflect. There is still a lot of construction going on and you can hear it the entire time you are there. The first scene you see is the Freedom Tower. The tower being built is gorgeous and so mighty looking- I couldn’t stop filming it! I love designs of buildings and you’ll see a lot of that in my video. The one scene with what looks like a fallen twin tower is part of the museum being constructed that will open up in 2012. I filmed a part of the structure that held the towers up in the museum through the glass. As we looked at it, it was amazing how they just snapped in half like toothpicks, yet they are made of strong metal.

Finally, towards the end of the day, we stopped by a flowershop on 39th Street. I love flowers and my mom bought herself a bouquet to take home. It was a fun filled day and we did a lot and ate at a great Brazilian restauant.

Overall, I feel good and I’m glad I finally paid my respects. If you get a chance, go down to the new park. You won’t regret it and for someone who has had a hard time going to Ground Zero for 10 years, you’ll be glad you did. It’s a feeling of hope, reflection and serenity when you enter the park.

Have a great day everyone! Thanks for being so patient waiting for this video.