Fun photo ideas for your next travel destination

Haha, you might want to try some of these poses next time you are at an iconic landmark. Have any of you done these? I’ve been to the one in Rio many times, but I’ve never done the holding hands thing with the Christ the Redeemer statue. I’ll have to try it next time I head down to Rio.

I’ll meet you in Rio!

A medieval city with European charm: My next vacation spot 2013

Hi friends,

A while ago I said I was planning to go to the Bahamas and Florida for vacation, but due to my mom not feeling well enough to go this year, she said to save the journey for another year. This has left me to decide to go somewhere else. My adventurous spirit and yearning to explore places will never cease to disappear from my heart and mind. Every year I long to escape to replenish my wander lust. I came across Quebec City from a travel site and decided that’s where I want to go this year. My goal is to go there either this Summer or Fall. One of the reasons why I am thrilled to visit Quebec City is because of it’s European feel. Most of the people there speak French, so that means I’ll have to brush up on my French skills. I’d love to spend a few days there too to see as much as I can. I’m still deciding how to get there, if I should take a train or plane. Watching those “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” movies has only peaked my interest to take a train there from Philadelphia. What can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m so excited as I carefully look at all the possibilities to see this great city! Quebec City, looking forward to having the most amazing time there!

Video credit: Quebecregion

A year later…

Hi everyone!

Guess what? Tonight I reached 50,000 views on my blog! Thanks to everyone who stopped by the past year. Some days I’d get a lot of views even though I hadn’t written anything. I have no idea how that happens, but it is a sweet surprise. Wow. So a whole year has flown by since I started my little blog. How do I commemorate? Well, for starters I’ll show some pictures of life in Brazil. I rarely do this, but tonight it feels right to do so. Back in the day, I didn’t own a digital camera, only the old school ones. So, I had to take a photo of my old photos. You may see a bright light reflected in the background.

First, I just want to quickly give some advice to any new bloggers out there who are just starting out. I noticed I’ve gotten some newbies as subscribers, so this one is just for you. These are 12 things I’ve learned from blogging the past year.

1. Don’t expect massive views when you first begin. I was so excited when I’d get at least 50 views a week! To me, that was success! There were days when I’d only get 11 views in one week. Don’t get discouraged. Keep on plugging’ away at the keyboard.

2. Remember why you blog. Are you blogging just to get noticed? People will notice that right away. They want to see you and read what makes you happy, sad or whatever you feel.

3. Reply to every single comment if you can. I was so excited when I had my first comment from Josiah. I couldn’t believe someone took the time to leave a comment. If people take the time to leave you a comment, be nice enough to reply back to them. It’s not fun to put thought into someone’s blog and then have them ignore you. It makes them appear arrogant or “too good” to say thank you.

4. Always be sure to check out “Freshly Pressed” bloggers and “like” or leave them a nice comment. You’ll find some great bloggers there and that’s where I’ve met some of my new friends.

5. Find a good and successful blogger who you can watch and learn from. What makes them get so many views? Is it how they interact with their subscribers? The most successful bloggers respond to every comment they receive, even if they are bombarded by commentators. Sure, it takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it in the long run. Successful bloggers also write about things that their particular audience likes.

6. No one is forcing you to write your entire life on a daily basis. Keep certain things private, unless you want the attention of stalkers and psychopaths.

7. You’ll notice what kind of people will subscribe to your blog. I’ve noticed I have photographers, adventurers, travelers, authors, foodies and fashionistas following me. I’ve also noticed a lot of them are highly intelligent and extremely sweet. I am a lucky girl. I love all my subscribers!

8. There will be days when you just don’t know what to write about. That’s fine. The world will not end, unless you believe the Mayans around December.

9. When you write a blog, don’t forget to do your “tags”. Your tags will be able to help other bloggers find you faster and if you are lucky, the WP gods might add your blog to their “best of tags” department, which is like a mini Freshly Pressed which I’ve been a part of several times in the past (thanks WordPress!). There are many tag departments such as arts, photography etc where you can also search out like-minded bloggers such as yourself.

10. Try not to compare your own blog to others. You are what makes your blog special, not theirs.

11. Don’t forget your “Proofread” icon on your “Add New Post” tabs before publishing your blogs!

12. Last but not least, acknowledge your viewers from around the world! I’m always flattered when someone from a country I’ve never heard before takes the time to stop by my page! I write specifically to include international readers. I know they translate my page a lot.

Whew. I know that was a lot. Those are just things I have come to realize over a course of the year. Ok. On to the pictures!

This was during my High School Trip from Northern Brazil to Argentina by bus. Our High School was small, so the entire 9-12 graders were able to go. This was taken at Iguacu do Foz on the Brazilian side. Yes, it does look like a scene from Lord of the Rings. If you haven’t been to this place, you must go before you turn 100 years old. This place is beautiful beyond words and simply stunning! I’ve been to this place two times. Most of the people pictured here in this photo are now married and have children of their own.

Here is what it looks like to walk beside and along the stone walkways down by the many Iguacu Falls. There are many tiny trails that snake their way around the waterfalls. It’s quite lovely and you can see a boat speed by with screaming tourists enjoying their ride close to the waterfalls below.

This picture is just insane. Why? Because this is called the “Devil’s Throat” at Iguacu Falls. It is here that you can feel the mighty power of the waterfalls. I was crazy enough to go with some of my classmates on a raft boat that had a motor on it. The man in the boat got within several feet from the edge of the waterfall before turning the boat around and speeding back to land. It was terrifying, but at least now I have bragging rights to say I was close to the Devil’s Throat and didn’t fall over. No, I wouldn’t do it again! I love how the sky looks spooky and gloomy, it sure adds effect to the crazy ride we all had!

Fortaleza, Brazil has got to be one of my favorite places in Brazil to vacation (next to Rio, of course). Fortaleza was like my little paradise town where I could ride on dune buggies up and down the sand dunes, ride on shrimp boats in the ocean with crazy fishermen, drink freshly pressed juice right on the beach served from a little hut, not be bothered by a lot of people, collect sand dollars on the beach and take a walk in the colored “canyons”. These are my two friends from NJ who came down to visit me one year. The girl in the back is getting married this Friday which I’ll be attending! This was taken back in the day when we were all teenagers! Notice how blue the sky is? It’s like that every single day!

Ok. So, there are a few pictures of my life in Brazil. Hope everyone has a great week and thanks for stopping by!


Some kind of wonderful

Ciao everyone!

First of all, how are you? The gorgeous place pictured above is Portofino, Italy off of the Tigullio Gulf. This is one of those photographs where you can sit there and imagine a lot of things about it. In fact, it’s so captivating it has inspired me to oil paint it in the near future. Oil painting has always been a passion of mine, but lately nothing has really inspired me until I saw this photo. It will be nice to once again pick up a paintbrush and carefully create a little masterpiece. I’m just a little concerned about the buildings as they are faced in a slight diagonal position so I’ll have to work on the depth perception and shades of the shadows on the walls and buildings. Painting the trees with 3 different sets of brushes will be the most fun, in my opinion. If I’m brave enough, perhaps I’ll showcase my final artwork on WordPress. I tend to give away my artwork for free to friends, but I think for the first time ever I’ll just keep this one and hang it up in my dining room. I’ll be happily listening to some great Italian music as I paint.

Have a great Thursday everyone!


Photo credit: ItalyTraveler

Fingal’s Cave inspired some famous people

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone has had a good weekend. I’m in a bit of a hurry tonight to get some sleep, but wanted to post something quickly that I discovered earlier. First, let me just say that other than the infamous Loch Ness legend in Scotland, Scotland has also another alluring and fascinating place called “Fingal’s Cave”. Maybe not many people know, they know now, but I’ve always been fascinated by caves from around the world. This one captured my attention right away.

What is Fingal’s Cave and is it named after someone? Well, for starters, Fingal’s cave is located in Staffa, an inhabited island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Due to the lava cooling, the basalt columns were formed in a hexagonal way. Scottish poet James Macpherson wrote a poem where the character was named Fingal. Due to the high cathedral ceilings, you can hear strange sounds produced by the echo of the waves. Upon viewing some videos of the cave, the way the water rushes in and out in high tide, is not something you want to risk if you are on a kayak or even snorkeling. The waves look menacing on high tide, but look so beautiful and lovely when the tide is low and all is calm. The crystal clear water showcasing its many shades of blue is absolutely alluring and can only entice one to explore further into the cave. Perhaps that is another reason why after hearing such sounds the water in the caves make, that Felix Mendelssohn composed the song “Fingal’s Cave Overture”. One of my favorite artist named J.M.W. Turner also was inspired by Fingal’s Cave. Check out some of his paintings, I’m sure you’ll recognize some of his famous artworks.

As an author, how would this cave inspire you? Would you make an adventure book? Or perhaps a story full of mystery? These possibilities are endless! As a composer, how would your music sound as a background to this cave upon entering it? Would you compose a delicate sound at first filled with trumpets and strong violins in the middle of the song to reflect the majesty of the cave? For artists, what other elements would you add to the cave or would you keep it strictly the way you saw it? The artist above embellished a bit with the depth of the cave to add some drama, but the cave in actuality is not that far deep. For poets, would you write a sad or upbeat poem? All these questions I would have loved to ask just before some of these famous people entered and saw this cave close up. I do have to admit though that upon seeing the entrance of the cave, it only brought memories back of a scene from the recent movie “King Kong” by Peter Jackson. Or it could also be somewhat related to a scene where Smaug could have hid all his gold when he wasn’t doing his disappearing act in “The Hobbit”. There goes my imagination once again. I’m a big LOTR fan as you can probably tell.

I hope everyone has a great week and I want to especially welcome my newest subscribers! Hope something in nature will inspire all you poets, artists, composers and authors out there this week. I know I’ll be looking for some things.

Photo credits: Jim Richardson
Antique Maps and Prints

Places that inspire movies and books

Hi guys!

How is everyone doing these days? I’ve been quite busy, but all of you are never far from my heart. Tonight I have been busy looking for other unique places in this world to share with all of you. This planet of ours holds such amazing sights and beautiful landscapes. Let’s begin shall we?

Zhangjiajie,Hunan province in China:  Apparently, Pandora exists in China! Who knew? A photographer spent 4 days in China shooting pictures in Zhangjiajie for the movie. A lot of the scenes in the movie were inspired by the “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” named by the local people.


Zhangye Danxia Landform in Gansu Province, China: These are spectacular for anyone visiting here. It’s like someone had fun with many colored pencils and created a colorful mountain side. Imagine having this view every day and watching the sunset and sunrise over the mountains. This is what dreams are made out of. They win the award for the most colorful mountains in the world.

Fly Geyser in Reno Nevada: This unique place sits on a private ranch called Fly Ranch. Good luck trying to get a closer look of this little gem because there is a high fence surrounding it with a locked gate. The geyser came to life by accident as it was created in 1916 when they were drilling for a well. If you are driving on State Route 34, the geyser is big enough to see from the road.


Mount Roraima shared by Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana: Books such as “The Lost World” were inspired by these cliffs. They are considered one of the world’s oldest landscapes and formations. The dark layers on top are formed by algae. Once you reach the top (after 2-3 days of hiking), you will find many ponds, bogs, streams and lakes. If you are lucky, you’ll find miles of fields of crystals.  It is also said you will find many weird and beautiful plants reminiscent of Pandora which you will not find 400 feet below the cliffs. Believe it or not, you will find mice, frogs, worms and sparrows at the very top which you will not find on the ground below. People may want to climb Mt. Everest, but for me, it would be Mt. Roraima. Even though I am terrified of heights, I would go on an adventure of getting to the very top and see what unique sights that await up there for me.



Socotra Island in Yemen:  Imagine waking up after a wild night of partying and your friends thought it would be funny to fly you over to this island and drop you off for a few hours. Upon waking up, you see the craziest and alien looking plants all around you. I think it would be a fun place to just get lost in or at least for a great fashion photo shoot.




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.

Germany at Epcot

Good morning!

Just wanted to show you a very quick clip of Germany at Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida back in June. It was such a lovely place and I loved the food there! My mom is half German/Irish, so I’m very use to eating German food growing up down in Brazil. I will definately go back someday since I liked the atmosphere so much. I love architechure so I panned a lot on the different lines and designs on the buildings. I also love flowers and fountains! Sorry the video gets a tiny shaky, but I was fumbling around with other things in the background in the restaurant. We were sitting with a mother with two daughters and another couple from Pennsylvania who were a lot of fun! I wanted to upload this to Vimeo since their video quality is much better. Have a great day and I’ll talk to you later!

Davids been here!

Hey guys!

How is everyone? Thanks for the recent subscribers! It means a lot to me that you care enough to want to know what I write about. Let me know if there anything or any topic you’d like me to write about. I’m open to anything. I have to add my contact email on my website here on WordPress to contact me. Feel free to write me on . I’ll respond to you there.

Today I’m blogging about someone I subscribe to on YouTube (and who kindly subscribes to my YouTube channel as well). As my close friends know, I love watching and subscribing to people on YouTube who travel all over the world and anyone living in Japan. One of the coolest channels on YouTube is a guy that goes by the name Davidsbeenhere. David travels the world and does a great job talking and walking you through the many exotic places he’s gone. I figured this was an interesting topic as some of my viewers on my page have come from all over the globe. Who knows? Maybe David will go to your country! Would be nice to give him some tips or show him around if you connect with him. Here is his website if you are interested in helping him meet his goal to go to Sri Lanka. You can also follow him on twitter such as I have. He’s also been kind to follow my tweets as well; thanks David! 🙂

Here is a video showing you a travel video by David on YouTube. If you are on YouTube, please check his channel out and subscribe. You won’t be disappointed! David told me it was fine to share his website to all my friends in my social networks regarding this trip, which I have done. I’ve shared his page on my Facebook, tweeted about it and now I’m blogging to help the word. I enjoy helping out people who ask for it and are nice about it at the same time.