Today I’m thinking of Portugal

Yesterday was a day of so many phone calls, scheduling pre-admission tests and appointment before my surgery. Today I decided to get up early and head for a walk on the beach. I feel at peace there. I can sit down and dream of better days to come.
I thought about what fun it will be to visit Portugal and all the places I will visit.

Flying into Lisbon I would choose to stay there a few days to visit all the wonderful neighborhoods like Chiado and Baro Alto.  And then there is so much to see and do around Lisbon that I would have to spend a few days there in order to really experience and take photos of all the places I want to include in my Travel Book. Place like Torre de Belem which also has the big boat sculpture of the explorers.

And a trip to Belem would not be complete without going to eat the famous Pasteis de Belem which can be found at R. de Belem 84-92, 1300-085 Lisboa, Portugal .  

Also there are so many museums just in the Lisbon area that i want to explore. I would want to visit the beautiful castles around Lisbon and Sintra which will make for some awesome photos. Then it’s on to visit some of the surrounding beaches in Cascais, Estoril, Ericeira, Troia and also palaces in Queluz and Mafra. Small fishing towns like Sesimbra and the beaches in Costa da Caparica. Not forgetting Cabo Espichel and Cabo da Roca which is Europe’s westernmost point.

When exploring the northern part of Portugal, of course Porto is a must see. But so is Braga which has a very rich history and some incredible buildings. Climbing up the stunning Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga will be on my list. A beautiful town to visit will also be Amarante which I hear is incredibly beautiful.  I’ve also seen some pics of a small medieval village called Sortelha which looks interesting. And Monsanto which is a village built around giant rocks.

Then on to the Chapel of bones in Evora and the dramatic coastline of Sagres (yes they have a beer named Sagres in Portugal). Visiting the medieval town of Obidos and also the place where the three little shepherds appeared to the Our Lady of Fatima, in Fatima.

Then eventually head on down to explores all the beautiful little coastal towns/villages in Algarve.

I’m sure there are a lot more places that I will add to the list but so far these are the ones that I have either heard of or researched.

© 2018

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Sixteen days to Surgery

Today it’s really sinking in that surgery is right around the corner. Got a call from the hospital to go to see my primary care doctor for clearance for surgery. For some reason on my walk today I thought about all the places I will visit when I head over to England one day. Nothing Hill will probably be the first place I want to see. Followed by the following:

  • Pricelet Street
  • Biscuiteer shop
  • Sky Lounge at the Hilton Doubletree
  • Harrod’s in West London
  • Wingate Road
  • Shoreditch for it’s graffitti
  • Cocktails at Charlotte Street Hotel in Fitzrovia
  • Big Ben
  • Saint Paul’s Cathedral
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Kew Gardens in London
  • Mourne Mountains, County Down
  • Penshaw Monument, Sunderland
  • Isle of Skye
  • Dartmoor, Devon
  • Brecon Beacons, South Wales
  • Durdle Door, Dorset
  • The Needles, The Isle of Wight
  • Minack Theatre, Cornwall
  • The Royal Pavillion, Brighton
  • Llanthony Priory, Monmouthshire, Wales
  • Loch Ness
  • Polperro, Cornwall
  • York Minster, York
  • Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
  • The White Cliffs of Dover
  • Stonehenge, Wiltshire
  • The Giant’s Causeway, Antrim
  • Windemere, Cumbria
  • Portmeirion, Gwynedd, North Wales

I just can’t wait to be able to take photos of all these beautiful places for my book and to inspire me to create more art.

Do you have any must see places?

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© 2018


South Florida Living

Yes I’m grateful for living somewhere where there is no winter snowstorms to deal with. But trust me when I say that dealing with hurricanes and extreme heat and humidity during the summer months is really no picnic. Still I’m grateful that I can walk to the beach. It’s a place  of peace and serenity for me. Someplace where I can recharge my batteries, somewhere to go think about life and how to best handle difficult situations. I love to take photographs of places I visit and one of my favorite subjects is seascapes. I find the sound of the waves peaceful and I love the feel of sand between my toes.

© 2018 ana paula santos (

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Being Grateful!

I’ve spent pretty much all my life taking care of the people I care about. Family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. I’ve worried with them when they have gone through tough times, I’ve cried with them, I’ve laughed with them. Basically I’ve always tried to be there for everyone. Then one day you go to the emergency room at your local hospital thinking you must have a pinched nerve or something that’s causing your arm to twitch (or at least that’s what you call it). Next thing you know you’re being admitted and the ER doctor is telling you that they need to run some tests, starting by a scan of your brain. After the scan you find yourself waiting in one of those little partitioned rooms, you know the type that are divided by curtains. Forty minutes later some nurses come in with an IV and some meds telling you the doctor will come in shortly to talk to you but they need to administer some meds asap.

Everything from that point on seems to happen in slow motion. The doctor coming up to you and telling you that they found a mass on the left side of your brain. What you thought were twitches are actually localized seizures and from that point forward your whole world changes. They give you meds to stop bleeding and minimize the swelling. You have to have an MRI and the neurosurgeon comes in and explains that the mass has to be taken out. They’re hopeful that it’s benign but they won’t know for sure until it’s removed and sent to pathology. You spend a sleepless night in the hospital and the next day they confirm your surgery date and you feel like your watching a movie on television and it’s really not my life.

Yet after all this I’m still grateful. Grateful that my chiropractor told me to head to the ER just to be on the safe side. Grateful that my tumor can be taken out. Grateful to have the chance to finds ways to live my dream and travel.

I am grateful for life, for love, for laughter, for family and friends.

© 2018

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