Bella Vida by Letty


Amazing Spot for Photo Ops Blowing Rocks Jupiter, Florida

Blowing Rocks, Jupiter, Florida

Florida is a huge state with two spectacular coasts donning some of America’s most beautiful beaches.  On one of my many road trips I discovered an amazing spot perfect for photo ops.  The place is called Blowing Rocks Preserve.  I found it because the town it’s in has a wacky name so of course I wanted to explore it.  The town is called Jupiter and located in Palm Beach County Florida.

Blowing Rocks Preserve was named for the rocky Anastasia limestone shoreline.  This one mile stretch is special because most of it is either underground or underwater.  It’s one of Florida’s rarest surviving landscapes.  There is a dune habitat with beach sunflowers, bay cedar, sea grapes and sea oats.

During the summer months the beaches provide important nesting habitats for endangered sea turtles.  The sea turtles and the nests are protected by federal, state and local laws to prevent extinction.  Do not touch them or their nests.

On the day I was there a rain shower passed through causing giant splashes as the Atlantic Ocean slammed into the hard rocky surface.  Don’t be afraid to get wet.  It’s a really fun sight to see and makes for some wonderful photos.

Blowing Rocks Jupiter, Florida

Blowing Rocks Jupiter, Florida

Blowing Rocks Jupiter, Florida

While researching I found it turns out that a bunch of famous people have homes in Jupiter, Florida.  Burt Renolds, Tiger Woods, Celine Dion, Tori Amos, Michael Jordan, Dara Torres and Camilo Vargas just to name a few.  If you’re interested in history the Town of Jupiter has a website with a timeline dating back to prehistoric times when the Tequesta lived there.

Blowing Rocks, Jupiter, Florida

I recommend this spot whether you just have a few free minutes or an afternoon to spare.

Have you been to Blowing Rocks or Jupiter?


“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.” Henri Cartier-Bresson

“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”  Robert Frank

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is thereby a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.”  Ansel Adams


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Retro Glam Fashion Style How to Get the Look With Vintage Dresses

Retro Glam Fashion Style

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”                  Coco Chanel

Retro Glam is a feminine style inspired by the fashion of the 1920’s thru 1950’s.   I love this style. I love wearing vintage dresses.  Personally I feel most comfortable in a dress.  It wasn’t until a visit with my mother when she commented the dress I was wearing reminded her of her mother (in a good way dude) that I realized the influence my grandmothers had on my sense of fashion.  They always wore dresses.  And it wasn’t until I read an article about Retro Glam Style that I recognized I already had quite a few pieces in my wardrobe.

 Retro Glam Fashion Style Vintage Dresses

Here are a few fun examples of Retro vintage dresses from the Hip Hop 50’s Shop.  I’m loving the black & white polka dot halter top pencil skirt dress the best.  It’s a versatile dress that you could wear day or evening.  The main reason I like it best is because it is the most flattering cut for my body type.  The cut of this dress would accentuate my best features.  Since I am short depending on the length of the dress the big poofy skirt would make me look even shorter.  I actually already have a dress very similar to the black & white halter top with the wide skirt and small polka dots.  The trick for pulling it off is in the length. Which dress do you like best?


Retro Glam Fashion Style How to Get the Look

Retro Glam Style is Fashion with an emphasis on silhouette and form.

Clothes:  Wide-shouldered vintage dresses, slim-waisted, narrow-hipped silhouette , pretty lace, polka dots, pops of color, plaid, perfect dresses, clean structure.

Fabrics: Chiffon, light silks, soft velvets, lames, lightweight wools and soft cottons, silk velvet or silk satin. Synthetic fabrics such as rayon and nylon.

Shoes: A chunkier heel, buckles, round-toes, gold, red, black & white or muted colors, Mary-Jane styles or classic peep-toe pumps.

Hair: Lots of body,  pin curls, and a pompadour.

Makeup: Strong eyebrows, long lashes, and red lips.  Makeup should be natural looking with some contrast.

Accessories: Costume jewelry, pearl strands, flowers in the hair.

If you’re into vintage looks you can find more images on my Retro Glam Pinterest Board

Are you into retro?


This is a sponsored post. Opinions are mine.

“Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” Yves Saint-Laurent

“If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely overeducated.” Oscar Wilde

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Travel: Doors of Savannah’s Historic District

Doors of Savannah's Historic District

I visited Savannah last year and not only do I have wonderful memories but I also have a ton of photos.  One of my photo projects was to focus on the doors and windows of the beautiful historical homes.  Most are well kept and in great condition.  I was enchanted with the architecture of Savannah’s Historic District.  There was so much to look at.  So many little details, I just wanted to eat them all up.  I walked up and down the streets for hours under the canopy created by rows of ancient live oak trees draped in Spanish moss.  I felt I was in another world and my imagination ran wild.  It was early so I had the streets mainly to myself except the incredibly loud sounds of cicadas was a constant reminder I was not alone.

Doors of Savannah's Historic District

The houses and public buildings are arranged around a series of public squares.  These squares are actually tiny little well kept parks.  The perfect place to sit and rest.  The town plan was created 1733 by Gen. James E. Oglethorpe, founder of the British colony of Georgia.  Now that’s old.  It really makes you appreciate what a fine job the city does of maintaining and preserving its history.

 Doors of Savannah's Historic District

It’s a wonderful place to enjoy architecture.  The homes are representation of eighteenth and nineteenth century architecture in a variety of styles including Federal, Georgian, Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, Italianate, Regency, Victorian, Colonial and more.  The section of quaint Victorian houses were so pretty you can’t help but be reminded of the gingerbread house.

 Doors of Savannah's Historic District

Among the historic homes that have been preserved are: the Pink House, the Sorrel Weed House, Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace, the Green-Meldrim House, the Owens-Thomas House, theWilliam Scarbrough House, and the Wormsloe plantation of Noble Jones. The Mercer-Williams House, the former home of Jim Williams, is the main location of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  Savannah’s historic district is actually is the largest registered urban National Historic Landmark district in the United States.

 Doors of Savannah's Historic District

If you are visiting Savannah Georgia I recommend you make some time for a leisurely stroll to the Historic district.  It’s truly a feast for the eyes ya’ll.

 Doors of Savannah's Historic District

Have you been to Savannah?  What’s your favorite place there?



“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Helen Keller

“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.” Emily Dickinson

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ” Coco Chanel


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Photos of Wynwood Graffiti Murals

Imagine a place where art is all around you. Yes art.  Art is expression.

Wherever you look, someone left traces of their creativity.

Leaving no place overlooked, it’s on the walls, on the street, windows, light poles even trash cans.

Where the wind carries the acrid chemical smell of spray paint but you don’t really mind it.  It’s a welcome relief from the humidity.

Where you have to be careful where you walk, lean and sit or come away with wet paint.

Where the streets are slanted, side walks broken, but you can still appreciate the beauty of decay on crumbling industrial buildings lovingly wrapped in barbed wire.

Wynwood Walls Murals Graffiti Miami Florida Wynwood2 Wynwood3 wynwood4 wynwood2011


Where mystery and the mysterious are not uncommon.

The Miami neighborhood of Wynwood is an ever changing canvas where you are sure to be uncertain what you will see or experience next.

Sometimes people are the art.  You will find them costumed or painted into the most interesting characters you never thought of.

Performance art is everywhere; a group of kids dancing on the corner, a DJ spinning creating an impromptu party on the sidewalk or  an acoustic duo playing outside a fancy new gallery.

You can get food from a truck or the ghostbusters station wagon inside a bar sometimes flea market.

This place inspires me.  I come away feeling the passion expressed in artists works.  It reminds me of the passion I have for expressing myself.

Gentrification has me worried about how much longer this place will exist.  Wherever these artists flee I will follow.


Have you been to see Wynwood walls?

Is there a place you always go to for inspiration?


“You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.”   Deepak Chopra

“One line placed on the canvas committed her to innumerable risks, to frequent and irrevocable decisions.” Virginia Woolf 

“I like that about art, that what you see is sometimes more about who you are than what’s on the wall.” Cath Crowley

“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that’s only if it’s done properly.”  Banksy

“Graffiti is not about clean lines, pretty colors and beautiful blends. Graffiti is my life’s turbulence exploded on a wall.” Mint Serf

“This world is but a canvas for our imagination.” Henry David Thoreau

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electricity ~ Light Graffiti Photography and a Poem

law of conservation of energy

energy in an isolated system remains constant over time

The only thing that can happen to energy in a closed system is be transformed from one state to another.

Energy is not a material substance.

light graffiti photography bella vida by letty

ATP molecules

human kinetic energy
human voltage
Superconducting Quantum Interference Device
light graffiti photography bella vida by letty
electro          electric              electricity

electrical signals sodium-potassium gate between 10 and 100 millivolts

Superconducting Quantum Interference Device
light graffiti photography bella vida by letty
if electricity could be seen with the naked eye what would you look like?
light graffiti photography bella vida by letty



Pronunciation: /i-ˌlek-ˈtris-ət-ē, -ˈtris-tē/
fundamental entity of nature consisting of negative and positive kinds,
observable in the attractions and repulsions of bodies
electrified by friction and natural phenomena


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Emotional Safety and Places of Refuge

Cracker HouseThis cozy child size playhouse I came across at the Naples Botanical Garden reminds me of the safe place I carry in my mind and my heart.  Sacred places no one is allowed to trample.  We should all have them.  They are necessary to our emotional well being.

Florida Cracker House naples botanical garden

Florida Cracker House Naples Botanical Garden

Every person wants to be loved, acknowledged and respected.  Sometimes we must find or create our own safe spaces to take refuge and recharge.  These spaces may be either external or internal but they are both necessary.  A judgment free zone where you are free and safe to be you.  There are community spaces which offer safety against violence, safe spaces for survivors, safety from prejudice and judgment. Seek them.

 nature refuge


” To make a home into a sanctuary, we must be willing to make room in our hearts for one another’s limitations, as well as our gifts. For it is here in this sacred space of the home and family, so brimming with life, so full of every emotion available to our hearts, that we learn what it means to love within all the nuances of an intimate relationship.”  Shea Darian

“Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.” Carol Saline

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Maya Angelou

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”  Maya Angelou

“Now that you’re an adult, take refuge in the fact that some things are beyond your control. You owe it to yourself to steer clear of people who are harmful to your health.”  Andrea Lavinthal

“In every heart there is a room,  sanctuary safe and strong, To heal the wounds from lovers past, until a new one comes along”  Billy Joel

“My mind is the only sanctuary that has not been stolen from me. Men have tried to breach it before, but I’ve learned to defend it vigorously, for I am only safe with my innermost thoughts.”  Christopher Paolini

“Do not look for a sanctuary in anyone except yourself.”  Gautama Buddha

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Key Largo Road Trip: Things I Found at the End of the Road

Key Largo Florida


Every so often I get the urge to get in the car in search of new adventures.  I recently set off on another road trip, this time determined to find roads which ended at the ocean.  It’s not too difficult a challenge to accomplish in Florida but it can be a bit tricky.  After discovering a road I’ve never traversed on a map we headed to Key Largo.  Card Sound Road is smack in the middle of protected lands and Florida State Parks which go on peacefully for miles upon unhampered miles.  There’s nothing out there except nature and a sprinkle of people canoeing alongside crocodiles in canals or quietly tossing fishing lines off bridges.  It is the perfect place for these types of activity.

Needing to stretch our legs one of our stops was at Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park where we ended up participating in our very first Geo Caching.  Geocaching is a real world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS enabled devices or an app you can download to your iphone. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.  You sign the log, include whatever you’ve taken and left then share with others.

For more info check out the website    Have you tried geocaching?

We had a blast searching for treasure and leaving behind a little something but had yet to accomplish our original mission.  Continuing on our journey we traveled down many streets until finding the perfect dead end road leading us to the shore of the Atlantic.

Key Largo Florida

What I found at the end of the road.

The end of the road separated from me from my routine and the excesses of city life.  The excess of people, manmade structures, noise pollution and constant rushing about.  It was not quiet nor absent of movement yet very peaceful.  I allowed myself to open up to receive what my spirit needed.

The first thing to hit me was the wind.  The air was salty and humid but it felt cleansing.  Closing my eyes I breathed it as deeply as I could.  This wind did not carry city sounds, only the loveliest of bird calls, beautiful sounds I hadn’t heard before.  My next realization, was there is no real end of the road.  Nothing truly ends.  There was plenty of life happening all around me.  There are no sandy beaches in the Florida Keys just lots of shells, rocks and wildlife.  Birds and fish preferring the deeper waters a few yards from me.  Not intimidated by my presence crabs, shrimp and snails crawled near my toes in clear shallow water.  One little fella even tried to hitch a ride on my leg.

Metaphorically what I found was the removal of boundaries.  We tend to walk around collecting imaginary boundaries and imposing limits on ourselves without analyzing why.  The moment you stop limiting yourself, you are opening yourself up to new perspectives and greater possibilities   Life has and will find a way to continue on as I witnessed at the end of the road.  Tossing out limitations will allow us to achieve ever greater things we have yet to imagine.


Key Largo Florida



“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”   Nelson Mandela


“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”  Martin Luther


“Change: A bend in the road is not the end of the road…Unless you fail to make the turn. ”   Helen Keller


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True or False? You have no idea what you’re capable of.

True or False? You have no idea what you’re capable of.
Kite Festival Miami Florida
Kite Festival Miami Florida

I’m up early today reading and coming across the word courage several times while reading posts from intelligent successful women I admire.

The follow up question is what dare I to do?


“Maybe who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but rather what we’re capable of when we least expect it.” Jodi Picoult

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” Paulo Coelho

“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” Thomas A. Edison

“When I say do your best, I mean your very best. You are capable of so much more.” Gordon B. Hinckley

“When you chase a dream, you learn about yourself. You learn your capabilities and limitations, and the value of hard work and persistence.” Nicholas Sparks

“Whenever there is inspiration and enthusiasm there is a creative empowerment that goes far beyond what a mere person is capable of.” Eckhart Tolle

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“Hope is a waking dream.” Aristotle

No one can take your hope away.  Continue to dream big and take the steps to lead you there.


“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” President Barack Obama

“We dream to give ourselves hope.” Amy Tan

“Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
Emily Dickinson

“Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star…” E.E. Cummings

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Dreaming Bigger in 2013

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” Paulo Coelho
Florida parks
Harry P. Leu Gardens

I want to encourage you to dream bigger this year. Last year was amazing and I met so many fantastic people.  Building upon that, I challenge you to join me in leaving your comfort zones and answer the question:

What is your big dream?

When you put your thoughts out into the world the universe has a sure way of answering.

My biggest dream is to be a serial entrepreneur with businesses will have a positive effect on the planet. I will enable others to empower themselves as well as others creating a ceaseless cycle with a beneficial impact on the planet.

park bench
Harry P. Leu Gardens

Looking back at the last year, I started out using some very powerful words. These words gave me strength and courage. I can see how putting those words out there helped me get to where I am today.

ActualizeBoldnessSeize the DayChangePower,  Winning,  Greatness,

And these words describe exactly what my life was all about last year.  I was emboldened to use my voice and become an instrument of change.

This year I will use words like: Strategic alliances, Success,  Achievements, Growth, Value, Happiness, Joy, Empower, Unite, Build, Winning, Love, Creation, Voice, Action, Purpose

I invite you to join me on this exciting journey.   Your words continue to encourage me.


“Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise.” Horace

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” Paulo Coelho

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A Look at 2012 in Photos

A moment to look back at the photos I’ve taken this year and share some of the things I have learned.

South Beach Florida Sunrise
Sunrise in South Beach, Florida

The year began with this quote:
Today and everyday I will live a life true to myself, not the life others expect.

Everglades Florida Sunset
Florida Everglades
Florida Everglades sunset
Finding the courage to take action begins with loving yourself and knowing that you are good enough.
Altered Light Graffiti Photography
Altered photo of fire dancer
I encourage you to create content and share it. 
Altered Light Graffiti Photography Fire Dancer
Fire Dancer Light Graffiti
We are constantly building … destroying and re-creating our reality.
Blowing Rocks Jupiter Florida
Jupiter, Florida
Today what will be, will be and that’s okay.
florida sunsets
My goal in life is to be my truest best self. 

Sueno por que el alma necesita volar



May the new year bring you everything you desire.
Join me as I take steps to continue building, learning and growing.

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“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle


Everywhere I look I see abundance. My wish is that it gets shared with all who are in need.


“Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.” Steve Maraboli


“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” Wayne W. Dyer

“What matters most are the simple pleasures so abundant that we can all enjoy them…Happiness doesn’t lie in the objects we gather around us. To find it, all we need to do is open our eyes.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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My Adventure at Art Basel 2012

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt.” Leonardo da Vinci
Wynwood Florida Art Basel
Wynwood Walls during Art Basel 2012
I found a Unicorn @ArtBasel2012

Immersing myself among art renews my creative spirit leaving me inspired. I spent a wonderful weekend checking out the various Art Basel 2012 events around Miami. This year there was too much to chose from.  Frankly it’s impossible to see it all.  I had a list of events to hit up but only made it to a few of them.

Wynwood remains my favorite spot. The neighborhood is run down but the element of spontaneity is thick in the air. At every corner lies the possibility of a pleasant surprise.  And that’s how I like to roll when I’m out and about.

It was Saturday evening, days after Art Basel’s official start, but there were still artists putting the finishing touches on their murals. I completely get that.  I often need to walk away from a piece or fall into endless editing.  Gracing the walls were many different styles from Escher-esque like black & white to playful pieces bursting with color.

Music filled the air.  You couldn’t walk two steps without hearing some type of music.  On the street where I parked there was a hip hop music video being filmed.  As I continued exploring Wynwood, each space had its particular music streaming.  There were street performers who danced to a live band playing on the sidewalk.  I even bumped into Santa dancing with Don Quixote.  Later I walked into a bar which turned into a cafe selling tacos out of an altered car, which turned into an open air market which I witnessed clear and convert into a dance floor for 80’s music lovers.

Art Basel
Filming a music video during Art Basel 2012

I experienced so much on Saturday alone it’s impossible to get it all in one post.
After eating dinner, which was a super tasty burger from the Latin Burger food truck I headed to the Design District to check out Mestizo City.


Robert Rodriguez's band Chingon
Robert Rodriguez’s band Chingon


Created by Henry Muñoz, this installation included a bounce house and featured director Robert Rodriguez in a live performance with his band, Chingon.  I had no idea what to expect but they were really good.  The lead singer was especially fantastic and had the coolest tattoo in the center of his chest.

Robert hid behind his hat all evening as he played guitar and spoke to the audience.  He told us he was inspired to form the band and record music because its the sound he wanted for his movies and much less expensive than paying rights.  Remember he began his film career making super low budget films.

I can relate because when I’m writing fiction there’s usually music playing.  And a big part of telling stories via movies is indeed the soundtrack.

The bands music is a cross of all of his influences: Tito & Tarantula, Los Lobos, Cruzados, The Plugz, Del Castillo, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Patricia Vonne, Girl In A Coma and David Garza.  Check them out if they’re ever in your part of town.  You can listen below.

Stay tuned for the next post which will showcase the art from Art Basel 2012 that captured my attention.


For more Art Basel pics you can check out:

@BellaVidaLetty on Instagram


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How Do You Find Cool People to Follow on Instagram?


I recently joined Instagram and am looking for cool people to follow. Things I find interesting are works from other photographers, nature, places, fashion, etc.  In summary I really enjoy looking at great photography.  Not only is it inspiring, there’s much to learn by studying a great photo.

I’m following my family and friends, a few magazines, celebrities, musicians and stores.

Who do you follow on Instagram?
How do you find Cool people to follow?

“Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer.” Walter De Mulder

“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” Diane Arbus

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” Eudora Welty

“Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” Susan Sontag

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Indulging in Enjoyable Recollection

“The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them.”  Czesław Miłosz

Dia de los Muertos Parade 2012

Dia de los Muertos Parade 2012


I can see why reminiscing is considered indulgent since our memories are incredibly faulty and influenced by our senses as well as emotions. You can say life is that way. No two people will have the same experience. This is why good communication is important, to enrich our lives.

Dia de los muertos is all about remembering our lost loves and paying tribute to them.  I’m always reminded of my grandmother during this time.  She wasn’t born in a hospital and as the jokester she was, would tell us she was born on the day of the dead.

Here are a bunch of photos I took during a parade on that day.  It looks like some people got Halloween and Day of the dead mixed up.  There were people dressed as zombie pirates.
Anyhow, enjoy the photos. xo!

Dia de los Muertos Parade 2012
Dia de los Muertos Parade 2012
Dia de los Muertos Parade 2012
Dia de los Muertos Parade 2012

“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.” Brian Jacques

“People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” Neil Gaiman

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.” Edgar Allan Poe

“He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.” 
Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
 (Love in the Time of Cholera)

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