california

A Magical Place Called Yosemite

First time at Yosemite together, hiking to Vernal Falls!

First time at Yosemite together, hiking to Vernal Falls!

There is no place in this world like Yosemite. After traveling around the globe on tour with Disney On Ice, Stephan and I landed in Fresno and have been taking advantage of being so close to the park nearly every week. Going up there for half a day, either sunrise or sunset is so refreshing. The moment you enter the Valley is like being in a movie.

We’ve been there countless times and there are still so many moments that continue to take our breath away. Driving out of the tunnel into Tunnel View, seeing Bridal Veil Waterfall on the right and El Cap in front of you as you’re driving in, will never get old. I’m originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a pretty incredible city I have to say, where you’re constantly spoiled with beautiful mountains, forests, beaches and all sorts of different landscapes all over. And still, Yosemite takes my breath away.

The first time I ever visited this place Stephan and I had just started dating. I never thought back then that two years later I would be packing my things in two suitcases, moving from Rio to Fresno and getting married. I never thought when we had our engagement pictures done at the park that, a few months later, we would be taking couples up there and capturing their love ourselves. Life is full of turns, isn’t it?

We went from Disney On Ice skaters to wedding photographers, and that still blows my mind. Whenever we miss the constant traveling we make time out of our week to drive to Yosemite, and it’s amazing what getting out of the city can do. We breath fresh air, take beautiful pictures, feel good and recharged. It’s a habit that helps us get away from the routine and stay motivated running our own business.

Yosemite holds a special place in our hearts and we will never take it for granted living only two hours away from it. If you have a place like this in your life, or a habit that makes you feel good, do it. Make time for it, get your batteries recharged from all the hustle.

I have been to 44 countries, and Stephan to 71, and yet, Yosemite National Park never ceases to amaze us.

Santa Barbara Guide – Coffee & Food

It’s pretty impossible not to fall in love with Santa Barbara. I went with a friend for the first time last month and I couldn’t wait to be back and show Stephan around! I was so excited because believe me, it’s really rare that we go to a place that he hasn’t been before!

When we were traveling the world I would always tell Stephan that if I had one wish in life it would be that I could try all the food in a city and drink all the coffee in the world without feeling awful after. Trying local foods and going to local coffee shops was always part of our sightseeing schedule. In Santa Barbara, you can spend hours wandering around the famous State Street and smelling all of the smells coming from many restaurants around, so it can be hard to make a choice. Here is a list I made of our top favorite places to help you out!

  • Brazil Arts Café

I know, I know, I’m biased. But this is my favorite Brazilian restaurant in the states! When we were on tour I would occasionally find Brazilian restaurants here and there, but Brazil Arts Café won my heart and stomach. It has all of the best Brazilian dishes, sides, fresh juices, açaí bowls, and the list goes on... If you go make sure to get their pão de queijo (best I’ve had in the states) and acerola juice (a Brazilian berry you can’t find here, packed with Vitamin C). Besides the amazing food, it has such a cool atmosphere, you have to go check it out, even if you’re not Brazilian! Click here for the Menu.

  • Handlebar Coffee Roasters

Are you a coffee enthusiast? Welcome to the club. Stephan and I basically plan our trips around the coffee shops we have to visit. When we thought about taking a trip to Santa Barbara months ago I had already looked up coffee shops and saved this one on my maps. We finally made it there and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. We always just drink black coffee, which is pretty simple I know, but this was one of the best americanos I’ve had in a while. So smooth that was dangerous, we could’ve had two or three cups each! Check out this coffee shop.

  • The French Press

Another great coffee shop! Awesome baristas, lovely decoration and plenty of tables. We rarely take coffee to go, so we love when a coffee shop has lots of tables and you don’t have to wonder if you’ll be able to sit and enjoy your coffee. They serve Dune Coffee, an amazing roasting company. This one is right on State Street, you can sit outside, enjoy a good coffee and watch people (and dogs, so many dogs!) walk by.

  • Savoy Café & Deli

On a Saturday night, I thought everything would be super crowded for dinner, and then I found this place, just a little away from State Street. They had plenty of healthy options which it was what I was looking for. Their quiches and salads looked so good that I couldn’t pick, so I asked them to pick for me! They made me a plate with broccoli and cheddar quiche and the best strawberry salad I’ve had! Inexpensive, simple and amazing tastes, is usually what makes my stomach happy! I enjoyed my dinner while reading my book and listening to an awesome live band playing. And that’s what I call a good Saturday night. Check out this restaurant!

  • Public Market

We did not end up eating at the Public Market, but the smells there were amazing! There were lots of vendors selling a variety of foods from cookie dough balls, organic ice cream, to Mediterranean and Mexican food. Everything looked delicious! And even though we didn’t try the food I decided to put it on the list because the walk there was so pleasant. There were so many cute and hidden corners, lots of beautiful staircases, walls covered with flowers and more. I couldn’t stop taking pictures and it took me way longer than it should have to get to the market! So even if you’re not gonna eat there it’s worth the visit!

Santa Barbara won my heart and my belly. I don’t know when it will be, but I already can’t wait to be back to this city!

On the way to the Public Market. Santa Barbara is full of cute corners and photo options!

On the way to the Public Market. Santa Barbara is full of cute corners and photo options!