travel blog

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.

How We Fell In Love With Myanmar

Balloons Over Bagan - one of the best experiences we’ve had in life was to watch baloons fly over 2,000 temples while the sun was rising.

Balloons Over Bagan - one of the best experiences we’ve had in life was to watch baloons fly over 2,000 temples while the sun was rising.

Myanmar, a country that was never in my radar of places to go. Never on my list, top five or even top ten. But Stephan, like always, convinced me we had to travel there. Sometimes when he has an idea, I’m not gonna lie, I’m not so sure about it. But then I usually get on board at some point because he has proven to be the best world explorer and travel buddy I could have asked for!

So anyways, Myanmar... where to even start? We headed there after a busy week of shows in Bangkok, both had been pretty sick and both were beyond exhausted. The thought of getting on a plane early in the morning and landing in a country we had no idea about wasn’t very appealing honestly. But since we always push each other, we did it.

We woke up at the crack of dawn, flew to Mandalay and took a shuttle to Bagan. A shuttle that by the way, we had booked online but had no confirmation email and no clue if the driver was actually gonna show up. Well, he did, and he was the nicest guy. He helped us get sim cards at the airport and drove us all the way to Bagan, our first stop in this country that was about to become one of our favorites.

Over the next ten days, we learned so much about their culture, saw so many beautiful things and ate the most amazing food. We rode our scooter through the 2,000 temples in Bagan, spent days on a boat exploring Inle Lake, woke up way too early to catch all of the sunrises and had a blast. I can’t even imagine how much regret we would have felt if we had cancelled the trip just because we were overtired and sick.

By pushing ourselves we learned, once again, to never let doubt or fear of being uncomfortable to stop you from doing something, from going to a new place. The rewards that come from getting out of your comfort zone are huge.

I'm not usually one for quotes and all but this one has been leading our lives for a while:

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer
— unknown

Our Top 3 Favorite Cities in the US

Everytime I think about a topic for a travel blog post my mind always goes international. I’m always thinking I should write about somewhere really far, like Asia or South America. And then I remember that there is SO MUCH to do in the US, and that Stephan and I have travelled all over this country several times and we rarely talk about that!

So I thought, nothing more appropriate for this 4th of July than sharing what’s on the top of our list when it comes to cities in the United States.

1 – San Francisco, California

Marshall’s Beach, at Sunset.

Marshall’s Beach, at Sunset.

So predictable, I know, but I can’t help it. I absolutely love San Francisco. I’m from Rio, a city where everyone walks, or takes the subway or the bus. Cars are welcomed and nice to have but not necessary. So whenever I’m in a city in the States where you can actually walk around and see people doing the same, I get really happy.

There is something to say about walking cities, the streets have energy, color and life! And that might be one of the things I miss the most living in Fresno, you need a car to go basically anywhere!

So I mean yeah, the Golden Gate Bridge is amazing, the whole city is photogenic and there’s a million things to do there, but my favorite thing about San Francisco is just being there. Just walking all day, up and down those crazy steep hills till your legs can’t walk anymore, makes me really happy!

 

2 – Austin, Texas

Hamilton Pool Preserve. Pro tip: go on a weekday.

Hamilton Pool Preserve. Pro tip: go on a weekday.

Fun fact, going to Austin was actually our first side trip as a couple! We had just started dating and our show was playing Houston, but we had a couple of days off, so we decided to rent a car and spend our days in Austin. Yay for good decisions!

We had heard that Austin was fun, different, corky and that had some of the best restaurants in the country. Well, all of those rumors were true. We had some of the most tasty food ever, from a nice restaurant for a date night to a single slice of pizza at a Brewery, everything I ate I said it was the best I ever had!

If I had to give recommendations, one would be to go to Hamilton Pool, which is a bit far from the city but worth the drive. And another would be to have dinner at Moonshine Grill. I ordered Mac&Cheese, simply. It was the best Mac&Cheese I ever had. Other than that, you make your own script, find restaurants, breweries or coffee shops that appeal to you and you won’t be disapointed.

 

3 – Savannah, Georgia

Photo Credit :   Stephan Alvin Photography

This one was not on my list because unfortunatelly I’ve never been, but it’s one of Stephan’s favorite cities so he made sure I would write about it. He said the whole city seems to be covered in old trees with hanging moss, which made every street very photogenic. Walking around you see that every block has a little park square, breaking up that urban feel.

I kept asking him what he liked the most and he said “the houses were big and old. In a good way”. Then he explained himself and elaborated a little more saying that every house had a pretty unique style and that you could tell there was history behind every wall! Guys, there is a reason why I write this blog, not him.

Anyways, happy 4th of July everyone! Enjoy your family and friends, bbq and fireworks and be safe!

I’m working on a Myanmar post and I can’t wait to share some of our adventures in that amazing country, but I’ll try to post more about travels within the US as well.