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trips

this is the last installment from our engagement photo shoot series! we had so much fun together on this day! i’m so glad we did this and i’m so glad we met jesus and got to work with him!

0338_vanessa-bret_130429as you can see, we ended up going to all B.’s favorite spots in town: the retiro park {where we got engaged}, the plaza mayor and the mercado san miguel!

this is a gorgeous hip market, that has wonderful vendors selling incredible food and drinks!

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0202_vanessa-bret_130429a little more from our engagement photo shoot. our photographer didn’t know the meaning Plaza Mayor has for us. stopping here was natural, organic. but, before our trip, B. would tell me all these stories of him hanging out at Plaza Mayor! it was one of his favorite spots in Madrid and he spent a lot of time there and he thought of it as a special place!

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IMG_5494last week, B. went home to NJ and he brought with him a little gift for our families. in a very cute, key-shaped, gold flash drive we saved all the pictures from our trip and from our engagement shoot and sent it to them with a cool, colorful garland, in polka dot envelopes!

i just had so much fun to put this little gift together, and I know how much our mom’s loved looking at our pictures! it was a pleasure to share with them the memories of the best days of our lives!

this is how the little package turned out:

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Madrid was were we spent most of our time in Europe and I gotta say: it reminded me so much of Brazil! I guees it’s an easy place to adapt if you are a brazilian living in europe! The weather was great, the people are happy, the place shows a lot of signs of the economic crisis but it’s still beautiful and amazing!

Spending time with my family was just incredible! I got to go to a lot of places with my cousin, he gave us a fantastic city tour! We had so much fun! There was a lot of walking. Some days, when I’d wake up in the morning, I could not stand my feet, I did not have the strength to hold myself up! But, it was a lot of fun!

I’ll share a few pictures here with you:

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^^ B. found the public phone he used to call his mom 11 years ago! How amazing is that?!

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^^100 montaditos was def. one of B.’s favorite places! wonderful spanish sandwiches for 1 euro + beer for 1 euro!

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Hello, friends!

B. and I are back home, trying to adapt to our routines and have finally received all the pictures from our European journey! We had such a magnificent time {for those who followed through instagram, the tags #cdmeuropa, #maelspain #maelparis gathers all our photos!}! I thought I’d share some photos and tips from our trip for those of you that are thinking about a Spanish vacation!

Spain was our focus and where we spent the majority of our time! I do not use travel services, I book everything myself, I find it to be a lot more my style, not to count way economic, than to use an agency! Plus, I have fun learning and dreaming about the places I’m going to see!

We tried to figure out the perfect itinerary that fit in every city we wanted to see. It had plenty of changes throughout the years {remember, I’m planning this trip for four years!}. Not everything went smooth, I neglected to check the hours of one of our flights and we missed it! Returning home, with luggage full of wine and wonderful Moroccan olive oil bottles wasn’t easy! But, the headaches of traveling do not weigh on you! The rewards are always much bigger and you come back home feeling richer!

B. and I are very specific about our trips! We rarely do a load of touristic stuff and focus on a more personal experience, on living the life of the locals as much as possible! Our intent is always to learn! Learn how other people live, what they do, eat, drink and we incorporate the best to our lives as well! Staying with family, in an actual neighborhood make things way easier! We could live the life of the Spaniards, with its crazy hours and amazing food!

As soon as we arrived in Madrid, my entire family was at the airport waiting for us! It was such a wonderful surprise to see everyone together! Such an important moment, meeting my cousins again for the first time in 16 years! We made a quick stop in Madrid to drop our bags off and had breakfast at Casa de Campo! A gigantic park, with a lake in the center, bike lanes, gorgeous trees, full of cute cafes! But, today, the itinerary was a day trip to Toledo!

 

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TOLEDO, ESPAÑA

IMG_5142My family offered us a trip to Toledo as an engagement gift – they had heard how much Bret loved Toledo the last time he was there and we went as a family, to see the famous cathedral, the small sword shops and suits of armor everywhere! Toledo is a fortified city with tiny cobblestone streets! It’s pure charm! It was an amazing, sunny day and we walked up and down the tiny alleys and windy streets talking, and talking! Speaking Portuguese, Spanish and English, a crazy mixture of it all!

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IMG_5137Toledo is located south of Madrid and is the capital of the autonomous community of Castille-La Mancha and is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage and place of coexistence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures. Remember Don Quixote de La Mancha? This very famous story by Miguel de Cervantes takes place in the area! Toledo even offers a Don Quixote Tour, visiting important local sites mentioned in the book!

IMG_5132The metal-working industry has historically been Toledo’s economic base, with a great tradition in the manufacturing of swords and knives! The city is located on a mountaintop with a 150 degree view, surrounded on three sides by a bend in the Tagus River, and contains many historical sites, including the Alcázar, the cathedral (the primate church of Spain).

After hours visiting the sites and walking around the city we stopped for lunch! However, I can’t tell you how it was! I got sick, my blood pressure dropped and I started my routine of vomiting/diarrhea that happens every single time I travel! I spent the entire lunch in the bathroom! After that, i started taking Spanish Gatorade, called Aquarius, to try to hold something down and not get dehydrated! Back home, B. got to go out with my cousin and explore the bars in the neighborhood, while I spent my time with the bathroom! 😦  {this happens every single time I travel, I believe it’s one of the side effects of my anxiety, so I’m used to it}.

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IMG_5135IMG_5134IMG_5136 IMG_5138IMG_5143 IMG_5147 IMG_5149 IMG_5148 IMG_5145 IMG_5152I think we slept something like 12 hours that night! I wanted to make sure we were rested for the next days!

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Bright World Map – Large by English Muffins Shop

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art deco mens traveling bathroom bag by Arty Factz

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Travelling Lemon – Cabin Pressure by The Fangirls Geekery

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Leather canvas 40s era garment bag luggage super quality by Gillard Gurl

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Luggage Tag – Navy Blue and White Chevron Custom Lime Green Monogram Luggage Tag – Personalized Luggage Tag – Travel Tag – Your Monogram by Village Vinyl

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Classy typographic passport cover. Let’s Make It Quick, Officer. by 3zonyou

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Duffle bag Gym bag Travel bag Luggage bag Overnite Bag Holdall bag Weekend bags duffel bags – Durable and Sturdy 1457 by Flizcraft

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Paris Postcard Collection, Yellow, Framable Photo Cards, Paris Prints, Paris Photography, 4×6 Art Prints by The Paris Print Shop

Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 10.01.07 PMon monday, B. and I had the chance to spend a wonderful afternoon with Jesus and his friend Carlos. they are two amazing Spanish photographers and we had the best of times! we felt completely comfortable, we got to do all our crazy wish list pictures, they were super fun and the results are just amazing!

i’d like to share with you a sneak peak on our engagement shoot! in the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more, including all the pictures we took in different locations throughout madrid! enjoy!

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what i love most is that he really captured who we are, you can really see how much fun we have together, our dances, laughter, love, it’s just amazing! i’m in love with these images!!!

you can see all the images here!

all images by Jesus Cabellero from White Dress Photo

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