Brazil activities (1)

Hello everyone!

Here we go with our activity list! Hope it’s going to inspire you to come and visit this country (or to do some activities in your own country, if you are already living in Brazil).

On my first day I met my in-laws for the first time. We are a huge total of 8 people since Bruno has 2 older sister that are also in a couple. Here we are (Be careful while watching this photo, it may contains prettiness) :

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For the first day, we barely visit the place since I was too tired *yeah… Sometime that happens*. But for my first glimpse I was impress by that “ginourmous” city :

Ginourmous = giant + enourmous expression in the pocket dictionary of Ju-no (Julie-Anne & Bruno)

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The second day, the family of Bruno took me to the Botanical garden of Sao Paulo. It is basically a huge park where you can walk around and admire the plants, the view and wild animals. Tiny note to tell you that during the winter period (which is may to august) there is not a lot of flowers sadly. During our visit, we were lucky enough to see a Tatu roaming around. This animal is more than cute! I can tell! At night we went to have my welcome dinner at a fancy Japanese restaurant! Nice thing to know : every Japanese/Asian restaurant are expensive in here, so don’t go there thinking that it’s going to be a quick and cheap meal.

On the next day,  Bruno showed me Liberdade, which means liberty in Portuguese. It is the Chinatown of Sao Paulo. Actually a funny fact is, that Liberdade was mainly constructed and inhabited by Japanese people. So I prefer to call it Japatown instead. Second funny fact is that the biggest colony of Japanese in the world is currently in Brazil. Back on the track : during the day, we had ramen (of course, whoever knows me, knows how much I love ramen), visited the museum of the Japanese immigration and went to a “supposed to be” garden in the middle of the district (lovely rebaptised “the failed garden” since it’s actually a garden that was transformed in a fast food garden). I had my first coconut water ever, and it was delicious.

For the rest of the afternoon, we went to the cultural center, which is a dynamic place, where young people hang around, dance, sing, rest, study, etc… Even if Sao Paulo is one of the biggest and most populated city of the world, we managed to stumble upon one of the best friends of Bruno! We finished our day at Paulista avenue, which is the most famous and touristic place to go in Sao Paulo. Another funny fact that I didn’t know was that Paulista is actually the way you call people that are born in Sao Paulo. We had a fantastic/dangerous *Joking here, that was just a little bit adventurous* meal in a little street behind the huge and crowded Paulista Av. We actually order a pizza and ate it on a corner of a street, since the restaurant was actually only a delivery service. The pizza are way different than American ones. They don’t even have cheese sometimes! But I can tell, they are actually pretty good. To wrap up our fantastic meal we stumble upon “French Crepes” and I wanted to check if they were real ones. Found out that the owner was actually a French girl (so it was pretty good and legit French crepes!).

Since we have a lot to say, and we don’t want the posts to be infinites ones, we’ll stop here for today! But hey, we have a full month to describe, haha!

Stay tuuuuuned

Ju-No

Traveling to Brazil

Hi everyone! As you know I am currently in Brazil where Bruno lives. It is my first time in this country and I am learning tons of stuff about the place, the culture, and I thought that I could share this in another traveling post. In this first post about Brazil I’ll share my tips and traveling experience.

From Montreal, Canada, to Sao Paulo, Brazil, it took me roughly 13h of flight which is the most direct flight I could get (Yay!). Getting through custom was actually really simple… way more than I thought. They only checked my passport, didn’t even asked me questions, stamped my passport and that was it (maybe I am some sort of lucky…). If ever you are thinking about going to Brazil, be aware that technically it is not that easy to come in. The Visa are quite hard to get, and you “need” to know someone inside the country. The Olympics are coming in Brazil, and Canadian people can get here without a Visa till September 2016 (again super lucky me!). So check this little administrative things to do before coming here!

From my tiny bit of experience in here, in the state of Sao Paulo, this is not an easy place for tourists. The quantity of people speaking in English are low, but at least people will try their best to help you get what you want. I am lucky to visit a portion of the country with Bruno, who is a local person. With him I don’t have any problem for language, directions, visiting special places, and knowing the security basics. Be aware, if you come to visit, about security. Bruno always tells me, depending on where we are going, what I should carry with me or not (cellphone, jewels, computer, camera, etc.) and if we should go back at night or not. Do your research if you don’t have anybody to advise you. Pickpockets and robbery do happen often so be careful.

My final tip for you is to prepare a lot of money, even though for some people (like me who’s from Canada) think that it might be cheap to go to Brazil, it is actually not. Even if your money worth way more than the Real, tons of thing here are out of price. It is easy to spend 100 R$ bills in a day for normal activities. Keep that in mind! (NB : there’s a lot of activities cheaper for students, so bring your ID if you are!)

Those tips were the boring portion that I wanted you to know about since I think it is important. On another hand, this country is colorful and diverse. In the next post I’ll tell you more about what I discovered and the activities that we are doing. Here’s a taste :

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Stayy tuuuunnneed!

Julie-Anne

Traveling Canada – Quebec (3)

Hey there! Ready for part 3? There is soo many things to see and do here!

So…Since Bruno didn’t know anything about winter sports, we went to do some snowshoeing and sliding. If you dare to come in Canada while it’s cold, go outside and try do to any winter sports, like skiing, ice skating, sliding, etc. There is a lot of place where you can rent equipment for a low price and enjoy the snow and cold weather. After doing some sport we went to see a game of our national sport, Hockey!

Near Qc City there is a wonderful and impressive waterfall named `”Chute Montmorency”. During the coldest period of the year we can actually walk right to it on the ice sheet and admire it closely. It’s a must see! Right in front of it, there is an Island famous for all the homemade product and views you can get. The Island is named “Ile d’Orleans”. Sadly, we didn’t have time to visit… 😦

There is a lot of gardens, and museums you can visit in Quebec city, we went to visit some of them but our highlight was the Aquarium of Quebec city. Since we are both marine biologist it was hard not to go. What is pleasant about this aquarium is that they are showing the local species. Therefore, I could show more about the east coast of north America to Bruno.

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Downtown Quebec city we have a permanent market that has tons of foods and crafts! If you want to taste fresh food, and look at some gifts you might want to bring back, this is a good place. Right next to it, there is the marina of the city, museums, and the “Place 400” that held a lot of tiny festivals all summer long you should check this out!

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Going shopping? Of course! We have really big malls and shopping center in Quebec city. If you are the type who loves doing the boutiques, you should take a look at those places : Place Laurier, Place St-Foy, Place de la cité, Place Fleur-de-Lys, and go in the old city portion to see fancy clothes boutiques and tons of other stuff! Bruno and I did a lot of shopping, since everything is less expensive in here than in his country. Doesn’t he looks good in this suit?

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Going to the country side is always nice. On this little journey I could show Bruno the typical Canadian houses built hundreds of years ago. He also tried our traditional sugar shack sticky and delicious maple dessert!

Finally, we enjoyed every moment! In those post I showed you a lot of the activities we’ve done in a tiny month, but we could also enjoyed a lot being on our own doing nothing but watch a movie. Quality time with you lover is the best thing you can ask for!

So…I hope this inspired you to pass by my country and gave you ideas for traveling in general.

See you next post!

Julie-Anne and Bruno

 

Traveling Canada – Quebec (2)

After my little chat about Canada in general and it’s cold weather, now let’s see what type of activities we have done in Quebec city:

We went on a tiny cruise from south Quebec city (Levis) to downtown Qc city so he could see the whole scenery of the old town we are living in, at sunset of course! But don’t forget, the sun is setting quite early during winter time.

We walked a lot around to be sure he can appreciate the city properly.  The old part of Quebec City is not that big, so you can easily walk around and enjoy it for properly in a full day! There is even the most beautiful road in Canada called “Petit Champlain”. For all the romantic lovers out there, you should definitely go there! And since we are tinted a lot with French culture, you’ll discover tons of little cafe to stop by.

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If ever you are a fan of good brewed beer, you came to the right place. My city is well known for amazing locally brewed beer. You can go around pretty much any area and have good breweries. Even though I recommend : la Barberie, la Souche, la Voie Maltée.

We went to see the Ice Hotel, which is only open during a short month (February). If you didn’t know, there’s only 2 ice hotel in the entire world. If you have the chance to see one this is a must! Funny fact here : the castle in Frozen was inspired of the Ice hotel in Quebec city, and Game of throne crew held a special event last year in this hotel!

We went to a fancy restaurant for our 9 months, to eat duck and rabbit..  typical french style 🙂 at the “Lapin Sauté” (Photo on the right). To dive into a culture we always need to try the food! So I made him try Poutine (Photo on the left), which is the most known Quebec-er meal around the world! Fries, curd cheese and gravy = the best!

and…. the rest is going to be posted on part 3!!

Keep following our updates every week in different subjects, and don’t forget to leave comments!

Julie-Anne and Bruno

Traveling Canada – Quebec

Hello there!

When you are in a LDR relationship, you need to travel a lot to see your significant other. Me and Bruno met while living in another city/country than our home town. Therefore, we didn’t know how our respective hometown looks like. After a few months being apart, we decided to plan our first meeting. Bruno insisted to come here, in Canada, to see how winter looks like. We decided that 1 month would be a good amount of time to do plenty of stuff, still work on our studies, and enjoy being together again. In this post, and others to come, I will give you tips and describe  what we’ve done in my home town and the surrounding during that month. I hope it’s going to inspire you to come and visit this Nordic country!

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I am more precisely from Quebec city in Canada. For those who doesn’t know, the people that lives in the province of Quebec, in Canada, are, for the majority, speaking french. If you decide to visit, you’ll hear a lot of people talking french. But don’t worry, we are living in a bilingual country, so you can talk in English without any problem.

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Bruno arrived in late January, when it is the coldest in Quebec city (around -25 to -40°C). If you want to visit a Nordic country or region, I recommend thinking about which season and what range of temperature you can endure before going. For cold time, there is only one tactic : Onion layering. Bring tons of clothes you can layer, and ask to borrow winter suits to enjoy properly your time there. That is what we did for Bruno. I simply borrowed a friend’s winter suit and boots for a month. With all the layer he had, he could enjoy the cold temperature and snow landscape without freezing! When you are well dressed you can now go everywhere you want! *I even made a handmade scarf for Bruno, to be sure he would not be freezing*

We decided to go and visit multiple places in my Province and see some extended family members. We went to see Montreal, which is one of the biggest city in Canada to visit! We went to Ottawa, the capital of Canada, for a few days. And we went to Rimouski! Why not visiting tiny cities and discovering all the beautiful landscape that the province as to offer! But, be prepared, Canada is a large country, and by car, you would need around 5 hours to go to Ottawa from Qc city. Keep in mind that Canada is a pretty large country, so the distance can be way different then what you were expecting!

 

Here it is for my first post about Canada. In the next post I’ll be discussing activities we have done together. Keep tune!

Julie-Anne and Bruno

 

 

Basic tips

Hi new follower!

Before we talk about our traveling experience in this category I wanted to give you some basic advice to keep in mind.

My first advice is to plan a few months ahead of time if possible. Why? Simply because it is exiting and helpful to have a date to hang on to… and it helps plan what to do.

The second advice is that the plane tickets are always cheaper to buy 30 to 60 days before the departure date. If you know exactly when you are leaving, this can help reduce a lot the price of the plane ticket. We all know the struggle about money and plane tickets here, so sharing tips like this is always nice! Go see on different website like Kayak, Flight Hub, Orbitz, Expedia, and the website of companies. But website like Kayak (which is my favorite) have prevision grid for prices and alert you can schedule. So check this out!

Third, don’t forget to check about any paper work to do (Visa for example), and maybe vaccines? Paper work can take more time than you think, so be careful with this step.

Fourth, in my opinion, the best way to get to know a place is always to travel with locals. For example, I could show to Bruno tons of little places that are my favorites when he came to my home town. It helped him to enjoy the place and dive into our culture. Not to forgot to mention that we are a LDR AMWF couple, which means asian men- white female. This means that we are a culturally mixed couple. There is so much to learn about a culture when you are visiting a place so I made sure he experience our most traditional and pleasant part of our culture. Learning about your SO culture and hometown allows you to learn more about him/her. For me, to see the place where Bruno was born and raised is really important.So I’ll make sure to plan to go to Brazil soon. Think about that while you are traveling with your SO!

Finally: enjoyyy! Planning a trip is always exciting, even more when it is to see your significant other.

Photo : Flying over the Rockies in BC, Canada.

Have a nice day 🙂

Julie-Anne