Portugal 

Dan and I got the opportunity to photograph and video a wedding in Portugal last month. After an incredible week in Barcelona, we ventured over to Sintra Portugal. Our adventure began with us waking up to an adorable breakfast in the cutest Airbnb home. On our first day we went straight to the wedding ceremony location to check out the sites and get an artistic vision set for portraits. The ceremony took place in the middle of beautiful castle ruins at the Palace Of Monserrate near Sintra. We were so overwhelmed and captivated by all the history and beauty! After that we made our way over to the reception location, The Quinta Da Arriaga, a beautiful historical rustic estate, which is where we got to stay the next several nights. We were in awe walking up to this beautiful estate and couldn’t believe this is where we were going to be staying! The next day, we got to go on a fun excursion with the wedding party and some of the wedding guests. We started at the incredible Pena Palace, then explored the historic district of Sintra, went to Cabo Da Roca, the most furthest west cape on the coast of Europe, then explored the charming town of Cascais. We loved this day! It was so amazing to see so many places in Portugal in one day. When we returned, we captured the wedding rehearsal dinner outdoors at the Quinta. The day after was a fun filled wedding day with so many special moments and memories we got to capture. We’re still in the process of editing all the photos we took, but to view some of our favorites click here: https://www.facebook.com/BallesterosPhotography/posts/10155331033126221

On the day after the wedding, there was a delicious BBQ, we got to spend a couple hours relaxing on a beach nearby, then we got to take the bride and groom out for some more portraits in historic Sintra! This experience was truly a dream and we feel so blessed. After all the wedding events, we drove over to Lisbon, Portugal where we stayed the next 3 nights! We loved exploring this city, seeing all the beautiful monuments, getting immersed in the culture, shopping, and enjoying delicious food. Our favorite was Trobadores, a little “hole in the wall” medieval style restaurant we just stumbled across while we were walking. Our apartment was right in the heart of the downtown area so we did our fair share of walking everywhere. We spent a good amount of time near Commerce Square, where we relaxed on the water’s edge while being serenaded by a man playing his guitar. I also really loved the Alfama district, overlooking all the rooftops in Lisbon with an incredible view of the turquoise water. I love looking back at all our pictures and reliving all our experiences. We absolutely loved Portugal. Everything about it was so charming! Not just the environments we were sounded by but all the people we experienced in this country. We felt a truly genuine care, appreciation, and respect from all of the locals. Also, if you ever go to Portugal, I highly recommend connecting with Andre with Shortcuts Tourism. This man was incredibly friendly, smart, welcoming, knowledgeable and passionate about his country. You will get to experience some pretty amazing things and definitely gain a new friend! Also, if you are in need of a wedding planner, look no further than Jenni Grubba Events. This girl really knows how to plan a wedding! I’m in the process of making a personal video of all our adventures in Portugal and Spain. I can’t wait to share it with you all! 

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Barcelona Spain

Daniel and I visited Barcelona Spain for the first time last month! We were overwhelmed with such excitement and awe the entire time. I have no shame in playing the tourist while traveling to different countries. I loved seeing all of the beautiful historic monuments and all the charm and culture of this amazing city. My husband Daniel’s side of the family (the Ballesteros family) originates from Spain and I loved that I got to experience a part of it. On our first day in Barcelona we went to La Rambla. We loved this street and all the surrounding shops and alleys near the Gothic Quarter. Dan really wanted a drawing of me by this really talented artist on the street. He was hilarious and super talented!  La Boqueria market was a fun experience too! It was their local “Farmers Market” type of market. We had our fair share of gelato here too 🙂 One of the first shops I went into was a cute thrift shop near the Gothic Quarter. I ended up finding a super cute neck scarf that I’ll most likely be wearing a lot this summer.  It was a great way to spend our first day in Spain. On our second day, we walked through Park Guell. We ended up taking the back way/ scenic route (unintentionally) but so glad we did! We took a peaceful stroll all the way up the hill, and got to see a view of the whole city at the top. On our way down we stopped to watch some kids play soccer then continued down the hill while we followed the sound of a beautiful song being played by a man playing a santoor. We found him playing near the entrance of the Park, then we continued on through these stone pillar arches and enjoyed all the beautiful architecture by Gaudi. We also ate our first Paella on our way back to the room and it was delicious. The next day we checked into a house with some of our friends, enjoyed some drinks and tapas, and checked out the Arc de Triomf. I saw some people dancing nearby when we were there and obviously I joined in on the fun. I’m in the process of making a video of all the highlights from our trip and can’t wait to share it. The next day we visited La Sagrada Familia, the most extravagant cathedral I’ve ever seen. We spent a good amount of time inside just staring at all the detail. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when all the construction is complete.  It’s supposed to be completed in 2026! We did our best not to over plan or try to cram in too many sites or adventures each day and really enjoy every destination. We also did our fair share of walking everywhere and mostly used the metro for longer distances. One of my favorite days in Barcelona was our beach day at Barceloneta Beach. We relaxed in the sun, ate a fancy seafood dinner at Salamanca, took a dip in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, had a massage on the beach, then I joined in on a volleyball game I saw happening. Each one of my teammates represented a different nationality from all over the world! I had a blast! We ended our day walking along the shore searching for beach glass. My grandpa collects beach glass and asked if I would bring him home some. I found soooo much sea glass and there were such unique and pretty colors I’ve never seen before. He was so happy to see what I brought home for him 🙂 On our last day, we walked through Parc Del Laberint D’ Horta, checked out Sant Pau, and enjoyed a nice lunch together. It was the perfect way to spend our last day in Spain. The next day we ventured on to Portugal where we photographed a wedding! Coming soon to the blog!