MUST DO – SURFING IN PORTUGAL

Got a couple of questions after posting about surfing on Instagram so I thought I’d make a post! Granted, I was definitely not the person who discovered this (thank you Alex, Emily W, Emily C, and Callie for the suggestion and Monisha for booking for us!!!) so I’m just here to relay the message so that all humans on earth can enjoy approximately $20CAN (it’s actually 15 euros) worth of 2 hours of surf rentals and lessons!!! (If you know something better and you’re hiding it from the world – I hate you.)

PS. Surfing in Tofino (Canada) is about $100 for the exact same thing so yes, this is a big deal.

HOW AND WHERE TO BOOK

Click here to Cascais Surf School & Camp’s website to see their rates and follow their instructions (in other words simply send them an email and see when they’re available!). I also realized after visiting the page that we got our rates even cheaper because we were students on exchange (#Erasmus LOL) but it’s cheap nonetheless!!

Not to boost their ego but they also have a 5 star rating on tripadvisor so…

WHERE IT IS…

The beach itself is not in Lisbon exactly – you have to train your ass to the beach. I’ve even left a few instructions:

#1 – Get from wherever you are (Airbnb, Hostel, Hotel, the street, the bush, etc) to the station: Cais do Sodré 

tip: I would Uber there because Ubers in Lisbon are dirt cheap especially if you split with people. If not, WALK. It’s a nice scenery (not that I would know with all the Ubers but from what I’ve seen around and heard from other people…) and plus the city is not that big!

#2 – Buy a round-trip train ticket to Carcavelos (unless they’ve changed the destination, but this is where we were told to go)

From there, the beach is about a 5 minute walk!

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

Instructors were absolutely amazing (as you can see from their trip advisor review). They were extremely helpful and they don’t give up on you – EVEN IF YOU’RE GIVING UP ON YOURSELF LOL. They also learn your name within the first 5 minutes and they say it with their cute Portuguese accents (Liiiizaaaa!!!!). Which also means that if you screw up they yell your name in the middle of the ocean #NoLie #ButInACuteAndFunnyWay.

eg. *me trying to hop on my surfboard*
“NOOOO LIZZZAAAAAAA, THERE ARE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF YOU”

It was really fun (how basic can that statement be) – definitely lots of work but so worth it! 1000/1000 would recommend to friend. And non-friends.

post surfing sangria!! ❤
“Gourmet burger” with out the bread and an egg?? #portugesestyle LOL

FAQ (that I made up by myself so who knows)

ISN’T IT COLD?

Yes m’dear. The water is cold especially if you’re not going in the middle of summer in 30 degree weather. But have no fear, wet suits are here!! No lie, these wet suits will keep you so warm that you won’t even notice the coldness of the water.

ISN’T IT TIRING?

Also a yes. The three of us were sore for two days afterwards. One of us was sore all over, one of us was sore upper body, and the other one was sore just in the shoulders (not pointing at who is who ;D). So it really depends on who you are but don’t underestimate the work out that this gives you!

WHAT TO WEAR/BRING

Wear your bathing suit underneath already. Do not think to change into your bathing suit because the minute you get to that parking lot they already have wet suits and surfboards ready for you.

Bring:

  • flip flops
  • towel
  • SUNSCREEN
  • Hair tie (I was originally going to say for girls but with all the man-buns these days who knows)
  • GREAT ATTITUDE 😀 (I sound like a mother)

That’s about it, folks!

Hope y’all have a great time surfing in Portugal like we did!!!!

Love,

Lisa

Milan Fashion Week

Doing exchange in Milan means one thing… MILAN FASHION WEEK!!! *Cue tweens me at JBiebs concert screams*

But seriously, I prepared for this moment ever since I submitted my application for exchange  #EagerBeaver. I even bought my outfit months in advance and just took off the tags yesterday #FashionOlymmpics?. The only thing that didn’t go according to plan was my 6 pack that never showed up #OhWell #MaybeNextYear.

milan fashion week 2017
lugged this cape around for months just to wear for one day #lisalogic

I was traveling in the beginning of fashion week so I wasn’t able to catch Gigi, Aimee Song, and the other bloggers on site (I know, I had one job) but we came right in time for the last day 😀 #thankgod #MyOutfitWouldGoToWaste. Thankfully, Monisha also just got back from traveling and needed to check out MFW as well so we headed over to the Duomo right before class.

milan fashion week 2017

So how did we get in??? #FAQ

Long story short we showed up armed so they pretty much had to let us in.

Just kidding, but the real story’s pretty anticlimactic.

Basically we walked to the entrance and there were guards up at the front. We saw one girl walk up to security and said, “my name should be on that list” – which it was, and she got inside. I felt pretty discouraged but another group of girls looked like they were talking to the guards and he didn’t pull out any type of list, so we decided to give it a try. We simply asked, “can we head inside?” He looks at his partner, and turned to us and said yes. Once we got to entrance #2, Monisha and I kept saying to each other, “act cool, act cool… gotta pretend like we belong”. Later, a woman approached us and asked if we were press, bloggers, students, or whatever (okay she didn’t say whatever but she might as well have because who are we to be there?). We answered “students abroad” but she heard “from a blog” so she encouragingly led us to our seats. I mean technically this is going on a blog… 😉

Moral of the story: Lie??? or accidentally lie???

milan fashion week 2017

We were able to catch the last show of the entire week – Daizy Shely’s Fall/Winter 2017-2018 collection.

milan fashion week 2017

I wanted to vlog my entire experience but I didn’t gather enough clips so here’s a gif I learned how to make just for this blog post LOL:

milan fashion week 2017

and this one:

milan fashion week 2017
The last walk

The entire show is exactly the way you dreamed it would be: The venue was grand with classic European architecture. There’s also classical music in the background before the show commences with photographers and press everywhere, especially towards the end of the catwalk:

fullsizerender-jpg-6

The show itself was not very long but there was a lot to take in. There were a lot of details on each of the outfits so it was almost overwhelming as my first time trying to take in everything: the venue, the models, the music, etc. What was almost as amazing to watch was the audience. The entire audience was extremely dressed up, sunglasses in their faces, clutches in hand, and speaking a bunch of different languages.

milan fashion week 2017

When the show was over, everyone took the opportunity to take pictures in the venue. INCLUDING US OF COURSE 😀

fullsizerender-jpg-2
Angle #1

We were really lucky and found someone that took photos for us in all different kinds of angles. This is the type of people we need to surround ourselves with :’) #MakesMeTear #Grateful

milan fashion week 2017
Angle #2. This guy rocks.

Maybe next time we’ll get an invite and not have to accidentally lie our way through??? LOL #OneCanDream

PS. For people thinking of sneaking in: make sure you dress the part, you never know what’s going to happen! They’re also more inclined to let you in if you look like you’re part of it!

Love,
Lisa

Food, Booze, and Bras

You might be wondering why the title of this post is called Food, Booze, and Bras. Or you might not. If you weren’t, are you now? #WasThatNecessary #WasteOfWords

This post is really about my recent trip to Toronnntooo, baby. My friend Kristina helped me think of this title just because the highlight of my visit revolved around food, booze, and bras. Also,  this title makes me sound extremely scandalous so that’s always a plus.

spent the last few days with this girlie <3
spent the last few days with this girlie ❤

FOOD

Kristina and I had food coma  itis (trying to be an Ontarioian) the last couple of days. I felt like my mouth travelled the world because we ate foods from all different cultures #YouKnowURECanadianWhen. Instead of talking about it, I thought I’d show you pictures instead. This is revenge for all you Vancouvrites who continue to send me snapchats of food:

My favourite was the Kimchi Fries from Banh Mi Boys – check out Victor’s review here and his review on Santouka here.

Since Kristina doesn’t usually eat that much (or at all for that matter…) I basically fed her to the point of hibernation and she won’t be needing food for the next couple of months #UREWelcomeGirl ❤

BOOZE

On Wednesday night, Kristina wanted to show me one of the UofT hotspots – Maddy. Her exact words: “It’s always super packed and there’s always a line-up”. But when we got there… not a single soul was found #Awkward #DontTrustHer #JK #LoveHer. Since the Maddy was playing hard to want on Wednesday, we returned on Thursday night with my roommate from last year, Jill. This time, there actually was a big line-up #ITrustYouAgainKristina – to the point where we thought we might’ve not gotten in. But let’s be real, when you’re out with me or Kristina (especially both), we. are. getting. inside. #IDontGoOutForNothing

BRAS

What this title really means is shopping. But since me and Kristina’s most favourite purchase these couple of days were bras, we thought it would be extremely fitting #GetIt #ImSoFunny #OrPunny. Speaking of bras, I wrote a separate post on where we got our miracle bras here (post is mainly for girls but if you’re a guy and you’re clicking it – I won’t judge you).

Spotted: Lisa & Kristina at the Subway Station #WritingAsThoughImFamous
Spotted: Lisa & Kristina at the Subway Station #WritingAsThoughImFamous

Besides a couple of little items I got from Forever 21 (fun fact – Did you know I used to work there and hated my life? Yep), my most favourite item is probably a pair of boots from Steve Maddens. Which… I won’t post a picture of because I don’t like my feet but just imagine a pair of reeeaaally nice feet inside a pair of reeeaaally nice boots. That’s me.

Instagram: @getawei Photo Cred: Victor Zhang
Instagram: @getawei
Photo Cred: Victor Zhang

Oh yeah, I finally got a beanie!! Victor really inspired me to get one after my make-over.

ARMIN      …      …

Armin was like, so amazing, I can’t even.

 

#JK #DIDNTFRIGGINGO

Allow me to explain. First, this is exactly why “Armin” was not part of the main title. Second, me and Shay really wanted to go, but then there’s also Armin Vancouver and there was a sale at Steve Madden so… #FirstWorldProblems

we like trees

Instead, we walked by the biggest line of our lives (jk, the Aritiza Warehouse Sale line is bigger), and just watched the people that are about to see Armin #CloseEnough. We even got a picture in front of Metro Convention Centre #SoCloseButYetSoFar.

We were technically there... so we WERE at Armin. I didn't lie.
We were technically there… so we WERE at Armin. I didn’t lie.

More importantly, thanks to my lack-of-Armin-going #MakesNoSense, I had the opportunity to visit the CN tower for the first time in my life with my date, Kristina.

CN Tower.. finally!!!
CN Tower.. finally!!!

Originally, we were going to give our boyfriends the honour to take us, but after much thought, we realized that if we waited for us to get a boyfriend, we might as well never see the CN tower. Instead, we went on a double date with Victor and Shay #CloseEnough.

 

our turn to creep them
our turn to creep them
Double Dates #MeAndKristinaAreCuter #SorryNotSorry #InsideJoke #RightGuys #PlsGetIt
Double Dates #MeAndKristinaAreCuter #SorryNotSorry #InsideJoke #RightGuys #PlsGetIt

That was basically my whole trip! Sadly, I still have 3 exams coming up so… you probably won’t hear from me in awhile #PretendToBeSad.

Love,
Lisa

 

 

Flashback Friday #1: Blind Date (Part 1/2)

I’m starting a segment called Flashback Fridays. As I’ve mentioned in my intro post, I would really love to document my past experiences. Since I’ve only recently started my blog, I was unable to write about things I’ve done in the last 19 years (almost 20 – approaching the second decade! #Holla)

To kickstart my new segment, I’ll be writing about my first and only blind date. But prepare yourselves… it’s not your typical blind date where your friend sets you up with someone they think you might like but you actually end up thinking of ways to torture your friend later (like Rachel from FRIENDS).

I don’t know whether to feel bad for Rachel who endured a bad date or Phoebe who doesn’t know she’s about to be killed by Rachel LOL
Halloween 2007. "We so azn #1" LOOL. We were so cool. Who am I kidding? We still are.
Halloween 2007. “We so azn #1” LOOL. We were so cool. Who am I kidding? We still are.

I went on a blind date with my best friend from elementary school, Maria, during the summer of 2013. Since I was doing some summer courses at UBC, her roommate subleased her room to me and so began our many crazy roommate adventures.

*Note: We’ve also made a video documenting our blind date (before, during, and after).  Link at the end of this post.

crazy, ecstatic roommates :P
crazy, ecstatic roommates 😛

My good friend Eric told me about this relatively new restaurant in Vancouver called The Dark Table. The unique thing about this restaurant is that you eat in the dark and your servers are either blind or visually impaired. When I heard about it, I quickly rushed home to tell Maria. We started to joke around about how cool it would be if we were to have a blind date at that restaurant because you wouldn’t know what the other person looks like during the entire date. Side note: it started off as a joke.

Maria taking me on my first convertible ride! :) Summer 2013
Maria taking me on my first convertible ride! 🙂 Summer 2013

Anyway, as two single girls (at the time… sorry dudes, Maria’s taken now) in Vancouver running out of novel things to do, we decided to take the idea and run with it. Initially, we were going to set each other up with each other’s friends (for example, I would set Maria up with one of my single guy friends but she won’t know who he is until the end of the date and vice versa). But we thought about (get ready for the deep side of Mawisa – yes, that’s what we call ourselves) how we could really use this opportunity to eliminate bias before getting to know someone. I mean, think about it. When you meet someone, you helplessly form an impression. Whether it’s because of their looks, their clothes, or even their name, it is in our nature to form some sort of impression (good or bad). Even if you’re the nicest person out there who refuses to judge a book by its cover – let’s face it – you have some impression formed. So back to my story, we thought it would be ineffective to set each other up with our own friends just because we would obviously choose someone that would be slightly compatible with the other person. So to avoid that… we decided to try other means. (aaaanddd… this is where the crazy part comes in, ladies and gents)

Maria has the cutest little sister!
Maria has the cutest little sister!

We thought “where can we find people we’ve never met that would be willing to do this with us?” The one thing that really came to mind was – *drum roll please because I can already sense a freakout* – Craigslist. At first, we were going to make our own post but we thought against it. I mean, can you imagine the title of the post?! “TWO GIRLS WANTING TWO GUYS TO GO ON A DATE WITH THEM BUT WE DON’T NEED YOUR NAME OR ANY OTHER INFO JUST MEET US THERE”. Uh…  imagine all the creeps that would respond to that.

potentially our date if we posted our own ad
potentially our date if we posted our own ad

Instead, we decided to find our own dates through Craigslist under a section called “Men Seeking Women” (I SWEAR WE DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THAT SECTION UNTIL THIS EXPERIMENT). Now, keep in mind that the point of this “experiment” was to eliminate as much bias as we can but still do it safely so our pictures don’t end up on milk cartons.

We managed to find two anti-creepy posts by two friendly guys that were around our age. We responded to their ad to ask if they would be interested in this one-date venture. When they replied saying they were interested, we told them our plan. To make it more clear, I decided to type what we did in point-form below.

yeah, no. this is not happening to us. #safetyfirst #imintheprimeofmylifeyouknow
yeah, no. this is not happening to us. #safetyfirst #imintheprimeofmylifeyouknow

1. Setting a time

We made sure to set a time that worked for the 4 of us. This way, when Maria is on her date, I would be on mine. We would be there for each other if needed. #BestFriendsForever #PrentendToBeLesbiansIfAllFails #GotYoBackGirl

2. Calling the restaurant

The Dark Table requires prior reservations so we made sure we called the restaurant to set up 2 tables. The restaurant insists that all parties arrive before the reservation time so the server can bring you inside together. Since that wouldn’t work with our plan (we don’t want to know what they look like until after the date) we needed to specifically tell the restaurant so they can make alternate arrangements for us.

3. Utilizing unisex names!

We needed to leave a name for The Dark Table and we didn’t want to reveal our names prior to the date, so we made sure to use unisex names. This way, our dates would also be able to tell the servers the reservation name without spoiling information such as their ethnic backgrounds (eg. if their name was a traditional Chinese name, I would know beforehand that he is Chinese). Maria used Sam (her cat’s name!) and I used Alex (I’m not very original…).

4. Arriving before our dates.

We made sure to get there 15 minutes before the time we told our dates to ensure that we get inside the restaurant before they did. #ladiesfirst

5. Wait & Date! (Oh, I’m such a poet)

After waiting inside, we waited for our dates’ arrivals. #iwassoboredinside #icouldntusemyphone #icouldnttalktoanyone #iwaswritingblindlyinmynotebook

I was writing in my notebook as I was waiting for Alex because I couldn't do anything else LOL. Look how messed up my writing was hahaha
I was writing in my notebook as I was waiting for Alex because I couldn’t do anything else LOL.
LOL my writing was so messed up

AFTERMATH

stay tuned for part two next Friday! 🙂

Love,

Lisa

PS. Our video version is here (excuse my poor video editing skills… it was my first time using iMovie LOL)