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visit china

Events & Adventures Members Visit China!

The chance for Events & Adventures members to visit China is finally here! Day 1 here in Beijing is winding down and it was nothing short of incredible! It was a jam-packed day full of adventure, laughter, and a lot of great new memories.

Our first stop of the day was The Sacred Way—referring to the road travelled to heaven—of the Ming Tombs. Our tour guide Frank was well-informed of the area’s history as he shared the meaning and significance of the many things we would see and experience. The pathway starts with a huge stone memorial archway lying near the entrance. It was constructed in 1540, during the Ming Dynasty, and is archway is the earliest and biggest stone archway in China.

The pathway is lined with stone statues which are considered crucial decorations to the mausoleum. These statues include 12 human figures, including a general, civil officials, and meritorious officials, and 24 animals, including lions, camels, elephants, xiezhis (a mythological unicorn), horses, and qilin, which is one of the four “divine animals”. The other three divine animals are the dragon, phoenix, and tortoise. There are four of each of the animals, two standing and two squatting, each implying a different meaning.

We learned that the lion symbolizes awesome solemnity because of their ferocity. The camels and elephants suggest the vastness of the territory controlled by the court because of their dependability in places like the desert and tropics. Xiezhi was placed there to keep evil spirits away because it was believed to possess the sixth sense to tell right and wrong. The horse, as the emperor’s mount, is absolutely indispensable. It is said that these animals are supposed to change guard at midnight.

We knew if we were going to visit China, we had to see how jade was made!

After exploring The Sacred Way, our next stop was The Jade Factory. This factory was actual produced the 2008 Olympic Medals that featured white jades. We learned about the different textures and colors of jade and how each figure has its own meaning. For example, the Psu statue made from jade is believed to bring more money into the household. The male statue represents bringing the money and the female represents keeping the money.

After The Jade Factory we stopped for lunch before heading onto The Great Wall of China, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (obviously). It was a dream come true. I can honestly say I never thought I would have ever made it to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We hiked up to the top of the wall, which was beautiful and provided spectacular views (and was also really windy).

We closed out the day with a visit to a Chinese Tea Factory, where they brew the most delicious loose leaf teas, and followed that with dinner and an acrobatic show. It feels as if we have been here for a week instead of just a day. We cannot wait to see what the rest of the week will bring. Only Events & Adventures can play host to a once-in-a-lifetime experience like this, it’s definitely the only way to visit China!

curling class

Curling Class with Events & Adventures Minneapolis

Warmer Weather in Minneapolis Means….Curling Class?  Curling may seem like the last thing a winter-weary Minnesotan would want to do in spring, our club had a full turnout for Curling 101 at the Chaska Curling Center. Our members were eager to re-don their winter hats and mittens to try their hand at learning this medieval Scottish tradition.

The Chaska Curling Center was more than happy to accommodate us with the necessary equipment to start our curling adventure! First opened in December 2015, the Chaska Curling Center is home to over 1200 members with a six sheet arena, locker rooms, and a player’s lounge.

During our two-hour Learn to Curl class, our members learned curling etiquette, rules, scoring, delivery, and sweeping. Some members showed some real promise at possibly pursuing a new, and unusual, career in sports. At the end of the class, they had the option of obtaining a membership with the Chaska Curling Center and even the opportunity to enter a local league for competition.

When asked about their curling class experience, our members had this to say:

  • “If you’ve ever watched it, don’t understand, but feel like you should because you’re from the land of ice and snow, this is something to check out! Judgement free and highly encouraging. What a fun time.” ~ Lisa Ghylin
  • “I loved it, I expected it to be a little harder but I had a great time.” ~ Jeffrey Mark
  • “Amazing experience with knowledgeable instructors.” ~ Tiffany Osterman

Events & Adventures make it easy to live a life you love by finding new and exciting things for our members to do.  Contact us today to learn more about the curling class and the many other great events we host every month right here in the Twin Cities, not to mention our other clubs around the US and Canada.

spring training

Spring Training with Events & Adventures Phoenix

Here in Phoenix we have the good fortune of being the West Coast home to the wonderful world of Major League Baseball’s Spring Training games. And frankly, spring with Events & Adventures would not be complete without a fun outing in 70-degree weather to enjoy seeing the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the World Champion Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park in Mesa. Sloan Park is a baseball park where the primary tenant is the Chicago Cubs, and the ballpark serves as their spring training home, but it’s also the home of the Arizona League Cubs.

Events & Adventures Phoenix attended the sold out spring training game as part of its own exclusive group!

It’s not every day you can get that close to World Series Champions to enjoy hot dogs, beer, and the American pastime. The best part of the game? The socializing of course! The lawn seats are the place to be at any spring training game. New members were amazed at how comfortable they felt stretching out on the lawn while the sun set behind the park. We laughed through all nine innings, with our favorite part being the mascots signing autographs and playfully taunting the other team throughout the stadium. There were two home runs and lots of fouls, but despite our high hopes we’ll have to wait till next time to catch one.

And in case you are wondering—yes, the Diamondbacks hit a home run right into the concession stand! Speaking of which, if you weren’t sure that a bacon-filled heaven actually exists—we can confirm it does if you are a baseball fan in Arizona! You could tell which team a fan was rooting for—the Zonies were ordering the 18-inch corn dog stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and bacon, served with a side of fries, while other fans ordered the Chicago deep dish pizza.

Although Sloan Park is not their home field, the Diamondbacks sure made it feel that way as they won the game by the score of 7 to 3! It’s always exciting when the members of Events & Adventures Phoenix can get together for any sporting event, but it’s even sweeter when the home team comes away with the win.

puzzle room

Take a Shot as Sherlock in a Puzzle Room

If you have ever wanted to feel like Sherlock Holmes you need to check out a puzzle room! If you are unfamiliar with the concept, here is the gist of it: you and your team are locked in a room and have to solve puzzles and riddles and follow abstract clues in order to escape. There is an endless string of possibilities with a project like this, and each room is unique which means the game never gets old!

In January the Seattle Events and Adventures club went to a local puzzle room called Serial Mysteries. This puzzle room divided our group of 20 people into three smaller teams, each with their own obstacles to overcome. Once each team accomplished their task we were able to put the three separate pieces together in order to open the final safe and escape the room!

In March we decided to challenge ourselves yet again and went to a Redmond puzzle room called Flee Escape. For this, our group of 35 people was divided up into five separate teams. Each team had a different difficulty level and theme which meant that everybody enjoyed a personalized experience. Some of the themes we encountered included Egyptian, Museum Heist, and Escape from Prison!

What’s great about puzzle rooms is that you go in as a group of individuals and come out as a team!

You learn about one another’s strengths (word games vs. math equations) and work together to escape the room! Every team—after exiting their puzzle—was all smiles and claps on the back…even if they didn’t beat the room!

This is a great way to build friendships and learn about your fellow Events & Adventures members! Not to mention it’s super fun! So grab your magnifying glass and pipe, Sherlock, and let’s solve a mystery!

Swing Dance Into Spring with Events & Adventures

swing dancing

With Spring fast approaching (even faster for us Minnesotans it seems with all this unusual weather!), our Minneapolis members have been itching to get up and shake off the stiffness of winter! What better way to do so than to Swing into Spring?

Uniquely American in origination, swing dancing burst onto the scene in the 1920s and 30s, evolving with each new generation of music into modern times. From the eight-count Lindy Hop to the six-count East Coast Swing to the flair of the Charleston, swing dancing has something for everybody!

Here are just a couple of swing dancing tips.

  1. Learn the basics before getting too fancy!

While aerials and other more visually exciting moves are tempting to the do in the beginning, don’t do it! Not only are these moves not acceptable to do in a social dance setting, but unsafe for yourself and others if you and your partner are not well versed in them. Take your time and don’t rush!

  1. Dance with everybody! Especially in the beginning.

Take the time to dance with everyone you can, especially in the beginning. You’ll learn much quicker and this will prevent you from simply anticipating your partner’s moves since you are so familiar with them. Mix it up and ask as many people as you can to dance, and try to accept every dance you’re offered.

  1. Have fun and don’t be afraid to make mistakes!

Dancing is supposed to fun and social not stuffy and full of rules. Don’t feel bad about messing up, even the best dancers have two left feet sometimes! Have fun and don’t worry about looking perfect out there.

  1. Watch better dancers dance

Get inspired by watching other better dancers go through their motions. Try out some of their moves or add tweaks to make them your own! Be as creative as you want.

  1. Dress up

Part of the fun of swing dancing is looking the part! Even if you aren’t an avid swing dancer, or are still new to it, dressing up can help boost confidence in your abilities and can just make you feel good. Pick out your favorite dress or pair of slacks, and consider investing in a pair of proper swing dancing shoes with leather or suede soles which will make dancing that much easier.

Events & Adventures is dedicated to creating fun and social environments for our quality single members, and swing dancing is just one of those events that checks all those boxes. So consider Swingin’ into Spring this year by trying one of our swing dancing events! You won’t regret it.

rock climbing

Rock Climbing with Events & Adventures Seattle

Seattle, if you haven’t already heard, is notorious for its rain. While there certainly isn’t a torrential downpour every day of the year, you can count on about nine months of grey and hazy days with a kind of misty cocktail that permeates the air.  If this sounds like a recipe for warm slippers and Netflix-and-chill on your couch, then you won’t be surprised to hear it can be tough to stay active during the Seattle winter months! Gym life isn’t for everyone, and we sometimes struggle to find fun outdoor activities when the weather combats us. Thankfully, Events & Adventures is great at finding unusual events happening all around us, like indoor rock climbing, which get us off the couch and out the door!

Recently, the members of Events & Adventures Seattle had a blast at indoor rock climbing.

It is not as death-defying as it sounds and can be friendly to climbers of levels of experience!  To get started, we simply had to follow the colored path of hand-holds that signifies the difficulty level; for example, yellow is for beginners and blue is for expert. All the harnesses and gear were provided by our great partner REI, along with their knowledgeable and encouraging instructor!

After our success with rock climbing we decided to branch out into the unknown and try paddleboard yoga! You may have heard of hot yoga, or even yoga and beer events, but paddleboard yoga is something altogether new and exciting. Just like it sounds, you practice yoga while on a paddleboard floating on a heated pool! A yogi master will actually anchor your board in the pool before yoga begins so that people don’t float into one another.

Sometimes we Seattleites have to be creative in order to stay active, but Events & Adventures makes it so fun and easy for you; they do all the planning, you just show up and have a great time. Members are virtually guaranteed to meet tons of fun and interesting people, and you will virtually always try something new. Join the club and we will see you there!

Houston Life with Events & Adventures

Houston Life is more than the name of a show!

This week we had the pleasure of being invited by KPRC to be featured on locally produced television show Houston Life!  With Valentine’s Day falling in this week, the producers of Houston Life wanted to see how Houstonians that are single experience the holiday, and what it’s like to be single and a member of Events & Adventures.  Club founder Mark Owen and Houston event manager Reid Johnson were excited to be a part of the show.

Hosts Derrick Shore and Jennifer Broome asked Mark about why he started Events & Adventures and asked Reid what kind of events he’s be hosting for the Houston club.  They were also curious to hear from the members about their experiences and reasons why they joined the club.  We heard from current members who just moved into town and were eager to meet new people as well as previous members who met their spouse through Events & Adventures!

Events & Adventures was very excited to be included in the show and look forward to taking part in future segments.  Check out Houston Life weekdays on KPRC Click2!

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day in Vancouver 80s Style

It’s that time of year when love is in the air–Valentine’s Day. That day when many people exchange cards, candy, gifts, or flowers with their special Valentine, while others feel social pressure from all the newly engaged sharing their pictures on social media. Whether you love the idea of Valentine’s Day or think it is just another overpriced commercial holiday, one thing is for certain—it can be a very lonely holiday if you are single. However, it definitely doesn’t have to be lonely, and you don’t have to pretend like it’s any other day just to get through it, either!

Events & Adventures has got the cure for the Valentine’s Day blues. The best thing about Events & Adventures is you never have to feel alone. With over 30 events per month, you will always have something to do—even, and especially, on Valentine’s Day. This year for Valentine’s Day we are going back all the way back to the 80s for one night only with our annual Valentine’s Day Bash! If you love Footloose, Top Gun, The Goonies, Dirty Dancing, or Ghost Busters then this is one party you don’t want to miss. Events & Adventures staff and members will be pulling it all together to make the event like stepping out of a DeLorean and re-entering 1985.

This is How E&A Does Valentine’s Day in Vancouver

With 80s attire, tapas, a mac and cheese station, champagne upon arrival and a live DJ, this will be the Valentine’s Day bash to attend in Vancouver. Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be about the love between two people but the love of a community of people, the pure enjoyment of new friends, new connections, and maybe even a new significant other. Events & Adventures has been hosting the Valentine’s Day events for almost 10 years, and we make sure all members leave with memories that will last a lifetime.

Bald Eagle Float Trip with Events & Adventures

Bald Eagle Float Trip with Events & Adventures

Recently, the members of Events & Adventures Seattle got to experience an amazing event that truly showcased the natural beauty we get to enjoy and appreciate here in the Pacific Northwest!  The Events & Adventures Bald Eagle Float Trip was a wonderful opportunity to brave the elements and immerse ourselves in this picturesque natural environment.  Members of the Seattle club were tremendously excited for chance to catch our national symbol in its own world!

Bundled up in lots of layers, we trekked into the January cold and were rewarded with gorgeous views of the Skagit River Valley and the bald eagles that migrate there each winter.  They call the valley home for several months of the year after migrating south.  There is also a sanctuary in the valley that presents a safe area for both the birds and the researchers that are studying them.  It was amazing how much we learned about the bald eagle and its life in Washington, all while experiencing the native beauty of their habitat.

All the members were thrilled with our bald eagle float trip.

Though seeing a bald eagle in our area isn’t unheard of, it is great to see them in their natural environment.  We are looking forward to more fun outdoor events, especially as we begin to transition into spring.  In February, we will be hosting a volunteer tree planting, which will provide our members with a to give back a little something to that Pacific Northwest green that we all know and love so much!  The Adopt-a-Stream Foundation is partnering with Events & Adventures for a fun, rewarding experience where we can walk away with chilly fingers and warm hearts.  If you haven’t already checked out our upcoming Seattle events, be sure to do so soon and snag a seat (or a shovel!) while you can!

Weekend getaway

Weekend Getaway with Events & Adventures

I know I’m not alone when I say traveling and experiencing new worlds is always a blast. Sure, getting to your destination can be tedious, but if you plan your trip right, it’s always worth it.  And Events & Adventures always does it right!  This time it was a weekend getaway out to Tahoe for some skiing and relaxing.  I arrived in South Lake Tahoe late Friday night at the house Events & Adventures rented for the weekend.  Even though it was almost pitch black, I could tell how beautiful it was, perhaps even more so with all the powder surrounding it!  I was greeted by super-friendly members from Events & Adventures clubs in other cities, and the hosts still managed to make me feel welcome and help me get settled even though it was two in the morning.

Both Saturday and Sunday mornings, we were served a full breakfast that was prepared by other members that signed up to help out.  We only had to help out with cooking or cleaning once throughout the entire weekend.  While cooking for a group of 35 might be daunting, the members were outstanding in getting the food well prepared and in a timely manner. It was no small task, but they did a great job and it was the perfect way to get charged up for the day.

Why choose between snowsports or relaxing on a weekend getaway when you can do both?

During the day, we had the option to go to Heavenly Ski Resort or a few others that were not as close by.  Heavenly offers skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and a gondola.  The views are stunning, and on our excursion the snow just kept coming down.  But if adventuring into the heavy powder isn’t quite your speed, the rental house was perfect alternative for just chilling and relaxing.  Several members did just that, including me on Saturday.  The house was equipped with two hot tubs, an indoor swimming pool, a movie theater, and a game room that had pool, shuffle board, ping pong, and foosball.  There were some members who also brought some board and card games from home, as well.  Needless to say, there was plenty to keep the whole squad entertained!

Different members took turns cooking delicious dinners on Saturday and Sunday evenings. It was really nice to see so many people teaming up, helping each other, and enjoying themselves while doing so.  Though we were back at the house relaxing, a couple of serious Jenga games broke out that actually resulted in way more laughs than I ever thought possible from balancing wooden blocks.  On Sunday morning, we had a grab and go breakfast with more pastry, muffin, and bagel options than the continental breakfasts you get at most hotels, which was a nice way to kick off the morning.

The hosts from Events & Adventures did a great job at making everyone feel welcome, making sure there was plenty of food, and catering to those with special dietary needs.  They were also really helpful in making sure anyone had a ride to and from Heavenly Ski Resort as needed.  This was my first time to South Lake Tahoe and it was definitely a trip to remember. I am already looking forward to the next weekend getaway to South Lake Tahoe to be posted so I can go again!

~ Erica P, Events & Adventures Member