Blog - Page 4 of 24 - Events And Adventures
New Year's in Minneapolis

Events & Adventures Goes Back to the 20s

Events & Adventures Minneapolis started off 2017 with a bang!  More members came out for our New Year’s Eve Roaring ’20s Gala than any event we’ve put on before.  And everyone was dressed to the nines from flapper dresses to zoot suits! The food was amazing and offered a little of everything, including, of course, the cocktails.  The fabulous 514 Studios hosted the party, where the night kicked off with live music from a wonderful local duo who entertained everyone while they checked in before turning it over to the DJs to make sure everyone was able to dance the night away!  Here is what our members had to say:

“I cut my trip short just to come back for the party. The 18-hour non-stop drive from Texas was so worth it! Sorry fam, but I’ve already made my plans for next year! Loved getting dressed up in theme; everyone was looking fabulous! The dance floor was hopping and the people were great. It was an amazing night! Definitely one of the best New Year’s Eves I’ve had.”  – Amanda

It was an incredible night! Met many great people, with the gems in the women’s hair to their sparkle on their dresses, the men geared to the nines with their shiny shoes!” – Preston

“My favorite part of the night would have to be dancing. Seeing people so free and living it up is contagious! It was definitely a night to remember.” – Raquel

There were so many more great members in attendance, each with their own story to tell.  New Year’s Eve should always be a night to remember, and Events & Adventures puts on a party you’ll never forget.

Events & Adventures Phoenix New Year's

Events & Adventures Phoenix Rings in 2017

Events & Adventures Phoenix brought in the New Year with style—Great Gatsby style, that is—as we rang in 2017 at the spectacular Sheraton Grand Phoenix Hotel. There was no more fitting place than the Sheraton Grand Phoenix to celebrate a new year like it’s the Roaring ’20s; it’s right in the heart of Phoenix, just steps away from the convention center, restaurants, arenas and museums.

Old and new Events & Adventures friends gathered their best 1920s gear and showed us all that a little party never killed anybody. Dressed to the nines, everyone showed off a bit of their personality with their best ’20s get-ups. Flapper dresses, boas, long strands of pearls, fedoras and suspenders lined the dance floor as everyone showed off their best moves while the DJ spun away.  To keep the memories of the night alive we had a photo booth that beautifully captured the laughs, happiness, and fun of the evening.

Nobody Parties Like Events & Adventures Phoenix

And the fun didn’t stop there! As we clinked glasses and cheered to new friendships courtesy of our open bar, we also played our best hands at the blackjack table in true 1920s fashion. For all of those eager to find out what their new year had in store for them, we were also guested with a psychic who provided tarot readings and good fortune for all. Events & Adventures Phoenix couldn’t have thought of a better way to say “out with the old and in with the new” than at this event. As we all counted down those 60 seconds to a brand new year full of endless, exciting, and adventurous possibilities, everyone seemed to be ear to ear with happiness as we toasted in 2017.

Let’s just say the Great Gatsby himself had nothing on this event! There really is no better way to ring in a new year than with Events & Adventures. We are so excited for the New Year and to share in all of those adventurous New Year’s resolutions. Say hello to 2017 with new friends, new adventures, and a new you!

New Year's Eve Party

New Year’s Eve Party How-to Guide

The Experts at Events & Adventures Share How to Throw a New Year’s Eve Party

  • Location. Where you choose to throw your party is almost as important as what you do at your New Year’s Eve party!  Are you going for a destination event, like hosting it at the beautiful and historic Hotel Galvez?  If your guests are going to travel you want to make sure you make it an all-day or two-day affair.  Planning meals and cocktail hours in the area makes for a complete experience your friends will enjoy.  If you want to stay in the city, look and feel is important.  A good planner can transform any space, but why spend the extra time if you don’t have to?  Book early if you can, but if you have to book late then make sure to negotiate.  Banquet/event coordinators will be willing to negotiate because an additional, unexpected end-of-the-year sale will bump their paycheck and year-to-date totals. So we recommend going private if you can.  Separating yourself from the party people who have a carefree spirit on New Year’s is a way for your guests to relax and get into the event.  If you book a room in a restaurant or bar hire security to keep out unwelcome guests and under-age explorers.
  • Theme?  Putting pressure on your guests to dress up or do work for your event must be taken seriously.  Am I really going to have more fun if I make a mask for a masquerade ball or a western theme?  If the answer is yes, make sure your guests know exactly what to expect.  To put it bluntly—don’t half-ass it.  Expect to put in some money to make it come to life in the space you are using.  Simple color scheme themes make it easy for people to participate without having to put in a lot of effort.
  • Food?  Start later and go lighter.  If you start around 9pm, most of your guests will have eaten dinner beforehand allowing you to have more fun with your food budget.  Finger foods only with light or no sauce—you don’t want there to literally be stain on your evening! Food is important if you plan on a night of drinking so think about serving lite bites that will soak up at least a couple Manhattans.
  • Drinks.  We’re talking booze for a New Year’s Eve party, so this is where you want to focus your budget.  Don’t cheap out.  Open bar at most venues will run you about $15-25 per hour per person depending on your options.  The perfect time to host a bar is from 9:30 pm to 12:30 am.  If you are running the bar yourself, try to focus on one or two signature cocktails, two wine choices, and a mix of quality beer and domestics.  If you are hosting the party you shouldn’t feel obligated to stock an entire bar.  Choose one or two of your favorites and stock up.  A fun bourbon drink and vodka will cover most of your bases. You can still serve bourbon on the rocks and shake up a martini for those guests who just have to have it their way.
  • Entertainment.  Friends and tasty cocktails should be all you need for a fun-filled evening.  If you must add on, keep it simple.  A photo booth and casino are easy.  You don’t want your guests to separate themselves from the party vibe or have to sit and think about anything else other than socializing.  If you must spend more money, consider upgrading your drinks or investing in drivers to take guests home at the end of the evening.
  • Champagne Toast.  This is a must have, but even though it’s a New Year’s Eve party, don’t overspend on champagne.  Get the cheap stuff and rip the label off or keep it in the kitchen, then pour and serve to your guests.  You’ve already given them drinks and no one needs more than a sip of champagne after their liquor or they will regret it the next day.  If you are hosting a house party, only people trying to look cool will splurge on fancy champagne glasses they will only use once, so use the plastic.  When half of your guests drop their glass they won’t have to feel bad for breaking your stemware.

Hopefully, these tips that we’ve learned over the years at Events & Adventures will help you throw some awesome New Year’s parties of your own.  And if you’re ever in doubt, or want to skip the work, joining Events & Adventures is a great way to take part in legendary bashes and meet new people without having to buy all the booze and handle all the planning!

New Year's Eve Party in Chicago

New Year’s Eve in Chicago with E&A

New Year, New Us!

The party was on this past New Year’s Eve, but whether you believe in making resolutions or not, we can all agree that achieving any kind of self-improvement can only help us live a more fulfilling life.  This past weekend over 150 Chicago singles decided that they wanted to do just that by starting the New Year meeting other singles and expanding their social circles.  So for our 2016 New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball, Events & Adventures chose Townhouse Restaurant and Wine Bar to be the scene of the crime!

Talk was all about the party before, during, and after the event.  Members made their way into the venue wearing their carefully selected masks and formal attire.  New and familiar faces made their way around the room trying to guess who was who, making new friends, and writing their New Year’s resolutions on our resolution board.  After enjoying their favorite frosty beverage and grabbing a slider or two from one of the floating hors d’oeuvres trays, it was time to hit the dance floor!

Every year starts and ends with our New Year’s Eve Bash!

Events & Adventures makes it fun and easy for our members to meet other singles through our interactive events.  At the NYE party, members certainly didn’t shy away from making new connections.  Whether it was grabbing a crazy hat or mustache and hopping over to the photo booth with their friends, trading for their favorite colored 2017 led glasses, or dancing to the tunes of the DJ, by the time 11:59 rolled around many were ready for that New Year’s kiss.

Our New Year’s Eve bashes are only once a year, but they are each more like once-in-a-lifetime experiences.  You never know who’ll meet or what the night will have in store because no one throws a NYE party like Events & Adventures.  There is no better way to start the year than with new friends and great memories—and 2017 is only starting!

mini golf

Mini Golf is a Blast in the Bay Area

Get to Know Urban Putt Mini Golf – Your Inner Child Will Thank Me Later!

In a city like San Francisco, it can be hard to slow down to appreciate the simple things in life. When you’re constantly running around being the responsible adult that your parents are so proud of, it’s nice to grab those little moments where you can be a kid again. That’s why we were so excited to plan an event at Urban Putt, an AWESOME mini golf bar here in the city. Their venue is very modern, with a little nod towards the steampunk aesthetic that they carry out through their elaborate course.

Upon our arrival, we noticed that there was a wall of Polaroid pictures. When we moved a little closer, it became very apparent that all of the photos had one thing in common—all of the groups were holding little pink putters. Being the curious group that we are, we had to ask what this was all about. When we were told that it was a challenge to play the whole course with the smallest (and I mean, bite-sized) putter, we were IN. It became our mission right then and there to make it on the wall, and ultimately into the hearts of many. So, armed with tiny pink putters in hand, we headed onto the course.

We ended up golfing our way through San Francisco streets, underwater kingdoms, mazes, and beautiful mountains that I’m convinced were pulled from the set of “The Sound of Music”. You know what this means, right? Oh yeah. We made it on the wall. And since I’m a firm believer in “pictures or it didn’t happen,” the proof is below! I think I can speak for us all when I say that this is the proudest moment of all of our lives…but don’t quote me on that.

Urban Putt was another great opportunity to get together with the great members of Events & Adventures in the Bay Area and do the things you love to do but never get the chance to do, or to even do things you didn’t know existed!

Amazon tour with Events & Adventures

Amazon Tour with Events & Adventures

Amazing Amazon Tour with members of Events & Adventures

An Amazon tour is not something the average American gets to experience firsthand, but visiting the rainforest is something that has always been beyond my bucket list.  How awesome would it be to visit one of the most remote and spectacular places in the world?  But to actually do it…um, no thank you.  I wouldn’t say I’m a girly girl, but I really don’t like bugs.  I mean I really Don’t. Like. Bugs.  But as event manager with Events & Adventures, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel across the country and around the world with the club and its members, and I can tell you Events & Adventures does travel right.  So when I saw an Amazon tour was being planned my curiosity was immediately piqued.  We reserved the entire Amazon Clipper Premium boat, and Erik’s Adventures customized an eight day Amazon river trip just for us.  I had to ask myself, “When was I going to get this opportunity again?”

When I told my family and friends I was going on a trip to the Amazon River they either laughed or looked at me dumbfounded—but I am so glad I did it!  The Amazon Clipper was lovely. Our cabins were super clean and even had air conditioning, and the staffed visited two or three times a day to make the bed and tidy the room.  Even though I brought PB&J in case the food was weird (don’t judge), the food was amazing.  While we enjoyed all kinds of meat, fish, veggies and fruit from the area, the chefs prepared the meals with Western tastes in mind.  Sufficed to say, I never opened the peanut butter or jelly, and I ended up giving them to the head chef before we left.  I swear I’d not eaten that much the entire month before.  I definitely packed on a few pounds from the yummy and seemingly never-ending food we were so graciously served during our trip.

So now that I felt assured my creature comforts were not going to be uncomfortable, I felt safe enough to check out my surroundings. That’s when it really occurred to me—I was actually on a boat in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest, and it was spectacular!  Did you know that every 100 km there is a different ecosystem?  That means there are different species of trees and plant life, as well as different inhabitants and cultures, throughout the rainforest.  We traversed the Amazon River and then explored one of its main tributaries, the Rio Negro.  We took ‘canoes’ (a 16-seat long boat with an engine) every dawn and after sunset from the boat to tour smaller tributaries and explore the shorelines.  We saw variety of birds, snakes, and reptiles (like gator relative the caiman) on every ride. We even had flying fish land in our canoes—usually after ricocheting off someone’s leg or chest!

I was thrilled that all my insect repellent purchases were rarely needed.  A little bug spray and we were fine.  Back home in Texas seemed to have more mosquitos than we encountered on our Amazon tour.  During the trip, we drank bottled water and showered in filtered river water.  We were advised to get some vaccines prior to the trip.  The hepatitis A vaccine was a good idea, but I’d probably skip the malaria, typhoid and yellow fever vaccines if I did it again.  We walked through the rainforest with a guide that carried a machete to clear the path that is covered with overgrowth in days.  The naturalists showed us how the trees release rubber, milk and sap and how the native people remove the cyanide from the plant to use the fibrous root.  They even showed us how to protect ourselves from a jaguar and how to build a fire in an area that is always wet.

One day we planned to visit the ‘ruins’.  I was very excited because I love ancient history and super old stuff in general.  Well, these ruins were from the rubber baron era of the early 1900s, so they were not quite ancient as it turns out.  But the way the jungle has consumed them you’d think these ruins were at least 500 years old.  Besides the ruins, there are national parks that are world heritage sites.  These sites have the highest level of environmental protection in the world and are rarely visited except by scientists.  Visitors on an Amazon tour must leave anything that could be hunting or fishing gear with the park rangers upon entering (which is by boat).  These rangers work a month at a time since it takes eight to nine hours by speedboat just to get there.  We kept these hard working rangers entertained by trying to make conversation, but they spoke no English and we spoke almost no Portuguese.  So we just gave them candy!

We visited areas that are almost never encountered by humans.  We couldn’t even leave our canoes in the park, it was that pristine.  The sunsets over the Rio Negro (so named because the slow moving water contained so much decomposing vegetation it is almost black) were astounding.  And the stars?  WOW. I had no idea the southern hemisphere has different constellations. They were so bright; I wish they would have come out better in our photos.  Even the occasional downpour in the rainforest was impressive.  On our first night, I watched one for a few minutes from the comfort of the partially enclosed bar.  It was just me and Mother Nature at four in the morning.  One surprising highlight was when we met the most elusive and probably ugliest water mammal ever, the fresh water pink dolphin. There is a spot they are known to frequent because they are fed fish they don’t have to hunt.  But belly rubs were out of the question—a quick touch is all they would accept. Even the amount of food and how often they are fed by humans is strictly controlled to ensure preservation.

Our Amazon tour brought us as close to a truly native people as you will ever be.  Meeting a tribe and watching some of their ceremonial dances was incredible.  They were a very private people, but they like to have visitors so they can share their heritage and customs.  If they are accepting visitors, two white flags are hung by the river bank. If not, they hang black ones. The truly live in large huts made of the trees in the area. All the furniture is handmade too; their pots and cooking tools are made of metal.  No plastic, no glass.  Our naturalists translated for us and we even got to participate in one of the dances.  We bought crafts and jewelry they hand make; the blow dart guns were a huge favorite.  They were so friendly and the kids amazed by our clothes…and our height.

For our last travel day on the Amazon tour we had one final dawn canoe ride.  We took a small tributary from the Amazon to the Rio Negro. The trees were moving—and not moving because of wind.  As we got closer we could hear a chirping, squeaking sound.  Suddenly, we saw lots of little faces!  The canoe drivers and guides opened their sacks and started pulling out dozens of overripe bananas.  A few spider monkeys make a bee line for their treats.  Once the others figure out that there really is a snack and it’s safe, they make their way onto the boats, too; over, under, across, however they can get to the fingers that are offering a sweet treat.  We were inundated with 30 or 40 friendly little monkeys sitting on our shoulders, laps, even heads where they were enjoying the snacks we had to offer.  Naturally, when the bananas were gone the spider monkeys made their way back to the trees.

I still can’t believe I went on this trip.  Going as a member instead of staff was the best decision I could’ve made!  It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, one everyone should try and I’m so glad I left my comfort zone (or at least thought I was going to) to take the chance to do something this amazing, astounding, spectacular…words really can’t do it justice.  If anyone ever has this opportunity, take it—with both hands!  I hope Events & Adventures offers this Amazon tour again so you can take advantage of it too!  The staff and members of all the clubs from around the country will make sure it’s an experience you will never forget.

~ Jacque C., Events & Adventures Dallas

Events & Adventures members at sporting events like the San Jose Earthquakes!

Sporting Events with Events & Adventures

Sporting Events are uber-popular with our members!

Sporting events are a hot commodity with Events &Adventures in the Bay Area.  Whether it’s football, baseball, hockey, or soccer, we love to attend them all!  Last weekend, the Santa Clara and the San Francisco clubs attended a soccer game at the new Avaya Stadium in San Jose.  This new sporting arena is home to the largest outdoor stadium bar in the country, and is also known for its “edible garden”, which carries an assortment of apricot, plum, and cherry trees.

This evening’s weather was perfect and the conversation was plentiful.  We all enjoyed the first half of the game from the bar which was located about ten yards from the field.  Once we had our fill of food and drinks, we ventured over to our seats to watch the second half of the game.  The crowd’s energy was contagious and we all joined in to cheer on the San Jose Earthquakes.  After the game came to an end, many of us decided to keep the party going and ventured off to downtown San Jose for some drinks and dancing.

Like most weekend events, it was a night to remember.  Many members wrote a great review about the experience and shared their desire to return to the stadium to watch another soccer game.  No matter what the occasion, Events & Adventures does its best to cultivate an environment that’s light-hearted and fun for everyone in attendance.  You don’t want to miss out on our other upcoming sporting events!

e&a winery tours in vancouver

Winery Tours with Events & Adventures BC

Winery tours were on the agenda this past weekend for the members of Events & Adventures Vancouver.

This past weekend, Events & Adventures Vancouver crew went on winery tours around the lower mainland.  The weather has been up and down going into the fall season, but we were lucky to have such a beautiful autumn day. The leaves were turning red, the breeze was cool, and the sun was shining as we ventured out on the tour.  We decided to take a limousine bus so we would arrive in style, and indeed we did as it was equipped with its own sound system, lights, and chilled water.

The host of the day brought breads with balsamic and oil to snack on in between stops, and everyone brought snacks to share, as well. We had the option to stop for lunch, but we wanted to make the most of the winery tour.  Our first stop of the day was Vista Doro, where we sampled reds, whites, and a port, plus we got to sample their own mimosa recipe (made from a blend of their wines).  They also carry a wide selection of preserves, which we also sampled and were so good we couldn’t leave without taking some with us.

The second stop of the day was Township 7, and there was a private party going on when we arrived.  They had live music that really set the mood, and the atmosphere was wonderful. We stopped and took pictures by the vineyards after the sampling was over.  The third stop of the day was Backyard Winery, a personal favorite, and was packed with people!  The atmosphere was brilliant and the description of their wines made you wants to taste every single one. This winery has been recognized for many of their wines and won multiple awards (even gold).

Our fourth and final stop of the day was The Fort Wine Company, and the building was quaint and adorable. They served us fruit wines that were sweet, making it a very different experience than the other wineries that we visited previously.  We finished off with a mini tour throughout Fort Langley before heading back into the city.  It was so nice to be able to get out of town a little bit and enjoy a day in the countryside with other great members of Events & Adventures Vancouver!

e&a wine tasting and grape stomping

Wine Tasting with Events & Adventures

Wine Tasting with the singles from Events & Adventures is just minutes away.

Just a few miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge is the world famous wine country of Northern California, which includes over 500 different wineries.  Napa and Sonoma are only a short drive away, and it’s now harvest season, the time of year when all the vines are filled with grapes and you can smell the wine fermenting in the air.  What better time to pay a visit for some wine tasting!  But this year, instead of spending a weekend just wine tasting, Events & Adventures got down and dirty by actually making some wine the old-fashioned way—stomping some grapes!  Several Napa Valley wineries offer experiences to truly write home about, including mushing the grapes with your feet Lucy and Ethyl-style.

Events & Adventures members got to stomp grapes, taste wine, and take home a t-shirt with their grape feet imprint. So how do you Grape Stomp, you’re wondering?  Well, for all of you looking to Grape Stomp before the end of the season here are five things you need to know.

  1. Plan Your Outfit Accordingly

Don’t let anything get in the way of winning, including your clothes!  The main event of a grape stomp involves trying to mash out as much juice as possible with your feet.  This process can be quite messy, and you’ll end up with sticky grape juice all over your legs.  Resist the urge to wear your cutest maxi dress or a new pair of pants and stick with something that you’re comfortable getting messy.

  1. Get Creative with Your Clothing

Speaking of outfits, plan your group’s costumes ahead of time, as most grape stomp events give prizes to the best and most creative costumes.  Team apparel can range from matching t-shirts to full-blown costumes, and creativity always counts!

  1. Stay Hydrated

This may be our most important tip of all! The majority of grape stomp events take place outside in August and September, when temperatures in Napa Valley often exceed 90 degrees. Grape stomps are usually held at a winery, and there is often plenty of wine available for tasting as well. So drink up!

  1. Bring Your Camera

This is an event that you’re going to want to document, so bring your camera (or cell phone) with you! Some favorite shots from previous events include pre and post-stomping photos, group costume shots and, of course, action shots during the stomping.

  1. Have Fun!

Diving into a barrel of grapes and making a mess with your feet isn’t something you get to do every day, so make the most of it! Get messy, stomp as fast as you can and don’t forget to have fun.

Events & Adventures in the Bay Area makes it easy to find fun new things to do, like grape-stomping!  If you don’t feel like you’re experiencing to the fullest, give us a holler and find out why hundreds of other singles join us for great events like wine tasting every single week.

world travel to spain

World Travel with Events & Adventures

The only way to sum it up our visit to Spain is to say that Events & Adventures really does world travel well.  This wasn’t a trip where we were on a clock throughout the experience; there was a great mixture of planned tours and free time.  We started our adventure at JFK in New York, getting some quick introductions to the over 40 people who were taking part in the trip.  And believe it or not, someone was sweet enough to bring everyone homemade cookies!

world travel to spain

Events & Adventures members from around the US and Canada visited Spain!

After landing in Madrid, we got to stretch our legs with a quick tour of some of the city’s most famous sights, before taking a break to enjoy a welcome lunch that offered a staggering amount of delicious traditional Spanish cuisine.  Our first full day started with a tour for the presidential palace, which was spectacular.  We then journeyed to the ancient city of Toledo, which is thousands of years old, and got the chance to get lost in the labyrinth of tiny streets that wind around the historic town.  Dinner was a casual five-course party with several small plates (tapas) before our entrees. We learned the hard way we would have to pace ourselves with the food here because they just keep bringing it out!

We headed to towns ancient towns of Avila and Segovia. The Roman aqueducts are still soaring over the town.  How can the residents just go on about their day when they have such spectacular history all around them?!   After we returned to Madrid we refreshed ourselves and headed out to a popular bar area for a Tapas crawl.  The bars here are more like pubs, not clubs—because those open way later.  Each bar we tried different luscious small dishes, and we loved how everyone shares!

We packed up from Madrid and headed to Bunol, where the residents were preparing for the Tomatina Festival the very next day.  It was such a cute little town. We spent our afternoon and evening touring and eating in this historical city by the sea.  The next morning was the beginning of the adventure that is the world famous Tomatina Festival—probably the world’s largest annual food fight.  Security was tight.  To make sure no one got hit with anything other than tomatoes we couldn’t bring anything in.  Twenty thousand people packed the long narrow streets before the dump trucks just started unloading as they drove down the street, and at the starting pistol—it was pure madness.  Goggles were the best idea ever—as long as you kept them on!  It was so exciting, and everyone was there for the fun of it, not to kill other with these little red bombs.  As much as we laughed, it was best to keep your mouth closed though!  After the ending pistol the fire department and locals brought out hoses to wash everyone off.  There is nothing like experiencing world travel by being involved in the local culture.  Getting smashed tomatoes out of hair proved to be the most challenging part of the whole trip.  Even playing in the warm and relaxing Mediterranean Sea didn’t get it out.

world travel to spain

Barcelona was the final hotel location for our world travel to Spain.

We took a tour of what is probably one of the biggest promenades you’ll ever see, and thousands of people were out for an evening stroll.  The shopping, food, bars, and views of the Gothic neighborhood were everything you’d expect it to be.  Small lanes that are no wider than one car have little bars and restaurants around each turn, with people spilling out into the lanes.

It wasn’t long before we got to witness La Sagrada Familia, one of the most incredible cathedrals in the world—and they are still building it!  Every tiny detail has a meaning, and the colors the stained glass creates and projects into the building are breathtaking.  Designed by several architects, the most influential being Gaudi, it has different styles in throughout the construction.  Afterwards, we had an amazing tour of Park Guell.  It was the original planned neighborhood.  At the time it was too far out of town and too expensive but for a handful of the super elite. Gaudi’s influence could be felt everywhere we went, and he managed to translate beauty even in the unusual, as everything he produced appeared to be curved and wavy.  His mosaics were everywhere and they were beautiful, even the monochromatic ones.  World travel can expose you to so many wonderful things you might have otherwise never seen.

Monserrat Benedictine monastery is a historical and religious jewel. Hidden up, up, way up in the mountains, disguised by the hills, how’d they build this gorgeous place?  There are still monks there and a school for boys!  So after our tram trip to the ‘top’ of the mountain (there’s a small chapel and alter up even higher if your legs can get you there), we went to the coolest place ever for another never-ending lunch—a traditional hacienda (ranch house) that was turned into a restaurant.  We learned the traditional Spanish way to drink wine and had never ending courses of family-style food (again).  People were stuffed before they brought out the chicken, traditional sausage (which tasted like Texas BBQ!), and meats.  We HAD to get to the winery so dessert was taken to go—Biscotti-like biscuits and fresh fruit!

Speaking of wine….  We had a tour of the most amazing winery I’ve ever seen, and I live in Northern California.  This was not a regular winery; it was a huge commercial business that makes great wine.  It was simply amazing.  The tram we rode had headset options for six languages, though we didn’t use them since it was a private tour.  Stories of the wineries founding and growth were projected on walls that lifted up so we could see the barrel storage.  We got to walk down the original storage cellars below ground. They told and showed us how they produce spectacular “healthy” wines that don’t harm the environment.  Using solar power the facility is almost entirely self-sustained!  Everyone was impressed before we even started the tasting and got to try four different delicious wines.  I imagine the wine drinkers were ready to move in.

Our last day of this world travel tour was spent visiting the ancient cities of Figueras and Girona.  Girona is a medieval city with narrow streets, castles and ramparts.  Figueras is another historical city that is such for a different reason—Salvador Dali.  The museum made of his birthplace was a trip in the madness of a truly brilliant artist.  The amount of art in so many different mediums was staggering.  Our farewell dinner was a little different since it was in the Catalonian style.  Less meat, meat, meat, more little flourishes on the dishes, but still way too much food.

The trip and tours were truly awesome, but getting to see people from the other E&A Clubs was like gathering of old friends while making new ones.  There were so many people I wanted to spend more time with but the time slipped away so fast. We’ll stay friends through social media until we meet again on our next world travel trip, maybe even on an in-between trip to visit friends!  We talked about the Amazon trip next month and Cuba and China trips already scheduled for next year.  I can’t wait to join my Events & Adventures world travel friends in our next exotic destination.

world travel to spain