Category Archives: Seattle

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!

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

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

Vancouver and Seattle Team up for Outdoor Recreation

This weekend Events & Adventures Vancouver crashed the Seattle club’s Memorial Day camping trip, and we had a blast! It was a rainy weekend at Friday Creek campgrounds, but the rain didn’t stop us from having a great time with the weekend of outdoor recreation we had planned. Our members had an amazing time with countless activities to do.

We arrived on Friday and had the whole campground to ourselves. We set up the tents, made campfires, played Frisbee and volleyball, and mingled with our fellow members. Saturday was filled with a variety of outdoor recreation activities like hiking and white water rafting. Though some members stayed behind and played board games at the lodge to escape the rain. We had a bonfire Saturday night, and many of us were introduced to Reese’s Cup s’mores for the first time.

Sunday the rain stopped just enough for our members to enjoy horseback riding or a winery tour. That night we had a huge bonfire singing along to all the classics (“don’t stop believing…”), had a glow stick party, and played tag and even glow stick volleyball in the dark. Monday morning it was breakfast-to-go, packing up and heading home (and of course the weather was the nicest the day we were leaving).

All in all it was a weekend we will never forget.  Just one more reason to get out and enjoy life with the members of Events & Adventures!

E&A Takes To The Skies…Skydiving With Our Seattle Club!

Events and Adventures takes to the skies! On the bucket list of so many is jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. SKYDIVING! It’s also one of the things that can be so hard to get yourself to do. Sometimes it takes gathering yourself up, getting in a group of friends and just saying “what the heck..I’m doing it” If you have never done it, it can be hard to believe just how hard it can be to step into a plane and take off knowing that the only way down now is out the door at 10,000 feet or more. You almost have to tell yourself to NOT listen to the voice in your head that is getting louder and louder saying “ WHAT ARE YOU DOING” and just think of something else … like a shopping list or what’s in your Amazon wish list or anything to keep your mind off the idea that you are soon going to be free falling out of a plane. Then once you DO actually get out of the plane it’s so amazing, and you want to get back in the plane and do it again.

Rappelling Is Definitely An Event You Want To Do In A Group

seattle singles

This last week we hiked up a hill and climbed out over a cliff and stepped over the edge. There are lots of reasons why you should go rappelling in a group, the key one is surely safety. But what I’m talking about is the huge bonding experience that you get when you participate in an adrenaline activity that has your heart pumping and some part of your mind saying “You should not be doing this”. After all it feels very odd to lean out over the edge of a cliff while only holding onto a small rope. There is a shared common rush that is something to treasure.  I can now say I have some great friends in Events and Adventures that helped me grow and get out and experience life.

When You Live In Seattle You Have To Get Out And Enjoy The Water That Is All Around!

When you are single and live in or around Seattle you have to get out and enjoy the water that is all around here. The Puget Sound, Elliott Bay, Lake Washington and Lake Union.

We just had a couple of great on-the-water events, Kayaking in Lake Union and Sunset Sailing in Elliott Bay and into the Puget Sound. When it comes to our water adventures it was clear that not all of us had been out Kayaking or Sailing before. Which was fine because the club had set these up to allow folks that are beginners to jump in and have fun along with other that may have more experience.

While we were out Sailing we had Champagne and sandwiches and other things to nibble on and of course amazing views.

Kayaking is much more hands on.  We had a great mix of newbie’s and folks that had been out on kayaks before. It was a lot of fun and as a group we went to a nearby restaurant/bar to swap stories and mingle a bit.

Searching for Walter Mitty

Walter Mitty

Have you done anything noteworthy or mentionable? That is the question that plagues Walter Mitty in the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” First published in 1939 by James Thurber, Walter Mitty is a mild man with a vivid fantasy life. In his fantastic daydreams, he is the heroic, adventurous, romantic man he longs to be and personally triumphs. In Ben Stiller’s remake of the 1947 classic, Walter Mitty is trapped behind a desk where his biggest real-life adventure is trying to fill out an online dating profile. When asked what he has done that is noteworthy or mentionable, he has no answer.

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Looks Like Our Seahawk’s Can’t Be Beat!

Seattle Seahawks

It’s amazing how empty the streets are in and around Seattle when the Seahawks are playing. With their great winning streak everyone wants to see them play, our club included. We will be doing Seahawks viewing parties all around town. The last one was at “The Spot off main” and there were plenty of times you could not hear the commentary when the room was roaring.

We also hiked up the Cal Magnusson trail to Pinnacle Peak. It’s one of the most popular hikes in the Enumclaw area. A one-mile long forested trail climbs 1000-vertical feet to the top of the 1800-foot geological knob. Once we got to the top, we saw outcroppings of columnar basalt, the old footings of an old fire lookout and best of all, a spectacular view of Mt Rainier and the White River valley.

You may have been exhausted after our Self defense class like most of us, but you would have came away with a number of techniques and moves. It was great to have Martial Arts experts take us though all the moves and I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels a little more comfortable with what life could throw at you. Thanks Lee’s Martial Arts!

Curtis Event Manager Seattle

Have You Ever Seen A Tow Truck In The Shape Of A Huge Toe?

Did you know UPS started in Seattle in 1907? Ever wanted to walk on the “Set” of the TV show Frasier?
The Club took a fun walking tour of MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) and saw all that and some lot’s more.  We found a kickin museum that is filled with really fun stuff. Some museums are stuffy and can be boring …not this one. There was a tow truck company in Seattle that had a few trucks made up in the shape of  big foot with toes and MOHIA has one and an old model T truck from the turn of the century with the UPS logo on it. We had a fun time wondering around and got to see props from the TV show Frasier, (That was supposed to be filmed in Seattle).

We also had a big Eastside Mingle at a fun place called Earl’s. We took over a bunch of tables and booths, they were very nice to us and it was fun mingling.

Curtis Event Manager Seattle