Wow! 85 singles on our Long Weekend VIP Trip to Vegas. What a blast! We had VIP bottle service in the cabanas. We had a special reserved section with unlimited bar in an awesome club and we even had VIP bottle service at the Night Swim at XS (the #1 night club in the world) where we had a balcony cabana that overlooked the pool and 5000 people partying to a nationally known DJ. It was so cool to make friends from the different E&A cities. We traded numbers and plan on keeping in touch for future trips and to visit each other’s city. Everything ran so smooth. We were whisked into the VIP entrances so we didn’t have to wait to enter anywhere. The team at I Love Vegas Enterprises worked great with the E&A members and staff to make sure we were all taken care of. Can’t wait for the High Roller trip this fall!
Australia. Wow. Definitely a bucket list item for most of us. And Sydney does not disappoint. Directly after our early morning arrival we were whisked away to drop our bags at our hotel (THANK YOU early check in!) changed our clothes and headed out for a great, enlightening tour of ‘The Rocks’ the original area of town built by English criminal that had be sentenced to their new penal colony. It was so interesting! You can still see chisel marks, foundations and even a few original buildings. Since they are sandstone and not wood they are still in use! After that we jumped on a lunch cruise around Sydney Harbor. It seemed odd to have the day we arrived jam packed but by 7pm I totally understood. Stop moving and you crash from the overnight flight and time change. We were gifted with a lovely spring day where the outside deck was warmish. Dinner on the harbor was a perfect end to our very long day. Day 2 started with early morning breakfast and the group scattering a bit to different adventures. Eastern Seaside Walk and Blue Mountains tour were the top choices. The coast is spectacular. The ocean breathtaking around each point. I’ve walked how far? No wonder my legs a sore!
We got to feed Kangaroos and pet Koalas! Betcha didn’t know kangaroos like ice cream cones – just the cone part! The animal park fills it with grass and we got to feed them. Koalas are adorable, but rather boring since they sleep 20 hours a day and pretty much eat the rest of the time. Hiking in the Blue Mountains are spectacular. Some went the day before and raved about it so others went today. It looks like the Grand Canyon with rainforest covering it. Waterfalls galore, great hiking and inspiring views. Our super adventurous members walked up the Sydney Harbor Bridge and watched the sunset from the top! The Sydney Opera House at night is a sight to behold. It’s majestic. It’s even better when you are sitting on a rooftop patio bar on a mild spring night.
Holy Great Barrier Reef! We just saw one small corner of it and it really is amazing. Wally is a snorkeler/divers favorite. They trained this massive fish to visit the tourists, be petted and ‘pose’ for photos. Even inexperienced divers could dive with a dive master and experience this once in a lifetime event. I loved it. Nothing else like it. Our dive master let us touch corals and items that had interesting texture (and we wouldn’t harm by touching it.) She pointed out interesting fish and the colors of both were astonishing. It is really disappointing that the colors are never as vibrant in photos. The option for an underwater camera was totally worth it. After a couple dives some of us decided to try the Adventure Snorkel with the Marine Biologist. We went on the outside the reef where you get to see even more astounding schools of fish but you are a human bobber rising and falling with the ocean waves. The fish were freakishly cool until motion sickness overtook all thought. Gimme some Dramamine and I’d try it again in a second. Got back aboard our boat, headed to shore and we all longed for bed. Oh! Downtown Cairns is hopping at sunset as we arrive. Tired? Who’s tired? We need dinner and to check out town. We can sleep on the flight home. . .
The Australian Rainforest is definitely a sight to behold. It’s breathtaking. The rich forest, massive trees and dizzying number of different greens is a jaw dropper. Our second full throttle day in Cairns took us up the hills into the outback. We had a scenic rail trip up where we all got to Oooo and Aaaah together; we split up in Kuranda to see everything from an Aboriginal Cultural Center, to koala & kangaroos to museums and shopping; then jumped on the sky gondolas for our trip back down. I got to hold a koala! The scenery here can’t be beat. It was fun to have a group to share the experience with. No one got tired of you saying, “Oh! Look at that!” because you could say it to so many different people 🙂 We had a couple stops on the gondolas so we fire drilled the carriages. Tomorrow we are off to Melbourne!
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.
Traveling with E&A is awesome. Not only do they do all the planning work, but we get to hang out with members of the other cities. I had such a great time! For many of us it was our first time in New York City. I got to experience the city with friends not only from Dallas but also Minneapolis, San Jose and Vancouver. I met a bunch of new friends from other cities too. I love that E&A scheduled the best stuff for us. Carnegie Deli, Radio City and the Rockettes, Hop on & off bus tour, boat tour around Manhattan Island with a fabulous narrator that knew, well, everything about the city’s history. The holiday lights are awe-inspiring. We had time to do our own thing, too. We got discount tickets for Broadway shows. Spiderman Rocked! Visited the Empire State & Rockefeller buildings-WOW. Sat in the audience of my first TV show. Really cool. We ate all kinds of delicious food (think I’ll be paying for that for a while). How can you stop when it’s EVERYWHERE? Thank you so much for a great trip! I’ll remember it forever!>
Flying in from all over the country… we’re finally here in the Big Apple!! Imagine meeting someone for the first time… in New York… for your first time in the city! If the distraction of the traffic isn’t enough, what about the buildings and architecture, the buzz of Times Square, the roar of the night clubs, or even the scents from the food trucks lining the street? For most of us, it was our first time here… as we walked to our dinner location this evening, I loved hearing the “OMG’s” and “Look at that!” from the group behind me, as I led them down 5th Avenue, then over to 7th, through Times Square… the light was enough to want us to put our shades on, but standing in the middle of the glowing lights, I saw the awe in their faces… as people surrounded us, walking about, not caring that it was our first time here… we took pictures, we looked at our maps… we were tourists tonight, and we were ok with that! As we walked, we thought about our feet and possibly questioned the shoes we wore today, but when we finally hit the famous Carnegie Deli, got seated at our own table and got right to ordering, we knew the walk was worth it! As we look at the menu, we see other plates going out to other tables… “Woah” and “Is that the size??” is what came out of their mouths… but as we got our own plates set in front of us, we couldn’t help but take some photos! And don’t forget the New York Cheesecake for dessert… I have never tasted anything like it… as we talked about what we wanted to see and to plan our next day of adventures, I couldn’t help but think about how great an opportunity this was to meet some fellow E&A friends from our clubs around the country, let alone, check off a New York City visit on our bucket lists! And on only day 1, all I have to say is… “Oh New York… we have only just begun!”
Have you ever been river rafting? WOW! What a thrill. We started off on a calm leg of the Umbra River in Peru. Most the water is from glacial runoff. Good thing because that sun is toasty at 10,000 feet. We learned to paddle together (which is very difficult when there’s a splash fight with the other boats!) and headed down to the class 3 rapids. Coolest thing ever. Our awesome guides knew just when we needed to give extra effort to stay off those sneaky rocks. A couple times my heart felt like it was going to stop when we hit the rushing rapids. We looked at each other and realized we all had the terror-thrill grins and started laughing as we slapped out paddles together over our heads for our congratulatory cheer. We did it! When can we do it again?
Jacque Event Manager Dallas
I took this picture at our basecamp at Soraypampa, Peru roughly 3,800 meters up in the Andes Mountains. After completing the first days 7 hour hike in the lead group I see a bright light of confidence and accomplishment in my eyes. Day 2 would destroy that light like a waterfall crushing the faint light of a candle. After “sleeping” through rough winds, cold temperatures and a choir of wild dogs; the banging on our tent at 5am wasn’t the best wake up call I have ever had. This was the start of the most challenging day of my life. Fighting altitude, rough terrain and fatigue I would eventually reach the height of our trek 15,220 ft…before lunch; A grueling 4 hour hike up over 3,000 feet in a matter of hours. As I passed another adventurer up the trail he said something to me I would never forget. He was much older than me and he looked at me through tired yet excitedly hopeful eyes and said “Have you ever had so much fun being miserable?” It was a quote that I will always remember because I never want to forget that the things in life worth striving for often require the most challenging journeys. Learning to love the journey is what Events & Adventures is all about every single day.
Events Manager – Texas Region
Season of Firsts
This summer 39 adventurers throughout the U.S. & Canada landed in Las Vegas, Nevada for a grand adventure! What was billed as a bucket list excursion to raft 90 miles of the one and only Grand Canyon ended up being a story of friendship and firsts.
For many this trip was a first to the Las Vegas strip, Hoover Dam, white water rafting, horseback riding, ATV riding, skeet shooting, helicopter ride, first time seeing the Milky Way & shooting stars and the first time sleeping outside under the stars in the desert! Even a self-proclaimed adventurer like me experienced the first thrill of sitting shotgun in a helicopter diving through the canyons and speeding 30 miles per hour through a sun setting desert in a roaring ATV!
Strong bonds of friendship formed early in the trip and strengthened through shared mealtimes and river duties. A circle of camp chairs at night became the stage for two adventurers, who had never met, to give out nightly awards and share stories of the day’s great accomplishments and comical blunders.
When we had tried every adventure and our trip was coming to a close, one member from our Vancouver club quietly asked the guides if she could experience being rescued out of the water. She quietly, and without warning, jumped into main channel of frigid 55 degree rushing water. Luckily I happened to have my camera out! We quickly undocked our boats and found her enjoying the peace and quiet of being alone in the middle of the Colorado River. She didn’t appear to want to be rescued from the bliss and peacefulness of the Grand Canyon…but we never leave anyone behind because it is just a short time before our next life changing adventure…
By: Reid Johnson
Reid has been with Events & Adventures for four years and led adventure trips to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, The Grand Canyon and multiple destinations in Texas throughout his time with Events & Adventures. Check back soon for a recap of Reid’s upcoming adventure stories from Peru where he will lead 30 adventurers up 16,000 feet over 10 days to reach mystical Machu Picchu.