Tag Archives: adventures

when janet met mark

When Janet Met Mark

Joining Events & Adventures after my divorce was the best decision ever!

I mainly wanted to learn to be more outgoing, make some new friends, and have fun things to do that I didn’t have to plan myself.  Of course, in the back of my mind the ultimate goal was to find “Mr. Right”, if such a person even existed.

Well, it’s been around three-and-a-quarter years since I joined. I have had so much fun! I’m not usually the kind of person who gets out and does stuff. But since joining I have gotten to try new things like wakeboarding, Whirlyball, and escape rooms. I’ve snuggled with llamas, learned some cooking skills, and discovered new forms of art like glass fusion. I’ve met some amazing people that I hang out with even outside the events, making friendships that will last even after I’m no longer in the group. I’ve met all the goals I had set when I joined. Yes, even that last one.

About a year and a half ago I met Mark at a Whirlyball event. And…he was a nice guy but didn’t exactly fit my “desired demographic”. Had I been on an online dating site, he and I never would have connected. The way Events & Adventures works, though, you often end up seeing the same person at many different events. You have a chance to really get to know people. The more I got to know about Mark, the more I liked him, until he eventually won over my heart. In July he proposed, and I said yes!

I am very happy with my investment, and recommend Events & Adventures to all my single friends!

~ Janet Pilkington, member Events & Adventures Dallas

Matt & Janet

When Mark Met Janet

I joined Events & Adventures because I was just tired of sitting at home.

I heard they get out and actually do a wide variety of exciting activities, and that really interested me. I had sort of met Janet at the New Member’s Orientation/Games Night, but it was just in passing and there were so many people being introduced to me that night. The following month I signed up for an event called Whirlyball, something I had never heard of before but the description sounded interesting. That’s where I really met Janet, who is totally into Whirlyball. We talked a bit during the breaks. A few days later she sent me a friend request on Facebook, and it wasn’t too long before we started chatting on Facebook regularly. She liked the Wednesday night volleyball games so I started going to those. We’d play a couple of games and then sit at the bar for drinks and chat for a while before jumping back into the fray to play a few more games.

The more we hung out at the Events & Adventures events the more we liked being together. I had just gotten out of a relationship and hadn’t really been looking for another one, but being with Janet was different. So just few short months after meeting at Whirlyball we started dating and 14 months later…I asked her to marry me. When I had first joined Events & Adventures, I thought I had made a mistake and tried to cancel, but after my first event I was hooked. Really glad I chose to stay. After all, she said yes.

~ Mark Currier, member of Events & Adventures Dallas

 

PS:  We don’t always dress like this.  Often, but not always.

sedona

Getaway in Sedona with Events & Adventures Phoenix!

“But it’s a dry heat!” Yeah, right! With it being monsoon season, Arizona has been a little more on the humid side than any of us would like. It’s no secret that Arizona summers can be a tad brutal, but the humidity hasn’t helped. So instead of letting it cramp our style, Events & Adventures Phoenix recently decided to get out of town. We took the party up to Sedona where the weather is more comfortable and the scenery is a pleasant change from our typical urban sprawl. Who am I kidding—Sedona is absolutely beautiful!

We stayed at Sky Ranch Lodge and enjoyed horizon-to-horizon views of the gorgeous blue skies. We soaked in the red rocks and escaped into the quiet serenity of the six-and-a-half acre garden. It was a wonderful escape from the city; it’s hard to believe such beauty is just a few hours away and it was so awesome getting to indulge in the scenery and make memories with friends. We definitely didn’t waste any of the good weather just lounging around our hotel rooms!

On Saturday we went horseback riding through the working ranches of Sedona, riding our way through two stunning vineyards.

On Sunday we put our adventurous side to the test and headed to Flagstaff to challenge our fear of heights and strap up for an obstacle course that did not disappoint. The Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course has multiple large courses with a mixture of 10 to 17 different obstacles and zip lines. From rope swings and hanging nets to wobbly bridges and suspended “surprises”, the courses definitely didn’t let us down (pun intended)! Moving our way from the beginner’s course to the more extreme course brought us closer and closer to the sky. It actually started to get a little dark and gloomy, but the coming storm never interrupted our adventure. In fact, the sounds of thunder made our trek up into the trees quite thrilling!

Our Sedona weekend getaway trip was full of smiles and laughter, and the only obstacles we faced were at the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course, which we tackled with a “bring it on” attitude. Needless to say, the memories and friendships we made over the weekend were amazing. I can’t wait to get out there and do it again! I guess the summers here aren’t all that bad when you get to escape to beautiful Sedona with good friends from Events & Adventures!

 

July 4th

4th of July with Events & Adventures Phoenix

July 4th is so much more fun when you get to spend it with both old and new friends! Events & Adventures Phoenix took the holiday to the lake and spent a few hours dining, relaxing, and making memories that are sure to last a lifetime! We were spoiled with a buffet perfectly filled with everything you need for Independence Day. Our July 4th dinner cruise would not have been complete without a little BBQ, right? We had pulled pork, pulled chicken, beef brisket, BBQ beans, macaroni and cheese, and potato salad! I’m pretty sure a few of us made plates bigger than our stomachs, but can you blame us? The food was amazing and if you saved some room for dessert, there were fudge brownies to indulge in! I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it!

My favorite part of our July 4th evening had to be that the entire dinner cruise was VIP for Events & Adventures members only!

I think the best part about the club is knowing that everyone you interact with is essentially there for the same reason–to do things outside of their comfort zone, enjoy different events they normally wouldn’t try on their own, or to do things they already enjoy while getting to make friendships and potential relationships that are sure to last a lifetime. This dinner cruise really took the pressure off the holiday and it was so nice getting to hang back, relax, viewing a perfectly yellow orange beautiful sunset with such great friends.

To top the evening off we started a dance party on the deck and it was an absolute blast. Some Events & Adventures members rocked out dance moves like never before, others stepped out of their comfort zone and put on their dancing shoes, and some giggled at us lovingly in the distance. Don’t worry, we pulled them out onto the deck and had them join in on our fun and they did not disappoint!  All in all, this 4th of July was definitely one to remember and I couldn’t have been happier with the evening. Consider this 4th of July a challenge by to 2018, because it was surely one to try and beat!

~ Meggie, Events & Adventures Phoenix

united kingdom tour

United Kingdom Tour with Events & Adventures

We’re only a few days into our United Kingdom tour and I can say the country is truly amazing. The people are very friendly and welcoming and there is so much to see and do! After landing at Heathrow we immediately headed north to start touring. We started in the Cotswolds and visited the home of Downton Abbey. We moved on to Stratford-Upon-Avon and had our first classic English dinner, fish and chips. Over dinner it was great meeting and getting to know all the people from the other Events & Adventures clubs around the country.

It was drizzly, so everyone’s opinion on the weather varied depending on where they were from and the weather back home. The members from Phoenix thought the rain was refreshing, while Seattleites thought nothing of it at all. Those of us from the south packed for ‘winter weather’ and have been enjoying the break from our 100% humidity!

Our first full day started at Shakespeare’s birthplace. We loved the actors in period attire that were so full of information. And yeah, I think we all found a treasure in the gift shop. Our Beatles fans were overwhelmed by Liverpool. If the Beatles had even the slightest thing to do with a place in town there were had entire stories created around it. We loved to see the actual Penny Lane and visit and learn about Strawberry Fields. The song and John’s very generous donation to the orphanage keep it open for many years after it was almost closed down.

At the end of the first day of our United Kingdom tour we arrived at a spectacular traditional hotel in the Lake District.

We had a lovely dinner in a gorgeous venue and setting, and it’s obvious why the area is a top wedding destination. After a rainy first day, on the second day of our United Kingdom tour the sun came out and stayed out all day! We visited the William Wordsworth Museum and Home. We all loved the 18th century home and the history of the family. From there we enjoyed a great paddle boat tour on the largest of the lakes in the district. The warm sun made up for the cool breeze. We all decided we wanted to live at the imposing castle that was overlooking the lake.

After the boat we headed into the fabulous town center, which was right out of a movie set. We scattered for lunch and a bit of shopping. Some of us tried the traditional meat pie with fresh cheese and bread. Some argued that their soup or salad was tastier, but I know better. After lunch we headed back up to a part of the Lake District that had even more amazing scenery. We, like thousands of visitors before us, crossed the border into Scotland and stopped at Gretna Green. We stopped for the history and shopping instead of a wedding service though. There is so much cool (if not strange) history here!

We enjoyed the Scottish Shortbread and other treats from there on our way to our hotel in old town Edinburgh. Unlike a lot of cities back home, it’s walking distance to everything! Speaking of walking, in the morning we’ll walk out of our hotel and see the great Edinburgh Castle, and later we’ll finish our evening in the downtown part of the city. Only Events & Adventures can put together a trip like this just for singles!

~ Events & Adventures Dallas Event Manager Jacque

long weekend

Exciting Long Weekend with Events & Adventures Vancouver

This past long weekend Events & Adventures Vancouver members spend four days on a houseboat docking from the Houseboat Capital of Canada—Sicamous, British Columbia. The houseboat rental company we chose was Twin Anchors Houseboats where we booked two houseboats, one that accommodated 15 people and one that held 22. We spent four days slowly making our way along Shuswap Lake, overnighting on beaches in the evening, enjoying some beautiful hikes, a waterfall, and of course a whole lot of swimming.

The first afternoon was a rush. The weather was perfect and apparently the hottest it’s been over this weekend since 1999 (typically it rains or snows for our May long weekend). Being on the water was amazing as we were surrounded by mountains covered with evergreen trees. The first evening was spent getting to know each other while lounging on deck in the warm summer sun. We fired up the kickoff barbecue and got settled as we made our way to our first destination, Marble Point Beach. We also had a theme party the first night with both boats competing for the title of best costume. Our boat had a nautical theme while the other boat’s theme was Gilligan’s Island.

The next day of this long weekend we cruised around the lake to find us sitting mid-lake surrounded by 20 other houseboats.

Each one of them brought their own energy to the lake. One boat was dressed as the band KISS, while another boat had an actual band that was playing a mini-concert for everyone on the lake. The water is pretty cold this time of year, with water temperatures only at 10 degrees Celsius, but that didn’t stop us from taking a dip, sliding down the big slide that went off the back of our boat, and using floaties with a drink in the hand.

We had a big Mexican fiesta the second night with the winners of the costume party winning margaritas with dinner. We docked at Nielsen Beach, also known as the “party beach”, and followed suit by partying the rest of the night away. The third day we made our way to Albas Falls, a five-tier falls accessible by a three kilometer trail. It was a beautiful day and a great timee to get moving around and off the boat.

The best thing about being on the houseboat was really getting to know each other and becoming more like a family rather than some strangers cooped up on a boat. We find that the weekend trips away really bring all the members of Events & Adventures Vancouver together! We can’t wait to see what our Labour Day weekend will bring!

memorial day weekend

Memorial Day Weekend with E&A Phoenix

This past Memorial Day weekend Events & Adventures Phoenix took to the open road and made our way out to Copper Cloud Ranch in Kanab, Utah. Our days started with sunrises and ended with sunsets that beautifully lit up over the canyons.

On Saturday, our first full day at the ranch, we made our way to Page, Arizona and right over to Lower Antelope Canyon. Located in a large Navajo reservation that extends from Utah to Arizona to New Mexico, Lower Antelope Canyon—called Hazdistazi, or “spiral rock arches”, by the Navajo Indians—was absolutely breathtaking. Pictures simply don’t do any justice to the canyons once you’ve seen them in person. Our guided tour of the canyon was an hour-long hike led by an experienced guide. It was both spectacular and informative!

Sunday we went paddle boarding and kayaking on Lake Powell. The weather was in the mid-80s and the water was perfect. From playing football to swimming around playing “alligator” to goofing off around the rich blue lake with friends, this Sunday was a total win and one for the books! Not only did we have Phoenix members building friendships and making memories, but we had three members from our new Denver club join in on the fun. We were sad to say goodbye to them because we want to adopt all three of them into Events & Adventures Phoenix. One of them jokingly agreed, but shhh…don’t tell the Denver club that! Even coyotes and roosters wanted to join our party, but we were already in bed by the time they showed up.

This Memorial Day weekend had had everything you’d think of when you think of “camping trip”–and so much more!

We gathered around the campfire to sing and get to know one another. We immersed ourselves in stargazing and pointed out as many constellations as we could. Being in the city, it’s a sight we rarely see and none of us took the clear skies for granted! On the last night, one of our members pulled out his guitar and put on a show for us that brought the whole trip full circle.

Monday morning when everyone was up packing up and getting ready to head out, some of us just weren’t ready for the trip to end yet. We took advantage of where we were and stayed back to view Horseshoe Bend. Whether or not our members were afraid of heights, Horseshoe Bend didn’t keep us from standing on the edge of canyon cliffs that drop 1,000 feet straight into the Colorado River below. The distant panoramic horizon views were mesmerizing. It was the perfect way for us to end our Memorial Day weekend trip.

After seeing not one, but three top Arizona destinations in one weekend, this camping trip was what I’d call an eventful adventure that gave us all memories and friendships we’ll hold onto for life! Only with Events & Adventures can you get this kind of experience.

single friends

Making New Single Friends in Dallas

I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and I know lots of people in the DFW area. But one day I proverbially “woke up” and realized I had no single friends! All of my friends were married and most of them had kids. As a very busy 33 year-old attorney, how the heck was I going to meet new people? And I’m not just talking about dating, I mean making new single friends in general. I had heard about Events & Adventures on the radio and decided I had nothing to lose! I like to socialize and meet new people so this group was worth a shot. Long story made short, it’s been about eleven months since I joined and it was without a doubt the best decision I ever made. The people are kind, friendly, smart, and overall, down-to-earth, good-hearted people.

There is an event for single friends every day of the week; I go to as many as my work schedule permits.

As far as the activities offered, there is something for everyone. I personally enjoy the lake and pool parties the most—I’m definitely looking forward to a fun-filled summer! Game nights are fun and a good way to get to know people. I love going to sporting events and it’s great to have a fun group of singles to go with! I had an absolute blast at the “Single de Mayo” party! Event manager Jacque made delicious tacos, had piñatas filled with party favors, and even booked the DJ for the event! The members don’t have to do anything but show up and have blast—how awesome is that! I have blackmail-worthy video of some members dancing!

I recently sat down and wrote out an invitation list for my birthday party next month. It’s at least 90% members of Events & Adventures. I laughed and wondered what I did before I met all of these amazing people! Events & Adventures has truly given me life-long friends. Not to sound cheesy, but these are people I’ve laughed and cried with. They are the kind of single friends that I can call if I need a ride, if I want to catch a movie, or if I need help moving furniture. If you are single and not in Events & Adventures, you are definitely missing out!

By Events & Adventures Dallas Member Megan

trip to china

My Trip to China, by Events & Adventures Member Gustavo

Many people asked me, “Why do you want to take a trip to China?” Everyone knows the food is horrible, it’s crowded, and it has a lot of pollution. Regardless, my answer has always been the same—because I had never been there and I wanted to experience for myself how China is different from the countries that I have visited. And I can tell you, I do not regret it at all; China has been one of the most amazing trips that I have ever taken. It was different, it was magnificent, it was…simply amazing!

Let’s start with the language barrier. When you are trying to order food and you have no idea what you are ordering, basically you just go by the pictures or how it looks on the table. You just try it, because at the end of the day this is all about experiencing the unknown. When do you really get to eat something crazy, anyway? It was always good food; sometimes it was better than others but overall it was healthy.

We visited three different cities, and when I say different, I mean it. Beijing is a combination of an ancient city mixed with modern construction; the contrast between the styles of architecture was really clear. Xi’an is a smaller city but with a lot of people. It’s very crowded and there’s a lot of traffic, and despite it seeming more polluted than Beijing it still felt like an ancient city. Shanghai was just magnificent. It looks like a modern metropolis and has an amazing skyline with big, colorful buildings. It looks like what it represents–a cosmopolitan and important global center.

As far as sightseeing during my trip to China, the Great Wall just blew my mind!

This should come as no surprise, but what a hike. Obviously, there are no elevators or any easy ways up the wall. There are only stairs and all of them are different heights, sometimes narrow and sometimes very wide. We hiked through 12 separate forts built into the wall to make it to what we think was the top of the wall. Going up was challenging but going down was downright scary, you always want to make sure that you watch your every step.

We visited the Ming Tombs, the Sacred Way, the Temple Of Heaven, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Last Government Protected Historical Hutong District—all of in Beijing. In Xi’an we had the chance to visit the Terracotta Army, a Buddhist Temple, the Great Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Xi’an City Wall. Finally, in Shanghai, with its spectacular skyline and impressive new architecture, we still got to enjoy the city’s old gardens and a town market where you can buy almost anything and bargain for everything.

I do not have a bucket list of the places that I want to visit—I just want to go everywhere. But before the trip, it was clear to me that China was one of those countries where I would go only with a group, and once again Events & Adventures did not disappoint. The trip was very well-organized from the beginning, the tour guides were terrific, and the staff was always trying to make sure everyone had a great time. I had the chance to make new friends that I had so much in common with and I am sure we will share more awesome adventures in the future. That was my trip to China!

shanghai adventure

A Shanghai Adventure Ends Our Amazing Trip to China

On Day 5 was the first day of our Shanghai adventure, but we were finally able to have a bit of a downtime before our afternoon flight there. The tour days are long and packed so it was nice to be able to relax at the hotel and visit a few local spots. It wasn’t too long before we arrived in Shanghai and met our local tour guide Allen, who was extremely knowledgeable about the city and gave us so much information on the way to our hotel.

The first evening in Shanghai was like a dream. Our tour guides offered a cruise on the Huangpu River, where we were situated in the boat’s VIP section. Being in the VIP meant we wouldn’t have to fight for good photos of the Shanghai skyline! The Huangpu River is considered a symbol of Shanghai, originating at Dianshan Lake and emptying into the Yangtze River at Wusongkou. It is 71 miles long and 437 yards wide and is ice-free year round. The river basically divides Shanghai into east and west. One spectacular sight is that the two suspension bridges, the Nanpu Bridge and the Yangpu Bridge, appear to arch over the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and is said to resemble “two dragons playing with a ball”.

The west bank of the Huangpu River is the cultural, residential and entertainment center of Shanghai. The Bund, Monument to the People’s Heroes, Waibaidu Bridge, and the oldest park in Shanghai, Huangpu Park, are located on the west bank. In addition, many historical buildings left over from Shanghai’s colonial days have been preserved. The east bank of the river (Pudong) is the newer district of Shanghai and is its financial and commercial hub. Steel and glass structures are abundant here. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mao Tower, skyscraper hotels, offices, and malls of the Lujiazui Financial Zone are located on this side of the river.

Cruising on the Huangpu River has become a must for most visitors to Shanghai. The busy wharfs and the “three-layer waters (or three-color waters)” at Wusongkou are within sight while on the boat. The ‘three-layer waters’ are formed by the convergence of the Huangpu River (gray white), the Yangtze River (yellow), and the East Sea (green) during high tide. When the sun sets, the river is veiled in the glittery neon lights. The nighttime skyline of the city was definitely one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen.

Day 6 was our last full tour day of the trip as Day 7 was a free day. Our Shanghai adventure continued with a tour of the silk factory. China, and specifically Shanghai, is known for its silk and Suzhou is most famous place for silk producing. We learned about the entire lifespan of the silkworm followed by watching them make silk products.

After the silk factory we arrived at The Jin Mao Tower which is 420.5 m high, with altogether 88 stories and total construction area of 290,000 square meters. It is a perfect combination between the Chinese Traditional Architecture Style and the advanced building technologies of the modern world. Some of our members decided to try the Sky Walk—walking around the outside of the tower on the 88th floor attached to just a bungee rope. Don’t look down!

After exploring the views at The Jin Mao Tower we arrived at The Bund, which we had seen on the boat tour the evening before. It was a beautiful day for walking, exploring, and seeing that it is a boulevard lined with impressive neo-classical buildings. The Bund is the classic image of Shanghai and the city’s main attraction. Sweeping along the western side of the Huangpu River, the majestic building dates back to Shanghai’s grandest days. Many banks and financial companies built impressive offices here in the early 20th century when Shanghai was the financial capital of Asia.

After The Bund we decided to head to what they call the “Shanghai Bazaar”, the Yu Yuan Markets. It was packed as it just so happens it was a National Holiday in China called “Labour Day”. Here we were able to purchase a mish-mash of items including traditional Chinese arts and crafts and souvenirs, ornate chopsticks, Chinese medicine, walking sticks, fans, silk umbrellas, bamboo and rattan furniture, goldfish, pottery, and much more. We all did some shopping, had lunch on our own and then met up with everyone to go check out the Yu Yuan Gardens which was a stunning layout of beautiful pavilions, miniature lakes, bridges and rock formations.

After exploring the Yu Yuan Gardens we had time left over so our tour guide’s brought us to what is called The Shanghai French Concession. The French Concession is the area of Shanghai once designated for the French, consisting of today’s Luwan and Xuhui Districts. Luwan’s Huaihai Road is a busy shopping street and is also home to both Xintiandi and Tian Zi Fang, extremely popular shopping and dining spots for tourists. Xuhui is also ever popular for tourists and is home to Shanghai Stadium. The tree-lined avenues and their many Tudor mansions in the area still retain an air of the “Paris of the East”. This place was a little bit of home to us as it had classic western food, draft beer and many people spoke English.

It was bitter sweet arriving at dinner that night knowing it was the last dinner together as the little family we had created on our travels! The friendships created, the memories made, and the laughter would be something that would last a lifetime. To travel with 42 strangers who would become like family was the most surreal experience of the trip. I had expectations going into this trip and this experience had exceeded them all.

The last day of our Shanghai adventure we had to ourselves to be able to explore whatever our hearts desired. Our tour guide Allen put together a tour of his home village of Suzhou, which they call the “Venice of China”. The city’s canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions in China. Some of our members visited The Classical Gardens of Suzhou that were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000.

Other members visited Shanghai Disney which was only opened last June and is the biggest Disney in the world. They went on rides, ate food, bought souvenirs and had a blast seeing the differences between Disney US and Disney China. Some members went on food tours and ate things such as Szechwan tofu, lamb kebabs, crawfish and wok fired snake. Others checked out markets and museums.

Upon arrival back to the hotel we decided to go out as a group for one last dinner to close out our Shanghai adventure. We went to a French restaurant called Va Bene located in the French Concession that we had seen the day before. We ate the most delicious French cuisine, drank some wine, and reminisced over the past week of our China adventure. Shanghai adventure

Although there are some things I won’t miss, such as Squatty Potties, the smog, language barriers, and having to pay for water everywhere I go (just some of the luxuries we have living in the US and Canada), it will be very difficult to say goodbye to this amazing group of people that I did not know a week ago. Watching the dynamics of everyone come out of their shell from Day 1 to Day 7 was really great to see. The best thing about Events & Adventures is the lasting friendships created, the love connections that have flourished, and that we are all here for one purpose—to have an adventure of a lifetime. Until next time, whether it’s a Shanghai adventure or another amazing place across the world!