This year the Chicagoland Events and Adventures celebrated Independence Day at Ribfest in Naperville! There were so many ribs to try, we had a hard time deciding which award winning vendor to choose from! Luckily there was a lot of sharing going on, so we we’re able to sample a good variety! It was definitely a relaxing day, hanging out by the South stage enjoying the music and good conversation. As the day went on, lots of silliness seemed to happen, which included fake mustaches! We later headed up to the North stage to enjoy some lively jazz music and found a great spot to watch the fireworks. We ended the night with an awesome fireworks displays and had an amazing day together as a group!
If you missed our 4th of July bash in Houston this year you missed a good one! In true American fashion we enjoyed hot dogs off the grill, Budweiser, Volleyball and a slip n’ slide in the backyard and tons of fun on the patio. When adults get the entire day off of work you know it’s time to party! We started at noon with volleyball and some water balloon fights and capped the day off watching the amazing fireworks show. The day flew by too fast but we’ve got some amazing pictures to remember the good times thanks to Ray! Members can check out the E&A calendar to see all the great ones they’re in! Can’t wait to do it again next year!
Volleyball is a staple every week, and every week I go, I am reminded of why I love this event. Volleyball is not just a group of people playing… It’s not even members anymore, it’s a family. The Volleyball Crew has become such an intricate part of E&A. Each week you see eachother, and play together, it makes it easy to become friends and get to know each other really well. Most of the best friends I have made in the club are from volleyball! So many relationships have been formed with volleyball being the reason. We have even had a few weddings that developed from our volleyball events! The bond that has been created over the years has really made this event was it is today. Lot’s of people, lots of fun, and lots of love. It’s true… I love my volleyball family.
The Dallas and Houston groups met in Nacogdoches for a weekend of fun. We had a beautiful lodge and some people chose to camp. The ZipInn was a great space for out group. Nice amenities and 3 bathrooms! We enjoyed the fire pit each night as well as the full kitchen for meals. ZipNac did a great job teaching us what to do on a practice run 5 feet off the ground. No nerves. Then we set out on our first adventure. We loved zip lining above and though the trees. The guides were awesome. Then we headed to Roselake Ranch. I thought there was something very wrong when my GPS took us behind a Wal-Mart. Surprise! They had 70 acres in almost the middle of town that was stunningly green. The folks at Roselake Ranch made sure everyone had a horse that fit their skills; they even got me a horse that I only needed one hand to direct so I could take photos. Sweet!
Saturday night we returned to our lodge and made dinner and snacks. Fresh popcorn! Our more adventurous members took advantage of the night time zip line with glow necklaces. Totally different experience. The guides liked us so much they stayed and hung out with us for the rest of the evening. Sunday morning we had one last zip line after breakfast. Everyone helped pick up the lodge and we headed home to our prospective cities. We had a great, fun, adventurous but also relaxing weekend. The people out in Nacogdoches will definitely see us again.
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
We just got back from Peru and Machu Picchu. Wow! What a trip. We visited the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. We saw astounding Inca ruins. It’s truly amazing how exacting their workmanship is. They actually built their palaces and alters to withstand the regions earthquakes. All by hand, with no iron or metal tools! Perfect notched seams. They hauled those massive rocks up thousands of feet – with no tools. I can’t imagine how they did it. Machu Picchu is a beautiful and miraculous site. It definitely was a trip of a life time. I’m so happy that E&A gave me this opportunity!
Jacque- Event Manager Dallas