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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

Events and Adventures Dallas Singles Poker Crawl!

Events and Adventures
FW Sundance Square Poker Crawl3

Events and Adventures Dallas Poker Crawl

A poker run on a motorcycle has 5 stops where everyone gets a card to make a poker hand. A pub crawl is on foot and hits several bars. Mix them together with a group of singles and you get an Events and Adventures poker crawl! We don’t have as many people with motorcycles as with feet, so we hit Sundance Square on Saturday night. We were ready to play a game of poker and check out some of the local pubs. We started with appetizers and our first card. You really have no idea how things are going to until the third card. Then you know if you are in it or just there for the pub crawl the rest of the night. We hit some really cool places. Really nice and even a dive bar. How many people can you fit in an elevator? By our 5th stop everyone was impatient to get their card to see if they could make a hand or draw. Whew! So we all know most people cheat and trade cards right? Hmmm . .Who has the worst hand? The best hand? High card draw wins! Congrats Tanya, your very first event and you won!   FW Sundance Square Poker Crawl4

Just another day at the office with Events and Adventures Vancouver….Kayaking!

vancouver singles kayaking

Just another day at the office with Events and Adventures at a truly amazing kayaking event at a little lake in the middle of Vancouver.  Despite major traffic and transit delays somehow every single member always has a great attitude and can’t wait to kayak to the middle of the lake and sit and chat for an hour.  Of course we have little races and get some exercise but it is really about the chats and companionship no matter how hard the day was.  We laugh and joke and then go out for some more at a nearby pub. It was a beautiful day and a splendid way to end it..with all of our E&A friends. 

 

 

Flips, Jumps and Dives into the Cool Water here in Houston!

 

Houston Singles Party Barge

What a week…Unless you’ve been stuck in the vegetable room at Costco you know it’s hot outside here in Houston. When it’s this hot out we here at Events and Adventures love to get wet!  After a week of amazing events that included skeet shooting & a huge softball/kickball cookout; the party barge Sunday was a welcome escape from the flames.  Flips, jumps and dives into the cool water were a fun escape from the upper deck where the wild ones were gathered.  We’ve got an August loaded with fun events topped off by the big Labor Day Adventure at the end of the month.  August is an awesome month to join Events & Adventures, with so many fun events to look forward to. 

Have You Ever Been Paragliding?

Last Sunday marked a milestone for a small group of member’s from our Events and Adventures Vancouver when we went Paragliding.  Despite waiting for the clouds to dissipate while building anticipation, we all got to run off a perfectly good mountain, to soar like eagles.  It’s pretty amazing getting to see people burst through personal boundaries and see them do things they never thought they would ever be able to.  Standing atop Mt Woodside on the weekend, and waiting for those perfect winds, we all did just that.  The last two flights of the day weren’t the most perfect landings, but we made it, and flying over the Fraser river and taking in the sights, even doing some crazy aerobatics, made the day all worth it.  I can’t wait to fly again with my single friends at Events and Adventures! 

Trying Out Foot Golf With Events and Adventures Dallas!

I’m a big soccer fan. I watch, I play, all of it. So when I heard there is a new sport that is soccer based I was in! We played Foot Golf for the first time. I’d never even heard of it. It’s like golf but with soccer balls. We arrived at the golf course and everyone paid a nominal fee to get on the course. We had our own soccer balls (or you could rent them) got out score cards and headed to out T’s. We had 3 groups of 6. We teed off from the ladies line and aimed for the green. This a LOT harder than I thought it would be. In soccer we have to get it to another person or in the general direction of the goal. On the golf course it was way easier to aim way off from our target. Getting it into the 3 foot diameter hole was a hard!  We laughed and talked a little trash as to how everyone’s aim was at the beginning. Towards the end we were all aiming better (some better than others!) When all the groups gathered after out game we went out to recharge and decided we really like this new sport of Foot Golf!

 

Listening To Opera Outside With Friends!

Santana Row is a beautiful place on a summer afternoon. It’s especially beautiful while sitting on the grass listening to beautiful live opera! San Jose Opera came to The Row to give a free outdoor performance. We had a great group of people who brought blankets and snacks to hang out and have an opera picnic. The performers were amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I only wished I would understand what they were saying! However, at one point the song “If I were a rich man” from Fiddler on the Roof came on as an example of America Musical Theater & I LOVED it. The audience really got into it! Our group started clapping along and singing the words! Afterwards we headed to the quaint little wine bar and got to know each other. The best part was at the wine bar where we discussed all the places we would like to travel and some of the weird paranormal places you could go… There are so many cool places to travel to! 

Events and Adventures San Francisco

We Tried The New Sport of Foot Golf In Minneapolis!

Events and Adventures Minneapolis had our first outing of Foot Golf this past weekend, the new sport that is “sweeping the nation”!  As we were waiting in the club house waiting for everyone to arrive, we were debating on if it’s still called a “tee time” or if it should be a “kick off” or “punt time”… as we split into teams and sent the first one off, we were figuring out our strategies and anxious to see what was in store for us.  The first group “kicked off” and we watched as they made their way closer to the 21 inch cup… We heard some cheers as a surprising kick went in along with some “Ahhhhh’s” when the ball didn’t go in… then it was our turn to try!  We each placed our ball on the tee box as it was out turn and made a running kick, much like the “Happy Gillmore” in the movie, just without a club!  And as we made our way through the course and laughed and cheered each other on, we realized at the end of the round, that it doesn’t matter what we do because we get to do it with friends!  AND something we normally wouldn’t have tried!  We can’t wait until our next round of Foot Golf!  FORE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Painting and Socializing With Events and Adventures Dallas!

Paint the top 3 inches or so blue.  Then paint this white in circular motions, that darker blue and blend in green like this. (Ding!) You are concentrating too hard! Breathe. Take of drink of whatever you have. Breathe again. Mix in a little white. Ok, in this corner star with the tan. Break time, let it dry a few minutes, grab a snack, refill your beverage and socialize. This is really going to be a painting when I’m done!  During our break we check out each other’s paintings and steal ideas of how to make our a little bit better. We all know who the real artists are. We laugh about how this blank canvas we were given is turning into an actual painting. By the end of our 2 hour session we all have a real painting we did without numbers or special paint. Some will hang in their home; others given to family as gifts (Mom’s like home made gifts no matter how old we are) and others will be regaled to hang in the laundry room or closet where only the artist sees it and thinks I made that!

The Dallas Aquarium with Single Friends

The Dallas Aquarium with single friends is a great way to spend a most muggy summer day.  We had a great time and the Aquarium here has lots of animals too. No whales, seals or dolphins but they make up for it by having quite a few different types of animals too.  We all talked about if you could have any pet what it would be. Who wants big scary pets and who wants amphibians.  Many people you’d never guess what their interests are.  It’s interesting to learn more about my new friends.   We had a great day. Next month we are going to the Zoo to check out their animals and feed some too!