Category Archives: Chicago

New Year's Eve Party in Chicago

New Year’s Eve in Chicago with E&A

New Year, New Us!

The party was on this past New Year’s Eve, but whether you believe in making resolutions or not, we can all agree that achieving any kind of self-improvement can only help us live a more fulfilling life.  This past weekend over 150 Chicago singles decided that they wanted to do just that by starting the New Year meeting other singles and expanding their social circles.  So for our 2016 New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball, Events & Adventures chose Townhouse Restaurant and Wine Bar to be the scene of the crime!

Talk was all about the party before, during, and after the event.  Members made their way into the venue wearing their carefully selected masks and formal attire.  New and familiar faces made their way around the room trying to guess who was who, making new friends, and writing their New Year’s resolutions on our resolution board.  After enjoying their favorite frosty beverage and grabbing a slider or two from one of the floating hors d’oeuvres trays, it was time to hit the dance floor!

Every year starts and ends with our New Year’s Eve Bash!

Events & Adventures makes it fun and easy for our members to meet other singles through our interactive events.  At the NYE party, members certainly didn’t shy away from making new connections.  Whether it was grabbing a crazy hat or mustache and hopping over to the photo booth with their friends, trading for their favorite colored 2017 led glasses, or dancing to the tunes of the DJ, by the time 11:59 rolled around many were ready for that New Year’s kiss.

Our New Year’s Eve bashes are only once a year, but they are each more like once-in-a-lifetime experiences.  You never know who’ll meet or what the night will have in store because no one throws a NYE party like Events & Adventures.  There is no better way to start the year than with new friends and great memories—and 2017 is only starting!

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

Three Unique Things to do in Chicago

Everyone visits the same places when they’re looking for things to do in Chicago: the bean, the Willis Tower, the deep dish pizzeria. But if you want to be a true champion of the city, three things you must do before you leave Chicago:

  1. Lunch/Early Dinner at Sinha Brazilian Restaurant:

Hopefully, you’re visiting on a Sunday since they’re open till six then. Sinha Restaurant is by far the best authentic home cooked Brazilian food in Chicago, even Paul McCartney and his wife would agree (ask the chef and owner Jorgina Pereira to tell you the story).  The restaurant is located within Ms. Pereiras home, which she graciously opens up to her guests. Appetizers and drinks are served in the living room next to the fireplace giving it a very homey atmosphere. The restaurant is BYOB (bring your own beer or liquor of choice) and we recommend you bring a bottle of Cachaça, a special Brazilian rum used especially for Capirinhas (a drink made with fresh limes and sugar) that will be prepared by the Chef herself.  After loosening up in the living room, you’ll go down a flight of stairs to the lower level of the house where you’ll enjoy great steaks, a special house recipe of black beans, plantains, rice, kale and cranberry salad, special dressings and other fresh fare.

  1. Catch a play at the Windy City Playhouse:

The playhouse is brand new and as word of it slowly spreads their shows are getting more and more packed.  Performances here are by far some of the best in the city, with their most recent show The Explorer’s Club getting rave reviews by all the local Chicago media.  Events & Adventures recently caught a private performance of the show and we have to agree their plays are worth every penny and second that you spend there. The intimate theater offers a full bar and comfy rotating seats that are so close to the actors you’ll feel like you’re part of the performance.  If you want to impress a date or work colleagues, this is the place to bring them.

  1. Drinks at the Aviary:  

Get ready for an experience you won’t soon forget.  You can forget ordering your typical gin and tonic and go straight for their house cocktail menu.  Here the bartenders are trained like four star chefs.  Many of the ingredients in their drinks are meticulously prepped hours ahead of time to be promptly delivered and presented to your table by an expert mixologist.  Some must try items on their menu are Oats, and Levels.

If you’re not a tourist and just a native of the city just looking for new things to do in Chicago, join us at Events & Adventures where we’re always seeking out the exciting and unique. We have plenty of hidden germs to show you, all you need to do is let us.

Events & Adventures Makes Meeting New People Easy

One of the things that makes Events & Adventures so unique is that no matter where the event is or what you’re doing, you’ll always find a friendly face to greet you there. Gone are those awkward outings where you’re left to fend for yourself in a sea of new faces, and in their place is an easy way to make meeting new people fun. The secret to this is our event hosts, who are members themselves, and know a thing or two about getting the most out of your membership. Members can count on our hosts to lead the event and introduce them to many other members of the group.

While all of our hosts are expertly trained in the art of helping club members shake their shyness and make the most of their Events & Adventures experience, we’d like to highlight two of our star hosts who go the extra mile to ensure that our members are having the best time possible at each event.

Whether he’s teaching you moves on the dance floor or greeting you at one of our wine tastings, Xavier is the person you go to when you want to know what’s going on around the city. A Chicago born native, Xavier joined the Events & Adventures Chicago club over two years ago and became an event host shortly after. His knowledge of the city and enthusiasm for Events & Adventures make him the perfect point of contact for any member new to the city or just looking to learn more about the club and our members.

There’s also Janelly, one of the newest additions to the Events & Adventures hosting team.  Janelly has been a member for almost a year and has a passion for people, and life in general.  You can find her hosting everything from days out at the museum, to group dinners, to our yacht parties on the lake.  Janelly makes it very easy for members to integrate into the group, and in good fun and in a way that breaks the ice for those members who are a bit more shy or nervous about their first event. More often than not she’ll greet you with a smile, and then take a selfie with you. Janelly has recently finished her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and we couldn’t be prouder of her achievement.

Splatter Paint and Water Balloon Fight Events and Adventures Chicago

Single Chicago

This had to be one of the most exciting events we’ve done with Events and Adventures Chicago all summer! First we expressed our artistic side with splatter painting a canvas. Some people got very creative and enhanced their art with tape designs and some glitter! We were able to make over 20 paint colors…which allowed everyone’s masterpiece to look different. And just when we were done relaxing with painting…we got some aggression out with a water balloon fight! Almost 450 water balloons were gone within 4 minutes! Everyone had a blast! And practically no one walked away dry… It was a night we won’t soon forget! Thanks all you Chicago Singles!

Water balloon fight chicago singles

 

 

 

Events and Adventures Receiving the Royal Treatment at the Cubs Game!

Events and Adventures Chicago received the royal treatment this past Tuesday night for the Cubs vs Padres game! Waiting at the top of the bleachers for us was a whole row of couches reserved for E&A! We had the best view from the rooftop overlooking the Cubbies at Wrigley Field. We sported our baseball gear and enjoyed the array of food and beverages included in our ticket price! There might have been more socializing then actual game watching, but we had an amazing time as a  singles group! And we must be good luck because the Cubs brought home the WIN!

 

Six Flags, Members Mtg and Games For Chicagoland Singles!

membersmtgsixflags


This past weekend was jam-packed with so much fun for Chicagoland Singles that we needed to blog about two events this week! First on Saturday night we had our New Member Ice Breaker! There were a TON of new faces to welcome. They all had a blast playing “People Bingo” and getting to know interesting facts about one another! After the meeting, mingling, and buffet, it was game time! With air hockey, shooting games, racing games, and tickets to win, we were like little kids in a candy store! It was great to see a lot of new members mingling and fitting in with the group so well! It was a great night had by all…but then there was Sunday! Sunday Funday at 6 Flags Great America! With the new amazing ride Goliath out, that’s where we headed first… only to find out there was almost 4 hour wait! A little disappointed, we set out to ride some other roller coasters. Turns out, it was great that everyone else was in line for Goliath, because that meant shorter lines everywhere else! Everyone said they’ve never been able to go on so many coasters in one day! We even had a take breaks to give our stomachs a rest. By the end of the day, we were very tired and ready to head home after a long day of excitement. What an amazing weekend with E&A!

Friday Night Was An Amazing Night For Our Chicago Singles!

Friday night at Bar Forza was an amazing mingle for our Chicago Singles! First our new members (and we had a lot!) arrived to go over Events and Adventures policies and get to know one another. Once the regular members joined us, the real party started. We were spoiled with our own private room and even a surprise buffet! The new chef delighted us with parmesan French fries and bruschetta, what a treat! The food was a clear hit with everyone as it was gone in about 5 minutes! As the night went on and the music got louder, people started to put on their dancing shoes and bust some…very interesting moves. Overall the night was a huge success with the mingling of old and new members. For our first event members, we hope you had an amazing night and can’t wait to see you at another event soon!

Chicago Singles: 4th of July….Music, Ribs, Fireworks and Fake Mustaches!

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!