Category Archives: Vancouver

Vancouver Skyline Kayaking

A Meetup in Vancouver

What To Expect From Events & Adventures

Wondering what an Events & Adventures meetup in Vancouver looks like? Dating is difficult enough on its own, so how do you know that you aren’t going to be wasting your time? Events & Adventures has been bringing single people together for over 30 years, and Vancouver has always been an exciting scene for singles with tons of things to do locally. It seemed like a natural spot to start a new Events & Adventures club.

The single members in each of our clubs are what give each city character. There are always new people to meet, new things to do, and a different dating perspective to find. When people relax and hang out as a group, connections form naturally, whether it is friendship or romance. Events & Adventures Vancouver hosts over 30 dynamic events every month, from local outings to weekend trips and everything in between. Whether you like sports, happy hours, morning yoga, or outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone. A meetup in Vancouver has excitement in store on any day of the week.

With COVID putting a damper on the dating scene, Events & Adventures was inspired to create virtual events for their single members as well. So, even if you’re stuck at home, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep up a social life. Unique virtual events like Cards Against Humanity Nights, Trivia Nights and many others became huge hits! We’ve decided to keep these events permanent, offering our single members the ability to join our group events from the comfort of home. This has been an amazing addition for Vancouver’s busier members who have little time to meet people around their work schedule.

To truly get an insider’s view on what a meetup in Vancouver looks like, we’ve spoken with Impreet, the Event Manager in Vancouver, for some insight on her club. The Event Manager plans all the fun and is one-on-one with the members on a daily basis. We did a quick Q&A with her to see what she had to say on Vancouver’s singles scene.

Q: What makes your city special?

A: Vancouver is special for many reasons, but the best part is how close we are to the mountains and the ocean. During some parts of the year, you can hit up the mountains in the morning for snowboarding, then go paddle-boarding in the afternoon. It’s an adventurous city filled with adventurous individuals. The members in Vancouver are awesome in so many ways. Our members are not afraid to take risks and are extremely supportive of the adventurous things you try! Afraid of heights, but want to try bungee jumping? Our members will be there cheering you on and being extremely supportive of it! It’s great to have an awesome group of friends to help you face your fears.

Q: If there was one word to describe what the single members in your group are like, what would it be and why?

A: Vancouver members are definitely friendly. All the members join the group for almost the same reasons—they are all here to make friends and potentially meet a life partner so everyone is really friendly and wants to get to know everyone who is a part of the club.

Q: What’s your personal favorite meetup in Vancouver?

A: I would say our White-Water Rafting & Camping trip we have every year. This trip is ALWAYS a blast and we always have over 40 members attend the weekend getaway! For something more local, I would say bowling. A lot of our members’ fun and competitive sides come out during bowling and we all always laugh it off together, which makes the experience so much more fun!

Q: What are the most popular events attended by the members?

A: Popular events are definitely the close weekend getaways. Whether we are heading to Harrison, houseboating, or Chilliwack for our rating and camping trip – those events always have huge numbers. For our in-town events, our pizza and games night always draws a large crowd. We have this event once a month and we end up staying at the venue for 2-3 hours playing board games!

Q: Have you witnessed love connections?

A: Absolutely. I’ve witnessed many love connections and it’s awesome to get to see two people come together because of our events. Many of the couples I have witnessed are still together, engaged, or married!

A meetup in Vancouver is a way for you to try something new, meet new people, and maybe find someone special. At the very least, you will have a blast. Being single, especially at this difficult time, does not mean you have to be alone. To give Events & Adventures Vancouver a shot, just fill out the form on our homepage eventsandadventures.com to get started.

singles meeting online

Social Distancing Doesn’t Mean Loneliness

Single and Stressed?

Social Distancing doesn’t mean loneliness! There’s a lot of chaos in the world right now, and it can make the idea of meeting new people seem daunting or downright scary. What are singles going to do when it comes to dating during the Coronavirus threat and social distancing warnings? It doesn’t have to be intimidating!  Make the most of the single life by joining Events & Adventures.  Meet people naturally and safely with the nation’s largest social club for singles.

During these difficult times, it’s more important than ever to know who you’re with.  We take all the necessary precautions, make all the plans, and let you focus on just having fun with other singles like you!  At Events & Adventures, there’s something for everyone, from safe, small group activities to online events like trivia contests and happy hour.  There’s no swiping, no profiles, no pressure, and no awkward first dates.  Meet singles just doing things you already love to do!

 

Our Events

For over 30 years, Events & Adventures has been connecting like-minded singles through great, pre-planned events.  Our members have built lasting relationships and lifelong friendships while both, trying new things in town, as well as traveling across the globe.  Today’s trying circumstances won’t last forever, and when they’re behind us we’ll be ready to resume our international travel, from Australia to Antarctica and beyond.  Whether in safe, small group events or on exciting outdoors adventures, our members meet other singles and make new friends.  You never know, you might even make that special connection you’ve been looking for.

From unique online events to local adventures to world travel, you’ll have over 30 great activities to choose from every month. Have fun with like-minded singles in a pressure-free environment where you can be yourself.  It’s not a dating app or a dating service, and all of our members are pre-screened. Practice social distancing and still have fun! Trust us, you’re gonna wish you did this sooner!

 

Your Safety Is Our Priority | Social Distancing

We continue to make your health and safety a top priority and have made several adjustments to our calendars to support the global efforts being put in place to keep everyone safe and healthy.  For the time being, our group activities are only 6 to 12 people, making it easy to make meaningful relationships in intimate settings.  These will open up to bigger gatherings once it’s again safe to do so. There are also outdoor activities that will keep our members out of confined spaces, while keeping in line with social distancing warnings.

Many events have even been moved online in order to keep our trivia contests, comedy nights, and happy hours on schedule! In addition, when it comes to public events, we always get our own section! Sometimes it pays off to be part of an exclusive club!  And as always, all our members have passed a full background check, so you never have to guess or worry.

In short, there’s never been a better time to meet that someone special, and you don’t have to stay stuck in the house.  If you’re ready for your next adventure, and to make the most of the single life, join the nation’s largest social club, Events & Adventures today.

 

Ready to get MORE out of life? Just visit EventsandAdventures.com.

Dating Apps sharing Personal Information?

Are Dating Apps Sharing Your Personal Information?

Are dating apps sharing your personal information?
It seems like almost every day we learn of another report on the news where a large company has been hacked, or maybe even intentionally, releases information. What does this mean though? Is it really applicable to us? The answer—ABSOLUTELY!

Information is one of the most coveted assets for online scammers–especially when it comes to your personal information. From dating to banking, we do it all online, automatically assuming these apps and services have the necessary protections in place to keep our information safe. However, dating services in particular have long been held up to scrutiny regarding the effectiveness of their security for their love-seeking members.

What’s Happening?
The most notable, and maybe most morally questionable, breach occurred with Ashley Madison in 2016. The dating site, which promotes discreet affairs for married individuals, uses the slogan, “Life is Short. Have an Affair.” to attract potential members. In 2016, the most popular dating site you’ve never heard of leaked information about 37 million of its members. Not so discreet!

Many dating apps and websites have since followed suit, with evidence of major security flaws, full breaches, and worst of all, intentional sharing of information. The sidestep shuffle around US and international security laws has allowed some sites to release private information such as location data, employment information, sexual preference/orientation data, personal details, phone numbers, and more. Not only does this expose us to potential financial security threats, but to a full range of interpersonal issues such as identity theft or harassment. For example, how comfortable would you be with your dating profile showing up in a potential employer’s search? Or if your neighbor could look up your sexual orientation? By nature, these sites host a variety of private details that may not be as protected as we are sometimes led to believe.

Meet People Naturally
There are more natural ways of dating that do not have to involve profiles, endless swiping, and potential exposure of your private information. Events & Adventures lets you put the phone down and truly meet people face-to-face, without the usual discomfort of first dates. A membership with Events & Adventures allows you to choose your favorite activities from over 30 dynamic events per month, and the best part is, everyone there will be single! It is the nation’s largest social club for singles where the only information shared is the kind whispered over wine at dinner, or yelled from the tops of your favorite mountain trails. With so many activities, everyone can find something they love to do, without the pressure of making a connection. It’s about making genuine connections and friendships, and learning to just have fun!

You could take the time to hack-proof your profiles or look into privacy agreements, or you could come to Events & Adventures, where none of that stuff matters. Besides, chances are you’ll find someone here who will spark your interest enough to delete all the useless apps. Break up with online dating and visit us at www.eventsandadventures.com.

Events and Adventures Thailand Trip 2019

Thailand Trip Q&A

This February, Events & Adventures ventured out on a 14-day international trip to the exotic paradise of Thailand. What better way to learn about this amazing trip than hearing from the people that got to go on the adventure themselves?

We had a super fun Q & A with two of our members that joined Events & Adventures on our exciting Thailand trip: Rachel Wolfson from our Chicago Club and Susan Euing from our San Francisco Club. Here’s what they had to say about their time abroad with Events & Adventures:

Q: Have you ever been abroad before this trip?

R: Yes, but not with Events & Adventures. This was a first.

S: Yes, many times, but this was my first time with Events & Adventures.

 

Q: What was your favorite part of traveling with Events & Adventures?

R: My favorite part was meeting the different people from the other Events & Adventures locations and learning about Thailand from Natalie (our tour guide). It was fantastic exploring somewhere I had never been before.

S: The trip itinerary and it was a really great price!

 

Q: Out of all of the excursions you went on while in Thailand, which was your favorite and why?

R: I loved the floating river lodge. You got to be away from the rest of the world, no electricity, very peaceful while hearing the water underneath and relaxing overall. Also, we got to meet our first elephant, Wandi!

S: Personally, my favorite was the Hmong village. It was filled with very interesting people and culture.

 

Q: What was something unexpected that happened on the trip that left you pleasantly surprised?

R: When we got to play with baby tigers- they were so cute and surprisingly big at a month and a half old. I couldn’t believe the size of their paws at that age!

S: I had a wonderful and very compatible roommate. We are keeping up our new friendship even though we live two states away.

 

Q: Did you come back with any fun souvenirs?

R: A photo with frame (made out of recycled elephant dung) of one of my best friends from E&A and myself riding on U2, the elephant. We had lots of laughs on her and another elephant, as well as along the trip! Lots of great memories!

S: I bought a pig made out of rope for the year of the pig!

 

Q: If you could give someone going on Events & Adventures’s next Thailand trip a tip, what would it be?

R: Don’t be afraid to try something you’ve never done before. And make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes; there are lots of stairs! Try sitting with someone new each time you are sitting on the way to one of the spots you are going to explore so you can get to know them! you never know what type of similarities you might have!

S: Bring more dressy clothes than  you think you’ll need and get a full-body Thai massage!

 

Susan and Rachel’s amazing memories prove you can create lasting bonds while traveling the world with Events & Adventures. We can hardly wait for our next journey to a faraway land!

What exhilarating vacation will you be joining us on? Will you be floating down the Amazon River with us in August or staying stateside in NYC during the Holiday Season in November?

The number one requirement to come along? Join Events & Adventures! When you do, you get to live a life you love!

AI and the Dating App

Artificial Intelligence Is Entering the Dating Scene

Over the last couple of years, Artificial Intelligence has started to appear in the dating app scene. With these new and “improved” apps, gone are the days of swiping. Now, data mining is the way of online dating future.

What are these Apps and What Do They Do?

The most prominent AI app stateside was created by Denver native, Kevin Teman. In an article published by 303 Magazine on April 4, Teman explains how his dating app hybrid works. His app, AIMM, is essentially Siri meets matchmaker. The app launched back in 2017 and has taken all of the techniques of dating apps, matchmakers, speed dating, and dating services to create a dating service hybrid.

Again, you talk to this app like you talk to Siri, answering questions like, “Tell me an embarrassing story about your childhood” then the app will analyze your answers, sort them into different personality categories, and introduce you to people on its own accord. It takes roughly a week for the app to “get to know you” if you use it for five to ten minutes a day.

So essentially, you’re dating a robot for a week so you can find a person you might have a connection with.

According to Mashable’s article, “What Will Online Dating Look Like in 2030?,” across the pond in the UK, Loveflutter, is their AI dating app equivalent. This app matches people based on personality traits it decodes from each person’s tweets. The founders also plan to use AI to coach Loveflutter users on where to meet offline after analyzing their chats with matches.

In the future, these apps may dive even deeper into our phone data and start using information like if you pay your bills on time (or at all), what websites you visit (or shows you binge watch), your camera roll, and how much you exercise (thanks FitBit.)

Is This Too Good to Be True? (Most Definitely)

At first, this shiny new approach to modern dating looks pretty nice. Why wouldn’t we want help weeding out people we probably won’t have compatibility with? And we can do it from the comfort of our couches? Win-win.

However, when you take off the cupid-inspired rose colored glasses of technology-fueled romance, you’ll realize that the founders of these apps don’t have an end goal of people’s happiness; they want people to use their services, not leave them.

As Jean Meyer, the founder and CEO of European dating app Once said in Mashable’s article,

 “The dating industry has zero incentive to create this perfect matching algorithm […] The optimum for a dating service is to show you profiles of people that might be good enough, but not perfection. People who you go on dates with, and then after two, three dates you realize it won’t work out and you go back to the app.”

In the long run, these developments in technologically-fueled dating services will result in more disappointment and discouragement for their users than anything else. Why not spend your time investing in your life and happiness than using newer and nicer apps that are being programmed to sabotage the fulfilling experience of finding meaningful relationships?

Events & Adventures is the Best Alternative to AI

Events & Adventures uses the greatest strategy of all to introduce people. It creates daily opportunities for you to meet actual people (yes, humans) while doing fun and interesting activities. You develop friendships and lasting relationships by getting to know people that want to take a step back from their phones and enjoy their lives.

Do you want to know what’s even better about Events & Adventures? If you meet someone, we consider that a success story, not a loss. We’ve done our job if you find someone special. What makes a better story anyways, meeting your person while jumping out of a plane or while staring at your phone screen? It’s time to cut out the electronic middleman and live a life you love with Events & Adventures.

Dating App Experiment

The Dating App Experiment

The Dating App Experiment

As a single staff member of one of the Events & Adventures clubhouses, I decided to do a bit of an experiment with myself. Like a lot of people, I’m a dating app user; as a person dating in the 21st century it often feels like there aren’t many other options. As a simultaneous member of Events & Adventures, I started to compare and contrast my experiences with my online relationships and the ones I was seeing develop at Events & Adventures.

I’ve been on the classic apps like Tinder and Bumble and have tried some of the more obscure apps like Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel. They each have different layouts and specialties that make them seem like lights at the end of a tunnel filled with fellow singles. In the end, each app seems to turn out to have a similar end: possible dates and little connection.

 

The Findings

Dating apps turned the very real and emotional experience of dating into a very numb and robotic game. I’ve found myself mindlessly swiping through people without even looking at them. The sensation of matching with someone seems to create more of an endorphin boost than an actual opportunity for a true connection.

I’ll never forget when I matched with a guy and mentioned meeting up for dinner with him pretty quickly, trying to bypass the small talk and make something out of a match that seemed promising. He agreed, we set a time and location. The next morning, he was gone. He deleted our match and seeing as that was the only form of contact I had with him, there was no way of getting in touch to see what happened.

The experience stung, but a part of me accepted it because we hadn’t even met. How could I hold this guy accountable when he was only a picture on a screen?

I’ve gone on my fair share of actual dates through these apps too. I’ve even been in short-term relationships with some of the men I’ve meet. The large majority of the time the connection I thought I had with these guys online didn’t come through in person. If we did actually have something in common, there seemed to be a pressure to put a definition on whatever we had right away, which ended up scaring one of us away. When you make dating the primary focus of any activity, there’s an expectation of trust and vulnerability almost instantly. How can you put that kind of pressure on someone you barely know?

Having heard friends express similar frustrations, I know I’m not alone in my dating app woes. I even hear us wondering aloud if there is something wrong with us because of our lack of success.

 

The Solution

Having experienced Events & Adventures for the last six months, I honestly believe it’s not us but the online dating system that’s to blame. Unlike the forced nature of online dating, Events & Adventures creates an organic environment for members to have fun being themselves.

Are you filled with random facts or a board game connoisseur? You can guarantee there’s a trivia or game night coming up with Events & Adventures. More of a sports fan? Every club has at least one viewing party or pickup game on the books. Are you a whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, or adrenaline junkie—or do you want to be? Events & Adventures has you covered there, too.

And the best part? Other people are doing all of these things with you. You’ll be able to build connections with people that have similar interests and have the opportunity to see these same people on a weekly, or even daily basis, without having to plan the get togethers yourself.

All of the romantic relationships I’ve seen develop between Events & Adventures members have come out of the weeks and months they have spent together at Events & Adventures events. When people have the chance to develop friendships, those friendships turn into trust, and that trust can very easily blossom into something more substantial like commitment and love.

Our members have the chance to cultivate relationships with each other without having to worry about defining their experiences, romantic or otherwise, because that’s not what Events & Adventures is about. Our goal is to help people live a life they love, and that definition is different for everyone.

As a self-proclaimed wallflower, I’ve really had the chance to soak up all of the wonderful benefits Events & Adventures provides its members. In a world so fueled by instant gratification, Events & Adventures slows things down and gives its members the change to enjoy their lives with friends, new and old. So why keep staring at a dating app filled with what-ifs and maybes and come have some promised fun with Events and Adventures? You never know where it might lead until you give it a try!

long weekend trip with Events & Adventures

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!

Trip to China with Events & Adventures

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 with Events & Adventures

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!

Exploring China with Events & Adventures

Exploring China with Events & Adventures Members!

We started Day 3 of exploring China with a trip to the Beijing Zoo…and we got to see the pandas (amazing!), among many other animals, such as hyenas, monkeys, wolves, and many more. After the zoo we took an hour rickshaw tour to a 250-acre village of the Shichahai area, which is the most renowned historical and cultural quarter in Beijing. The ancient imperial mansions, celebrities’ residences, and the trendy boutiques and bars along the narrow alleys showcased both ancient and modern glamour of Beijing.

We experienced the local resident’s daily life by tracing the age-old hutongs (alleys) and courtyards. When we got there we went to visit a local family. While in their home we soon found out that the man of the house was actually an artist who has travelled to 35 countries showcasing his art. They told us about the village, told us some family history, and showcased some of the art work. We were also able to purchase signed artwork from the home studio itself.

After the rickshaw tour, we had to quickly go to the airport as we had an afternoon flight to our next destination—Xian! Upon arriving in Xian we met our local tour guide, Francis, who led us on a very informative tour of Xian on our way to dinner and the hotel. (Did I mention it was all you can eat & drink?) It was a short day for us as it was a travel day and a free night to recuperate. We would need the energy for our Day 4 trip to see another great Wonder of the World!

Day 4 of exploring China was our first full day in Xian. We had a jam-packed agenda as we leave tomorrow for Shanghai. We started our day at the Terracotta Workshop where they actually create the world-famous warriors. They use clay to mold the statues; they then put them in a kiln and bake them. The craftsmen let them bake for up to a few days depending on the size of the statue. Next they let them cool before painting them by hand. We also got to see the statues in the different steps of creation. After the workshop we were able to purchase our own warrior statues.

Once we had finished at the workshops, we ventured to the Terracotta Warriors Museum which is considered an “Eighth World Wonder”. The museum was founded in 1974 when villagers happened upon one of the world’s most astonishing archaeological findings—an 8,000 man army in battle ready formation, each warrior a life-size figure made over 2,200 years ago. When the warriors were found, people in the community thought it was a bad omen from the earth god and that a curse was coming. We explored three different pits, each showcasing a different size, style, and form of statue before grabbing lunch at a local restaurant nearby.

After lunch, we arrived at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda which was built in 652 AD and is filled with many Buddha shrines, gardens, and courtyards. At the Pagoda there were many shops, filled with items for sale such as like Buddha statues, books, jewelry, incense, and much more. The whole courtyard smelled of incense with a huge pot containing all the incense sticks in the middle. We quickly went to explore the Xian city wall while we still had about a half-hour to kill before our show and dinner. The Xian wall runs 12 kilometers in length and features some very imposing guard towers. It also features a lamp post with a red drapery and a small dragon that outlines the city wall. You will find a mixture of old and new Chinese architecture along the wall, as you will exploring China in general.

We arrived at our nightly show, which this night was the Tang Dynasty show. The Tang Dynasty is distinguished as the most progressive and prosperous era in the history of China. The dances were traditional Chinese dances that gave thanks to prosperous seasons and weather. The costumes and the performances were simply stunning. After the show we were treated to a Dumpling Ceremony right in the theatre. Chinese dumplings are among one of the most famous dishes in Xian. Each dumpling is hand-wrapped and stuffed with a freshly prepared filling. Sweet, savory, vegetarian, meat-filled, fruit-filled, and many other flavours were available, each with its own unique design.

We continue exploring China tomorrow in the vast country’s largest metropolis—Shanghai! I, and all the members of Events & Adventures, can’t wait to see what’s in store for us there!