Sunday 30 March 2014

Ten Wicked Vancouver Events for April

Spring is here! Say goodbye to winter and hello to outdoor fun!

Not that our winters are that harsh, but it's nice to shed a few layers and spend more hours in the park. The extra daylight is awesome as well. More hours for after-work fun outside.

Events and Adventures is gearing up for the spring with a packed April calendar. Here are the top ten events I am looking forward to for the month of April:

10. Grass Volleyball
  • Finally, outdoor volleyball returns! It might not be beach weather yet, but it's definitely time to leave the gym and head to the park. E&A has two sessions planned for April, one on the 16th and one on the 30th.

9. Tynehead Hike (dog friendly)
  • I love walking my friends dog Leroy, so I will definitely be bringing him on the Tynehead hike. They also have an off-leash area to let your four-legged friends enjoy their freedom.

8. Soccer at Trout Lake
  • Another big win for the Whitecaps this week! Now it's our turn. Events and Adventures will be playing footie at Trout Lake on April 19th. The co-ed game is tons of fun!

7. Dancing at Pop Opera
  • No sense practicing those sweet dance moves if you can't show them off. Pop Opera is a wicked venue, with two unique rooms and the best dance music in the city.

6. Rodney's Oyster Bar
  • Something about sharing oysters that puts you in the mood...

5. Drive-In
  • A throwback to simpler times. I remember going to the Drive-In with my cousins in Creston, B.C. It was one of my favourite memories from childhood. That night we saw the western "Silverado." Don't know the movie for the April date, but I'm sure it will be a stellar choice. If you don't have car, don't worry, there will be lots of members with vehicles.

4. Pacific Spirit Hike
  • At the edge of the UBC, lies Pacific Spirit Park. After Stanley Park, it is definitely my second favourite urban forest to explore. Should be a great hike.

3. Zip Lining
  • I've always wanted to zip line and I never had the chance. Events and Adventures has planned a trip to Grouse Mountain to try their Skyride. Should be a blast flying above the trees!

2. Exit Escape Challenge
  • My friends were talking about this place last week. It sounded super cool. The premise: you're locked in a maze full of mind puzzles and you have to work as team to get out. It's an awesome group activity that relies on everyone’s combined puzzle skill. Don't miss out on this one. Signup early!!!

1. Kayaking Deer Lake

  • I love kayaking! My uncle actually designs kayaks, so I guess you can say it's in my blood. We'll be paddling Deer Lake Park for this adventure, so no white water, but lots of laughs and fresh water spray. Might even try an Eskimo roll.

Top Ten Ways to Date Safely

The Events and Adventures experience is amazing because it allows you to get to know other Vancouver singles in a safe setting with zero pressure. The safety issue is huge, especially for females who may not feel comfortable going out on blind dates with strangers. 

At an E&A event, you know all the members have been screened. You also know they are in to having fun in a casual environment where activity and enjoyment are top priority.

On a blind date, you never know what you're going to get. You're also incredibly vulnerable. For those of you willing to give it a shot, here are a few simple safety rules:

1. Always tell a friend or family member where you're going. Arrange to call them when you finish.

2. Choose a public location for your date. Hikes are great for Events and Adventures outings, but a hike with a stranger is never a good idea.

3. Take your own car or use TransLink. If the date goes south, you don't want to be stuck somewhere relying on a creep to drive you home.

4. Keep your personal info private. Don't give out your home or work address. Stalking is a serious issue in the 21st century. No sense giving out too much until you're comfortable with the person.

5. Never add someone you don't know to your Facebook friend list. This is pretty self-explanatory. We all post a lot of info on our page and again, if things don't work out, you don't want a stranger to have access to the last seven years of your life.

6. Ladies, you may think it's overkill, but a little pepper spray for emergencies never hurt. Well, it will hurt someone, if you need it, but it could also save you.

7. Keep your eyes on your drink at all times. Finish your drink before you head to the bathroom. Everyone has a friend who has a rooffie story. You don't need your own one.

8.  Don't be afraid to end a date abruptly. If you start feeling a creeper vibe, pull the rip chord and eject.

9. If possible, choose a location that you are familiar with or where you have friends living nearby.

10. Don't misrepresent yourself untruthfully online. It sounds weird, but this can anger some people. If you are doing online dating, use current photos.

For a completely safe and fun dating experience, stick with Events and Adventures and leave the pepper spray at home.

Thursday 27 March 2014

Infant Anchors

A number of my closest friends became parents this year. It was the year of the baby and it was also the year I witnessed the disappearance of my social clique. 

I love babies - don't get me wrong - but there is something that happens to your friends when they become parents. Suddenly they forget they have a life outside of the child. Their wee one is their primary focus and their personal life fizzles out to nothing. They gain a bundle of joy and you lose a social companion.

This is totally understandable. Bringing up a child takes a massive amount of time and energy; socializing should be secondary. They are now responsible for a little human's life, so they put their own life on hold.

Without sounding too selfish, it kind of stings to lose your friends to parenthood. You are suddenly without a hiking partner, your weekly dinner date is forgotten and your relationship counselor takes a maternity leave. You are still the best of friends, but it's hard to secure quality time together.

This is the situation I found myself in about six months ago. I was overjoyed by the little ones that were popping up, but at the same time, my weekend activities became non-existent. I developed an undesired affinity with my couch.

So I took some initiative. I joined Events andAdventures and got out of the house. I signed up for an assortment of events and had some wicked times with a wide mix of Vancouver singles. I went tubing, attended a cooking class, had a night out at the theatre, went bowling, laughed my face off at two different comedy nights, worked on my golf swing and skated with some beautiful ladies at the Robson skating rink.

Now I am the envy of my friends. I still make time to hang out with them, but the E&A social club has given me an excuse to celebrate my freedom and create a whole new social network.

I know there will be diapers aplenty in my future, but for now, it's all about having fun with other active singles.

Top Ten Cities for Fun in North America

10. Boston
It may be home to the Bruins we love to hate, but it's also home to one of the most famous marathons in the world and one of biggest St. Patrick's Day Festivals outside of Ireland. It has a string of public parks known as the 'The Emerald Necklace' that encircles the inner city. The abundance of green mirrors the city's strong Irish roots and the colours of their NBA franchise, the Boston Celtics.

9. Nashville
The home of country music, well music in general, Nashville is teeming with live music venues. From the Blues, to alternative, to southern rock, Nashville is the scene. Period. The city also has a ton of outdoor activities available such as horseback riding and canoeing.

8. Miami
Miami is warm all year, has beaches a plenty and boasts a plethora of available water sports. At night, the strip is alive with singles looking to have fun. Their foam parties are legendary.

7. Chicago
Another city with a vibrant music scene, Chicago is the place to go for intimate music experiences.

6. Dallas
Everything is bigger in Texas! The Barcadia bar has a giant Jenga game made of 2x4's. Even their graffiti is done to size. Check out the massive murals at Deep Ellum. Dallas also has a wicked bike trail to rival Vancouver's seawall. The Katie trail is perfect for cruiser riding with friends.

5. San Francisco
Home of the beat movement, San Francisco ooOOoozes cool. Take a stroll through the Citylights Bookstore, a literary landmark in Fog City. Dolores Park is a great place to do some people watching. And trust us, San Fran has some colourful characters.

4. Seattle
Seattle is our Emerald neighbour to the south. The Experience Music Project is worth the drive alone. It's like a musical playground for adults. It's also a great city to catch a soccer game. They are absolutely fanatical about their Sounders.

3. Atlanta
Hot-Lanta has a crazy nightlife. Pack light. You won't need more than a t-shirt and shorts. The city is also known for it's (artificially) lush golf courses.

2. Manhattan
The city that never sleeps, New York has it all. Comedy, music, sights, museums, ethnic neighbourhoods and sports galore. You could eat at a different restaurant everyday for the rest of your life.

1. Vancouver
Home sweet home Vancouver is full of adventure - check out the E&A calendar. From hikes, to rafting, to beach volleyball, to zip lining, to paddleboarding, to night tubing, our city has wicked events year-round. This Friday the club is learning to pour at the Fine Art Bartending School. Time to mix it up!

You know what all these cities have in common? They all have Events and Adventures clubs. The E&A experience thrives in cities that prioritize fun events. The club organizes the time, they make the reservations and they supply the singles. And the coolest part, by being a member, you can attend any of their events in North America.

Seek out the fun. Join Events and Adventures and eliminate boredom from your vocabulary.