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Posts Tagged: "experience"

Canoe Camping Wilderness Adventure

There are places in the United States known as canoe country. It’s where water and wilderness combine for a canoe trip of a lifetime.

Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), or Boundary Waters for short, is one of those places. The area is a million acres of pristine wilderness containing more than 1,000 lakes that borders Canada, hence the name Boundary Waters.

I recently returned from a Girl Scouts travel camp where 11 of us drove north from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Ely, Minnesota for everyone’s first camping canoe experience. There were seven girls ages 12-17, and four adult volunteers.

Into the Wilderness

Separated into two groups with two guides each, we unplugged from civilization and headed out with only our canoes, paddles, camping gear, food, and a thirst for adventure.

For five days, we experienced breath-taking views of a wilderness paradise as we paddled across crystal-clear waters. I can’t believe I spotted more than 10 bald eagles on my trip!

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One-on-One Father/Son Time

Although my husband’s parents only live a few miles away, my husband doesn’t get much one-on-one time with his father.

fathers-day-gift-son-quality-timeThey meet up for quick lunches here and there, but they haven’t spent more than an hour, just the two of them together, in quite a while.

I wanted to remedy that with a thoughtful Father’s Day gift – father/son time!

I thought my husband and his dad would enjoy the experience of going to a professional baseball game together. It’s a perfect outing that combines sports entertainment and plenty of time to chat, drink beer, eat peanuts, etc.

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Indoor Go Kart Racing | Adrenaline Experience

If you’ve followed my blog for a little while, you probably know I like to give my nieces experience gifts.

indoor-go-kart-racing-experienceA few years ago, I took them on a limouisine ride to look at Christmas lights. This time when they visited during their spring break, I gave them a thrilling experience that got their adrenaline pumping – indoor go kart racing at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour!

Need for Speed

At Pole Position Raceway, as long as someone’s 48 inches tall they’re allowed to drive, so even my nine year old niece could do it.

My nephew joined my nieces and after receiving the proper safety training, it was go time! They put on their helmets, strapped into their go karts, and put the pedal to the metal!

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Behind the Scenes Experience With Zoo Animals

Recently, I realized that you haven’t truly experienced the zoo until you’ve experienced it behind the scenes.

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My family has a zoo membership so we go multiples times throughout the year. At this point, I felt like I had seen everything the zoo had to offer.

Out of all the animals, my favorite ones to see are the giraffes and my favorite thing to do is feed them. Every time I see them I think, “God sure has a wonderful imagination to have  come up with these animals!”

They are so beautiful and majestic, yet supremely awkward at the same time. And the built-in sunscreen on their tongues – genius design!

Behind the Scenes “Wild Encounter” at the Zoo

On my last visit to the Oklahoma City Zoo, I went with my Leadership Oklahoma City class to learn about the zoo and its planned expansion. As a bonus, they treated us to a behind the scenes “Wild Encounter” with elephants.

We entered the building where the elephants live, and we were given the rare and exciting opportunity to see them up close.

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The Gift of Time Away

We have so many responsibilities in our lives – working to pay the bills, raising kids, running a household, giving back to our community… The list goes on and on. And on.

When was the last time YOU had 24 hours or an entire weekend just to yourself?

When was the last time YOUR SPOUSE had 24 hours or an entire weekend to himself or herself?

thoughtful-gift-time-away

With all of the pressures and stress we face, we all need some “me time” or if you’re a parent you might call it “adult time.” What you or your partner may need is the Gift of Time Away.

The Gift of Time Away

For a thoughtful gift, give your partner one or more days for himself/herself with zero responsibilities. He/she won’t have to do any chores, run any errands, or watch any kids.

You’re essentially giving them the free time and freedom to do what makes them happy!

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Paint Your Own Pottery Experience

When I visit my sister’s family, I always like to give my three nieces the gift of a new experience.

paint-own-pottery-experience-gift

Now that my oldest niece is 16 and I have a four-year old son, I needed to come up with an experience that teenagers AND young children would enjoy. That’s a little tough, but I came up with the perfect idea! Adults will enjoy it too!

I took everyone to a paint your own pottery studio where each of us picked out an unfinished ceramic pottery to paint.

The studio had a TON of choices and to inspire customers it displayed examples of what the final painted products could look like.

Ceramic Pottery

I picked out a Christmas sweater platter, and my son picked out a dinosaur. My sister picked out a Christmas mug, while her 16-year old niece picked out a jar. My 13-year old niece picked out a turtle shaped container, and my nine-year old niece picked out a Hello Kitty figurine. See! Something for everyone!

The pottery studio provided all of the painting supplies, glazing and firing. All we needed to do was unleash our creativity!

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One Night Stay Destination | Experience Gift

My sister-in-law and her husband enjoy going out-of-town. With that in mind, I gave them a destination experience as a gift!

the-mayo-hotel-one-night-stay-destination-thoughtful-gift-idea

My husband and I gave David and Lesa a gift certificate for a one-night-stay at a historical hotel. Inside the envelope, I included a picture of the hotel’s breathtaking lobby.

When they opened their gift, they were completely surprised! They had never heard of The Mayo Hotel and were excited about their upcoming adventure.

The Mayo Hotel in Tulsa

The Mayo Hotel located in Tulsa, Oklahoma is a beautiful hotel that has been renovated to its previous historic grandeur.

Opened in 1925, The Mayo instantly became synonymous with high society. Famous guests included President John F. Kennedy, Bob Hope, Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, Lucille Ball, Charlie Chaplin and Elvis Presley. Continue Reading

Splurge on a Fancy Dinner | Culinary Experience

Have you every wanted to try an expensive restaurant but always talked yourself out of going there?

splurge-fancy-dinner-restaurant-gift

I’m guilty.

There is an expensive steak restaurant near where I live that I’ve always wanted to try. It’s so close to my house I drive by it almost every day.

The restaurant has a great reputation, and I’ve heard about the delicious food from lots of people I know. So why haven’t I gone there yet?

It’s not that I can’t afford it. I just always come up with different reasons not to. Let’s see…

I’d rather spend that money on something else I want. I feel guilty spending that much money on steak when I’m perfectly happy with the steak served at other less expensive restaurants. I end up deciding to try  another new restaurant in town that isn’t so expensive.

But guess what this lucky lady got for Christmas?! My thoughtful husband gave a gift card to the expensive steak restaurant in my Christmas stocking!

Since I would never splurge on going to that restaurant, he decided he would do it for me!

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7 Gifts to Give Children at Christmas

- - Birthday, Christmas, Kids

Have you ever heard of toy hangover? Kids may not recognize it, but parents sure will.

7-gifts-give-children-christmas-presentsToy hangover occurs the day after Christmas or a birthday when kids are walking around dazed and confused after consuming too many toys in a short period of time.

Instead of dazed and confused, parents feel stressed and overwhelmed.

Where is all this stuff going to go?

I came across a toy hangover cure I’m going to start this year. It’s an easy solution to how to shop for children at Christmas (or birthdays) so you end up with quality instead of quantity.

You are limited to seven gifts for each child. Don’t freak out on me. Having a limit is a good thing.

By having a a set limit, it forces you to think very carefully and thoughtfully about what those seven gifts will be.

These seven gifts are from the parent(s)/Santa. If you feel like you’re being Scrooge-ish, just remember your kids will receive additional gifts from family and friends.

There is a more important reason than preventing toy hangovers as to why I want to decrease the amount of Christmas gifts my kids receive. I don’t want the primary focus of Christmas to be gifts. Yes, gift giving is a fun holiday tradition but it’s not the reason for the season.

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Gift Card to New Store in Town

It’s fun to experience a new store in your town or city. The excitement and buzz of a grand opening is usually all over the media and the talk of the office.

trader-joes-gift-card-thoughtful-gift-ideaFor my birthday, my boss gave me a gift card to Trader Joe’s that recently opened its first store in Oklahoma City.

What a pleasant surprise! I’ve been to Trader Joe’s in other cities and have waited 26 years for it to open here because I love Trader Joe’s!

When we visit our friends in New Mexico, we always make a stop and purchase what we can haul back home in the car!

I like finding unique, interesting and delicious foods at reasonable prices and can’t wait to see if they still carry my favorite granola nut cereal, a Trader Joe’s specialty.

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