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The Oaks at Ojai

I have always wondered what it would be like to go to a spa for an extended period of time so when The Oaks at Ojai invited me to spend a few days with them I jumped at the opportunity to do this as one of my 49 Before 50 First Time Experiences. I had envisioned a peaceful, quiet retreat where people walked around in robes and whispered to one another. This was certainly a relaxing escape. However I would call it more of an adult summer camp than a fancy spa. I participated in a variety of fitness classes, ate amazing meals, met some inspiring women and even found time to chill in the pool.

Free Falling

I think people enjoy theme park attractions that reflect their own individual personalities. Some, like me love roller coasters. I relate to the slow uphill climb,filled with a wild ride mixed with ups and downs, twists and curves that ultimately end up with a mellow ending. Others, like the predictability of a Ferris wheel or carousel that goes round and round. There are folks that stand back & watch and others that jump in with both feet. I am not one that walks around in anticipation of the bottom falling out so this 49 Before 50 Experience is out of the ordinary for me.

Six Flags,Magic Mountain just opened the world’s tallest free fall attraction called Lex Luther’s Drop Of Doom. This ultra intense ride climbs over 400 feet in the air and then drops to the ground at 85 mph. I thought I could handle it with no problem. After all, I have been skydiving and jumped from the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. I was really good with everything until I actually sat down and got strapped in. The car rose up, and up,and up and up. The worst part was sitting at the top knowing that the drop was going to come but knowing when. The fall was really crazy. Take a look!

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle boarding has become really popular recently. My husband has become a fan and so have quite a few of my friends. I thought Utah would be the perfect spot for me to give it a try and I was right! The water was smooth and calm, my instructors were patient and helpful and the scenery was peaceful and spectacular.

Whiskey

I learned a lot about Beer in Denver where there is more beer brewed than anywhere else in the US. I learned a lot about wine in Washington, where I was told they produce the second largest amount of wine in the States. So it is only natural that I learned about Whiskey in Utah ;)

High West Distillery is located in Park City. I spent the day going behind the scenes to learn how whiskey is made. The thing that really surprised me is that all whiskey is made from beer. There are so many variations on the ingredients added to the beer base that it produces all types of booze.

I got super sick off of whiskey in college so even smelling it is tough for me. However, this was a truly educational sacrifice I made for everyone ;)

Cowgirl Co-Op

I am not a really rustic girl. I get itchy around horses and dust makes me sneeze. So, I was a little tentative about tackling the Cowgirl Co-op as one of my 49 Before 50 experiences. However, now that I have visited, I am glad I popped the Cingular and spent the day getting to know these outstanding women.

The Cowgirl Co-op empowers women through hands on experiences. They are located in Spokane, Washington on a spectacular horse ranch complete that is a real working complex. They grow a lot of their own food, support local women artists and create an environment that encourages others to step from what they know as comfortable to discover how capable they are. You know I love that :)

Air Trike!

Through my challenge to have 49 new experiences before I turn 50, I have done a lot of exciting things in the air. I’ve been sky-diving, hang-gliding and hot air ballooning. I’ve jumped from bridges, hotels and ski ramps. But I have never done anything like this before, simply because I had never even heard of it until I visited them in Spokane.

Air Trikes are popular in Europe and just beginning to take off in the States. They are almost like a motorized glider. This was one of the most tranquil experiences I have had. Truly the closest thing to actually flying that I’ve done.

Fizzy Facial

I am always up for trying something new; especially when it is at a spa. When I was invited to experience a “new” kind of facial at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, I jumped at the opportunity. It’s called an “Effervescent Facial” and creates a “fizzy” sensation on your face that takes off dead layers of skin. Any spa treatment, anywhere, makes me happy, but doing one at this fancy, luxurious, beautiful hotel in Beverly Hills made me feel like a million bucks!!!

LIVE at Red Rock

I have watched a number of outstanding concerts from Red Rocks. It is a spectacular venue with beautiful scenery and according to the artists that perform there, the most amazing natural acoustics in the world. I enjoyed the iconic acts on TV but never actually saw a show there….until now! As part of my 49 Before 50 adventures, thanks to the folks at Visit Denver, I was able to see my first live concert at Red Rocks- and of all acts that I could experience; IT WAS A JOHN DENVER TRIBUTE SHOW!

Recap

The past month has been filled with some pretty incredible experiences. I have met interesting people, learned new skills, and had some intense adventures. This recap of the last eight 49 Before 50 installments features skydiving, hot air ballooning, driving a high performance race car and training at the Houston Texans Facility. I also had the opportunity to learn about ice carving, making salad dressing, caring for animals and shucking oysters. Every person I encountered had a wonderful passion for what they do and I am grateful to have spent time with all of them.