Guest Guru: Matt O’Rourke from

April 25, 2011    |    By +
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We Gift Gurus like to throw around the words “Experiential Gifts” when it comes to giving a unexpected gift, but we sometimes forget not everyone is hip to our gifting lingo. We have entire map that allows you to search for a cool “gift of experience” by your location or your recipient’s location. Cool, right? So what is a gift of experience and what makes it special? Well, we asked Matt O’Rourke of Cloud 9 Living to share with you what experiential gifts are all about and why your Mom will love one.

Unforgettable Mother’s Day Gifts

Mothers do a lot for their children. From Day 1 they’re busy changing diapers, shuttling the kids to and from soccer practices and band lessons, helping out with homework, teaching teens to drive, and so much more. Moms inspire, encourage, console, and shape us in to the people that we become. So why is it that we resort to a bouquet of flowers and an awkwardly worded card to show our appreciation every May?

True – it is the thought that counts. But how much thought is really behind that bouquet of flowers, that store-bought card? What if you could flip the script on Mom this year and give her a gift that will create one of those memories that she cherishes for the rest of her life?

Well, you can. It’s called an Experience Gift, and it gives her the chance to make a memory. These Experience Gifts give her (or the family) an opportunity to do something new and exciting, and are truly the kind of things that she would never buy for herself. This is the stuff that she’s always dreamed of doing but puts on hold so she can make it to the school play.

There are literally hundreds of these unforgettable experiences, these memories in the making, for you to pick from – things like a breathtaking Sunset Cruise of the Boston Harbor, a Walking Food Tour of Chicago, Chocolate Making Classes in Brooklyn, a Hot Air Balloon Flight over the Napa Valley, or even a Kayaking and Wine Tasting Excursion in Seattle.

And when she gets home and prints the picture of the family floating high above the rolling hills and vineyards of Napa in a hot air balloon, you can almost guarantee that it will get some prime real estate on the mantle.

This year give Mom the one thing she cherishes the most to express your gratitude – an unforgettable memory.

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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.