Choose Your Own Adventure with Cloud 9 Living

Here at Rave and Review we clearly like our stuff. It’s really great to find that item that just blows you away with how well it works, or with some simple but brilliant design feature. But truth be told, we really only consider all the gear around us as items that make our days easier so that we can get out and enjoy life. 

The whole reason we rave about certain strollers or baby carriers and so on is that they allow us to continue with our adventurous side, even as a family. They help us to have real experiences. Imagine my excitement then, when I first heard about, a company that is all about experiences.

We all know that one person who is impossible to buy for, the one that seems to always have the newest of everything. Imagine if you could nix the mall and all the specialty stores desperately trying to find them something and give them an experience instead. That is exactly what Cloud 9 Living offers.

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Cloud 9 Living offers up over 1,800 experiences across the nation that you can gift to anyone you choose. The experiences range from relaxing and laid back spa days to extreme adrenaline fueled adventures, which means there truly is something for everyone. 

Finding the perfect experience is a simple process as you can search by region to see what’s close by you, by types of activities if you are looking for something specific, or even by who the gift is for if you aren’t quite sure what to get. 

And, if you still can’t decide, you can even purchase a gift card and let them decide the level of excitement they can handle. I don’t know about you, but I think that just might be the best definition of “choose your own adventure” I can imagine.

Choose your own adventure
My wife and I had a good discussion going about the different tours we could take, or perhaps a glass blowing class we could do as a couple when I saw something that made my heart skip a beat. My wife saw it soon after and immediately stated that it was clearly the choice for us.

Unfortunately, the experience was only for one person. But in the spirit of gift giving, she insisted I go and it was settled. I was going to learn how to fly a helicopter.

Luckily for me, my wife knows how I’ve dreamed of flying a helicopter ever since I knew what they were. I always thought it would be too expensive or too much of a commitment as it would require years of schooling before someone would let me get behind the controls. But in the back of my mind, I had always hoped I would some day land in the cockpit and be given the controls, and Cloud 9 Living gave me that opportunity.

The purchasing process is like any other online purchase with simple boxes to fill out and that’s it. Then, a few days later, a gorgeous folder shows up in the mail telling the recipient of the adventure they have been gifted and instructions on how to redeem. 

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The recipient of the adventure pack then enters their code online and redeems it for their specific adventure. Even if the adventure has already been chosen by the gift-giver, I love that the recipient can also upgrade or change as they would like at this point. And, since not everyone is tech savvy, I appreciated that the process really couldn’t have been simpler. It really was as easy as checking a box and then choosing the date and time for my lesson, and then waiting for the confirmation email letting me know I was all set.

The day of my experience, I was incredibly nervous, but not about learning to fly a helicopter. With crazy winds and rain, I was worried the lesson would be cancelled and was sitting by my phone waiting for the dreaded call. The call finally came, but it was just to postpone the lesson by an hour – it was still on, just slightly delayed.

Luckily, as I arrived at the airport and the Seattle Helitours location, the weather had calmed down enough to where I knew we were going to be ok. I met with my instructor, Take, and he started right away with teaching me the various controls of the helicopter. I was surprised when he described how little movement of the stick was required, but also a little nervous since that means you need to be pretty precise.

Helicopter Lesson
We then made our way out to the helicopter, strapped in and took off. He hovered over the airstrip for a minute or so while I waved to my family below and then we were off. We started off heading south then did a hard 180 to turn back north. At this point, I’m already grinning from ear to ear and too excited for words when he tells me to take the controls. 

As I take over, the helicopter starts to shimmy and sway in decidedly unsmooth ways as I get a feel for how sensitive the controls really are, but within a few seconds I have it settled down and that’s it, I’m flying. I don’t think I could have been any happier than in that moment. 

Helicopter Lesson 1
From there he guided me across the lake towards Bellevue and then back over to a tour of Seattle landmarks. Seeing my city from the air like that would have been cool, but being the one flying the whole time was truly amazing, and something I will never forget. 

Having now been on the receiving end of a Cloud 9 Living experience, I can only say that I’m now more than ever a believer in experiences over standard gifts. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good necktie as much as the next guy, but I think piloting a helicopter might be a tad more memorable. 

Helicopter Lesson 2
If you would like to get a loved one an experience they will never forget, head over to and check out the broad range of adventures they offer nationwide. Whether they would like a guided food tour or to drive a real race car, there’s truly an experience for everyone. Or, in my case, many experiences I would love to try {*cough* birthday coming up *cough*}

How would you like to win an amazing experience from Cloud 9 Living? You can in the “9 Days of Christmas" contest that just launched November 1st.  Enter today to win one of the 9 experience giveaways to gift or to keep for yourself. 

The winners will be drawn December 16th – 24th and you could be one of the lucky ones that ends up speeding around a racetrack, dining on food and wine, or even booking my fighter pilot dream experience. 

9 days of Christmas
Be sure you like/follow Cloud 9 Living on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus
TylerA big thank you to Cloud 9 Living who provided the experience as well as the giveaway information.  As always, all opinions are 100% ours.

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