Archives For Passion

Those who regularly follow my ramblings know that I don’t do a lot of product promotions. In over three years, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve posted about my experiences with companies via MaternalMedia: Fanatics, Great Wolf Lodge, and Freshly Organized come to mind. I only agree to blog promotional stuff when I think my followers will actually be interested in reading it…plain and simple.

**Upfront Disclaimer** I also tend to want to promote companies who not only fit this criteria, but can also help me escape my off-hours job of uncompensated shuttle service for my kids, get me out of the house to reunite with friends over wine and hors d’oeuvres in a peaceful place, and offer me a chance to win roundtrip airfare tickets.

Enter Travel Design Lounge (TDL) stage left!

TDL signage

Frequent travelers are likely already familiar with Travel and Transport, the 5th largest travel management company in the United States. Their company has launched a new venue in Omaha, Nebraska, centered around a fresh concept when it comes to traveling – allow the destination seeker a space to become inspired.

I was lucky to attend an event with other wonderful bloggers in my city to learn more about what TDL offers.

From people who already know where they want to go and what they want to do when it comes to vacation planning, to people who want to get a taste of and feel for sample destinations before making a decision, the friendly TDL trip advisors are there to help you along the way.

I guess I represent their “non-worldly demographic profile” (a category I just made up) because the farthest I’ve ever drifted is Jamaica. In terms of continental US destinations, I’ve seen a lot of places through corporate travel and sporting tournaments. Put it this way, when my dear friend Judy Daniell posed the question, “Have you ever thought about having a book club onsite and then working with readers to plan a destination trip to the city featured in the book?” I sort of wanted to retreat back to my inferiority cave of existence.

But, instead, I just kept drinking my nice sparkly glass of wine.

TDL wine

Guys, their storefront is beautiful. Located in the Shops of Legacy off of 168th and Center, it is pretty easy to find…even for non-Westies like myself.

This was my initial assessment of the place within 10 minutes of arriving and hearing the event hosts talk:

TDLtweet

I can envision my sporting family friends meeting together here to experience a night of food, drinks, and laughter while discussing destinations to hit up while on the road living vicariously through our offspring.

I can already hear the dads starting to groan, my husband leading the charge. To that initial reaction, I counter with the following…

TDL bar

A night of travel planning discussions with the ladies suddenly doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Within the TDL, there are several collaboration spaces where you can either talk one-on-one with a trip advisor or gather with your family and friends to share ideas. There are also in-store technology tools at your fingertips in case you want to research every step of your journey.

Here's a pic of Judy and I planning a trip to Milan. (Who am I kidding?! We're just goofing around.)

Here’s a pic of Judy and I planning a trip to Milan. (Who am I kidding?! We’re just goofing around.)

Whether you’re in or out of Nebraska, I encourage you to follow TDL on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share travel posts and updates from your neck of the woods.

And if you’re in or around Omaha, if for no other reason than this, you must stop by and get a picture of yourself in front of their snappy tagline #gettripsy sign.

TDL tripsy

Below is everything else you need to know. Now GO!

Travel Design Lounge
The Shops of Legacy
16950 Wright Plaza, Suite 151
Omaha, NE 68130
www.traveldesignlounge.com

Monday-Thursday: 9am-9pm
Friday-Saturday: 9am-10pm
Sunday: Closed

Written by Heidi Woodard

Advertisements

I inserted the word “Sunday” because it makes for a catchy title; however, make no mistake, adults are more than capable of embarrassing themselves and their children on any day of the week.

Been there. Done that.

 

No one needs to see mom get carried away. Slow your roll, mom.

No one needs to see mom get carried away. Slow your roll, mom.

 

I had written a post two Sundays ago giving advice to youth sports parents and coaches about the proper mentality and behavior that one should ideally possess and demonstrate in front of a group of kids. I wrote this reminder as much for me as I wrote it for others.

Since that post, I’ve started rounding up a team of people I respect to help me turn a dream into a reality. I wish I could reveal what exactly I’m planning to do, but it’s too premature at this point to give away any hints. For now, I am publicly going on record to say that I’m building something that is directly aimed at adults who want to support youth athletes the right way.

Until this very real idea of mine comes to fruition, I have a very facetious 10-Step Process for everyone who wants to show their “support” of youth athletes without getting arrested.

Here are the steps to follow to ensure your kid has a good time with their friends playing a game that they (hopefully) love:

Step 1: Offer words of encouragement
Before your drop off your kid at their respective sports field, track, gym, tennis court, pool, etc., turn to them and say “Good luck. Have fun. I can’t wait to watch you.”

Step 2: Let your child out of the car and say goodbye
Make sure your child has all of their necessary equipment, and then reassure them you will watch every move they make from a controlled, semi-isolated locale.

Step 3: Find your nearest sports bar, bowling alley, Best Buy, basically anywhere there’s a TV
Find a way to live remote your child’s game to wherever you are in a controlled, semi-isolated locale.

Step 4: Make sure no other parents from your child’s team or the opposing team your child’s team is playing are within earshot
Because, let’s be real, 80 percent of youth sports parents are completely incapable of shutting their mouth while the action unfolds.

Step 5: Have a pen and notepad in front of you
Anytime you find a reason to criticize your child’s team’s coach or fellow players, write down your thoughts. Be specific about how you would do things differently.

Step 6: Drop your notes into the suggestion box that is labeled “Let your voice be heard!”
Hint: Just like at the office, the suggestion box is used merely to make you feel like you’re heard. Don’t expect anyone to actually read your rants.

Step 7: Yell out as loudly as you can all of the things your son or daughter should be doing better
Really, don’t hold back. The louder you yell, the better they’ll do, because…remember…they can’t hear you as they’re are having fun with their friends in an entirely separate location while you are having a self-induced aneurysm.

Step 8: Stop, look around, and realize that no one is watching your celebration dances, listening to your cowbells, or impressed by your overwhelming desire to reprimand officials
Take the time to reevaluate your life’s goals.

Step 9: Try to gain some perspective about the age group you are watching
Use the moments you had previously spent making everything a little too much about you to think of ways to make everything a lot more about your child.

Step 10: Pick up your child and repeat Step 1
Turn to your child and say “I loved watching you. I hope you had fun.”

I can hear the naysayers now. “But, Heidi, what if my…errr…my child’s team loses?! I’m not going to sugar coat things and pat them on the back pretending like everything’s ok.”

In response to that very real concern, I would counter, “It IS ok. Life is one big game, is it not? Those who are most successful learn to win AND lose with dignity and composure. And, in the end, the most fulfilled never lose sight of the fact that every swing, stride, pass, catch, stroke, backhand, and shot we take is a real blessing. Nothing is guaranteed. It can all be taken away from us in a heartbeat.”

Again, I am writing this post as much for me as for others.

Written by Heidi Woodard

In my world, in my words

October 3, 2014

Are you a fan of what I have to offer in terms of content? Or perhaps the jury’s still out on whether I make you laugh…think…care…like I promised I would?

Hi.

Hi.

When I think of the bloggers and online personalities in general whom I like to follow, the thing that always stands out to me is how real they are. They know their niche and they don’t stray from it. When I see their posts arrive in my RSS feed, I know pretty much what to expect before linking into their world.

If you take the time out of your already time-pressed day to read my ramblings, I owe it to you to make every minute count. I hope you know I realize that.

For this reason, I’m asking you to vote on what topic(s) you enjoy reading the most about. Would you take a minute of your time so that I may better use your time?

My mind tends to move a mile a minute – about 50 percent of the time it’s on something really productive. The other 50 percent is dedicated to dreaming up big adventures.

Maternal Media is a productive adventure I began back in February 2012. Thank you for coming along for the ride.

Written by Heidi Woodard