Bucket List Trips in Your Own Backyard

05/28/2014 11:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Trying to plan something special for my mom is a real challenge. We're opposite in so many ways. I travel around the world for a living doing my Travel Therapy TV segments and there's nothing I love more than exploring exotic unique places but when I try and share this with my mom and give her a special trip she has said things in the past like, "I don't need to go to Hawaii, not on my bucket list. I'd rather go fishing." True story! And when she says fishing she means in Washington State, where she lives, across the country from where I live in New York City.

I ended up dragging her off to Hawaii anyway and she assured me she had a great time because a highlight she said was marking learning to surf off her bucket list. I remembered that trip this year when I wanted to do something special for her and take her someplace like Paris or Italy but have finally realized to give a true gift you have to give what the other person really wants, not what you think they should want. That's when it hit me. I knew something she would really love to do, a special Travel Therapy trip, only she wouldn't have to travel very far for this one it was right in her own backyard!

My mom, along with her longtime boyfriend Jon, are huge Seattle Mariners fans. Since the franchise started in 1977, they have watched the games on TV or listened to them on the radio for 37 years and can tell you about all the players, quote stats, you name it, but they have never been to an actual Mariner's game. One of the reasons, they live about 40 miles away from the stadium, Safeco Field, and Seattle traffic on a good day makes her nervous so on a game day, forget about it!

So an idea to give my mom and Jon a true Travel Therapy Bucket List experience started to form but to make it happen I knew I needed some serious help. First, I needed to hire a car service to get them to the game and back so they didn't have to worry about driving and after calling several places found Bayview Limousine in Seattle where General Manager Geoff Puett went out of his way to help me coordinate everything, knowing how nervous I was, since I was trying to orchestrate all this from Manhattan. Being Miss Organized I loved how Bayview emails you twenty-four hours in advance to confirm and the day of pickup to let you know your car is on its way, giving you the drivers name and cell phone, all those little extra touches to help cut down on any worry.

Since I've also never been to a Mariners game I had no idea about best places for my mom and Jon to sit, where to eat, all those details I needed to make their first experience special. For help I reached out to the director of public information for the Mariners, Rebecca Hale, and she not only got right back with me but she explained in details about all about the different seating and dining options at the stadium and helped me customize an experience that fit what they'd like and on game day went above and beyond to make sure my mom and Jon had a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.


I had them arrive early at the stadium so they could relax and have lunch before the afternoon game started and my mom said they had delicious meal at Hit it Here Cafᅢᄅ that has you perched right over the field. For my mom and Jon the clam chowder, a juicy hamburger and fish and chips were a bit hit.


When my mom got to her seat she called me, sounding as giddy as a kid at Christmas. "You wouldn't believe these seat, " she gushed. "We're on the second level, the first row, you can see everything and the seats are even padded! I gotta go, it's about to start, love you..." I'm still smiling thinking about that call even though at the time it brought tears to my eyes hearing her sound so happy.


While there's a lot of great seating options for a Mariners game and I love how affordable it is compared to other ballparks around the country my Mom and Jon did have some pretty spectacular seats. They were in the new Terrace Club seats on the exclusive 200 Level of the ballpark, sitting right between home plate and first base, where you can watch the game from your seats or go inside the Terrace Club Lounge where they have a full bar, plasma TVs, lots of food, you name it!

Apparently my mom and Jon are good luck charms for the Mariners because they beat the Los Angeles Angels by four runs and even though the forecast was for rain, the sun came out and my mom said the view from the stadium was breathtaking.

Their trip home went flawlessly. The Bayview Limousine driver was listening to the game on the radio so he was right there to pick them up when the game ended and whisked them away.


So while my mom's marking "See a Mariners Game", off her bucket list I'm challenging you to look at your own list. Are there some experiences in your backyard you've been wanting to do for yourself or someone else but keep saying, "some day." Don't wait. Make it happen. Do what it takes. Think outside the box. It's worth it and you deserve it.