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Please help me choose a gift for a friend

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I met an amazing woman online through the cluster headaches site, and we've become friends off-site via e-mail. She's a GP in Sydney. Her husband recently committed suicide - he didn't want the family to suffer anymore because of his pain and depression.

I've sent her an e-card every day since the funeral last Monday. She wrote this weekend that this was the hardest one yet - the first weekend, she and the boys (two children, 8 and 12) were still in denial. Last weekend was the funeral. This weekend, friends and family have gone back to normal life. She wrote that especially since the funeral the e-cards have really meant a lot to her. Gary and I want to do something more for her. We were thinking that since the weekends are the hardest, they ought to get out of the house and break "normal" patterns that make everyone miss Daniel so much.

They live in Sydney. I found this website: http://www.redballoondays.com.au/

We can either buy a gift certificate - where she can decide what package to purchase, or "upgrade" the gift we send to them to buy an adventure that's more expensive.

But we were thinking it would be better to purchase something specific. Since we have no idea what they're into - horseback riding, fishing, parasailing, etc., we were thinking of something rather generic - horseback riding, a jet boat ride in Sydney Harbor, or a whale watching trip on a catamaran - all pretty easily accessible from wherever they would live in Sydney.

What do you guys think? A whale watching trip? Horseback riding? A jet boat ride in Sydney Harbor? I've already e-mailed her to ask if her youngest is 130 cm or taller (required for the jet boat ride) - or parasailing? Or just a general gift certificate so they can decide? Gary really wanted to do the paintball experience - but the requirement is 16 years of age, so that's out. (If you want to search on your own for options, Sydney is in NSW - New South Whales, otherwise it defaults to All of Australia).

I'm leaning toward the two-hour horseback riding adventure. It's "less than one hour" from Sydney. http://www.redballoondays.com.au/experience/GWV491

Please help us figure out what the best option is!

Thanks,

Laurie
post #2 of 16
Laurie, I would personally suggest a certificate and let them choose their own activity. Some folks are afraid of horses, some of water - you get my drift.

There may even be other activities not listed on the website that they may be interested in.
post #3 of 16
I would opt for the horse-riding trip, it's a nice gentle way for them to spend time together...the experience from that they won't forget so easily

Good luck with your choice!
post #4 of 16
What a great friend you are.

I'd pick the whale-watching trip. There's something about seeing creatures like that... it brings awe and a type of peace. (Paintball is kind of jarring when you get hit and I wouldn't pick that.)
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Laurie, I would personally suggest a certificate and let them choose their own activity. Some folks are afraid of horses, some of water - you get my drift.

There may even be other activities not listed on the website that they may be interested in.
This was our worry. But not a worry anymore! I checked the FAQs, and any experience gift can be exchanged for another without a penalty if it's within the six months active period of the gift.

So... although it was a really hard choice between the whale watching and horseback riding (what it came down to for us too), we decided to send the gift of horseback riding. That can be a very gentle experience if either of the children aren't scared of the animals - and too many people experience sea sickness. But the clincher was that it can be exchanged for anything they want, so they aren't locked into that gift. The most important thing, we felt, was to give them something to get them out of the house and out of their routine.

Thanks for your help!

Laurie
post #6 of 16
Horse riding is a fantastic choice, Laurie and, as you say, the family can exchange it for another experience if they wish. What a lovely gesture for you to make, I'm sure the family will really appreciate the opportunity to do something gentle together out of their normal environment
post #7 of 16
That sounds nice! personally as i am afraid of horses id vote for the whale watching

Will have to look into that, we plan on going to Sydney next year, i didn't know you could watch the whales.
post #8 of 16
Oh my goodness whale watching would be amazing! Of course, in my area that's impossible, so that's what I would choose!
post #9 of 16
I would say Whale watching. Horseback riding would probably leave them verrry stiff and sore the next day, especially if it was a two hour ride!
post #10 of 16
Get a Gift Certificate and let them choose.
post #11 of 16
since you're really not sure exactly what they would like most, i would get the gift certificate, in the amount of the horseback adventure - make sure, too, that she knows if they would like a bigger/more expensive package, that you're willing [assuming you are, of course] to upgrade the gift certificate to a larger one.
there are kids who are afraid of horses, kids afraid of water, kids afraid of heights - unless you know, it's impossible to tell which package would be most appropriate.

ETA: should've read the whole thread before responding!
post #12 of 16
wow you are such a good person It's nice to be around people like you


post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
What a great friend you are.
We already knew it, but you've demonstrated it all over again during that family's crisis.

And sending them on an adventure is such a wonderful idea! It's just what people need at a time like this, to step outside their routines and have a new experience together. And I agree that letting them choose their own adventure is probably best. I imagine just looking at all the options and talking it over together will be good for them!
post #14 of 16
Laurie, they will love it, and I'm sure be so overwhelmed by your gesture
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
We already knew it, but you've demonstrated it all over again during that family's crisis.

And sending them on an adventure is such a wonderful idea! It's just what people need at a time like this, to step outside their routines and have a new experience together. And I agree that letting them choose their own adventure is probably best. I imagine just looking at all the options and talking it over together will be good for them!
Oh Carol, I so wish I'd though of that before we made the choice! But I did let Annette know they can choose an alternate adventure - I think I'll e-mail her to let her know that she and the boys should spend some time together deciding just what they want to do together.



Laurie
post #16 of 16
Oh gosh, I missed that you'd already picked one! I'm sorry! Ignore me! They'll love it, no doubt in the world!
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