Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Unique LA Experiences For Father’s Day From Giftioni

Show Dad you care this Father’s Day with a one of a kind adventure experience that will sure to have him smiling. Let dad live out his dream with one of Giftioni‘s unique experiential gifts.


Cast a rod with dad and see what creatures you can catch. (Photo credit: giftioni.com)

Here is a list of their Top 5 Father’s Day Gifts based off of each of their categories:

  • Pleasure -­‐ Relax, feel comfort, and joy
  • Adventure -­‐ Explore the unexplored, try the unexpected
  • Mastery -­‐ Achieve, start a hobby, or learn something new
  • Prestige -­‐ Feel yourself VIP, a star, appear in the center of it all
  • Adrenaline -­‐ Join the thrill, feel the fear

1. Pleasure – For the Dad Who Wants to Relax

Half-Day Deep Sea Fishing for 2 (Newport Beach, CA) $49

The experience begins with anglers departing from Newport Beach on a vessel with state-of-the-art electronics, huge live bait system, spacious indoor/outdoor seating and full amenities including a full service snack bar and kitchen. While cruising on the smooth blue waves just off the coast of Catalina Island, fishers will enjoy stories from the captain and crew, while creating their own great fish tale. Fishers have the chance to chance to reel in yellowtail up to 40 pounds, white sea bass, halibut, barracuda, red snapper, tuna and many more. Anglers can keep the catch and have it cleaned for a nominal fee or simply catch and release after posing for an unforgettable photo. Fishermen of all experience levels can enjoy this experience.

Why He’ll Love It

  • Half day of sport fishing for two on state-of-the-art boat charter
  • Features trip to Catalina Island for optimal fishing
  • Fishers can keep fish for a tasty dinner
  • All materials and tools included

2.  Adventure – For the Dad Wanting to Explore the Unexplored

Private Flight Lesson (Santa Monica, CA) $149


Have your dad fly away in this thrill seeking ride. (Photo credit: giftioni.com)

It’s with a sense of trepidation and total excitement that this day begins, the one where you’ll finally take to the air in a private flight lesson. It starts with basic ground school, with you and your certified instructor going through the basics of flight and handling the plane, and then moves on to a safety inspection of the Cessna you’ll be flying. By now that first inkling of nervousness has worn off. The big headphones feel great to you, and the crackle of radio traffic is like a song. Cranking the engine and testing the flight controls, your instructor slowly guides the plane onto the ramp. The runway stretches before you, a long, grey pathway to the sky. Hand on the yoke and feet on the rudder pedals; you push the throttle to full. In the Cessna you can feel every bump and shutter, and in the moment the tires leave the ground you’re flush with the freedom of flight.

For an hour you climb and bank, adjust trim, manage airspeed and altitude, fiddle with compass and heading. The landing is smooth and thrilling, a worthwhile return to the ground. Most of the time it was you flying the plane—an aviator at heart now proved to be a natural in the air.

Why He’ll Love It

  • Receive private one-on-one instruction from a certified instructor pilot during ground school, safety inspection, take off, flying, and landing
  • It’s not a ride, you’re flying the Cessna yourself
  • Enjoy views of Los Angeles, the coast, and the San Fernando Valley

3.  Mastery – For the Dad Wanting to Master a Hobby

Golf Lessons with a PGA Pro (Malibu, CA) $215


Sharpen your dad’s golf skills with lessons with a pro. (Photo credit: giftioni.com)

The angle, twist and momentum that forms a perfect swing. The careful precision of a successful putt. Reading a course, the wind, the patterns of movement across fresh cut grass. This isn’t a carefree nine holes with your buddies. It’s an enthusiast’s in-depth lesson in the small elements that make the game of golf such a worthwhile challenge. In this private golfing lesson you’ll hit the links with PGA-certified golf pro Gene Hori at the exclusive Malibu Golf Club. You may not have played here before, but the prestige is clearly deserved. The verdant rolling course is perfectly manicured and the views from the Santa Monica Mountains remarkable. The setting makes you feel confident, and from the outset you know there’s going to be a big difference in your game. Gene Hori critiques your form, demonstrating minor adjustments in your footing, giving you advice on a better grip. You talk about strategy and go through all the decisions you’ll have to make along the way. You’ve never thought of golf this way, as a battle between you and the course. When you finally tee off it’s like you’re doing it right for the first time. Your swing simply works, absolutely everything clicks—and it’s just the first hole.

Why He’ll Love It

  • Private golfing lesson with a certified PGA Pro instructor who will customize the session to your desired areas of improvement
  • Ideal for those new to golf gifts, as well as those who are familiar with the game (you’ll get advanced, technical, and detailed instruction from one of the best)
  • Play at the exclusive Malibu Golf Club in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains

4.  Prestige – For the Dad Who Likes To Stand Out

Lamborghini Spyder Day Rental (All Los Angeles)  $1,675


Vroom Vroom! Let your dad race this Father’s Day. (Photo credit: giftioni.com)

She’s in a league of her own, this one. Glossy black with a seductive curving carbon fiber body. Top down exposing a supple matte ebony leather interior. Polished alloy wheels glinting sharply in the California sun. It takes courage to approach her, but you’re so glad you do as you slowly open the door, take your seat and turn the key in this superior supercar. It roars to life, the engine releasing a raucous V10 growl. That symphonic blast of sound is the only music you’ll need as you take over the road in your own Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. Precision, pure power, perfect handling, unbelievable performance, this pristine example of automotive art has everything you could have hoped for. It looks like a predator cat, ears flat, stalking its prey, and driving it has the same electric undercurrent of force and focus. Over these 24 hours, you become a part of it, soaking in the prestige of being seen in a Lamborghini, as well as the transformative experience of commanding this unmatched exotic Italian supercar.

Why He’ll Love It

  • Call a sexy, two-seat, convertible 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder your own for 24 hours
  • Experience the power of a 5.2-liter, 40-valve V10 engine that produces 550 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque
  • Take it slow, or take it really fast—the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder goes from zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds

5.  Adrenaline – For the Dad Who Likes Thrills

Race a Formula 1 Car  $595 


Sure to speed up your dad’s heart rate. Send him off in this racy adventure. (Photo credit: giftioni.com)

No windows, no doors and no backseat driver. It’s just you in a high-winged single-seater Formula One race car that only knows one way to run—fast. Yes, you’re at the wheel, but you’re hardly the boss, feeling that at any moment the carbon fiber and aluminum mesh speed demon you’re strapped to will eject you from the cockpit. But this inkling of danger makes the speed that much sweeter as you leave the sidelines and surge onto the racecourse. The high-pitched banshee scream of the revving engine pierces through your helmet and from the wheel you can feel the stuttering hitches as you shift up and down. Around the tight curves you don’t so much turn as forcefully shift trajectory. Despite the velocity you feel glued to the raceway. And you are. Those burly high-performance tires, hot now from friction, fiercely grip the course like claws gripping prey. Your knuckles are white and your arms are burning after 50 wild minutes as you reluctantly return, slow, stop, and unstrap. Exhausted and exhilarated, your need for serious speed has finally been met.

Why He’ll Love It

  • Take the wheel of a 160HP carbon fiber, open-wheel, 5-speed-sequential-shifting, high- performance, professional Formula One car
  • Your 25-minute open practice session follows a 25-minute lead/follow session (for 50 full minutes driving time)
  • Relive Your Formula One driving experience with a performance report (including average speed and lap times), and your own video camera footage

Giftioni, Always On Your Mind has a simple mission: “We are here to help people live out their lives. By saying “live” we mean making dreams come true. By saying “live”, we mean creating memories. By saying “live” we mean trying out unique experiences. We believe that material things come and go, while memories reside. Our memories are created when we experience emotion-­‐ feel happiness, excitement, fear, love or joy. Delivering emotion is what we strive for.”

Find more inspiring ideas for yourself or your Dad at Giftioni. Some of my other favorites are a private cooking class, a dinner party with a private chef, paragliding in the Malibu Beach mountains, horseback riding and wine tasting, a beach helicopter ride, paddle board lessons, private tennis lessons, and a 5-day Quadalupe shark diving experience. There is something sensational for everyone. I am excited to try the painting and wine class.

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