Guest Post-Stephanie Bates, Military Travel

Jerry Isbell

I’m frequently asked to guest post on other marketing/travel sites around the world. Recently, Stephanie Bates of Military Travel Mama asked me for a quote.

Stephanie has a booming blog and I wanted to return the favor. Enjoy Stephanie’s post on strengthening your family with outdoor activities.

Family Vacation: Strengthen Your Family’s Relationship With These Outdoors Activities

Having your kids around during the day may seem like a heavy burden for some parents when their kids are little. However, it’s just those little things that you crave for after some time passes and your kids slowly begin to move away from you and to live their own everyday lives away from your eyes.  

Fostering family bonds even when you have grown teenagers is tough, but absolutely doable.

Being a mother of 2 teenagers myself, I speak from first-hand experience. I’m a full-blooded military mommy which is also worth noting. Being a military mommy meant that I had a pleasure of staying at home during the early childhood and being there for my kids.

Nowadays, I find myself having so much free time since my children have already grown enough to entertain themselves. And that’s fine. It’s just that sometimes I get a little bit too lonely and afraid that we will move away from each other too much.

That’s when planning a family vacation and all those sweet weekend family getaways come into play!

Benefits of Traveling Together

The most important part in strengthening your family ties is to create memories. When the time passes, all those photographs and things you did together is what will act as a safe haven to each one of you and you’ll always reminisce on those with a snigger on your face.  

Don’t miss those!

I know how my husband hates to be photographed. There is no way that I won’t be taking pictures of those moments when we visited places and spend a beautiful time together.

Make sure to always have a camera ready by your side and be the ‘’boring one’’ in the group that always takes photos in (in)appropriate situations.

Do Something Fun Together!

Thoroughly planning a trip was always a must in my family. And it can actually be a lot of fun, I tell you!

Interesting things won’t fall out of the blue. Choosing a destination for your trip and booking accommodation and transport is just the beginning.

If you know where your family will spend their vacation, make sure to research what attractions and fun things can be seen or done in the close vicinity.

Be considerate about what could be interesting to your kids and to you at the same time. For instance, if you are blessed with two imps that are extreme sports lovers at the same time, ziplining may sound like a good idea, no matter how dangerous it might sound to you.

Go for the Prize!

Being a family deeply rooted in military practices and routines, it’s hard for my boys not to get competitive when they have a chance to. Although it’s getting harder and harder for me and my husband to keep up with them, these types of family reunions are always an excellent chance for competitive sports like tennis, running, swimming…

My husband and I have this interesting hobby of ordering a military challenge coin for these occasions. Winner takes it all and he gets to win the coin which will always remind him of his victories while we were on vacation.

While it may sound a little nutty to some of you, it’s what works for my family. Bottom line is, everyone should find what clicks for their families and should stick to that.

Thanks to Stephanie Bates,

Hopefully Stephanie and family will visit the Broken Bow Lake/Beavers Bend State Park area soon!

2018-07-25T12:40:56+00:00July 24th, 2018|travel blogs|

Beavers Bend Valentine’s Cabin Special

Beavers Bend Valentine’s Day Cabin

Beavers Bend Valentine's Cabin Special

Chef Tabb Singleton

Reserve Mountain Vista on February 12-14 and enjoy an in-cabin meal prepared by Food Network Champion Chef, Tabb Singleton!

The extraordinary event will be for a maximum of four people on Valentine’s Day evening. I featured this amazing chef a couple of years ago and millions have read the story.

Dine In Style Surrounded By Nature

Tabb won “Chopped” and Deep Fried Masters television shows on the Food Network. You’ll be able to see Chef Tabb prepare dishes and learn a few tips. Watch one of his wins here!

Beavers Bend Valentine's Cabin Special

Tabb will contact you prior to arrival and discuss your meal and beverage wishes. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to dine with our famous friend!

Contact us at for details!

2020-07-04T13:21:30+00:00January 17th, 2018|travel blogs|

2018 Beavers Bend Cabin Special

2018 Beavers Bend Winter Cabin Special

Beavers Bend 2018 Winter Cabin Special

Receive a third night free during January and February at Mountain Vista luxury cabin in Broken Bow, OK.

Mountain Vista is a three-king bedroom cabin located in the upscale Southern Hills Addition.

How is Mountain Vista Different From Other Cabins?

  • No resort, insurance, cleaning or hot tub fees
  • Acres of seclusion
  • Free Firewood
  • Free s’mores kits
  • 50 mile views of the Ouachita Mountains
  • Free Starbucks Coffee
2018 Beavers Bend Cabin Special

Mountain Vista Sunset

Winter in Beavers Bend State Park offers great hiking opportunities. The David Boren Hiking Trail is very popular with Mountain Vista guests.

Download our Beavers Bend app for tourist information and special offers. Make your reservations for 2018 soon. Weekends and holidays will begin to fill quickly.

2018 Beavers Bend Cabin Special

Merry Christmas and we wish you a tremendous holiday season!

2018 Beavers Bend Cabin Special

Jerry, Sherri & Kula Isbell

2021-05-08T21:11:09+00:00December 13th, 2017|travel blogs|

Resort Fees Getting Rocked

I’ve done media about luxury vacation rental resort fee scams for years. My feedback has been 99.9% positive…except for those charging you these ridiculous insurance, cleaning, hot tub and incidental fees.

Scores are beginning to take note of the rip-offs, including NBC News.

Resort fees made their way from hotels to luxury vacation rentals a few years ago. These wallet wasters are prevalent in Beavers Bend. We never gouge guests with these charges at Mountain Vista.

Resort Fees Getting Rocked

Clouds Rolling In At Mountain Vista

The skies are turning grey for many charging resort fees to consumers. The public has become aware and are fighting back. @KillResortFees is a great follow on Twitter. They’ve been at the forefront of educating travelers for years.

Beavers Bend Fall Foliage Update

We’ve noticed a little change in the leaves on our Mountain Vista property, but nothing dramatic yet. Cooler temperatures over the next few weeks will result in beautiful foliage.

Weekdays are available at Mountain Vista in October and November. Remember to find out how close your cabin will be to other renters. Ask if you’ll be near a noisy bar or highway before booking a luxury Beavers Bend getaway.

Jerry Isbell,

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2022-10-24T13:51:04+00:00October 11th, 2017|travel blogs|

Broken Bow Cabin Rental Tips

I get tons of inquires from people wanting Broken Bow cabin rental tips. What are the most important things to consider before reserving a luxury cabin in Beavers Bend?

My Top 5 Broken Bow Cabin Rental Tips

  1. Make sure your cabin will be secluded. I’m not saying you need to be on a hundred acres with no one nearby.  You want to have peace and quiet when spending a lot of money on a vacation. Often, Broken Bow visitors don’t realize another cabin is nearby until they arrive. Surprise, the Beavers Bend cabin management company didn’t tell you about nearby neighbors on their website! Ask for perimeter pictures and videos of the property. There are scores of cabins being built close together now that the economy has picked up.
  2. Don’t Pay Add-On/Resort Fees. @KillResortFees is a great follow on Twitter. They’ve been featured here a few times. @KillResortFees does fantastic job of exposing tourist scams across the country. Resort fees, insurance fees, incidental fees, hot tub fees, cleaning fees…they’re prevalent punches to your pocketbook at a plethora of hotels and resorts. We never gouge our guests with this junk at Mountain Vista
  3. Stay Clear Of Honkey Tonks. So you’ve booked a great looking cabin online and you arrive to the sounds of this blaring through your cabin.

Make sure your cabin isn’t near a loud bar with outdoor tunes crankin’ until the wee hours of the morning. This happens frequently and unless you brought earplugs, it could be a sleepless night.

4. Know T’s & C’s. Read the terms and conditions carefully before booking a Beavers Bend luxury cabin. If you see penny-pinching things such as “We provide two trash bags. If you need a third, bring it,” punt them to the curb! We provide plenty of trash bags and all the essentials you’ll need at our Mountain Vista vacation home.

       5. Understand vacation and rental home differences. Sometimes management companies will own cabins with the sole purpose of renting them. They’re not true vacation homes. Corners will often be cut regarding amenities, location and proximity to a loud highway. These cabins are usually smaller and very close together. A vacation home will probably offer more upscale features such as free firewood, s’mores kits and non-generic supplies. Our guests at Mountain Vista don’t get cheap paper towels and toilet paper. We feature the Real McCoy’s. Free firewood and s’mores kits are given to every guest.

Broken Bow Cabin Rental Tips

There are many fantastic cabins in Beavers Bend State Park at every price range. Follow my Broken Bow cabin rental tips and hopefully you’ll have a wonderful visit to Southeastern Oklahoma…with no surprises.

There’s no funky music at Mountain Vista! Only acres of seclusion, amazing views and upscale amenities. Contact us at 405-535-8055 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions. Follow me on Twitter @BeaversBend.

Thunder Rolls At Mountain Vista

Howdy from high-atop the deck at Mountain Vista! It’s a stormy day in Beavers Bend and we love watching the weather roll in from our 50-mile western view.

June is filling up fast. We only have a handful of days still available. Book your Broken Bow luxury cabin dates soon for the summer months.

We’re installing a cool new horseshoe pit at Mountain Vista. As always, we’re not charging you a resort fee for this! 

Thunder Rolls At Mountain Vista

We’ll have more horseshoe pit pics posted soon. Along with our improved views, you’ll be gazing at about 50 miles from our deck on a clear day.

There are many great cabins in Beavers Bend. Scores are now owned by cabin management companies and they aren’t vacation homes…they’re rentals.

Mountain Vista is truly our vacation home. We spend many nights here and are fortunate to have a loyal group of guests visiting multiple times each year.

Get our Beavers Bend app for VIP offers. The app also includes my blog and an in-depth breakdown of area attractions near Broken Bow Lake.

Sherri and I hope you will visit Beavers Bend this spring or summer and connect with nature.

Thunder Rolls At Mountain Vista

Please, no wagering at the horseshoe pit!

2017-06-27T15:56:50+00:00April 29th, 2017|Texas Travel, travel blogs, travel promotions|

“Let It Ring Forever More…”

Ah…love this old tune from Electric Light Orchestra. It instantly came to mind after a call we received yesterday.

A nice lady had been calling numerous cabin companies searching for a quick getaway to Beavers Bend. She’d stumbled across our website among “many others.”  We were the first to call her back and others hadn’t for several days.

It’s difficult to return calls when you’re overseeing 30-80 luxury cabins. How’d you like to be the owner of an expensive property? You hire someone to market it and the company won’t simply “pick up that telephone.”

There are tons of wonderful companies to do business with in Beavers Bend State Park. But if they won’t return your call promptly…don’t let it bring you down!

Let it ring forever more

Call us at Mountain Vista luxury cabin near Broken Bow Lake. Unless we’re on an airplane, you’ll be surprised that we actually return calls and emails promptly.


2019-04-24T15:39:27+00:00March 29th, 2017|travel blogs|

Beavers Bend Cabin Rental Tips

A few Beavers Bend Cabin rental Tips as we head into the heavy tourist season…

Many times people only need a one-bedroom cabin when visiting Beavers Bend State Park. There are plusses and minuses to choosing a small cabin.

They’re cheaper. But usually smaller cabins in Broken Bow are located near many others. Tiny lots and scores of other tourists nearby may greet you upon arrival.

When researching luxury cabins in Beavers Bend, pay close attention to how the property is displayed online. Make sure you see a large portion of the cabin property so you’ll know the lay of the land before booking.

Some cabin companies are notorious for only showing a tight shot of the cabin online. When you arrive…it looks completely different. You’re often packed together like sardines. It’s a huge complaint many have when visiting Beavers Bend State Park.

I heard a funny story recently; two honeymooners booked a cabin and didn’t realize they were near a noisy bar with live music. They couldn’t sleep and stormed into the bar to complain.

They should’ve asked the cabin company why there was no mention of their rental being near loud outdoor music.

Our weekends are filling fast at Mountain Vista. Several 2017 holidays remain available, but not for long.

Mountain Vista sits on acres of seclusion in the upscale Southern Hills Addition. In the heart of the Kiamichi Mountains. There are lots of great cabins in the area, but few with a deck view like ours!

Beavers Bend cabin rental tips

Mountain Vista Features Amazing Sunset Views From The Deck

Remember my top tips when choosing a luxury vacation rental:

  • Make sure it’s reasonably secluded
  • Never pay resort fees
  • Never pay cleaning fees
  • Never pay firewood fees
  • Never pay hot tub fees
  • Never pay insurance fees
  • Never pay incidental fees

If you follow these tips it’ll make your visit to Beavers Bend State Park much more affordable. When you reserve with us at Mountain Vista, you’re dealing directly with the cabin owners. Not a large cabin management company juggling 30-80 cabins.

Beavers Bend Cabin Rental Tips

Sherri, “Kula” (the grand champion show dog) and I invite you to visit our vacation home soon.

Contact us at and we’ll help you plan an epic getaway to beautiful Broken Bow, OK.

2017-03-28T14:48:44+00:00March 28th, 2017|travel blogs|

Brown-O’Haver Visits Mountain Vista

Brown-O’Haver, a national public insurance adjusting company, hosted their corporate retreat at Mountain Vista recently.

Alice Young oversees their Oklahoma operations and describes her time relaxing at Mountain Vista.

The Brown-O’Haver staff traveled from Moore, OK and stopped in Antlers at the famous SpannMan’s BBQ restaurant. They later enjoyed dinner at Moon Tower Bar and Grill in Hochatown.

Brown-O'Haver visits Mountain Vista

We’re happy Alice and her team appreciated the serenity of Beavers Bend and our amenities at Mountain Vista.

Many don’t realize the value of a public insurance adjuster. We’ve had the pleasure of doing business with this great company and have always enjoyed their professionalism. They’re truly experts in the public adjusting industry.

Here’s how Brown-O’Haver can help you with an insurance issue.

 Brown O'Haver visits Mountain Vista

Thanks to Brown-O’Haver for choosing our vacation home for their corporate retreat! They should be your first call when dealing with a home or business insurance claim.

If you’d like to host a corporate retreat at Mountain Vista in Beavers Bend State Park contact us.

2019-03-13T13:11:44+00:00March 13th, 2017|travel blogs|

Beavers Bend Corporate Retreats

Beavers Bend corporate retreats

Beavers Bend State Park and Broken Bow Lake Corporate Retreats.

Beavers Bend corporate retreats have become increasingly popular in Broken Bow, OK.

Scores of luxury cabins and beautiful scenery will give a chance to refocus and recharge. We’ve had many corporate retreat visitors at Mountain Vista luxury cabin and can help plan your activities.

Peter Muir, President of Bizucate, is my long-time friend and a corporate training expert. He feels it’s imperative for organizations to get away from the office and learn in different environments.

“Ferris Bueller said it best, ‘Life moves pretty fast if you don’t stop and look around…once in awhile you could miss it.’ Taking time to turnoff your technology, the Internet, phone and even your brain from the usual tasks can enable creativity.”

Imagine zip lining through the Kiamichi Forest or racing across Broken Bow Lake in a bass boat with a tremendous fishing guide. Your employee retention and performance will be enhanced after training and team-building exercises.

Beavers Bend Corporate Retreats


I’ve been around hundreds of corporate trainers during my career…$20,000/hour, $20/hour presenters and everything in between. None hold a candle to Peter Muir.

I’ve been fortunate to spend time with him throughout the United States on numerous occasions. Muir has the global reputation of delivering the perfect educational trifecta during presentations. He’s a technology expert while also being creative and entertaining. A rare feat for corporate trainers.

“Get out! When is the last time you broke the cadence of what goes on in your organization so you can renew, rethink, regenerate and innovate? Three of the many benefits of a retreat are turning off, collaboration and renewal,” Muir said.

We can help plan your Beavers Bend corporate retreat and our app showcases the endless activities near Broken Bow, OK. If you need multiple cabins in conjunction with Mountain Vista, we can offer recommendations.

Located three-hours from Dallas, the Broken Bow, OK region draws two million annual visitors.

Beavers Bend Corporate Retreats

“An organizational retreat can be the opportunity we didn’t know we needed to power our next innovation.”  -Peter Muir

What will be your innovation in 2017? Break away from the same old routine, get creative, get out of the office and enhance your business.

A luxury cabin and Beavers Bend corporate retreat could be your catalyst to success in 2017.

Jerry Isbell, @BeaversBend

2019-07-05T17:10:57+00:00January 5th, 2017|Dallas Corporate Training, Dallas travel blogs, travel blogs|
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