Friday, November 26, 2010

My Start with Discount Adventure Deals

In the spring of 2010, a friend turned me on to Groupon and I've been having fun from Seattle, Washington to Washington D.C., well thereabouts including Canada, since then.   Here are my stories and ways you can get in on the fun too.  Life's too short to pay a lot to enjoy it. 
Orion River Expeditions
Wenatchee River rafting excursion

My first Groupon adventure was white water rafting. Though I'd been white water rafting before, it was nothing like this trip.  The Wenatchee river was tons of fun, still freezing, yet pleasant since it was a perfect 90 degree plus day.  The tour guides for our groups were so much fun and entertained us during the infrequent smooth/quiet periods.  What a great first experience with  Groupon.   

Western Prince Whale & Wildlife Tour
Friday Harbor, San Juan Is, WA 

For my birthday in May I treated myself to a whale watching cruise in the San Juan Islands.  Though we didn't see any whales we saw seals people don't normally get to see and an island covered with bald eagles.  I think it's so funny to see birds walking instead of flying.  


Deception Pass Jet-Boat Tour
Whidbey Island, WA

Turns out the summer of 2010 was the summer of cruises for me, 
 Queen of Seattle Paddle Wheel Cruise
Lake Union, Seattle, WA
mainly thanks to Groupon, including a Jet Boat Tour of Deception Pass and a Steam Boat Paddle Wheel cruise of Lake Union.  Gotta love late summer/early fall in Western WA.  You don't know what the weather, rain to be specific, is going to do.  However for both cruises, though it rained earlier in the day, even on the way to the boat, as you can see, we had gorgeous weather and blue skies for both.  However there's one that got away - Waterways Sunset Cruise. To this day I kick myself for missing that deal.  I was just finding and sharing so many great  deals I was getting overwhelmed.  That won't happen again.  As luck would have it Waterways offered a dinner cruise which I'll be doing in the spring/summer with a group of friends.  Gotta share these with your friends and bring them along. 
DC Harbor Cruises Twilight Cruise
Potomac River, Washington DC
Capitol River Cruises
Potomac River, Washington DC
When I found I was being sent to Washington D.C. for work, I signed up for deals over there.  One of the best deals I came across was for the Gaylord Resort - was cheaper than my room at the Marriott in DC.  Alas, I wanted to get out and explore the sites and would feel guilty not spending every waking moment in that sweet.  I found two cruises along the Potomac River.   One I took during the day.  The other was a sunset cruise which turned into a firework viewing cruise at National Harbor.  The captain treated us to a longer cruise so we could watch the show.  Great to experience a fireworks show in the nation's capital even after the 4th.  They had to pause the show every now and then since the fireworks exploded right in the flight path to National Airport.  Can you imagine being a passenger and seeing fireworks going off outside your plane window?? 

Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria, BC

After returning from DC I decided to sign up for other cities around Seattle in the Pacific Northwest:  Spokane/Couer D'Alene, Portland, Salem, Eugene, Boise, and Vancouver/Victoria B.C.  And it paid off.  Seattle was offering a deal on the Clipper then I found a special, a rare special I believe, for the famous Fairmont Empress Hotel.   So after a day of visiting the Butchart Gardens with friends I got to treat myself to a lovely pedicure, part of the deal, before retiring to my room.  The room, by the way, was upgraded from a standard to a deluxe - completely unexpected since the room was already half off - and off summer rates at that.
That encouraged me to sign up for deals in other cities along the west coast and a bit beyond (see below).  I'm always on the look out for hotel deals - a cool or fancy place to stay.  Basically just want an excuse to take a road trip on the motorcycle.
More to come!