Tuesday, August 7, 2012

To Groupon or Not to Groupon…That is the Question

Okay, so I’m 99.9% sure I’m not going to “Groupon” again.  Or “Living Social.”  Or any of the myriad of other special internet offers out there these days that clutter up your in-boxes. Why, you ask?  Well, I haven’t had the best of luck with them.  And it’s not because I’m not reading the fine print, thank you very much. 

You’ll recall my blog last month where I described the excruciating three hours we spent on a “party boat” on the Potomac.  And the time before that when we paid for a special deal for two at a local winery that was supposed to include a tasting, two souvenir wine glasses, a cheese and chocolate tray and a $12 gift certificate we could use for a bottle of wine.  Turns out the tasting we got was with a bunch of other “tasters,” and the cheese and chocolate tray turned out to also be shared with all the other “tasters” who’d dropped in that day.  Not exactly what I envisioned for our $21. 

So, why did I think our latest “Living Social” adventure would be different?  Hope springs eternal, I guess.  The deal was a tubing trip out of Harpers Ferry, and it sounded delightful—white water tubing in the morning followed by lunch, two free T-shirts, and flat water tubing in the afternoon—and after all that, two cold beers.  Not a bad deal for $25 each, huh?  So…what could possibly go wrong?

Well, here’s something that never occurred to me.  You can pick the wrong inner tube.  You can pick one that’s way too big for you.  You can pick one in which your hands and can barely reach over and propel yourself through the water.  I learned this too late.

You see, we were instructed to head over to the opposite side of the riverbank to catch the current that would take us into the white water further downstream.  Problem was, I couldn’t get there.  I just floated in circles, making no progress whatsoever.  Did it occur to me what the problem was?  That I needed to go back to the riverbank to try and find a smaller inner tube?  No, it did not.  (Okay, so I’m not all that bright; I admit it.)  So, instead, I just floated around, going nowhere—and my dear sweet husband stayed with me, even though I’m sure he could’ve made his way to the current if he’d wanted to. 

Pretty soon Frank and I were the only ones in that part of the river; all the other tubers were long gone.  We had drifted downstream a bit, far enough that we were out of sight of the rafting company who’d dropped us off. Almost an hour had passed since we’d first stepped into the river, and slowly, but surely, our embarkation point was about to disappear.  That’s when Frank and I looked at each other and said, almost at the same time, “Let’s go back.” 

It would be humiliating, but that would be better than having to give up somewhere down the river where no one would pick us up.  So, somehow, we made our way back to the bank.  Honestly, I have no clue how I managed to do it.  All I knew was that I had to

I reached the bank downstream of our embarkation point, and decided to go for it instead of working my way back up.  I planted my feet down and…gross!  My swim-shoes sunk up past my ankles in oozing, slimy mud.  Even worse, I felt tentacle-like fingers of some river plant brushing against my legs.  Holy crap!  I couldn’t get out of that river fast enough.  Minutes later, Frank trudged up the riverbank and we got on the bus which had just discharged a whole load of excited, happy tubers, eager to get into the river.  I’d venture to say that each and every one of them made it down the river, too.  

Thus ended our exciting day on the Potomac River.   (After we got our lunch and our beers and our T-shirts.  Anyone want a T-shirt that says I Played in the Potomac?) Wait a minute! Could it be that it’s the Potomac River that’s the problem?   

So…now you understand why I’m not all that eager to take advantage of another  Groupon or Living Social deal.  But then…I remember that gorgeous red laptop tote I bought through Groupon a few weeks ago.  I love it! And I’ve had a couple of nice Mani Pedi deals which introduced me to a new nail salon in town where the manicurists are (shocker!!!) friendly and talkative.  So, I doubt if I’ve learned any lessons.  But next time I sign Frank up for one of our “adventures,” don’t be surprised if he divorces me.

Congratulations to Tina Harrison from Alberta, Canada, my July website winner.  Be sure and stop by my website, www.CaroleBellacera.com and enter this month’s contest for a copy of SPOTLIGHT, BORDER CROSSINGS, TANGO’S EDGE or LILY OF THE SPRINGS and a necklace set from Beautiful Evening Beads. 

Hope you’re enjoying this wonderful summer.  It’s going by way too fast for me!



1 comment:

Nancy said...

Thanks for braving these adventures and writing about them so eloquently. I will now enjoy the river from the shore, guilt free ;)