Tomorrow marks Phase III of my Plan To See The World Via Crowd Savings Websites, which, now that I write it out, would make a great reality show. At 7 a.m., we're flying to Ocho Rios, Jamaica for five days, to one of those all-inclusive resort places that's like Sandals, minus Jan Levenson-Gould and Michael Scott.
Being that it's hurricane season and whatnot, Groupon was practically giving this one away, and who was I to shun? I know what you're thinking. "Steph, as a print journalist and independent fiction writer, you must be extraordinarily wealthy." Common misconception, I know.
This is the third time Jim and I have traveled using a Groupon or a similar device. The first time, I blindly booked a vacation home in Sonoma Valley from Living Social, going on faith, recklessness and general miser behavior alone. I didn't receive the physical address until the week before (I know, I know), and when I looked at the Google street view, there was a rusted chainlink fence and a car out front that looked like it had been on blocks since 1974. "Well," I said, "at least there will be wine."
It was actually fantastic, roomy, comfortable, with heated floor tiles in the bathroom that I thought were really cool (I am a simple creature). Even though it was February, known in wine country as "PLOW THE DEAD VINES" season, I was just like:
That wine in the picture was part of the Living Social vacation bundle, explaining the look of peace and true spiritual clarity on my face.
Earlier this year we went to Niagara Falls, a fulfillment of my childhood dream to get really, really close to a lethal water feature. But, being yet again the off-season, it was so cold they delayed opening the damn boat. THE BOAT! Imagine getting all the way there and NOT GETTING ON THE GODFORSAKEN BOAT. But as soon as the sun came out, we slipped on the Maid of the Mist, motto, "Our ponchos are made of fairy tears," and only suffered mild hypothermia. Worth!
So, anyway, I'm expecting big things from Jamaica! It's supposed to rain every day, but I suspect it'll just make for more delightful anecdotes, or at least the chance to use the phrase "Jamaica Mistake-a." Thanks, Groupon!
When I get back, it'll be all Obitchuary, all the time! My book release party is coming up, and then right after that is the Times Festival of Reading, Oct. 26, at USF St. Petersburg. I speak at 10 a.m. and sign books after. BE THERE!
And don't forget, Obitchuary is still 99 cents to download to your handy-dandy e-reader on all platforms! And the paperback is now available through Amazon, too, so everything is in one place. The book will make a great beach read when you're on your Groupon-cation holding onto your lawn chairs during Tropical Storm Bane, screaming at your husband, "THE INTERNET IS THE DARK ARTS."
See you in a week, friends!