It’s weird what you do when you travel and what you would never do at home. I love water activies and embraced them in every town I travel to, but when looking for the same stuff to do in my own backyard, I get lazy.
Here comes Groupon[link]! In the past few weeks, lots of “activities” have shown up in my email, including a rafting trip (going next month), a moasic art class nearby (currently working on, will finish soon) and last weekend I went on a kayaking trip in Oxnard, in nearby Ventura county. In fact, if it wasn’t for Groupon I wouldn’t even know these places existed!
I called Channel Island Kayaks and made my reservation two weeks in advance and was processed in a quick and friendly manor. The Groupon was for the History and Wildlife Tour which the guy in the office promised I’d love. Kayaking, seeing the bay and learning something, sounds good to me!
It took slightly more then an hour to drive up on an early overcast, Saturday morning. I checked in and signed a waver and the intorduction started promptly at 10am. Me and 4 other couples who all went in tandum kayaks, but they luckily had singles, which was nice. Usually being by myself, I am “stuck” being with the guide and while it isn’t too bad, usually they want to “drive” the kayak which I like to do and have control over it. So having singles, that was nice! GJ was the guide and we had an aprentice guide with us, Jacquline. I liked having two guides, one to do more of the yaking and another to bring up the rear. We got into the plastic boats and paddled off. The company has a little half real/half fake example of some of the wildlife that lived and still lives in the area which was a nice introduction to what we would see.
We paddled into the harbor and the tide was pretty strong. It took a lot of work to paddle past all the boats in the harbor to get to a smaller canal were we looked at birds and lots of other sea animals such as tons of star fish and sea slugs. Paddling around the canals was very easy and fun before we went back out to the harbor and watch more birds, hear about the Channel Islands and paddle back but the winds had picked up a bit and essentially float back to the office as loads of sea lions swam around us, trying to fight with the birds for the fish.
We then had the option to paddle around the harbor for another hour and another couple on the tour asked for a recommendation on a path. We hadn’t paddled for the full two hours yet and the “travel me” likes to take full advantage of everything offered, so off I went, following the couple who asked, while everyone else went back.
Ohmigod, I WANTED TO DIE!!! I was paddling against the current for a while, which tired me out and then after making a wrong turn, the canal back to the office, while quiet and free of wind, just went on forever. At one point, I just wanted to tie up my boat and walk back, but I knew it would take longer for that then to just paddle so I continued on. I finally made it back, slightly over an hour after I left and I just collapsed on the pier. I was wet and tired and my hands were all blistered up. While I am always happy with myself when I finish something like this, I don’t know if I would do the whole thing again. The tour was really awesome and informative and fun and unfortunatly, maybe if I was with someone the extra time would have been better, but being by myself, paddling around kind of sucked. I am proud of myself for finishing it, but I wouldn’t do the extra part again.
Moral: I loved the person I was when I traveled and was overseas and while I brought some of that back, I need to get out there and do more things in Los Angeles. Thanks to services like Groupon, local tours that I would never even know about are brought to my attention and for a good price too. When I see these pop up I think, would the vacation me do this? If the answer is yes, then I buy.
*** Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of my trip as my one tech fear is dropping my camera and having it break so I didn’t bring it with me***