Posted by: Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle | May 24, 2011

Weekend Deal Adventures: Kayaking & Pizza


Our "Kayak Boss" Jim Flynn puts our kayaks in the water in...beautiful surroundings.

Everyone loves a good deal and this past weekend I made a full day of using some online deals I’d been saving up. The end result? A awesome day!

I finally got my kayak on this past weekend on the Little Manatee River in Ruskin, FL. I almost totally forgot that I had purchased this deal on a Living Social a couple of months back until Nick reminded me. Our kayak boss, Jim Flynn led us down to a somewhat questionable looking put-in location under a graffiti decorated bridge to water that barely went above my ankles. Jim gave us the breakdown on how we had to navigate the shallow areas (which turned out to be half of our journey) and then set us off down river to fend the 5.5 miles for ourselves.


I hadn’t been kayaking in over a year, but I slipped right back into it and was soon easily navigating the sandbars (most of them) and fallen trees pretty well. Nick had a cooler on the back of his kayak which resulted in him getting “beached” much more often than me, but it provided some great laughs for me.


And we're beached again. We had to completely get out of the water to get past this spot.

In the end it took us about 3.5 hours to make it down to the pick-up location and we saw a lot, including turtles, some small and medium-sized alligators, and a place they called “the Hippie House” (due to the extreme amount of lawn decor and VW car they ran up a tree and filled with large stuffed animals).


Turtle, turtle.


The Hippie House. Yes, I think that's a giant stuffed shark driving that car down/up a tree.

Even though it was hot as heck by the end of our trip, after seeing some sizable alligators we were oddly not that inclined to linger in the water too long!


Making our pizza...

After all that kayaking we felt it only fitting that we take advantage of the “earned calories” and use a Groupon deal I had gotten for Gourmet Pizza Company in Tampa. I was psyched for some food, any food, by the time we got to the unassuming pizza spot, which you can blink and drive by without seeing, so I quickly narrowed in on a Gorgonzola Portobello selection. I saw the other pizza creations that came out of the kitchen before ours did, but nothing prepared me for the amazingness that was put down in front of me.


Bliss on a plate at Gourmet Pizza Company.

Best. Pizza. EVER! I’ve had enough pizza in my life to feel confident in my statement that this was one of the best pies I’ve ever had, but I feel it is my duty to go back and try another kind in the future to make sure. Yes, I sacrifice. I might even try one of their vegan pizzas next time if I’m feeling really good (they had gluten-free options as well).

All in all, I got by with a full day of activities and we only paid for breakfast (Panera), a tip for our kayak boss Jim and a few bucks for the drinks and brownie (which I took home to make a yummy sundae with) we had with lunch. Not too shabby!

Do you use Groupon/Living Social/local deals or coupons? Which do you like more, the experience-types or the food-types?


  1. […] We both recounted our favorite and most awkward parts of the race (including my really-gots-to-pee moment as I was about to start the 5k run) all the way to get our reward – our favorite pizza in Tampa. […]

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