Sunday, August 14, 2011

Red Sox in Seattle!

Yesterday was our 7th trip to SafeCo Field to watch the Red Sox play the Mariners.  Matt and I have gone almost every year starting waaaay back in 2003 (I still have the ticket stubs).

Matt enjoying his vodka tonics at the Red Sox Nation party.
We started out by going to the Showbox SoDo for a Red Sox Party hosted by Red Sox Nation.  Admission was pretty much free, but they suggested a donation to The Jimmy Fund at the door.  They were raffling off some Red Sox memorabilia so we bought a ticket and gave a donation too.  We were lucky enough to score seats at the bar because the place was packed with fans already!  It was a sea of red with some Bruins and Pats colors thrown in.  The music?  You guessed it:  All Boston area bands.  Seriously, I don't think I ever need to hear a song by the Mighty, Mighty, BossTones again.

We hung out sipping on our drinks watching more and more Boston spots fans spill in until 6 PM when the raffle started.  Unfortunately, we didn't win anything.  At that point we moved on to check out the fan stores and vendors down by the ball field.

After we did some window shopping we decided to go find our seats in left field.  Since we bought our tickets from the governor of Washington State's Red Sox Nation (yes, there is such a thing) we sat with 120 other Boston fans!  The ladies behind us were visiting from Somerville, Mass and we chatted them up for a bit.  I didn't get a picture, but the governor of Alberta, Canada rallied us Boston fans by running through the stands with a Red Sox Nation flag (still kicking myself for not getting a picture).  We were in a prime spot to catch a foul ball, but we didn't have that kind of luck.  One of the organizers from the party caught one from Ellsbury which really excited the crowd.
Where's Matt?

In the end, we lost to the Mariners 6-5 which was disappointing but we still had a lot of fun and I take heart that there were a lot more Sox fans than Mariners fans there that night.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Vega$ Money Saving Tip$!

A few people asked me to share with them some tips on how to save money on a trip to Vegas.  My husband and I have now traveled to there 5 times, including one very special trip to get married there (yes, it was planned) so we've had plenty of experience to learn from our mistakes.  Here are the best money saving tips I can give you.
  • Book a Package!  We've booked all of our flights and hotel stays as a package deal through either or  In my opinion, expedia is cheaper.  Do your homework though and price compare.  I always check to see if we'd be saving any more by booking them separately, but usually we don't. Keep in mind the time of year you travel there will affect the room rates as well.
  • Promotional Deals!  If you find a good deal that offers you complimentary show tickets or buffet passes act on it (assuming you are also saving money booking as a package).  On this last trip we just barely booked in time to get complimentary show tickets for a Cirque show.  When we got our tickets to see Criss Angel's "Believe" we found out that the going price was $100 a ticket!  We saved $200 this way and we got a really sweet deal on our hotel/plane tickets to boot.
  • Never hurts to ask!  My hubby searched different hotels' websites to see what kinds of deals they were offering after we booked our trip.  He found out a hotel other than ours was running an all you can drink deal so he used Twitter to ask our hotel if they had a similar deal.  They didn't but they said they could put us on the guest list for their nightclubs.  He also asked if we could get a strip view room.  They put a notation in our reservation for us about his request so upon checking in we were upgraded to a premium strip view room for FREE!  And we got a complimentary bottle of champagne because he told them it was our anniversary trip. 
  • Coupons... before you go!, and are all great sites to scour for Vegas deals.  You don't have to live there to buy one of their deals.  Always read the fine print.  For this Vegas trip we bought a Groupon for Cabo Wabo that saved us $15 off a $30 bill.  We also brought several certificates for breakfast, dinner and lunch.  Do yourself a favor and sign up for their emails to get the 80% off coupon codes.  I bought 5 vouchers for $9 using the codes and had we used them all we would have saved around $90.  The certificates don't expire, as far as I can tell, and if the restaurant stops participating in the program before you use the voucher the company will issue you a credit.  Needless to say a little preparation before the trip can save you a lot of money.  
  • Coupons... while you are there!  Many bars will have people out on the street handing out 2 for 1 deals ("Twofahs" as I like to call them) for drinks.  TAKE THEM.  From our experience they are legit.  You'll even find some on the ground as you are walking The Strip.  I think most places have even taken to just throwing coupons on the ground because you can pretty much follow a trail of them down The Strip on the sidewalk.  Just watch out for all of the hooker cards too.
  • Nightclubs!  Most nightclubs start handing out wristbands for reduced admission or free drinks during the day.  We were offered one by our waiter at Cabo Wabo on our first day there.  You'll get better deals at the beginning of the week because they are trying to get people in on notoriously slower days.  If someone asks, go ahead and put your name down on the guest list.  There is no obligation to go, but if you do you'll get a good deal or at least save some money.  Drinks are pricey at nightclubs, think $13 for a screwdriver, so it can get a little crazy if they offer a "Ladies drink free from 10PM to midnight" deal.  I'm going to warn you that you'll be lucky if you get two drinks during that time period and you might even get an elbow to the eye from all the ladies scrambling to the front of the bar before the clock strikes midnight.  
  • Drink in your room!  Matt and I have learned from past experiences that it is better to buy a bottle of your favorite alcohol on the first day of your trip to keep in the room to mix drinks before you head out.  We went to the ABC store at The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood and spent $15 on a bottle of Skky Vodka which is a pretty standard price here in Washington State.  We've also found that the convience store at the Excalibur also has good liquor prices if you are staying down at that side of The Strip.  
  • Deals on Show Tickets!  I scoured the Internet and found a BOGO (Buy One, Get One) deal for show tickets through Ticketmaster.  We used these to see Holly Madison in "Peepshow."  We got 3rd row aisle seats for a little over $100 total.  The seats were awesome and we enjoyed the show.  We also noticed long lines for Tix 4 Tonight booths while we were there, but I have no idea if they had good deals or not.  
I think that about sums it up!  We saved a pretty good deal of money and were able to have an awesome trip by following these tips.  Like I said, we've been to Vegas 5 times and we do something new every time which I attribute to us being smart about saving money.  Still haven't skydived or flown in a helicopter over The Strip at night but we'll save that for next time.