Saturday, August 13, 2011


This week Jon and I headed to Vegas for 3 days because of a free hotel voucher we had. Neither of us would necessarily choose to visit that city (its a bit overrated) but we've been dying to see Cirque du Soleil's "O" so we figured this would be a perfect opportunity. Well...turns out it was sold out the whole time we were there. Big bummer. But, to make up for that disappointment, Jon had a HUGE surprise for me. When Candy was here in Des Moines several weeks ago, we had suggested the idea of her meeting us in Vegas (since our resort had a separate bedroom and a pull out couch in the living room) but Candy told me it wouldn't work out. Turns out she and Jon were in cahoots the whole time. Jon left me in the middle of a time-share presentation (more on that) because he had a surprise. I was thinking he had somehow found "O" tickets. But about 30 minutes later, he walked in with Candy! I was shocked. She was there for a little more than 24 hours and we all had so much fun. It was the best surprise Jon has ever pulled off.

At the Venetian:

The slick "statue" who was winking at us and rubbing our hands the whole time we were taking the picture! AH! Totally gave me the creeps. We couldn't stop laughing about it:

High rollers. We bet $1. I got suckered back in and lost my $3.50. Candy quit while she was ahead:

At Red Rocks, only about 40 minutes away. SO refreshing to get out of the city and hike around here:

Jon's been a huge fan of Pawn Stars so of course we had to stop by. It was pretty fun but none of the TV cast was there:

So back to the time share deal. I know I've mentioned on here that we always do a couple on our vacations because the free stuff they offer you is too good to pass up for us penny-pinchers. So we did 3 during our three days there. Yep, 3. And they were just as annoying as you might imagine. But Jon knows now to hold out for a good deal, so from those 3 time share presentations we ended up with 1 extra night in our hotel (we only had 2 free nights to begin with), a $200 voucher for an Allegiant flight, $100 cash, $100 in gaming chips (which we quickly lost at the Roulette table. You couldn't just cash them in), another free 2 night stay at a different hotel in Vegas and 2 free Blue Man Group tickets. Seriously...wouldn't you do that too?? :) Ok, I know some of you wouldn't sit through 6 hours of timeshare presentations for all that and more but Jon will do anything for a buck. Ok, I will too. And really, without spending a lot of money, there wasn't a whole lot to do. We also paid to go see Cirque du Soleil's "Mystere" while Candy was with us and it was worth every penny. I will never get sick of that show and it was so fun for Candy to be able to experience it for the first time. Jon and I saw Blue Man Group the following night and although I laughed a lot and definitely enjoyed it, it was a bit disappointing. But for free, it was awesome and I felt so lucky to see two shows in one week!

It was a pretty good trip but not exactly relaxing. But it was so great to spend time with Candy again and to have some time away from the kiddos. Can't complain about that!


  1. What a fun trip! I'd love the scoop on how you get into the timeshare presentations. I think you're right...the few hours is totally worth the freebies. That's why I mystery shop! :)

  2. I'm with did you find out about the timeshare presentations? I'm headed to Branson in a few weeks, and I'm guessing there's a ton of presentations down there! I think I've proven that I'll do anything for a buck ha!

  3. Nikki/Elizabeth-
    Basically Jon knows now to look for any little kiosk around town offering "discount tickets" or "cheap tours". That sort of thing. Then he literally just walks in and asks if they're offering timeshare presentations. Its funny- before they know you want to do one they usually skirt around the issue. So tell them you'd be willing to do one or two (the same place is usually connected with a few different resorts) and whatever they offer you at first, don't accept. They can usually give $100 cash plus some other tickets or bonus stuff. For one, the first offer was 2 Blue Man Group tickets for $40. Jon walked away with 2 free BMG tickets, $100 cash and a free 2 night stay at the resort!

  4. And yes, Nikki, there will be a TON in Branson, that's for sure!

  5. oooh! Thanks for the tips Have! I'm going to block a few hours for presentations! I love me some free stuff! So, don't accept what they offer at first? How do you get out of signing up for a timeshare? Do you have to sign up for anything in order to get the free stuff? I should have just sent you an e-mail Ha!

  6. Btw, both spouses have to go to presentation (no exceptions). Usually they give you a free breakfast buffet too. You have to present 1 major credit card but they don't charge anything. (Although I think some we've made a deposit when u sign up and they refund it at the end). You have to be firm about not buying the timeshare. Jon and I bought the first one we went to 8 yrs ago in naples, though :) but the more questions u ask and more interested u seem, the longer they'll keep u there. Some are VERY pushy. Most aren't that bad. And no, you don't have to sign up for anything to get your free stuff. You get it at the end regardless.

  7. Nikki...I would suggest watching the King of Queens episode "Slippery Slope". Lots of good info for timeshare presentations.


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