When a free night turns into not so free…

So I won two tickets to go see a jazz concert at the Newport Beach Hyatt on Friday night.

Free tickets? Count me in!

You could probably give me free tickets to watch nuns pray and I’d still go because it’s free. When you’re on a budget, you just don’t turn down free.

So Eric and I went, got semi dressed up (us going out on a Friday night past 8 p.m.? In the words of Joe Biden: “That’s a big fuckin’ deal”) and were on our way. We did have to stop at Circle K to grab some Red Bull because–true to our form–we were tired. But we were determined to act our age and enjoy a (free) night out.

We get to the hotel, about 2 miles from where we live, and parking costs $19. $19?!?! What are we, in L.A.? It’s not like we were at Staples Center watching the Lakers, or at the Honda Center watching Britney Spears, we were at the freakin’ Hyatt. And to add insult to injury, they only took cash. So there we were scrounging around our pockets, hoping to come up with $19, even having to use some quarters to pay the man off. *humph*

I wasn’t going to let it ruin our (free) night. As we headed to our seats, we realized we were probably the youngest people there by a good 20 years. Hmmm…once we finally sat down, it felt like we were playing Tea Party. The seats were little doll seats, I was practically sitting on top of Eric so I wouldn’t spill over onto the woman next to me. And I couldn’t see anything. As the music played, we finally realized this wasn’t a Jazz concert, like what Eric and I consider Jazz. It was more like smooth jazz, a la elevator music.

We were both kind of quiet. Me not wanting to admit defeat, Eric not wanting to ruin my perfect (free) date night. After about 45 minutes, I turned to him and said “let’s go get a drink.”

So up to the hotel bar we went. We grabbed some food, some drinks and called it a night.

Cost of 2 sugar-free Red Bulls: $5.50
Parking: $19
Drinks, food: $54
Total cost of ‘free’ date: $78.50*

*If the math is wrong, it’s because I did it in my head. I was an English major…

So the moral of this story…nothing is ever FREE. But make the most of it anyway…

Have you ever had a similar experience? Where you thought something was free and then it wasn’t?

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4 thoughts on “When a free night turns into not so free…

  1. August 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I think Teacher Girl is right that you’ll look back on this someday and laugh. “Someday” being the operative word!

    I would’ve been so pissed!

    And, how did I not know that you were an English major? Wonder if we had any of the same professors… xoxo

  2. July 31, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I think this is one of those nights that you’ll look back on years from now and say to Eric, “Remember when we paid like $80 for that free Jazz concert?” I think all you can do is laugh. 😉

  3. Amanda
    July 29, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I recently won a free dinner for two and a night’s stay at the Ritz Carlton, which happened to literally be two blocks from my apartment. But, hey, it was free and after months of giving up dining out, I was excited to go. Except the night ended up costing me over $100! Valet parking was the only option at the restaurant, a tip for the waitress (felt bad not leaving her something), overnight parking at the hotel, and get this… on the way from the restaurant to the hotel (they’re right next door to each other) my friend gets pulled over and has to do a sobriety test. She passes (thank GOD! we only had pairings at dinner) she decides that we have to go out to blow off steam. So then there were taxi cabs and drinks at a bar!! Nothing is ever free, you’re right!

  4. July 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    My 12 year old sister-in-law got 4 free tickets to the Nats game in DC. My husband and I took her and my younger brother-in-law. A metro ride, dinner and a few beers later we were out 100 bucks. I honestly thought we would enjoy a free game. Boy was I crazy!

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