My husband is a “car guy” and has always wanted to attend the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction event, which was being held in Las Vegas September 26-28. So with two free Marriott hotel nights and a Southwest Companion Pass in hand, I planned this trip for his birthday. This required changing one of our designated Companions from one of the kids to the other one of us. Since I already had some upcoming flights booked with my son as my Companion, I quickly and easily changed his Companion to me and booked the flight from BWI to Las Vegas.
Our flight was on time and we were at the Marriott by 3:00 pm on Friday. This hotel was a very pleasant surprise. It is located “off the strip” on a side street and you could easily walk over in less than 5 minutes if you were so inclined. We rented a car from Hertz for $14.99 day, and since parking is free and plentiful at all of the major hotels, we simply drove everywhere.
The rooms at the Marriott were very new and large. Our complimentary room included a bedroom, separate living room, sink/closet area, and separate bathroom with shower/tub and toilet. It was so nice to have the extra space. While this is more valuable when we travel with our kids, it is still nice that the first person awake in the morning could watch TV or read without disturbing the other.
My husband has Gold status with Marriott so the $12.99 daily Internet charge was waived, and breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant was included. The breakfast turned out to be one of the best breakfast benefits we have ever received from hotel status. We were able to order anything from the regular menu, or select the breakfast buffet, which was otherwise $20. We both selected the buffet, which included cooked-to-order eggs, and were told we could also order French toast or pancakes (otherwise a $4 add on). The buffet featured oatmeal with toppings, a large selection of fresh fruit, cereals, muffins, pastries, yogurt, bacon, sausage, hash browns, and many other items. Coffee and juice were also included. We had the breakfast both mornings and used the Internet both days, so our free room came with about $75 of additional value.
Parking at the Marriott was free, and the garage was right outside the doors from the elevator. Having stayed most recently at Mandalay Bay, where it was a minimum of 30 minutes from our room until we got through the massive hotel to the even more massive parking garage, we really appreciated the simplicity of this and it has made me reconsider where we will stay during future visits to Las Vegas.
Friday evening we headed to the Mirage. We had dinner at Stack, which was outstanding, and then saw comedian Daniel Tosh at the 10:00 show. Since we had awoken that morning on the East Coast, it was really 1:00 a.m. for us when the show started! I was amazed we made it!
Following a leisurely breakfast on Saturday morning (I love not setting an alarm clock!), we drove over to the Mandalay Bay, where the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction was being held. We were in the arena a few minutes before bidding began at 11:00, and stayed until about 1:00. We then headed out to get an up close look at the cars we had just seen on stage, including 3 different 1970’s era “Smokey and the Bandit” Trans Ams, which my husband strangely lusts after. There was a lot to see and do here, and I surprised myself by how much I actually enjoyed it. We went back inside to watch the auction for a while, and finally headed out around 6:30. The most noteworthy cars I saw auctioned off that day were the Suburban that was driven by Tony Soprano in The Sopranos (with the visor signed by the late James Gandolfini); an Aston Martin that was owned by Evel Knievel; and two cars that went for over $500,000 each.
We decided we were up for another show, so we stopped by a ½ price same-day ticket booth and picked up tickets for the 10:00 Cirque du Soleil Zumanity show at New York New York. We headed back to the Marriott to change, then grabbed dinner at Il Fornia at New York New York before the show.
I got a text from Southwest on Sunday morning letting me know our 12:40 flight was delayed until 2:15. We checked out of the hotel and headed over to The Venetian to check it out, since it is one of the few Vegas hotels we hadn’t ever been in. Soon it was time to head to the airport. Things got a little dicey when we forgot which level we parked on and spent about 15 minutes looking for the car, but soon enough we were on our way home.
I love vacationing with my kids, but I really love spending some time alone with my husband every once in a while. I feel like we are different people when we don’t constantly have little people vying for our attention. We are very fortunate that my in-laws were able to spend the weekend at our house so we could take this trip.
P.S. – This is the second time this year we were in Vegas and didn’t spend a a single dime gambling. It isn’t that we are against it, it just really isn’t our thing and there is so much else to see and do here, we never seem to get around to it!