Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My First Concert (Reno, NV)

Until last week, I had never been to a live concert. Can you believe it?! Well...actually...I accidentally went to an outdoor Dixie Chicks concert in the late 90's when we went to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July in Phoenix, Arizona. But we were so far away from them that I could barely see the stage...so I don't count that one.  Don't get me wrong, I've heard plenty of live music in my time, but a concert is something different. Recently I determined that it was time. Time for me to have a new life experience. One that most adults had long ago.

Attending Concerts without Breaking the Budget! I need to read this one! Concerts are so expensive! www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com

But who to go see? I'm too old for boy bands and I'm not very tolerant of marijuana smoke or even tobacco smoke.  And then there's that pesky dollar bill....most concerts cost lots of them...and I'm limited with the number of them I can spend without a heavy layer of guilt.  Then I remembered a musician Quinn and I happened across when we spent a week in New York City, way back in 2002. Fourteen years ago we read in Frommer's travel book (Remember travel books...before the internet was a big deal?) about a basement bar in NYC that offered live music. So we went. Emm Gryner and Matt Nathanson performed, and it was so fun! We bought CD's (Remember those!? Wow, I'm feeling particularly old right now...) and have enjoyed listening to them over the years.  Yes. That's it. I'll find out if Matt Nathanson is touring this summer. Yes! And in Livermore. Awesome! Ah man....those ticket's are too expensive. Boo. But, wait! He's playing in Reno too. And the tickets are half the price of the ones in the Bay Area! Score! And guess who is co-headlining? Phillip Phillips. Yep...that's right, two concerts in one. 

With Grandma on board to watch the kids, I pulled the trigger on the tickets and Hotwire'd a hotel in Reno. And the best part was that I only had to wait a week! You guys, this is a big deal.  For some it's not, but for me it's huge! Not only was I going to my first concert, but I was going to have a night away with my husband without kids! 

Reno is a three hour drive through the mountains from Redding. It's a beautiful drive, but remember how I talked about my horrible motion sickness in THIS post? So for me, the driving is my least favorite part. But with no kids to turn around and take care of, I could take my non-drowsy motion sickness meds, stare out the window and be ok. 

The concert was SO worth the drive!! It was seriously the best date night we have had in a really long time. I can see why people are willing to pay so much money for concert tickets. There just isn't anything that can compare to live music.

Grand Sierra Resort (We are seriously bad selfie takers...don't judge.)

Part way to Reno, I realized I hadn't printed out our concert tickets. Grrr....the cell phone reception through the mountains is terrible, so I had a hard time figuring out whether or not I even needed to print them or if I could just show my receipt on my phone or what. This is so unlike me! I'm usually an over planner for things like this!  I was so thankful when we got to our hotel The Atlantis Casino, Resort & Spa because they have computers for their guests, ready for situations just like this!  I logged on to my Ticketmaster account and then printed it for free in the lobby. It worked out in the end, but geez Ticketmaster...we are living in the age of technology, I should have been able to show my phone with a bar code and be done with it. 

Atlantis Resort Hotel Rooms, www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com

But speaking of The Atlantis Resort & Casino, that's where we stayed the night. I would have preferred to stay at the Grand Sierra Resort because that's where the concert was, and we wouldn't have to drive back to our hotel, but I wasn't about to pay $200 for a room. Reno is an interesting place. The same room in the middle of the work week costs $55, but because it was a weekend with a concert at the resort, then room was quadruple the price! So Hotwire it is! (Someday soon I'll do a post on how to use Hotwire to get a great rate on a room.)  And we stayed at the Atlantis in a really nice room (we were even upgraded us at check in) for $85. The only thing I don't love about staying at a casino resort is that you have to walk through the smoking areas of the resort (which is just about everywhere) to get to our room. Our room however was non-smoking. And I was pleasantly surprised when the room didn't smell at all like smoke. I just assumed that the smell would permeate into the room, but thankfully it didn't. 

Atlantis Resort Hotel Room, Reno, Nevada www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com

The concert was over at midnight, and when we got back to our room, we were still hungry but tired. We didn't want to go down to a restaurant, so we ordered room service. Chocolate cake, ice cream and french fries. A splurge we don't normally go for, but it was a nice treat.

We didn't stay long in Reno. The next day we got up, ate breakfast, stopped at Nordstrom's Rack for a quick look at shoes and then home to our children.  

We will definitely be adding concerts in Reno to our regular rotation of date night/weekend getaways! Have you stayed in Reno or gone to a concert there? I'd love to hear about it!

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