I had a weekend of freeness once.
Mr. Athena and I decided to go to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Although we lived only 40 miles or so from the convention hall where it was being held, we decided to spend the night in downtown Denver so we didn’t have to drive home after drinking beer all afternoon.
I got on Priceline and keyed in “$50” and “5 star hotel”, not really expecting to get anything. But I was wrong! Our bid was accepted by a purdy darn nice hotel within walking distance of the beer festival - the kind of place that easily charges $250/night for a room.
We drove down, checked into the hotel, and headed to the beer festival. As it happens, the day we went was the day before the first day of the show. It was a special day, the day when all the awards were handed out and was primarily for the beer vendors themselves as opposed to the general public. The public could come, but instead of a $10 or so admission price it was more like $50. Still, it was the only day we could go, and you did get a few freebies and it was much less crowded than the other days, so we decided to suck it up.
Only, as we approached the convention center on foot, a harried-looking woman stopped us. “Are you going to the show?” she asked.
“Yes,” we replied.
“Do you have tickets?”
“No, we’re just going to buy them.”
“Here!” she shoves an envelope at us. “I have a few extras that I can’t use.”
Inside the envelope were 2 tickets. She was a vendor of some sort and had a few more tickets than she had customers/employees for. $100 worth of tickets… free.
Later that night, after the show, we wandered into a coffee shop and ordered two shots of espresso. We said something to the barrista about how we loved this shop, we thought it had the best coffee in downtown Denver. Next thing we knew, she said “These are on me.” So we got the espresso free, too.
Unfortunately, since then, everyone’s made me pay for things.