I sent my son Chris (22)out to Vegas on Friday to take a young adult leadership class weekend that I scheduled him for months ago to help build self esteem, responsibility and leadership skills. My plan was to fly out on Sunday to meet up with him for his graduation. Now, this is the farthest away my son has been on his own. He had $75 in his pocket to take a cab from McCaren airport to Ceasors to hang out for a few hours, get lunch, until it was time to take another cab to the office on Desert Inn Road to meet up with his group. The group would then be bussed 150 miles north to a remote ranch for the retreat class. Chris is usually a smart kid but did not use his head when he decided to play some video BJ at Ceasors and proceded to lose all his money including cab fare. He began to panic as he tried walking the distance and realized he was not going to make it on time. He calls me up at work in Ohio and proceeds to freak out on the phone that he won't make it before the bus leaves and what should he do? Now, it's raining and yes...snowing in Vegas this day and here's my kid, hoofing it on the streets of Las Vegas with his luggage in tow trying to make a five mile journey like his life depended upon it. He was so desperate that he even asked people on the street for money before calling me for help. Well, to make a long story short, we got the ranch people to cover cab fare once he got a ride to the office and I repaid them on Sunday when I came out. He definately had a life experience that won't soon be forgot. It was certainly a hot topic the rest of the trip and is even kinda funny now in retrospect. I flew into Vegas early Sunday morning. This was my 4th trip to Vegas...last was nearly 5 years ago. Nice flight. I even treated myself to an upgrade to first class. I rented a car for real cheap $160 for 7 days at US FOX. I drove the 150 miles up to the ranch and attended his graduation which was very nice then we headed back down to Vegas Sunday evening. We stayed at Sam's Town our first night. It was no problem getting around town with the car. Sam's Town was very nice and cheap...only $39! Nice big room, comfy beds and pillows. Quiet too. Nice casino. Not crowded. I would stay here again as long as I had a car. We ate dinner at the RIO seafood buffet. Pricey, but hey, its lobster and all you can eat! We spent the next two days down in Phoenix visiting family and talking about Chris's misadventure in the Las Vegas streets feeling like a homeless person. We drove back to Vegas on Wednesday. Rain finally ended and the mountains were lovely. Stopped at Hoover Dam for a nice visit. Did not take the tour, however. Back on the road to the strip and our hotel, Imperial Palace. Now, from reading past trip reports...I was very apprehensive about staying there but my package was nonnegotiable. But, all in all, our stay there for three nights was pretty decent. We did not get a strip view although I asked and for $20 I could have but the room was not ready and it was already getting late in the afternoon. No problems with the main elevators. Only waited seconds for the most part. The room was pretty standard. Beds, in my opinon, were too hard and uncomfortable for me the first night. I was so tired the next two nights I could of slept on concrete and would not have noticed. Room was quiet. Shower drained just fine. Did not have the water pressure I was used to but, hey, is this not a desert?? Toilet had a tendency to run if you did not jiggle the handle....just like home! We ate breakfast at the Palms...$4.95 with omelet and pancake station. Very good buffet at a more than reasonable price. Had dinner at Ellis Island. Got the $4.95 sirloin steak dinner. Not on the menu but advertised outside. Plus I had a 2-1 coupon! Excellent steak, baked potato, salad and yummy fresh garlic butter green beans. Ate at Terrible's buffet. In a word...TERRIBLE. Don't bother with this one. Ate at Harrah's buffet. Very good with $5 off coupon when you join the slot club. We also ate one dinner at 4 Queens. Had the $7.95 prime rib dinner. Not bad. Well worth the price as you would pay double back home for the same fare. Loved all the valet parking for free. Made it worth it to have the car. Took the monorail for a ride. Nice to get around when you don't want to drive. Saw Mac King at Harrahs...free show...funny and worth it to see. Saw Blue Man at Luxor...I am a huge fan and saw these guys in Chicago 3 times this past summer. Vegas Blue Man was awesome! Went the the Comedy Store downtown at the Plaza...yuk, yuk. Very small crowd, could have been better with more people in the audience. Loved the must see Fremont experience. As for the gambling...the dice gods were not with me. Up and down in BJ. Lost my ass in Let It Ride. Ended up losing around $600 or so. Chris did good and turned $75 into $400 then to $10 on our last day and somehow came home with $100. Took the red eye home saturday night. It was a great trip. I really enjoyed being with my son for the whole week. I will hardly get to see him now that he's living on his own, in school full time and working. I hope to do this again with my other son (16) when he is of legal age.











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