I have been to Vegas dozens of times but this trip was the first with my son of legal age. We flew Northwest direct from Minneapolis on a package at $600.00 roundtrip for the both of us including car rental. Arrived at 3PM, picked up car and stopped at the store for liquor, pop, and bottled water. Checked in at the Hard Rock for Thursday night since we had tickets at will call for the Brian Setzer Orchestra at the Joint. Ate dinner at Mr. Lucky's. Service is good, food is fairly priced and adequate for burgers etc... Room was $69 per night located on the East side opposite of the pool. Fifth floor with view of the parking lot. Beds were very comfortable but the doors to the hallways are very heavy and every time some one closes a door you hear it. Neighbors were drunk and loud at 3AM so the walls appear pretty thin. Decor is neutral and clean. In-room safe is a plus. Setzer tickets were $57.00 each for standing room only. I knew to expect mostly songs from his Christmas CD with a mix of other tunes from past CD's. The concert was approximately 80 minutes long, the band was tight, very entertaining, and the Joint is a great venue. Drinks at the bar in the Joint were overpriced at $9 each and it gets a little smokey near the bar. I really like the Hard Rock Casino with the great mix of non-stop music playing. The rock 'n roll memorabilia is fascinating. I play video poker and the Hard Rock doesn't have much to offer. Little to no full pay schedules. We played until about 2 AM losing approximately $100 between us. Checked out Friday 10AM and got an early check in at Harrah's partially due to my Platinum level players card and also since it is slow at the hotels this time of year. Room on the 29th floor with a partial view of the Strip. All we could see was the Mirage Volcano but it beats parking lot views. Rooms here are on the small side but still acceptable. This particular room needs new mattresses. Hard to complain since we were staying 2 nights free as part of the Winterfest slot tournament. Drove out to Henderson to visit my folks, they had not seen my son in 5-6 years. Went to Sunset Station where I used some of my comp points to buy us all dinner at the buffet. Sunset has a very good buffet at reasonable prices. They also have a good video poker selection with good pay schedules but I limit my action since I never seem to do well there. Back to Harrahs and a walk down the Strip for my son to see some sights. Played a little $1 picke'em at NY/NY and triple play .25 VP on the progressive near the bathrooms. Down about $200 between us. Cabbed back to Harrahs to finish the night. Son went to the La Playa lounge to watch the attractive twin blonde girls do their piano act. I opted to try my luck at VP. Harrah's has little to offer in the way of full pay VP at the .25 and $1 denominations. I like Double Double Bonus even though it is quite volatile. You can get some nice pay outs when the quads are hitting. I headed for the High limit slot section. I play 1 credit at this level knowing the payouts are poorer than loading a $1 machine but it's a trade I am willing to make for full pay and a comfortable environment and great service. I alternate between 2-3 machines that have been good to me in the past. I concentrate on 1 particular machine that I have witnessed pay out a 5 coin $20,000 Royal Flush. I was down about $200 when Lady Luck smiled om me on this very machine at the 1 coin level for a $1,250 Royal Flush in diamonds. I was dealt three and drew the remainder. Tracked down my son, had a few cocktails while watching the twins and shut down about 3AM. Up early Saturday to eat breakfast at the little cafe next to the elevators, good food, good prices, and the typical Harrah's friendly staff. I registered for the slot tournament and lost $200 playing .25 VP until my son started his day at 2PM. Time to hit the slot tourney. I had selected the last 4 slot sessions starting at 4 PM. You must finish in 1st place out of 30 contestants in your session to advance to the final round where you compete for the $2,500.00 first place prize. My son had no luck in 3 tries but I placed 1st in my session. They also draw up to 10 wildcard entries for seats in the money round. I played this same format in April and won $300 on a wildcard for finnishing 9th place. I would do a little better this time with a 5th place finish and a total of $550. As a bonus my son and I got a picture of us with the 2 very attractive women who were hosting the event. Next was dinner at the Range where I had Filet and my son had chicken. The food here is very good but on the pricey side as you would expect of an upscale restaraunt. Great service and as my son noted more attractive hosts and waitresses. A nice feature here is the view of the Strip from your table. We headed Downtown after dinner to watch the Freemont Street Experience. Next was The Palms which has a younger crowd and long lines of scantily clad young women waiting in line on Saturday nights for the dance club and a great VP inventory. Played a little 100 play .01 VP just to show my son how fickle the game can be. Down $50 but found a hot .25 game which put us up approximately $200. Headed over to the Rio since I give most of my action to Harrah's/Rio to keep my playing level at Platinum. I gave them back $200. Continued the donation back at Harrah's before calling it a night about 1 AM. Checked out Sunday 9AM and had an uneventful flight back to Mpls. Ended the trip plus $650. and with a lot of good memories. I endorse the Hard Rock for music and atmosphere, I am never disappointed with the amount of bang for my buck at Harrah's or The Rio. Off to try my luck in Reno in February and back to LV probably in April and December of 2004. Oh yeah, my son wants to move to Vegas. Good Luck to all.