“Go west young man!” – Horace Greeley

With the assumption that a) we’ll have internet access along the way; b) we’ll be able to upload pics; and c) we’ll have the gumption to write anything along the way, we’re at least setting out with the intention that Jordan and I will keep our friends & family (and stalkers) up-to-date on our “grad trip” to the West Coast.


When each of the kids graduates, I take them on a road trip to a location of their choice.  So, when Phoenix graduated, he and I went to the American West – starting in Reno, heading out to the coast, up to Seattle, out to Yellowstone and then back to Reno.  Jordan also wanted to go west, but not to Yellowstone, so we’re able to start further south (Las Vegas) and pick up a number of places that Phoenix & I didn’t see, along with many places we did visit.

Best Laid Plans

(In order to expedite our time, I’ve pre-populated our diary with sections for each day – “Best Laid Plans” – with the original planned activities & stops for the day.  It should be interesting to see a) how well I planned (or how gracious God was in allowing my plans to be sufficient); b) how poorly I thought things out; or c) what a sense of humor God has when men make plans.)

For Day 1 (June 9, 2010) the plan is pretty simple:

Day 1 Planned Travel RouteWe should fly from Indy to Las Vegas, via O’Hare (so yes, just asking for trouble), taking off at 3:15 and landing in the City that Never Sleeps around 5:30 (with a 2-hour time difference).  We’ve got reservations to stay at the Stratosphere, with thanks to United Airlines  for finding a room for us there at less than $30.  Before we head to the hotel, though, we’ll pick up the rental car and head to Walmart, where we’ll pick up a cooler and enough food for several days of camping.

Once we’re properly stocked, Jordan would like to jump off the top of the hotel.  If that doesn’t end the trip early, we’ll take a trip down the strip simply for the sake of the spectacle of the whole thing.  We might pick up a show or something, who knows.

What Actually Transpired

Things happened according to plan (for the most part) – all of the flights were on time, smooth, and uneventful.  The rental car came through (a small gold KIA Jordan has dubbed “Kianu” (think about it for a minute)).  After driving down the Las Vegas strip (the gaudy spectacle of it all) we got to the Stratosphere, where we found out the hotel was overbooked, so we were upgraded to a tower suite(!), which Jordan was exceedingly pleased with.

After getting settled in, we looked around the hotel for a bit, and then Jordan took his skyjump off the top of the hotel (see the video below):

Funny/Deep/Odd/Profound Observations

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.  Just ask OJ” – Our airport shuttle driver


Here’s a link to the day’s photo album and its slide show.

Ready to GoIMG_3918 IMG_3922 IMG_3924 IMG_3926 IMG_3927 IMG_3930 IMG_3932 IMG_3935 IMG_3937 IMG_3939 IMG_3938


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