Another newbie question - Thanksgiving

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by MIHOSER, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    Do most Plebes come home for Thanksgiving? When are they usually able to leave the Yard? When do they have to be back?

    This time of year, I was usually stalking the travel sites to start looking for plane reservations for my older children, but I have no idea what time frame I will be looking at for my incoming Plebe.
     
  2. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Ours flew home Wed before Thanksgiving......the last flight out for us is early afternoon and they had classes Tuesday. Flew back on Sunday, but nervously. Earliest flight gets in 4 something. They had to be on the yard at 6. If you can fly easier (we are in west Texas) might be able to come out of BWI Tuesday evening. The times of their leave won't be announced until October. Be careful if buying tickets that you cannot refund/exchange.

    At Christmas he flew back a day early. A late flight, etc causing plebe to be late to the yard is more acceptable on a quick trip than a two week long leave like Christmas. He was taking no chances.
     
  3. lovethenavy

    lovethenavy Member

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    How long of a break do they get at Christmas? So, for Thanksgiving, they can leave the yard after their last class on the Tuesday before the holiday? Here is another question...how do most of the mids get to the airport? Do they share a taxi? Are there other alternatives?
     
  4. MJOmom

    MJOmom Member

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    Good luck with this ... the USNA does not let you know until quite late ... usually past the deal time. I, too, start booking way ahead. We live on the west coast ... our son was able to come home WEDNESDAY but had to go back on Saturday because there is just no way to get in on time flying on Sunday.

    Plebes have to plan to be back at least 4 hours before the deadline ... i.e. be scheduled to land at BWI by 2 p.m. ... it would be nice if they could leave on Tuesday ... but it is not after "last class" it is after last obligation ... which may or may not be a class ...

    the same with Christmas ... we booked my son for when he said he could leave, then they let him out three days earlier ... and luckily we were able to switch at no cost ... again, he went back a day early because of flight schedules.

    IF you schedule a flight that lands after 2 p.m. at BWI, and the plane is late, causing your plebe to arrive at the yard after 6 p.m. your plebe will get in serious trouble. If it is scheduled to land before 2 p.m. and is too late to arrive by 6 p.m. ... it is supposedly not a big deal.
     
  5. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Our plebe was able to come at Christmas a few days ahead of most, he got home the Friday before Christmas. Just the way the finals schedule played out for him. Most mids did not travel til late Monday or Tuesday this year. He went back a day early as well: January 8. THey cannot leave until after last military obligation, which could be watch, etc. If they have demerits, they may not get as much break as others.

    This is gonna sound weird......he was ready to go back. He likes it. Their life is so different, that being home is well, fun, but so weird...... He was ready to go back to the routine. A little more than two weeks was plenty at Christmas.

    They get to the airport various ways: sponsor family, buddy's sponsor family, super shuttle, firstie, etc. Mids are very resourceful. As a parent, it is time to sit back and help or intervene only if asked. I see some parents on here trying to book their kids shuttle, worrying about how it is all gonna come together etc. They will handle all this. I would only book the flight, with their guidance, which will come pretty late in the game as to when they can fly out. They will get to the airport. Believe me, they will not miss a chance to get home!
     
  6. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    I agree with JennyP. They will figure most of the travel stuff out on their own, and will be glad they did. When my enlisted son set up his first trip home, he was so proud that he did it completely on his own. He actually thanked us for not trying to intervene, saying that it allowed him to put some of his new skills into practice and increased his confidence level. It was harder for him because there were no hard and fast days set for leave on his base because there are so many different training commands there. It will be nice to have at least some idea of a schedule, even though I know we'll still have to be flexible.

    As for me, I'm just taking it one "event" at a time. Bring on I-Day, because I think I'm ready for that...but don't even talk to me about PPW yet (except we have gotten our rental car reserved). I'm going to need to have SOMETHING to do while I'm waiting!
     
  7. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    Thanksgiving leave? For PLEBES?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    Don't you know that Plebes are hung upside down by their toes or privates (depends upon their GPA at the time) from the upper deck in Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium during the Thanksgiving break? They are made to recite their rates, as a class, non-stop the entire time!



















    j/k :biggrin:

    You go home Wednesday and come back Sunday, just like everyone else. :smile:
     
  8. RascalFlatts5858

    RascalFlatts5858 Candidate

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    Thanksgiving definitely seems possible which is nice to know, but do most plebes take advantage of this, is it worth going? And what do plebes do during Thanksgiving if they don't go home?
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Most go home. Exceptions are AK and HI -- and maybe other west coast locations, where there isn't time, and some who can't afford it. If you don't go home, you can usually stay with your sponsors or friends/relatives. Or, you could go to a local hotel or . . . whatever. It's "leave," which means you can (more or less) go where you want provided you're back on time. If you choose not to do any of the above, you will have very generous liberty at USNA. However, w/most mids going away, staying at Mother B if you don't need to sucks. Just being honest.

    I should point out that a number of mids must stay -- voluntarily or involuntarily. These include certain varsity athletes, those unsat in academics, conduct, etc., and those who have to stand watch/duty.
     
  10. MJOmom

    MJOmom Member

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    Coming home for Thanksgiving was fantastic -- and needed -- for our plebe. We felt it was important to suck it up and pay the fare for the first year ... just to help him through. Maybe he would have been OK .. but we're glad we did it ... you just don't know ... and all the local parent advice we heard, said do it ... if you start looking now, semi-decent fares may be available ...
     
  11. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    You certainly want to look early.

    I had a classmate from Oregon. She spent at least one Thanksgiving with her sponsors rather than flying home.

    My Plebe Year roommate was from Korea. He didn't go home until Christmas, and I think that was only once per year for him.

    I was fortunate that at the time I lived in NYC. I could drive, take the Amtrak, or a flight out of National.

    My NAPS roommate just had to drive across the Severn River. He lived in Severna Park. :thumb:
     
  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    As a local sponsor, we have enjoyed many international and West Coast midshipmen at our Thanksgiving dinner table over the years. We ask them to get their favorite must-have recipes from home and ensure we include their versions in the menu as well as our family favorites. We have had much fun with foreign midshipmen who are shocked at the size of an American turkey, and they are very interested in the history of the Old World-New World stories behind the traditional dishes. Football, turkey sandwiches, family walks, pie for breakfast, naps while tucked up with dogs on the sofa - we do our best to fill the gap of not being at their own homes.

    Many West Coast or hard-to-get-to home state families take the opportunity to visit East Coast relatives and have their mid join them there for Thanksgiving. We have known several families who decided to do a family vacation in fun places such as Williamsburg, VA, or NYC and do the Macy's parade thing, Today show, a Broadway show and eat Thanksgiving dinner at one of the many great places in NY. Though it breaks a family pattern, it creates a special memory of its own. NYC is an easy AMTRAK ride from BWI, with active duty military rates available.
     
  13. peskemom

    peskemom Member

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    Our mid only made one Thanksgiving trip home...and it wasn't Plebe year. The logistics to get a flight to and from the East to West Coast and make your sunday report time for her Plebe year just made the trip not worth her personal stress level. It was her call, not ours. She had an amazing Sponsor family and relaxed with them over her first Thanksgiving as a Plebe. She waited until she knew her Christmas leave to schedule her time home.

    Another very important consideration: if you fly your mids back from the west coast arrange NONSTOP flights, especially in the wintertime. I can't tell you the numbers of families that scramble to make sure their mids are OK as they are stranded in numerous airports throughout the mid-west on their return flights to USNA due to winter storms....and then the mid's themselves trying to contact their Chain of Command to let them know they are delayed and not making Formation or Taps or whatever. We learned early on it just isn't worth that kind of headache for our family or our girl so we just booked non-stops for any return no matter what the cost was.
     
  14. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    We're also on the W Coast, and our Mid (now a 1/C) has always booked his flights BACK to the Academy very early, his flight home later once he found out class/exam schedule. If he can't get a nonstop, he flies through a city unlikely to get snowed in. Get refundable tickets because things do change.

    Calendars are @ http://www.usna.edu/AcDean/calendars/anchordates.pdf

    It's a long haul to CA for Thanksgiving, but after plebe year, our Mid was lucky enough to participate in a program called Op Info. That brought him home the Friday before Thanksgiving (!) so that he could do USNA presentations @ a few local high schools.
     
  15. MJOmom

    MJOmom Member

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    NorCal mom makes a great point ... we bring our son home through Las Vegas -- non stop from BWI in the winter. NEVER through Chicago, Salt Lake or Denver in the winter ...
     

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