Parking on I-Day

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by futuremom, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. futuremom

    futuremom Member

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    I am concerned about parking and am wondering about hotels. We are considering either the Marriott or something like the Courtyard or Hampton Inn.
    Is there any advantage to getting a hotel (like the Marriott or Loewes) that's within walking distance on I-Day? Or is it just more of an advantage for Plebe Parents Weekend? I know there is a parking lot across from the Marriott that is usually easy to get a spot in.

    Thanks!
     
  2. osdad

    osdad Member

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    We stayed at Loews (along with many other nervous plebes-to-be and their equally nervous parents) and used the shuttle service to go back and forth. We found this very convenient. Never had to move our car from the lot behind the hotel. Even took a break during the day and returned to the hotel to get off our feet. Then packed up, drove onto the Yard for swearing in and that all too short visit before they marched back into Bancroft.

    Wow, seems like yesterday.
     
  3. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    We stayed at the Double Tree. Can't say I felt there were any benefits or drawbacks, but the Double Tree hotel has a USNA Parents Club, and it is free to sign up. As a member you get 15% discount of their lowest rates. http://www.usnaparentsclub.com

    I sure hope you guys get weather like we had! It was the most beautiful day on the Severn last July 1st. You are right, Osdad, it does seem like yesterday, but DS sure has grown up a lot in that "day"!:thumb:
     
  4. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    IMO, your hotel/parking choice is really based on what's best for your family group for I-day. Your only requirement is to get your Plebe to Alumni Hall in time for their report time.

    We did get a room within walking distance, but I was involved enough in the various activities that I never went back until the end of the day. Someone in our group did return to a hotel after our then-Plebe reported in, but it took so long to get through traffic that they missed seeing her move from Alumni to Bancroft.

    What's the likelihood that you will want or need access to your car or to your room during the day? If grandparents, small children, or others for whom a mid-day rest would be important will be attending, then you might find it valuable to have a room within easy walking distance. Otherwise, you can find a room at a more reasonable price, park at the stadium, ride in on the shuttle bus, and hang out on/near the Yard all day.

    We also had a room within walking distance during PPW. That was great, because we never had to worry about traffic jams, or our then-Plebe being able to get back to the Yard on time.
     
  5. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    I totally agree with the above posters. One bit of advice: you will likely do some shopping at the mid store. If you can, do this the day before I-Day, then you will not have bags to lug back to car or room. We stayed within walking distance and members of our group did return to room (house actually) to rest during middle of day. Husband and I stayed on yard all day.

    Another bit of advice about the shopping deal: if you want the t-shirts with the entire class's names printed on the back in small or medium sizes, get them ASAP. They always run out of those sizes.
     
  6. futuremom

    futuremom Member

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    Thanks

    We will most likely stay at the Marriott. DH and I went down for a weekend about a month ago and stayed there--and the walking distance was very reasonable. I was just considering the cost--but for I-Day it sounds like its worth it--from what you all have said.

    About the t-shirts--if we go the day before I-Day will we be able to get one? If not, does anyone know when they start stocking them? (we are in southern NJ, so driving down to get one is not out of the question) Thanks!
     
  7. summer1942

    summer1942 Member

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    For both Iday and PPW, we plan to stay at Marriott Courtyard on Riva Rd. What is the best way to get to the USNA and back during that time ?

    Thanks
     
  8. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    We had no problem getting plenty of 2014 T's the day before I-day. We were even able to pick up a couple more during PPW.

    JennyP is right...definitely try to do your shopping the day before. You won't want to carry those bags around all day on I-day, and there are so many other things to do. Also, you will probably remember something that you forgot or decide that you saw something the day before that you just HAVE to have. You will never tire of the Mid store, much to your husband's chagrin! :yllol:
     
  9. osdad

    osdad Member

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    By all means avoid DTA (West Street)

    We get on 50E over the Sevren, then off at exit #27. Take Hwy 450 to Gate 8 (if its open) or down King George Drive to Gate 3/1.

    Going back we take King George to 450 (left) to Taylor (left) to Rowe (right) to Hwy 50 E. Off at exit 23B.

    DD was most comfortable if we left plenty of time, so we planned to get back to the Yard about 1 1/2 hours before reporting time. No issues getting in. We found a quiet place to sit (the sea wall is nice) and talk then she could just wander in when she couldn't stand it any longer. We were sad that she wanted to go "so soon!" but were happy when we saw the lines of cars at the gate waiting to clear security - anxious plebes in the cars.
     
  10. tedsnyder63

    tedsnyder63 Member

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    Having never been there I was wondering if the O'Callaghan Hotel is considered within walking distance. Someone told me its about a mile...not sure if my better half considers that walking distance...
     
  11. FaithfulMom

    FaithfulMom Member

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    As others have said, it depends on your family. We are a family of 5 and chose to stay at the Residence Inn for both I-Day and PPW. This was a good fit for us because we had a 2 bedroom suite, including breakfast (2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a separate sitting room - with a sleeper coach - and a kitchen), for less than the cost of 2 hotel rooms. Plus, knowing we wanted to go for both I-Day and PPW, we really had to watch our budget.

    The Residence Inn is close to Riva Road, nearer the mall area (plenty of hotels to chose from in this area), but not within walking distance of USNA. We parked at the Navy-Marine Corps stadium and took the free shuttle to the yard - on I-Day and PPW (I think I recall that no-one can park on the yard at these times, except if you have a handicapped pass). This was very easy and extremely well organized, with numerous shuttles running. We took a small backpack with drinks and snacks (important to think of the siblings), so that we could be flexible with our time. DS had one of the latest check-in times on I-Day (9:15am) and we ended up just staying in and around the academy and had a very pleasant day. During PPW we didn't use the shuttle service in the evenings, but drove our Plebe back about an hour before his liberty ended. We found that the trick to avoid a large amount of traffic was to enter USNA through the back gate (gate 8) - the same one the shuttle goes through. Remember that everyone over 16? must have ID to enter the yard - we did see cars having to unload passengers before being allowed to enter.

    Re. t-shirts: We managed to get the white Class of 2014 (names listed on the back) medium t-shirt very easily from the Mid Store after his check-in. However, they were out of size small when we got there. Later in the day, we found that the USNA Visitors store (different from the Mid Store), had a different, gray Class of 2014 t-shirt (also with the names), for a couple of dollars more. As far as I remember, both these Class of 2014 shirts were only available from the day before I-Day, so probably not worth a special trip to Annapolis.

    However, don't panic if you aren't going for I-Day, because they had another different Class of 2014 gray shirt available at the Mid Store during PPW, with plenty of stock, even on the Monday. We bought one from each visit and my middle son compared the lists and noticed that a few names were missing from the one purchased during PPW (the "no-shows", or ones who had already dropped out, I guess).

    Re. hotels, many folks get really lucky using www.hotwire.com I have used them successfully myself. I just checked and they have a 4 star hotel (with a pool, so it is likely to be The Westin) available during I-Day time period for $77 per room per night! However, the one thing that seems to get people about most of the hotels in walking distance is that you pay extra for almost everything (parking, internet usage, refridgerator usage - when there is one in your room), there is no breakfast included, and at some places, no restaurant either. Just things to keep in mind when you are deciding what is important for your group.

    All the best!
     
  12. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    We consider the O'Callaghan easy walking distance. I stayed at the Westin PPW, by myself, husband couldn't come. Anyway, it is further "up" West St from the city dock than the O'C, like a half mile. I walked back and forth every day, and there were many plebe parents doing the same. I wondered how I'd feel about walking it late in the evening.....11 pm or so. There were plenty doing the same thing, so it was ok.

    The walk is interesting to us, old historical buildings, narrow streets, etc. Vastly different from west Texas. Loew's and Westin have shuttles also. I bet O'C does as well. We prefer parking the car and walking whenever possible in Annapolis. PPW the traffic between the motels on Riva Road and the yard can get pretty gnarly. At least for a country girl like me!

    I had a rental car PPW, wondered if son would want me to bring it to pick him up....figured he'd had his share of workouts......he laughed and said "A mile and a half, that's not worth getting the car out of the hotel parking for!"
     
  13. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    We bought our 2014 tee shirts at the Museum Store. My son had a 9:00 a.m. check-in. We were staying in a condo in Eastport, parked in the parking structure off Main Street (which is fairly expensive), and left the Yard after he checked in. We had spent a few hours on the Yard the day before and didn't feel the need to wander around while he was getting processed, plus he asked us not to hang around the Mid Store to watch him get off the bus.

    I would suggest that if you want seats in the grandstands for the swearing-in ceremony, get there at least 2 hours early. We were unable to see much of the ceremony, so we just went even farther back and waited by our letter on Stribling to meet up with our now-Plebe. We watched the ceremony later on YouTube.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  14. Goingtosea

    Goingtosea Member

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    Plebe Parent Support

    Future Mom, as a New Jersey parent you should take a look at the USNA NJ Parents website and Facebook pages. We offer a great deal of support and information to our in coming Plebe Family members. Stay tuned for details of the annual Welcome Aboard Picnic and I Day Eve/Day program.

    Congrats and we all look forward to "seeing" you on the Yard.
     
  15. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    Sorry to be a bit off topic, but the NJ USNA Parents Club does a great job of supporting Mids as well as their families. My Mid (Not from NJ) really appreciates tailgaters put on by the various Parents' Clubs of the region, including NJ, MD, and VA. Thanks!
     

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