PPW- Thoughts, advice, etc.

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Dial the gate, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    While it's fresh in your minds, please share your wisdom!
    How was it?
    Where did you stay and would you stay there again?
    Things you wish you knew to make it better?
    Must haves or didn't needs?
    Etc, etc, etc

    Would be cool to hear from plebes or other MIDN who want to share their thoughts as well.

    Thanks!
     
  2. bandad

    bandad Member

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    We stayed at the CountryInn Suites. We liked the setup because it had a den/kitchen area with a separate bedroom. Had a jacuzzi and pool too. We thought our mid might want to close the door and crash but that really didn't happen. They had a shuttle but we didnt have to use it as we were able to park on the yard as we were in Grandma's car (with Grandma) which had a handicaped tag.

    We heard, and it was true for us, to be flexible and don't make too many plans. We made plans for Sat lunch (met unofficial sponsor and that was great) and Sat dinner (with another Plebe family) and that was almost too much. Fri was totally laid back, and besides church service on Sun morning, Sun was laid back too. We brought snacks and they had their pick (we had an extra Plebe) to bring things back and we also made a run to the store to but some tupperware type storage containers for them. We spent a little time in downtown Annapolis (near Mangia's on Main Street) and that was cool too. Took them to a movie and to the mall.

    We really had a great time but reality is begining to set in for mom and DS Plebe (I guess either I am a little slow or I am already there).

    bandad
     
  3. trainerj2855

    trainerj2855 New Member

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    PPW

    there were 8 of us so we rented a house within 15 mins of campus- it was less money then 3 hotel rooms and then we had place for all of us to relax and also to cook- home cooking was one of our plebe's requests! the house was great and we planned for traffic Friday night so we got him back to campus with about 15 mins to spare. He had to be back earlier on Sat evening and so traffic was very light then. We only did a few campus related things-saw Bancroft, met his detailers (very nice!), hit the mid store, and then attended church service on Sunday. The church service was one of the most memorable weekend events and our plebe was really glad we were there with him. Also helped both of us (his parents) confirm our belief that he is in the right place and we left feeling at peace-still praying daily and frequently- but much more relaxed compared to leaving after I day. It was a very good weekend.
    I loved seeing all of the plebes in their new white uniforms-all grown up and professional- it was awesome!
     
  4. futuremarinemom

    futuremarinemom Member

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    First of all, wear comfortable shoes! You'll be doing a lot of walking. I had read that the plebes can't wait to get off the yard, and that they want to sleep. Not ours! (Although he did enjoy a long, luxurious shower) He is perfectly at home there. We ate lunch in King Hall with him, saw his room and met the detailers, and then walked into town to get some Asian food, which he requested. Went to see a movie at the mall, took him for ice cream, went to church at the chapel, visited and relaxed. We rented a cottage nearby, but we probably would have been better off staying in a hotel in town. Since he didn't feel the need to get away, we didn't make use of the cottage as much as we had figured. It was great to see him looking so well and happy, and he had even gained a few pounds! (a reflection on my cooking, perhaps?:smile:) And again, wear comfortable shoes!
     
  5. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    We also rented a house and it worked out great. Much less expensive than a Hotel for seven (including high school roommates who came down on Amtrack) with parking and within walking distance of the Yard. They will sleep and shower for ever and then take their friends downtown and be a celebrity in their Dress Whites. It was nice to have a deck, kitchen for breakfast and a grill in the back yard for informal meals. As for the Chapel, try Easter for a great experience. Christmas must be outstanding but never got the chance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  6. sandnnw

    sandnnw Member

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    Ditto trainerj2855

    We also rented a house as our was just over the price of two nice hotel rooms. I'm so glad we did as our house was 2400+ sqft and had tons of couches/chairs, flat screens and 4BR for in-laws and little brothers to crash. Kitchen was huge, we only used it once. Yard was fully of toys, balls and basketball court - we spent hours playing.

    Our Plebe just wanted to get away, watch ESPN and maximize iPhone time with his pals from home (much to the irritation of my MIL?). He looked great and you could tell physically the PEP was helping him. We pretty much allowed him to call the shots and set the pace regarding what/where/when to do stuff. His take was he had plenty of time to "run all over Annapolis over the next four years," thus the couch was his only goal. I have a picture my wife took of him, me and brother all sacked out that I'll cherish forever. He actually told us over and over that he liked it, not love yet, but was getting into the routine.

    Annapolis has many great places to eat - don't feel like you have to restrict yourself to the dock area.

    Things to change? think hard about bringing the elderly parents. We were lucky, the weather was perfect and having a handicap tag is priceless. Otherwise, some folks might be a bit disappointed as you might spend more time "taking care" of elders vs your plebe. I realize this is a reality for many and may not be optional, but it remains a factor to consider.

    Car: if you don't have a large vehicle, spend the cash to rent a large SUV whether driving or flying. We had a suburban and felt sorry for many as some parents squeezed everyone in econo boxes. My son cracked up at watching plebes sit in the back of Fiats. Allow at least ONE HOUR to return at night.

    Weather: again, we were lucky - gorgeous. Plan accordingly! tennis shoes and very light sports shirts/shorts. Avoid sandals, think Disneyworld walking here. Bottled water and some folks even had handy/light camping chairs, bravo!

    Didn't need: half the crap we packed, must be a wife thing. Don't bring anything for the Plebe's room. They haven't moved yet and have little room from our tour. You can mail anything after they move and get their PO box. If they have a sponsor family - this is subject to change. Our family has many MIDs and offered to store his golf clubs. We'll bring those next trip, likely Labor day w/e (just mom & me)

    I offered multiple times for him to invite a plebe who did not have family present, never took me up on that one, told me everyone in his platoon had somewhere/one to go. I saw several on their own but I could not get him to approach them.

    Sunday service: a must.
     
  7. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    ONE HOUR is a good estimate. Have seen them dive out of cars stalled in traffic and run to Gate One to make it back before curfew. Traffic can be a nightmare when trying to get back after PPW.:thumb: Palm Sunday and Easter Service with the choir was fantastic. Sunday is definite must at the Chapel.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  8. 2013hopeful

    2013hopeful Member

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    PPW? Perhaps the greatest weekend in my life.

    We stayed in the Quality Inn at exit 29 on Highway 50. It is a nice, affordable place to stay. Nice people. Was able to get an extended checkout time from the hotel owner. We had plenty of room. Our DS never slept, watch TV, or any other activity; just chilled when we were at the hotel.

    We went to a couple of different malls towards Baltimore. We did not go to the one closest to the Academy. DS wanted to get away from everyone. Not because of any problems, just wanted a break.

    We did not plan anything. Let him decide when/where/how we went anywhere.

    We watched a movie. Ate. Ate. Ate again. Went shopping for an electric razor and a pair of nice sunglasses. He did not want a lot of stuff because he would have to move it to his AC room.

    The anticipation of seeing him walk from Bancroft Hall towards the parents was really high for everyone around us. Initially parents and family members were the most excited, but as the Plebes made their way down the sidewalk, they got more and more excited. A female Plebe ended up running the last 25-30 feet when she saw her parents; jumping into her dad's arms. As they hugged, the both cried with joy.

    I have to say, when I saw DS, I was taken aback. He looked terrific, even though he had lost 12 pounds he certainly did not need to lose. He had a huge grin on his face and was about to bust a gut wanting to tell us about all that went on over the summer.

    Each moment was a cherished moment.

    We took it easy (his typical nature). Got chances to just talk. Met his sponsors. Ate. Ate. Ate. There are a LOT of good eating places in and around Annapolis.

    How was PPW? The greatest weekend in my 55 years of living. Topped my graduation from USMC boot camp, wedding weekend, kid's graduations, and every other event in my life; save the births of our two children.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    ^^^^

    It's really neat to see things from a parent's perspective. I never thought to ask mine their feelings about PPW and now it's too late. The only thing I can tell you is that graduation is 100% better -- for all of you. I know my parents felt that was one of the -- if not the -- best days of their lives.

    As for losing weight, now that Ac Year is upon him, your DS will have much more opportunity to eat what he wants and, within reason, when he wants. Yes, meals are mandatory and there are rates during meals. But on Saturdays he can go to his sponsor, go out in town. He can eat at Drydock (in Dahlgren) on WEs, etc. And, assuming it's still there, eat at Steerage during the week (it's a snack bar in Mother B). Plus, you can send him all sorts of goodies. Finally, there's the MidStore with all sorts of unhealthy, high-calorie snacks!:shake:
     
  10. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    I love this thread! :wink:

    So so cool to hear everyone settling in and happy. What a relief to worried paents on IDay to go and have a great weekend!
     
  11. pleber16

    pleber16 USNA 2016

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    Steerage is there but Plebes can't use it.
     
  12. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Graduation is one million percent better than PPW (but PPW is one of the great experinces of USNA). As a former Sgt. pinning those butter bars on DD Marine Uniform was a moving experience. Meeting Ricky Dobbs and the pictures with him were neat.
     
  13. suddensam

    suddensam USNA BGO

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    I don't think that Plebes rate Steerage. I could be wrong, but I think Steerage is reserved for upperclassmen, youngster and above.
     
  14. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Things have obviously changed since my day. Oh well, still lots of food options for plebes.
     

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