Questions from a overplanning mom!

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by NV_USMA_Mom, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. NV_USMA_Mom

    NV_USMA_Mom Member

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    Our son received his LOA a few weeks ago. Over the past couple of weeks he received letters from 2 of our members of congress congratulating him on receiving their nominations to the USMA.

    With all of the pieces in place, his anxious/tends to overplan/very loving mom is wondering if there is a way to learn about hotels in the area for dad to stay at for the overnight visit and for our family on A-day.

    Any advice you can share in my many areas of need will be appreciated!:redface:
     
  2. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    My son has LOA, waiting for nomination. We've booked a refundable room at the Thayer on post for A-Day, and at the Mariott near Stewart Airport for I-Day [highly recommend Stewart or Westchester rather than LaGuardia or Kennedy]
     
  3. Tru3Flight91

    Tru3Flight91 Member

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    If you can get a flight into Stewart that would be Ideal, from there all you need to do is hop on 9W and ride it over the mountain, as far as hotels are concerned all i can say is book early. If you do there shouldn't be any major problems. There's a couple of locally owned motels in Highland Falls. The Thayer Hotel is a little pricey in my opinion but if you can afford it its ideal as well.
     
  4. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    We booked hotels very early for R day and A day. We went for the low budget stuff, as we wanted to be very close to WP. So...we stayed at the Econo Lodge. Absolutely NO frills. However, the rooms were clean and it was close (about 1 mile from the gate). Thayer was way more than we were willing to spend. Central Valley has some nice hotels (Hampton Inn). It's about 7 miles. Most trips we've flown into Stewart, so Newburgh is an option..and the hotels are very reasonable. However, most people cannot get a decent price into Stewart. Many people like the hotels in Nanuet because they are close to restaurants and shopping.
     
  5. laxfan

    laxfan USMA 2015 Appointee

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    Stewart is often pricey and hard to find flights to. Most people here fly into and out of Newark NJ, or Albany. As for lodging, Thayer is by far the nicest and most conviently located, however it is pricey. Active duty and reserve military might be able to get a room at the Five Starr Inn.

    I live on WP so I can anwser any questions about local lodging, dining, shoping, ect.
     
  6. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    Cadet restrictions at Thayer?

    Great! I'd love the point of view of someone there, or the current cadets.

    We've booked the Thayer (refundable) for A-Day and may do the same for PPW. My hesitation: when there a while ago with some old graduates, they said that they had never before been above the first floor, as cadets were not allowed.

    If son has a few hours on A-day for dinner, etc., will he be able to relax in our rooms at the Thayer, or will he enjoy it more if we take the travel time to just get him the heck out of there?
     
  7. proudmama

    proudmama Member

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    Related scheduling question

    I have booked hotel for R day eve (June 27) at the Hampton Inn at Stewart Airport... (is that a good choice?)

    Here's my challenge...

    I need to fly to Denver following the parade on R Day... the last flights out at the various airports are:

    Stewart - 7:02 PM
    JFK - 6:59 PM
    EWR - 8:00 PM

    Which of these are reasonable schedule-wise? Am I being crazy?

    Thanks in advance... now off to look at when A day is and for rooms for that...


    Proudmama
     
  8. laxfan

    laxfan USMA 2015 Appointee

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    mmb5-

    There are many restraunts right outside Thayer Gate in Highland Halls. Most (if not all) of highland falls is within walking privileges. I am not sure what the scedule is like on A Day or how much time is alloted to cadet/parent time, but there should be plenty to do right outside the gates.

    Proudmama-
    As I mentioned before, many people who live at WP use Newark to fly from. However, with the recent security hike, a small airport (Stewart) may be easier to navigate and less crowded.
     
  9. sterlingmom

    sterlingmom Member

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    We have stayed at the Thayer several times and it is certainly the most convenient although more expensive than other hotels in the area. When we stayed there for big weekends such as R-Day and A-Day the rooms were nonrefundable and there was a minimum stay required, but maybe they have changed their policy. Our cadet was able to come to our room (and sleep!!) over A-Day. The cadets were released after the Saturday morning activities and could stay with us until late in the evening and again on Sunday until we left mid-afternoon.

    We have also stayed at the Hampton Inn - Woodbury Commons which is a fairly new hotel about 20 - 30 minutes away. It was very nice and full of WP families.

    As far as airports, we have to fly through Atlanta and have found the flights in and out of Newark work better for us than Stewart. Our son usually flies in and out of LaGuardia so it depends on what suits your schedule. Also, many of the flights in and out of Stewart are small commuter jets which I personally don't like, but that's just me!
     
  10. tucker92

    tucker92 Member

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    If you can stay at the Thayer you should. It is well worth the money, not only in convenience but in atmosphere. Though I haven't stayed there in over thirty years, but I expect that it remains an experience. Do it now while West Point is new and exciting. The Hampton Inn can wait.
     
  11. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Should be no problem making a 7 PM flight out of Stewart.

    Cadets can sleep in your room at any hotel..they just cannot spend the night. A day= long nap! All restaurants in HF are ok to eat at. If you are outside of HF, cadets have to eat in your hotel room (not restaurants) unless the hotel has a restaurant.
     
  12. Livinlarger

    Livinlarger Member

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    I, like overplanning mom, did jump head first into this when my daughter received her LOA back in November. Not knowing the exact details of "walking privileges" I booked at the Holiday Inn Express in Ft. Montgomery (I went off the guidelines that I could find on last year's plebe-parent wknd book). Anyone know if this will be ok for A day?? Also, FYI, I checked into booking an additional room this past weekend at this same hotel, and the rate for the same room was almost $100 more a night then when I booked back at the beginning of November. It's tough pickings out there!!
     
  13. laxfan

    laxfan USMA 2015 Appointee

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    Livinlarger-

    "Cadets may exercise Walking Privileges within the geographic limits of: main post limits; Bear Mountain traffic circle when on foot; grounds of Bear Mountain Hotel to include all state park facilities when traveling by vehicle; the Hudson River and the West side of Rt. 9W."

    acorrding to this (from the USMA website) the Holiday Inn Express should be within walking privleges, as it is located on 9W before the Bear Mountain traffic circle.

    And yes, the hotels here make almost all of their profit from west point related events. Think about it, who would want to come to highland falls for a vacation?
     
  14. another13mom

    another13mom Member

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    A Day

    While things are subject to change, this past year, our son was released on A-Day after the parade and was permitted to travel to our hotel in Fishkill (I was able to get a suite w/ a living room/kitchenette) and stay until 11 pm, when we drove him back to WP.

    We ordered takeout from a local restaurant, and I had purchased snacks, drinks, dessert, etc. to feed him when he wasn't sleeping or playing video games w/ siblings. We picked him up early Sunday morning and he stayed w/ us at our hotel until 3ish, when we returned him to get his work done and we started the long drive home.

    For us, we were more interested in a quiet weekend w/ him -- letting him rest and just hang w/ his siblings -- staying out of HF was preferable as we could get a suite, we didn't stand on lines at restaurants for meals -- other than takeout, our hotel had an attached restaurant where other cadet families also shared breakfast/brunch (they could eat in attached restaurants so long as they were in uniform)... sightseeing wasn't on our agenda as much as just seeing him and letting him have some fun/peace&quiet after a long summer.

    Also, as for flights home on A Day, since you'll likely drop off in the 4pmish range so your cadet can complete homework due for his first day of class, 7pm is perfect...for R-Day, the Oath Ceremony was @ 6pm (my memory may be off a bit), so you'd need a much later flight or leave the next day.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  15. Tru3Flight91

    Tru3Flight91 Member

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    Well actually many people from NYC own Vacation homes in Highland Falls and the surrounding area. The town does have his merits, it has its demerits too but over all it's not a bad little town.

    Source: Living here for 9 years...
     
  16. M2inOR

    M2inOR Parent

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    We booked our hotels as soon as we knew the dates for R-day, march back, and A-day back in November. At the time, Thayer Hotel was already full-up for R-day and A-day. We also booked Thayer for us when son has his overnight in February. We've got the Plebe Parent weekend in mind for Spring 2011, but will have to wait until dates are firmed up. We've also booked the Econolodge - spartan but clean. We've stayed previously.

    One thing to note for tight airline connections - ie same day travel. Keep in mind possible bridge/tunnel/freeway delays that can happen and do happen quite frequently! We just returned from holiday travel to Newark visiting family in Westchestger and NJ. For some of the days, GW Bridge and Holland/Lincoln tunnels were backed up for 2+ hours in both directions for hours afternoon and evenings. This was on days that were not hampered by snow. Sunday after Christmas was exceptionally bad in the afternoon and evening. Even the Tappen Zee was backed up some days with 1+ hour reported delays.

    So...if considering tight connections to LGA or JFK factor that into your plans. Consider using the Bear Mountain Bridge if you need to cross the river, though it will be a bit slow driving the local roads until you get down to Croton.

    As for getting into Newark, The Palisades Parkway and Garden State are an easy drive to Newark, but congestion is possible.

    Add in potential security delays at the airports, too, as well as rental car turn-in. Our plans usually get us to the airport hours in advance, and eating/chilling while we wait for departure time. At Newark Tuesday morning this week, we got there at 5am for a 7am flight. Took about 40 minutes to get thru security, and one of my carry-ons got an extra thorough search, as did one of my wife's carry-on bags. At this time, it was not very crowded.

    We'll be keeping that PDX-EWR flight busy in the coming year!
     
  17. laxfan

    laxfan USMA 2015 Appointee

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    True, the town has its merits. However it is also true that many buisness owners depended on west point; expecially hotel owners.

    Peter- I do doubt that anyone from NYC has a vacation home here. Although I could be wrong.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  18. Tru3Flight91

    Tru3Flight91 Member

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    I couldn't agree more that the only real reason Highland Falls prospers is because of West Point and tourism. And maybe "vacation homes" is the wrong terminology, but i have met people at football games and the like that come up to homes they own in Garrison, Fort Montgomery and Highland Falls for those weekends from NYC.
     
  19. NV_USMA_Mom

    NV_USMA_Mom Member

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    Thank you all for letting me know I am not the only overplanning parent! :thumb:

    I have e-mailed Thayer and the West Point Hotel. Thayer told me that they do have all types of rooms still available. I don't think that we will stay there, though. We'll have our younger son with us on our trips east and we think the 2 boys will want to play in a pool and have their own space at the hotel. We'll look into the suite options at some of the outline locations.

    Many people suggested flying in to Stewart. We'll be flying from the West Coast (start in Reno and end up flying to LAX or Denver to connect) and I wondered if anyone has experience with connects to Stewart. We fly east once a year or so and have always needed connecting flights. Does anyone have any input on where we should connect from?

    I received a list of dates for the 2010-2011 school year including R-Day, A-Day, Plebe Parent weekend (October). Is Parent Weekend in October or March as a previous post said?
     
  20. another13mom

    another13mom Member

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    ^^^

    On the few occasions I have flown into Stewart, I connected in Philly and other than changing terminals, it was fine...another option is flying into Westchester airport, an easy drive over the river -- (easiest route is 684 to 84w over the river)...

    You will find that everyone makes plans, reservations, based on their own comfort level -- we are very laid back, don't like to dress up for meals and wanted privacy, quiet and lots of room for our 4 kids and cadet... so the Thayer wasn't our style (perhaps if it were just my husband and I and not siblings?)-- that said, it is beautiful, has amazing views, is convenient, and the last time I ate there (about 20 years ago) the food was very good. For us, though, a hotel w/ a pool, a tv that could connect to video games, and a 2 bedroom suite w/ a living room worked great...the tradeoff was a 30 minute drive to/from WP (in the scheme of things, it was more time to spend together and decompress)...so I think you just have to factor in what would work for your family and budget -- My point is that there is no "right" or "wrong" answer... just do what works/fits your budget and have a great time!
     

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