Upcoming parents' weekend

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by shellsea, May 22, 2013.

  1. shellsea

    shellsea Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is my DD first year at the academy and I had a few questions that some of you "experienced" parents may be able to help with.

    1. Is there a limitation on where we can stay in the Colorado Springs area? At USNA they put a 45-mile radius limit and cannot venture out any further. So if I saw a great deal on a hotel outside the areas (i.e. Denver), will she be able to stay with us?

    2. Any suggestions on hotels in the area? Looking for large rooms at reasonable prices.

    3. Do grandparents attend parent's weekend?

    4. Any other advice is greatly appreciated :biggrin:

    I also know she won't be up for anything but sleeping and eating so I have no expectations of DD wanting to sightsee while we are there.
     
  2. jackson1989

    jackson1989 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    2
    There is not limit on the location and your DD will be able to stay with you on Friday night; however, she will need to be back at the AFA early Saturday morning for her squadron tailgate. This might mean that you use the hotel in Denver for Saturday-Monday.

    Cheap hotels with large rooms are pretty hard to find during Parent's weekend. Many folks stay at the suite type hotels and these work very nicely, but they aren't really "cheap" (at least not to my wallet).

    Grandparents are welcome. The weekend can entail a good bit of walking, but there are buses available to help. Good walking shoes are a must! Also bring plenty of water because if you are not from Colorado it can be very dehydrating.

    Have a great time! Congrats on the upcoming adventure!
     
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    40
    1. There is a limit but I don't remember what it is (maybe 150 miles) but Denver is fine.

    2. PW is tough to get good rates. We are staying at the Residence Inn South which has nice two room suites with a common area. Your cadet will have to wear their uniform whenever they are in public including the lobby of the hotel so getting a comfortable place will be a real blessing to the cadet.

    3. Yes, there will be girl/boy friends, siblings, aunts/uncles, friends, etc. C4Cs are required to eat at Mitch's for Friday's lunch which requires tickets for the family. Each cadet gets 4 tickets so they will need to get any additional tickets ahead of time from a squadmate who is not using them.

    4. We met our DS on Thursday afternoon. It was great to be with him even for a short time. I know some people bring a dinner so that the family can eat together on Thursday as the C4Cs can't leave base until Friday afternoon.
     
  4. never ever alone

    never ever alone Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Spas and Restaurants

    for the "veteran" parents - any suggestions on spas or restaurants for PW? steak, japanese, pizza, fine dining?? how far in advance do we have to make reservations? anything within a 20-30 drive? thanks.
     
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    40
    We went with what DS wanted (Outback Steakhouse). It was packed with USAFA cadets and parents but he enjoyed it. Go with what the cadet wants. . .
     
  6. ElSib

    ElSib Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    3
    spa

    My wife took our DD to the spa at the Broadmor for a manicure/pedicure (and maybe a massage). She really appreciated the pampering!:shake:

    I really don't remember but I think it was kinda pricey.
     
  7. Dad

    Dad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    57
    ^^^^^^ Best recommendation for the new C4C. Get them off base and let them eat, sleep, and go out without a rigid schedule. Some cadets just want uninterupted sleep and their favorite fast food. Other cadets are gung-ho to see the sights (Pikes Peak. whitewater rafting, etc.) with the parents/family.

    Some activities require advanced purchase tickets, so try and have a conversation with your C4C regarding plans prior to your arrival and be prepared to alter them depending on circumstances.
     
  8. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    74
    Activities will also depend on what blockbuster movie comes out during BCT. Last year the Saturday night showing of Batman was packed full of C4Cs in uniform!
    Many will want to sleep and then get out, remember, they haven't been in the 'real world' for a while.
    Many DDs appreciate the spas!
    Shopping for things like printers, monitors, etc (won't need clothes yet)
    Thursday is a real bonus and well worth it, they can meet you by the chapel or down by the field house, bring in a nice fast food dinner and they are so happy :)
    I would plan little and go by what they want.
    We also planned to leave Tuesday am so we could keep them as long as possible up to 7pm (even had a few extras whose parents left earlier).
     
  9. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    318
    I live south of the Academy in Pueblo. I would consider staying in our area for a few reasons. We are only 45-50 minutes from the Academy. Very easy drive up I-25. Hotel prices tend to be lower and easier to get. Not as many chain restaurants but some great local eateries. We have a great little river walk area, Home of Heros monument ( all about Medal of Honor winners, we have more than any other city) and we have a great military aircraft museum at the local airport.
    http://www.pueblo.us/
    http://www.pwam.org/visitorsguide.html
    http://www.pueblohomeofheroes.org/

    and some of the best weather around. :thumb:
    safe travels
     
  10. Dad

    Dad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    57
    And the cadets never are sad to leave the Springs! More liberty to wear civies!
     
  11. Dad

    Dad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    57
    Bring civilian clothes for them to wear in the hotel room (they must wear their blues when in public if within 150 miles of USAFA until after recognition).
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  12. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    57
    I wouldn't risk wearing civies that close to USAFA (I wouldn't/didn't do it at all...totally not worth it) edit: outside of the hotel room itself, strictly speaking they aren't even allowed inside the hotel room...

    My parents brought me my favorite pizza on Thursday night and it was AWESOME even though it was cold so we ended up just sitting in the car. Be sure you talk about hotel distance. I always stayed with my family at Staybridge off of Woodmen and would have hated spending any more time in the car.
     
  13. never ever alone

    never ever alone Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    sherrif3 - was going to ask about pueblo, we have friends there so we might make it a visit to them too.

    stupid question - the cadets are free thursday?? or friday?? or can we just see them on thursday pm then they have to go back to the dorm?
     
  14. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    318
    Sorry I have no knowledge on the AFA scheduling. I can address the uniform issue somewhat. DD just graduated 2 weeks ago from BMT in Lackland. We had her Friday,Sat and Sun during the day. In our hotel room she was in sweats but outside she had to be in uniform and was not tempted to be in civies. I would say if you are in Pueblo DO NOT tempt the uniform issue here. Too many retired and AD folks live here and Doss avation ( the AF flight screening school) is here as well. No doubt a cadet will get caught here. Come on down and enjoy some of the best mexican and italian food you have ever had. Feel free to PM me and I will give you some info. Safe travels.:thumb:
     
  15. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    40
    You may be able to see your cadet Thursday afternoon after they finish class. Some families eat a dinner with them in the area of the chapel. They will spend the night with their squad. You will leave base and then return Friday morning. Give yourself some time as lots of people will be doing the same thing. There are lots of activities on Friday. Your cadet will have classes in the morning as well as a parade. We watched the airmanship demonstrations and parade and then met DS after the parade and proceeded to go to one of his classes with him and enjoyed a lunch with him. There are many other activities as well - check the PW site. Your cadet will be released sometime in the afternoon. They can spend the night with you. However, they must be back at Falcon Stadium Saturday morning for their squad tailgate before the football game. I took DS and enjoyed time meeting his squad mates and some of their parents. Then all the cadets are required to attend the football game where they have the opportunity to support their fellow cadets by standing the entire game. After the game is over cadets were released until 7PM on Monday. Hope that helps . . .
     
  16. greentrees

    greentrees Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    28
    Here is a link to last year's parent's weekend info (you can get to it on the USAFA site, right hand side under events and information)
    http://www.usafa.edu/superintendent/parentsweekend/?catname=Parents' Weekend

    Schedule did not change the 4 years we went so this should give you a good idea for planning.

    BUT - that said -- there will be a new Superintendent this year so stuff could change.

    Make hotel reservations now -- but make sure stuff is refundable. Would hate to have you locked in to something and your cadet not make it thru BCT for some reason. It happens -- whether by choice or medical reasons.
    Some people rent houses for the 5 days -- vrbo.com or something like that --others can chime in on that. We stayed in hotel C4C year, but last 3 years stayed with his sponsor family.

    As others said - Thursday evening you can meet your cadet at chapel or field house -- or, some parent groups do a get together at Arnold Hall and your cadet can come too.

    Thursday during the day -- shop at Visitor's Center gift shop!!! (could meet your cadet there too if they don't have afternoon classes)

    Friday go to classes with your cadet!! C4C's must go to lunch at Mitch's -- parents can go too -- which is fun to do. Also squadrons have cookouts so you can go there after done at Mitch's. Go to Cadet store too -- different items than the visitors center.

    Cadets released to you Friday night but have to be back to Squad tailgate in AM. After the game (and they must stay til the end) they are released to you til 7pm Monday evening. Make sure they take with them on Friday any clothes they want for the weekend as you will not want to try to get up the hill after the game on Saturday.

    C4C year we stayed local and did shopping; DS slept a fair amount.
    C3C year we did the touristy things -- Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs (great arcade), Garden of Gods.
    C2C year we did more touristy things in the area, saw friends who recently moved to COS, went up to Denver for a day.
    C1C year we went to Breckenridge.

    word of advice for grandparents (or anyone with possible health issues) -- the altitude gets people, so if they have difficulty getting around sea level, the altitude could cause big problems.
     
  17. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    74
    Funny you said this. For my new C3C we wanted to get out of COS but didn't want a 2 hour drive for less than 48 hours. We booked in Pueblo for Sat-Mon, will check out some of your suggestions!!
     
  18. melindayching

    melindayching Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    3
    All good advice from the parents! We've been to USAFA several times and have stayed everywhere -- near North Gate, near South Gate, vrbo, sponsor family -- and nothing is that difficult to get to, so stay wherever you get good rates. But do allot ample driving time. I was surprised at how congested the interstate gets and often the side roads get you there faster. On Friday morning of PW, go early, but not TOO early, because otherwise you will spend time waiting by the side of the road for the gate to open, and then have to negotiate your way back into the traffic stream. We enjoyed a fondue dinner on Friday night, went to the squadron tailgate on Saturday morning (lots of fun and met lots of cadets and parents..don't forget to buy squadron t-shirts and contribute to the MWR fund..), had dinner with sponsor family, nice fancy brunch on Sunday and a trip to Target, takeout dinner, shopping at Castle Rock on Monday...We also left on Tuesday morning to maximize time with DD. We took her back to the dorms around 6 to give her sufficient time to get adjusted back. Don't be surprised if they start to get grouchy by Monday afternoon when they know they have to go back soon. And they will have to return their phones (for C4Cs) usually after 7 p.m. I echo the sentiment to not plan too much; go with the flow! Oh, and if you get a hotel with a free breakfast, remember your C4C cannot wear civvies or PT gear downstairs to the breakfast area; we witnessed one C4C getting lectured by an upperclassman for it! Have fun!
     
  19. SanDiegan

    SanDiegan Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can you clarify the rules on phones? We were considering a new phone for DS. We knew it would be gone during BCT, but is it also gone until recognition? If so, are they allowed to contact home at all, or is it only while at sponsors' homes?
     
  20. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    40
    No one is going to be able to provide clarity on if any specific C4C will have phone privileges after A-Day. So many things are squadron specific. Some squadrons will have phones for the rest of the year. Other will not get them back until sometime after A-Day. Last year some squads got them back awhile before Christmas break but lost them again when they returned after the break. Sorry I know that's not the answer you were looking for. But it is what it is.
     

Share This Page