It's the first day of Orientation for the 2014 class and I'm at the Academy Hotel after a long and interesting day. Here's some tips in a nutshell for those of you coming in the next couple weeks: Go to the dinner set up by bsaeagle on Sunday afternoon. That was a great start. Many of the parents later hung out in the hotel lobby while 15-20 orientees chatted around the jacuzzi. Get to breakfast early. At the Academy Hotel, there is a good sized crowd for breakfast by 6:45. Be ready to leave by 7:25. Our bus left the parking lot at 7:32am. There's no such thing as aloha time at the Academy. It goes without saying, but be ready to meet dozens of people from every corner of the US. The first day is largely lectures and powerpoint presentations or "briefings" in the auditorium which cover many aspects of the Academy. All were interesting, but it does make for a long day. The students were split from the parents at 4:00pm. We returned to our hotel by bus around 5:00pm. Right now, it feels like the life has been sucked out of the hotel. Parents are tired and all those students are gone. By the way, there were about 213 orientees and 324 parents and a few grandparents and siblings (I may be off by a few.) About 80 orientees have not accepted yet. Everyone is extremely friendly and there is a strong sense of community for cadets, parents, alums and sponsor families. Overall, this is a great experience. My son is now shadowing a cadet overnight and we'll meet sometime after lunch.