Building a Midshipman / research

Traveling

Save me from it!  While we had a great time in Annapolis, the creature comforts that can make or break a trip were shaky. We flew United to BWI and were shocked that the plane wasn’t stuffed to the businessman_flying_sm_wht.gifoverhead lockers with people. Lots of empty seats, room to stretch. Still no food except pretzels (which doesn’t count), but who cares if you’re comfortable?

We’d booked at the Westin in Annapolis. It’s brand new, adjoining Morton’s and down Main Street from the other two luxury hotels, but still walking distance to the Academy. It had the cheapest rate, $97 a night, which I thought was a steal for a Westin. I’ve stayed at the one in Pasadena, CA and it doesn’t get much better than that one.  They shouldn’t even share a name:

  • the Annapolis Westin has no sundry store. You get toothpaste, shaving cream, etc, from the room’s mini bar. Even a Coke comes via the mini bar or room service, both being extravagances I’d rather avoid. We don’t afford trips to Annapolis every few months by blowing our money on mini bars and room services. Over the four days, we did order room service once. I was dying of thirst and thought a soda would go well with the movie we had rented. 90 minutes later, it arrived. I refused to accept it, told them I’d made due with water. They gave it to me for free.
  • the restaurant’s menu isn’t any good. Annapolis has lots of good eateries, but we were hungry and tired and didn’t want to go out. That was a mistake
  • The room service menu is worse. There’s nothing. Really. Who eats the stuff they offered?
  • My daughter left her phone there when we checked out. Rather than just tell her it had disappeared (which truly is what we expected), they hung her up, promising to call back, never doing it. We finally had to cx the number.

The return flight more than made up for the easy trip out. We got to BWI two hours early, to be sure we got through Checkpoint Chimera, found seats in the gate area and waited. Only to have the plane canceled as it arrived due to a door malfunction. Truly, if the pilot doesn’t want to fly the plane, I don’t want him to, so that part was OK. But it got stupid after that. Instead of lining us all up in an orderly fashion at the gate agent, they sent us back to the airport entry–outside of security!–to the check-in agents. We mingled with the poor people arriving for their flights, making the whole thing a mess. We tried to transfer  our tickets to American, explaining the United flight was cxed, but American would only take the exchange if United did it. So, back into the mass of humanity.Met some nice people as we waited, all going to different parts of the country. One retired Navy who enjoyed our stories of our daughters experiences at USNA. By the time our turn came, we’d missed two possible flights, got scheduled for the last one out, 90 minutes later, received $200 in travel vouchers and a $15 food voucher for our troubles. I still wasn’t mollified. blue-angels-auto-adjust.jpg

Other than that, we had so much fun. My daughter will be deployed to San Diego, close to home. I love the Navy. This is the Blue Angels. Who else in the world can fly like this?

We’ll be back to Annapolis in May for Commissioning. We won’t travel on United, nor stay at the Westin. Back to the devil I know–American and the O’Callaghan.

To make matters worse, I barely sold any books while I was gone. How am I supposed to pay for the trip now????

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