Pullman to West Point 2011 – The Final Installment

According to MapQuest, the boys and I covered 5,254 miles this summer, which is almost exactly twice what it would have taken to drive straight to West Point.

We started by going to Virginia, then I went to Georgia…which is where I left you with the last post and that took us to 3386 miles.

I left Georgia on June 26th to go back to Virginia for a few days, just in time to help with the older kids while baby Asher had surgery. That brought us up to 4,042.

I know you’re thinking: what a great auntie for being there to help with the baby’s surgery, but you should know better. Three days later he was doing fine and I took off again to go join Ric in the lodge at West Point while Rob was at sea. Worst of all I left the dog again. He’s a nice dog, but he’s big and he’s always in the way and there are five little ones in the house. Betsy is the really great auntie!

We got to West Point on July 1st to stay in at the Five Star Inn. That brought us to 4,446 miles.

The boys dubbed it “The Point Five Star Inn”. I would say it’s at least a two-point-five star, but it doesn’t have a pool and that is deadly in the hotel rating scheme of three boys. At least they understood the power and poetic imagery of moving a decimal point.

This was the view from our kitchen window.

Not a bad kitchen for a hotel suite, really.

The patio out back was nice, with its view of the Hudson…

…and I got a lot done from this picnic table while the boys played outside.

The morning after we arrived we hiked up Bear Mountain. It’s quite a trek. 800+ steps carved out of granite in the trail I’m told.

The view from the top is spectacular though. You can see the skyline of New York City on a clear day.

On the Fourth of July we walked to Trophy Point to watch the fireworks and see the new cadets.

The mass of white is the brand new class of 2015 seated for the show. It starts with a performance by the very talented West Point Band but Fireworks are what it takes to keep those new cadets awake once they’re given a chance to sit down after the week they’ve been through. Relaxation is not on the schedule many times during their summer.

Here you see some of their tormentors (upperclassmen in charge of their training) lurking nearby.

Josh and Si were oblivious to the anguish of the oppressed masses in the amphitheatre. They were watching the PAC 75mm Howitzers prepare for their salute to the nation.

I think this may be the largest stand of evergreens trees in a twenty-mile radius! My boys will groan over the fact that the trees have my attention in a picture with guns.

This is what they were waiting for. A round is fired for every state in the country as a new cadet from that state posts its flag in the main area of the celebration. 50 glorious explosions and the fireworks hadn’t even started.

Eventually, the sun set.

And, because we don’t learn from past failures, we still try to take pictures of fireworks.

Days in the lodge were less than exciting for the boys and me, but I got a lot of work done in preparation for the upcoming school year and at last we were given a definite date for keys to our quarters and the arrival of our household goods.

It was time to go rescue Betsy from dog sitting! Back to Virginia and up to 4,940 miles.

The boys got in one last visit with their cousins while Betsy and I tried to enjoy a few more stolen moments on the front porch each evening to visit once they were all in bed.

My children are such a great influence on their younger cousins.

Seven kids in the living room with light sabers – no potential for disaster here….

…just good entertainment for babies and dogs…

…while the responsible adult in the room takes pictures.

I’m sure Betsy was very sad to see us take our big dog and leave on July 14th to head “home” and finish our road-tripping with 5,254 miles under our seatbelts.

The movers showed up at 8:30 the next morning.

By noon we were in boxes…

…some of us literally. These guys have proven over and over to be road warriors! They were eager to claim the distinction of being “nomads” when they were little and they certainly have lived up to it.

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