May 16, 2012

Blast From the Past: Visiting the United States Naval Academy

On Saturday morning, after breakfast (and before Matthew and Jamie's afternoon wedding), Bo and I spent a couple of hours walking around the United States Naval Academy (USNA) yard (i.e. campus). It was a very nostalgic couple of hours, especially for Bo.  He spent some of the best and worst days of his life (thus far) on that campus.  In his profile on our About page, Bo writes:

I made my journey out to Annapolis, Maryland in 2006 to attend the United States Naval Academy to fufill my dream of becoming a naval aviator. In May 2010 I graduated the Academy with a Bachlors of Science in Political Science and commissioned into the U.S. Navy as an Ensign. Even more exciting was the fact that I had attained a pilot slot! 

Although his time at USNA was sometimes frustrating, difficult, and overwhelming, in many ways we can all thank the Academy for helping to make Bo the wonderful and honorable man that he is today.

USNA is truly a place to behold.  The buildings are beautifully constructed, the grounds are manicured to perfection, and there is a palpable sense of history and heritage every where you look.  The month of May has always been Bo and I's favorite at the Academy.  The flowers are always in bloom, the grass is bright green, and the yard is quiet and calm because the majority of midshipmen are already out doing there summer tours.

Throughout the course of the morning, I took a number of pictures around the yard, and I thought that you all might enjoy seeing them.  To begin, here is a picture of the courtyard to the Superintendent's home.  The Sup (as most people call him) and his wife do actually live here, and Bo attended the Superintendent's Garden Party here during his commissioning week.

(Isn't that tree just beautiful?!)

There are over a dozen different courtyards on the yard, but we have particularly special memories of having a picnic on Fullam Court the day before Bo entered the academy.  Consequently, we though it would be nice to snap a pic of Bo in front of the sign. 

Here's a peek at one of the numerous monuments/sculptures on the yard.  This one is of a submarine coming out of the water.  BEWARE - this sculpture gets very. hot. to. the. touch. during the summer months!

Tecumseh Court (also known as T-Court), is the main courtyard located in front of Brancroft Hall (the dormitory on campus, also known as Mother-B).  Midshipmen have formation in T-Court every day, and also line up here for parades.
Random Trivia: Bancroft Hall is the largest, single dormitory in the world!  It houses the entire brigade of ~4,000 midshipmen.

This is one of the MANY (i.e. nine, I believe) wings of Bancroft Hall.

I just had to capture the moment that Bo walked through the main doors of Bancroft Hall.  For those of you that don't know, midshipmen are not allowed to walk through these doors until after they have commissioned.  With that said, this was the very first time that Bo walked through these doors...quite a big moment for him!

Here is a peek inside the main lobby of Bancroft Hall.  Upstairs there is a small can just see a hint of the "Don't Give Up the Ship" display in the back of this photo.

On the other side of T-Court is a monument of good 'ol Tecumseh (well that would make sense now wouldn't it?).  Throughout the football season, the mids will decorate Tecumseh in a variety of ways to represent the football rivalry that week.  It is actually pretty amazing what they can do with that 'ol guy...sometimes you can't even tell it's Tecumseh anymore...I'm not kidding!

Even the academic buildings themselves are beautiful...the fountain doesn't hurt either.

On our tour around the yard, we ran into this newly constructed walkway.  I thought that the tree-lined pathway was a beautiful oasis on this otherwise bustlingly busy campus.

And finally, here's a peek at Officer's Row.  Several of the highest ranking officers (O-6's and above) that serve at the academy live in these homes on the yard during there tour at USNA.  As you can see, the homes are all beautifully restored and taken care of.  

Who knows...maybe Mr. and Mrs. Behne will live there one day?!

Next time - all about Matthew and Jamie's BIG DAY!  Bo and I had a blast celebrating with them. :)

Question of the Day:

Have you ever visited USNA?  Have you visited any of the other service academies?  If so, what did you think about it/them?!

Ally and Bo


  1. I am honored to say that I have visited Annapolis ...with you... and I agree that it is not only incredibly beautiful but abounds with heritage and tradition!! Thanks for the pictures

    1. I have wonderful memories of our trips to Annapolis together. We spent some great "mother/daughter time" there.