Sunday, September 4, 2011

TEXAS [Part 3] - The Gateway Inn (a tour of our hotel on base).

FINALLY! I'm so close to my husband.

I've waited seems like forever to be here!

The above picture was taken in the parking lot of the Gateway Inn.
On the left side (it's pretty small) you can see the bridge that you go under when you first drive in,
It says 'Welcome to Lackland Air Force Base'.
On the right side, you can see one of the dorms that are across the street.

Early in the morning, (around 5 AM) you can see the trainees exercising. They are loud, and completely in sync.

Each time it gave me goosebumps, I felt so proud of my husband, and lucky that I was able to witness that.

(The base is divided by a large street.- the only way to get to the other side is to go over the bridge or to re-enter through the gate on the other side.)

[The Entrance]

[And Front Desk]

[Finding our room.]

If you have a choice - it's much easier to stay on the first floor.
(The whole time I was there I did not see one elevator.)

We couldn't stay here the whole time because The Gateway Inn was booked on the weekend for people coming on base to attend a drill. So it worked like this-

Wednesday and Thursday- at the Gateway Inn
Friday and Saturday- at The Best Western
Sunday- at The Gateway Inn
(We left to go to the airport on Monday morning.)

The reason it was so confusing was because, I was trying to stay on base both days Ryan had base liberty. Meaning, he wasn't allowed to go off base. Instead of finding places there to hang out, we could just go get food, and come back to our hotel, and watch a movie. I really wanted it to be as relaxed as possible for him. Looking back, I think it was definitely worth all the checking in and checking out.

However, our second room was on the 3rd floor...

Now picture me dragging a 50lb suitcase, and 3 carry ons down three flights of stairs, while yelling at my 3 year old to stay near me - as we were leaving to check out.

Yeah that part was fun.

-So again, I'd go with the 1st floor.-
-Here is a video tour of our room that I made for the A.F. WingMoms Facebook Page.-

                                                                (For $35.00 this was a steal.)
(It was really nice.)
(And the bed was super comfy.)

The only weird thing was that I had to share my toilet and shower with whoever was in the next room.

It's definitely awkward to walk in, and see a strangers shampoo and razor just sitting in the shower.

Basically you go in - and you turn the lock inside - located on their door (locking them out),
then you have to make sure that you unlock it, so they're able to get back in once you're done.

I kept thinking 'A guy must have designed this place.'
It was do-able, but yeah, it was weird. lol

Also those of you with little ones, there wasn't a bath tub- just a stand up shower.
(Another reason it had to be a guy.)

[Storage and a safe]

I'm pretty sure they have air conditioning issues- (I [think] that white thing is a dehumidifier.)

It was always very cool in my room, so it was definitely on. But I kept hearing a dripping sound- which I don't doubt, because they probably have to run their A/C 24/7 because it's so hot there.

Did I mention it's hot there?

[Coffee Maker]

Potential Problem- There aren't any water bottles in the room.

I had called the front office to ask where I could buy some bottled water.
(At the time, it was just past 6:00 on a Sunday)

I was told there wasn't anywhere to buy water, and that I would have to drive off base to go find some.
Uhm what. (?)

Yeah, at 6:00pm (or I think 8pm during the week) everything shuts down on base.

Great... [We don't have a car to drive off base.]

I could feel myself becoming more thirsty, just because he said there was none. 

I could feel the top of my mouth getting dry.
I was getting that  I'm-gonna-die-if-I-don't-get-some-water soon anxiety.

When we first arrived, I noticed an ice machine downstairs. So I was ready to go downstairs, get some ice and wait for the darn stuff to melt. But luckily there was a vending machine right next the ice.

I have no clue why the guy at the front desk didn't mention the vending machine.

If you're reading this (he isn't) How-Bout-Ya-Do-Your-Job? k-thanks.
Normally, I wouldn't be rude, but that wasn't the only thing the front desk wasn't very helpful with.
So there. I sure showed them.

I was so glad I had a few dollars in my wallet.

We spent the rest of the night getting ready for the Coin Ceremony.
I had 2 big banners made for the event, along with t-shirts for the whole family. Oh yeah, and magnets, stickers, a canvas bag, a poster, and a magnet for the side of the car.

A little crazy maybe - but hey, I'm a proud wife- what can I say?

[The smaller sign]
A lot of people use to get a free banner for the Airman's Run.
(you still pay shipping.)

That is an awesome thing they are doing!

I just found a better deal using Vista Print.
Like I said I got:

2 banners (1 big, 1 medium)
6 custom shirts (all different sizes)

Rectangle Fridge Magnets

24 stickers
A canvas bag

A car magnet
and a Poster for Family and Friends to sign

all for $68.00 ( with Free Shipping)

In order to get these deals you need to sign up to get Vista Print e-mails.

Once they send you one of their e-mails it will probably have a subject line with something like,
"Just for you!" or "Everything must go!".  - inside will have a list of all of the products they are offering for free or at a discount. (If what you are looking for isn't showing up as free or on sale, just wait until the next e-mail. It's very possible it will be in there the next time around.)

If you are ordering one item- you can take advantage of all of the other offers.
(Keep in mind, your shipping may go up because of this.)

My total was over $50.00, at the time, they were offering all orders $50 or more get free shipping.
(So I pretty much ordered everything that was free.)

If you are planning on getting shirts and a banner, this may be the way to go, instead of paying two shipping charges.

The only thing about Vista Print are their sizes. Shirts run a bit large, and  they don't have kids sizes.

My son's shirt was originally a men's small.
But with some sewing, (and help from my sweet grandma) it fit him just fine.

This is his "I'm gonna see my daddy tomorrow" happy dance! :D
Next is The Airman's Run and The Coin Ceremony!!

P.S. If you are looking for more information about visiting Lackland Air Force Base- 
I will be posting more in my next couple of entries. So make sure and come back to check that out.


The Favour Shoppe said...

What wonderful photos!!! So glad that you got to see your hubby!!! Hope you had a BLAST!

AH14 said...

Thanks for sharing! This will make my trip so much easier! Was your husband able to go back to the hotel with you on Thursday and Friday while on base pass?

Mama Hen said...

Great pictures! So exciting to see your hubby! The Tee shirts are wonderful and the sign also. I hope you are doing well my friend! I love the pictures with your little munchkin. So cute! Have a great night.

Mama Hen

Sam and Starr Frei said...

Hi, I love your blog, it's so awesome that you did this. There's so little info out there. My husband is graduating Basic on March 23rd 2012 I'm planning on staying at the Gateway if I can. I called already and they told me that I had to wait until 2 weeks before to book my appointment. Do you know if they will let me book more then one room? I'm bringing my parents and I have a 9 month old, there's no way we'd all fit in that tiny room unless they have ones with 2 beds. The rumor is just $35 a night? Is that true? Please if you have any other info you can share you'd be doing me the biggest favor. Thank you so much!

Jodi Duncan said...

Sam and Starr Frei- my mother-in-law and I will be going to the graduation the same weekend. I called for a reservation today (March 7th) and was able to get two rooms with a shared bathroom. Not sure if you'll see this today, but just though I'd let you know so you could potentially call them today and get a room! Karey- thanks for sharing the pics. I was curious as to what the rooms look like. Not a lot of info out there, so its appreciated!

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