Unlike the others who had schedules and duties, my fellow bloggers and I could spend pretty much all the time we wanted in the wardroom. There were a few occasions that it was secured, but they were few and far between. Every enlisted Sailor and Marine must spend a certain amount of time working in there in the scullery and galley. Depending on circumstances, it's 60 to 120 days. In between serving the officers their three meals per day, the "Mountain Lodge" crew would sit down to their meals and breaks.
There is a constant flow of traffic. Bruce joked that we could sit there and let everyone come to us. It was true as far as the officers and riders went. Everyone was polite about our requests, most were very enthusiastic. We were always treated with respect and humor, no one seemed unapproachable.
It was a great place for us to interview people, get leads on things we should see, pool our own information. As far as officers go, it was the place to be. However, I was cautioned repeatedly by my Navy Coterie not to stay there. They told me I needed to get down with the enlisted.