#19 Palm Beach, Florida May 7-11, 2003
Wednesday, May 7: Casual and comfortable set the tone for the Class of 50's 19th mini. A Princeton pennant in the Heart of Palm Beach Hotel's lobby greeted mini-reunion attendees. This 3-diamond boutique hotel, mid island of this world-famous resort oasis within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean, was ideally situated. Worth Avenue was nearby as were many other famous attractions. Host Wayne Dimm and assistant Jack Robinson manned the hospitality room, distributing packets of information for the attendees. A welcome cocktail reception was held poolside, then attendees dispersed to dine at many of the great restaurants in the area.
Thursday, May 8: The hotel's Grille was the setting for a buffet breakfast — as it was for each morning of the mini — with some opting to eat poolside. Tour bus driver Chuck was masterful in handling the itinerary. He made two runs, reversing the groups visits to the Flagler Museum, City Place and Norton Museum of Art. Oil baron Henry Morrison Flagler's grand estate, Whitehall, was completed in 1902. Its opulence represents America's Gilded Age. City Place offered many areas to shop and dine. Norton Museum of Art, largest in Florida, featured a special contemporary art exhibit of Japanese animation. At day's end, all attendees bused to the Dimm's lovely home for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Tiger decor abounded and the pianist's repertoire of Princeton songs was extensive, resulting in an ebullient sing-a-long.
Friday, May 9: Many opted for the all-day trip to the Seminole Tribe of Florida's Big Cypress Reservation, two hours south between Naples and Ft. Lauderdale. Upon arrival at the 2000+-acre everglade preserve, groups of 10 boarded Billie Swamp Safari airboats for a short ride along a river of grass. Foam earplugs dulled the noise. After a box lunch in the Swamp Water Cafe and some rocking/talking on the porch, the group boarded swamp buggies for an eco tour high above the wet prairie, marveling at the thriving wildlife. The snake show in the amphitheater ended our adventure. The Beach Club, with grand views of the Atlantic Ocean, provided the venue for a dressy dinner dance highlighted by classmate Dick Prentiss' Palm Beach Society Band. First-time attendee Pete Armstrong announced the 20th mini will be in Hawaii.
Saturday, May 10: After breakfast, the mayor of Palm Beach, Lesly Smith, presented a short address in the Garden Pavilion. It was a free day to enjoy the area's many activities. Some enjoyed a most informative history walk of Worth Avenue led by local historian Jim Ponce. Two golf foursomes played the Emerald Dunes course. Others took in Lion Country Safari. All together for the evening. At the Palm Harbor docks we boarded the 1926 presidential yacht Catalina for a lovely evening cruising Lake Worth's waterway. As cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were enjoyed topside, Wayne narrated details about the mansions which grace the shoreline. A scrumptious buffet dinner was served below, topped off with a beautifully decorated cake and Florida's famous Key lime pie.
Sunday, May 11: Mother's Day observed. Some attended church services before heading home with delightful memories of this mini by the sea.
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