#14 San Diego, California May 6 - May 10,1998
Wednesday, May 6: The four-star resort, Le Meridien Hotel (renamed the Coronado Marriott), was the headquarters for this 14th mini. Chair Dave Jordan and his wife Bess were aided in its selection by Dave Wilson. Helping with other details were Paul and Anne Hofflund, and Sid and Jean Fox. The welcoming packets included USS Princeton caps for the men; specially designed stationery for the ladies. The Hospitality Room, in one of the hotel's villas, offered a spectacular view of the city's beautiful bay and its overarching Coronado-San Diego Bridge. The mini's opening salvo was an elegant dinner in the International Room at the legendary Hotel del Coronado.
Thursday, May 7: The day began with a continental breakfast. Our speaker was the Honorable Rudi M. Brewster '54, U.S. district judge sitting in San Diego, whose presentation covered immigration, both legal and illegal. He cited that since 1892 more than 35,000,000 illegals have crossed the border. A day to enjoy the resort's facilities then a dinner cruise. The hotel's dock had been damaged by El Nifto storm so the ferry landing was used to board the sleek mini-cruise ship Spirit of San Diego. On our trip around the bay, our emcee pointed out the aircraft carriers Kitty Hawk and Fred Vinson.
Friday, May 8: Liquid sunshine (it doesn't rain in San Diego) dampened breakfast and the day's activities — a choice of tours. 1) A stop at the San Diego Zoo — a zoological wonderland with a collection unequaled in the world. Then a visit to historic Old Town, the site of the city's original settlement, to capture the Mexican rancho-era heritage. It features Casa Estudillo — one of the earliest adobe structures in the United States. Or 2) a trip inland to the San Pasqual Battlefield where Jim Caldwell, whose forebear fought at the battle on December 6, 1846, gave a comprehensive overview of US-Mexican relations. Then a visit to the 2,100-acre San Diego Wild Animal Park, where attendees rode a monorail to observe approximately 3,000 animals in their natural habitats. We stopped afterward at the 200-year-old Mission San Luis Rey, the best restored of the Alta California missions. Buffet dinner and dancing at the North Island Naval Air Station's Island Club.
Saturday, May 9: Buses transported us to the 32nd St. Naval Base where we toured the guided missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG59). Dave presented a Princeton banner to Captain James Moseman who briefed us on the ship's activities. The day offered several options. 1) A tour of Tecate, Mexico, highlighted by a visit to the town's brewery which processes 20 million liters of beer per month. This was followed by a train ride on the vintage San Diego Railroad Museum's line to Campo with a brief overview of the area's history. 2) A trip along the Baja, California, coast with a lobster lunch at Puerto Nuevo, followed by a visit to Colegio la Esperanza in Tijuana founded by Christine Brady Kosko '79. 3) A time to shop or to visit San Diego's many other attractions. After a reception in the foyer of the hotel's Tropez D attendees had a grand finale dinner, then danced to Tom Jefferson's combo.
Sunday, May 10: A continental breakfast in the St. Tropez Room ended this mini in "America's Finest City."
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