#4 San Francisco, California April 24 - April 27,1986

Thursday, April 24: The Class of 50's 4th mini in the Year of the Tiger was headquartered at the lovely Galleria Park Hotel in downtown San Francisco. The committee, chaired by Bill Spencer, hosted a reception in the hotel's Palm Room. Each registration goody bag contained a roster, an itinerary and a name tag with classmate's picture copied from The Freshman Herald. Attendees enjoyed drinks and hors d'oeuvres at Erika Meyerovich Gallery which featured an exhibit of Henri Matisse's work. Then we walked through an arched stone-and-wood torii into Chinatown where we dined in the 5th floor banquet room of the Empress of China. Winner of numerous international gourmet awards, the restaurant featured antique Han dynasty decor. Harvard history professor Kevin Starr, Ph.D., was the speaker.

Friday, April 25: We boarded one of three Scenic Hyway Tours' Neoplan buses (made in Stuttgart, Germany) for a city tour. Situated on a hilly peninsula, San Francisco is strategically centered on California's Pacific Coast. It became a major city during the Gold Rush of 1849. Noted for a devastating earthquake in April 1906, the city quickly recovered and maintains a sophisticated ambiance. Its #1 income is tourism, followed by banking and finance. The buses traversed the famous Golden Gate Bridge, through Rainbow Tunnel and past Sears Point Raceway to Sonoma County where we toured the San Francisco de Solano, the last of Alta California's 21 missions established by the Franciscan order. Dedicated July 14, 1823, this most northerly mission houses Chris Jorgensen's noteworthy watercolors of this chain of architectural marvels which El Camino Real connects. On to Inglenook winery in Napa Valley where we sampled a variety of wines before lunch. Then each bus visited one of three smaller wineries before all met at the Sterling Winery. We rode a tram up the hillside and, after a self-guided tour, more wine sampling, hors d'oeuvres and an extended dinner hour.

Saturday, April 26: A morning on one's own to enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere of San Francisco. Many rode the bell-clanging cable cars and visited different sites Fisherman's Wharf (a carnival atmosphere prevailed on the streets where many wares were hawked), Ghiardelli Square (home of world-famous chocolates), Golden Gate Park, Nob Hill and Alcatraz. For the evening's dinner-cruise we bused across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to Berkeley where we boarded the Commodore Hornblower for a memorable ride around the bay. The committee, including Joe Tilt, Tony Reynolds and Jack Wilson (who gave each attendee a spoon for "spooning around"), presented several awards. First-timers to a mini were introduced. Classmates sang Old Nassau on return ride to the hotel, which was delayed by an accident on the bridge.

Sunday, April 27: Some of the group attended an impressionist showing at the art gallery. The mini ended on a "high note" at Bill and Peggy Spencer's lovely turn-of-the-century country estate in Ross where a scrumptious brunch (catered by Bon Apetit) was enjoyed along with music by folk singer George Alexander.

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