2007 Annual Meeting social program features San Diego highlights

2007 Annual Meeting social program features San Diego highlights

By Jennie L. McKee

Bordered by Mexico, the Pacific Ocean and the Laguna Mountains, San Diego boasts 70 miles of beaches and an average daily temperature of around 70 F. The Annual Meeting social program, which is available only to family members who accompany AAOS members attending the Annual Meeting, takes advantage of everything this warm, sunny city has to offer.

Touring San Diego

Taking motor coach, walking and biking tours is a great way to get acquainted with San Diego and enjoy the picturesque scenery. The “San Diego Highlights” motor coach tour showcases the rich history, world-class attractions, beautiful beaches and bays and charming, eclectic neighborhoods of San Diego. On this tour, a knowledgeable guide will take you through Old Town, the Gaslamp Quarter and the “island” of Coronado. The tour (event #810) is scheduled for today at 1:45 p.m. and Friday (event #827) at 10 a.m. and costs just $28 per person.

To view Victorian architecture, fine art galleries, eclectic cafes and restaurants on-foot while listening to tales of the Gaslamp Quarter’s colorful history, consider taking a narrated walking tour of the area. The Old Town walking tour focuses on historic venues that embody mid-nineteenth century Greek revival and Victorian architecture. The Gaslamp Quarter Walking Tour (event #816) takes off tomorrow morning at 9:45 a.m.; the cost is $25 per person. The Old Town Walking Tour (event #831; $35 per person) is scheduled for Friday at 12:45 p.m.

On Saturday at 8:45 a.m., nature lovers can put on their hiking shoes and take a docent-guided walk through the trails of Torrey Pines State Reserve to learn about the cultural, historical and geological aspects of the reserve’s 2,000 acres of natural beauty (event #837; $45 per person).

Sampling fine food and wine

Wine connoisseurs will love visiting nearby Temecula Valley and its 12 scenic wineries. Thursday’s tour (event #815, $130 per person) leaves at 9:30 a.m. for Thornton Winery, a charming replica of a French chateau that specializes in the traditional “methode champenoise,” and Callaway Vineyard and Winery where you’ll enjoy a private tour and indulge in four different wines paired with decadent desserts.

Friday’s winery tour (event #826, $130 per person) leaves at 9:30 a.m. for the Ponte Family Estate for a tour of the grounds and wine tasting, and then to a tasting at the family-run Wilson Creek Winery.

Want to try your hand at creating a unique wine? The “Blend Your Own Wine” session on Saturday (event #840, $57 per person) is for you. Sample pure Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc and work with other participants to come up with a special blend. A tasting panel will award a prize to its favorite blended wine. It all starts at 11 a.m.

Enjoying the wildlife

Animal lovers will go ape for a behind-the-scenes tour of the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Spanning 100 acres inside Balboa Park, the zoo houses almost 4,000 animals and features authentic animal habitats, meandering pathways, waterfalls and tropical plants. You’ve two opportunities for this event: today at 9 a.m. (event #803), and Saturday (event #836) at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $96 per person.

Look for rhinoceroses, elephants, and other animals roaming freely at San Diego’s 1,800-acre Wild Animal Park, which, like the zoo, offers a behind-the-scenes tour where you will be treated to a private animal presentation (event #813, Thursday, 9 a.m., $90 per person).

To explore marine life, go on the “SeaWorld VIP Spotlight Tour” at SeaWorld Adventure Park (event #830, Friday at 11 a.m., $105 per person). You’ll see the animal care facility, shark lab, and killer whale and dolphin training facilities—areas that are usually off-limits to the public.

Another option is to venture out on the Pacific Ocean for a whale watching tour, during which expert guides from the San Diego Natural History Museum point out various sea creatures, which may include gray whales, and offer fun facts about them. One tour (event #808) takes off today at 12:45 p.m; the other (event #825) is scheduled for Friday at 8:45 a.m. It’s just $45 per person.

Exploring the USS Midway and the USNS MERCY Hospital Ship

Don’t miss a tour of the Midway Museum and the Maritime Museum (event #802, today at 8:45 a.m., $70 per person). Aboard the USS Midway, an historic aircraft carrier used in World War II, you can explore more than 40 exhibits as well as the mess deck, berthing space, hangar deck and flight deck. Then, venture to the Maritime Museum for a guided tour and exploration of five historic vessels, including the HMS Surprise, the ship used in the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World starring Russell Crowe.

Visitors to San Diego can take a tour of the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier used during World War II

Another fascinating ship tour takes you aboard USNS MERCY Hospital Ship, a naval hospital ship with a total patient capacity of 1,000 beds that calls San Diego its homeport. The MERCY provides rapid, flexible, and mobile acute medical and surgical services to support members of the United States armed forces, as well as mobile surgical hospital service and humanitarian relief in disasters. Multiple tours are scheduled today, tomorrow and Friday; the cost is just $10 per person.

Registration information

To register any of these activities, visit the on-site registration desk in the lobby of Hall A of the San Diego Convention Center. The social program registration desk is open today from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

All tours depart from the San Diego Convention Center. Please plan to board the tour bus 15 minutes prior to the posted departure time.

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