AAOS Bulletin - December 2006

Annual Meeting social program highlights unique San Diego

By Jennie L. McKee

Bordered by Mexico, the Pacific Ocean and the Laguna Mountains, San Diego, the site of the 2007 AAOS Annual Meeting, 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, such as Old Town, the Gaslamp Quarter and the “island” of Coronado. Take a narrated walking tour to view Victorian architecture, fine art galleries, eclectic cafes and restaurants of the Gaslamp Quarter. The Old Town walking tour focuses on historic venues that embody mid-nineteenth century Greek revival and Victorian architecture.

Put on hiking shoes for 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. Or opt for a bike tour of La Jolla, which starts at the top of Mount Soledad, with its breathtaking 360 view of the city, and continues all the way down to the ocean.

Sampling fine food and wine
Want to learn some new cooking skills? “Culinary Fun at Balboa Park” might be just the ticket, with a cooking class at The House of Hospitality in Balboa Park. After a four-course tasting, guests can explore Balboa Park’s beautiful gardens.

Wine connoisseurs will love visiting nearby Temecula Valley and its 12 scenic wineries. One tour goes to Thornton Winery, a charming replica of a French chateau that specializes in the traditional “methode champenoise,” and to Callaway Vineyard and Winery where guests can enjoy a private tour and indulge in four different wines paired with decadent desserts. Another winery tour takes visitors to 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.

Those who would like to try their hand at creating a unique wine can attend the “Blend Your Own Wine” session to 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.

Chocolate lovers will enjoy tasting various kinds of chocolates with wines and ports specially selected to enhance the chocolates’ flavor during the “Wine & Chocolate Pairing” activity.

Enjoying the wildlife
The behind-the-scenes tour of the world-famous San Diego Zoo is another option. Spanning 100 acres inside Balboa Park, the zoo houses almost 4,000 animals and features authentic habitats, meandering pathways, waterfalls and tropical plants. Visitors should 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.

The “SeaWorld VIP Spotlight Tour” at SeaWorld Adventure Park explores marine life and the animal care facility, shark lab, and killer whale and dolphin training facilities—areas that are usually off-limits to the public. During the whale watching tour, expert guides from the San Diego Natural History Museum will point out various sea creatures, which may include gray whales, and offer fun facts about them.

Exploring the USS Midway and the USNS MERCY Hospital Ship
Those interested in maritime history won’t want to miss a tour of the Midway Museum and the Maritime Museum. Aboard the USS Midway, an historic aircraft carrier used in World War II, visitors can explore more than 40 exhibits as well as the mess deck, berthing space, hangar deck and flight deck. Then, guests can 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.

Another fascinating ship tour takes guests 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.

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

Registration information

Those who would like to register for social program activities or need more information, including prices and dates, can go online or can e-mail the Academy’s convention and meeting services department at meeting@aaos.org

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