SORMA West 2012 Social Program
Sunday Evening, May 13:
Welcome Reception and Registration
Tuesday Evening, May 15SORMA West 2012 Conference Banquet
at the Oakland Museum of California
|Whether taking a vacation, moving from another state, or starting a new life in a strange foreign land, coming from somewhere else has always been a quintessential part of the California experience. (The 2010 census marked the first time since the Gold Rushover 150 yearsthat a majority of California residents had been born in the state.) Explore this aspect of our state the evening of Tuesday, May 15 in the Gallery of California History at the Oakland Museum of California during SORMA West 2012's conference banquet.|
Another newly opened exhibit looks back on the pivotal year 1968:
Our evening begins at 6 p.m. with a wine and cheese reception and a chance to explore the museum and its architecturally significant buildings and grounds. A gourmet dinner by Karen Bevels Catering will be served buffet style at 7:30, and runs until 9:30.
The banquet at the Oakland Museum of California is $10 for registered SORMA West 2012 attendees, $50 for companions and one-day registrants; tickets may be purchased on the conference registration website.
The museum is several blocks from the hotel; shuttle buses will be provided.
Wednesday Afternoon, May 16 ExcursionsYour Choice of Wine Country; USS Hornet and Rosenblum Cellars; or Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge
Adventure and network with your colleagues on Wednesday afternoon by choosing one of our excursions. Tickets are $10 for registered attendees (except one-day registrants), $50 for a companion or one-day registrant. All excursions include a box lunch. Coaches will depart the Marriott at 12:30 p.m. Traffic permitting, we expect to be back around 6 p.m.
Wednesday's technical program ends at noon, so if you don't opt for one of the tours, feel free to explore on your own.
Wine Country:Domaine Carneros and Nicholson Ranch
Wine rejoices the heart of man, and joyousness is the mother of all virtues. GoetheThere is something about wineries and the country of vineyards that rejoices the heart of man as well. Enjoy a feast for both eyes and palate with our tour of the wine country of Sonoma and Napa Valleys. An hour's drive through some of northern California's loveliest countryside will take us to the sites of our tours. Nicholson Ranch, a family-owned winery described in Sonoma County: The Secret Wine Country as "one of the best new finds on the Sonoma side of the Carneros region," is best known for chardonnays and pinots, but also crafts merlots and syrahs.
|The tour also takes us to Domaine Carneros. The Wine Lover's Guide to the Wine Country praises its "exquisitely groomed vineyards" and "elegant, gracious refinement" almost as highly as its products: sparkling wines, including some considered to be among California's finest, and a well-regarded pinot noir.
We will have an hour at each winery. The bus trip will be approximately one hour each way, and the price includes a box lunch en route.
Photo courtesy Domaine Carneros.
USS Hornet and Rosenblum Cellars:
From the Marianas Campaign to Cabernet Sauvignon
|Not all great wineries are in mansions in the countryside. In a hangar on the former Naval Air Station Alameda, just a 10-minute drive from the hotel, is a noted maker of fine wine: Rosenblum Cellars.
Best known for its zinfandels but also strong in other varietals such as cabernet sauvignon and syrah, Rosenblum likes to showcase the appellations and even individual vineyards of northern California. Their wine educators will lead us through a private tasting, and their patio will be a great place to enjoy a gourmet box lunch (included in the excursion fee).
|This tour also includes one of the historical treasures of the Bay Area: USS Hornet (CV-12), an aircraft carrier whose distinguished career ran from the final years of World War 2 through the recovery of Apollo 11 and 12. A docent-guided tour of Hornet will give you an inside look at a true "floating city" and help you appreciate the lives of real-life Top Guns and the thousands of dedicated crew who made flight operations possible, as well as the technologies, state of the art in the day, that helped make them so effective.|
|Attendance is limited: first come, first served.|
San Francisco Scenery:
Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge
|Spartan surroundings tantalizingly near great beauty. Unsparing discipline. Cold water and fast current awaiting anybody who made it over the wall alive. The slamming of a barred steel door. The very name Alcatraz can still evoke dread. Inmates sent there had been deemed too dangerous and disruptive for other Federal penitentiaries.
You, though, will see it a different way: with a gourmet box lunch aboard a luxury motor coach, a ferry ride from San Francisco to the island, and an expertly guided walking tour.
There's far more to this tour than crime and punishment. Alcatraz has rich natural and human history from before and after its infamous though brief service (1934-1963) as a prison for the worst of the worst. And, at least when you're on the law-abiding side of its walls, the Bay views can be outstanding.
"The Rock." You've seen it on the big and small screen and heard its legends; now experience it.
With time off for good behavior, you'll be out of Alcatraz within two hours or so. The other half of the afternoon gets you up close to the signature attraction of a city that has many candidates for that honor: the Golden Gate Bridge. Both its beauty and its engineering audacity are as impressive now as when it as completed 75 years ago. At the Visitors Center, you'll learn how it was built, and then you can walk out onto the span, 200 feet above San Francisco Bay.
Attendance is limited: first come, first served. We will organize into two groups; one will go first to Alcatraz, the other first to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Note: Even on a mid-May afternoon, San Francisco weather can be capricious, variable by neighborhood, and cooler than tourists usually expect. Alcatraz is more likely to be cool and foggy than The City itself. Rain is unlikely, but daytime high temperatures might be as low as 45-50° F, or 7-10° C, on parts of this tour. Locals master the art of "layering" (and take the weather forecast to be merely the centroid of a seasonal parameter space). Check the forecast on Monday to see if having a light sweater or windbreaker with you would be prudent.