Reunion 2006

Reunion Coordinator(s): Ruth and Dudley Cass

Thanks to Ruth, and Jack Timmons, arrangements for the San Diego Reunion are going well. In fact, it’s looking like a repeat of the 2000 San Diego Reunion. Using the same hotel, and featuring some of the same events we had last time. But there’s lot’s of changes in San Diego, and in it’s attractions, in six years, so you won’t be bored with the “same old things”. General information follows. The May newsletter will have more details and also contain the registration package.

Reunion Date: Wed., August 16, thru Sat., August 19.

San Diego Weather expected: No rain, low humidity, days in the 70s-80s, cooling off to the 60s at night. Inland (~10 miles from the ocean) 10 degrees warmer. Ocean temperature - (San Diego’s “air conditioner”) low 70s. Although cool, use sun-protection if you’re out on tours, etc.

Hotel: Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92186. Rates: $99 (Single or Double) + 10.5% room tax. Rates are good 3 days before to 3 days after (Aug 13 thru Aug 22) for those who want more time in San Diego. Parking at the hotel is $1 per day for our group. The hotel is 6 miles from the airport ($9.50 per person airport shuttle, or about $20 taxi fare for 2-4 people), 3 miles from Sea World, 3 miles for the San Diego Zoo. The hotel is adjacent to the Riverwalk Golf Course, and to the Fashion Valley Mall, one of San Diego’s premier shopping malls. The San Diego Trolley and Bus Terminal are adjacent to the hotel grounds. The major attractions in San Diego are easily accessible by trolley/bus, and the fares are extremely economical, especially for Seniors.

We will have the same fantastic Hospitality room we had in 2000 - the Lapavillion Lounge on the top floor of the East Tower. A former hotel bar, it has about 1600 sq ft floor space, surrounded by glass on 3 sides, lavishly furnished as you would expect an upscale hotel bar to be.

You will make your own reservations. The cutoff date for the rates above is July 23, 2006. Reservation Phone: 1-800-772-8527. Make sure you tell them you are with the USS TOPEKA reunion.
Internet information on the hotel may be found at

Reunion Schedule: We recommend you plan on arriving Tuesday because there are plenty of things you will want to do Wednesday through Saturday. There are easily accessible shopping malls. Golfers, bring your clubs – we have many golf courses, including the one adjacent to the hotel and the nearby Navy course at Admiral Baker Field. Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and Balboa Park, which has several museums – including the San Diego Aerospace Museum, and the Automotive Museum, are all a short trolley/bus ride away. For the international experience, take the trolley to Tijuana, Mexico, and try the shopping and barhopping on Revolucion Ave. See the Navy “grays” from the Harbor Cruise, or by a visit to the 32nd St. Naval Station. The San Diego Padres have a new downtown baseball stadium and will be playing home games during our reunion. We plan on getting discount tickets for the popular attractions through the Navy Base for your use, and we will provide details on how to get there, using the public transportation, or driving your own vehicle.

Wednesday: Open day for check-in, doing attractions on your own. Optional events: Temecula Winery Tour; and for the evening, visit Historic Old Town, the original “downtown” of San Diego; dinner at the Casa Guadalajara Restaurant, followed by a live show “Triple Espresso” at the Horton Grand Theatre

Thursday: Open day for golfing, doing the attractions on your own. Planning a Navy Gray shipboard tour (see “Optional Events” below). For the evening, a Harbor Dinner Cruise on San Diego Bay.

Friday: Open day for golfing, doing the attractions on your own. Optional event: Cabrillo Monument/National Park Tour. Board Meeting 4:30 p.m . For the evening, a cocktail mixer hour at 6 p.m., followed at 7 p.m. by a “Picnic Buffet” at one of the hotel’s pool areas.

Saturday: Reunion Business Meeting at 9 a.m. followed by group pictures. “On your own” the rest of the day. For the evening, cocktail hour at 6 p.m. followed by a sit-down banquet and short program at 7 p.m..

Sunday: Check out and “Aloha” until next year.

Hospitality Room - Focal point of the Reunion. We have a fantastic room for the Hospitality Room – you will enjoy meeting and talking with your shipmates there. It will be open at 7 a.m. every morning with fresh coffee, donuts, bagel, juice, milk, and toast. A light lunch will be available. Will be open until midnight except during the hours of the Friday night mixer/buffet, and the Saturday night cocktail -hour/banquet. Alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages, coffee, and snacks will be provided.

Registration will be there; the Ship’s store will be set up, and tables will be available for display of TOPEKA memorabilia, photos, cruise books, etc. Information and “how to get there” will be available for San Diego attractions.

Optional Events

Gate Price (adult) Discount Ticket Price

Sea World Performing marine animals in many scheduled shows. Several new rides/shows since 2000. $53 $44

San Diego Zoo. World-famous and world-class zoo. Animals in natural-habitat surroundings. Bus-tour and Sky ride included. $32 $26

2-Hour Daylight Harbor Cruise. Narrated. Naval Station Piers out to Point Loma Harbor entrance. $22 $9

Evening Dinner Cruise. 7-10 pm Thursday. Choice of entrees: Steak, or Grilled Chicken Breast, or Salmon, or Vegetable Lasagna, plus Special Child’s Dinner. Sit-down dinner.
No-host bar. Beautiful view of San Diego skyline at night. Bus transportation included.
$55 Adult/$40 Child

Old Town Trolley Tour. Narrated tour of Balboa Park/Zoo, downtown San Diego, and Coronado areas. Eight stops - you can get off at any stop, see what you want, then catch a later trolley. (2-hour tour if you don’t get off the trolley.)
$28 $24
Temecula Winery Tasting/Tour. 6-hour tour to Temecula wine country, 50 miles North of San Diego. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Likely wineries to visit: Maurice Car’rie, Van Roekel, Leonese Cellars, Wilson Creek, and nationally known Callaway. Most tasting requires payment ($5 and up) and you get to keep the wine glass. Lunch on your own. (20-person minimum for bus).
USS MIDWAY Museum. Former USS MIDWAY (CVA-41) now berthed next to the Cruise Ship piers a block from the foot of Broadway. Tours, and aircraft display, fantail coffee/sandwich shop, gift shop. $10 $9

San Diego Aerospace Museum. In Balboa Park. Aircraft and spacecraft from the 1900s to recent. Almost as good as the Smithsonian (in my opinion).
$9 $6

Maritime Museum. Includes Berkeley, an ancient Bremerton Ferry converted to a floating maritime museum, and old-time ships: the Star of India, the Californian, the steamship Medea, the HMS Surprise, and a B-39 Russian Sub. . A few blocks north of the Cruise Ship piers.
$10 $9

San Diego Padres Baseball. At the new PETCO stadium adjacent to the Gaslamp District and the convention center. On the trolley line. SF Giants 15-18 Aug, AZ Diamondbacks 19-20 Aug, and LA Dodgers 21-24 Aug. All evening games except Thurs 17 Aug, Sat 19 Aug, and Sun 20 Aug, which are afternoon games. Ticket prices range from $5 to $45 for the many seating areas. Info available on internet On the website, go to the “Tickets” area – you will find a seating chart for the stadium, and the ticket price for the 14 designated seating areas. On the registration form, fill in the date, the seating area, price of the tickets. I’ll get you the tickets, and refund you the difference if they are available at discount through the Navy.

Navy “Gray” Tour. Since 9/11, access to Navy ships has been tightly controlled. We have requested authorization and scheduling of a Navy “Gray” for a tour for our group. The only cost would be for bus transportation ($12). Date/time to be determined.

Narrated Bus Tour Cabrillo Monument/National Park, Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery,
Veterans Monuments at Mt. Soledad and near Balboa Park, USS MIDWAY Museum.

5 hour tour 10am-3pm Friday. Includes admission to Cabrillo National Park and USS MIDWAY Museum. Lunch on your own, during or after the tour. $35 person.

Dinner at Casa Guadalajara, Live Comedy Show “Triple Espresso”
Wednesday eve. Fine Mexican food and Mariachi music at the Guadalajara in historic “Old Town”. Followed by highly recommended comedy theatre “Triple Espresso” at the Horton Grand in the Gaslamp District. Bus transportation leaves hotel at 5:15p.m. Pay your own dinner. Bus and show at $42 per person.

RV Parks. If you want space in a RV park, make your reservations early! Some of those available include:

Admiral Baker Field. (Navy retired with ID card). $21 a day. Reservations may be requested a maximum of 60 days in advance. 2-3 miles east of the reunion hotel. Phone (619) 556-5525.

KOA Chula Vista. $46-$55 weekdays. $57-$58 weekends. About 10 miles south of the reunion hotel. Phone (619) 427-3601.

Chula Vista J St. Marina. On the bay. $49-$65 daily. “Filling up now for August” (Feb 4). About 10 miles south of the reunion hotel. Phone (619) 422-0111.

Need more information? Have Questions?
Contact Ruth/Dudley Cass, 3028 Bonita Woods Dr., Bonita CA 91902. Phone (619) 267-3123. Email BonitaRCDC@AOL.COM. Any suggestions or recommendations for the reunion are welcomed. See you in San Diego!