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Mount Palomar and the Out-of-Towners dinner

It's the day before the wedding, and we're responsible for the "Out of Towners" pre-wedding dinner and get-together.

We actually had some free time this morning in that we weren't due to be at the venue (Scripp's Cottage in San Diego University Campus) until 4:00pm. So, after looking at some brochures, we decide to drive up to Mount Palomar observatory. I didn't even know that Mount Palomar was anywhere near San Diego!  ...and it's not, really, but it is only about an hour's drive distant.

It was pretty cool, seeing the astronomers working on installing instrument packages into the cage below the big 200 inch tube.

It's amazing, the top of Palomar mountain is flat and broad, despite being 5500 feet up in the sky. It's an ideal location for an observatory.  One sad thing - they don't do straight optical imaging so much now because of the increase in light pollution from the rapidly growing San Diego area. It's mostly spectum analysis stuff now.

After taking a circuituous and scenic route back to the hotel, we arrived back in enough time to check Stan and Jeanne in, who were driving down from Vegas that morning, and to clean up, arrange transportation and driving directions for everyone, and head off to the venue.

It turned out that despite our best efforts, the driving instructions from the hotel to Scripp's Cottage did not exactly match up with reality. This was partly my fault (relying on EarthViewer again!), and partly the fault of the Scripp's Cotttage university venue people. But eventually everyone we were expecting showed up, roughly about 80 people in total

The event came out really well.  The food was good and tasty, despite the constraints of diet, etc, and the venue was really great, with a pond containing fishes and turtles, and lots of decking for tables and stuff.

Kudos to all those involved in the organizing and making-it-happen.

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