SAN FRANCISCO -- Dozens of Gov. Jerry Brown's friends and campaign donors along with state business officials were off to Beijing on Sunday for the beginning of a weeklong trade mission -- but the governor was not among them.
Brown, who turns 75, opted instead to spend his birthday in California with his wife, Anne. They plan to set out Monday to join the more than seven dozen others in the delegation.
Earlier this week, Brown said he had originally planned to celebrate his milestone birthday with "a big party" at the Governor's Mansion in Sacramento, but that the logistics of the China trip and his schedule had overwhelmed that idea.
Brown is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Tuesday afternoon local time, welcoming delegates at a dinner at the China Club, a restaurant dating back to the Qing Dynasty that has been extensively renovated in recent years.
The dinner is the first in a series of lavish meals the famously austere governor is to attend this week, including a formal Chinese banquet, a winemakers dinner at the Shanghai Ritz Carlton, and a Huangpu River dinner cruise, where former NBA star turned Napa Valley winery owner Yao Ming is rumored to be making a cameo.
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