Thursday, August 6, 2009

When You're Goin' to San Francisco...

...be sure you know ahead of time what day of the week the Exploratorium is closed.

We drove up to San Francisco ostensibly to visit the Exploratorium (as a hands-on museum it's a little schizo for my tastes, but the girls love it, and as long as you take some Tylenol pre-emptively before you enter their doors you should fare alright), but alas, the Exploratorium is closed on Mondays.

But, you know, it's San Francisco. I'm sure we can find something to do.

We chilled at Crissy Field for a while, with its ridiculous view of the Golden Gate Bridge:
And whenever we stood still long enough, we gamely complied whenever tourists wanted us to take pictures of them with their cameras. I NEVER ask someone to do this, because their photos are always crap, and I usually make Matt take the photo when a tourist asks us, because I'm a camera snob about the boring poses and boring cameras of the tourists, but I actually wish I hadn't been such a snob and had been the one taking this shot: I bet Matt's photo was crap, though.

We ate some sourdough bread, of course, although we did not ride a cable car, and we went to the California Academy of Sciences, which I was REALLY excited about, since it just re-opened late last summer after a renovation that took so long that it's never been open in the decade or so that I've been coming to Cali for Matt.

The Academy of Sciences' renovation makes it look much more like a modernized natural history museum. You can see where many of the dusty old stuffed animals were moved to, to be incorporated into brighter, more interactive exhibits, and you can tell where the big bucks were spent, on a huge aquarium that is reminiscent of the Monterey Bay Aquarium----except that there's an albino alligator--and a big rainforest habitat that exists in a huge glass globe in center of the museum.

If you don't mind dead bugs on pins, there are some very cool exhibits on butterflies, and one in particular that shows the genetic diversity of one specific insect by showing just thousands of them stuck on pins so you can see their tiny little subtle variations of color and size and shape and spots and stuff.

The children's play room, which is a necessity, I think, in any modern museum, be it science or art or natural history, was imaginative but small, and the baseball caps were crazy-overpriced (although I really wanted one), but the Galapagos and Madagascar exhibits were really excellent, and Willow and I spent a VERY long time hanging out by the pendulum and learning that the earth spins:

Not a bad lesson for such a fine day.

Tomorrow--Point Reyes National Seashore.

1 comment:

TeresaR said...

Remind me never to show our vacation photos (when we actually remember to take any) to you!

We ate sourdough and rode the cable car while in San Fran, but we missed the CA Academy of Sciences though...bummer.

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