The view from our hotel room this morning.
From the bus window in the Haight.
The rainforest at the Academy of Sciences.
Some of the amazing and beautiful marine life in the science academy.
Giant cockroaches, not so beautiful but maybe amazing in their survival skills.
Hannah and Jane at the Science Academy.
Part of the living roof
Cable car ride
View of the city
Tea and crumpets
Oh my gosh, we finally made it to the Palace of Fine Arts and Exploratorium!
We've had a busy day and are awaiting a pizza delivery because we are all pooped and don't want to go out again! Left the hotel this morning and walked to an IHOP for breakfast, then took a long, scenic bus ride through the city to Golden Gate Park and the California Academy of Sciences. It is billed as "the only place on the planet where you can explore an aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum under one roof." We enjoyed the many species of marine life in the aquarium and climbed to the top of the building to see the "living roof," an expanse of 2.5 acres growing plants, grasses and flowers. It's not necessarily in all of its glory in January but we could imagine how gorgeous it must be in the spring and summer. We wanted to experience the rainforest exhibit and the planetarium but the lines were exceedingly long with lots of school kids on field trips and we had several other things we wanted to do today so we decided to let those go.
Riding in a cab and then catching the historic cable car to the wharf area, we walked to Ghirardelli Square for afternoon tea at The Crown and Crumpet. Finger sandwiches, scones, crumpets, cookies and cupcakes, along with hot chocolate for Hannah and hot tea for Rich and me definitely hit the spot after walking in the cold. From there, our plan was to make it to the Exploratorium before it closed at 5 PM. Rich looked at his map and decided it was not too far to walk. An hour or more later, and many blocks under our tired feet, we had still not arrived. By then, we were in a nice residential area which contained no bus stops, trolley lines, or the presence of any taxis so we just kept walking. We could see the Exploratorium ahead but it seemed like it was still very far away. We considered writing it off and going back to the hotel but Hannah pointed us forward and off we went. We finally made it at 20 till 5 after leaving our afternoon tea at 3:30 or so. We were considering whether it was even worthwhile to pay an entrance fee and go in for a few minutes when we saw a sign stating that admission was free today! Yippee! We made the best of those 20 minutes, that's for sure! The Exploratorium is a really cool place with many hands-on activities and experiments to try. We certainly wished we had made it earlier in the day but at least we had time to walk through and do a few things.
Rich promised us we did not have to walk all the way back to the hotel--LOL. We caught the bus and on the ride back we were amazed at how far we had actually walked today. The bus dropped us off right near our hotel, thank goodness. Our pizza came while I was writing this, and Rich and Hannah are watching "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" from their beds. Tomorrow we rent a car and head down the highway to Rich's sister Vesta's home in Kingsburg.