As I mentioned earlier, Chris & I have taken a few excursions with the advent of Autumn, arguably the best season weather-wise in our part of the country. A couple weeks back, he had Friday as one of his days off, so I took a personal holiday so we could visit a new/old attraction in San Francisco.
The California Academy of Science, along with the De Young Museum, have been the center pieces of Golden Gate Park for a number of decades, hosting scores of exhibits & innumerable schoolchildren on fieldtrips~ Chris & I both have memories of visits throughout grade school. Both building were severely damaged by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake & limped along with patched up repairs for years, until it was determined that they needed to be rebuilt from scratch. In all honesty, I really dislike the design of the new De Young (which reopened in 2005 after 5 years); but the new C.A.S. is a wonder & we’ve been itching to see it since it reopened last year.
The most noticeable feature has to be the Living Roof~ 2 ½ acres of native plants growing over the undulating surface of the roof;
it was rather warm the day we were there & the wild flowers were past their prime, but the gentle breeze from the bay & the buzzing of insects made for a hypnotic visit.
We started in the Rainforest exhibit~ we walked up through four stories of plants, birds, & butterflies;
looking down into the water of the pond, you could see strange animals sitting on the bottom.
An elevator ride took us down to the new Steinhart Aquarium;
Chris & Ranger Ruth had some close encounters with really big fish!
Back on the main level, we entered the African Hall, which housed the classic dioramas from our childhood
& then on to the Morrison Planetarium~ where we both managed to doze off during the “Fragile Planet” presentation.
After lunch in the Atrium (yummy Spring Rolls & killer cheesecake) & a visit to the gift shop, we took the long way back to the car, hiking through a stand of coastal redwoods that reside in the park
“It’s this direction~ I’m certain!”
The Park is one of my favorite places in California~ I’m drawn back again & again, finding both new & old sites in this wonderful urban escape; too bad it’s such a pain to drive in the City, otherwise I’d might make the trip more often.