Now for your oddly titled post… Day six of the San Francisco trip was actually spent *in* San Francisco.
We stayed close to downtown at Adante Hotel, which was good, because driving would have been near impossible, but bad because the hotel itself was kinda dumpy, and did not have parking included (which was my misunderstanding starting out). So, Parking was an extra $40/night. Beyond that, I’m not really knowledgeable on the areas of downtown so I’m not sure if we stayed at a good, bad or otherwise area.
Our first excursion was to the California Academy of Sciences, which is, as the title kind of gives away, a large museum of anything science related, which includes LOTS of animals, so that’s exactly what you’re going to get pictures of – lots of animals. They also have a few theaters, many displays and an interesting bio-active roof with telescopes to look at the sun (but no camera mounts).
Afterward, we took a bus down to the Golden Gate bridge to do the bridge walk. I will note that google maps on a phone was pretty great for finding and planning bus routes – they’re not always 100% accurate, but it’s usually better than trying to interpret a printed schedule. The walk was cool, though it did make us aware that the bridge, though it looks nice from a distances, has a lot of rusted through bits which is just a little concerning.
After the bridge walk, we took another bus the wrong direction (my fault, not google maps) and then another down to the Fisherman’s Wharf area where we wandered around for a bit before finding dinner at Boudin Bakery. Dinner was of course, more clam chowder in sourdough for me, and a squash soup in sourdough bread bowl for Janet because she has an irrational dislike, which in this case is the only kind of dislike, of clam chowder.
I think we headed back to the hotel sometime around 11:30, which was late enough to actually get a cable car ride without waiting in an hour long line (not an exaggeration).
San Francisco still uses cable cars to navigate the steep hills of the city. In this square, the cable car does a 360 circle and heads back in the opposite direction. Our plan was to take a ride on the cable car, however, the wait was a bit ridiculous during the day.
The cable car stops in the middle of downtown and does a 360 degree turnaround. We had planned on taking a ride on the famous cable car, however, at this time it was too long of a wait.
California Academy of Sciences. We thought it might be fun to spend some time here...turned out to be a great afternoon of animals, rainforests, aquariums, a "living roof" and just about all things science.
Upon entering the rainforest, you're surrounded by plants and can feel the humidity.
The Academy Rainforest is teeming with live animals – including free-flying birds and butterflies (that fly around you as you climb through the levels), exotic reptiles and amphibians, and a cave with bats. After you climb through the layers of the rainforest, you then descend into a 100,000 gallon “Flooded Forest” tank, where freshwater fish cruise overhead. This is Me taking pictures from the fourth floor of the terrarium bubble. Here, the tanagers (small birds) and butterflies are very active and they make it a point to check you for butterflies before exiting the rainforest.
Here you can see the top level of the rainforest area. The domed skylights are visible on their "living roof" which there will be pictures of as well.
You can see down through the fish pond into the aquarium area below.
Blue and gold macaws; a large South American parrot with blue top parts and yellow under parts
The butterflies were free to roam about the rainforest which made for some lovely pictures.
Check out the patterns visible in the eye. The curly "tongue" is called the proboscis
Looking very lady-like
I think the birds in these photos are called "tanagers". Small and fast!
Claude is a 18 year old 9.5 foot albino alligator with his own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Claude-the-Albino-Alligator/113022098755056
bumpy the frog
Hi... I do commercials for Geico.
Golden silk orbweaver spiders. They are found in the Southeastern United States, South America & Africa...they can stay there.
If you look closely in the snake's eye, you can see the reflection of the many skylights in the roof of the rainforest area.
These frogs are appropriately called glass frogs because of the see-through nature of their skin. Although glass frogs have some pigment in their skin, mostly green, it is possible to see through their bellies and observe their organs.
Poison dart frog
Note the sticky nubs on the ends of their toes.
They had a few jellyfish, but nothing like the Jellies display at Shedd in Chicago.
The poison dart frogs were much cuter than these coiled sneaky jerks
leafy seadragon. Didn't look very dragon-like. More like a kelpy sea-mess
Honeycomb ray, definitely the largest ray in this tide pool. It's difficult to get pictures of rays under water, even with a polarizer.
The "living roof". I think this was the roof just over the terrarium bubble.
another shot of the "living roof". There was an area in the center of the roof where you could walk around and they had telescopes set up to view sun spots on the sun. We were told multiple times while waiting to view the sunspots, NOT to touch the telescopes as it takes the volunteers a while to get it set to the correct spot/setting for viewing. Of course the humans don't pay attention...
No fog this day! Note; the main hanging cables for the next photo...
Number of galvanized steel wires in one main cable that are 0.192 inches in diameter: 27,572
A view of Alcatraz island from the Golden Gate Bridge.
a "crisis" phone stationed about half-way across the bridge; a macabre reminder of how some view this bridge as useful
Total length of Bridge including approaches from abutment to abutment: 1.7 miles = 8,981 ft = 2,737 m
pointing out the defects will not be helpful with your fear of heights
Looking back on the city from the bridge.
Alcatraz island from the bridge.
Height of tower above water: 746 ft = 227 m
Looking down from the bridge