Photo Friday: California Academy of Sciences

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I’m never inclined to do anything cultural when it’s just SVV and me. But as soon as I have visitors in town, woo boy, I pack the schedule so full that my mom was more excited than anything else to get home from her nine-day “vacation” so she could sleep it off for a week. Perhaps one of the things I was most anticipated during her stay was my first trip to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, which reopened its doors in September but has been absolutely too crowded (as in hundreds of people in line daily, no exaggeration), and well, I don’t do lines (too small of a bladder, I fear). Luckily, on the cloudy February Thursday my mom and I chose, we essentially had the place to ourselves.

After my recent trip to the Georgia Aquarium (the world’s biggest), I honestly didn’t think I’d be impressed.

Boy, was I wrong. My favorite part was this four-level Rainforests of the World annex, where the butterflies and birds roamed free, and each floor was dedicated to a different country (Madagascar, Amazon, Costa Rica, Borneo).

One butterfly even took up residence on my mom’s knee, and before you knew it, she became the most popular girl in all of the forest.

In the rainforest, there were lots of lizards.

Or um, iguanas—I’m really not sure.

Though they were all about giving each other “special hugs.”

Staring down little boys.

And showering me with kisses.

The museum also consists of a science lab, planetarium, Living Roof and aquarium, which of course was my favorite part.

I’m not really sure if this is coral or what—see what a bad journalist I am? I don’t even take notes!—but I do know it was pretty. (Editor’s Note: OK, it’s been pointed out already that the below looks a little, erm, phallic…I swear, I did not think that when taking this picture! Minds out of gutter, Internet!)

I’ve always had a fascination with jellies, though even when I spot moons (which don’t sting) while diving in a full-blown wetsuit, you can bet your bottom dollar I get out of the water as quickly as my fins will take me. And after seeing Seven Pounds (seriously, what was that all about anyway?!), I’m even more terrified of them. But they sure are pretty.

And I could have sat all day and watched the arctic penguins frolic about.

Hi, Little Guy!

So where’s the albino alligator? Umm…your guess is as good as mine. Clearly he blended into its surroundings so, that I didn’t even notice him!

*All photos taken with a Canon XTi, 17-85mm and 50mm fixed lens.

  • March 6, 2009

    Those orange possibly corral things kind of remind me of my husband! Dirty mommy. I know I am not the only one to see that.

  • March 6, 2009

    Oh goodness! I have to admit I thought the same thing as Aprille when I first saw the coral. Dirty minds think alike, I guess. Beautiful place! I’ll have to check it out next time I’m on the west coast.

  • March 6, 2009

    LOVE aquariums.

  • March 6, 2009

    Very cool pictures – it reminds me a bit of the Dallas Aquarium, at least the Rainforest part, but obviously way cooler! I tried to visit the zoo/aquarium in almost every city I travel to – it’s a low bar, but one I can usually meet. 🙂

  • March 6, 2009

    My daughter would have loved the Aquarium! And this mommy would have enjoyed watching those lizards / iguanas give “special hugs” to each other.

    You know what that photo of the jellyfish remind me of? Like peeking into a microscope and watching little swimmers compete for the golden egg. Is this the reason you put this photo right below those strangely shaped orange stuff? 🙂 My, my, what a brilliant journalist you are! You might not even be aware that you’ve provided us with a (subliminal) lesson on LIFE.

  • March 6, 2009

    I would like a penguin for my bathtub. Do you think they’d notice if I snuck one out in my purse?

    Is “snuck” a word?

  • March 6, 2009

    COOL. Did it smell? Sometimes the aquarium here SMELLS.

  • March 6, 2009

    these pictures are stunning!

    seriously…i could sit and watch penguins all day too.

  • March 6, 2009

    I want to go to there!

  • March 6, 2009

    I absolutely love places like this. Zoos, aquariums, wild animal parks, all of it.

  • March 6, 2009

    Special hugs *snicker*

  • March 6, 2009

    Orange sea pens 🙂 When I was younger we would yank them out of the ground during low tide and use them as squirt guns. . 🙂

  • March 6, 2009

    Your pictures are great, I love the aquarium!

  • March 6, 2009

    I used to go to the Academy of Sciences before the remodel (of course), and it was one of my favorite places in the city. When I come back again, I’ll definitely plan a trip there.

  • March 6, 2009

    I wish there was some way I could save my favorite entries on your blog. Grr. I just don’t want to forget about this place when I make it out to Norcal!

  • March 6, 2009

    I just really want a penguin 🙂

  • March 7, 2009

    Great photos! My husband and I were in San Francisco just last month celebrating our two year wedding anniversary. We picked up a City Pass that gave us free entry to the California Academy of Science but we ended up not going because of other places we wanted to explore (i.e Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, Yerba Buena Garden Center, etc.).

    We might be heading back up next month for my girlfriend’s birthday so I definitely have to put this spot down in our list of to-dos. :]

  • March 7, 2009

    Bount chica wount wowwww, between the “Special hugs” and the penis plants this post was hot and heavy!

  • March 8, 2009

    so cool. We need to get J a gig in San Fran so I can come see all this. I havent been back to San Fran for years.

  • March 9, 2009

    Re albino alligator … I think he got injured so is out of commission for a little while, poor guy. Nightlife on Thursday nights is also pretty fun, if crowded!

  • March 11, 2009

    oh man, I need to visit the Academy asap. The rain forest area looks incredible!

  • March 16, 2009

    I am dancing in my office for you. That is all.

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