Thursday was another day with a pre-planned event. I had bought tickets for the California Academy of Sciences nightlife tour. This means the museum is open from 6-10pm for people with tickets and over 21 years of age.
Because the museum is situated in Golden Gate Park we decided to spend most of the day there. We had a leisurely breakfast at the Squat & Gobble (much nicer than yesterday’s although we noticed they too do the blancmange like omelettes – must be a west coast thing). Then we caught a tram back to Union Sq. While there we did what we should have done while we were in Indianapolis, bought a burner phone. We’d tried to book a taxi online but we need a US phone number to do so. So I now have a nice cheap little smart phone for emergencies over here and can bring back with me for the next GenCon we go to. I have been really tempted to send Samius some weird texts while I’m still here… 😀
From Union Sq we caught another tram over to the park. And like everything in the US this isn’t a small patch of grass and trees – its huge. We spent a few hours just wondering around enjoying the sun (yay the sun came out) before making our way to the Japanese Tea Gardens. I’d been wanting to see these and I wasn’t disappointed. The place was beautiful. I could have quite happily just sat by one of the several pools, letting the world go by. I took a ton of pictures – I’ll put them up in a blog once we get home.
We were starting to get a bit hungry so we found a hot dog stand in the park. You really can’t beat american hot dogs. Which is what Rachel started muttering about after we’d eaten, the fact that we don’t even get the nice rolls for them in the UK. After eating Rachel was craving nicotine again (I know, bad habits) so we walked back out of the park so she could have a smoke. Then another leisurely walk back to the museum.
I had actually bought VIP tickets for the event, which meant we got a tour to start with. The woman giving the tour was very knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions. She gave us information about their own home grown coral reef, the expeditions the museum puts together, details about the research they do and we finished the tour in one of their research labs where two scientists were preparing carcasses for storage.
It was very informative. Unfortunately that’s where things stated to fall apart. She showed us over to the rainforest exhibit as our next place to visit. The VIP passes meant we could skip the line. But it was 7.45pm at this point. We had been told we also had reserved seating for the last planetarium show, which I really wanted to see, but we had to be there by 8.15pm. So, 30 minutes. We started up the rainforest display, not stopping as much as I would have liked to admire what they have put together, reached the exit at 8.10pm to find you are automatically taken down to the aquarium. We had to completely skip that and head for the planetarium. and the aquarium was packed! Oh well, we made it to the show on time.
And that was amazing. A huge dome, 6 digital projections, the displays of the universe were fantastic. A very immersive 30 minutes on the reality of dark matter & dark energy. Great stuff.
Unfortunately during the show Rachel’s knee crapped out. It’s been OK for the past few days but the sitting in a fixed slightly cramped position set it off 😦 so after the show we decided to call it a night.
When we got back to the apartment Rachel found she had been bitten several times, inch wide red raised areas around a small bump. No idea where that happened, but she’s obviously tastier than me ‘cos I haven’t been bitten 😉