Wednesday, April 8, 2015

California Academy of Sciences

I dragged the B-Man to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park last weekend.  It was supposed to be his last weekend in town (gotta LOVE the 'hurry up and wait' mentality of the military) and it happened to be the free weekend for our zip code. The Academy of Sciences has free admission for neighborhoods, you just have to find which one is yours! All it takes is to bring a photo ID and a piece of mail to prove your address. SCORE!!! Otherwise you'd be shelling out $35 per adult, so we saved $70!!!!!  Forking over that much would only be worth it if you had children and spent the whole day there.

We got up early and took the N line to the park and walked in around 10am.  Getting there early is THE WAY TO GO.  The place was quiet and there were hardly any children...and no screaming children in sight (hey, there's a reason I don't have a kid yet). We also scored our free ticket to the planetarium at noon.  These sell out quickly, so if you're going...get there early!

If you didn't know, Golden Gate Park is H-U-G-E!  This is the whole park and everything in it.

We started off on the first floor and saw the sting rays near the planetarium.

Then went into the African Hall.  Hey...is that Sir Fidel below?!?!?!

And then on to the Penguins...there was even a daily feeding of these little fellows and a show!  But B-Man had a short attention span and didn't want to stand around listening to the children.

And then we walked around to the back to the pendulum.

Pretty cool if you've never seen one of these!  This proves that the Earth spins. The pendulum swings and moves ever so slightly, every 30 minutes the pendulum swings and knocks down another peg. We happened to walk up right as it knocked down the net peg....SCORE!!!

I should have taken a better picture of this albino alligator. It was SO still when we were above that I couldn't tell if it was real or not. I didn't think so, but M-Man disagreed.  It was SO SO SO still that I didn't catch it move until we were down stairs. I could have sworn he was fake but then it gave me the heeby-geebies!!!

And then we moved over and checked out this pretty bad-ass floor to ceiling aquarium as part of the California Coast exhibit. Wow, this part was SO COOL!  All the colorful fish to be seen in this 100,000 gallon tank!

And then we checked out the coral reefs

Just look at this creepy guy!

How beautiful are these colors in the Philippine Coral Reef exhibit?

I snuck this picture in this crawl hole and this was pretty much his face the whole time.  I don't blame him because I was pretty much the same.

Next up was the Osher Rainforest!!! More than 1,600 species live in the rainforest here, including 250 butterflies that were flying around and landing on people

Spotted one!

This being California, of course there was an Earthquake exhibit! Pretty cool to see the globe with the fault lines that cause earthquakes.

Yep, the Bay Area Faults.  Always causing those earth quakes around here.

The Naturalist Center lets you get up close and personal with animal artifacts. 

Then we headed up to the Living Roof! Their website says: The Living Roof provides excellent insulation (reducing energy needs for heating and cooling), captures 100% of excess storm water (preventing runoff from carrying pollutants into the ecosystem), and transforms carbon dioxide into oxygen—just for starters.  Weather stations on the roof monitor wind, rain, and changes in temperature to help inform the building's automated systems and skylights, keeping rainforest temps just right, the interior piazza cool and comfortable, and natural light streaming to the exhibits below.

So technically that's the rainforest right under those sky lights! Can you scroll back in this blog and find what this looks like from the inside?
The Academy is the world’s first Double Platinum LEED-certified museum, and the largest Double Platinum building on the planet.

So, there you have it! Our trip to the California Sciences Building.  Get yourself there and get there early to avoid the crowds!!  We saw all of the exhibits but not all are pictured here, such as the Morison Planetarium....only the COOLEST part of the place.  From their website:  The 75-foot dome displays one of the most accurate—and immersive—digital Universes ever created.  Plunge below the ocean’s surface to explore the dynamic relationships found in deep ocean ecosystems; dig beneath the forest floor to see how Earth’s tallest trees rely on tiny fungi to survive; and soar to new heights to witness the intricate intersection between human and ecological networks.  

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