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Published: July 26th 2010
Today was our last full day in San Francisco and we were determined to make the most of it. We set off to the Golden Gate Park where the California Academy of Sciences is located.
We started our way through the African exhibit where we saw different African animals - and some we haven’t heard of. Most of the animals were not live but there were Cheetahs, Klipspringer, African Hunting Dogs (not live) as well as other animals.
Then we went on to the Islands of Evolution section where we got to have a look at how animals have evolved over hundreds of years.
We were next on to the Swamp where we saw a live Albino Alligator. At first we thought it was fake but eventually it did move. Was very cool to see. Next to the swamp was the aquarium section and we would have to say that it is the best aquarium set-up we have seen by far. They had such a great variety of sea-life and the set-up was just so good. The different sections they had in the aquarium were: Philippine Coral Reef, Water Planet, Northern California Coast, Discovery Tide pool (interactive with starfish and abalone),
and last but definitely not least the Amazon Flooded Forrest (which even had piranhas).
The next place we entered was the Rainforests of the World. It was a 90 foot diameter dome that had a spiralling upwards path to give the effect of going though the different layers of a forest. There were many varieties of butterflies, Snakes, Frogs and birds including a Macaw and Hummingbirds. The animals were all native to Madagascar, Borneo and Costa Rica. There were also a lot of different tropical plants.
Next it was on to have a look at the “living Roof” It is literally a garden that they have planted on top of the museum’s roof. Living Roofs have been around for a long time and were originally used for insulating the houses to keep them warm in winter and Cool in summer. I would highly recommend this place to anyone.
We headed out of the museum and in the same Golden Gate Park (which is absolutely HUGE) we dropped in to the Japanese Tea Garden. It was a real treat. The gardens were immaculate and beautifully presented. Little paths wound all over the place and the highlight for Danika and Zavanna
was the very steep bridge.
After leaving the park we went for a drive as we wanted to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. The traffic was quite heavy but we still went over it. The fog was quite thick as you can see in the photos. It was great to actually drive over it.
We kept driving north for a little while and were headed towards Sonoma and Napa Valley (wine growing regions). We kept heading around the bay area to a town called Fairfield. It was here that we got to go to the......wait for it.....the Jelly Belly Visitor Centre. This was very cool for me as it had been a real treat growing up when Dad brought home Jelly Belly’s. They were rationed out. The whole centre was colourful and playful and we even got to go on a free tour to see the factory where they are made (because we went on a weekend it wasn’t in operation, but we still had a tour guide that ran through how it all works though and we even got a free bag of Jelly Belly’s each). Do you know how long it takes to make 1
flavour batch of Jelly Belly? Between 7 and 15 days (depending on the flavour). They are totally quality controlled and in the Shop there you can buy Belly Flops (the Jelly Belly’s that are the wrong size). We picked up a few bits and bobs but it was just a real buzz to have been there
After our excitement there we headed back to San Francisco. Before heading back to the hotel we decided to go down to the wharf and Pier 39 to have dinner at Bubba Gump’s. We were treated to an amazing night view of Alcatraz. The meal was really delicious. I had prawn and vegetable skewers, Stu had a mix of prawns cooked in different ways, Dani had Mac & Cheese (not much vegetarian choice) and Zavanna has popcorn shrimp (like popcorn chicken). Was really delicious.
We headed back to the hotel after a really full fun-filled day.
Tomorrow we leave San Francisco on our way to Portland.
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