The Last Day | SF 2017

Last time on SF 2017, I visited Yelp HQ and saw one of my oldest friends in her new home city before being reminded that I am not immune to jet lag and I cannot party as hard as I used to. But here’s to the weekend!


A few weeks before our trip, I booked a brunch reservation for Saturday and kept it late so that Ben and I could sleep in a bit, knowing that we were going to be suffering from jet lag and late nights especially since Ben had been working so hard on his presentation just a few days prior.

After really enjoying those thick black-out curtains and abundant pillows that make hotel sleep so satisfying, we got up, got washed, and got ready to head out for brunch. I wanted us to leave a bit early so we could see the famous Painted Ladies and then walk over, so I called us a Lyft and waited.

… and waited and waited. The car never showed up, so I cancelled it and called a new one, because now we were unable to take a small walk to brunch and make our reservation. But then that car didn’t show up either, and it got stuck at the same place as the last car. Ben and I walked out of the hotel and discovered that Market Street was blocked off for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. GO FIGURE. There was hella traffic (some Cali lingo for you West Coasters!) and we had no choice but to start walking in the direction of brunch (over 3 miles away) and try to catch a Lyft after we got away from traffic so that our table wouldn’t be given away. I called the restaurant and then began to power-walk/casually run westwards, gawking at how many cars were stuck downtown trying to get past this parade. After a fair bit of drama trying to figure out how to optimize getting into a Lyft and onwards to the right direction, and with the great driving instincts of our driver, we finally made it to nopa, a little sweaty and very hungry.

DSC03388DSC03389The restaurant was actually not that full when we arrived after 1pm, but it filled up pretty soon after we ordered our food. We weren’t sure what to get and weren’t really vibin’ the menu (still too sweaty), but I went for some yummy sounding items and hoped for the best.

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Custard French toast
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Butter-basted eggs

We didn’t really love the food, so we opted not to order more and just munch more later somewhere else. But off to see the Painted Ladies from Alamo Park!

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… so the park was closed and we were only able to see these Victorian houses from real up close it was pretty disappointing, because I really wanted to lay out on the grass and relax a bit while humming the theme from Full House. (🎶Whatever happened to predictability…🎶)

Walking up this ridiculous hill took quite a bit out of us, so we got a ride over to the Palace of Fine Arts so that I could take Ben for the walk that Christine showed me last time I was here.

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They were actually setting up for a wedding here that day!

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Of course, I brought Ben to Crissy Field as well, and it was strange and different but not bad to share my personal, peaceful place with him. I was really glad to have been able to share this special place.

We started walking towards Pier 39 to check out the sea lions, since it was a really beautiful day and we didn’t mind walking pasts the piers. Since that is a 3-mile journey, we walked about halfway and then got a little ride so we wouldn’t be exhausted and late by the time we arrived.

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I started to feel really hungry, since we never managed to find food after an only-okay brunch, but I didn’t want to spoil my appetite for dinner. Then I saw a place that advertised beignets and I had to eat SOMETHING. (But I didn’t let myself have beignets, in an attempt to exercise some semblance of willpower.) So I shared some fried seafood and oysters with Ben so as not to be drooling when I showed up for dinner.

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After a super quick Daiso run (why don’t we have these on the East Coast, can someone please tell me), it was off to fulfill 3 big goals of this SF trip:

  1. Be reunited with Christine
  2. Evaluate Meet her new boyfriend
  3. Eat cioppino!

The last one was another goal that was something I regretted not doing my last trip, similar to my trip to the Walt Disney Family Museum. I didn’t have specific ideas about what I wanted to eat in San Francisco last fall, and when I saw a sign for “Cioppino’s” at Fisherman’s Wharf, I remembered this delicious seafood stew that I first tasted in Alaska, strangely enough, and was invented here in the City by the Bay! I kicked myself for not seeking it out then and made sure to get some this time around. After some searching, many people mentioned Sotto Mare as the place to go; even when they found a new go-to, it was compared to Sotto Mare. Since Christine had been meaning to try their famous cioppino as well, it was an easy decision where we should eat and what we should get.

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As you can see, I really had a hankering for oysters…

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This was so tasty and we probably only needed one to share between the 4 of us but man, I still think about this yummy stew with pasta and seafood and that crab meat!! “Best Damn Crab Cioppino” indeed.

It was a lot of fun hanging with Christine and Phil, and I was so happy to meet Phil because he was really cool and seems to make Christine happy. Plus he was so easy to like!

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With that, Ben and I walked back to our hotel to get packed and get going, as our flight was at 7AM the next morning. Which happened to be Daylight Saving Time, so really… we did not get very much sleep before our flight. (I actually, bizarrely, woke up about 2 hours after I fell asleep and just stayed awake until I got on the plane, so… that was a thing.)

We had a really lovely time in San Francisco, and I still can’t believe that I got to visit again so soon after my last visit, especially given how long it had been since the visit before that one!

I’ll be back again someday soon.

Where should I visit the next time I’m in San Francisco?
And where do you think I can pass on?

What city should I visit next? There are still a lot of American cities I haven’t seen, even on the East Coast!

 

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Peace, Friendship, and Fusion Food | SF 2017

Last time on SF 2017, I waited in line for pastries before experiencing a wide spectrum of feels at the beautiful Walt Disney Family Museum. Time to pull myself together and get ready for dinner and fun with friends.


When I emerged from the Walt Disney Family Museum, I entered the still-gorgeous day in the Presidio. I rushed through the latter part of the museum, fearing that there was still a lot left and I’d be late for dinner, but I left earlier than I planned, so I walked back out to Crissy Field to revisit one of my favorite spots from when I visited Christine back in September.

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If I ever moved to SF (don’t get your hopes up, Christine!), Crissy Field would be a big part of it. I don’t know that I ever feel as calm and at peace with myself and the world as I do when I’m sitting at Crissy Field. I wasted a good chunk of Christine’s afternoon getting lost in how tranquil I felt the last time I visited, and I had to set an alarm to make sure I didn’t lose track of time this time around.

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I didn’t see any dogs for a long while this time around, and I got pretty worried until I saw this doggo frolicking in the water. And all peace was restored to the world, or at least to mine.

Finally, I did tear myself away from the beach to head back to the hotel to drop off the pastries I managed to stop myself from eating to give to Ben and get ready to eat dinner with one of my very oldest friends, Connie.

Lemme talk to you guys about Connie. I met Connie when I moved in the middle of the 3rd grade and she lived a block away from me the whole time I lived in that house in New Jersey. We were both Chinese-American, rode the same bus, and in the same grade. We were even about the same height and had similar haircuts for almost all of the rest of elementary school. Needless to say, this meant that I got used to people calling me “Connie” pretty quickly. We spent a lot of time together because we were neighbors, and when both my parents were working, my brother and I would spend afternoons after school with Connie and her brother, watching TV, playing video games, and playing outside. She was one of the closest friends I had while I was living in that town, and I never appreciated her enough for it because I think I spent a lot of time being jealous of her – consciously or not – for being all the things I wasn’t while still being good or better at the things I was good at.

Then I moved to Maryland, and after college, she started working for Yelp in Manhattan. I visited her while she was there a few times, and this year she got promoted and, with that promotion, moved to San Francisco. She had actually only moved for a few weeks when I visited, so I believe I am officially the first person to have visited her since her big move across the country. I’m so proud of her for making this big move and for everything that it means, and I’m glad I was able to see her!

I met up with Connie at Yelp HQ! If you don’t know, I was actually on Yelp’s payroll as a brand ambassador, so it was nice to finally see the place where my paychecks come from! They were actually having their demo day for a recent hackathon, so I’m excited to see which ideas actually get used. It was really nice for me to talk to the Yelp devs as both a Yelper and as a developer, so I could ask technical questions and ask about how some of the designs actually made Yelp a better product.

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Afterwards, we got dinner at HRD, which was specifically recommended to me by the Yelp DC Community Manager, Kimberly, as a spot that I would love. I am not going to ignore a recommendation like that, so off we went! We were so surprised by HRD that we nearly walked past it. Because Kimberly is a classy lady of fine tastes, I think I was expecting it to be a fancier sit-down place, but HRD is a super casual eatery that let me know Kimberly knows me better than I thought: I care about the yumminess of the food most at the end of the day! I was also apprehensive because a lot of fusion food in DC falls very flat and has made me wary of fusion food in general, but HRD totally nails it.

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Bulgogi beef tacos
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Grilled short rib rice bowl

Then we went off to get bubble tea before calling it a night. I’m so glad that Connie and I have remained friends for almost 2 decades now. It’s crazy to think about it that way, because it certainly doesn’t feel like that long, but when we consider how old we were when we first rode the bus together… it has been a looooong time. And I am so grateful for all of it.

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While I planned on spending the rest of the evening drinking my bubble tea, maybe tracking down some macaron ice cream, and just general lazing about in the hotel, Ben invited me to join him while he was eating dinner with one of his coworkers and another friend. I was real full and had to sit in the hotel room just staring at the TV for about 20 minutes before I got up to leave. (The TV was off, mind you. I just stared at the blank television for 20 minutes. I didn’t pass out. I just… stared…)

Somehow, Ben’s old coworker tried to get us to go clubbing with him (that’s the last thing we did with him before he moved out west…), but I was literally yawning as they pregamed in his apartment and just was not able to hang. That time difference is no joke!


Do you still spend time with friends from elementary school? I am still in touch with a handful, but I wonder if I’ll ever see friends from my first elementary school again, the ones I made before I moved and met Connie! That would be pretty wild. (I’ve friended a few on Facebook and they say I look the same. That’s good, right? Because I moved when I was 7.)

What are your favorite casual eats in SF? I complain often about DC’s good food being unaffordable, but then I find myself being recommended higher-end places when I travel to other cities, which was part of what made visiting HRD so refreshing. What are some unpretentious places you like to eat in SF, or any other city for that matter?

Tartine & Walt Disney Family Museum | SF 2017

Last time on SF 2017, I enjoyed delicious seafood in the Ferry Building and had fun at the Exploratorium: After Dark with an old friend. This time, another day of solo adventuring!


One spot that was fairly strongly recommended to me to try out was Tartine, so I figured I’d try to avoid hanger by going to this crazy-popular bakery for some pastries. Even though I hate waiting in line…

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… there I was, in this sloooow-moving line, hiding my face from the people taking photographs of the not-even-that-crazy-but-still-embarrassing-to-be-part-of line. Eventually, I inched and inched and inched my way into the bakery, to the register, and even to my own little table in the corner to enjoy some pastries!

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Morning bun
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Lemon cream tart
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Luckily, a pair got up and I was able to snag this teeny corner table!

In general, I’d say it’s not worth the wait. The pastries were yummy but there is just no way to justify the long wait. When lines get that long, I expect to have my mind blown and mine simply wasn’t. I won’t be going back, it just isn’t worth the effort. (And I was pretty disappointed they were out of the almond frangipane croissants so early in the day.)

After nibbling on my pastries, I was a bit off-schedule because of the crazy line but I was finally off to go visit the Walt Disney Family Museum.

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I’ve been eager to come back to San Francisco because, during my last visit, I didn’t realize I spent the day really close to this museum! In fact, I didn’t know about this museum at all until I got back home and was using a map to visualize where I had been when I spotted this landmark on the map.

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Among Disney’s many awards are his Academy awards, including the unique Seven Dwarves-inspired one

This museum is amazing. It’s definitely a great museum for adult fans of Disney animations and of Walt himself, of course. You get a really in-depth look at his life, from his family tree to his death, and all the trials and tribulations in between. I learned a lot about Walter Elias Disney and the company that he started that I definitely did not know prior to walking through the museum. I’m only sharing about half the photos I took, and I tried to restrain myself to not take too many photos as well, to give you some small idea of the breadth and depth of the exhibits. When my mom hoards items from my childhood (old clothes, school projects, etc.) and tells me she wants to put them in my “museum” someday, I laugh, but looking at the thorough records of Disney’s life makes me wonder who was hoarding all of these things from his life, even prior to his animations.

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A collection of Disney’s cartoons from his school days in Kansas City
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This was one of my favorites: “I am too fat to fight and I guess there is nothing I can do help win this war.” “Why don’t you stop eating so much and save food for our boys over there. And you will reduce so you can fight.” SAVAGE.

I cannot recommend this museum enough if you are a fan of animation, of Walt Disney, of Disney animated films, of Disneyland, of early live-action Disney films, or just of this particular time in American history that produced one of the most iconic figures of modern American history and the most recognizable cartoon character in the world.

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Ub Iwerks was the primary animator for Steamboat Willie, known for the quality of his animations and the quantity. He animated the first Mickey Mouse picture (Plane Crazy) singlehandedly and supposedly churned out 700 drawings in one day – a figure that remains legendary to this day. Here are just a few of the frames that comprise Steamboat Willie, with a few panels actually coming to life through animation.

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A few of the earliest-known drawings of Mickey Mouse

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Some of the earliest-known mass-produced Mickey Mouse merchandise

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I loved the themed foods at Walt’s studio restaurant

There was a curator talk about how Walt and his team were important ambassadors to South America at a time when the US government didn’t want the spread of Communism so close to home. I walked through the exhibit about this time (it’s where Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros comes from!) and then waited for the curator.

Well… I got a private talk. There was no one else there, so the curator spoke to me about all the work that Disney did to foster good relations with our South American neighbors. A few people edged by at some points but most just kept walking. I didn’t intend to stay for as long as I did, and the one-on-one nature of the talk made me a little uncomfortable to be honest!, but it was too rude for me to also move on given that I was the sole audience of the talk. Plus, I learned a lot about the nature of foreign relations at the time and where the research for The Three Cabelleros came from, as this was a movie that puzzled me a lot whenever I watched it as a child.

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One of the biggest things I learned was that Disney’s animators actually went on strike for a long time, ceasing all operations and nearly ruining the company and the man

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I loved seeing how involved the animation studios were with the war effort
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To add to the list of “What Can’t Walt Do?”, he was really into miniatures and hand-crafted this train car himself when a teeny train was built that could bear the weight of adults (although any adult looked ridiculous riding on it). He just casually and meticulously created this train and the to-scale furniture inside. Very casual.
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The original proposal for Disneyland

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This gorgeous, moving diorama of Disneyland was pretty magical
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You may remember that I love the Carousel of Progress, as it’s the only ride at Disney World that Walt himself oversaw the design and production of.

I started rushing through the museum, as I felt I was dilly-dallying through the exhibits, and I didn’t want to miss anything with closing time fast-approaching. But before I knew it…

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Walter Elias Disney had passed away. And while I knew this, in the back of my head, I was still kind of taken aback when I reached this portion of the museum. He was doing so much: he was trying to open a ski resort (!!), he had put out Mary Poppins, he was doing amazing things with live action films, he was getting ready to start work on Disney World…

… and then he was gone. And I felt a bit floored by grief, sitting in this museum. As Walt’s activities ramped up in quantity, with the parks and the movies and the television shows and more, I felt myself going through faster to make sure I didn’t miss any of it. And I was forced to stop and slow down and take in the fact that the museum was over, that his life ended, and the world was no where near ready for that when it happened. Just as I wasn’t really ready for the whole experience to be over when I reached the end.

I walked through the gift shop in a bit of a daze, unsure of how to step back out into the beautiful sunny day at the Presidio.

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The view from the museum is top-notch.

Walt Disney Family Museum
104 Montgomery Street (in the Presidio)
San Francisco, CA 94129
415.345.6800
http://waltdisney.org/

Admission: $25/adult, $30 with film ticket
Hours: 10am – 6pm except Tuesdays and some holidays


Do you know what I mean when I set such a high bar for a place with a long line? I know it’s a bit unfair, but a long line means the expectations are just much higher. I wanted to go to Golden Gate Bakery, but they were actually on vacation during my visit! I am a bit concerned that Tartine is considered one of the best bakeries in SF, though, because I really wasn’t wowed by the flavors? Where should I have gone for baked goods if you don’t think Tartine is a good representative of SF pastries?

Have you ever visited a museum dedicated to a person? I once visited a Freud museum when my family visited Vienna almost 15 years ago, but otherwise I don’t visit too many person-centric museums. Maybe I should visit more? Do you have any recommendations?

Hog Island + After Dark | SF 2017

Last time on SF 2017, I spent a lovely day exploring the California Academy of Sciences at my own leisurely pace after an evening and morning of being very hangry. With a day of museum-ing behind me, the hanger was beginning to settle in yet again…


Before I set out for San Francisco, I asked for recommendations for food, knowing that I would be overwhelmed by options in one of the great food cities in this country. While my friends kept their recommendations for me unique, the only place multiple people urged me to visit was Hog Island Oyster Company over in the Ferry Building. In fact, about 5 people recommended that, despite that lines, despite the hype, despite how it had become a tourist trap, I must visit Hog Island and eat oysters.

Yes, there were lines, but I have to give a shout-out to the hostess who seated me at the bar and kept a seat next to me open so that my boyfriend could join me (over an hour later!). She is the real MVP. (So is Ben, who put up with me [h]angrily miscommunicating with him over the phone about when he would show up. Thank you for being so patient with me!)

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Yes, $14 for a bowl of clam chowder is a little nuts, but it was the best clam chowder I’ve ever tasted. I ordered this when I sat down and tried so so hard to leave some for Ben to try when he was able to join me after his work obligations let him go. The little itty bitty bit of soup I left for him was long-cold but still really tasty.

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The oysters were good. I don’t think I was actually as wow-ed by them as I was by the chowder, but they were really good and definitely hit the spot as I had been craving them for some time. I can never keep track of what each type is when the server describes them to me, but I slurped down every single one happily.

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From the Ferry Building, Ben and I wandered along a few of the nearby piers and stopped at Pier 9 for a little impromptu photoshoot. Comment below with your guess for how many takes it took for me to get my Gene Kelly moment, because it was a LOT. (The lamppost had no place for me to put my foot, so I was engaging my whole body just trying to stay up there…)

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We parted ways so that I could meet up with one of my friends from high school, David, who I haven’t actually seen since he showed up at my high school graduation. “Catching up” was funny because when he asked “Wow, how long has it been, what do we need to catch up on?” I said, “Well… everything.” While we hung out plenty in high school, it was always in a group setting and never in a particularly personal one. This was the first time we got to talk one-on-one and the first time we were talking about our own lives rather than something [high] school-related. It was really nice and if I wasn’t already happy that David reached out to me out of the blue, I ended the evening feeling so grateful to have him as a friend because he’s really fantastic. In fact, I was a little sad that I was learning this so late and knowing that we wouldn’t hang out for a long time. (Hopefully not as long as the gap between now and high school.)

Fun fact: David makes these awesome build videos where he DIYs really cool stuff. Highly recommend checking them out!

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David and I hung out at the Exploratorium: After Dark, which is another weekly, Thursday evening adults-only museum event. I don’t have many photos because I spent most of the time taking video (which I will hopefully be able to show you all sometime soon?) but it really is so much fun as an adult to visit a museum without a lot of children running around. Especially for a place like the Exploratorium, which is made up of mostly interactive exhibits, it’s nice to not feel like you are taking away from some kid’s fun day in order to play with the toys available. The science at the Exploratorium is actually really interesting and very solid. Christine‘s Yelp review of this place was right: it’s a really good date spot, so I realized afterwards that it was funny to be here with a guy friend who I was getting to know on a personal level for the first time. (It felt a little bit like a first date, especially with the walk around the Embarcadero after!) But the Exploratorium was really awesome, and I can’t wait to share the footage I got during my time there.

Exploratorium: After Dark
Every Thursday, 6-10pm
$15 general admission; $10 additional for tactile dome admission
Pier 15 (Embarcadero Green Street)
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 528-4444
https://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/calendar/after-dark

Must be 18+ to enter

When After Dark ended, David and I walked to the bar where Ben and his co-workers were sampling whiskeys before calling it a night. I went to bed grateful for the delicious seafood in my belly, for the fun hands-on science I got to play with, and for reconnecting with a really amazing old friend.


Do you like adults-only days/hours at the museum? I know that the Exploratorium and the California Academy of Sciences both have one every Thursday in San Francisco, but I’d like to learn about similar events at other museums in other cities!

Where is the best seafood you’ve had? I attempted to go vegetarian when I was in middle school, but if I were to try again I could not give up seafood for sure. Tell me where you love to eat seafood! Especially where I can compare clam chowder and oysters. (My favorite are $1 oysters!)

California Academy of Sciences | SF 2017

After working very hard, Ben had the opportunity to present a talk at a tech conference in San Francisco last month. We were all so proud of him for reaching this great career milestone, but I got even more excited when he extended the invite to stay in his company-expensed hotel room with him! I had a lot of fun the last time I visited and didn’t want it to be another dozen years before I got to return, and there were things I had been mentally adding to a to-do list since leaving San Francisco in September, so I was all too happy to take a few days to unwind and enjoy the city by the bay.


Wednesday evening, I flew out west, my first time flying with Virgin/Alaskan, ready to feel the effects of the time change during my stay but determined to be chill and relaxed in an attempt to get over my burnout. (Spoiler alert: I remain not great at chill and relaxed.)

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I landed later than expected land got to the hotel… completely starving out of my mind? I was really hangry because I had a large, late lunch and had zero interest in eating before my flight, despite the fact that my flight departed at 6pm. (You ever try working up an appetite looking at a Chipotle while a giant burger sits in your belly?) So, unfortunately for Ben, I landed really cranky from hunger, and by the time I got to the hotel, I had no interest in doing anything but curling up to hangrily sleep. (Fun fact: We were back at the SF Marriott Marquis, the same hotel we stayed in over Labor Day weekend! It was nice to be back among familiar surroundings.)

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Thursday morning rolled around, and Ben, in a noble attempt to placate my by-now really unreasonable hunger and crankiness, took me to the hotel breakfast buffet so that I could fill up on as much food as I could muster. I felt a lot better after stuffing my face for a while, and Ben was able to fully relax knowing that his talk was done and his girlfriend was not glowering while struggling to stay upright.

Since Ben still had work obligations, we planned to not really see each other until the weekend, so I had planned full days for myself to enjoy solo during the weekdays in SF. He went off to work and I took myself to the California Academy of Sciences.

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The California Academy of Sciences is a pretty spectacular institution. You can visit a planetarium, aquarium, and natural history museum all under one roof!

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I spent some time walking around and getting my bearings before being drawn into the Osher Rainforest, a 90-foot-high rainforest housed in a stunning glass dome. From there, you can experience three levels of rainforest life while butterflies fluttery by around you.

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As of about a week before I visited, they just installed a little cocoon box so you could see moths and butterflies emerging from their chrysalises. It was literally a brand-new addition to the rainforest exhibit here, so it was exciting to see! Also, I really love butterflies and how at peace I feel with them fluttering around. When I was growing up, one of my favorite place to visit was the Bronx Zoo, which I called the “Butterfly Zoo” because I only have memories of being in the butterfly house there and spending all of my zoo time in there.

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A blurry shot of a bird we saw eating a butterfly. It was a messy eater and bits of butterfly wing almost landed in my hair…

After you get to the top of the dome, you take an elevator down, down, to see the flooded rainforest and the flora + fauna that live there. This is also where you can get a closer look at Claude, the famous albino alligator.

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From there, you can proceed further to the aquarium portion of this museum. I have loved loved loved aquariums since I first watched The Little Mermaid and the one at the California Academy of Sciences is no exception! There’s just something really magical about being eye-level with the wonders of the water, lit by blue and violet lights that just make everything seem calm and peaceful, if only for a moment.

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When I finally emerged from under the sea, there was still so much more of the museum to explore! I appreciated that there was a whole section dedicated to earthquakes and San Francisco + California earthquake history in particular. There is an earthquake simulator that you can stand in to experience magnitudes of the two big earthquakes to hit the city in 1906 and 1989.

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I liked that this emergency kit included Chinese canned goods!
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I loved these notes because you really can’t trust the public to submit notes like this. Especially when the bulk of your visitors are field trip students.
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We had an illuminati squad here…
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“I play Pokemon Go every day”

The Tusher African Hall is one of the first things you’ll see upon entering, and it’s a quieter area where you can learn about African wildlife and the history of human evolution. At the end of the hall is a penguin tank, where you can watch an African penguin colony in a man-made habitat that was built to closely resemble their natural habitat off the coast of South Africa. I was able to catch the 3pm feeding session which I’d recommend if you want to see the penguins in action and ask questions.

As I went up through the museum, I visited the gems and minerals exhibit (where I learned a lot about the different ways that minerals manifest in our world), the naturalist center (which is a really awesome hands-on activity center that I highly highly recommend bringing kids to for an interactive way to learn a lot about a lot of different things housed in the museum), and, at the very top, the living roof, which powers the entire Academy and more.

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If I was fueled a bit better, I could’ve spent more time here, especially if I had someone to share all these amazing exhibits with. Alas, my hangriness started to kick in and even I had had my fill of exploring this awesome museum by myself, so it was time to head out and fill my belly once again. On Thursday evenings, the Academy actually hosts Nightlife, a weekly adult program for grown-ups to drink and explore the museum without kids running about and with a different theme each week. However, I had made plans to do a similar activity on the other side of town over at the Exploratorium, but I’ll tell you about that next time…

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Fun fact: These seahorses were a part of the original Academy building

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Admission: $34.95 for non-member adults, different pricing options for seniors, students, youths, and children. Tickets for the planetariums sold separately.

California Academy of Science
Golden Gate Park
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA, 94118
(415) 379-8000
http://www.calacademy.org


Do you like visiting museums when you visit other cities? I used to think it wasn’t a great use of my time, but especially for this trip, I really relished the opportunity to walk at my own pace, read every single placard like I love doing, and learn new things! My favorite thing to do is to sit and soak it all in. Museums are one of my favorite things about humanity, so to take in these monuments to history and achievement and science is really moving for me. In aquariums, especially, I like being able to sit in front of the largest tank in the joint and people-watch and fish-watch.

What are you favorite thing to see in science museums, natural history museums, and aquariums? I can’t really pick, but aquariums have a special place in my heart because I’ve loved the ocean since The Little Mermaid, and I do love watching jellyfish. I swear I can feel my blood pressure lower and my heart rate slow when I watch jellyfish pulsing through the water.