I’m totally alive, promise.
I’ve been trying to hone my video skills lately, but since I’m still kind of a newbie (or a noob) at editing, a fair number of my amazingly awesome videos are sitting in my editor, half finished. I’m going to try harder once I get off vacation… or when my kids go to school in a few years. Because trying to get anything done when they are both home from summer vacation?
I KNOW it’s my time to spend quality time with them. I KNOW it’s my opportunity to play and color and craft and swim and … yeah, all of that. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW. Sometimes though… OMG. These kids.
That was an instant before she was trying to run away and he was trying to mangle her.
But maniacal behavior be damned, we have decided to start doing different things around the Bay Area this summer. We have a laundry list of hikes and pools, bike rides and camps but right at the top of it was the California Academy of Sciences.
HOLY COW PEOPLE.
This place is amazing. Walking in under a gigantic T-Rex the kids were already freaking out… that was until they saw a flipping RAINFOREST in the middle of the museum. An actual dome, with a whole ecosystem of birds and plants and fish and reptiles (behind glass of course) inside.
They have a spiral path that winds its way around the inside of the sphere and takes you through three levels of rainforests from three different ecosystems: a Bornean forest floor, a Madagascan mid-story, and the canopy of a Costa Rican forest. Once in the canopy you emerge to hundreds of butterflies, flitting about the tops of the trees… my children’s minds were BLOWN.
Even cooler than the butterflies though (is there anything cooler?) was the fact that from the top of the rainforest, an elevator spirits you down, actually below where you started, to look up at the rainforest through the pools of the Amazonian flooded forest.
Oh and it doesn’t end there, because THEN you are in the Steinhart Aquarium, home to over 40,000 animals and filled to the brim with awesome.
Divers taking questions?
Yup, the aquarium experience even included an underwater auditorium, complete with two divers in the tank, answering questions.
Obviously this is all very cool, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the African Hall (with real PENGUINS), the planetarium, the Whales : Giants of the Deep exhibit and of course, EARTHQUAKE : Life on a Dynamic Planet. Dude, that exhibit will blow your mind and the wait for the Shake House is completely worth it. I definitely came out of there mentally preparing my earthquake kit.
I don’t have one. I know, terrible Californian, leave me alone.
Guys, the place was EVERYTHING I thought it was going to be, plus a hundred times more. We didn’t see even close to everything… And if you see yourself going more than a few times a year, a yearly membership is probably the way to go.
I think one more time for us and then I’ll be convincing the hubby that it’s so.totally.worth.it.
Because seriously, PENGUINS!!!