Day 9: Exploring San Francisco

Day 9 MoTab Tour ❤ Tuesday 26 June 2018 San Francisco and Sausalito, California

Today was our last full Rest and Relaxation day in San Francisco. Mr. Mo and I had no set plans, so that meant were poised for having a wonderful adventure, and seeing much more than expected! There’s over 200 new photos in my phone to prove it.

Here are just a FEW of my favorites with some highlights.

California Academy of Sciences

A short Uber ride to the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park brings you to a plethora of museums and gardens to explore. We had heard good things about the. California Academy of Sciences and it did not disappoint!

For only $40 (non resident adult entrance) we got to experience a top notch natural history museum, a planetarium and an aquarium all in one. My favorite thing was the incredible self contained living rainforest (worth every penny of the entrance fee alone).

The rainforest exhibit as seen from the outside

The rainforest is filled with rare birds and protected butterflies, native rainforest plants and an enirely sustained ecosystem. Visitors actually go through multiple door locks to enter and exit, ensuring the wildlife does not escape (It feels very space age, or perhaps that opening scene from “Get Smart” …aging myself). Once inside, you work your way up a circular ramp with multiple exhibits and terrariums along the way. Rare rainforest frogs, snakes, and turtles. An elaborate leaf cutter ant community (fascinating to watch them at work!), a living hatchery of butterflies and moths, and more!

At the top of the rainforest are the birds and butterflies., and way down below is a big river filled with Amazonian fish and turtles.

When you exit the rainforest you actually descend in a glass elevator to another exhibit that leads to an underwater tunnel underneath the rainforest river. This space was mesmerizing. I say and enjoyed it for quite a while. It was also fun watching all the reactions of adults and children who passed through.

There were multiple school groups in the museam this day, and the kids were delighted! One little boy was intent on measuring himself to a big fish that I estimated to be 7 feet long!

We also enjoyed the aquarium in the museum, and watching a fascinating movie about coral reefs in the planetarium.

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There was so much to see in this museum we honestly could have stayed all day but we had more places to go and things to see!

Japanese Garden

Just a short walk from the Academy of Sciences is the incredibly historic and beautiful Japanese garden. Adult admission is $9 (or if you’re in town on M,W,F you can enter free between 9-10 am)

This stunning garden has been lovingly cared for since the 1800’s. It was a crowded day, so I had to act fast taking photos without people!

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Mr. Mo and I ate a delicious and reasonably priced lunch in the tea house, and we had a beautiful view.

Bring A Jacket

Mark Twain once said the “coldest winter I ever experienced was a summer in San Francisco!” 🙄

Turns out, he wasn’t kidding! It really does get cold in the bay city even in the summer. The sun was shining so it looked warm from our hotel window… but it was below 60F and the wind chill made it much colder. I was wearing a skirt with a light blouse. After spending all that time outside in the garden, I was chilled to the bone. The three nearby museum gift shops in the park wanted $65 – $80 for a basic sweatshirt! No, thank you!! We hailed a LYFT and headed to the warf.

Everything Is Better With Chocolate

We stopped at Ghiradelli Square, and enjoyed a yummy free sample! Then of course we had to buy a few of our favorites.

Chocolate Mecca!

Fortuitously, a CVS pharmacy was located across the street which saved my day (sweatshirt only $20, warm leggings $5 and a small pair of winter gloves $3… and yes, i wore them all, because it really was that cold!)

Savoring Sausalito

Another LYFT ride was booked to take us across the Golden Gate Bridge to the popular port city of Sausalito. Our driver was a fun guy from Portugal who only been in the states for 3 weeks. He is attending college at night and then rents a car in order to drive LYFT during the day for his income. What a very resourceful young man! He had never been across Golden Gate Bridge yet and was as excited as we were.

Sausalito is a quaint place that caters to tourists with lots of shops and restaurants. We found a little Christmas Shop, and had fun choosing a commemorative ornament! Then, we enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner on the pier.

Glad We Walked

We planned to catch the ferry boat ride across the Bay back to San Francisco. So did about 250 other people. The problem is that about 200 of those people had rented bicycles in San Francisco and had cycled across the bridge to Sausalito. Now They all needed to return with their bike on the ferry. Unfortunately, each ferry can take only a certain amount of bicycles each time, so many of these poor people had already been waiting in line for a couple hours, having missed the cut-off for previous ferrys. Mr. Mo and I were able to walk past the cyclists to the front of a pedestrian line.

The ferry we caught was a “two-fer” since it went to another port town first – Tiburon – before going across to the San Francisco warf, pier 40. It was fun to get to spend more time breathing in the fresh sea air and thanks to my new warm clothes I could endure being on the deck for a while for some photos and video clips (it was VERY windy, and the fog was starting to roll in).

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San Francisco and the Bay area is a beautiful place. There is so much to do. What a blessing to get to enjoy a sampler today! – MoSop

2 comments

  1. I love all the pictures. My favorite was the Japanese Garden. I could sit there all day and drink tea. It was just beautiful. The little boy lying on the bench to see if he was as big as the fish was so cute. Reminded me of one of my boys at that age.
    I’m so enjoying your tour. I feel like a part of it all. Thank you so much for my vacation (lol).
    Love you, Lynne

    Liked by 1 person

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