The weather has decided to take a turn for the worse. Instead of blue skies and sunshine, we’ve got a miserable sea mist hanging over the city, making everything seem grey and gloomy. So a great day to do indoor things. After visiting Starbucks to upload yesterday’s diary, and check our email, we took a combination of buses to the California Academy of Science and Steinhauser Aquarium. The Science Academy turned out to be more about nature than science, including a great tableaux of African animals in a landscape setting (of course, the animals are dead and stuffed – a process which Emily wanted to know the fine details of!), as well as a room full of skulls of different animals. Again the girls were fascinated (they’ve obviously got a morbid streak), and Emily took a great deal of interest in the human skulls at different ages. The simulated earthquake was another favourite – it seemed to be much more relevant here in San Francisco than when you do the same thing at the Science Museum, especially when you’re seeing film of the area the museum stands in, being wrecked by the 1986 earthquake. The other highlight was the aquarium, which we hadn’t been too fussed about, but turned out to be a real treat. The highlight was ‘the roundabout’, where you walked up a circular ramp into something like a huge lighthouse top, and tuna, stingray and lots of other fish were swimming frantically around the outside of the glass, in an amazing display. It captivated us all, and made the visit memorable.
Then, after a spot of lunch at a café, it was off to the Legion of Honor, an art gallery in a nice park setting on the Pacific Ocean. They had the Rodin ‘Thinker’ – but sadly it was inside a tent that we couldn’t get into because of some corporate event. So we at least went there, and stood outside the tent imagining what we missed! We also saw some paintings by all the majors, including the impressionists – must be the favourites of all of us, because we’re all willing to gaze at them, having rushed past the Constables and Vermeers of the gallery. And just so you can feel as if you were there, I took a photo of the nicest Monet, of Venice (1906)
Then we did an awful thing – we went back to the same restaurant for the third night in a row! How shocking is that – we’ve got the whole of San Francisco to choose from, and we end up in the same restaurant again and again. But it was described by one restaurant critic as “the place to go if you have a caviar taste and a Spam budget” – so its obviously right for some of us!