March 15, 2018
San Francisco Academy of Sciences
Today rain was predicted to come down quite heavily and we were to celebrate Austen’s 5th birthday. Since we have a membership we thought today would be a good day to use it and that Austen would truly love this. Well, all families agreed to go but, it turned out, that Austen did NOT want to go. He said it is too loud and hard for him to be in a place like that.
Well, my heart sank when I heard that yet it was all set in motion so, we were to make the best of it. The children all gathered around him straight away in the bus and a big smile came upon him. We then got buckled and off we went. A fine ride we had, especially, when, very close to our destination, the bus went over a bump that was far larger than expected and WOOOWWWWW the back of the bus gave a jump and everything in it!! We all laughed and went AHHH, and OOOHHHHH and then, we made it to the Academy parking lot. It was raining by then so we got out, went up and down a big hill and found a somewhat dry spot undercover to put our things. A bathroom break happened and they all went to look at the fountains nearby. Then, it was birthday story time and receiving of the snack that Austen brought for everyone. Yummm! I don’t really know if Austen quite appreciated the story yet I do hope he did the gift. And then, off we went. Up and down stairs counting them all, across lawns up more stairs, across the street and then…………………….into the Academy we went.
We went straight to the Hall of Africa with all the stuffed animals, The children were mesmerized and wondering if they were indeed alive or not. In one of the “windows”, there was a background that was truly moving! It was Elephants walking along the Savana. They loved the Jaguar that was up in a tree above us and the incredible horns seen on the many different kinds of Deer and Elk type animals. And then, we found the LIVE penguins. What fun it was to watch them swimming, falling in the water, and walking about awkwardly.
Then to the next room. Now my mind is blank as to what was in there except that we all had fun looking in the different windows. It seemed like a good idea to go see the Rainforest. I was delighted to go because it was around lunchtime and I thought we could avoid the crowds. And, it looked like the entrance was free and clear of all people. I and a few of the children went right down that ramp and then, Ruby came running down to point out that this was a special entry for people who clearly had a special membership. Oh dear, it said entrance and I went for it. So, we all walked around to the regular entrance and it was soooooooooooooooooo long that, we chose to go outside, eat lunch and play out there. Well, that sounded like a great idea AND, the children LOVED getting outside, which was great to hear. After they ate Austen and Puma really wanted to go climb a tree nearby. They went there, Austen fell down,( from a low spot) tried to climb again yet, there were so many BIG children. Our kids ran all over having a good time yet the big kid scene was quite overwhelming and then, Austen, literally, got bowled over by some of them. His heart was deeply hurt as he said: “They didn’t even say they were sorry!!!” Well, it was clear that this place had far more hazards than ANY we come across in our regular Nature adventures so, back in we went. It was decided to go visit the White crocodile and very large turtles. Puma wanted us to go see the big Tiger in a window and Devin loved the Leaf bugs. They were all truly amazing! At the end of our day, we got to see a Giraffe skull and the stuffed Giraffes next to us and a lady telling us all about the wonders of these magnificent beings.
We made our way out of there into the fresh air, found ourselves back at the fountain. There were pennies in the water and I had just enough pennies for each one of us to make a wish so, we got our pennies, held them close to our hearts, made our wishes and SPLASH into the water everyone’s pennies went. This was a very fun part of our day.
We found our bus, got in and made our way home. Phew, what a day. There were a great deal of fun and funny parts yet, I am happy to say, I feel satisfied with the amount that we have used this membership, and look forward to our more quiet and peaceful days outside with the trees, the newts, and natural sounds of life. My and Ruby’s hearts were warmed too by the fact that all the children really did want to go outside more than tramp about the wilds of the indoors and, we also enjoyed the wonders that were presented there as well.
I am sure Austen however, will TRULY enjoy being back at Lake Lagunitas which is where, it turns out, he actually wanted to be.