Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Alex and Jasmine visit the Academy of Sciences

We really wanted to see the reopened California Academy of Sciences and heard about the crowds, so early Saturday we headed out to Golden Gate Park. It was cold, but luckily the lines weren't too long when we arrived around 9:30.

Alex waiting for Mom to get tickets

Jasmine waiting for her mom to get tickets

Alex and Jasmine in the humungous rainforest exhibit.

In the rainforest sphere

Alex goofing off while waiting for an elevator

The exterior of the rainforest exhibit, which is a big glass sphere, looking up at the skylights

On the "living roof" looking the same skylights that illuminate the rainforest.

We told Alex that's where the Teletubbies live.

Underneath the living roof is the museum.

The aquarium part of the museum, which uses seawater pumped in from the ocean via huge pipes running under the park for miles.

JC & Jasmine in awe of the large catfish.

The giant pendulum. Can you see our reflection? I think they are trying to find the island on "Lost."

UPDATE: check out this link from the design firm Pentagram, who did the environmental graphics.

post by Armilyn

San Jose & Half Moon Bay

After the Madonna Inn. we drove for a few hours until we reached San Jose. We decided to stop for a bathroom break and lunch at Santana Row. It's a new outdoor shopping center similar to the Grove and Americana in Los Angeles, with retail, offices and condominiums built together in an urban street setting.

Alex enjoying some Wahoo's at Santana Row

My two guys walking along the shops at Santana Row

The picturesque road to Half Moon Bay

David at Half Moon Bay

Me on the windy beach

Alex on the beach at Half Moon Bay

So we went to their downtown and stumbled upon this amazing antique store called "Have to Have It"

The place was both an outdoor garden and glass gallery,

and inside was full of vintage furnishings and trinkets.

There were so many cool things, I couldn't wait to go treasure hunting.

If I had room, I would have bought all of these colorful oversized glass rocks.

Sadly, we arrived in Half Moon Bay @ 4:30 so stores were closing. I wondered what goods we missed out on at Spanish Town? ; (

At least we could admire these rusting metal dinosaurs displayed outside.

Leaving Half Moon Bay and on to the hotel!

post by Armilyn

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Breakfast with Madonna (Inn)

The very next morning, we headed to San Francisco with a breakfast stop in San Luis Obispo.

Alex waited for mommy to get her morning cup of coffee,

by the fireplace in the lobby
of the Marriott in Sana Ynez.

It was a little foggy outside but the countryside view was lovely.

A group of bikers set for a tour of wine country. This looked like fun!

Our drive though Central California was easy-going and green.

Alex had Curious George to keep him company for the long drive.

We arrived at the Madonna Inn right before the breakfast crowd,

so we explored the grounds. You can faintly see David in the window drinking his tea as he watches us take some photos.

As usual, Alex being silly in front of the huge fireplace.
I want one in my house.

Acting like a pre-madonna at the Madonna.

I so want to have a girlie pink party at this restaurant.

Aaaahhh, breakfast is served.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Skirball Cultural Center

We had somewhat of a late start to our mini vacation. We decided to let Alex go to school while we packed. It was noon and we were off to Santa Barbara for the Dan Zanes concert, Alex's 3rd concert. We headed up the 405, passed the Getty, then saw the Skirball Cultural Center. David had heard that they were having a Superhero comic book exhibit so decided to take a short detour to check it out. It was a good thing we did because we got in for FREE including parking! Not spending any money at the start of our vacation - Priceless ; )
Of course Alex couldn't wait to get there.
Zap! Pow! Bam! Free is good, thank you mam!

Super Mommy at the costume area - hey that's for the kids!

Super Daddy calm, cool, collected, despite Superman crashing our party.

Alex practicing the art of drawing comics despite the Joker's antics.

Now it was off to Noah's Ark.

How appropriate that I wore my zebra print scarf.

Metal sculptures of an elephant and zebras.

Alex rides the camel outside Noah's Ark.

The whole thing was interactive for kids

even the aadults could play.

The red owls made of fans was my favorite

as were the wooden camels and giraffe.

The lifesize models were truly spectacular!

Looks like both exhibits will be around until end of August.

Outside for some fresh air.

A lovely ampatheater for concerts.

A cool outdoor sculpture with spraying mists.

Alex just couldn't help himself - there was a rainbow!

Lesson learned: "A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour."