Family and Visiting the California Academy of Sciences
March 5, 2012 1 Comment
I feel so bad. My poor blog hasn’t gotten enough love lately; however, I’m proclaiming that all ends today when I start to flood the site with a post mortem of the wedding week every day. Expect lots of photos and hopefully not too many words.
Two weekends ago my brother got married (so happy for him!!) and the entire week prior my mother and sister, Naomi, and her entire family stayed with us. That’s a total of nine humans and three cats in a two bedroom one bathroom apartment. Originally, my mom thought that she’d get a hotel nearby for the time that Naomi was staying with me, but, at Naomi’s suggestion, she ended up crashing on the couch in the living room with the kids. My first thought was “thank god we’re such a close family and enjoy spending time in close quarters together!” But the more I thought about it the more I realized that it’s actually the reverse. Because we’re such a close family (and don’t get to see each other nearly enough), we all wanted to stay together. And, honestly, it all worked brilliantly—amazingly so.
Sunday ended up being a fairly low-key day since they didn’t arrive until very late Saturday night after their plane was delayed for three and a half hours. The girls ended up going to Union Square and shopping, while the boys went across the bay and took part in a General Assembly at Occupy Oakland. Alex took the camera, but didn’t take any photos and since I was cameraless these three photos are complements of my mum; the two above of me, Naomi, and Audrey walking down Sutter Street and the one of Audrey pushing Nathalie down the street while she napped.
And this one of us having a sushi break in the food court of the Westfield mall. I don’t know what it is about Nathalie’s expression, but the adorableness of it elicits something in me that makes me want to fold her up and stick her in my pocket every time I look at. Need to stop looking…but can’t peel my eyes away. Ok, my hands are covering my face. Oh wait, but my eyes are peeking through the cracks between my fingers.
Oh my god. I’m such a two-year old.
Being President’s Day on Monday, I didn’t have to work (woot!) so I was able to enjoy the day with everyone frolicking amongst creatures from the rainforest, underwater sea dwellers, and African penguins at the California Academy of Sciences. One of the greenest structures in the world, the building itself is a museum and worth seeing for the architecture alone, but the interesting animals and exhibits inside are also worth your time.
For the first thirty minutes, I had Nathalie all to myself because the super young’ns are not allowed inside the planetarium (which happens to be the largest all-digital planetarium in the world) and everyone else wanted to enjoy the “Life: A Cosmic Story” movie. She was wide-eyed like the photo below pretty much the entire visit through the museum—it’s a lot to absorb for a two-year old, dontcha think?
Standing on her itty-bitty tip-toes, she loved watching the fish and kept excitedly telling me “The fish! They’re swimming!”
After the planetarium, we satiated ourselves in the museum cafeteria (where I likely got food poisoning ) and played outside. Alex unsuccessfully attempted a handstand on the head of this seal statue. Looks like his gymnastics days are over…(totally kidding, hon! I know you’ve still got those backhand springs in ya!)
Nathalie and Audrey ran laps in the grass and threw wood chips in the play area. You can tell this was taken post-lunch because Audrey ever so adorably has spaghetti sauce smeared across her chin. And I’m still trying to figure out how Nathalie managed to keep a clean face throughout lunch.
And when you’re two years young falling goes hand-in-hand with running.
After our bellies were bulging and my body was infected with a foodborne illness, it was onward to the rainforest.
Inside the rainforest we saw tons of crazy animals and insects. Like the green lizard sticking out his tongue on the left. I love how you can see his earhole so clearly in this photo. And then like this spider who caught a fly, spun a cocoon around it, and proceeded to eat it.
And there were lots of beautiful butterflies. If you take your time slowly through the rainforest they will eventually land on or near you where you can closely observe their stunning colors and patterns. The butterfly on the bottom right is aptly name the Owl Butterfly.
Ooooh, I just don’t do well with spiders. My family tells me that as a young babe I actually loved spiders, called them “Piders” and only wished them to be friends with me. But I think that at some point it was revealed to me that they bite and are potentially poisonous and then our friendship was no longer. There’s no animosity between us, just an “I see you, you see me and we go our merry way” kind of relationship. In fact, I always try to bring them outside whenever I find those little buggers in the house. But I will admit that seeing those little fuzzy pipe cleaner things on this spidey’s legs makes me convulse a little.
Then there were these crazy frogs and other reptiles who could suction themselves to the glass. I think what you see there are four little legs with many toes tucked into this frogs underside as he’s glued to the wall.
Haha! I love how Graeme has an almost evil grin as Quinn is being face planted with a spider.
After the Rainforest the elevator drops you in the aquarium where there are so many fascinating underwater sea dwellers. If you think the rainforest is full of crazy lifeforms, all you need to do is look to the oceans to find even more crazy life adaptations.
It’s not easy taking photos in the darkly lit basement, but Alex (who had the camera at this point) was able to snap some amazing photos of these jellyfish. They’re so beautiful they belong in a museum (harhar). The photos not the jellyfish, silly.
After the aquarium we stopped by the African hall and saw the penguins right as they were being fed (forgot to take photos, though.) And then we were all so pooped from hours of being on our feet observing nature that we sat on this bench intermittently while going outside and running in the grass again as we waited to meet Zack and Susan for dinner.
And quite possibly the best photo of the day was captured by my mum as Quinn was perfecting the art of photobombing. After seeing this photo me, my siblings, and mom all got into a laughing fit—the kind where you can’t stop, breathing becomes difficult, and tears are streaming down your (my) face. I should mention that this is prone to happen with my family all the while our spouses/significant others are all just looking at each other wondering what the hell is going on. Susan got her first taste of this at dinner—a perfect initiation into our family. I’d say that’s pretty much the perfect end to a perfect day (except for the food poisoning part.)