San Francisco Day 4: Golden Gate Park

“Good morning, good morning, its great to stay up late” is the song we wake up to thanks to Shay joining us. (Ps check out Shannons blog for her comparison of the Whitney family to the Tanner family from the 90’s sitcom filmed in San Fran: Full House at  callmeshannon.com)
We started out day 4 with an early breakfast as the Chestnut Diner and headed off to the Golden Gate Park. Like usual, we had our plans for day and starting early at the California Academy of Science was first on the agenda. Unfortunately, we are still running on Midwest time, and people out west seem to run on a little slower pace. We found out the hard way that things don’t open until 9:30 here, it was 8:00.

Four days into a Whitney family vacation, we gladly would have welcomed the extra sleep. Going back to the hotel was not an option, but we were able to entertain ourselves by watching the interesting people of Friso. The west coast style is much different to what we see in the show-me-state. We also observed some pretty serious tai chi masters.

Once the museum opened we explored the science exhibits. Our favorites were the I-max  movie on earthquakes, the 3 story high rainforest, and extensive aquarium including an albino alligator.

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The rainforest had great displays of reptiles, bugs, and plants found in the different layers. My favorites were the parrots, colorful song birds, and tons of butterflies.

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Next we traded our walking shoes for segways! After a training session where we learned how to balance and maneuver the scooters, we headed out for our tour of the Golden Gate Park. This park reminded me a lot of Forest Park in St. Louis or what I imagine Central Park to be like. The 1000 acres that is now the park used to be only sand dunes.  It was a super shocking fact because the entire park was covered in huge trees, beautiful flowers, and even a serene lake with a waterfall. The park is home to a science museum, art museum, lawn bowling, outdoor amphitheater, concerts, festivals, green house museum, and a Japanese tea garden.

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If you ever have a chance to ride a segway, definitely don’t pass on the opportunity. Its really cool how the technology senses body weight and speed is controlled completely by shifting body weight. By the end of the trip, the segway felt as an extension of the body. The whole family received our driving certificates, and looked cool doing it!

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If you have taken any Spanish courses, you might know that San Francisco means Saint Francis and is named after the catholic saint Francis of Assisi. In 1776 the Misión San Francisco de Asís was  founded by a priest of the Franciscan order. The mission building is the oldest building in San  Fansisco, as it survived the historic earthquake and fire of 1906.  We went to church in the original mission chapel, which was very beautiful. After speaking to the priest for a few minutes after the service, we found out his mother was from St. Louis. Small world. He recommended a Mexican place for dinner, and then joined us for tacos. He was quite the talker, and we learned a lot!

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