Leaving California behind, Boston-bound!

 

Downtown Mountain View, CA

Goofing around at the library in downtown Mountain View.

Exploratorium – San Francisco, CA

A day at the Exploratorium with the family. Pretty neat hands-on museum, almost like a Maker Faire studio.

Also, very impressive & massive toothpick sculpture that’s in the process of being built (it’s already been in the works for 37 years!).

This reminds me of…

While at the Embarcadero in San Francisco today, we sat on a bench near a street performer playing folksy music.

Me: This area reminds me of [Disney’s] California Adventure park.

Mark: Don’t you mean the other way around?

Me: …oh yeah…

For those who are unfamiliar with California Adventure theme park, there is a large section of the park that replicates famous buildings and landmarks from San Francisco. (Hence the irony that the real thing would remind me of the replica.)

LADEE Launch @ NASA

Went to the NASA Ames Research facility to view the LADEE lunar rover launch. Quite exciting! It was a mix between a science fair with info booths set up about various NASA engineering projects, and a giant lawn party.

One booth showed how they experimented with fruit flies, since they have a very fast reproductive cycle, it’s east to perform experiments on them. They also showed samples of compacted trash from outer space. They toss trash in with some plastic, so when it melts, it can be molded into different shapes, like bricks, and reused as building materials.

Also tried our first ramen burger. It’s overhyped, gross, and terribly oily. So disappointed!

LADEE Launch Countdown

LADEE launch countdown

A Day at Big Basin

First we hiked the Redwood Trail Loop (approx. 1 mile), which was quite nice, lots of trees on display. That was a pretty short hike, so we decided to move along and hike the Sequoia Trail (approx. 1.7 miles one-way), which would’ve ended with a nice view of the Sempervirens Falls.

It was actually a disappointing hike. I guess I expected a nice walk through the woods, completely cut off from civilization, totally immersed in nature! The trail was actually bordering a paved driveway with lots of cars passing by. A bit distracting, and makes you tempted to walk alongside a nicely paved, flat road than a gnarly dirt path.

But, the payoff would be the nice waterfall at the end, right? Wrong! Turns out the waterfall was merely a stream, and mostly dried out. It was quite a letdown, but at least we got some decent exercise out of the whole deal.

On the way to Pescadero (small town next to the ocean), we drove along more winding forest roads, and saw beautiful vistas of the Bay Area, from San Francisco all the way down to San Jose.

Pescadero itself was very small, a bit of a tourist trap, and we ate at a small tavern (the only restaurant in town, actually). The food wasn’t very impressive.

All in all, a good day for a nature walk!