On Top Of The Californian Hills | World Tour #7

Our second day in San Francisco started with a huge Starbucks latte in hand, which was fortunate in light of the day we had ahead of us.


Coffee At Alamo Square Park

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Ahhhh, the Painted Ladies. What a beautiful sight! I’ve taken many more pictures of them than those two, but I can’t overload this blog… I was finally being able to see them with my own eyes!

Their colors were indeed so vivid and each and every one of them was completely unique. To think that people actually live in them blows my mind as those may well be the most photographed inhabited houses of the world!

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We then went to take the bus that would take us west, to the Golden Gate Park where fun would never end!

A Morning At The California Academy Of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences
© California Academy of Sciences / San Francisco

Although it was sunny until then, when we arrived at the huge building of the California Academy of Sciences it was almost raining. Ahhhhh the joys of being in a oceanside town…

Anyway, we rushed inside, to discover an ENORMOUS T-rex squeleton, welcoming us right at the entrance! We took some maps of the Academy and began the exploration.

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This wasn’t a museum, nor anything we’d ever visited: this truly was a temple for Science! There were so many things to see we didn’t know which one we would choose to start!

  • An Aquarium
  • a Planetarium
  • a Rain Forest
  • and a Natural History Museum !
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The Bio-Dome

We began the visit with the Rain Forest Dome, which was absolutely amazing: there were birds, fishes, turtles and butterflies everywhere inside !

About the Dome : Housed within a spectacular 90-foot-diameter glass dome, our rainforest exhibit is the largest of its kind in the world. With temperatures of 82–85°F and humidity at 75% or above, it will instantly transport you to some of the most biodiverse places on Earth. (source: California Academy of Sciences website)

It was a one-way path: you had to climb up a sort of sloped access ramp that was going all the way up to the top of the dome, and then you had to take a lift right at the middle to go down again.

So right after visiting the dome–and dodging hundreds of butterflies– we took the lift to go to the “Water Planet” area: it was still on the RainForest “journey” but focused more on species found in water.

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It was amazing, AGAIN. There were all sorts of fishes, turtles, insects, snakes, lizards, frogs and toads… likely to be found in a rainforest, such as the Amazon Rainforest or the Congo Rainforest.

To stay on the water side, we then pursued our visit at the Aquarium.

California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco
The underwater way

And let me tell you, I had never seen so many species at once. Again, so many types of fishes, sharks, mollusks, shellfishes, corals, jellyfishes and so on!

Also, I really want to say that this aquarium was beautifully built: every fish tank was amazingly showcased, in a particular light for each one of them… A lot of work has gone into making this aquarium one of the most amazing I’ve ever seen.

We took some beautiful pictures in front of the fish tanks:

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And gazed at the huge, magnificent coral reef for a long time…

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And when we got out of the aquarium space, we came face to face with Claude, the Albino Alligator of the Academy!

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It was already midday by then, so we had lunch at the Academy’s restaurant, and we sat outside because the sun had made another appearance and we weren’t going to waste it!

And then we rushed the visit of the Natural History Museum, wanting to see the Planetarium as soon as the visit would open, but there were way too many people so gave up and didn’t end up seeing inside the Planetarium. Until next time!

Japan In California: The Japanese Tea Garden

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Right next to the California Academy of Sciences was a closed area that I wanted to see: the Japanese Tea Garden. The entrance fee was $9–for non-residents adults, and we stayed for over an hour.

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We enjoyed the calmness of the park despite the crowds of people, and took some of the coolest pictures of the whole trip!

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San Francisco Beach

Yes. We went to the beach. But it only had the name! Forget what you have in mind about Californian beaches… San Francisco rather looks like a French Normandy or Brittany beach!

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And we actually FROZE TO DEATH on this beach! haha That chilly wind though! The parents were muffled in their coats but I wasn’t feeling too good myself!

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After walking all the way to the ocean front, we went all the way back to the road to take the bus again.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Again

Yes, we went to see it again, but as the day before, it was literally wrapped up in fog, so we didn’t get to see it very well. But again, until next time!

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Lombard Street, Or The Crookedest Street In The World

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You can’t come to San Francisco without going to see Lombard Street: even on foot, we struggled to go up the hill right behind it (to arrive at the top of the street) and it was hard to climb down!

Yes, because there were many people, but also because the slope and the stairs were quite steep!

And I found the sign explaining a bit more about the street:

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And there were beautiful houses on that street, the blue one with the magenta flowers being my favorite one…

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The Cable Cars

To sum up this wonderful day of exploration and to come back downtown where our hotel was, we went to take a Cable Car (also because it was included in our CityPasses!).

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We waited for over an hour in a loooooong line outside, but it was worth the wait: the experience was amazing (I know I say this a lot, but really, it was!).

In fact I filmed the whole trip up and down the steep hill on the way downtown and will be posting that on my YouTube Channel as soon as I get the chance to edit the footage!

India In Our Plates

All in all, and from what I can tell, the best food of all the United States was in San Francisco!

The restaurant we went to to eat dinner was The New Delhi, and we very much enjoyed the food! It was delicious, and beautifully served.


Annnnnd that is a wrap for San Francisco! All in all, we didn’t stay very long, two full days and three nights in total.

The next day we went to the San Francisco International Airport: my mother took a flight to come back to France, and my father and I took a plane to Las Vegas. And our journey continued…

With love,

Lilly

aka The French Hat


Want to know what happened next during our summer trip around the world? Keep up with our adventures in my World Tour series!

If These Quotes Don’t Inspire You To Travel Nothing Will

1.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust

2.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao Tzu

3.

Life is short and the world is wide.

4.

It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.

Henry David Thoreau

5.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.

Saint Augustine

6.

I travel because it makes me realize how much I haven’t seen, how much I’m not going to see, and how much I still need to see.

Carew Papritz

7.

The best education I have ever received was through travel.

Lisa Ling

8.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

9.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

Mark Twain

10.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.

Mark Twain

11.

Travel doesn’t become adventure until you leave yourself behind.

Marty Rubin

12.

People don’t take trips, trips take people.

John Steinbeck

13.

Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.

Cesare Pavese

14.

All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.

Samuel Johnson

15.

When overseas you learn more about your own country, than you do the place you’re visiting.

Clint Borgen

16.

Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul.

Jamie Lyn Beatty

17.

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

18.

The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.”

Anna Quindlen

19.

Live your life by a compass not a clock.”

Stephen Covey

20.

If you think adventures are dangerous, try routine: It’s Lethal.”

Paul Coelho

21.

The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.

Sir Richard Burton

22.

Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.

Lovelle Drachman

23.

Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.

Ibn Battuta

24.

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.

Robert Louis Stevenson

25.

It feels good to be lost in the right direction.

26.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Helen Keller

27.

I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.

Caskie Stinnett

28.

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

29.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Neale Donald Walsch

30.

Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”

Alan Keightley

31.

Live life with no excuses, travel with no regret.”

Oscar Wilde

32.

In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

33.

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

Susan Sontag