Our first adventure as a married couple? San Francisco, California
(my actual goal after visiting was to be able to spell ‘Francisco’ without spell-check helping…)
We made the journey from Gilbert, Arizona to San Francisco, California by car and it was about a 12-hour car ride!
(got to have that cereal)
But, as we were driving we saw these giant dinosaurs and Chad being a huge Jurassic Park fan was just in awe of them!
We were about due for a pit stop anyway to stretch our legs, so naturally we stopped.
Chad was in heaven!
We finally reached our destination and we got checked into our hotel.
We stayed at the Wharf Inn and it was super nice! It was right next to Fisherman’s Wharf (like probably a minute- two minute walk) and it was very central local for everything.
The next day, we went exploring!
We bought a hop-on, hop-off bus tour of San Francisco. Super touristy, however it saved us from having to drive everywhere and find places to park! And the bus tour we went on had a bus coming around each stop every 30 minutes, you really couldn’t beat it! (if you ever find yourself is SF, I HIGHLY recommend it!)
San Francisco has some of the PRETTIEST architecture. Those Victorian houses were to die for!
The green building, above, is actually copper. When copper oxygenates it turns green! Science!
(and actually the De Young art museum is also made out of copper. It was made out of copper so eventually it will blend into the green, lush surroundings!)
FIRST STOP: The California Academy of Science
Note to future Lauren: COME BACK HERE
This museum was seriously the coolest museum I have ever been to! (And if you know me, one of my love languages is museums!)
Inside, there is a (LEGIT) rainforest, a planetarium, and the roof is full of living things!!
First, we explored the rainforest.
So, in this exhibit, they created a stimulated rainforest; everything from weather, climate, plants, animals were included.
(picture on the right is how the roof of the rainforest looks)
*each layer of the rainforest included the climate change (getting hotter and hotter as you got higher and higher) and animals from that layer (most were in see-though structures).
The main thing here was the amazement caused from the butterflies.
The butterflies were so majestic.
There was a lady there who was telling us about the blue morpho butterfly. Their wings are actually brown, but when light is reflected off of it they are BLUE.
Me and C were walking and all the sudden one of the blue morpho butterfly was trying to find a place to rest, and apparently they chose me!
(insert “I have been chosen”-the aliens from Toy Story)
(shout-out to Chad for getting my camera out of my bag and take a picture while the butterfly was still on me)
That was the coolest!!
I even texted S about it, basically freaking out. (Shara is our butterfly lover in my family)
Once you reach the top of the rainforest layers, (you take an elevator and) they plunge you into the rainforest floor.
From there, it is a see-through walkway where you can walk under massive fish (the only fish I knew there was catfish)
into the aquarium exhibits.
Growing up, I wanted to be lots of different things, one of those things (that came up OFTEN) was a marine biologist.
This was heaven for me.
There was tropical fish, jellyfish, octopus, seahorses, dragonfish! If you think of it they had it!
It was so amazing! I was in AWE.
At the end of the saltwater section, you could touch sea urchins and starfish!
The next section was the swamp.
The best part of this exhibit was this…
the albino alligator.
These are super rare, however this wasn’t my first time seeing one! The last time I saw one, I went with a family friend when I was like 7 or 8 and we drove several hours to the Word Wildlife Zoo. These animals are so pretty, and although alligators scare me half to death, they just take your breath away.
Next, we went to the Color exhibit.
(I am trying to get the video up, so bare with me…)
It was a super neat exhibit. The main piece was a circular room full of colored strings. When you pulled the strings the color came up along with what it usually means in nature. And if you pulled multiple strings, it either mixed the colors together (blue+white is sky blue) or it would show what animals had those color combinations.
After that, we went to the Earthquake exhibit.
They simulated the giant earthquake San Francisco had in 1906. (if you are ever actually in San Francisco, you will hear about this earthquake constantly)
We did not do the planetarium or walk on the living roof, unfortunately!
But, we will for sure be back!
SECOND STOP: CONCORD OF MUSIC
From the California Academy of Science, we walked to the Concord of Music.
It is gorgeous!
People often play shows here and it is the perfect backdrop.
From there we waited for the next bus:
do not mind me, just pretending to be Leslie Knope over here.
THIRD STOP: OVER THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
Just doing touristy things, no big deal.
LAST STOP OF THE DAY: UNION SQUARE
We hopped back on the bus, and it took us to Union Square (last stop on the tour and you have to hop on another bus to keep going again).
We did not explore Union Square much, but we did find several of these hearts. According to several people, these hearts are to symbolize leaving a piece of your heart in San Francisco! (I have been telling people for years that I leave my heart in the places I visit) I loved them! So, obviously us (being newlyweds) needed a picture by at least one of these hearts.
*They auction these hearts out every year and the money goes to the Children’s Hospital (they auction all except the same one every year, it is the one depicting the Golden Gate Bridge)
Then we hopped on our final bus of the day, and headed back to Fisherman’s Wharf.
But, really with all this red double-decker bus riding were we actually in San Francisco or London?!
(I like to pretend I was in London for a minute, but San Fran you are so dang pretty!)
DATE NIGHT: watched Princess Diaries
(did I mention Chad is the greatest?!)