angel statue with a plant

Today we went to the Exploratorium. If you haven’t been, you should go, because it’s really cool and fun. Not just for little kids. Fun for the whole family, I tell you.

The great plan had been to get up early, go into San Francisco, perhaps eat some food, glorious food, and then amble over to the Exploratorium. We also wanted to check out the “tactile dome” because it sounded neat. What actually happened, of course, is that we didn’t leave the Island until after two and didn’t arrive at the Exploratorium until four.

First we had an adventure on the F, because the first car that went by didn’t pick us up, and the second one was packed. Our driver was a rocker. Apparently someone got all Anna Karenina on one of the train lines and the whole public transit system was messed up. Our driver told us not to throw ourselves in front of trains because “it messes up everyone’s day, man.” He also used his bullhorn a lot…on cars, stupid pedestrians, seagulls, whatever. He was obviously enjoying his day.

Inside the Exploratorium, it was very dark and as a result most of my pictures came out like this:

hot and cold coils at the exploratorium

That’s the Scarab and Puff playing with the hot and cold coils, which are pretty neat. If you touch your hand to the middle, it feels like it’s burning. Yet either side is fine. It’s the combination of the two temperatures in the middle that makes you feel funny.

We played lunar lander and lost, watched a geyser, got into the speaking device, and watched a short film from 1944 with two triangles, a ball, and a rectangle that was pretty cute. There were some neat optical tricks and an awesome square wave thing that looked really pretty…sadly the pictures didn’t come out. Cap’n Boysenberry and I tried to use the shadow box, but unfortunately they closed the museum, and right as the flash was about to go off a staffer cut the power. Oh, cruel world.

We ambled around the grounds of the Palace of Fine Arts for awhile, because it’s really pretty, and then we hooked up with the swans. There was a Muscovy duck just sort of hanging out, having a good time, and then the swans came up out of the water and started cruising around. Cap’n Boysenberry tried to feed the duck a dollar bill but it was having none of it.

Then he started feeding the swans…

feeding a swan from the hand

This swan got rather into things.

feeding a swan from the butt

So did Cap’n Boysenberry.

We ambled around a little longer and then the hunger force overcame us, driving us to a place of food and no swans. Then, back to the Island, where ATT had inexplicably delivered four phone books to us. Luckily, we had snickerdoodles.