Category Archives: San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco Bay Area

California Academy of Sciences – San Francisco, Ca

Ca Academy of Science 011Claude – the albino alligator

California Academy of Sciences

(1) 415.379.8000
55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94118

9:30 –   17:00   Monday – Saturday
11:30 –   17:00   Sunday

Directly across from the De Young Museum by the Golden Park is the LEED certified  California Academy of Scenes.  This is one fantastic science museum – an edifice of light !  Iconically supporting a 2.5 acre green roof, with solar panels bordering its numerous Skylights.  Designed by Italian Architect Renzo Piano (he of the impressively new 2015  Whitney Museum in NYC).

This magnificent structure houses the Kimball Natural History Museum, Steinhart aquarium, the Morrison planetarium AND a tropical forest habitat!

The reptile collection is worth coming alone – even if just for Claude the albino alligator!

Ca Academy of Science 013
Ca Academy of Science 012  Ca Academy of Science 022Saharan spiny tailed lizard
Ca Academy of Science 019
Ca Academy of Science 008
AcademyScyAbove Photo ©California Academy of Sciences
water_planet_hero_lg_motion_blur_1-Above Photo ©California Academy of Sciences

Monterey Bay Aquarium – Monterey, Ca USA

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Moon Jelly

Monterey Bay Aquarium

(1) 831 – 648 4800
886 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940 USA

10:00 am –   5:00 pm   Monday – Friday
10:00 am –   6:00 pm   Saturday – Sunday
9:30 am –   6:00 pm   Monday – Friday
9:30 am –   8:00 pm   Saturday – Sunday – holidays


The current design of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium was achieved by the architects Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis; who later, in 1988, received an honorary Award from he American Institute of Architects for their outstanding work.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium was the first in the world to grow live California Giant Kelp.  One of their signature attractions, you relax on perfectly placed benches and marvel at the 8.5m (27.8 ft.) tall kelp forest as Pacific creatures flit between the waving strands, swaying like the hair of some sea-deep leviathan.  Sardines, leopard sharks, wolf-eels, rockfish… the tank swirls with life as it circulates fresh salt-water direct from the Bay combined with a wave machine to create an endless dance of life.

In their tranquil fluidity, the jellyfish rooms create an ambience that seems to reflect the regions psychedelic history.  Perfect, Kreisel tanks (aquariums with slow, circular water flows, no hard corners and a minimum interior hardware) prevent the delicate life from geting hurt while their circular flow moves the translucent forms as if suspended in orbit.

Other exhibits include Giant Pacific Octopuses,  Sea Horses and the ever favorite Sea Dragons.  At the back of the aquarium, overlooking the pacific is “Life on the Bay.”  A place to spot wild sea otters, pelicans, dolphins, harbor seals, sea birds and the rest of the denizens of the coast.

The Monterrey Bay Aquarium is deeply commited to marine life conservation and you can easily learn about and become involved in the different campains end awareness programs they offer, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.


From the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Press Release:

In the Ocean’s Edge galleries, fresh seawater is pumped continuously and directly from Monterey Bay to maintain the great diversity of plant and animal life in the exhibits. By day, filtration leaves the water clear for public viewing. At night, unfiltered seawater flows through the exhibits. The raw seawater not only sustains filter-feeding animals, it also carries in spores and larvae of plant and animal life that settle and grow in the exhibits – making the exhibits a “living extension” of the bay. Water enters through two 16-inch-diameter, 980-foot-long intake lines located 55 feet deep in the bay. Pumps draw up to 2,050 gallons of seawater per minute into the aquarium seawater distribution system, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – more than a billion gallons of water a year. Four operating modes permit varying levels of filtration, from raw seawater to pressure-sand-filtered, de-embolyzed seawater. Most aquariums are located on polluted bodies of water or inland of the coast, making “open” system designs like this impossible.



Monterey Bay AquariumPurple Striped Jellyfish
Chrysaora Colorata

Monterey Bay AquariumMoon Jelly

Chrysaora-Colorata_Purple-Striped-006Purple Striped Jellyfish
Chrysaora Colorata

Monterey Bay AquariumPurple Striped Jellyfish
Chrysaora Colorata

Monterey Bay AquariumKelp Perch, Opaleye, Blacksmith Fish

Monterey Bay AquariumGalapagos Shark
Carcharhinus Galapagensis

Monterey Bay AquariumPacific Blue Fin Tuna
Thunnus Orientalis

Monterey Bay AquariumTube Anemone
Pachycerianthus Fimbriatus

Monterey Bay AquariumFish Eating Anemone
Urticina Piscivora

Monterey Bay AquariumBig Skate
Raja Binoculata

Monterey Bay Aquarium Red-Kecked Phalarope
Phalaropus Lobatus

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Giant Kelp Forrest

Ici Icecream – Berkeley, CA

Ici Icecream  -  Berkeley, CA

Ici Icecream

(1) 510 – 665 6054
2948 College Avenue
Berkeley, California 94705

2:00 pm –   9:30 pm   Monday
12:00 pm –   9:30 pm   Tuesday – Thursday
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm   Friday – Sunday

Highly recommended by trusted friends, we made our way with anticipation to ICI in Berkely.  Immediately our attention was grabbed by a chalkboard notice of “Peppermint Ice Milk”.   Well, it turns out Ice Milk is perfect – lighter then Ice Cream, more luscious then sorbet.  What a simple, taste-altering concept.   So many times, the simple things are the most striking.  The most pure.

Ice creams, sorbets, candies and cookies are made in small batches, ensureing freshness, using Local and seasonal ingredients.  Cones are hand rolled with piped chocolate to cover the bottom hole.  Organic nut spices and chocolates, as well as  Soul Food eggs , Straus Organic and Clover Organic dairy,  compliment the astounding variety treats; and of course NO artificial preservatives.

Flavors in Ice creams and Sorbets while we visited :Brandied Cherry , Green Tea, Coconut, Honey Nutmeg, Vanilla, Creme Fraiche Muscat,  Candied Meyer lemon, Pistachio Rose, Rocky Road, Earl Gray Tea, Cinnamon, Concord  Grape, Maple pine Nut Praline, Lime, Chocolate, Nectarine, Burnt Caramel, Parsley Mint, Honey Lavender…….

Other lovlies are available as well, such as the “Bombes” ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, Bonbons Meringues, Candies Cookies, Macaroons, Nougat, Marshmallows Brittles,  Brownies…. and to compliment, they serve Blue Bottle Espresso

Lead Pastry Chef Mary Canales, formally of Chez Panisse), opened Ici ice cream parlor in September 2006 along with creative Mattea Soreng and Pj Pawalec.  They are tight with their ethic (what else would you expect from Berkeley?) all of the packaging and disposable wares are 100% biodegradable and compostable.

Ici Icecream  -  Berkeley, CA

Ici Icecream  -  Berkeley, CA

Ici Icecream  -  Berkeley, CA


Ici Icecream  -  Berkeley, CA