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!
Big Sur is a beautiful, rugged 100-mile stretch on California’s central coast, running between Carmel and San Simeon.
The name “Big Sur” is derived from the original Spanish-language “el sur grande”, meaning “the big south”, and invokes images full of winding turns, seaside cliffs and views of the often-misty ocean.
Well – you’re mental images deserve to visit the stunning vistas! Big Sur is just one of the many pleasures that California has to offer; one of the things I can recommend easily to to drive US Route 1 between San francisco and Los Angles.
OPEN HOURS: WINTER 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Saturday – Sunday
SUMMER 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.
Originally built as an apartment complex in the 1950’s The Mondrian is now part of the Morgan’s hotel group (inc. the Hudson, Morgans, Royalton, Delano….). Originally designed by Philip Stark in 1984, the building facade was then painted in color blocks like a Piet Mondrian canvas. A further redesign by Benjamin Noriega Ortiz from BNO Design brings the hotel into its present state. The lobby and Lounge areas on the ground floor are softly touched with color changing LED Lights and a splattering of beautiful designed furniture, creating the perfect diorama for the good looking patrons that visit the hotel.
The pool area is the star of the show, surrounded by day beds, giant ottomans and tanned bodies. In the evenings it is transformed into an attractive scene with some simple, yet effective furniture moves. The restaurant is surrounded by fantasy, with giant planters and fairly lights in the surrounding trees.
The rooms are ample and comfortable, if a bit cool in atmosphere. Pluses for hidden plasmas and the expansive balconies. If you stay here, ask for a balcony room looking over the pool & city.
The staff was attractive and amiable for the most part. The exception being the Night Bouncer at the pool lounge. He was unnecessary, over-forceful and turned what should have been a glamourous setting into a something akin to a popular nightclub.
OPEN HOURS: 10:00 am – 10:30 pm Sunday – Thursday 10:00 am – 11:00 pm Friday – Saturday
We believe the Raw food world can be divided into two distinct camps- both of which have excellent representation in Santa Monica, California. The first group is focused on the lifestyle of raw and is expressed well by many restaraunts; the second, spearheaded by Planet Raw, is a Culinary perspective.
At Planet Raw, the shakes were phenomenal. Hands down the best we’ve ever had. And add in an extra superlative for good measure! We started with Kreamy Electrolyte Lemonade (lemons, honey, ginger, Strawberries, & electrolytes). Then continued with the Vanilla Protein Shake (nut mylk, sapote, ice, honey and Juliano’s protein powder which consists of pumpkin & hemp seeds, super enzymes, maca, spirulina, blue & crystal mana, mesquite, tocos, sprouted buckwheat, bee pollen, bio culture and silica). And then for dessert, the blueberry instant cleanse with blueberries, gogi berries, maca, bee polen and we added bioculture (lactobacillus micro organisms of L. salivarus, & l. plantarum). All the shakes we tried where topped with a granola and were just really special!
The Tahini Salad was full of tomatoes , seaweed, buckwheat sprouts, avocado, leafy greens and was topped with an excellent tahini dressing.
The Cheezy Pasta is made with kelp noodles; a nice change from the omni-present zuchinni strings- and much more comforting. Combining excellently with the nut cheese sauce the dish was a true delight. We followed the recommendation from our lovely waitress and ordered the side of marinated mushrooms to mix in. Bliss, just bliss!
Everyone working at Planet Raw shown with the light of health. No gray wasted vegans here, only sun-filled smiles and hearts. Having been tooling around the health food world for a while, it is easy to see places where the staff is under-nourished. Here the food gave them all a joy and happiness that you want to tap into. Our waitress shown with an interior sun that made us delve into the menu!