Monday, December 14, 2015

Celebrating the Season in San Francisco

 "City sidewalks, busy sidewalks,
Dressed in holiday style,
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas!"

That was the song playing in my head as I spent the weekend with my daughters in San Francisco this weekend. We began with dinner out, then Christmas movies in our pj's Saturday night, for some cozy catch-up time. Who needs a real fireplace when you can set the Christmasy mood on TV via Netflix, complete with crackling and popping sounds?
Sunday morning arrived in a rainy, blustering fashion, but we made our way downtown to the Hyatt to enjoy their beautiful display... or so we thought.
 The Ferry Building across the street matched the gray skies.
 We were glad to get out of the rain and into the lobby.

To our disappointment, however, the lobby was undergoing renovations and there were just a few decorations and the large Christmas tree at the top. So after grabbing hot drinks and bagels at Starbucks across the street, we got back in the car and drove to Golden Gate Park's Museum of Natural Science. Now we were in for holiday treats!

We knew we were in the right place when we walked through the front doors 
to face a dinosaur skeleton surrounded by giant snowflakes!
 We entered the first exhibit hall and were greeted by carols playing, 
snow flurries falling around us, and a big snowman theater!
 Hands-on educational exhibits about reindeer lined the glass walls...
 ...and outside were two beautiful live reindeer -- Frosty and Holiday. 
My, what big antlers you have, Frosty!
 We learned a lot about reindeer. 
As hard as those antlers are, they feel velvety soft to the touch!

 We also enjoyed the penguin display with several adorable penguins.
This one kept everyone entertained by getting right up to the edge, but never quite taking the plunge.
 We decided he knew exactly what he was doing!
 The rain forest is a favorite exhibit, with many tropical animals and butterflies!
 With temperatures in the 80's, we were shedding our coats 
as we advanced the walkway up three floors, through the forest.
From there we descended to the aquarium with the tunnel 
that allows huge fish to swim over your head.
 By the time we left, the rain had lifted.
"Soon it will be Christmas Day!"

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