California Adventure: The Streets of San Francisco - Day Two

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Day Two in San Francisco was as dreamy as day one, only we had managed to shrug off a little more of the jetlag by then. Alas, it pretty much poured most of the day.

We took the fab bus system down to Presidio park to the sensational Exploratorium, right next to the Palance of Fine Arts.

Like, wow. Not much is going to compare to this in any one lifetime. Exploratorium veterans (Canberra has a wonderful site - Questacon), the kids nonetheless absolutely loved it.

They particularly loved the massive bubble-making capabilities and the music centre, where Riley played the drums to the exclusion of everyone else on the planet. Heaven for little boys.

After many hours, we struggled to drag the kids away. When we did, it was into torrential rain. So, we did what any self-respecting travellers who've been holed up in Beijing do, we went shopping along Beach Street near Fisherman's Wharf and found such knicknacks as San Francisco snow domes and trolley cars.

For dinner, we spent a decent whack of time at the fabulously kitsch Rainforest Cafe, which really is an institution unto itself. You enter at street level into a massive shop the envy of Walt, and then descend into an underground fantasyland via an elevator.

A cavernous area completely fitted out like the inner workings of a jungle greeted us, packed with tables and even a real life aquarium built into the rocks. Everywhere you look, animatronic animals peep at you from jungle leaves, including massive elephants, wildcats and monkeys.

Every now and then, a 'volcano' erupts and the animals start screeching and howling. It really is a sight.

But not as much as a sight as the meals. You could feed four on one plate. They are enormous. We paid around US$70 for dinner, including desserts and fantasy drinks like spurting volcanoes but only managed to finish less than half of it. Take note, new travellers to the States - you only need to order half the amount whenever you dine out.

And remember the tip - 20 per cent is good. Crushing, but good. If you're like us, you'll probably find yourself frequenting the supermarket, anyway.


TravelingMom said...

Oh no, Tania. You're almost close to me! I was in CA two weeks ago. We should have coordinated :) Rainforest meals are huge. As are many of the big chains.

You'll save a bundle finding a nice, local Italian place or in San Fran, head to Chinatown. You'll live in Dim Sum heaven! :) If you happen by a Cheesecake Factory, make no mistake. The small portion of a salad cannot be finished by most human beings.

Anonymous said...

HA - we pay that amount whenever we go out to eat! I guess we are so used to it at this point!
RainForest is one of the worst places to eat (food wise-it's just crap) but tourists sand kids love it

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