As promised, I'm keeping up with documenting my furlough days with "adventures" to various Bay Area locations. I'm combining both furlough days in one blog posting.
Friday, October 23, 2009: I went in at 9:30AM to the California Academy of Sciences. Since I'm a member, admission was relatively quick and I was able to secure a ticket for the new planetarium show that is narrated by Whoopi Goldberg.
This photo is of the Philippine coral reef tank at the lowest level of the Academy. This tank is one of the most popular spots of the aquarium due to its large size, seating, and a scheduled talk with a person in scuba gear. Since I got in at the earliest time, there was no crowds and I had the entire space for myself for at least 10 minutes. No screaming kids and it was absolutely quiet; something we adults need badly at museums and exhibitions.
The African penguins is popular exhibit at the Academy. While some stay on the rocks, many dive into the water and are playful with the people when they run their fingers over the glass. I was trying to kill time before I had to line-up to gain entry to the planetarium.
After the planetarium, I ate lunch down at Kiki's on 9th Avenue between Lincoln and Irving, a sister restaurant to Kitaro's on Geary. Cheaply priced sushi and their cooked lunches are tasty. After eating a good meal, it was a hop on the N-Judah where the ride was "free" thanks to a broken fare box. I was planning to visit Chinatown, but it was getting too late and I eventually turned back for the long bus ride journey home.
Parking at Daly City BART wasn't that bad, the lot wasn't even 1/4 full at 7:30AM. I actually found a great parking spot after I reserved a space on BART's website and paid a $4.50 fee. The thing I hate about BART south of Daly City is the not so frequent service; direct Millbrae trains run on 15 minute frequencies, so timing was important to not miss the Caltrain express.
Hey, look... TransLink! It's a little beat-up, but it worked perfectly fine.
Here's a northbound train heading towards San Francisco. It was one of a few trains passing by while I was waiting for the express. It turned out that the express train I was riding was the original Caltrain cars and it was a heck of a bumpy ride.
Unfortunately, the Tech Museum banned photography at the Star Trek exhibit. The $25 cost is totally not worth it. I'm only a mild Trekkie fan, but I remember most of the TV shows and films. There's a ton of props (some replicas and actual), many costumes, and some opportunities to take photos with official designated photographers who want to rip your butt off. Some things didn't even look right, including there was parts of the exhibits showing their wear and tear, holes in some of the displays (from a previous show?), lighting was poor, and the exhibit route was really odd.
The best traveling exhibition at the Tech Museum was the human bodies about a year or two ago, and that was amazing to view. For the Star Trek exhibit, I was expecting more interactive exhibits. When Star Trek was at the old California Academy of Sciences, it was very interactive, you can touch the screens, and play interactive games while learning about the world of Star Trek. The only "interactive" thing they offered was a $5 simulator ride that was below par.
If you were to compare the Tech Museum's Star Trek exhibit to the one at the Las Vegas Hilton, the Hilton kicks this traveling show to the ground and keeps on stomping hard.
Just to make matters worse, you also get admission to the Tech Museum and there was hundreds of kids playing with everything there. Tons of them are very disrespectful, including ones who thinks it's fun to play around escalators.
So after all this bullshit and spending less than 90 minutes in San Jose, I left on the next local Caltrain back home.