Today we got up early (8am) to get over to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate park.
We took a Lyft ride at about 10am, which took 15 minutes or so.
Entry was quite expensive – $150 or so for the family. It was quite interesting, with various exhibits about the natural world, including live penguins and a rainforest world in several levels. There was also a large aquarium in the basement, a planetarium, and 3D film theatre.
There was a large number of visitors, and lots of noise. While I think the place was “good”, I feel it was a bit lacking – maybe the exhibits could have had more detail, more depth, and if the place had been bigger, with more information about each topic, then maybe it wouldn’t have felt so crowded. Lunch was also over priced.
When we finished up, about 4pm, we grabbed a ride back to the motel – had a nice coffee at the corner Italian place, and relaxed before going out for dinner.
For dinner, we walked about 200m around the corner to a Japanese place.
Today we decided to walk down to Westfield shopping mall to see if we could get a bargain. We had originally been considering a day trip to a huge outlet shopping centre outside San Francisco, but it turned out to be about 60km away, and we weren’t too keen on that.
So a walk to Westfield…
We walked down towards Union Square, and even crossed Sutter Street on the way.
A brief pause in the lovely sunshine .
And finally, shopping
Across the road from the shopping mall was a turning place for one of the city tram lines. Quite interesting to watch.
The sad day finally came where we had to say farewell to family and friends. We drove up to Auckland airport from Papamoa on 02 May, arriving about 4pm. We checked in, and waited for our 19:45 flight on Air NZ to San Francisco.
The flight departed about 20:00, and landed in San Fran at about 08:15 NZ time – which was 13:15 local time, on the same day as we left!
Air NZ food was honestly some of the worst airline food I have had. Dry bread buns, and tasteless vegetables and beef stew. Not to mention that when you ask for a “Steinlager”, they hand you a Steinlager Pure!
On the other hand, their entertainment system was excellent.
It took us about 2 hours to make it from the plane through the horrendous queues at passport control, and collect our bags, which were circulating on the bag conveyor.
Our time in NZ was fantastic, and simply wouldn’t have been possible without the massive help and support from our family. Thanks so much for everything guys!
The sixth of December, we travelled further along the cost to a place called Weligama. The town itself is rather uninspiring, although we did find a nice local restaurant for lunch one day.
The “resort” we stayed at for 3 nights was called “Neptune Story” – or maybe “Neptune Resort”, or “Good Story”. It was not quite 100 percent certain what the name was.
In any case, the beach was excellent, the resort itself less so. The first night we had 2 rooms which stunk of bad sewer. The manager did try to rectify the situation, and upgraded us to a couple of “bungalows” – one of which stunk of old cigarette smoke.
Even so, with the nice pool for the kids, it was quite pleasant here. There were lovely sunsets, and a little bar on the beach.
The beach had really good surf, and Albert was out several times surfing, Elise was out boogie boarding, Malene was out a couple of times surfing, and Peter even tried it.