[Link to Pics: here]

You’d think that after three days of dragging the Daughter around San Francisco and her fighting a cold, I’d take pity on her and just take it easy for the last day. But, no. Really, what’s the fun in that!

Since our flight didn’t leave till 5pm and we probably didn’t need to drop off the car till 3pm and even leaving an hour from San Francisco to the Oakland airport (since I don’t know the traffic), that still gave us a few hours to fill.

So, after packing and checking out, it was off to the Exploratorium!

In Portland, we have OMSI, which I love. This was a super-sized collection of all the things I love best in a science museum. The architecture and location are great. Very picturesque. The inside is filled with lots of great displays, both interactive (lots of them!) and not. Heck, I even got to play an original Lunar Lander video game. This thing had great controls. You could rotate the capsule, but it had a big, honking crossbar handle that you pulled to increase the engine power. I loved the feel of it when I was a kid and I stilled loved it as an adult! ‘Course, I had to wait behind a small kid who didn’t get that you actually had to land softly to get any credit. And, when I offered to show him, he looked at me like the Stranger I probably appeared and chose to beat a hasty retreat to another part of the museum, leaving me to recall that while landing on the 1x and 2x landing pads was pretty easy, those 5x pads are tough!

The theme of the exhibit were the senses, so stuff about touch and sight and hearing. There were some great displays. I really loved the display that showed you could build a car with square wheels and it would roll smoothly, so long as the road was a series of appropriately shaped curves. If that’s hard to imagine, you can read more about it here.

If there were one thing I could change, it’d probably be to add a bar that says “You must be this high to enter the Exploratorium”. And put it at about six feet!

Too many kids! What the heck were they doing there on a school day mid-day? Learning or something?

In any case, we had a great time killing another couple hours.

From there, it was pretty mundane as we made out way back across the bridge to Oakland, lose the rental car and get to the airport and our gate with an hour or so to spare before loading up on the plane.

An easy ride home and we made our way back to PDX where, wait for it, it was raining… Yeah, a real shocker if you’re from the area.

I had a great time on the trip and I believe the Daughter did as well. It was definitely a busy vacation, but I like that on occasion. And I can’t think of a city better suited to being busy for three or four days while not requiring a car and having a variety of things to do.

Highly recommended. Two thumbs up. Five stars.

I look forward to returning the next time!

Categories: Personal


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