Monday, May 21, 2012

Bay Area Discovery Center

Last week we decided to use our free pass to the Bay Area Discovery Center in Sausalito.  We took the route that went along the waterfront in San Francisco to show Shelan what a "real city" looks like, ha!
Of course we had to make a stop at the beach, which was far cooler than we were expecting!!

I snapped the above photo and ran back to the car, since Sam was waiting for us there.
The kids had caught a yellow jacket the previous day and insisted on bringing it with us (in the container, of course!).

We finally got to the museum, and this odd structure was the first thing we saw.  I'm not entirely sure what exactly it is, but it seems to have to do with waves--pull here on this side continually and the ball at the end (far left) will sway that way, etc.  Either way, it was fun to hang on, plus it had bells attached, so there's that added bonus of driving your mom crazy with dinging bells.

This museum is a grouping of old Army barracks and buildings that have been rehabilitated.  Now, each building has a separate topic--he first building we went into was Bay Hall, which was FILLED with everything trains, boats and bay area.

Sam was fascinated.  He could have spent the entire 3+ hours we were there in this room.

Upon entering the building, we promptly lost Brooklyn.  Shelan and I were looking everywhere for her, and I found her here..."inside" the fish tank.  Apparently there is a "secret tunnel" that leads back into there, ha!

Back out in the sunshine.  You can get a better view of the museum grounds.  I really love this location--it's right where the base of the Sausalito hills meet the bay at the bottom of the Golden Gate Bridge.  SO pretty!

This was the other side of the Bay Hall--that boat over there was on an inflatable something-or-other and rocked when you were on it!

The view from outside the Bay Hall door.

On the boat in the Bay Hall, you could even reel in fish!

There was another area where you could reel crabs and fish in, then put them in the bucket at the top, which had a chute in it that sent them back down to the bottom.  Sam and Shelan had a lot of fun with this one!

Dut talked me into venturing into the "secret tunnel".

While we took a lunch break, Shelan and Brook noticed a couple of birds nests built under the eaves of one of the buildings.  I was trying to get a shot of the babies sticking their hungry mouths out, but missed the shot.  Bah.

This is the Wave Workshop.  Sam is simulating waves crashing onto the beach--the kids were fascinated with how the waves moved certain toy sea creatures and not others.

There was also a theater-type area where you could be on "tv".

Sam decided he wanted to be a seal.

Experimenting with air.

This was an area that had a water feature.  You could push a button and wind would blow from one end.  Brooklyn spent a good half hour putting this contraption together.  I have NO idea what her thinking behind it was, what her goal was (if there was one) or anything, but she deemed it a success.

This is serious business.

I was a bit hesitant to go to Lookout Cove because although the sun was nice and warm, the bay breeze was not!!  But I am SO glad we did!  I think it was my favorite part.
There was a shipwreck (which actually simulates a real shipwreck found in the area).

Lanny, trying to keep out of the wind and stay warm.

There was a construction area, where Brook again took her job very seriously.

There is this amazing maze made out of willows--it's gorgeous!

One side of the willow maze.

Thank you Shelan, for capturing me being there--it's nice having another photographer! :)
P.S. Apparently this construction site is simulating what has to be done when there is a landslide--fill the trucks up with rubble and dump them elsewhere.

These were musical frogs--you hit them with sticks.  No joke!  And no, they are obviously not alive...

Giant nests for the kids to play in.

Walking up a secret-looking trail, we found this giant bell!

There was a giant redwood tree that you could walk through.

Here's the view from the top of the path--top far left is the Golden Gate bridge, mid-left is the willow maze, bottom middle is the redwood tree, to the right of the redwood tree is a giant spider web (the green spires), and the rest of the museum is off to the right.  VERY cool!!

This is looking further to the right from the last photo--there's the digging area, a model of the Golden Gate bridge being constructed (where you can put rivets in--did you know there are over a MILLION rivets on the bridge?!), and then the rest of the museum back beyond that.

To get down from the trail, there was a trail of logs to use as stairs--fun!!  Sam shares my "inner-goatness," we both love stuff like this!

The giant spider web, were Lanny lay getting sun.  Of course, Sam scrambled up the green leaves just because he can, and this other little girl in the photo got SO frustrated that she couldn't do it!  I felt bad because she wanted to do it so badly!  Brook tried showing her, but we ended up just needing to leave the area, lol.

They have this awesome imagination center set up outside.  Brook has been VERY into constructing lately and jumped right into her Constructor Mode.  She knew exactly what she was making, and heaven forbid anyone try and use the blocks she's using...
"Hey WAIT!  I'm using those to make my spaceship!  I NEED THOSE."
Thankfully, all of the parents there understood and helped re-direct their kids.

While Brook worked (and Lanny supervised), Sam and I checked out some of the neat stuff set out nearby.  This is an awesome musical instrument!  There are bolts and washers on each of these pieces of...rebar?  Anyway, you pull the washers and bolts to the top and let them go and they make a really pretty noise, each bar a different note.


Checking back in on B's progress..."got the seatbelts done!"

Sam decided to build a track while B put the finishing touches on her ship.

DONE!  I was pretty impressed...

...especially since she got no outside input or help whatsoever.  Proud momma moment!

Then we ran into the art studio real quick since it was about time to head out to beat rush hour.  We found this station with this crazy Bubber stuff.  I thought it would feel wet, kind of like clay, but it is completely dry and soooo soft!  I was pondering on how this stuff could have possibly come into existence, when an employee mentioned that it was pumice and oil.  Interesting.  If you get the chance to play with some, definitely do it!...but keep in mind that it makes a mess...

That about sums it up, minus the fact that Sam passed out in approximately 2 minutes after hitting his warm carseat.

Just another day in paradise.

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