Our Monday started with me working backward from a 7:30 p.m. reservation at Firefly where H & M were treating us to dinner, along with Dr. J. Firefly was featuring a special menu for Passover.
Our first stop in San Francisco was at the California Academy of Sciences. While I knew that Monday is a day the DeYoung Museum, across the concourse in Golden Gate Park is closed, I forgot that this week is a school vacation week for many kids. Arriving at the Academy around noon, we found it packed. All the Plantetarium show tickets were given out for the day and we tried waiting in the standby line for one show and got turned away.
So, we went to say Hello to Claude the albino alligator who is back on display after an injury by his then pen-mate, Bonnie (she bit him and his vision is limited so he didn't see it coming). Bonnie no longer seems to be living with him.
Then we went for lunch in the Cafe...a long line but worth the wait for the Chicken Pho from the Noodle station.
Refreshed by lunch, we stood in line for about 40 minutes to get into the Rain Forest Exhibit. Since they only allow a limited number of people to enter at any one time, once we got in, there were no crowds. Amy and I went to Belize together a few years ago and this exhibit brings me back to our hike in the Belize rain forest, except that we did not have to worry about stepping on and being attacked by Army Ants.
These photos are some of the plants and creatures we saw in the Rain Forest
Up on the living roof, many of the native plants were in flower...much prettier than last October when I made my first visit.
We spent some time in the Aquarium, looked at a few other displays, took a break for a cup of tea and some cookies, and it was 5 p.m., closing time.
It was a good visit although next time, I will try to get there at opening time when the crowds are less, or even better, go on a special members day when the Academy opens to members only an hour early. At dinner, Dr. J told me that Thursday nights at the Academy are Adult nights...no kiddies allowed...and she said it is much easier to get around and take in the exhibits.
With two and a half hours until dinner, we headed to Union Square to the Macy's 63rd annual flower show...this year's theme is Bohemian Garden. There are live flower displays on the first floor...really spectacular...and artificial flower displays on the 6th floor in the home department. Both are worth seeing.
Dinner at Firefly was a delight. This Noe Valley restaurant has been open for over 14 years. I've not been there in awhile and it remains as friendly and excellent as ever. Our meal started with a "bread" plate of matzos, bagelech, and haroset. I did not know what Bagelech were; they are a sort of popover made of matzo meal...very tasty, especially with some haroset spread over.
For main courses H & Dr. J chose the Grilled Lamb Sirloin with a Griddled Garbanzo Cake, Artichokes, Minted English Peas,and Olive Tapenade.
M & Amy ordered the Braised Corvina Seabass with Matzo Spaetzle, Sugar Snap Peas, Radishes, and Green Garlic Broth.
My choice was the Roast Vegetable Matzo Kugel with Creamy Tomato Mushroom Sauce and Roasted Cippolini Onions. We are all pleased with our choices.
For dessert, we shared Grapefruit Sorbet with Honey Mousse and a Flourless Chocolate Tart with Guanduja Sabayon and Caramel Ice Cream.
This was a wonderful evening with special friends and the perfect end to a busy day.