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Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Cinnamon roll to celebrate Pi Day!

Wanna know a secret? I'm a big ol' nerd. So I had decided to take the day off of work and play hooky with the kid and head to San Francisco to celebrate Pi Day on 3/14 at the place it all started (well, at its new location of course).....The Exploratorium on Pier 15.

Then I found out his school was going also. We still decided to drive on our own and then just meet up with them.

Our spectacular view of Coit Tower while waiting for the Exploratorium to open.
We got there early of course because we're chronically early. Despite the $45 parking fee because we were driving a full size vehicle it was an amazing adventure. The tickets were complimentary for Pi Day, which is really pretty cool of the Exploratorium to do. This way everyone can get some exposure to cool science exhibits and have fun all while learning along the way!

During my wait I decided to leave my mom and son there and walk down to the Ferry Building to visit what would soon become my favorite place on Earth.......the Marisposa Baking Company. I had researched a little about gluten free places near where we would be and I found a blog that mentioned this place. They have a small location in the Ferry Building. My GPS said it was a 10 minute walk. When there is a gluten free cinnamon roll in my future, the walk is only 7 minutes! I basically ran! I got down there, got a couple of goodies and got back so we could all get in line.

The dangerously delicious cinnamon roll from the Mariposa Baking Co.
Before I get too far into the rest of our day let me tell you a little about the bakery. This place is amazing. I've been fighting with food allergies my entire life and then had to completely cut out wheat, fin fish, strawberries and watch my intake of some other items as well. Then I was classified as "unconfirmed celiac" because I can't do the necessary gluten load test to really get the positive test result. I go into a full anaphylactic reaction when I have the slightest hint of wheat so I'm stuck in the unconfirmed world, which is fine with me. So, during this journey I have found a lot of really crappy food that is gluten free. Often times it's overpriced and tasted horrible. In the past few years there have been a few great companies that have been a life saver. I've found great bread, pizza, crackers etc but I've had a hard time finding a bakery where I can just get something good for a treat. I hate buying everything frozen. I miss being able to go into a bakery and say I want one of those....get it....and not have to thaw it out. So when I walked up to Mariposa I was in heaven. I actually didn't know what to get! I had talked to a GF friend the day before and she HIGHLY suggested the cinnamon rolls so I went for it! I got that AND a coconut lemon square for later. The cinnamon roll was around $4 which really isn't expensive even for a "regular" cinnamon roll in a bakery. I paid, got complimented on my CATB shirt and went on my way. Once I got back to my mom and kiddo I snarfed that roll down. It was the most amazing cinnamon roll I've ever had (even prior to my GF lifestyle). My mom stole a little bite and couldn't believe it was gf! If you're ever lucky enough to be in the beautiful city of San Francisco and you're gluten free you HAVE to try this place. They have 2 locations in SF so definitely check it out!

Thanks for humoring me while I slipped into GF mode!

Back to the science filled day! We did end up meeting up with the school and Josh ended up slipping off with his two favorite buddies! If you're looking for something fun and educational to do with your kiddo I really suggest The Exploratorium. We will be going back when it's not free day. It was so busy and crazy. There is so much to see and do that we didn't even see everything. I had a hard time keeping up with the kids. The backpack I took with us seemed to weigh about 1 million pounds by the time we left! 
This picture measures the heat coming off of those standing/sitting in front of the thermal camera. As you can see the kids were all pretty hot from running around hence all of he white!

The location is split up into different sections. So if you have a person with you that is really into a specific science field there is a section for them. Everything is hands on so kids really get involved in it. My son was trying to figure out each of the experiments. He wants to know how it all works. Now, let me bore you with far too many pictures that show a few of our favorite exhibits:

The picture on top is the color shadows screen which was really cool. Below is in exhibit on the ceiling in the life science area. Those tubes have amoebas in them and you can press a button to add air so it almost looks like they're boiling. It's a really interesting exhibit.

This is the electric fire display and Josh really thought it was cool seeing how far apart he could get the arc before it went out.
There is something for everyone to see and do. It's not just for kids either. If this is a place you'll be going more than once (if you have a little science nerd like I do) you might want to check out the membership option. I'm going to check that out prior to going next time. I would also suggest making it a weekend and staying in the city or parking in one of the lots that validates parking so you won't pay and arm and a leg. (or take a much smaller car than we did!)

This was a really cool area of the building that all focused on light. This sphere actually goes over your head and you can change the light with your right hand (there is a dial) and you can see how the color of the lighting affects your mood.

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