Los Angeles, Photography, Stories

Natural History Museum

This past Memorial Day weekend was one filled with equal amounts of exploration and laziness. I had 3 full days entirely to myself to do whatever I wanted and I made sure to make the most of it.

Saturday and Monday I pretty much stayed home all day long and played GTA V on my brand new Lenovo Gaming PC. Although Sunday was much more eventful so I’ll primarily be talking about what I did that day. Because nobody wants to hear about how I ate massive amounts of chips and and sat in front of my computer shooting cars at pedestrians out of a gun for 5 hours right?

Of course not! So here is a recap of what I did.

On Sunday, I had pretty much planned out everything I was going to do a few days in advance. I planned on going to the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park to check out a few new exhibits and then, if I wasn’t too tired, walk over and see a few things over at the California Science Center right next door.

Knowing that the museum gets incredibly busy on weekends, and even more so on holiday weekends, I decided it would be best if I arrived at or slightly before the museum opens.

So it was a little bit before 9am. The museum opens at 9:30am and if I managed to drive there with no traffic, I would get there right on time. So I got in my car and soon realized I needed to put some gas. A slight inconvenience but I knew it wouldn’t take away too much time.

After I got done pumping some gas, I realized I hadn’t eaten or had any coffee yet. A major lack of foresight on my part. I decided I should stop by the nearest McDonald’s and pick up an iced coffee and then find something to eat once I got to the museum.

When I drove up, it seemed like half the town decided to wake up early and get some breakfast. I decided it wasn’t worth it to wait in a long drive-thru line just to get an iced coffee. So I decided to get out of my car and walk in instead.

I walked inside to a relatively empty dining area. I made my way over to the counter and ordered my iced coffee and waited around until my order was ready.

It didn’t take long at all to get it. I was in and out in a matter of minutes. I even had time to snap a quick McSelfie before I made my way back to my car.

Now that I had my coffee in hand, I was really, officially ready to get back on the road to the Natural History Museum. It was 9:15am. I was still good on time but was probably gonna get there a little after they open but it was fine.

The freeways were relatively empty and after about 30 minutes on the road, I arrived just a little after the museum opened. I payed the $10 parking fee and made my way towards the ticket booth where I picked up an 11am ticket for the Butterfly Pavilion and a ticket for the new Grandes Maestros exhibit for free courtesy of my status as a member of the museum.

So I went inside and was greeted by the two most bad-ass dinosaur locked in an intense battle. As per ritual, its almost mandatory for every person to take a photo of them, so I did.

I had a decent amount of time to wander around before the Butterfly Pavilion started. I decided to head into the Mineral Hall and check out some things inside since last time I went I only spent a brief amount of time in there.

There were countless gemstones, minerals, diamonds, jewelry, and sculptures that all were probably worth more money than all the money I’ve ever made in my life so far. But it was fascinating to see all the various forms and structures naturally occurring elements could take.

I then made it all the way to the back of the Mineral Hall which has a small room that is heavily armed with a giant wheel lock and an armed guard standing outside of it. It is home to some of the most expensive diamonds, raw minerals and jewelry in the entire museum. Sitting directly outside of it is a strange crystal ball made entirely of quartz. It is apparently free from any defects and is the largest quartz crystal ball in the world.

After gazing into this crystal ball for a few minutes, I then made my way into the secured room and tried not to look too suspicious.

By now I had spent about an hour wandering around inside and it was time to head over to the Butterfly Pavilion outside.

I walked over and waited in line for about 10 minutes and then they gave us a brief overview of what the rules were and what we should look out for while inside. Just before we walked in I made sure to switch my camera lens over to a 70mm-300mm telephoto lens to get as much detail out of these butterflies.

I spent about 25 minutes inside just snapping away. After that I was pretty tired from being on my feet for about 2 hours straight at that point. So I headed back inside were there was an exclusive member’s only lounge. I’ve never been in it but always wondered what is like. So I decided now would be as good a time as any to check it out.

The lounge was a nice little area and it was the only real place in the entire building where you could just relax and sit down. So I made the best of it and decided to take out my MacBook for awhile and transferred some of the photos I’ve taken so far.

After resting for maybe 20 minutes I headed over to the Grandes Maestros exhibit.

I heard a lot about this exhibit in the news and knew it was something I wanted to check out eventually. And since I’m hispanic it would be awesome to see the different art styles from various hispanic counties around the world.

After handing my ticket to the ticket girl at the entrance, I walked into a huge room filled with artworks and sculptures from various Latin American countries.

I slowly made my way through the entire room and took note of how artists in every country characterize themselves in exaggerated and comical ways. I noticed that the majority of all the artworks were either very colorful or extremely intricate. Sometimes even both.

Upon reaching the end of the first room, I turned the corner into another room that had even more sculptures.

After spending about 15 minutes wandering around inside the exhibit, I looked down at my watch and realized it was already noon. Surprisingly I wasn’t too tired after walking around for a good while and decided to head over to the California Science Center to see if I could find a ticket for an IMAX show.

I got there and immediately noticed how incredibly packed it was. There was a line of people wrapped around the IMAX theater with a line for the ticket booth that was equally as long.

Instead of trying to brave the crowds, I decided to just head back and walk around the Rose Garden next door.