After seeing a post on Facebook about the Dutch Windmill located at Golden Gate Park I knew I had to check it out next time I went to San Francisco. One afternoon while Katie and I were and headed to the Sutro Baths we drove right past it. I mentioned that later if we had nothing to do we should go back and take a look. The last morning we were there while we were waiting for the Aquarium of the Bay to open at Pier 39 we headed over to the north end of the park and took a few minutes to see the majestic windmill.
After a little research I learned that the Dutch Windmill was constructed in 1902. The interior holds amazing paintings, but over the years insect and water damage has made this gallery unvisitable for the public. The windmill was also originally used to pump water but today, even after all the restoration, it can no longer do this. It’s not a complete loss. The blades still move and there is the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, which is quite beautiful, right next to it so you’ll want to explore the area for sure.
The Dutch Windmill is right next to Beach Chalet and is about 75 feet high. With the tree cover growing around it, it’s easy to see the top with the blades from the beach but difficult to see as you get closer. We walked into the beautiful garden around the base and all the way up close super where we could read the plaques cemented to the walls. We looked up to the windmill’s top and could truly see how immense it is. Standing right next to the base it is huge and the long blades that swirl around in the wind are magnificent.
If you’re planning on going you might want to check out the Beach Chalet Visitor Center as well. Unfortunately when we went it was closed, but I’m sure that they much information about the history of the beach and park. Next time I’m exploring the Golden Gate Park I will be sure to stop in there and the South Windmill to learn even more.
About an hour outside of Los Angeles is where The World’s Biggest Dinosaurs were built 30 years ago. At that time the Cabazon Dinosaurs were the only thing out in the middle of nowhere with a gorgeous mountain backdrop. Today they are surrounded by a few small stores and have a dinosaur museum where you can walk through the gardens learning how archaeologists unearth dinosaur bones, hear different dinosaurs’ roar, and even climb inside T-Rex. One weekend on my way to Palm Springs I decided to check them out.
The Cabazon Dinosaurs are seen by over 12,000,000 people a year as they drive past on the 10 and are commonly seen in commercials, music videos, and films, including the 1980’s films Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and The Wizard. The apatosaurus, formerly known as the brontosaurus, took 11 years to build while the T-Rex took 7 years. The apatosaurus or Ms. Dinny is the biggest dinosaur in the world and has a small gift shop in her belly, while T-Rex or Mr. Rex can be climbed with a $9 admissions ticket to the dinosaur museum behind him.
My friend and I decided to check the museum out while we were there. We dug for dinosaur bones in the sand, and I walked away with a free prize, sifted through rocks with water to find gems we liked, walked through the dinosaur garden, listened to the dinosaurs roar, and hoped that something would move. Unfortunately nothing moved the day we were there, but we inspected the dinosaurs up close and came to the conclusion that either they used to move and no longer do or they were just turned off because it was late in the day.
The real reason we went into the museum was to climb inside Mr. Rex and as we arrived at the base of his tail our excitement grew. We walked up the long ramp and entered into a blood red room. It was so cool. It really looked like what you would expect the inside of a dinosaur to look like, kinda gross. We walked up the first flight of stairs and could see piles of what we could only assume were partially digested food. We headed up another flight and came to a spiral staircase. We carefully climbed the spiral case and next thing we knew we were inside Mr. Rex’s head! We could see his mouth and teeth and the light shining through the inside of his eyes. As I stepped into his mouth I hoped Mr. Rex’s bottom jaw would hold up under our weight. He didn’t look super sturdy and I had seen him shift a little in the wind from below. I looked out through his jagged teeth, it was a little scary to look down and see how high you were, but the view of Ms. Dinny and the mountains were beautiful. I would definitely recommend going to the museum if you are in the area to check it out. It was so much fun!