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18 June 2012 @ 10:07 pm
Our trip to Alcatraz  
Nobles at Alcatraz
before we headed to the island

So it was finally Saturday and our trip to Alcatraz! We hadn't been there since '94 or '95 (though it doesn't seem that long ago) and the first time I was there was in grade school. Yowsa! Anyhoo, my sister Sheilah had taken the same grade school trip but our two cousins (Bev and Christine)-- who actually lived in San Francisco for a few years-- had never made the boat ride to the former prison island! Not sure how that never happened for them. :)

We took our dad's truck, driven by Richard, and headed to San Francisco. It was the hottest day of the weekend and probably of the year so far and we had thankfully chosen that day to visit one of the cooler parts of the Bay Area. Yah!

We arrived in San Francisco well ahead of our 12:35 ride to Alcatraz so we stopped for drinks and some food at the nearby Butterfly restaurant. A nicely swanky place and we were seated in what I liked to call the VIP section. I had a kumquat margarita. Nice!

San Francisco SaturdayA drink

We could see the cruise ship parked outside on the water. It was a rather spectacular view!

San Francisco Saturday
San Francisco Saturday

Richard and I shared a delicious chicken salad sandwich. Bev, John, and Alina joined us midway through our meal. It was a great way to prepare for Alcatraz.

San Francisco Saturday

We met up with Christine, Kevin, Breelyn, and Iris at the line to get on the boat.

Alcatraz

We were all on the boat in due time and headed out to Alcatraz.

Alcatraz
one last look at San Francisco as we headed out

San Francisco Saturday
Alcatraz
Alcatraz
Alcatraz

The ride out to the island was just freakin' lovely! The breeze was wonderful, the water was lively but not too choppy, and the skies were pretty clear. The boat ride didn't take too long and we were soon on Alcatraz.

Alcatraz
Alcatraz
Alcatraz

After a steep walk up to the prison, we went in and took the audio tour. I paused the player a few times and it was eerie being around so many people who weren't talking. We were all listening to the voices on the recording tell us stories about long ago days of prison life on the lonely island in the Bay. It was fascinating and engrossing. At one point we sat in the library for a long time and I started to imagine what it must have been like for those inmates so many years ago who sat there and tried to take their minds off of their situation. Did they lose themselves in the books that no longer lined the bookshelves? Did they dream of life outside the walls, far in the city?

Alcatraz
Alcatraz
Alcatraz
Alcatraz
Alcatraz

Just outside the control point, there was a spectacular view of the city. And it was cold there!

Alcatraz
Alcatraz
Alcatraz

Even though I've been to Alcatraz a couple of times before, it still felt new to me though slightly familiar.

Alcatraz
It's funny how control points haven't changed much

San Francisco Saturday
Alcatraz
Alcatraz
San Francisco Saturday

After the tour, we walked back down to the dock and waited for the next boat. The kids had some snacks and we planned our next move, which was a walk to see the sea lions.

along the wharf
along the wharf
along the wharf
along the wharf

We rested a bit more while looking at the sea lions, then we decided to have an early dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. Noisy but fun place. We ate at the bar area, which was actually not as noisy as the dining area. Thank goodness. LOL

Rainforest Cafe
Rainforest Cafe
day168: four cousins
Rainforest Cafe

It was a lovely end to a great day. I had so much fun doing something touristy with my sister and cousins. And I took lots of pictures, as you can all see. :)
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Current Music: The Script - Science & Faith
 
 
 
BitchTudebitchtude on June 19th, 2012 12:53 pm (UTC)
Looks like so much fun! One day I'll get there :-)
Valerie: JDM green smilingvaleriejoy on June 19th, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
It was good times for sure! I'm glad we went. I still can't believe my two cousins had never been to Alcatraz. LOL
May Robinson: Alec Squeemay7fic on June 19th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
I'm an hour from Toronto, went to the University of Toronto, and hav elived within an hour of for about 30 years. *Never* been up the CN Tower so I can totally get that your cousins haven't been to Alcatraz. LOL

It looks so nifty though!!!
Valerie: sawyer glassesvaleriejoy on June 20th, 2012 02:59 am (UTC)
You haven't been to CN Tower? Well, when you do go, you've got to take pictures! :)

Whenever I watch Flashpoint, they show the CN Tower. So cool!
wah leewahlee on June 20th, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC)
I was born in San Francisco and lived there for ten years and I never went to Alcatraz. I guess my parents never wanted to go.

Pretty paint colors in the prison! Like for real. LOL!

I think listening to the voices would have creeped me out.

I love all the photos!

Edited at 2012-06-20 04:59 pm (UTC)
Valerie: jack cartervaleriejoy on June 21st, 2012 01:21 am (UTC)
You've got to go once. It's an amazing place. Plus it's just so pretty looking at the city from there.

The voices were a little creepy but it was creepier pausing the recording and hearing nothing but the shuffling of feet while people were listening to their headsets. Super creepy!

Thanks!