Monday, October 25, 2010

San Francisco-Day 2-Alcatraz

I have a confession to make.

I didn't take 500 pictures like I said earlier.

I took 829.

Is anyone surprised??

And while we're sharing. I have another confession to make.

I didn't want to go to Alcatraz.

A prison tour?? But my sweet friend Karreen who had been so faithful to me during 5 months of training wanted to go.

And one more confession, I am so glad I went!! I can't imagine missing it. If you're ever in San Francisco, you must go. It was less than $40 and worth every penny.

We hailed a cab, that was fun, and were on our way. After the walking from the day before I was so thankful to be in a cab! The hotel concierge had told us the boat left from Pier 39 so we headed that way. This city is so beautiful and as we came to the top of this hill there it was. Amazing that a prison was this close to a town! And hello hill! You look at hills differently when you know the next day you're running a half marathon.Holy hill! And the yellow sign above the stop sign? It says HILL. Really?? I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. We were a bit late so the cab driver dropped us off and we nearest person who could tell us why we couldn't find anyone. That was because Alcatraz tours leave from Pier 33! Thanks for nothing Parc 55 concierge. The sweeper guy said Pier 33 was a 10 minute walk. He pointed us in the right direction and we took off. The whole time we were looking for another cab. We didn't have 10 minutes. Near Pier 36 we found a cab headed the wrong way but he stopped for us and we hopped in. We told him where we were going and he looked at us. He said it was 400 feet behind us. We thanked him and got right back out. There aren't necessarily every number of piers. 33 was next to 36. Yep, we're observant.

Soon enough we were on the boat and headed out. But wait! Look behind us. What a gorgeous city. And hilly. did I mention the hills? It was a tad bit windy.

Just a tad. Too soon, I love being on the water, we were there. I'd heard about the plant and flower species and I wasn't disappointed. This one looked like Hens and Chickens but on a stem. It intrigued me.
The tour is an audio tour so as you're walking along a narrator is telling you things. I didn't notice for a while that there were background noises coming through the headphones. I thought it was the people around me. But when I was taking this picture and a man said, "Hey", in my headphones, I freaked out. I whipped around and there was no one there. That's when I realized all those noises were included on the tour.

Looks cozy, doesn't it? I had no idea cells were this small. And if you wanted any privacy in the shower??? You were plumb out of luck. Each aisle had three stories of cells. There was such an eeriness about the place. Kind of creeped me out the whole time.I don't know what these trees are, but I want them. Don't they look all Dr. Suess?? Even though it was a cold and blustery day that didn't stop the sail boaters from being out. Hundreds of them! I kept hoping the fog would lift so we could get a good shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. This is the view from the cafeteria. I can't imagine being locked in that creepy place and seeing this and not being able to get to it. What torture.

As I was leaving the prison area and heading back down the hill I saw this.Doesn't that worry you?? I know it's not a prison anymore, but weird. I realized later that he must have been one of the Hamlet players that were putting on a show later that evening. We'd seen orchestra members on the tour. But why was his face covered like that? Strange.

Even though the island was a prison we found out during a video that families lived there. They had two bowling alleys, a grocery store, and playgrounds. They children would ride a ferry to and from school in town every day. One lady spoke about her very happy childhood spent there. I looked at it differently after that. It really was a beautiful place. The buildings were worn but still had a beauty to them. This building was my favorite. I wish I'd had the girls with me to set them in this opening for pictures. And again, beautiful flowers. At a prison! As we boarded the boat it seemed like the number of sailboats had doubled. I was still waiting for the fog to life. But since it was San Francisco, I guess it was okay. Kind of comes with the territory, doesn't it? Again, the hills. My word! Luckily the buildings are a nice distraction.I think since my Dad is a graduate of the Coast Guard Academy and his dad was a Navy Seabee the water is in my blood. My grandparents took me to a lake almost every summer weekend when I was growing up. I love to be on the water. I tell Shawn all the time that I want to be 'boat people'. But since we're 'pool owner people', we don't have time for a boat.

Maybe someday I'll get to be on the water. In a boat like this if possible:c) That was the first part of our day and look how many pictures I took! That's why I've broken day 2 into at least 2 parts. I don't want to overwhelm you all.

I know, I'm always thinking of you all:c)


Unknown said...

Tom and I eventually want to retire on a houseboat. maybe that will be a possibility for you.

Cozyflier said...

I'm thinking since it is a tourist attraction that is why they have planted all those beautiful flowers!

Didn't know about people living there.