Saturday, September 21, 2013

San Francisco Trip: Alcatraz

Hands down, our favorite stop on the trip (other than seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in person) was our cruise/tour of Alcatraz.  There is just so much mystery about the place--a must-see in San Francisco.  We had actually waited too long to get tickets and were unable to get them when we first arrived in CA.  But Andy did not give up.  He continually checked the ticket site and one evening a set of 2 tickets came open for purchase and we snagged them.  The workers at the ticket counter were even surprised that we had been able to get them--that never happens, apparently.  So lesson learned, buy your tickets early!

The tour includes the cruise to the island and back, as well as a guided audio tour (that allows you to walk through at your own pace).  The audio tour is narrated by former inmates, which makes it so much more real.  They add in their own personal accounts now and then--loved it!

Here are some pics from the tour...


My hero with the two tickets he scored for us!







Model of Alcatraz...




On our cruise to the island!



View of the city from the boat...


Alcatraz Island...




Almost there!




There is a lot of graffiti left over from a group of Indians (Native Americans) that took over Alcatraz Island after they closed down the prison.  Kind of interesting...




















They said on clear nights, the inmates could hear laughing and conversation from parties taking place on the bay...all the way from the island!  They said it was a constant reminder that real life was just a boat ride away.


This cell was completely pitch black inside.  Really bad inmates were sent here for punishment.  With the door closed, you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.






A lot of birds on the island...


The cafeteria...








The government bombed the housing quarters after they removed the Indian group from the island.  They hoped it would keep others from trying to live on the island...




Lots of pretty wildlife has grown up around the island...



The obligatory sign pictures!  It was an AWESOME tour.  We highly recommend it!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

San Francisco Trip: Muir Woods & Fisherman's Wharf

After a bit of a break, I'm back to share more about our trip that we took nearly two months ago...OOPS!  

Let's start with Muir Woods...


Muir Woods is known for its redwoods...which I had always wanted to see in person!












Love the clover!











 It's all very Twilight-esque, if you ask me. :)




I think this picture best captures the enormity of these trees!  It's hard to really photograph them on your camera--something you really need to see in person.

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Fisherman's Wharf was also a favorite spot.  We ended up heading down there twice to shop and eat.  A really neat touristy area...


Pretty views of the bay...



Pier 39 with shopping, eating, and a carousel...







A view of Alcatraz...more on that later!




And, Ghirardelli chocolate is made in San Francisco, so you have to stop at the Chocolate Shop!  Twice!




Making the chocolate...



Their specialty...SUNDAE!









I got fish and chips at an awesome little spot at the Wharf on our last full day...SO yummy!

More to come...