Friday, March 27, 2009

California, Here We Come (Part 3)

Sunday, March 22

We met at the cafe across the street for breakfast again Sunday morning. Why mess with a good thing? The place was really good. Danny and Mot decided to try out those world famous waffles, while Steve and I went with the steak and eggs. (It's what I had the day before...again, why mess with a good thing?) :-)

Our breakfast conversation was pretty much dominated by the discussion of foreign travelers in San Francisco. More specifically, how they outnumbered the American tourists by quite a bit.

The conversation then moved on to the proper way you are to hold your fork...depending on where you're from. Mot watches allot of food network, and such....but he's never noticed the upside down fork usage. Kinda cracked me up. After attempting to eat his waffles using the new method...I think he found how handy it really is. :-)

From breakfast, we headed down to the Wharf...for our Alcatraz tour booked at 9:30 am. Danny wanted to stop off at Walgreens...although, to this day, no one is really sure why. We purchased nothing...but we did have fun in the hat aisle.

Try as I might I couldn't get them to buy the damn hats. There were three hats, with matching hair color for the three boys. Darn it...why didn't I just buy them anyway??? :-) Live and Learn.

We reached the loading area for the Alcatraz tour a few minutes early....just in time to get rained on. Luckily we all had our necessary hats and rain gear. Man, it was a cold rain.....and windier than heck out. :-)

The boat ride to the island was possibly the coldest thing I've ever experienced. Of course Mot and I couldn't ride out there inside the boat. Noooo....we had to stand on the upper deck....right at the front of the boat. Frostbite on my ears and hands was entirely possible. And we had to hang on to the railing to keep from falling over....the wind was blowing crazy hard. :-)

The island was amazing! Unfortunately, it's also a bird sanctuary, so most of the island is closed for nesting season. After wandering around outside, we headed into the main cell building. Holy crap! It was cool. You just can't imagine it, until you've seen it with your own eyes.

Notice the cage at the end of the wall, near the water tower. A little eerie, yes?

Each resident had their own cell, which did sort of surprise me. And the building is much smaller than I was expecting. (at least, the areas they'd let us into)

The outdoor exercise area. It was wild standing on those steps....where many residents had sat...years ago. Smoking their cigarettes...plotting escapes....and listening to the yacht club New Years' celebrations...year after year. So close to civilian life, yet so far away.

The menu of the last day Alcatraz was open. We were here on the 22nd...missed the anniversary of the day it closed by 1 day. Crazy, huh?

The trip back to the main land was much nicer. The wind had died down, and the sun had come out. Absolutely gorgeous!!!

(to be cont)

I will have all the pics posted of our trip on my webshots soon as I get done blogging. I'll post a link when it's ready to go.

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