Since we were running late, we decided to go ahead and redeem our tickets for the cruise. Next to the port there was a nice little, pricey cafe/gift shop. Doug went and looked around and I got us some lunch. Didn’t want to wander too far and we were not that hungry, so we had some berries and coffee. We then got into line, a very longgggggggggg line. It was such beautiful weather for SF in March, cool, no rain and clear with big puffy clouds in the sky. We stood in line waiting to board, but the ship was a ways off.
We finally boarded and the upper decks were already filled so we decided to grab a seat down below. We met a nice young couple from London, England and chatted for a bit. Here are some pictures:
Approaching Alcatraz above.
Our dolcent for the trip.
Since Doug is always early, he wanted to know how long the tour lasted. Apparently, the cruise ship drops off every half hour and we thought we only had a half hour to tour this big area. No, it turns out that it drops you off and then you can spend as long as you want on the island, as the last ship leaves at 630 pm. So, we spent most of the afternoon, about 3 hours walking and looking, resting and listening. We were free, unlike the inmates before, to roam around. Instead of going into detail of Alcatraz, I’m just going to post pictures with captions. Also, so much to take in that I’m sure I wouldn’t do the history justice from what I remember. Enjoy!
Oh, if you look closely at some of the pictures, you will find a few with someone’s hand with a camera in it, not mine.
We decided to walk around first and then take the guided tour later. Can you imagine this building as a grand area for the guards and family to have dances, and skits in?
This is the water tower:
One of the official cars from Alcatraz, and a cannon. Did you know that Alcatraz started off as a military post?
Doug in front of where the guards were barracked.
The common area for the prisoners and the guards’ area.
This is where the prisoners, or new fish, were processed
And then paraded down, naked, down Broadway:
Can you imagine taking a communal shower twice a week here?
And more pictures:
And the most wanted of all:
For those of you wondering if Doug was able to find his favorite things, yes, he did! Before we started the tour of Alcatraz, there was a nice sized gift shop with a lot of books. I think he bought about 5 books on Alcatraz and a set of Alcatraz Mug Shots. Of course, we wandered around and found yet another gift shop, a little smaller, and some of the books were on sale! After the tour, we went into yet another, larger gift shop with an even larger supply of goodies and books. You can guess it, his back pack was full!
We left Alcatraz about 3 pm by boat and then walked for a bit down the piers afterwards. Since it was a Sunday, everything was already starting to close down as the tourists were starting to leave. We grabbed a trolley and took it back to the hotel so we could drop off our goodies and relax before dinner. We went to the front and asked the concierge if there was a good place close by that served chowder in sourdough bread, and she said there was a place called Boudin’s in the mall. We went over there and had some of the best chowder in sourdough for a good price! What a way to top off the trip to Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz. We walked around for a bit afterwards and decided to call it a night. Very full day of walking uphill at a steep incline and all around the piers. Perfect day!
Monday was our last day and we were due to catch the bus at 4:55, so we had a full day before the bus would come. We went for breakfast and then back to the hotel and decided that we had both seen enough for now and just to concentrate on getting our stuff together before leaving. Check out was at 12, so we had about 4 hours to kill before the bus would come.
I had asked the concierge the night before to give the beautiful bouquet to the housekeeping staff as I didn’t think the flowers would survive the trip. We went to the Toy Store just down the street from us and bought the grandkids a couple of souvenirs! We then went to the Wells Fargo Museum which was very interesting. They had a stagecoach set up inside so you could look at it closely, without touching it, and had even more stuff for Doug to buy. It’s actually in the lobby of a Well’s Fargo Bank!
I kinda wanted to go back to Fisherman’s Wharf but my feet were too tired, so we walked around the city some more and then went into Yerba Buena Park. A very nice place to sit and relax and watch the artificial waterfalls. I had my book and Doug, his MP3 player and we just relaxed for a bit. We then walked around the park and found out that it was part of a children’s museum and there was a huge old fashioned, hand hewn carousel. The oldest one in SF area, so we decided to go for a spin! I love carousels and it was fun to do that again!
We then grabbed some lunch and looked at the Amtrak bus schedule. The earliest one was at 2:30 so we decided to see if they would take us early. The bus stop was right around the corner from the park, and so we waited for a bit. The bus came right at 2:30 and the driver said that he could take us, it was completely empty! Not for long though! Now SF isn’t all that big, but the traffic jam made up for it! The bus stopped on Market Street, just a block away from our hotel. I knew that it stopped on Market Street, but not so close. Also, when I went to book our trip, it was an additional $20 to stop there and it was already completely booked. They do this as people come on the weekend to visit, that’s a popular place to stop so they charge more than they would for the Moscone Center. After a very quiet and train trip, hardly anyone on board, we arrived home about 10 pm. Kathy, An and Sam were waiting for us, and we had a good chat!
And so ends our wonderful and very memorable weekend anniversary trip! Thank you for listening.