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!
We could see the cruise ship parked outside on the water. It was a rather spectacular view!
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.
We met up with Christine, Kevin, Breelyn, and Iris at the line to get on the boat.
We were all on the boat in due time and headed out to 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.
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?
Just outside the control point, there was a spectacular view of the city. And it was cold there!
Even though I’ve been to Alcatraz a couple of times before, it still felt new to me though slightly familiar.
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.
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
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. 🙂