When I was growing up.. and my parents scheduled a vacation that had some sort of educational value (i.e., a historical site) in it.. I was not a happy camper.
To me.. vacation meant beaches, swimming pools, amusement parks, cotton candy, ice-cream … and the like.
Going to Gettysburg did not seem like a vacation to me.. or my brother – as I am sure you can tell from our over-joyed faces:
Fake Smiles at the mercy of our parents
I couldn’t tell you a think that I learned at Gettysburg.
However, I have had a change of heart in regards to historical vacation destinations.
Perhaps it is due to maturity or my desire to continually learn new things.
Perhaps, Alcatraz was just a million more times interesting then Gettysburg (I mean.. jails are WAY more cool then battlegrounds…)
We visited Alcatraz on Tuesday (the same day we went to the game) – and this day ended up being one of the longest ones that we had.
Once we were out and about in the morning, we decided we would talk down to the pier rather then take a cab.
It was a beautiful day. We (read: I) may have gotten a little distracted by the vendors outside of the ferry building.. purchasing a turquoise necklace..
And browsing through all of the fresh fruits and veggies..
I was once again sidetracked when I remember that I could get some blue bottle coffee inside of the Ferry Building.
Many of you told me this coffee would change my life.
So, I waited in life for this life changing coffee. Each cup is individually dripped – and it was super cool (but a little time consuming for our tight schedule.. woops)
When I finally got my cup, Justin and I began our trek to Pier 33 – where we would catch out boat to Alcatraz. We were at Pier 1. We we short on time. I spent too much time lolly gagging.
So.. we walked at a super speedy face (which mind you – is not fun while holding a cup of coffee, a jacket, a purse, and a camera). We made it in time.. but I was kind of randomly sipping my coffee and not enjoying it to the fullest. The bouncy walk also resulted in coffee stains on my white shirt. Since it was a $3.90 shirt from Forever 21 – I just took it off and threw it in the trash.
Good thing I had layers on! 🙂
The ferry ride to Alcatraz provided us with some beautiful views:
While trudging up the hills to get to the entrance of the jail and snapping some pictures…
we caught a glimpse of a baby seagull and its mama 🙂 Too cute.
Justin and I got our headsets and began our tour. I am so glad they had headsets available… because listening is a lot easier then reading :).
It was facsinating to hear all about Alcatraz – from the viewpoints of some prisoners and of some guards. It really resembled a terrible, horrible place to spend time (granted those who were jailed there were some of the toughest criminals in the nation…)
We saw many cells.. both in the general population – and in solitary confinement.
- General Population Cell
We learned about the Famous (and successful) Escape of 1962 where three men created heads to fool the guards into thinking they were in their beds and sleeping – while they had used spoons to dig through concrete – and eventually climb their way up the pipes in the utility closet and escape Alcatraz Island. The 3 men are still considered fugitives – and it is unsure whether they are a live or dead.
I also determined that – based on this menu – I would have been able to eat just fine if I were a prisoner at Alcatraz (although the menu and quality of food was one of the main causes of riots..)
Good thing the cafeteria was the last stop on the tour- because it reminded me just how famished and hungry I was. After our ferry ride back over to the main land, Justin and I continued our walk along the Piers in search for some grub. We were both hungry and cranky because it was after 1:00pm.
We ended up eating at Boudin Bread Company. I got the veggie sandwich and Justin got a ham sandwich.
We walked to Ghiardelli Square..
and then had to figure out how we were going to get back to the hotel. We watched packed cable car after packed cable car pass us.. and decided to just suck it up and walk.
Gah. We ended up walking up one of the longest, steepest inclinces I had ever encountered!
A Third of the Way There..
However – we lucked out because we passed right by Lombard Street – and got to see a view of the Crooked Road from the top! 🙂
We opted out of walking up and down this one…
If we add in our walk back from AT&T stadium, we trekked about 7 miles on this day… and felt it by bed time for sure!! (Yes, I did some home and MAP MY WALK 🙂 .. I just had to know how much we walked.. and I wanted to get a visual of the big old hill we climbed..)
What is the best place you have visited that has historical value?!
Do you enjoy these historical sites more now -then you did when you were younger?