History is interesting when you grow up!

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.

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?

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San Fran: Witnessing History

My father made me aware yesterday that Justin and I witnessed a piece of history while we were in San Francisco.

At first I just laughed a long… figuring it was a joke that I just did not get (that happens to me.. a lot). But he kept saying it. So I finally asked him what he meant.

To which he said.. “The game!”

Then it all made sense.

Justin and I love going to baseball games. We are 100% Yankee fans through and through, but took the opportunity to venture to AT&T Park to see the SF Giants take on the Minnesota Twins (Go figure.. we have seen the Yankees play the Twins 2 or 3 times.. couldn’t they be playing someone else…).

I thought this place was awesome before we even got there.  Why? Well.. it was $35 a ticket. for seats that were 18 rows back from the field on the first base line.  If we tried to get those tickets to a Yankee game, they would be well over $100 a pop.

I am surprised at the low cost of the tickets – espeically since the Giants won the World Series last year!

Anywho.. we arrived early .. (because we are early for everything) and explored the ball park.. snapped some pictures. (Yes, we are sporting SF Giant gear. The hat on my head.. and the T-shirt Justin is wearing.. were only 10$ inside the ballpark. ANOTHER STEAL!)

To avoid being a nuissance to the people sitting near us (who ended up being NO ONE, I ate my dinner before the game started.)

Yes, I bought a salad before entering the park. Sorry – Ballpark HotDogs don’t do it for me. And this salad was much cheaper then anything I could have bought inside the stadium anyway.

As time went by, I fell even more in love with this stadium.  They had SO many fun things going on. And to melt my heart even more.. they had a class of kindergarteners sing the National Anthem!

This group of 6 year old sang the best rendition of the National Anthem I have ever heard (regardless of how off tune it was.. and how many words they got wrong). Watch out Christina Aguilera.. these Kindergarteners are coming at ya!

Then the whole witnessing history thing began.

He had a BAD day

In the first inning, Minnesota managed to get 8 straight hits. They scored 8 runs. In one inning. Off of one pitcher.  That pitcher.. had to leave the game in the first inning. When the score was 8-0. Guess he was having a bad day.

It is too bad I didn’t take this picture AFTER history was made. At this point, it was only 6-0.

Justin and I were pretty amused.  We did not stay the whole game.. because 1 it was a blow out.. and 2 we walked.. A LOT.. earlier in the day.. which I will tell you  more about another day so we wanted to go to sleep. (Yes, we are party animals!)

But while we were there – they had people throwing free t-shirts.. the mascot driving through the stadium throwing free pizza to people.. a man with a rocket pack on his back walking around selling Ghiardelli Hot Chocolate with whipped cream..

I opted to munch on some of these:

And loved every second of it.

So. There you have the exciting little piece of history that I witnessed. Amazing, huh?  Something I am certianly going to tell my kids about 😉 .

Well, if I forget about it (which I probably will.. like… after I hit publish..) then I am sure Justin will tell them!

Have you ever witnessed a piece of history?

Do you like attending professional sporting games?  What is your favorite? Justin and I are headed to a Yankee game on July 8th.. super excited for that one too

Looking for more on my trip to San Francisco?  Check out these posts:

Still more to come.. Alcatraz, Fitness, and some amazing views! 🙂

Foodie Friday: Who Says Pumpkin is a Fall Food?

Seriously? Its Friday?  That seems super strange to me.

Since I haven’t worked all week. I’ve kind of lost track of the days. (You can be jealous, just don’t drop kick me, please.)

I worried that I would not have enough time to whip something up for ya this Friday. But, since my internal clock is readjusting still, I had a burst of energy and decided I want to use that energy in my kitchen! :0)

A couple of weeks ago when I was visited my parents, I saw this coveted, precious item on the shelves.

Ahhhh. Canned pumpkin puree.  It is always VERY hard to find puree pumpking (NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX) in the store at this time of year. (Well, at least in this area of the country).

Week after week, I stroll down the baked goods aisle..just in case they found an old can on a shelf in the dungeon of the store. (Yes, I would still eat it).

Apparently.. an hour up the road.. there is no such “pumpkin shortage”

So, last night, when I was rummaging through my rather empty cabinets.. this can of pumpkin puree was just staring me down.. begging to be used.

Being the sweet, nice girl that I am, I honored the request of this little can of pumpkin and made a treat.

Actually.. it is more then a treat. It can accompany a breakfast, lunch, dinner. It can be used as a snack.. as a dessert.  Pretty versatile, don’t ya think?!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Squares

Makes 24 squares

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 c. cashews (ground magic bullet)
  • 1/4 c. shredded coconut (optional – I used unsweetened reduced fat)

Preperation
  • Preheat Oven to 350*
  • Mix all ingredients in large bowl (except for coconut)
  • Pour batter into a 13 X 9 inch pan (previously sprayed with non-stick)
  • Sprinkle with coconut if desire
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes

These are not too sweet – but I don’t need my pumpkin goods to be sweet. I bet they would be great crumbled into yogurt!

I’ve been on a kick of entering my recipes into Sparkpeople. And I am never disappointed when I see the nutriional information.  Especially when I concoct a baked good that uses healthy ingredeients.. and is something that I actually enjoy!

Once again, the nutritional stats do not disappoint. Below  – find the stats for a the sqaures made WITHOUT using coconut on top…

Check out that Vitamin A 🙂

And here – the squares with my reduced fat unsweetened shredded coconut:

Just a 3 calorie difference 🙂

I made both – I spinkled a small amount over a portion of my goodies – so I can experience the best of both worlds!

I am totally for eating foods when they are “out of season.” Pumpkin is one of my favorite things to eat.. not in the fall. I am pretty sure I will be enjoying some pumpkin pie oats pretty soon. as I do not want to let a drop of this left-over pumpkin go to waste!!

Any other suggestions for some great goodies I can make with pumpkin!?  Great links?  Feel free to share.. I am in a baking mood!