Sunday, August 1, 2010

Honeymoon Day Seven: Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf

We woke up absolutely exhausted and missing our home and our baby girl, Lily. That being said, we had lots of exciting plans in store.

Seth ran downstairs and got us some last minute food offerings from the complimentary breakfast, and we showered and headed out to the MUNI. We took the historic streetcar to Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 33, to catch the ferry to Alcatraz.

We had purchased tickets two months in advanced and thus were in luck, as they were sold out until mid August otherwise.

We arrived at the pier early thus allowing us time for an early lunch at the Alcatraz Cruises cafe. I had felt a bit under the weather that morning, so I had the soup of the day in the sourdough bread bowl. Seth had an eggplant sandwich. We were in line right on time to catch the one ten ferry. The ride was cold but pleasant, and I did not feel any sea sickness as the ride was under fifteen minutes.

I had been to Alcatraz once before and loved it. This trip was no exception! We enjoyed the audio tour which included narration by some inmates and guards. Since the audio tour was for the cell block only, we toured the rest of the island on foot.

Seeing the courtyard and were the remains of the of the officers homes was especially interested as I didn't recall seeing it last time I was there. We spent around four hours in the island enjoying the history and seeing the views of the city and the bridge.

Some interesting facts: Alcatraz started as a military post. When it became the maximum security prison there was one uprising in which the marines were called in. There were only three people who escaped and are unaccounted for. It is likely that they perished in the swim off the island, but no one knows to this day.

After taking the ferry back, we spent some time on Fisherman's Wharf.

We went into the Aquarium of the Bay. I had most wanted to see the octopus, but he was in hiding. On the plus side, there were long tunnels through the marine life -- very cool.

We also got to touch starfish (spiny), sea cucumbers (smooshy, kind of gross), and skates (softest skin ever and super friendly!). The skaters were our favorite. Much like a fuzzy feline I know, they are very curious. One came over and literally popped out of the water to see me and let me pet him!

After the Aquarium, we went and saw the sea lions which lay in an abundance by Pier 39, where we were. We managed to eat an an Italian restaurant where we could watch the sea lions as we ate, which was great fun.

We then walked down to Boudin bakery, which H recommended. They make bread animals out of their original sourdough bread. Seth got me a little turtle who is too cute to eat, although I must -- probably tomorrow for breakfast.

We took the street car home exhausted from a day walking in the sun. Tomorrow is our last day before we travel home. We cannot wait to get back. We are very tired and miss out baby girl and our home and eating our own food. Tomorrows plans should be lighter. We plan to check out a tea spot that David recommended and then look through Chinatown. We want to avoid the tourist spots and see some of the real Chinatown. The guide book to California that we got has a good walking tour to accomplish this. For now relaxation at the hotel and wishing that they had good cable like in Santa Barbara.

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