Saturday, May 14, 2011

Alcatraz Cruise

 Can I just say how annoyed I am at Blogger?  Thursday, I wrote a really, really good post.  Did you see it? It was published for about 9 hours, then it went away.  Poof!  I also worked on some other upcoming posts.  All saved only to disappear on Friday morning.  For many hours I was unable to access my account and when I finally could everything was gone.  I am pissed.  So, this post was/is the post that was on Thursday. 

It was going to be my last San Francisco post.  I am not going to lie; it was good.  Mr. J said it was one of my best posts (I don't know if I should be a little offended that he doesn't like my other posts). Anyway, I will try to re-capture the original post. 

Arg!  I am still mad!

One of the things I knew right from the get go of our trip planning was a visit to Alcatraz.  I have this weird thing where I like to visit prisons.  I went to school outside of Philadelphia and was able to explore Eastern State Penitentiary multiple times.  Come to think of it I also took a class in French literature about Penal Code. 

For me going to San Francisco meant going to "The Rock".  Although I heard that the night tour was a fabulous trip Mr. J is not as enthusiastic about all things creepy.  He also does not like the dark or late night activities.  Thus, we got up bright and early for the 9am ferry to Alcatraz.  Alcatraz Island is part of the National Park service.  My parents have a goal of going to as many National Parks as possible.  This is one they have not yet visited.  Me being the ultra competitive person I am is extremely excited to know I am one up on them. 

After the prison was closed, Native Americans tried to reclaim the Federal land as their own.    The occupied the island for 15 months until the time became one big party.  The Feds eventually kicked them off but due to this protest other land was given back to Native Americans across the country.  

The tickets to Alcatraz consist of a boat road to the island, a introductory film, and a self-led audio tour.  This is by far my favorite way to explore something like this.  We also had the opportunity to go on a garden tour of the island to see the many exotic plants found only here.  Two speakers were available during the day, a child who grew up on the island and a former inmate.  The former inmate definitely gave me goose bumps. 

There was lots of metal, bars, and gates.

 The first stop was one BIG gang shower. 

I certainly would not want to be locked/trapped in here.

The rooms are small.

And cold looking.  The inmates were able to have some personal belongings and hobbies if they were on good behavior.  

It is crazy to think about how close this island is to San Francisco.  

Maybe it was just me but because we were there on such a bright warm day the space didn't seem nearly as creepy as Eastern State.  I was dressed completely wrong for the day.  Everyone I spoke with said to dress for cold weather.  I ended up dying of heat with my pants, long sleeve shirt and jacket.  

The exercise yard was one big block of cement.

Solitary confinement was not a fun place to be.  Mr. J went in one of the cells but it was just a bit much for me.  I didn't want to get stuck.  Basically when you were in there it was pitch black 24/7.

The views of the city were amazing.  They said that if the wind blew just write sometimes you could smell the food.

Afterwards we were starving for some nourishment.  We headed out to The Tipsy Pig

This place was way too COOL for Mr. J and I.  We had reservations and were able to score one of the very few tables for sitting.  There was a large patio area out back as well as a very crowded bar.  The path to the backyard patio was right by our table and I was able to watch all of the very fashionable California gals walk back and forth. 

I don't know what California did to me but I ended up eating a of meal I would never typically eat.  This meal was one of those meals. I had fried chicken and mash potatoes.  The portions were huge and delicious. I swear I got three whole chicken breast as my one portion. Mr. J had to finish it for me.


Mr. J got the fish and chips.  This dinner worked out well for him since he couldn't decide between the fish and chips or the fried chicken.  He ended up eating half of mine so he got to sample both.  His favorite part was the pickled asparagus and cauliflower.  I really liked his French fries. 


2231 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA



  1. Excellent post...though I know it was beyond irritating you had to recreate it. :)

  2. To lose a post...that has to SUCK! Sorry :( BUT this is a really good post...interesting and informative!

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