Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Alcatraz Island

Day 2 of our San Francisco Adventure took us to Alcatraz Island. Trek & I have been all over San Fran several times over, but we have NEVER taken the time to make a trip out to the island prison. We were all excited about it. I even had to buy the tickets a week in advance to guarantee us a boat ride out there.

We got there an hour early & played games & chased birds until it was our turn to board the boat.

The ferry was a big boat. . . a lot bigger than I thought it would be. Since mom & grandma were in wheelchairs, we had to stay on the bottom floor, but that was fine by us. It was 90 degrees outside so the air conditioning inside the boat was perfect for us.

Out of all the kids, Bladen was the most fascinated with the boat ride. He never left his window overlooking the bay. He loved every second of that ride.

When we arrived, the ranger told us what we needed to do & where we needed to go. Trek & I hiked to the top of the island to the cell house with the kiddos. Mom, Dad, & Grandma got to ride the nifty trolley to the top. (wheelchairs definitely have their advantages!)

I really enjoyed the tour of the cell house. It was an audio tour & though the kids were going nuts most of the time, it was REALLY cool to hear all the crazy things that happened behind those walls.

The first place you visit is the clothing issue. Every prisoner had to wear the same uniform.

Then they were required to take a public shower. Ewww. I'm SO glad I have SOME privacy when I shower. . . oh wait, I don't. I'm usually stared at by 5 starving kids begging for breakfast. ha ha ha.

The cellhouse is basically a big room FULL of 3 stories of jail cells. They were extremely small & not very clean. I would go crazy in there!

In Cellblock D (where the worst criminals were held), they let the kids go inside for pictures. They had a blast acting this one out!

Even the BIG KID. . .

There was a library in the middle of the building for those who were on good behavior. My mom loves anything to do with libraries.

But my favorite part of the entire tour was the view from outside. You can see the entire city of San Francisco & it is BEAUTIFUL!!!! Plus the weather was BEYOND GORGEOUS! It really was the perfect day to tour Alcatraz.

My favorite story from the tour was the story of the only 3 men to ever escape from Alcatraz. They dug a tunnel from behind their vents with spoons they had stolen from the dining area. It probably took them an entire year to dig it out. Then they made fake heads & put them in their beds to make the guards think they were sleeping. The next morning, the guards couldn't wake them up & when they touched them, the fake heads rolled onto the floor giving them quite the fright. They had escaped & were never heard from again.

The boat ride back was fun too. We went to the back of the boat & got some fresh air. We were exhausted.

We wore those kiddos out. We took the bus back to Union Square so we could walk home to Tylee's house. But all 5 kids were zonked.

It was a FULL FULL day, but it was one of the best days I've ever had in San Fran. Hooray for Alcatraz. Hooray for HISTORY!

1 comment:

  1. We went there Sept 24th. I loved it! we missed half of it because we had to go get our car out of the parking garage. But we are planning on going back to the island in November sometime because we have to see it all before we leave the area! I love history so I really enjoyed the trip.