Tuesday, October 22, 2013

California Vacation - Day 3 (Alcatraz & San Fran)

Day 3 of our California Vacation consisted of Alcatraz, downtown San Francisco and The Golden Gate Bridge! Picture overload coming your way!
The number one thing my husband was looking forward to seeing on our trip (besides our friends) was Alcatraz! We've always talked about going to San Francisco and when we did he would always say how awesome it would be see it. He was right! It was incredible to see a place with such history and hear all the stories of what went on there.
Approaching Alcatraz
 We did the self guided audio tour and it was definitely worth it! It was full of information, not boring and didn't take too long. Some stories were told by the guards who were actually on Alcatraz when it was functional. It was cool to hear their take on events that happened.  
If you plan on visiting Alcatraz in the future keep these two things in mind:
1. You MUST buy tickets in advance. Tickets sell out sometimes months in advance and there are never tickets available at the Pier. The government runs the tours so they are the only ones who can take you on to the actual island. Other tour companies simply take you on a boat tour around the island. I'm so glad someone told us this or we would have missed out.
2. They actually discovered a new fly breed on Alcatraz. Yes. That's correct. A new breed of fly. An annoying, won't leave you alone, fly! They are on the boat and are on the pier of Alcatraz. Once you make your way up to the prison, they are no longer present, but they are super annoying and gross. But they would not prevent me from visiting. Just gross.

After Alcatraz we headed to Pier 39 where we had lunch and walked around for a bit. We checked out some shops, watched the sea lions for a bit and just took everything in. We love to just walk around and people watch so this was definitely enjoyable.
We also stopped at the Hard Rock Café for a drink. This was our 21st Hard Rock Café. If there is a HRC where we travel, we always make sure to stop, have some drinks and check it out. Afterwards we walked along the pier, saw some street performers until we made it to Fisherman's Wharf. I was still full from lunch but had to have some clam chowder soup. It was worth it!

After walking around town, we headed back to the car to make our way to the Golden Gate Bridge...but not without a stop at Lombard Street. One of the curviest streets in the US! It was SO busy so there was no where to park. Our friends just pulled over and we ran out to get a couple pictures. It was crazy. I would never want to drive on that road!

 After pulling over illegally to get some pictures, we made our way to the Golden Gate Bridge! It's such a cool location and the views are incredible. But the wind is crazy! This is the only good picture of us. My hair is loosing its mind in every other picture! 
After visiting the bridge, we headed back to Morgan Hill and had dinner. We needed a good nights rest before heading to Napa!

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