Wednesday, April 12, 2017

san francisco day 3

Monday we woke up early because we had tickets to ALCATRAZ! Even though it's really cliche, it was my favorite thing of the trip. I wasn't really expecting much of it, but it was great. 
We got to the marina and boarded the ferry. It was another perfect day, we had great views of the Bay Bridge on the way over there. We were the first tour of the day, which I definitely recommend because there was less people. You could tell when the later tours came because it was nosier, more crowded and just not as good.
 Some interesting things that I didn't know, Alcatraz started as a Civil War fort because the Confederates wanted California for the gold! We are starting our Civil War unit when we get back from Spring Break, so I just loved that info. Then either after the Civil War or after the prison closed (I can't remember the exact details) Native Americans took Alcatraz in protest for the United States violating land treaties. They held it for a little over a year, that is why you see so much graffiti. 
The prison closed because it was so expensive to run. 

Anyway, so you have the option of an audio tour and I would highly recommend. It was very well done, with voice overs from actual prisoners. It was creepy as crap with the sound affects and other stuff, I cannot imagine touring it at night!!!! I had heebie jeebies several times. 
The prisoners had the best views of the city and the bridges, so that was probably a type of torture in itself. Another interesting fact, the guards and their families (like, young children) lived on the island. My students love the book Al Capone Does My Shirts about a little kid (with autism) who lives on the island, but it actually happened. It's pretty nuts. 

The whole thing was just very interesting and creepy and I loved it. I took my headphones off at one point and it was silent because everyone was on their headphones. That was a really awesome feeling.

They encouraged people to go in the isolation cell (had a solid metal door unlike this one) and I was like...hard pass. You can't even see your own hand in front of your face in there.

My favorite part was the gallery of pictures from the day they closed Alcatraz. They were amazing.

We spent about two hours at Alcatraz then headed back to the mainland. We walked to a place called CodMother's that served fish and chips for lunch. It was good, but I was feeling kind of gross from all the treats and stuff so I didn't enjoy it as much as the others in the group.

After lunch, we headed to Coit Tower which was recommended to us by many people. We paid $8 to take an elevator to the top and although it was pretty, it was really hard to get a good view of the city because you can only look out these small windows and it was pretty crowded. We later heard from locals that the Top of the Mark is much better for the views of the city. 

This trip made me realize I'm selling my big camera. It's constantly blurry. 

After being a bit grumpy that we paid $8 for a one minute elevator ride....we went home and took a nap. Haha! It was much needed too.
After we woke up, we were craving ice cream so we went back to Ghiradelli Square. We had one that had brownies in it and it was delicious.
Oh look, another blurry picture!

After our ice cream fill, we headed to Baker Beach, the beach we couldn't go to the day before. This is the funniest moment of the trip and a moment I will remember forever just because of the pure shock of the whole thing. We were walking down the beach, as close to the bridge as we could get.  I was looking down at the sand as to not step on anything weird and one of my friends made a weird noise, so I looked up and right in front of me were two naked men! It took five seconds before my brain registered exactly what I was seeing and when I realized I screamed, swore, and turned around so fast. We were trying to figure out if it was a nude beach or if these guys were just being creeps. I really wanted a picture, so we kept walking and one of the naked guys kept coming closer and we hurried and took a picture and got the heck out of there. It was very annoying because the guy was purposefully trying to get in people's pictures, like he came behind one of my friends and stretched right behind her while I was trying to take her picture. Like, express yourself all you want but don't be a...dick? (pun intended?) about it.. 
There is a naked man about five feet to my left and I'm trying not to feel weird about it

We got into the parking lot and I was just so surprised and annoyed that it ruined our time at the beach, so I was being a little salty....but every minute that passed it seemed to get more and more funny and less irritating.
We decided to head to dinner at this point, we went to sushi. I won't even tell you the name because it was not great sushi and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. After sushi we headed back to Pier 39 area to see if we could get some oysters. While my friends were eating oysters, I was being creeped out by the clear violations of health codes and the homeless man who was getting beer everywhere! Yay big cities! Haha. Actually, I saw a Lush and ran right into it to buy a bath bomb so I could relax that night. 
Another very touristy thing but these steps were actual piano key things! I mean they had a sensor that played piano sounds so...we did a mini workout by running up and down them.

We hung out at Pier 39, I got some biscoff at the biscoff store and ran into my student teaching cooperating teacher, smallest world. Because we ate sushi and it had been five minutes, we were hungry again so we had another bread bowl and I had the best Dr Pepper I have had in a long time. 
Then we went home and I had a luxurious bath with my bath bomb and went to sleep!

I was going to squeeze day 4 into here, but I have written a lot already so I will save that for my last post!
 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

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