Tuesday, May 29, 2012

24 Hours in San Francisco

Sadly the trip to California was drawing to a close. We drove from Carmel to San Francisco for a quick twenty four hours before our plane took off. Here is what we did with our precious little time.

After checking into our hotel we walked around our Nob Hill neighborhood.

The Fairmont Hotel. Do you remember the TV show Hotel?

Grace Cathedral

Trans America Building

Off for drinks and a snack at the Top of the Mark

The next morning we toured Alcatraz click here for photos and my post.

After touring Alcatraz we head for Fisherman's Wharf.

Looking at Alcatraz as we walk. We did what the sign said!

Pier 39 is on the way so we stopped to look at the sea lions.

On to Fisherman's Wharf and some lunch.

We decided to give the Fisherman's Grotto a chance.
I had read that it was touristy but good, and I would agree with that
statement. We enjoyed ourselves although we were sad our vacation
was coming to an end.

The yellow fisherman is every where - even the carpet!

I love the 70s feel to this bar! I would hang out here all the time if I could.

Finally lunch!

Steamed clams - fabulous.

Crab cake - tasty per the husband.

I ordered the Crab Cioppino - so messy but so good!
They even game me a bib.

After a nice long lunch we took a cable car to Union Square.

The view from the back of the cable car.

Window shopping in Union Square

I thought these plates were cute. Especially since I just gorged myself on Cioppino!

I can't believe after our lunch we went to dinner, but we did.
Our hotel recommended the Nob Hill Cafe. It was a cute little
place and the food and service were great. I would definitely go back!
I actually looked the place up on Yelp a few days later and it had mixed
reviews. That made me sad!

Portabella mushroom ravioli. Yum!

Views from the airplane as we took off the next morning.

Monday, May 21, 2012


 Alcatraz is not just the most famous jail ever - it also has a history that includes the Civil War, American Indians and birds. Now a National Park - Alcatraz is a MUST DO when in San Francisco.

If you would like to tour the island you must book in advance and it is best to buy your tickets online.

There is only ONE company that you can buy your Alcatraz tour ticket from:

The tours depart from Pier 33 which is a short walk from Fisherman's Wharf.

Arriving at The Rock:

Once you get off the boat a Park Ranger gives a quick talk - then you head up
the hill to start the tour.

Alcatraz is also a bird sanctuary.

The Cell house Audio Tour start here in the Laundry/Shower area.

The audio tour is fantastic as it is told by real people who lived and
worked at Alcatraz.

The tour explains all the different nick names the inmates had for different areas
of the cell house.

A Memorial to a guard that was killed during an attempted breakout.

The light that came through the cell house was amazing and I am sure very taunting to the
men locked in their cells.

The cells:

A Park Ranger giving one of the many talks during the day.

The Rec Yard:

The light that came through the windows surely taunted the prisoners, but the
views of San Francisco surely drove them mad!

The Control Room:

A mock up of the most famous break out of Alcatraz  as seen in the movie starring Clint Eastwood
The Escape from Alcatraz.

Four inmates spent months digging through the walls in their individual cells.
Once ready to go they place fake dummies in their beds. 

The inmates went through the hole in their cell into the wall and climbed up the
plumbing to the roof.

Three escaped and nobody knows what happened to them.
One inmate - the mastermind did not make it out. He later told prison officials
how the came up with the plan and what tools they used.

The Park Rangers and the audio tour go into depth about this and many more escape attempts.

When you finish the tour there is a large gift shop. It does have some tatty souvenirs, but the book section is amazing. You can find any and all books that you could possible want about Alcatraz.

Movie memorabilia on display in the book store.

Leaving The Rock