San Francisco -September 5th, 2015 (The Second Half)

The most I knew about San Fracisco when we booked our tickets was that there were trolleys. And rice? Something like that… When we realized ALCATRAZ was there, my husband was so excited. But it was short-lived. To get a tour, we would have had to book the tickets weeks in advance. They do hold tickets for early risers, but we were so far from the north side of the city where Alcatraz is that it would have been pretty impossible to make it that early and still get a good night’s sleep/enjoy the rest of the day without crashing out.
So we decided to take a ferry out. It lasted an hour and took us under The Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz. It sounds like a weird preposition jingle, doesn’t it?
AROUND the prison, UNDER the bridge.


We were handed a headset when we boarded and were able to listen to a guided tour as we cruised along. It gave some great facts and fun history.

Here’s an anti-climatic, windy video! Yay!

After we’d finished our time with the bridge, we headed toward Alcatraz and on the way we saw dolphins jumping in the drink. We couldn’t snap pictures fast enough, and really? Sometimes the memory of things like that are better than pictures. When I take the time to just be fully present without a camera in my hands, I’m never disappointed. But my sentimental personality is such that I can’t last long without feeling an undying need to CAPTURE EVERYTHING.
But the dolphins would not be captured. Rogue little things.

We were really excited about Alcatraz:

My pictures are all mostly the back side of Alcatraz -the side you can’t see from the Wharf.
I couldn’t believe how big the whole operation was… and I didn’t realize the island had to have everything, including water, ferried in. And the guards LIVED there with their families.


Before hopping on our boat, the crew snapped a picture of us. So we paid $30/ ticket for the ferry and then $15 for the picture. I mean, after you’ve spent $60, what’s another $15? And really, we didn’t regret it. I think we would have regretted it had we not bought the picture. How they got them all printed up and organized in the ONE hour we were out on the sea is beyond me. Must get paid for it, or something.


After our cruise, we walked on the wharf and looked at the fun shops. We bought a few small souvenirs (including a toy trolley for Miss Alice who loves Daniel Tiger so much! She even refers to The Lincoln Memorial on the back of pennies as trolleys and pennies are “Trolley Dollars” in her world).
Here’s another anti-climatic video of one of the street performers -most of our videos were taken with our kids in mind, things we knew they’d love to see.

We stopped at a candy shop to buy something small so we would have some pennies to take to the arcade. We wanted to smash some souvenir pennies. The candy store was SO FUN. We could have spent so much money there if we really wanted to, but we didn’t want to haul a lot of candy around.
It was one of those places where we say the Harry Potter candy and went, “The kids would LOVE THIS!”
And then go, “Oh, we shouldn’t bring the kids here…” when we see the SNL-themed candy.
Danny and I have always enjoyed window shopping together.




Just walking along the very busy wharf we ran into fun stuff:

That night, we rested our weary feet at a very packed restaurant right by the water.franciscan

The wait was SO LONG, but we used our time to gaze out at the water while the sun set and talk about all of the people who were beyond the glass -we were in the perfect spot for people watching.
Danny kept staring, mouth watering, at the fake crab on display…
“I hope we get one THIS BIG.”

0905151926I took a picture of the stairs because all of these old-style stairs are just too much for me.  The stairs were flanked by pictures of Hollywood’s Golden Age Actors.  I really felt like as I went up those stairs that Gregory Peck was not only watching me but had walked the same stairs a few or fifty years before.
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Our crab was worth the wait.  We had a blast cracking that baby to bits.


We made a horrible mess, but the waiter was nice enough to tie these very dignified bibs on us.0905152048

FISH silverware! Very touristy.0905151944
We split our full crab and relished each and every bite. Finding good sea food in Arizona is like trying to find a good enchilada anywhere north of Arizona.

On our walk home, we stopped to listen to the water lapping in the dark, we hit up the chocolate store one last time and left with 5 big bars (buy four get one).


We walked back to find a trolley to take us back to Union Square and we found a yarn bombed tree -something I’ve only seen in pictures.  I was so happy.



Throughout our trip, I made a point to take pictures of people trying to take selfies, or families/couples leaving one person out of a photo so they could take it… and as we waited for an uber driver to pick us up in Union Square, I snapped a picture of a sweet family standing near us, and they offered to take one of us.

So why not?  Here we are, completely and utterly worn out… happy and tired and full of seafood and chocolate and culture:


Our uber driver was a 66 year old San Franciscan who had owned a limo-driving business in the 80s.  He found out we were from Arizona and immediately turned on country music which I am still grateful for.  It helped me feel more at home in a very foreign environment… you know, the kind where there’s more than 3 cars driving in a 3 mile radius after 10 pm.

Sunday was our last day -one more post, and our San Francisco trip will be completely posted!  Whew!  What a trip.


  1. Love that last picture of you guys! So happy!

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