kirchoff travel diaries: day 3 golden gate park and alcatrez

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

We woke up slowly Monday morning...after 2 busy days and late nights we were all pretty exhausted. Everyone was happy and just relaxing in the hotel room and I remember thinking that this was the best vacation. Then things took a turn for the not so great. I got online to book our Alcatraz tickets for the next morning and to my surprise they were sold out. WHAT??!! This was the thing everyone was most looking forward to and I totally dropped the ball. My heart sank. We tried calling and no one would answer. We emailed them to no response. Aiden was the most excited about the tour but was so sweet and kept telling me that it was okay and our vacation would still be perfect. But I felt just awful. Cam had found a breakfast restaurant with great reviews so we decided to go to breakfast and then drive over to the ticketing spot and see what they could do. Breakfast was AMAZING and in a really trendy fun part of town. We were all a little down at this point but drove over to the ticket booth...the whole time I was praying over and over "please let there be tickets, please let there be tickets." We parked, Cam jumped out and we patiently waited in the car. We waited and waited and at this point I remember thinking that must be a good thing. Then here he came with tickets in his hand...with a catch. They were standby tickets for the night tour. We had to show back up at 5:30 and pray that 19 people who had tickets don't show up so we can get on the boat. The good was really cold and rainy. The bad news...these tickets were sold out until mid November so people who bought them would most likely show up. With a little bit of hope left we headed over to Golden Gate Park (it's bigger then Central Park) and the California Museum of Science.

Golden Gate park was gorgeous! The museum...ehh it was okay. I was expecting a lot since everything I read claimed it was the best museum in all of California. And for $120 for us to get in I was pretty much expecting it to be. 

Their roof was a "living roof" and that I must say was pretty cool. Plus it gave some great views of the park.

There was also a house with an earthquake simulator which was really neat (sorry no pics). Milly, however did not like that ;) Afterwards she told Cam "I don't ever want to go back in that house." LOL! Overall it was fun but not the best museum I've ever been in and I'm assuming not the best in all of California ;) 

And I haven't mentioned that while we were in CA there was a pretty high chance of an earthquake! Every morning we would watch the news and the chances would get higher and higher. I was a little freaked out about that. Thankfully, no earthquake :)

After the museum we stopped for lunch at a place called Super Duper Burgers and it lived up to it's name...they were pretty great. Then back over to Alcatraz to wait and see if we made it on the tour.

monument by Alcatraz

After a gazillion prayers we were very excited to hear the words "well, it's your lucky day...everyone on standby makes it on!" The boys and I were seriously jumping for joy, ha!

And the tour was AMAZING!!!!!! Easily a favorite by all of us!

We arrived while it was still light out which was nice. Then they walk you up the exact walk that all the prisoners took when they arrived.

Then in to where they received their clothes and took showers.


This is where we received our audio tours. One of my favorite parts of the tour was watching the boys with the audio tour. They would listen so closely and the walk over to exact parts they were talking about. It was CUTE! The audio tour was done by prison guards who worked at Alcatraz, prisoners that lived there and families of the guards who lived in the apartments on the island. It was really well done and I highly recommend it to anyone who visits SF.
cell room

Solitary confinement

Famous Inmates

How Sissy spent the entire tour in the worst stroller ever made :)

View from the island of the city. The picture doesn't do it was fantastic!

decorated to show what a room might have looked like back then

This part was pretty fascinating. There was only 1 succesful escape from Alcatraz and after it happened they shut it down. This was the hole that one of escapees dug out of his wall with a spoon. Read more about it here

 Dining hall...said to be the most dangerous place in the prison

The Alcatraz tour was perfect. All of us really enjoyed it and I was just so very thankful that we even got to go on it! Once we were back in the city we stopped by seafood restaurant, ate then headed back to the hotel and ready to get rested up for our last day in SF.

2 meltdowns from Milly and 1 from me (when I didn't think we would make the tour) all day. Not bad! Ha!

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