We were having such a good time in SF and Stinson Beach that I was too busy (in a good way) to blog. We spent lots of time walking in the City and taking in the sites. We walked through Chinatown several times, the Italian section (my favorite what with the scents of pizza, Italian pastries and cookies… yum… etc. in the air) the piers along the Embarcadero, and much more. I think one of my favorite things that we did was tour the Hass-Lilienthal Victorian house with Karen and Brian’s friend Alex. Jim says I’m a geek because I like historic things, but I really enjoyed seeing and hearing how this family lived. This time period as well as the Civil War just enchant me. Jim just says I like all things old; I told him he’s lucky, because he’s old!
My next favorite thing in SF was our visit to Alcatraz. We had purchased tickets ahead of time; it is so popular that you have a lead time of several days. My in laws decided not to come with us, so we gave their tickets to a dad and son who had been turned away. He was so thankful, they were leaving the next day as we were, and wouldn’t have had a chance to see it otherwise. The funny thing is that they used Senior Tickets!
The tour is basically done at your own pace. You can wander around the island excluding a few restricted areas. There are signs throughout the grounds telling you what the purpose of each area and/or building had been. Once inside, you are given a set of headphone with a recorded guided tour you can listen to. It directs you to a specific area, and if you wish to stay longer, the recording can be paused.
We all enjoyed this tour a lot, and of course, as most attractions do, it ended at the gift shop. We browsed at the items, and the kids were amazed that a rock from “The Rock” cost $9.95, etc. Believe it or not, they decided it was just too pricey for THEIR wallets, so they found my brother in law and went outside to explore before the next boat back. Jim and I were looking at the books about escape attempts and the general history of Alcatraz and its inmates. We (of course) couldn’t decide on what to purchase, so we spent a small fortune ($85) on 4 books. He refused to part with a $27 book on the history of Alcatraz. Who’s the history geek now? I’m sure this is because he plans on looking at the pictures and reading the captions as if he actually read the book, but who am I to say? He did read on the plane trip home, and I’ve seen him with it a few times since we’ve been back.
Good karma from sharing the ticket – on the way home for both flights we were in the Business Class. It was great, no baggage fees and lots of leg room!