Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rick's birthday

Rick turned 40 this past Sunday
and to celebrate this big milestone I gave him many options - a weekend away just us or with the kids, a day trip, a party, or whatever he wanted.  He decided to do a day trip to San Francisco and do Alcatraz.  This has been on our bucket list for a very long time and the kids are finally old enough!  We decided that it would be more fun to ask Melissa's brother and family to join us and believe it or not with all our crazy schedules the day I picked worked for them too! 
We were all so excited to spend this day together! 
Scott and Tami were the only ones that had
who had been out to Alcatraz.

Part of the fun is riding the ferry boat over to the island. Here is Meagan, Maddie, and my youngest nephew, Noah. It was windy and chilly, but still fun!

Arriving on the island

This is definitely one of the best tours we have ever done and so worth the money!! There is an audio tour that takes you through most of the buildings and has sounds of prison and just really keeps you engaged through the tour. Even Maddie who does not love museums and Noah, who is in 2nd grade, loved this tour! You are never at one spot for very long, it really does keep you moving! You can stop and start the tour as well, that way if you want ot take more time in a certain area you can.

So inmates that actually speak about their experience are in the picture above, what a typical cell looks like, and a picture of the rec yard when in it's prime. Below is what it looks like now.

There was a door off the rec yard that they wanted to explore and we sent Meagan down the steps to see what was down there while we waited on the steps!

We all would take turns walking into a cell to see what it was like or into a solitary confinement cell, but I just love this picture of Noah
So what I didn't know was their had been an attempt to escape prior to the big escape. They managed to create something to separate the bars, but look how small the space is that they squeezed through! Just amazing!

Always a reminder to the prisoners just how close San Francisco is and at times they could even hear the noise of the city!

Below you can see the actual hole that was dug in the wall from the infamous escape and then the pipes they climbed up in between the walls. If you look you can see the hole they crawled through on this side.

We happen to hit a day where there was some civil war characters on the island and Meagan was stopped by one who "Handcuffed her on Alcatraz!"

Madison and Nicholas stayed together the majority of the day, which made it so nice for them to experience this.

Family pictures with San Francisco behind us as the backdrop

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect time on Alcatraz! The marine layer lifted as we rode the ferry out and as we turned around while on the ferry back for one last look at Alcatraz this is what we saw...

The marine layer was coming back in! It was sunny and beautiful the whole time we were out there! We then walked around pier 39, walked to Ghiradelli Square for some chocolate, and we even saw the ship where Meagan and Madison had their field trip, Age of Sail, in the 5th grade. We were hoping to walk around, but it was about to close. Maybe next time! We ended the day with dinner at Rainforest Cafe, which is always a favorite for the kids! An awesome birthday and an awesome family day!!

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