San Francisco with Mum and Jon

Hey Dad,

So yep I was right. 4am wake up call. Wonderful. I didn’t need to sleep anyway….

First stop today was Lombard Street. Having walked up and down that hill the other day I knew we would be better doing that first. Sure enough by the time we got to the stop of the street mum thought we were trying to kill her. She made it up though, just. 

We walked down Lombard Street and headed back to Fisherman’s Wharf. After Walking around and dipping in and out of crazy shops we slowly made our way to the dock to go to Alcatraz! 

Mum kept saying we didn’t have long to get there, which seemed odd, but who were we to question her? We should have questioned her. We were there an hour early! Great. After laughing at mum; and ourselves for being so silly trusting her, we headed to Pier 39 for a wonder around. 

Pier 39 was full of shops and restaurants. It was really cool. Music was playing and the atmosphere was really chilled out. We waked to the end of the pier, but not before stopping in a handful of shops, including a fudge shop! While stood at the end of the pier, we could hear sea lions! Yep sure enough there were hundreds of them sleeping on floating rafts. We stood and watched them for a while, then realised we now actually were running out of time so headed back to the Alcatraz dock. 

Dad, Alcatraz is awesome. It’s kind of eery, and really cold, but the history is just amazing. We took an audio tour around the cell block, which gave us knowledge and insight as to what we were looking at. We walked up and down the blocks, which were all named. We also walked through D block, which housed the worst of the worst. 

The cells were really small, and the D block cells were pitch black. We even saw the cells that housed the people in the ‘Escape from Alcatraz’ film. While looking at the cells, a guard stood on the second floor and performed what they call ‘the slammer’. The guard explained how the jail cell doors would open and close, and the mechanisms behind it. The noise when they were all closed together was quite immense. It echoed around the block. 

Outside in the court yard, you overlooked the whole of San Francisco. You could see cars and people who looked like dots moving around. It was so close and yet so far away. Over a mile actually. I can see how people thought they could swim it. The currents though were so strong I imagine you would be swept away before you made it. 

Learning about the guards and their families that lived on the island was also really interesting. They had their own small town on Alcatraz, surrounded by this huge jail! 

We walked around Alcatraz for over three hours! 

After getting the ferry back to the mainland we thought it would be fun to take a San Francisco tram. We found the start of the line. We the found the end of the queue. We stood in this queue for about an hour and a half! It wouldn’t have been so bad if it was not so unbelievably cold! I was frozen to the bone. We eventually got on a tram and rode it to Union Square. We stood there for a few minutes, realised we wee just in a huge shopping district and went for something to eat. While walking Jon stumbled across some cops, so got a photo with them and the cop car. I am not convinced they believed us when we told them he was a police officer. 

We found a steak sandwich place and had a mediocre meal at best. By the time we had finished we were so tired and cold we grabbed a taxi back to the hotel! 

I still can’t get warm, and mum and Jon are already sound asleep. Wonder if it will be another 4am wake up call. 

Night dad x

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