Tag Archives: Alcatraz

Saturday in San Francisco, Part Two

After our morning at the Farmers Market and the Embarcadero, we made our way to Pier 33 where we would be taking a ferry to Alcatraz. When Chip and I went to San Francisco last fall, we were in the middle of the government shut down, which meant all national parks (Alcatraz included) were closed. Thankfully the government had their act together (more or less….) during this trip and we were actually able to go tour the island. The ferry ride was a lot shorter than I had expected, part of me had expected it to be as long as the one to Nantucket, but before we knew it, we were arriving at the dock. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Alcatraz, but I have to say it was a lot more interesting than I had anticipated. The audio tour was just the right length and provided so much information on the history of the jail, complete with stories about different inmates there and the various attempts to escape.

On the ferry

On the ferry

Dad spent most of the ferry ride outside checking out the views

Dad spent most of the ferry ride outside checking out the views

Watching a race as we got to Alcatraz

Watching a race as we got to Alcatraz

Getting into Alcatraz

Getting into Alcatraz

Famous Alcatraz inmates

Famous Alcatraz inmates

Chip checking out one of the solitary confinement cells

Chip checking out one of the solitary confinement cells

Inside the old library room

Inside the old library room

It was a little windy...

It was a little windy…

Our view of the city from Alcatraz

Our view of the city from Alcatraz

We finished our tour at Alcatraz around 3:00. Once we got back to San Francisco, we took a very tight cab ride to our rental home (see the evidence below) before packing up and heading to our hotel. Saturday was actually my parents’ 28th anniversary, so we spent the evening having dinner at E’ Tutto Qua. Looking back on our trip, that was hands-down the best meal during our time in California. It was so genuinely Italian that as soon as we walked in the door we were greeted by a loud “Party Lopez? Over here” and then a bunch of Italian shouting between waiters as we got seated at our table. Anytime we would serve ourselves more wine, the waiters would walk by shouting “Salute!” or would otherwise be speaking Italian to each other about food orders. The manager even came by at one point and told us all about how he created some of their signature dishes (order anything they recommend. It’s all delicious). The environment was great, the food was amazing, and it was so fun getting to celebrate my parents’ anniversary together. Cheers to you, mom and dad!

To confirm: Teresa and I are hanging off of the seats.

To confirm: Teresa and I are hanging off of the seats.

Starting dinner off with some champagne

Starting dinner off with some champagne

One of our very Italian waiters

One of our very Italian waiters

Happy anniversary!

Happy anniversary!

"E Tutto Qua" - And that is all!

“E Tutto Qua” – And that is all!

We would be visiting The Hess Collection during our time in Napa, so we decided to try their wine at dinner. Definitely some good wine!

We would be visiting The Hess Collection during our time in Napa, so we decided to try their wine at dinner. Definitely some good wine!

Sure do love my dad

Sure do love my dad

Cheers!

Cheers!

Alex and Teresa at dinner

Alex and Teresa at dinner

Cheers to 28 years!

Cheers to 28 years!

San Francisco: Part Three

One of the best parts to our trip to San Francisco was the beautiful weather. While the mornings and evenings were pretty chilly, the days were clear and sunny. With this great weather, we had been really excited for our Saturday in the city and spending the morning walking Fisherman’s Wharf and experiencing the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building.

We took the bus once more to get to Fisherman’s Wharf early on Saturday and couldn’t believe the size of the farmers market there. There were different stores and small stands inside the Ferry Building with the rest of the local stands outside and behind the building.

Empanadas in the Ferry Building

Empanadas in the Ferry Building

Breakfast

Breakfast

The Ferry Building

The Ferry Building

Part of the city skyline

Part of the city skyline

Fresh flowers

Fresh flowers

Farmer's Market

Farmer’s Market

Checking out a meat stand at the farmer's market...

Checking out a meat stand at the farmer’s market…

... where we got some deep fried mac n cheese

… where we got some deep fried mac n cheese

Maybe not the best decision at 10am, but it was delicious

Maybe not the best decision at 10am, but it was delicious

Cellist playing at the farmer's market

Cellist playing at the farmer’s market

Lovely candles at the Ferry Building

Lovely candles at the Ferry Building

Inside the Ferry Building

Inside the Ferry Building

We had originally planned on going to Alcatraz on Saturday after the farmer’s market. Unfortunately, we had to cancel this part of our trip… with the government shutdown, all national parks were closed which included Alcatraz. Sad day. We got some great views of it from the city but would have loved to walk around the island and see the old facility. Guess that means we’ll have to go back to San Francisco another time, right?

Two thumbs down

Two thumbs down

About as close as we got to seeing Alcatraz

About as close as we got to seeing Alcatraz

Enjoying the beautiful day

Enjoying the beautiful day

Since missing out on Alcatraz meant we had a few hours cleared from our Saturday, we decided to check out the Exploratorium. This was one of the parts of the trip that Chip had been most excited about after reading some information online. We had already had a preview of the building Thursday night when we spent some time in the gift shop. Not going to lie, the actual Exploratorium was almost overwhelming. It’s a really cool museum with hands-on exhibits and all are very kid friendly. It was so fun to just watch the kids running around everywhere and trying out the different stations while trying to squeeze ourselves in for a turn at the different exhibits. Confession: Chip and I weren’t smart enough for some of the electricity exercises. Too much science for us!

Exploratorium

Exploratorium

Exploratorium

Exploratorium

Exploratorium

Exploratorium

There was one mirror exhibit that showed the reflection upside down, which was a popular station. We tried to get a picture of this, but here’s another place where I just wasn’t quite smart enough. I feel like no matter how I angled our camera, all I could catch was the ceiling. #fifthgradesciencefail

Trying to get our picture

Trying to get our picture

Pretty sure Chip was asking me why I was having such a hard time taking this picture

Pretty sure Chip was asking me why I was having such a hard time taking this picture

After spending a couple of hours at the Exploratorium, we kept walking along until we got to Pier 39. When we had walked along Fisherman’s Wharf on Thursday night, we really hadn’t been able to see much here (although we did hear sea lions off in the distance…), so we were excited to check it out when all of the shops were open. There was so much more activity than we were expecting and we had a lot of fun just walking around this area and checking everything out (including a few minutes of a magic show outside a few restaurants). It may sound weird, but our favorite highlight of Pier 39 were the sea lions… they were just so funny to watch!

Pier 39

Pier 39

View of Alcatraz from Pier 39

View of Alcatraz from Pier 39

Until next time, Alcatraz

Until next time, Alcatraz

Pier 39

Pier 39

So very thankful for this guy

So very thankful for this guy

Sea lions at Pier 39

Sea lions at Pier 39

So many sea lions

So many sea lions

Pier 39 with the sea lions

Pier 39 with the sea lions

This one was our favorite

This one was our favorite

For dinner, we had reservations at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana. There’s no way we would have gotten in without reservations, it was so crowded when we first got there around 6:00 that evening. I was really excited about this meal and had a pisco sour while Chip enjoyed some wine. We split a plate of cebiche for our appetizer and then had a great meal to end our Saturday.

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

One of the best pisco sours I've had since studying abroad in Chile

One of the best pisco sours I’ve had since studying abroad in Chile

I knew it was going to be good when I saw the Peruvian word for corn (choclo) in the menu

I knew it was going to be good when I saw the Peruvian word for corn (choclo) in the menu