Monday, August 31, 2009

Ok, just a little more from Alcatraz........

I know you thought that I was done with the Alcatraz pictures - after all, it was only one day - not actually 24 hours, so part of a day, but the more I looked, the more I needed to share, but I promise this is the last installment... for now at least! Wonder how those lucky few got there?
the welcome mat, like anyone wants to see that and certainly they could not have been excited like, "Yea! they are happy I'm here!!"
and the showers - at least they were thinking green and trying to save water and conserve energy - that was their goal, right?
Some old building, not where the prisoners were housed, but I think some of them worked there - can't complain about the commute!!
one of the look out towers - bet they got cold and lonely spending 8 hours a day up there - and what if they needed a potty break?
a door to nowhere....
leaving Alcatraz behind, it doesn't look so bad from far away
We enjoyed our time there much more than those who spent time in the "little rooms with bars" did I imagine! I definitely recommend a visit if you are in the Bay area!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

I swear officer, I've never seen that before..

interested in spending the rest of your life in this 5'x10' cell? me either, but apparently there was a need for these cozy condos at some point in American history! They call this place... Alcatraz!!!
Big S doesn't look too scared, or too uncomfortable there!!
Little G thinks it's funny - she'd probably prefer this place to losing tv and computer!!
Little S doesn't think it's funny - even for pretend!
imagine walking these halls every day - I can hear the tin cups on the rails now!
For those of you who are light sensitive, they have some "sensory deprivation" rooms for you to enjoy!
Now all that's left are ruins
As usual, the bay was super windy, but I did convince the girls to stand still long enough for me to take this shot - I love the Golden Gate in the background!
and a little closer...
Little G just looked too cute in her shades waiting for the ferry!
Wonder who was trying to get out here........
Like they would "stop" to read this!!
We met this author - she was doing a book signing - she lived on "the Rock" as a child. She was really interesting to talk with - and she had an Indiana connection!
heading out through one of the "tunnels" - the kind that was built, not the kind that was dug with a spoon!
Heading down the hill to the ferry back to the mainland... for some reason I'm always more than a couple steps behind the rest of the gang!
Another fun day in San Francisco! We had a blast on the west coast, but I sure didn't want to stay on the rock overnight!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

so, you have a place to sleep, now you want to eat?

Hungry? I use the same qualifiers when looking for food as I do when looking for a hotel - good signs! I love the old signs with a hint of neon!! Check out these from San Fran!
well, they might have food too! the sign was too cool to not include!
I could imagine this place hoppin' in the 40s and 50s!! 63 cocktails - how can this place not be fun? and they serve food too?
down at the wharf - looks yummy, not quite as cool as the older signs, but I like the crab!
a really bad picture taken out the car window as we drove by, but the fish was way too cool to not try to get a shot of! I considered asking hubby to drive by a second time, but traffic was just awful, so I thought better of the idea!
This one was waaaay cool! I thought my friend Lori would like it too since she spells her name the same way - she probably doesn't care, but I still liked it a lot!!
so, not the fanciest, not the oldest, not the kitchiest, but by far the most important if you are anywhere near the bay area!!! We stopped for ice cream and did a lap through the store too of course! The girls had no idea what I was so excited about until they got their first taste - then everything became clear to them!! Real women appreciate Ghirardelli!!!! I love you Ghirardelli!
Tomorrow... we spend some time behind bars......

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In case you are looking for a place to stay while visiting....

So, you want to visit San Fran? When I travel, I like to stay in the bosom of the city, interact with the locals and get a true sense of the city. That's why I chose my hotels for their character and reflection of local flair - and a cool sign is the first sign you've found just such a place!! Ok, I admit, I choose a place for comfort, location and if I can stay there free on points, but in another life, this is how I'd like to travel - all based on cool signs!
If you are looking for a quiet get away, the Capri may be just the place for you! And you can get a AAA discount - bonus!!
the sign is way cool - does the Star really need to say anything else?
Don't ask and they won't tell...

The Buena Vista... does it really have a buena vista? it's kinda in the heart of things
In case you forgot where you were, the Francisco Bay Inn will remind you!
If you stay here, you can walk the super famous windy street rather than wait in line with all the cars!
The Hotel Stratford looks like a solid stand-by
So, if you are planning a trip to the city of fog, you may want to consider some of these fine establishments!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

rice-a-roni, the San Francisco treat........

So, after all the fun, wine, chaos, wine,family, wine, celebrations, wine of the last several days, it was back down to the five us us, packed into our "fuel efficient" red hummer H3 and headed to the big city!! To say that San Fran gave us an accurate sampling of it's infamous weather - just because it's in California and it's on the coast, doesn't mean it has to be warm and sunny!! Ever!!!
Of course we had to drive the girls over the Golden Gate bridge - not that you could see it that day!! Glad we weren't trying to fly anywhere that day - the fog was serious!! Safety awareness zone - darn tootin'!
Speed limit 45? In this fog? We might have been going 25 at our peak!
I swear there is a great big bridge in there somewhere - it's red, it shouldn't be that hard to see!
A slightly better glimpse!
Spoke too soon!
Of course you have to check out the trolley cars when you are in San Francisco!
Lombard street - a must see also! The windiest street in the US (or so they claim!), it is beautiful with all the flowers and the cute little row houses!
And a fabulous view!
we decided it was be really fun to sled down - too bad they never get snow!!!
they do work hard to keep all the landscaping looking nice - it's hard to get stuff to bloom year round!
I thought the prettiest flowers were the ones on the front of this house - the picture really doesn't do it justice, but they were a really bright mulberry color!
I final glance at where we had come from!
Of course Lombard Street isn't exactly a secret, so you can wait in line quite a while if you don't know the short cuts to get to the top! More tomorrow..