I had a friend suggest to me that we rent bikes and ride across the Golden Gate bridge. So, we did. We rented four tandem bikes from Blazing Saddles on Hyde Street and we were off. It was SO much fun. It was one of my favorite things we did on our entire vacation. We rode along the beach, up crazy hills, over the bridge, looked at the view back at the city, and headed back. I think we did it in under three hours.
One of the best things about the trip? Watching my big guys be so cute with my littles.
I bought the tickets for Alcatraz weeks before our trip reading that the tickets sold out quickly. The little kids were so excited for their first boat experience. Alcatraz island was beautiful and the prison itself is how all prisons should be right NOW! No privileges. No frills. No novelties. Prison!! We had an audio tour as we walked around hearing stories from past guards and inmates. It was very interesting and the tiny cells are tiny! There were five cells that were pitch black and people would stay in them for up to two weeks. One inmate told the story of how he would rip a button off of his shirt and drop it on the ground. He would get down on his hands and knees and try to find it in the black cell. As soon as he would find it, he would stand up, drop the button on the floor and do it all over again. And again. And again. I can't even imagine being so bored and not being a mental case. Perhaps they were. There was another story about how there were five or so other rooms that had daylight enter in and faced the city. They always knew it was New Year's Eve because of the laughter and noise they could hear back in San Francisco across the water and how torturous it was to the inmates to hear real life just outside. We learned that families lived on the island while Alcatraz was a prison. We learned that the Native Americans once occupied the island after it was no longer a prison. Very interesting indeed.
B fell asleep during the movie portion.
Alcatraz was the last thing we did in San Francisco before it was time to move northward. We had enjoyed the city and made a lot of memories as a family. We watched the skyline as we drove away trying to see if we could remember it as to recognize it in pictures some day. The Coit tower has some interesting history to it that we were reading on the way out of town.
The kids loved these clouds and insisted we take a picture of them as we were leaving.
We recognized the temple while crossing the bridge after having been there the day before.
D and I had talked about possibly getting out of San Francisco a bit to save on a hotel. We had looked at our map and figured we would go to Redding, California which we thought was a two hour drive. It was a four hour drive. But once again, no complaining by the kids. We drove and we drove laughing about our miscalculations. Along the way though, we did see some awesome things.
This great bridge.
Sunflower fields near Winter, California.
And our hotel at 10:30 P.M. Such a good day but so happy to collapse in a bed in Redding, California.