My feelings about our visit to Alcatraz on Sturday afternoon are mixed. Before going, I had no idea what to expect. Numerous people told us how amazing the tour was going to be, and I was excited about visiting. If you don't know, Alcatraz was a maximum secutiry prison for about 30 years. It closed in the 60s, but it's still creepy, so I was also a little nervous.
It turns out that I was worried about our visit for the wrong reason (the freaky-factor). The audio tour wasn't bad, per se. It was a tad hokey, but I can live with that. Basically, a whole slew of people comes over together on the boat. Then everybody makes their way to the cell block (up a hill that's equivalent to 13 flights of stairs, by the way) to get audio devices. Everybody presss play and the tour begins. As a result, most people start the tour at the same time. That means that we all moved around as a giant mob even though we'd only travel 5 paces at a time to look at something the size of a doorway. While not ideal, I could deal with that by just staying at the back of the group and looking when the crowd cleared.
My problem with the tour was this: all of the damn tourists! Stop rolling your eyes. I know that I was a tourist too, but at least I was being considerate. Some people are just plain old rude. People let their kids roam around unattended. There were moms yelling at their kids throughout the tour. They did't know how loud they were because they had headphones on, but they were also trying to be heard since their kids were wearing headphones too. Plus there was a drunk woman. Our tour was at 3-something in the afternoon and she was stumbling-drunk. I'm telling you, the people were just ridiculous.
I was also a little taken aback by the photographs people were taking. They'd put their kids in a cell and they'd be all smiles and thumbs up and I'm watching, thinking "this isn't Disney World, it's a jail that housed the country's most dangerous convicts." The thought process seemed a little disjointed to me, and I found it disturbing.
Anyway, I'm glad we went. It's an historic site with compelling stories. Plus, there were some fabulous views.
I took this photo of Eric and his brother, Drew, on the ferry back to San Francisco. All in all, it was a pretty cool day: Farmers' Market & Muir Woods in the morning and Alcatraz in the afternoon!
Later on we met Drew's friend for dinner at Joey and Eddie's before going to a very laid-back bar called Church Key.