It was that good of a day. The girls had planned our trip to Alcatraz, bought the tickets online. We took BART to the city. We got on in Union City. Ron and Marie got on in Pleasanton. We met up at Bayfair station and rode the rest of the way together. Embarcadaro station was our get off point. It's always cool to come out from the station and be smack dab in the middle of a world class city. The hustle bustle of downtown and the waterfront was invigorating. Plus the weather was PERFECT!! Sun shining and blue skies.
Our plan was to walk the mile to pier 33 for the boat ride to the ROCK. So cool to be strolling the waterfront with our buds. We had plenty of time to spare so we stopped at Pier 23 for a bloody mary and appetizer. Two bloody marys later we walked the short distance to the spot where we would catch the ferry to Alcatraz. We got in line then realized that we were in the line for an earlier departing ferry. Rather than get out of line we thought maybe we could catch the early ferry since we were already there. No such luck. When the line started moving and we got to the front, the guy checked our tickets and gave us the boot out of line. Step to the side! It worked out good because when we did there were some benches right there that were roped off. We asked the guy if we could sit there and he said since it was empty to go ahead. Turns out that was the area for people who could not stand in line to get on the boat. When our ferry left next, we were first on the boat!!
I can tell you back in the day, not many people had a good day on "the rock", but we sure did. As the ferry was docking I noticed that some people were walking on a path around the south side of the island. When we landed and disembarked, everyone went right. We went left. For all the tourists out there, not many went the way we did. We walked along the south side of the island, passed some torn down buildings and made our way up to the parade grounds. We followed the crowds to where we picked up our little headphones and transmitters that guided us and told us all about the history of Alcatraz. It was pretty cool. We saw where Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly stayed. We say where the Birdman of Alcatraz stayed, and the cells where the guys escaped from in "Escape from Alcatraz".
Maybe the most spectacular thing about Alcatraz is the view! There must have been 500 sailboats out in the bay that day. The America's cup had just finished the previous weekend, so sailing fever was still in the air. The 360 view was awesome! The City skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge. Absolutely beautiful!
We finished the tour and wandered around a bit more. Turns out that path we were on at the beginning had just opened two days before. Closed most of the spring and summer because its a nesting ground for birds. Glad we got to see what few do. Waited for the ferry and got back to the waterfront. walked back to BART, but not before stopping at Pier 23 for dinner! It's when I'm sitting there at dinner that I could reflect. Here I am with my beautiful wife and our good friends, just had a great day in a world class city, we are sitting on the dock of the bay watchin the tide roll away. It doesn't get any better!!