The last place on our itinerary was San Francisco, California. We went there to attend a Tears for Fears (TFF) concert, which has sort of become an annual event for us since 2010. We flew from Seattle in the morning on the day before the concert so we could do a little sightseeing.
But first, let's talk about the weather. It was pretty cloudy, cool (cold, compared to Seattle and Vancouver), and foggy most of the time we were there, but I guess that's why they call it "Fog City" (among many other nicknames). Good thing we brought jackets! They must make a killing selling unsuspecting tourists San Francisco jackets and sweatshirts, so if you plan to go, even in the summer, take a jacket. Oh, and thanks a lot, fog, for ruining every chance we had to get decent photos of the Golden Gate Bridge (and by decent I mean you can tell that it's the Golden Gate Bridge without squinting or being told that's what you're looking at).
|The best photo I got of the Golden Gate Bridge (taken from the Alcatraz ferry). Seriously.|
We already had tickets for Alcatraz, because they can sell out weeks in advance, so that was first on our to-do list. Once we checked into our hotel, which was on the south side of town, we headed to Fisherman's Wharf and got on the ferry to travel about 1.25 miles across San Francisco Bay to Alcatraz Island. The island is now a national park site featuring what remains of the abandoned prison, early military fortifications, and the oldest operating lighthouse on the U.S. west coast.
|Approaching Alcatraz Island|
|View approaching the dock|
The wall above was written on during the 19-month (November of 1969 to June of 1971) occupation of the island by the group Indians of All Tribes.
|Military chapel and guardhouse|
|Gardens, power house, and view facing northwest|
|The 84-foot-tall lighthouse which replaced the original in 1909|
|Inside a cell|
|Solitary confinement cells|
There are many ornamental plant species on the island--remnants of gardens planted by inmates and correctional staff and families--which are now tended by volunteers.
|View of San Francisco from Alcatraz Island|
|Marina at Fisherman's Wharf, SF|
|Seals sunning themselves at Fisherman's Wharf|
We took a cable car ride from Ghirardelli Square to the transit station on our way back to our hotel. We actually took a few cable car rides, but they were all at night, so they weren't the best times for good photos. And they were super-crowded.
The next day (our final day together), we ate lunch at the Fog City Diner, which was more upscale than we expected it to be. Both the food and service were good.
Then we took a streetcar (we did manage to get a shot of one of those) to Chinatown.
|Streetcar in San Francisco|
|Somewhere in Chinatown, San Francisco|
The next morning, we parted ways at the airport and both flew to our respective cities. There are tons of things we didn't have time to do in San Francisco (and Seattle and Vancouver), but we did what we could and had a great time. Well, that concludes this whirlwind West Coast trip series!