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Old 21 Feb 20, 03:09 PM  
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Jakes Mom
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Four Moretons Go West EASTER 2018 - Day 6 Alcatraz and Pier 39

Day 6 - Friday 30th March – Alcatraz and Pier 39

Lee and I woke just before the alarm, the boys were very slow to rise this morning and definitely were not keen to get out of bed. We had Alcatraz booked this morning and our tour was booked for 8.45am and we needed to be there at least 20 minutes before to check in. It was a 20-minute walk away so we needed a bit of hustle to make it on time. It didn’t help that the toilet in the bathroom blocked up, why do males use so much toilet paper?

Weather wise it was a lovely morning, clear skies but there was a chill in the air and we definitely needed our hoodies on. It was a lovely walk to Pier 33, there were lots of joggers out, it was so much different in the mornings to what we experienced last night.


We found Pier 33 just after 8am, and went into the Café to grab some breakfast as our tummies were definitely wondering what was going on. Lee grabbed an egg, sausage and cheese muffin, I had a hot chocolate and croissant and the boys both had blueberry muffins. It was $23 and was demolished in no time, I think we were lucky to get a seat as by the time we left the queue was well outside the door.

We joined the long queue waiting for the first cruise of the day, Lee thought there wouldn’t be that many on the 8.45am tour, he was wrong. Both boats were packed, you get some great views of the Golden Gate bridge on the way over but it was too cold for us out on deck so we sat inside.





Once off the boat we gathered at the entrance and listened to the Ranger give his welcome talk. He said we were very lucky today as there was an ex-prisoner of Alcatraz on the Island which doesn’t happen every day. William ‘Bill’ Baker was the prisoners name, he had been transferred to Alcatraz for trying to escape from other prisons!



He had recently written a book about his time in Alcatraz. Jacob was very keen to meet Bill, so we went to the book shop where he was based and queued up for a picture. Jacob was a bit shy and never really said much but it was a great experience for him and one he mentions to people even today.


We made our way up the steep hill so that we could grab our headsets and begin the audio tour. The steep hill is apparently 13 stories high! my legs were burning at the top. At the top of the hill before you go in is the morgue, pretty grim looking but also very interesting.

Once inside we queued up in the shower room, which was grim,

we were issued with our head sets and given instructions on how to work them. You can take as long as you want on the tour, they do not rush you round at all. I would definitely advise pressing pause when you want to stop and read any information otherwise the commentary becomes out of sync.


The tour allows you to see everywhere in the prison, I was really surprised at just how small the cells were.


We were very worried about how Lucas would get on with the tour but he loved it and pretended to be a prisoner whenever he could.


Jacob was very intrigued and asked us lots of questions. The tour took us just over an hour but without children you could easily spend a couple of hours taking in all the information. We especially like the part explaining how prisoners attempted/succeeded to break out of Alcatraz.


After the tour you can walk around by yourself and take more photos, be warned the place is home to 1000’s of super large seagulls!

Apparently, it was the nesting season when we there so they were quite aggressive. A lovely family from Surrey took a family picture for us.



There are some incredible views from the Alcatraz island itself:


I shall in put photos here from our tour:

The famous paper mache head



their choice for breakfast!


This was their yard for exercise

Just before we left, we watched a 20-minute film of old footage of Alcatraz. The whole tour was really interesting and most definitely worth a visit.


We boarded the boat to go back at 11.50 which was just over 3 hours from arriving, you could definitely spend longer, we didn’t look at the gardens which is another thing included in the tour. The tour was great value for money and was made even better by meeting someone who had experienced prison life on Alcatraz.

Although our breakfast was very nice it wasn’t that big and although it was only 12.30pm our tummies were rumbling. We walked up to Pier 39 and there was only one choice for us, Bubba Gumps. We love it here, there was a 40-minute wait but that was fine as it allowed us to have a look around Pier 39. We went to see the Sealions at the viewing area, it was packed and we struggled to get a good view, we did get a good smell though 😊.


Boys went into an arcade which was a rip off as some of the games were $5 a go! 40 minutes passed by and we started to get worried that our text from BG’s hadn’t come through.


We went back to the restaurant and our table was ready. Veronica was our server and she was great the best server of the holiday so far. The views were great with the GG bridge in the background. The restaurant was full to capacity but the service remained on point. Lucas wanted to take the boat from his fish and chips home, we explained that it might get a little squashed in the case.


The bill was $85 with tip. I then grabbed a bargain in the shop as all the hoodies were $20 so I grabbed one.



We continued exploring Pier 39, looking in the Christmas shop, the NFL shop and the numerous gift shop. At the entrance to the pier there was an ice cream shop so we took advantage of that, Lucas had a Birthday Cake flavour one which was actually quite nice. It was now lovely and warm (80 degrees). There were several street entertainers and street sellers about, some of them were pushier than others but no bother.



The boys had remembered the musee mecanique from last night and were desperate to go in there again, our feet were tired but we gave in and walked down to it. By the time we came out of the arcade it was 5.30pm and we had left the room at 7.30am. We were surprised at how well Lucas had done with all the walking as he is normally the first to whinge about his legs hurting.


I really wanted to see Lombard Street but decided that might be a step too far today so we headed back to the hotel room. When we got back the key to the room would not work, so a quick trip to reception sorted that and we were glad to find our toilet had been sorted while we were out.

We all had showers and chilled for the evening, Lucas watched the chipmunk movie for the 4th day running, we played a bit of Scattergories before giving in to fatigue.
Overall it had been another great day, Alcatraz certainly met our expectations and Pier 39 was a good way to top off the day.
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Old 22 Feb 20, 06:07 PM  
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What a fantastic day! Alcatraz is fascinating, we too could have spent far more time reading everything. How brilliant that you got to meet an ex prisoner though
We had a great meal in Bubba Gumps too, you need to get yourself a Landry card so that you'll bypass any queues. $25 to join but you get that straight back as a welcome bonus plus $25 when it's your birthday. It works in the Rainforest Café and T-Rex too
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Old 23 Feb 20, 05:59 PM  
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Great day Kerry x
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Old 23 Feb 20, 11:54 PM  
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KayLouise
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Brilliant day, your boys did so well with all that walking!
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Old 24 Feb 20, 01:53 PM  
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
What a fantastic day! Alcatraz is fascinating, we too could have spent far more time reading everything. How brilliant that you got to meet an ex prisoner though
We had a great meal in Bubba Gumps too, you need to get yourself a Landry card so that you'll bypass any queues. $25 to join but you get that straight back as a welcome bonus plus $25 when it's your birthday. It works in the Rainforest Café and T-Rex too
I've heard a lot about the Landry card but questioned whether or not its worth it? do you think it is?

Originally Posted by Pussycat Doll View Post
Great day Kerry x
Thanks Selina xx

Originally Posted by KayLouise View Post
Brilliant day, your boys did so well with all that walking!
Thanks Kay, the boys do surprise me sometimes
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Old 26 Feb 20, 05:09 PM  
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Another lovely and busy day.

Yes a Landry card is very much worth it!
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