We've been to San Francisco half a dozen times but never have taken the trip to Alcatraz. I was determined to go out there on this last visit and I'm so glad we did. As you can see, the weather was perfect as we took the short ferry ride to the island. This place has so much history. I had no idea that it was used during the Civil War. The cannons are still there. Did you know a cannon ball weighs 40 pounds?

Man, I'd hate to get sent here. I thought it'd be bigger, but it only held about 250 of the worst prisoners. If I had my way, I'd round up all the politicians in DC and lock them up in Alcatraz. Wouldn't that be great?! That's Buck in the black shirt listening intently to the tour.

The cell block tour is pretty easy because it's all on a little headphone set that you can stop whenever you wish or even fast forward if you get bored, like I did. I mean really, how many times can you look at a prison cell? I'm really not one that signs up for a tour 'cause I like to go at my own pace and I hate waiting around for the rest of the group as they trundle along.

Each cell measures about 5 x 10 feet. I thought it was interesting that most of the guards lived on the island along with their families. Could you imagine growing up here? It must have been great. The island is absolutely gorgeous and I would have loved it. Apparently, the kids took a boat to the city every day for school. They said living on the island was like living in a small town and they even had their own little grocery store. With only one road, there was no traffic and they never saw any of the prisoners because they were only allowed in the exercise yard for a few hours a day when the kids were in school.

This is the fire department on Alcatraz. They've restored this fire engine and it's in mint condition. As you can see, there are beautiful views no matter where you're standing.

Only four wardens lived here in the 29 years Alcatraz was open. The warden had the greatest house. Just look!

Well, look at what's left of it. He had the BEST view of all! The house was huge too. I'm sure they had lots of parties there. I certainly would have.

No doubt Al Capone and all the prisoners hated being here. They could see everyday what they were missing. I guess some times, especially on New Year's Eve, they actually could hear laughter and the celebrating going on.

You can also take a tour of the prison at night. It'd be fun to do that on Halloween. It'd also be cool to have a restaurant out there. You could eat in a cell by candlelight. Spooky.

Okay. Your tour is over. Now go back to work! :-)


Stacy said...

when we lived in CA, I visited Alcatraz. Those headset tours are amazing. I actually felt claustrophobic in the cells, and a bit bugged that they afforded the worst criminals that lovely spot. I think I would have never relaxed living on that island, as I would be hypervigilant to the possibility of escape!

I am fascinated by Alcatraz though. Glad you got to see it...

charlottalove said...

Wow! It's beautiful there.

I went to a themed restaurant once and was put in the "prison" booth. Our waiter was dressed like a police man, there were bars behind us, the wall was painted like stone, and as I recall, we even had a bar door we walked through to get to the booth. It was fun just because it wasn't real. I think a dinner like that on Alcatraz would be too realistic.