Wednesday, August 13

Cali-Day Four

Day Four-Sonoma/Pacific Ocean/San Fran

Our second and last day in the wine country started on the hunt for breakfast. We packed up our car and consulted one of our travel books and decided to head north to a town in Sonoma named Santa Rosa. The 20 minute trip to Santa Rosa provided some great views of Sonoma.

Once there we ate at the Omelet Express. It was pretty good and although pretty busy it was full of locals only. Whew...tourists avoided.

Santa Rosa is known for one of its famous citizens. The late Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comics, has a museum here in his honor. Unfortunately it was closed the day we were in Santa Rosa, so we didn't get to take a look at his vast work but we did walk around the town for a bit. Luckily for us there are small statues of all the Peanut characters around the town square so we felt somewhat accomplished.

After our stroll we decided to head back towards San Fran. However not before stopping to take a dip in the Pacific Ocean.

So off we went.

We drove east and then south on highway CA 1. To say that the road is curvy is a complete understatement. It seriously is a bit too much. The hubby was getting sick from being so tense as he drove and I was getting sick from the curves and the eventual ocean views...I am afraid of heights and the road curves the hills.

We pit stopped at a couple of small towns on the way. Small as in pop. 312. Yikes.

But atlas we made it. The Pacific Ocean. Growing up on the east coast I have alway had a fondness for the ocean. Not to go in it but just to stand at it. The hubby and I try to make it to the coast every chance we get.

Btw, the water was FREEZING. I stuck A toe in and quickly retreated.

After about 5 minutes we took our last breathe of ocean air and got back on the road. Here is a pic of our navigator. You can see the windy roads.

We were going to try to make it to the Muir woods which were on our way but decided against it because our tickets to see Alcatraz were for 3:45 and it was around 2 in the afternoon.

However I heard it was worth a visit and regret not taking a quicker route to the ocean. Probably stopping at every town square was a bit of an overkill. Anywho we continued on and found ourselves back at the Golden Gate Bridge but this time it was a glorious day.

Did I mention we had Alcatraz tickets. The hubby did not want to stop. So we continued on.

We made it to the parking lot in great time. 3:10, I thought we were golden. Until. That's right.

We hadn't eaten lunch and obviously read that no food is allowed on the island so as we walked to the pier where the ferry loads for Alcatraz we see a couple of restaurants. The hubby asks if we want to stop but I said I rather check in and get our tickets. We bought them ahead of time via the web but still had to pick up our tickets.

Well we were standing in line for our tickets when I look over at a board that lists the ferry's schedule. Ummm, why is there a 3:25 departure and then a 3:55 departure. I look over at the hubby and ask " What time were our tickets for again?" ....he replies "3:45".......I say "Love of my life there is no 3:45".... To which he pulls out his print out to find we are on the 3:25 boat.

I can't begin to tell you how fast we grabbed our ticket and ran. We sat on the boat ride over to Alcatraz huffing and puffing from the mini workout.

We still can't believe we made it. There were several points in the day where we could have decided something different and we wouldn't have made it on the boat. We thanked God much that day.

Anyway, once we arrived to Alcatraz we got a speech from a park officer on rules of the island and off we went to venture. Included in the price of each ticket is an audio tour which I highly recommend. Usually I'm against those because I rather wonder on my own time but this was one of those times I was glad to have had the tour.

I have wanted to visit the island for so long. Not sure what my fascination about the island is but it was definitely worth it.

As part of the audio tour they tell you to go out to the play yard where the inmates where allowed to spend some time. I'm not sure how much the weather has changed since the prison was in use but the "play yard" was a wind tunnel. I could barely keep myself from blowing away. How they enjoyed any time out in the play yard is beyond me.

Here is what I looked like when we came back in.

A little winded.

As the tour went on we even got a chance to walk into the solitary confinement cells. Here's the hubby. I warned him if he acted up I would have a replica built in the house.

The tour not only lets you see where the inmates slept but also exposes you to where the prison guard and those who worked on the island lived. Did you know children lived on the island?

Yeah, weird. Apparently housing was available on the island for warden and prison guards and it was optional for them to live there. And well many of them did. And some of those people had kids. Therefore kids lived on the island.

I can't even imagine how they slept at night.

Here we are on the outside looking out to San Fran.

We continued our tour and then toured the gift shop, always a favorite pit stop of mine. I picked up a postcard for my grandma. I figured she'd appreciate it since she's always said marriage to my grandpa has been like living in a prison. Therefore I thought it appropriate. She jokes....I hope.

Then off we went on a ferry trip back to San Fran. The wind was crazy. Just look at the girl sitting behind the hubby.

That night we dined at Chipotle. The hubby & my belly were happy. We retreated to our hotel and enjoyed our Artesa wine.

Day Four was a windy success.

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