Welcome To The Rock

My family does this thing where after we’ve been out and about somewhere for the day, my dad goes one by one and asks us our favorite part. If we were at a zoo, what was our favorite animal? If we were at a museum, what was our favorite piece? And so on and so on. 

I never thought anything of this, going around and saying our favorite part of the day, since it was something I’d grown up with. It came up a bunch in San Francisco, since we were all together again and Brent was like, ohhhh, so that’s where this habit came from; read: another puzzle piece falls into place on why you're such a weirdo. 

I couldn’t pick a favorite part of San Francisco, b/c the trip was entirely too much fun to pick only one thing. But hypothetically, if I were to pick a favorite, it might just have to be Alcatraz. The island was so freaking cool. The zoo and the baseball game and the food and wandering around hilly and crooked streets, those were all awesome. They’re also great sights for any number of cities all over the world. 

But an old prison? On an island? Where they used to keep criminals? One mile from a major city? Where else in the world do you get the chance to see that?

 the history of the island and the Native American occupation was fascinating 

Maybe I’m slightly biased b/c my sister was working there and it was great to see her in her element around the island. She gave us the VIP treatment, like being locked in solitary (for about 30 terrifying seconds), touring the dungeons where there’s markings on the walls from prisoners kept down there, getting a private show of her opening and closing the cell doors (which could NEVER be opened from ripping apart an old mattress despite Sean Connery’s best efforts) and going up in the lighthouse which is strictly off limits for normal visitors. No biggie. 

 on top of the lighthouse and scared out of my mind
 about to witness a gull fight in the rec yard
 a man counting the days in his cell w/in the dungeons of Alcatraz 

Besides the prison and the lighthouse and the gardens and the rec yard and all the other really cool sights of Alcatraz, one of the best things about the island were the views of San Francisco. We were fortunate to be there on a day w/out fog, so we had a picturesque view of the Golden Gate, the Bay Bridge, and the entire city. Beth said on some days you can’t see any of those, which is crazy b/c the island is just over a mile from the city.

 windy AF atop that lighthouse but I couldn't not take a picture

If I had to guess what my sister Sarah’s favorite part of the trip was, it would be seeing all the filming locations for The Rock. For her, seeing where Mason and Goodspeed had their final goodbye was worth all the cable car rides and all the sea lions in San Francisco.