We woke up super early, still getting used to the time change. Juanita wanted to work out, so we all went downstairs to check out the fitness center. Afterwards we walked over to the Boudin Café on the wharf, which we walked by last night…it is a sourdough bakery, known for its amazing sourdough bread. We had an excellent breakfast, strong coffee and egg sandwiches on fresh baked english muffins. We walked slowly back towards the hotel waiting for Ceci to arrive, we kept in touch with her via texting and all of a sudden she was there! We were so filled with emotion we all got teary, but Ceci actually cried… it was a very special moment.
We went back up to the hotel to get our plan in order, Juanita surprised us all with a gift of these amazing silver necklaces that have 2 beautiful heart charms on each of them! So beautiful, delicate and cool that it matches the heart shaped skeleton keys from the locks of love! Mom, then surprised us with Halloween Goody Bags! Filled with treats and jewelry, we feel so lucky and grateful! We decided to walk from the Hotel to the bridge and then walk across the bridge. The walk is super scenic and part of the Golden Gate Park…with beaches, Fort Mason and The San Francisco Marina along the way. We walked about 3 miles and realized we were running out of time, if we were going to make our 4pm boarding on the boat to Alcatraz Island off of Pier 33. So we called Uber to have them drive us to the other side of the bridge so we could walk back over. Our driver’s name was Robert, he was super nice and funny, but not the best driver in the world. He almost ripped Ceci’s leg off when he started to drive away before she was fully in the car and the door was still open! Thank god she was quick and paying attention….OY! He didn’t even know his way around and kept asking us where to turn…as if we knew! Somehow we figured it out and made it to a safe place to get off at the other end of the bridge.
When we started to walk over the bridge, we couldn’t have asked for a clearer day, not a single cloud in the sky. Everything was so blue and bright (almost too bright!). The view was breathtaking and there were so many people walking and biking across the bridge. The wind picked up a little but not too bad. The full walk across is 1.7 miles long, we saw sail boats on the bay, little mini islands and seagulls everywhere. Not to mention the amazing views of the city and Alcatraz, so unreal! Mom kept asking us to pinch her…but HARD, none of us really wanted to actually do it but she wouldn’t stop asking. We didn’t see any place where people have placed locks before, which was weird…because it has been done. We guessed they probably cut them off periodically because of the weight it adds to the bridge. We picked a great spot by a suicide helpline call box and kind of hid them behind it hoping they wouldn’t get cut off too soon. Locked them in and took some photos. La Sue didn’t have time to get one made for Ceci (since we only found out at the very last minute she was coming), but Sue did manage to find a little lock for Ceci to lock up with ours too. After we made it across we grabbed an Uber to Pier 33 where we were supposed to catch our boat to Alcatraz. We checked in and tried to get a ticket for Ces, but the boat was sold out until November! We were all so sad, but Ceci actually seemed a little relieved, she was exhausted from the flight and the time change and was looking forward to some siesta time at the hotel. We had some time before we needed to get on the boat, so we grabbed some appetizers and cocktails for Happy Hour at this great restaurant, “Butterfly”. The food was great and had a little bit of an Asian flare with amazing views of the bay and the island.
At 4:20pm we said goodbye to Ceci and boarded the boat for a chilly ride to Alcatraz. When we got to the island we walked the nature trails outside, there were birds everywhere…even hummingbirds, it was absolutely gorgeous. Our tour guide was a park ranger named Wendy, Alcatraz Island is actually considered a National Park. You could tell she loved her job, she was so knowledgeable and excited about showing us everything. After walking the trails for about an hour we ventured inside, it looked exactly like the prison in the movie “Shawshank Redemption” and the creepy feeling was overwhelming. We toured the cells and then went down into the “dungeon” that used to be the place for solitary confinement. That’s when things got REALLY spooky. They turned off the lights to give us an idea what it was like when you got sent down there, it was completely pitch black! Riding the boat back to the wharf was beautiful with the sun going down, the views of the Golden Gate and the Bay Bridges were spectacular.
We met Ceci at the wharf and walked back towards the hotel. We decided to eat some dinner at this place called Pompei’s Grotto, delicious hot crab and corn chowder in freshly baked sourdough bread bowls and some wine. By the time we got back to the hotel we were EXHAUSTED. Juanita checked her apple watch and it said we walked 33,000 steps!!! That included her 3 miles on the treadmill, but even if you subtract that, it means we walked 12.5 miles…BIG DAY!