Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Alcatraz Tour

I've visited San Francisco many times, but had never taken the Alcatraz Island Tour so Anne, Colin, and I got on the ferry at Pier 33 around 10:00 AM and learned a lot about the Island.  Alcatraz, built as a "heavily fortified military site on the West Coast", formed a "triangle of defense" along with Fort Point and Lime Point, and ensured security to the bay. The island was also the site of the first operational lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States.[10] Alcatraz never fired its guns offensively, though during the war it was used to imprison Confederate sympathizers and privateers on the west coast.[19]It is home to the abandoned prison, the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States, early military fortifications, and natural features such as rock pools and a seabird colony (mostly western gullscormorants, and egrets).

We rode a ferry from Pier 33 and this is the first view of the facility.
The shower area for all new prisoners.

Some men learned how to knit
And to paint
This cell recreated an escape attempt!

Loved the view of San Francisco from here!

I always have to take pictures of the flowers
We ended the day observing the seals sunbathing on the pier!
Ah, to be free to climb trees and eat ice cream in Golden Gate Park

Friday, June 5, 2015

San Francisco - Cable Cars and Bike Rides

Duane invited me to accompany his sweet family to a NANOG conference in San Francisco.  We stayed at an old, famous hotel on Union Square, the Westin St. Francis.  We walked into the hotel around 6 PM and several people spoke to Duane, including Betty, the president of the NANOG Board of Directors! Wow, I felt proud and impressed that so many people knew him.   I forget that Duane's been on the board for years and is quite well known in this circle of people who care about the INTERNET and all the networks that bring information to our computers, phones, and other devices almost instantly.  Soon we noticed hundreds of "geeks" wearing Netflix lanyards and name tags.  We get settled in and I'm immediately impressed by the high ceilings, the shower, and other architectural elements of the room Colin and I shared.
The bathroom floor and shower - all marble!  Pure delight to enjoy the rain-style shower head!  
My sleeping buddy Colin - so easy to entertain because he brought his Kindle Fire with him and watched several Star Trek episodes.  I love the sleeping mask he attempted to wear out to breakfast.

We ate several breakfasts in Union Square, just across from our hotel.  Lovely coffee drinks, fresh fruit, and egg sandwiches, plus gorgeous sunny mornings!

Monday became our Cable Car and bike riding day.  
We stopped at the Warming Hut for a lunch break and photo op before continuing to the Golden Gate

The sunny day brought out thousands of tourists on the pedestrian bridge, so we decided to lock up our bikes and walk across the bridge.  The decision saved our limbs and frustration.  Bikers weaved in and out of the pedestrians, often in front of people taking pictures.

We spent a little time at this viewpoint and I told Colin I wanted to re-create a picture taken in 1981 when we visited San Francisco with our foreign exchange student, Marit.  I'm not sure where we were standing in 1981, but I'm quite certain bike lanes and entrances to the bridge are all different now.

A little science lesson - how the bridge vibrates!

We took a little side trip to Ghirardelli Square
Our reward - lots of chocolate, even a cable car filled with Chocolate!
Sweet, patient 10-year-old, posing for lots of pictures!