This Trip Report Is Under Refurbishment For Your Future Enjoyment (UPDATED 9/13 with final bonus chapter)

franandaj

I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
So I had this whole multi-quoted response and came back wondering why you didn't reply to my post, to discover that I must not have finished the post and it all went poof!

So I'm just gonna comment on a few things that I remember off the top of my head. I can't believe how early you left. Fran and I had a 6AM flight a few years back and vowed never again, no matter what.

I'm going to guess by your possible title you had many incidents of giving up after a 20 minute wait. You have definitely set yourself up for a day of culinary delicacies. Then again I can't really judge because when we visited Pixar, we found a Taco Bell nearby.

I think your choice to visit the DFM before the bridge was a good choice since that closes earlier. The thing about that Disneyland model is that it is a not a representation of a Disneyland that ever existed, but an amalgamation of Walt's Disneyland. It combines all the attractions that Walt saw come to fruition in his lifetime.

Nice pictures at the bridge. It's funny how different our expectations or perceptions of such a landmark can be. I was likely single digits in age the first time I drove across the bridge. We had family on the North side of the bay. So for me it was just kind of there, the fact that they showed it in TV shows and movies was like, "Of course, it's big and cool." It wasn't until I moved away that I gained the perspective of how iconic that bridge is.

That's too bad about bailing on the BBQ joint. And there is no good way to get out of SF. There are pretty much two viable routes in and out of the city. I'm not counting Highway 1. But since your hotel was near the airport, I'm guessing you took the 101 which is the more congested route out of the city. We always take 19th street to the 280 to get home to my parent's house.

Bummer about ending up at Denny's, you did get to feed everyone for $5.99, but it's my least favorite of that type of restaurant. Given any sort of choice I'd pick IHOP, CoCo's, or just about anything else. :laughing:

Your discussion with @pkondz about Midway, he stated he'd never flown through that airport. Well I doubt he ever would because he flies West Jet and Midway serves Southwest exclusively. Same with Houston Hobby airport. Both are Southwest hubs, not sure if there are others like that, but I do know of those two.
 

pkondz

. . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Your discussion with @pkondz about Midway, he stated he'd never flown through that airport. Well I doubt he ever would because he flies West Jet and Midway serves Southwest exclusively. Same with Houston Hobby airport. Both are Southwest hubs, not sure if there are others like that, but I do know of those two.
There is a possibility.
I have flown out of MSP before. Actually, the second time we took the kids to Disney, we did that. Also Kay and I flew out of FAR (although that was Allegiant), so flying out of US airports and connecting to MDW could happen.
Likely? Not really. But possible? Yep.
 

Captain_Oblivious

DIS Dad #257
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Bonus Chapter 2: Welcome To The Rock


On Easter morning we got ourselves dressed and ready and then headed off to prison.


We drove back into the city. Amazingly, traffic was much less heavy at 8:00 on a Sunday morning. It made for a pleasant drive along the waterfront as we drove along the Embarcadero downtown. Through my advanced research techniques, I was able to find a parking garage at 80 Francisco St. where I could park for a flat $20 all day. It also just happened to be within a city block’s walk of Pier 33. And Pier 33 just happens to be where the cruise boats depart for Alcatraz Island.


Alcatraz, of course, is the famous island prison (also known as “The Rock”) that housed some of the United States’ most notorious criminals (Al Capone is probably the most famous). It began as a military outpost back in 1850, and started serving as a military prison as early as 1859. It officially become a Federal Penitentiary in 1934 and operated for 29 years until its closure in 1963 due to the cost of operation and the erosion of the buildings from salt water saturation. Native American activists occupied the island for almost 2 years starting in late 1969 as part of a protest of U.S. policies regarding attempts to end federal recognition of their tribes. The island became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1972 and has been managed by the National Park Service ever since.


Visiting Alcatraz is free, but getting to the island is not. Tours are managed by Alcatraz Cruises. You can buy tickets and reserve space on a cruise at their website starting 3 months in advance of your desired tour date. Having been in Disney planning mode for years, I reserved our cruise on the very first day it was available. I also went for the “Earlybird Cruise”, which costs the same as every other regular tour but has the advantage of being the very first cruise of the day. Because Rope Drop always works.


Yes, I know, these tickets are reserved, so we’d be guaranteed to get in anyway. Shut up.


We walked to the pier and felt like royalty as we skipped the long line of people attempting to buy tickets for later that day. We picked up our tickets from the Will Call window and then got in line with a few hundred of our closest friends. There’s a neat, detailed model of the island at the pier. Our tour boat is behind it in this photo.





Looking back towards the city, we could see Coit Tower behind us.





After making our way through the queue, taking the obligatory green-screen photo which we had no intentions of buying or even looking at and listening to the obligatory safety spiel, we finally were allowed to board the ship. It was surprisingly swanky inside.





I didn’t stay inside very long. It was another beautiful, clear day and there were great views of the Bay Area to be had on the upper decks.


The Bay Bridge to Oakland:





Alcatraz Island to our north:






The San Francisco skyline to our south:





It took about 15-20 minutes to reach the island.











Once we were there, a volunteer tried to gather everyone around so he could go over the layout of the island and some of the ground rules for visitors. No matter how much he begged people to stay and listen, several of them wandered off and started exploring on their own, because people are jerks.


Once the talk was over, we started climbing up the various switchback roads to the top of the hill where the prison building sat. The price of the cruise includes a 45-minute audio tour of the prison, so we figured that was as good a place as any to start.








I must confess to a vague sense of disappointment that I did not see Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, or Ed Harris running around yelling about chemical weapons.


We made our way into the prison itself and got in line to collect our audio tour apparatus and get trained on how to properly operate it.


(Hint: you press “Play” to play the recording, and “Stop” to stop it. You’re welcome.)





The first hallway was a bit crowded to start, but we found that the crowds dispersed in short order as people went through the tour at their own pace. The tour is narrated by actual prison guards and inmates who either worked or were imprisoned at Alcatraz. It was very well done, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting San Francisco.





Here’s a typical cell. It reminds me of a Country Inn near Atlanta we once stayed in.





This is the “recreation yard”. Nothing better than playing baseball on a concrete field!





This is D Block, where the worst of the worst prisoners were kept. These were the prisoners who attacked guards or fellow inmates, tried to hide weapons, and attempted to use last year's refillable mugs at the resorts. The bottom floor was for prisoners kept in solitary confinement. The infamous “Birdman of Alcatraz”, Robert Stroud, spent some time here, since he was a particularly vicious character.





This was the prison library, or “li-berry” as the narrator kept saying to our endless amusement. The cells near here faced the windows that opened out to the city. According to the narrator, they particularly loved New Year’s Eve. If the winds were right, the sounds of music and women laughing would carry all the way over to the island from downtown.





Prisoners found all sorts of ways to pass the time. I don’t know if these are actual paintings or just meant to be representative of their work.





This was the control room, where guards worked and monitored the prisoners and their visitors. We learned the story of one escape attempt where the prisoners managed to overpower some of the guards and gain access to the weapons cache. It resulted in a standoff and a raid of the building. Some of the perpetrators were eventually killed when grenades were dropped into the hallway in which they were standing—you could still see cracks in the floor (not in the room pictured) from the blasts.





Just outside the control room were some more scenic views of the city.








Near the end of the tour, we were led back inside to the cells and told the story of the 3 men who managed to “escape” from Alcatraz. Three prisoners managed to steal silverware from the kitchen and fashion the spoons into primitive tools, which they used to dig/widen the opening into the air vent at the back wall of their cells. By crawling through that opening, they could access a utility corridor behind the cell. They climbed up the pipes in that corridor to access the roof. To fool the guards, they molded plaster casts of their heads to make it look like someone was sleeping in the bed. And they built a raft out of raincoats they collected over several months to attempt to get to shore.


Their escape was discovered when they didn’t report for a muster. The guards checked their cell and found something was up when they pulled back the sheets and the “prisoner’s” head fell to the floor.





No one knows if they ever made it to shore. Officially, they are presumed to have drowned somewhere in San Francisco Bay. The waters of the bay are extremely choppy due to the ever-present winds and currents, and thus extremely difficult to navigate. I should note, however, that the Mythbusters attempted an escape from Alcatraz using the same materials and procedure as the prisoners, and were in fact able to reach shore. They ruled the escape as being “plausible”.


We finished our tour in the dining hall, which was considered the most dangerous room in the prison due to the abundance of weapons available (knives, forks, etc.). There was even a large wooden board in the kitchen where the chef’s cleavers were hung—all of them had a black outline in the shape of the blades painted on the board so that guards could take a quick look and determine if any of them were missing.


The tour was really interesting, and I felt like it was well worth the time spent. But perhaps the most amazing thing about it was the fact that Drew got his own headphones and paid attention the whole way through. He absolutely loved it. My guess is that the way the tour was structured, we were constantly being told to go stand over here, find this sign, find that cell, etc. So I think it might have seemed like a scavenger hunt to him. Whatever the reason, I’m glad he enjoyed it and paid such good attention.








We spent a couple of hours on the island. They had a film they showed in the visitor center near the dock, but from what I could tell it covered much of the same material as the tour, so I didn’t feel the need to sit through it.

Naturally, we spent some time in the gift shop. Our favorite items by far were the signs/postcards listing the various rules and regulations of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. Julie bought a whole book of them to post in her classroom, while this one came home to be hung in our kitchen:



At about 11:00, we re-boarded the ship for the cruise back to the city.





From there, we walked down the street a block to the train stop. Everybody knows about the famous historic cable cars running through downtown San Francisco, but they also have historic electric street cars that run along the Embarcadero. You can download the Munimobile app on your phone and buy passes for any of the Muni transit services in the city. Since we intended to ride the cable cars later in the day, we got all-day passes for the family. I could store them all on my phone so that no one else needed a ticket.


Of course, once we boarded, not a single person asked for a ticket or fare. Go figure.


Some of these cars were originally made in the 1930’s. They ran in various cities across the country, and now San Francisco has restored and found a home for them.





Normally, I would have been able to take the “E” route to my next destination, but it was shut down for construction work. So we ended up having to take a convoluted path to transfer to a regular Muni train on Market St. Luckily, we were able to figure it out without too much trouble.


Where were we headed?


I’ll tell you next time.


Coming Up Next: I SAID I’D TELL YOU NEXT TIME! Sheesh.
 
  • pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    On Easter morning we got ourselves dressed and ready and then headed off to prison.
    :lmao:

    I wonder if that's ever been said before!

    Amazingly, traffic was much less heavy at 8:00 on a Sunday morning.
    How odd. You wouldn't expect that.

    :rolleyes:

    :laughing:

    I particularly like this one.

    Alcatraz, of course, is the famous island prison (also known as “The Rock”)


    that housed some of the United States’ most notorious criminals (Al Capone is probably the most famous).
    ::yes::

    closure in 1963 due to the cost of operation and the erosion of the buildings from salt water saturation.
    Oh! I always thought it had been judged too inhumane. Huh!

    Visiting Alcatraz is free, but getting to the island is not.
    Sure it is. Just swim, like John Anglin did.

    You can buy tickets and reserve space on a cruise at their website starting 3 months in advance of your desired tour date. Having been in Disney planning mode for years, I reserved our cruise on the very first day it was available.
    So... did you need to? Would you have gotten on if you hadn't?

    I also went for the “Earlybird Cruise”, which costs the same as every other regular tour but has the advantage of being the very first cruise of the day. Because Rope Drop always works.
    But... but...

    Yes, I know, these tickets are reserved, so we’d be guaranteed to get in anyway. Shut up.
    :duck:

    We walked to the pier and felt like royalty as we skipped the long line of people attempting to buy tickets for later that day.
    I love that feeling. Nothing like having pre-planning pay off.

    That is really cool!

    Is it just the photo, or does it lean?

    taking the obligatory green-screen photo which we had no intentions of buying or even looking at
    I skip those. I never buy so don't waste my time. Once (Niagara Falls), they insisted that I had to have my photo taken. I told them that due to my occupation, I wasn't legally permitted to have my photo taken.
    A complete lie, of course... but I liked the effect it had.

    Nice...

    Like that one too...

    And this one is really good!...

    And I'm going to stop quoting the photos, because I'm really interested and can see myself quoting every single photo.

    The San Francisco skyline to our south:
    Nice view!

    No matter how much he begged people to stay and listen, several of them wandered off and started exploring on their own, because people are jerks.
    :sad2:

    I sometimes wonder if they're that dumb, that rude, or just don't speak English.

    I must confess to a vague sense of disappointment that I did not see Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, or Ed Harris running around yelling about chemical weapons.
    What???? But.... they have to be there!

    We made our way into the prison itself and got in line to collect our audio tour apparatus and get trained on how to properly operate it.


    (Hint: you press “Play” to play the recording, and “Stop” to stop it. You’re welcome.)
    This is the kind of gold that keeps bringing me back to these TRs.

    The tour is narrated by actual prison guards and inmates who either worked or were imprisoned at Alcatraz.
    Cool!!!

    It was very well done, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting San Francisco.
    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'd love to do this someday.

    Here’s a typical cell. It reminds me of a Country Inn near Atlanta we once stayed in.
    :rolleyes1
    I know of the one you speak.

    Nothing better than playing baseball on a concrete field!
    Absolutely! No dips or bumps. Smooth concrete. Makes it easier to judge ball bounce.

    These were the prisoners who attacked guards or fellow inmates, tried to hide weapons, and attempted to use last year's refillable mugs at the resorts.
    :lmao:

    The infamous “Birdman of Alcatraz”, Robert Stroud, spent some time here, since he was a particularly vicious character.
    Huh! Didn't know he was vicious.

    This was the prison library, or “li-berry” as the narrator kept saying to our endless amusement.
    :laughing:

    According to the narrator, they particularly loved New Year’s Eve. If the winds were right, the sounds of music and women laughing would carry all the way over to the island from downtown.
    Interesting. Never thought about that aspect of prison life. Huh.

    Some of the perpetrators were eventually killed when grenades were dropped into the hallway in which they were standing
    :eek: Whoa. Talk about over-kill. Not exactly worried about casualties...

    Near the end of the tour, we were led back inside to the cells and told the story of the 3 men who managed to “escape” from Alcatraz.
    Saw this and thought you might not know and might be interested:
    Escape from Alcatraz letter

    I should note, however, that the Mythbusters attempted an escape from Alcatraz using the same materials and procedure as the prisoners, and were in fact able to reach shore. They ruled the escape as being “plausible”.
    Didn't know that!

    But perhaps the most amazing thing about it was the fact that Drew got his own headphones and paid attention the whole way through.
    I was thinking of asking just this very question.
    Glad he's getting older that he'd hold still for that so you can all enjoy the tour. :)

    Our favorite items by far were the signs/postcards listing the various rules and regulations of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. Julie bought a whole book of them to post in her classroom,
    :laughing: No escape from Julie's classroom.

    while this one came home to be hung in our kitchen:

    :laughing: Nice!

    Everybody knows about the famous historic cable cars running through downtown San Francisco, but they also have historic electric street cars that run along the Embarcadero.
    Had no idea.

    Of course, once we boarded, not a single person asked for a ticket or fare. Go figure.
    But... if you'd tried it without a ticket... you would've been asked.

    Where were we headed?
    Where????

    I’ll tell you next time.
    Oh, come on. Please?

    Coming Up Next: I SAID I’D TELL YOU NEXT TIME! Sheesh.
    Okay! Wow. You don't have to shout.
     

    juniorbugman

    <font color=blue>New car vs another cruise?? THAT
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2001
    Bonus Chapter 2: Welcome To The Rock
    Hi Mark I don't comment alot but I do read along but I had to comment on this.
    When I read Welcome to the Rock my first thought was the song from the Broadway Show - Come From Away. That is one of the songs welcoming people to Newfoundland and I thought wow they travelled far in a day.
     

    Steppesister

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2013
    I was able to find a parking garage at 80 Francisco St. where I could park for a flat $20 all day. It also just happened to be within a city block’s walk of Pier 33. And Pier 33 just happens to be where the cruise boats depart for Alcatraz Island.
    SCORE!

    Alcatraz, of course, is the famous island prison (also known as “The Rock”) that housed some of the United States’ most notorious criminals (Al Capone is probably the most famous). It began as a military outpost back in 1850, and started serving as a military prison as early as 1859.
    Interestingly, I have a new friend here in Salem, and she was the onsite, general manager for Angel Island which is "next door" to Alcatraz. They are still finding munitions that were fired over from Alcatraz when it was the military installation or from ships that fired stuff over to Angel. Super intereting stuff!

    Visiting Alcatraz is free, but getting to the island is not. Tours are managed by Alcatraz Cruises. You can buy tickets and reserve space on a cruise at their website starting 3 months in advance of your desired tour date. Having been in Disney planning mode for years, I reserved our cruise on the very first day it was available. I also went for the “Earlybird Cruise”, which costs the same as every other regular tour but has the advantage of being the very first cruise of the day. Because Rope Drop always works.
    If you try too late, forget it. You're not getting a ticket. I tried.

    We walked to the pier and felt like royalty as we skipped the long line of people attempting to buy tickets for later that day.
    Suck-ahs!
    That's Angel Island which also has a WONDERFUL hike that affords incredible views.

    Once we were there, a volunteer tried to gather everyone around so he could go over the layout of the island and some of the ground rules for visitors. No matter how much he begged people to stay and listen, several of them wandered off and started exploring on their own, because people are jerks.
    Yes.

    The first hallway was a bit crowded to start, but we found that the crowds dispersed in short order as people went through the tour at their own pace. The tour is narrated by actual prison guards and inmates who either worked or were imprisoned at Alcatraz. It was very well done, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting San Francisco.
    I really need to get my older kids there. Such a worthwhile tour!

    Here’s a typical cell. It reminds me of a Country Inn near Atlanta we once stayed in.
    :rotfl2:

    Or the Ramada by PDX.

    There was even a large wooden board in the kitchen where the chef’s cleavers were hung—all of them had a black outline in the shape of the blades painted on the board so that guards could take a quick look and determine if any of them were missing.
    Cle(a)ver!

    I think it might have seemed like a scavenger hunt to him. Whatever the reason, I’m glad he enjoyed it and paid such good attention.
    There are so many at WDW now. They work to keep my entertained...

    Some of these cars were originally made in the 1930’s. They ran in various cities across the country, and now San Francisco has restored and found a home for them.


    They still run all over Central Asia as throwbacks from the Soviet era.
     
  • mickeystoontown

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2006
    The Alcatraz tour sounds like something we would enjoy. I had a client who wanted to go to San Francisco and Alcatraz but they put it off for a while. I may need to direct her to your report so that her interest will be peaked again.

    Way to go Mr. Drew. Paying attention like a big boy that he is becoming.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    So I had this whole multi-quoted response and came back wondering why you didn't reply to my post, to discover that I must not have finished the post and it all went poof!
    Well...dang. That stinks. Maybe the DIS upgrade pre-emptively ate your responses.

    So I'm just gonna comment on a few things that I remember off the top of my head. I can't believe how early you left. Fran and I had a 6AM flight a few years back and vowed never again, no matter what.
    Apparently I will forego sleep to save a couple hundred bucks.

    I'm going to guess by your possible title you had many incidents of giving up after a 20 minute wait. You have definitely set yourself up for a day of culinary delicacies. Then again I can't really judge because when we visited Pixar, we found a Taco Bell nearby.
    20 minutes by itself is not a bad wait, but 20 minutes with no movement whatsover...makes me lose hope that the line will ever move.

    I'm glad you survived Taco Bell! ;)

    I think your choice to visit the DFM before the bridge was a good choice since that closes earlier. The thing about that Disneyland model is that it is a not a representation of a Disneyland that ever existed, but an amalgamation of Walt's Disneyland. It combines all the attractions that Walt saw come to fruition in his lifetime.
    I think when I had looked it up, they both closed at 6 p.m. So I thought we could do the bridge first and then make our way back towards the city and then hotel. But it was nice that the museum was close enough for us to be flexible with our plans.

    Nice pictures at the bridge. It's funny how different our expectations or perceptions of such a landmark can be. I was likely single digits in age the first time I drove across the bridge. We had family on the North side of the bay. So for me it was just kind of there, the fact that they showed it in TV shows and movies was like, "Of course, it's big and cool." It wasn't until I moved away that I gained the perspective of how iconic that bridge is.
    I didn't really get a sense of how BIG it is until I saw it in person. TV really messes up your depth perception.

    That's too bad about bailing on the BBQ joint. And there is no good way to get out of SF. There are pretty much two viable routes in and out of the city. I'm not counting Highway 1. But since your hotel was near the airport, I'm guessing you took the 101 which is the more congested route out of the city. We always take 19th street to the 280 to get home to my parent's house.
    Yeah, we got to the 101...eventually. That was actually the easiest part of the drive. Getting through the city itself was the nightmare part.

    Bummer about ending up at Denny's, you did get to feed everyone for $5.99, but it's my least favorite of that type of restaurant. Given any sort of choice I'd pick IHOP, CoCo's, or just about anything else. :laughing:
    I can't say I really have a preference. I put them all in the "meh, will do in a pinch" category.

    Your discussion with @pkondz about Midway, he stated he'd never flown through that airport. Well I doubt he ever would because he flies West Jet and Midway serves Southwest exclusively. Same with Houston Hobby airport. Both are Southwest hubs, not sure if there are others like that, but I do know of those two.
    There is a possibility.
    I have flown out of MSP before. Actually, the second time we took the kids to Disney, we did that. Also Kay and I flew out of FAR (although that was Allegiant), so flying out of US airports and connecting to MDW could happen.
    Likely? Not really. But possible? Yep.
    Every once in a while, I'll go on a different airline. We're actually flying out on United for our summer vacation. So occasionally we can see some different airports!
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Alcatraz sounds like a lot of fun. I need that sign for my kitchen lol
    It is now hanging in ours!

    :lmao:

    I wonder if that's ever been said before!
    I couldn't resist that one as an opening line.

    How odd. You wouldn't expect that.
    It's like people didn't want to be up early on a weekend.

    particularly like this one.
    Nice. I'll have to bookmark that for reference.

    I have watched that movie far more times than I would care to admit.

    Oh! I always thought it had been judged too inhumane. Huh!
    At least not according to the official tour.

    Sure it is. Just swim, like John Anglin did.
    You're getting a lot of mileage out of this. And yes, nobody really knows...

    So... did you need to? Would you have gotten on if you hadn't?
    Yes, we did need advance reservations. Maybe not the moment they were available, like I got. But I do remember checking later and seeing that the first tour was sold out. So I definitely wouldn't wait till the last minute.

    I love that feeling. Nothing like having pre-planning pay off.
    ::yes::

    That is really cool!
    It was huge, with a lot of detail. Very cool!

    Is it just the photo, or does it lean?
    I would probably blame the photographer for that one.

    I skip those. I never buy so don't waste my time. Once (Niagara Falls), they insisted that I had to have my photo taken. I told them that due to my occupation, I wasn't legally permitted to have my photo taken.
    A complete lie, of course... but I liked the effect it had.
    Nice! I'll have to remember to try that sometime. I really hate wasting my time with those.

    And this one is really good!...

    And I'm going to stop quoting the photos, because I'm really interested and can see myself quoting every single photo.
    Well, I'm glad you're enjoying them!

    :sad2:

    I sometimes wonder if they're that dumb, that rude, or just don't speak English.
    Could be various combinations of all 3!

    What???? But.... they have to be there!
    I know, right? So disappointing.

    We did walk through the shower room at one point. Totally different from the movie--i.e. no underground tunnels for soldiers to attack from. No high-walls surrounding it, either.

    This is the kind of gold that keeps bringing me back to these TRs.
    I knew there was some reason.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'd love to do this someday.
    Well, get thee to San Francisco!

    :rolleyes1
    I know of the one you speak.
    :sad2: Sometimes you find a great deal, and sometimes...you get what you pay for.

    Absolutely! No dips or bumps. Smooth concrete. Makes it easier to judge ball bounce.
    So there's that.

    Huh! Didn't know he was vicious.
    Apparently he spent a lot of time in the bad behavior wing.

    Interesting. Never thought about that aspect of prison life. Huh.
    I liked that little detail. Puts you in the shoes of someone who was imprisoned there.

    :eek: Whoa. Talk about over-kill. Not exactly worried about casualties...
    To be fair, they had gotten their hands on some guns. Might have shot a guard, too, I can't remember.

    Saw this and thought you might not know and might be interested:
    Escape from Alcatraz letter
    I had heard something similar--that there were unconfirmed reports they'd made it to Brazil. Maybe...

    Didn't know that!
    That was a fun episode. Then again, most Mythbusters episodes are very entertaining.

    I was thinking of asking just this very question.
    Glad he's getting older that he'd hold still for that so you can all enjoy the tour. :)
    Me too. I found I've really enjoyed the kids as they've gotten older--we can enjoy more of the same things together.

    Of course, that means I'm getting older, too.

    :laughing: No escape from Julie's classroom.
    Some days, it sure feels like it!

    But... if you'd tried it without a ticket... you would've been asked.
    Of course. That's the way it works.

    Okay! Wow. You don't have to shout.
    Sorry. I get irritable without my coffee.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Hi Mark I don't comment alot but I do read along but I had to comment on this.
    When I read Welcome to the Rock my first thought was the song from the Broadway Show - Come From Away. That is one of the songs welcoming people to Newfoundland and I thought wow they travelled far in a day.
    I always think of the movie with Sean Connery. Newfoundland would have been quite the hike from there!

    :woohoo:

    Interestingly, I have a new friend here in Salem, and she was the onsite, general manager for Angel Island which is "next door" to Alcatraz. They are still finding munitions that were fired over from Alcatraz when it was the military installation or from ships that fired stuff over to Angel. Super intereting stuff!
    Pretty cool!

    If you try too late, forget it. You're not getting a ticket. I tried.
    Yes. I did look later out of curiosity and saw that my cruise was completely booked. So I'm glad I did it early.

    Suck-ahs!
    :woohoo:

    That's Angel Island which also has a WONDERFUL hike that affords incredible views.
    Sounds great! Maybe if I ever get back there...

    I really need to get my older kids there. Such a worthwhile tour!
    Yeah, we all really enjoyed it!

    Or the Ramada by PDX.
    I remember that story.:rotfl2:

    Cle(a)ver!
    I see what you did there!

    There are so many at WDW now. They work to keep my entertained...
    Who doesn't like a good scavenger hunt?

    They still run all over Central Asia as throwbacks from the Soviet era.
    Cool! I didn't know that.

    The Alcatraz tour sounds like something we would enjoy. I had a client who wanted to go to San Francisco and Alcatraz but they put it off for a while. I may need to direct her to your report so that her interest will be peaked again.
    I'd wanted to go, and it still took me 44 years to finally see it all. I'm glad we went--it was a neat city.

    Way to go Mr. Drew. Paying attention like a big boy that he is becoming.
    He's growing up fast!
     
  • pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Cle(a)ver!
    :worship:

    I couldn't resist that one as an opening line.
    I believe you!
    It's like people didn't want to be up early on a weekend.
    What's a "weekend"?
    I have watched that movie far more times than I would care to admit.
    I have too... but it's been years.
    At least not according to the official tour.
    I'd go with that as a source of information over my faulty memory.
    You're getting a lot of mileage out of this. And yes, nobody really knows...
    Well... if anyone's alive, they know.
    Yes, we did need advance reservations. Maybe not the moment they were available, like I got. But I do remember checking later and seeing that the first tour was sold out. So I definitely wouldn't wait till the last minute.
    Okay. Good to know. Thanks.
    I would probably blame the photographer for that one.
    Smack him upside the head. Or ask Julie to.
    Nice! I'll have to remember to try that sometime. I really hate wasting my time with those.
    Ditto
    Well, I'm glad you're enjoying them!
    Really did! :)
    We did walk through the shower room at one point. Totally different from the movie--i.e. no underground tunnels for soldiers to attack from. No high-walls surrounding it, either.
    Lies! All lies!
    I knew there was some reason.
    That and masochism.
    Well, get thee to San Francisco!
    Okay!
    I liked that little detail. Puts you in the shoes of someone who was imprisoned there.
    ::yes::
    To be fair, they had gotten their hands on some guns. Might have shot a guard, too, I can't remember.
    Probably. Still... so... final.
    I had heard something similar--that there were unconfirmed reports they'd made it to Brazil. Maybe...
    I think I'll go with Occam's razor. They drownded.
    That was a fun episode. Then again, most Mythbusters episodes are very entertaining.
    ::yes::
    Of course, that means I'm getting older, too.
    Stupid time.
    Sorry. I get irritable without my coffee.
    A vat of caffeine over here, please!
     

    StarWarsMomofGirls!

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2015
    I must confess to a vague sense of disappointment that I did not see Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, or Ed Harris running around yelling about chemical weapons.
    Ha! I would have been too.

    This is D Block, where the worst of the worst prisoners were kept. These were the prisoners who attacked guards or fellow inmates, tried to hide weapons, and attempted to use last year's refillable mugs at the resorts.
    Ha! :rotfl2:
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    What's a "weekend"?
    Stop taking those extra shifts and maybe you'll find out!

    I have too... but it's been years.
    It was a staple for me and my college buddies. We'd watch every dumb action movie that came out.

    Smack him upside the head. Or ask Julie to.
    She does that regularly anyway.

    That and masochism.
    I mean, as long as there's a reason. I don't really care what it is.

    I think I'll go with Occam's razor. They drownded.
    That's where I lean as well. I can't imagine raincoats holding up in that water.

    Ha! I would have been too.
    Every tour would be better if Sean Connery or Ed Harris was leading it.
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Stop taking those extra shifts and maybe you'll find out!
    Maybe not even then.
    As a shift worker, sometimes weeks go by before I am supposed to have a weekend off.

    Then I work it anyway.
    She does that regularly anyway.
    That's why I mentioned it.
    That's where I lean as well. I can't imagine raincoats holding up in that water.
    or this:
    Every tour would be better if Sean Connery or Ed Harris was leading it.
    ::yes::
     

    glennbo123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 10, 2008
    I had to go waaaay back (like about a year), but I am caught up! I won't both quoting from so many chapters ago, but offer the following comments:

    Bummer about your broken lens. (See, I told you I had to go waaay back.) I had that happen at one of my kids' graduations and it doesn't make for a fun occasion.

    I'm so glad you finally tried, and of course loved, RNRC! I think it's my favorite ride at WDW also. Of course, I haven't made it to Pandora yet, so maybe FoP will beat it out, and then of course there's Smuggler's Run coming soon.

    Kudos to Uncle Eric at 50's Prime Time. It's good to hear that there are still cast members willing to play the game at that restaurant.

    Man, it sounded like your brother didn't have a whole lot of luck park-touring with the little ones. Maybe they'll be able to do better in a couple of years.

    Very cool to hear the story of your barber and the tributes to him at AK.

    Yes, I love that carrot-ginger soup at Boma and have made it several times at home. So good.

    The shot of your plate of food at Biergarten looked so good. As of this moment, we're planning on having lunch there on New Year's Day. It's the only place in DisneyWorld that I know of where you can get sauerkraut and that's a tradition for us that hasn't been broken yet (and I'm getting up there, so that's a lotta years). We've eaten at Biergarten a number of times so I wouldn't mind going to a different restaurant, but how can we break the sauerkraut tradition?!

    Loved your story of the rainstorm at Epcot. Poor Julie.

    Speaking of Julie, nice move snagging the pretzel rolls! Impressive!

    Congrats to Drew for conquering BTMRR! It's so funny when you know they'll like it (love it, in this case) but can't get them to try it. I'm totally on-board with your parenting strategy here.

    I agree with you on Tom Sawyer's Island. I like it, and hope they never change it. Although, I confess that we don't visit it that often.

    Wow, that woman in your photo of Main St. was giving you the stinkeye of all stinkeyes! I have a few of those in my trip reports, but that one may take the cake!

    Sorry to hear that the communication/coordination of the 13 people on your trip didn't work out better. Those trips are so hard to pull off successfully.

    And for the bonus footage, I guess I can quote a couple of items.

    From there, we desperately needed some food, so we found a McDonald’s (hey, don’t judge—we were at that point of hunger again)
    Have you heard Jim Gaffigan's routine on when you see someone you know at McDonald's? "Oh, I'm not eating here. Um, ah,...I'm just meeting a hooker."

    We saw an example of his menu requests for an outing, and took note that he supported the restriction of vegetables, which I fully support.
    That is so funny. No wonder you admire him so much!

    And regarding the blue spiky flowers. My guess is they're lupines. If I'm right, I have no idea how I guessed this other than my close proximity to Longwood Gardens.
     

    rdkeim

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2006
    A great start to your day! Doesn't matter what the activity is, it's always good to get an early start. I'd love to see Alcatraz some day. I've seen it from afar but never made it over there. Sounds really interesting. When you were talking about the audio tour, I wondered how your youngest would do. How great he was able to enjoy it too! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your day.
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    On Easter morning we got ourselves dressed and ready and then headed off to prison.
    Well that's something you don't hear everyday.

    Visiting Alcatraz is free, but getting to the island is not. Tours are managed by Alcatraz Cruises.
    You know this is one thing that I have never done and I've lived in CA for nearly 50 years now.

    I didn’t stay inside very long. It was another beautiful, clear day and there were great views of the Bay Area to be had on the upper decks.
    I always enjoy the upper decks when I can!

    Once we were there, a volunteer tried to gather everyone around so he could go over the layout of the island and some of the ground rules for visitors. No matter how much he begged people to stay and listen, several of them wandered off and started exploring on their own, because people are jerks.
    :sad2: People never fail to disappoint me.

    We made our way into the prison itself and got in line to collect our audio tour apparatus and get trained on how to properly operate it.


    (Hint: you press “Play” to play the recording, and “Stop” to stop it. You’re welcome.)
    Good thing there were people there to train you on it! Certainly you would have a challenge if you had to figure it out yourself!

    Here’s a typical cell. It reminds me of a Country Inn near Atlanta we once stayed in.
    I'm happy sticking with DVC!

    These were the prisoners who attacked guards or fellow inmates, tried to hide weapons, and attempted to use last year's refillable mugs at the resorts.
    Those are some hardened criminals!

    Just outside the control room were some more scenic views of the city.
    Beautiful!

    The tour was really interesting, and I felt like it was well worth the time spent. But perhaps the most amazing thing about it was the fact that Drew got his own headphones and paid attention the whole way through. He absolutely loved it.
    That's great he's turning into a little human! And nice that he can focus his attention for longer periods of time.

    Julie bought a whole book of them to post in her classroom, while this one came home to be hung in our kitchen:
    That's awesome! How intimidated are the students with those?

    Some of these cars were originally made in the 1930’s. They ran in various cities across the country, and now San Francisco has restored and found a home for them.
    Interesting. We never ride public transportation there. Sounds like I'm missing out on some different experiences there.

    I SAID I’D TELL YOU NEXT TIME! Sheesh.
    Geez, you don't need to yell at us, we were just curious!
     

    docsoliday1

    DIS Dad #834 Cubs, Dolphins fan forever
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2008
    Naturally, we spent some time in the gift shop. Our favorite items by far were the signs/postcards listing the various rules and regulations of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. Julie bought a whole book of them to post in her classroom, while this one came home to be hung in our kitchen:

    :lmao:
    Reminds me of what I told my kids a few times when they EXPECTED something they didn't deserve (like a cell phone that was 5 times more expensive than mine)...

    I have to house, feed and clothe you. I do a LOT more than that and I make sure you have everything you need, but that does not mean you will get everything you want.

    The bank of dad is now closed, have a nice day.

    Great pictures. Now I want to go see it...looks very interesting. Very cool Drew liked it too!
     



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