after our first 3 days in san francisco, finn and i had completed most of our checklist (more on that later). but we still had quite a few things to accomplish. and now that it was past the labor day craziness, i was hoping that the crowds would die down and we would be able to get around town easier and quicker.....at least easier and quicker than walking 14-18 miles a day.
tuesday morning we headed back down to the water to get on the ferry boat to alcatraz. since we had seen it from pier 39 on our first afternoon, finn was eagerly awaiting to step on the rock. so eager in fact that i had to keep telling him, "whoa, whoa, whoa.....marriage police police pull over".
i know what you are thinking in looking at this picture...."wow, i need to go back and look at sand francisco from day 1...this looks exactly like it. perfectly to scale and even the same number of windows. amazing" but unfortunately, you would be wrong. our top row of windows were more of rectangles than squares because finn was distracting me about how the west side of the island needed to be steeper because of erosion from the waves, and we were building it to look like it was in the 1860's when it was used as a military base during the civil war. don't worry, finn was right, and we rectified the west portion of the island, but we clearly missed the windows. that was my way of revealing that alcatraz was a military base. and yes, it was during the civil war that occurred on the east coast. it was never attacked....but if it was, they would have been ready. actually, i bet they probably would have been caught by surprise because they would have been playing "would you rather". which reminds me, finn and i played quite a lot of "would you rather" and "eye spy" while on various buses. i liked when i asked, "would you rather play would you rather or eye spy?" finn answered, "would you rather." and i said, "would i rather what???" and then finn would laugh. the matrix would laugh too if he was there.
our view of the golden gate bridge from the ferry - which we were planning on walking across after visiting alcatraz. we previously tried to go across the bridge, but we couldn't see more than a few feet in front of us because of fog. and seeing it from the ferry didn't give me a good feeling that it was going to be any better today.
not only was it a military base, it was taken over by hippee indians in the 1960's and claimed as their land until the federal gov't took it back and decided to give them reservations. just think, if things had gone differently, i could have been playing "slot machine gun kelly" in al capone's old cell. i bet i would have won too....
the jail cell and grate to show how the only successful escape occurred. although they don't think the escapees survived, they were never found. so they still claim it was unsuccessful and "nobody has ever escaped from alcatraz". whatever....david copperfield did it....i think....or maybe he just sprayed down some women in a jail cell with a hose while phil collins' "i can feel it coming in the air tonight...oh no..." played in the background.
the library that andy dufresne helped build. and the yard where they played baseball and andy collected his rocks / chess pieces....which reminds me, andy escaped.....so get over it alcatraz, its not that hard.
this is where finn threw a "rock" from the "rock" into the ocean. he loved it. check it off the list (more on that soon).
finn peaking through a grate and saying, "what kind of $#&*@ up tour is this"
and then off to the golden gate bridge. luckily for us, the fog had cleared up a bit and we could at least see it. it was still foggy, but unbelievable. and to think that this was built in the 1930's still amazes me. finn was adamant that we walk across the entire bridge. i think he figured we had not walked enough in the past few days so we needed a little exercise. but before walking across, a nice fellow, who we will nickname "baldy mcbalderson" (i don't remember many features about him except one), took this nice picture of finn and me. and about an hour later when i asked another random person to take our picture on the other side of the bridge, finn informed me, "that is the same guy you asked before" (to which mr. mcbalderson shrugged in confirmation). but he did a good job, so nice work baldy mcbalderson.
another one of my favorite "would you rather" questions from the trip that was asked multiple times by finn went like this:
finn: would you rather jump off the golden gate bridge into the ocean or jump off a cliff into the ocean
me: a cliff
finn: what if the cliff was as tall as the golden gate bridge?
me: then the golden gate bridge
me: because then i wouldn't hit the rocks
finn: but there are no rocks.
me: then it is not a cliff
finn: yes, it is a cliff that is like a really long diving board as tall as the golden gate bridge
me: then that is not called a cliff. it is called a really long diving board
finn: you are the coolest person in the world
me: i know
as i told finn to scoot out further so his feet would overhang enough to capture a good picture, an old lady looked at me in shock. i think she thought i was a terrible parent for asking my son to move closer to the edge of the railing that was humanly impossible for him to fit through. maybe she thought he was triple jointed and he could somehow flatten himself, twist around, and squeeze out and fall into the water....all in a matter of seconds where i would not be able to stop it from happening. it reminded me of when jack and i went to the top of the empire state building and he ran to the edge, jumped on the little block wall, and stuck his head through the fence to look down and multiple people gasped. they didn't realize that i would have needed bolt cutters to cut the fence if he was going to get any further. at first i thought, "wow, people scared of heights are not that smart....especially people scared of other people's heights." but then i thought, "i bet baabee would have shrieked like a little girl. so maybe people that are scared of other people's heights really like black high top converse and guinness."
seriously, baldy mcbalderson is a regular ansel adams. scratch that, he is annie leibowitz, because then finn and i are famous. but seriously, this is one of my favorite pictures.
after the golden gate bridge, we went back to the golden gate park. and this time, we went to the koret children's quarter, which is a great playground that we missed last time we were there. but lucky for us, it was no longer labor day weekend, so the park was not too crowded, and we had a blast playing football on the playground, completing obstacle courses, going down the rock slide, and throwing sand in other kids faces to make them cry.
there are fake waves that have holes to climb up them. very exciting stuff to pretend you are surfing.
just like jack in central park, finn could have stayed here all day. i am not sure why we take our kids to cool cities. we should just take them to a park they have never been to before.
and we finished the day with some dinner and ice cream at another hipster place that emily found on some super cool blog. they make homemade ice cream every day and the shakes are supposedly delicious. i can't vouch for that because finn just got vanilla, so how could they really screw that up. but i can tell you that their food was surprisingly good, and their new castle in a frosty mug was tasty too. however, this was likely our last chance to check of the list: "tell a funny joke to a waiter or waitress". i tried to pressure him into telling, "where does the king keep his armies?....in his sleevies!!!" but he would not. sadly, that item will remain unchecked from the list.
on wednesday, our last day in san francisco, we still had a few items we wanted to check off. but we didn't have a ton of time before we had to head back to the airport. so we headed off to coit tower. and we climbed the hundreds of steps to get to the top. pretty neat little walk way, and i can't imagine having my front door open up onto these stairs (which many apartments seem to do). but the gardens along the way were impressive and the views were great.
we got there early, so we were the first ones up it along with another couple that was from phx who was also in town to see the giants vs. dbacks. he rudely said, "if you are from phx, why are you wearing a yankees shirt?" to which i very politely responded, "because i am a better person than you." just kidding, i wasn't polite.....and i may have said, "um, because i like the yankees."
one of the first thing finn asked to do when he heard we were going to san francisco was to ride a cable car. and specifically, he wanted to ride it on the outside. we had hopped on a cable car on a previous day for a short ride, but it was too crowded to ride the outside, so i figured wednesday morning when it was not crowded was our last chance. so finn and i got on an empty cable car and rode it back to our hotel....on the outside. it was great and finn loved it. it was a nice way to end our trip.
and now for the list. i made a check list for finn before we went so that i could plan ahead and he could get excited. as i mentioned previously, the list was always fun to pull out at dinner or on a bus and finn would always ask, "can you read me the list and i will check off the ones we did today." as you can see, we missed a few, but we did a pretty good job. thanks finn for being such a good sport the whole trip. next time you turn 5 we can do it again.