Monday, September 29

california - san francisco

we rounded out the trip with a two day stay in san francisco. when we visited back in 2012, chris and i weren't sold on the bay city. i honestly think it was because we drove in from the south and were comparing it to the scenes on highway one. (nothing will ever beat highway one). this time around, we enjoyed it a lot more. we appreciated its unique beauty and found so many reasons to want to go back!
our san fran adventure started in sausalito. obviously. obsessed with that little place. we had lunch on main street, popped in and out of boutiques, and enjoyed the unseasonably beautiful weather.
as we were attempting to drive across the golden gate bridge into san francisco, we took a wrong exit and ended up on the scenic route of the bay. oh my gosh. so gorgeous. again, sometimes when things don't go according to plan they end up so, so good.

the most beautiful view of the bridge! 
as we made our way into san fran, we decided to go to haight ashbury first. we were taking siri's directions to that delightful intersection when chris randomly said, "if we are close to the university of san francisco, i would love to stop." he said that and i literally turned my head to the right to see the USF sign. no joke. it was the most random, wonderful accident ever. we obviously stopped.
we went to the catholic church there and lit a few candles. as we were making our way down campus, chris was searching for the gym. [the reason for his USF obsession is that bill russell played there and then the celtics.] more random, happy accidents followed. the gym was locked, but we got in from a janitor cleaning the doors. as we were walking around, we stumbled upon the bill russell room where the USF basketball strength coach was eating lunch. he told us we could go into the actual gym! chris had to get a few dunks in and was on cloud nine. the whole situation was insane!
we then headed to haight ashbury where anne almost contributed to a young man's illegal paycheck [ha!]. we drove through chinatown, navigated the steepest [scariest] road on the planet, shopped in union square, and checked into the hotel. we finished the day with an incredible meal at scoma's [the waiters have been working there for 20+ years! it was divine in every sense of the word!] and a walk on fisherman's wharf. what a day!
dale's one request when reviewing the itinerary was that we went to alcatraz. it was on his bucket list, so it was an absolute must. we saved it for the tuesday morning before our 2:00 flight as tickets were sold out weeks in advance. there was some time spent in the stand-by line that had me stressed to the max, but we made it on the boat and got to enjoy the entire tour. phew!
alcatraz was 100% creepy and cool at the same time. the eery vibe throughout the island was palpable. 
the only view of the outside for the most dangerous criminals.
guard's office.
the view from the island. they said the worst torture was knowing freedom and civilization were a mere 1.5 miles away. within reach, but never possible.
in one attempt to escape, men made paper mache heads with real human hair to trick the guards. they were still in the cell. omg.
an alcatraz prisoner was there signing his book. whoa!
as we rode back on the ferry, i could totally understand the escape attempts. the psychological torture had to be unbearable. 

we rushed back to our car, just in time for our flight to nebraska. 
i really love ya california. if you can't be my home, you better believe you'll have a permanent top ten spot on any vacation list. thanks for the best five days. you treated us real nice. until next time....!

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