S: San Francisco, California 2012
FC: TO TRAVEL IS TO LIVE. | San Francisco, CA | JUNE 2012
1: San Francisco, CA | City by the Bay | Alcatraz, Island | The streetcars
2: Despite delays, we finally arrive!!! | Yeah...right! They never have every travel nightmare that could happen, happen! LOL
3: "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." - Saint Augustine
5: Aquarium of the Bay - I loved the shark tunnel.
6: Over 20,000 aquatic animals from the San Francisco Bay and nearby waters live in Aquarium of the Bay. It's collection features nearly 200 different species of sharks, skates, rays, jellies, rock fish, flat fish, eels, sea stars and other aquatic animals. Bay Lab exhibits land-dwelling animals that live locally as well as some non-natives, which serve as ambassadors to climate change. Aquarium of the Bay is home to a wide variety of sharks, including seven gill sharks, which reach lengths over 10 feet and are the largest predators found in San Francisco Bay. The staff has developed a successful Bay pipefish breeding program. It has also maintained a moon jelly culturing program since 1998. All moon jellies on display at the aquarium were born and raised here. California skates and Big skates living in the main display lay hundreds of egg cases each year. In the Bay Lab exhibit, skate eggs are displayed with transparent windows, allowing the public to view embryos at various stages of development. The embryos continue to develop normally until they hatch, 8-9 months from the date they were laid. Each year Aquarium of the Bay donates hundreds of skates, skate eggs, jellyfish, surf perch and pipefish to public aquariums and educational institutions around the country.
7: The blue color of the Outer Bay exhibit comes from blue tiles covering the walls—over 1.6 million one-inch-square glass tiles. They were fabricated in Mexico, where the entire lot was fired in a single batch to ensure that the color was uniform. The main viewing window into the Outer Bay exhibit is 56.5 feet long, 17 feet tall, and 13 inches thick! It weighs 78,000 pounds, and was lowered into place by a special crane that was constructed above the tank—just for this one job! About 1.3 million gallons of water passes through the Outer Bay exhibit every day. However, only 80,000 gallons are “fresh” sea water from the ocean—the rest is filtered and recirculated
9: Alcatraz Island | Few people know that Alcatraz was the location of the first light houses on the Pacific coast, set up long before the infamous prison was constructed. Alcatraz island was named for the birds that inhabited the island - pelicans (alcatraces in Spanish). It sits right in the middle of the San Francisco Bay shipping channel.
10: Alcatraz | Island | SAN FRAN, CA
11: There she is... | A windy, but delightful trip out to the Island for our haunted tour.
12: Anticipation abounds as we approach the famed Alcatraz Island and it's hidden ghosts. Standing 166 feet above the water with a lens manufactured in France and costing over $15,000 to build, Alcatraz's lighthouse was completed in 1854 and was the West Coast's first. Two years later, the island's foghorn was built. In foggy weather, its 1,000 pound bell was struck with 30 pound mechanical hammer every ten seconds.
13: Alcatraz's history as a federal prison began in earnest in the early 1930s with an idea from U.S. Attorney General Homer Cummings. Cummings envisioned a special prison for the major criminals of that time—specifically kidnappers, racketeers and other predatory thieves and attackers, according to the National Park Service. Alcatraz, fearsome, remote and nearly impossible to escape, fit the bill. The prison opened in 1934 as a place to house the worst offenders from federal institutions around the country.
14: Our tour of The ROCK. | ALCATRAZ
15: Let the journey begin
17: Each cell in B & C block was 5 feet by 9 feet. Cells at Alcatraz had a small sink with cold running water, small sleeping cot, and a toilet. Most men could extend their arms and touch each wall within their cell.
18: When the three-story cellhouse was completed in 1912 it was the world’s largest steel-reinforced concrete structure. It stands to this day. | Alcatraz | June | 2012 | Alcatraz Island is 22 acres and reaches 121 feet above sea level. Aside from the few natural rainwater collecting cisterns, the island has no source of fresh water. | I knew more about the Island and it's history than the tour guide.
19: Alcatraz housed gangsters and high-profile thieves, some of the biggest celebrities of post-Depression-era America. Its most famous inmates included Chicago gangster Al Capone and bank robber/kidnapper George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Another inmate, convicted murderer Robert Stroud, became famous because of what he did in prison: he wrote two books on birds and their diseases. The story inspired the 1951 Burt Lancaster film "The Birdman of Alcatraz."
20: "To travel is to live." -Hans Christian Andersen
21: Coming back on the ferry after the island tour was cold. We were tired and ready for some warm food and sleep. We went to a restaurant and I told the waiter I had just gotten out of jail – the waiter asked "how long ya been in?" – I said "long enough".
22: OFF WE GO AGAIN! | 07.08.12
23: We took the train today down to San Jose' to see the famed Winchester Mystery House.
25: Winchester House
26: "A travel adventure has no substitute. It is the ultimate experience, your one big opportunity for flair." -Massow
27: In 1884, a wealthy widow named Sarah L. Winchester began a construction project of such magnitude that it was to occupy the lives of carpenters and craftsmen until her death thirty-eight years later. The Victorian mansion, designed and built by the Winchester Rifle heiress, is filled with so many unexplained oddities, that it has come to be known as the Winchester Mystery House. Sarah Winchester built a home that is an architectural marvel. Unlike most homes of its era, this 160-room Victorian mansion had modern heating and sewer systems, gas lights that operated by pressing a button, three working elevators, and 47 fireplaces. From rambling roofs and exquisite hand inlaid parquet floors to the gold and silver chandeliers and Tiffany art glass windows, you will be impressed by the staggering amount of creativity, energy, and expense poured into each and every detail.
31: Number of rooms: 160 Cost: $5,500,000 Date of Construction: 1884 - September 5, 1922 (38 Continuous years!) Number of stories: prior to 1906 Earthquake - 7; presently 4 Number of acres: originally 161.919; presently 4 Number of basements: 2 Heating: Steam, forced air, fireplaces Number of windows: frames 1,257, approx. 10,000 Number of doors: doorways 467 approx., 950 doors not including cabinet doors. Number of fireplaces: 47 (gas, wood, or coal burning) Number of chimneys: presently 17 with evidence of 2 others
32: So our last day there, we spend touring the city by double decker bus.
33: San Francisco is known for having the largest Chinese community in the world, outside of China.
34: Best seat in the house, on top and right up front. It was very hot and sunny though and the traffic was horrid. I had to man up for this ride.
35: An important tourist spot in San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge. Established in 1937, it is the world’s second longest single span. It links San Francisco with Marin County and the Redwood Empire. The Golden Gate Bridge is continuously painted and repainted all the time, because the bridge is so long that by the time the paint crew gets from one end to the other, it’s time to start over again
36: San Francisco
37: Golden Gate Bridge
39: A trip of so many firsts! 1st time to fly without my parents, 1st time to the West Coast and all the places we visited there! Thank you Aunt Susie for a trip of a lifetime! | All about the journey | Good times
41: What beautiful days we've had!
42: Sea lions sunning themselves on the pier. The first sea lions arrived here in 1990 shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Their numbers quickly grew into the hundreds. The large colony stays here during wintertime and migrates south for the breeding season, although a small number stays here year-round. | PIER 39 | Pier 39 was originally built in 1905 as a cargo pier. Thanks to the vision of a few concerned citizens, the dilapidated pier was given new life in 1978, when it was renovated as a picturesque fishing village, and since that time has blended in with Fisherman's Wharf so that most tourists rarely recognize that they've left one and entered the other.
44: So getting home was a disaster, just about like flying out. Flights were canceled, and we had fly to Los Angeles to get a flight to Houston in the middle of the night. | LOS ANGELES
45: I got to fly first class though and that was fun,until we realized that all our bags were on a different plane and they had all my preciouses in there. My trip Treats! Still it was the trip of a lifetime and I can't wait to go again!