Escape to Alcatraz

So as today is Clint Eastwood’s birthday….

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

So I thought that I would do a post that relates to him in some way…

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So this adventure took place around three years ago. So you all know what that meanes, we’ve gotta go back in time…

Back to the Future

So about three years ago I was a junior in college and getting ready to start my finals. And I’m sure there are plenty who remember how that feels. Your mood flips faster than the weather in Wyoming. From stressed out:

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To sad and unsure that you even know what you are doing:

I don't know what to do

I was a part of the history club, and we decided that this was the perfect time to take a trip.

I've got to get out of here.

I’ve got to get out of here.

We tossed around a bunch of ideas like going to the Scottish Games, Alcatraz Night Tour, Exploratorium, Wine Tasting, Cheese Tasting, etc. Of course it took forever for everyone to decide but we finally settled on Alcatraz.

Now I have always wanted to go to Alcatraz. I have been a big fan every since the Clint Eastwood movie based on a true story, Escape from Alcatraz.

The story is about Frank Morris. He was sent to Alcatraz because he escapes every prison they put him in. They placed him in Alcatraz because it was impossible to get out of.

idon'tgotthis

Not only because of all the guards, as said in the trailer, but the location. Alcatraz is in the bay of San Francisco, which if you have never been there, has freezing cold water year round. Mark Twain once said:

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

Not to mention the coordinates of the prison has a horrible pull of the current that if you managed to try to escape by swimming, the current would keep you from going forward, and you would eventually die from hypothermia.

ouch Hermione

So the story is that Frank Morris comes up with this way to escape Alcatraz by digging a hole through the vent in his room, creating a facade to hide the digging, paper mache heads and fake bodies, and a raft. He teams up with three other guys, but unlike the movie one failed to escape through the vent because he had a pipe blocking his path, not that he was afraid. No one knows whether the three drowned or escaped. Their bodies and persons were never seen again.

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But I was so jazzed to learn more about the island. Beside the Frank Morris story, Al Capone actually walked there as he was imprisoned there. How cool would it be that I was where one of the greatest gangsters was?

I mean he did horrible things, but it still is slightly cool

I mean he did horrible things, but it still is slightly cool

And to be somewhere CLINT EASTWOOD ACTUALLY SPENT TIME!!? MY FANGIRLNESS JUST EXPLODED!

FANGIRLJackSparrowPiratesoftheCaribbean

Words cannot explain my excitement.

You definitely made mine!

You definitely made mine!

And then of course Sam Neil when he filmed that show Alcatraz (on my to-watch list).

It was great

It was great

So I was sooo excited.

excited

And it didn’t disappoint. The bay was beautiful, and so was Alcatraz. I didn’t know that the families of the workers lived with them on the island, so there were beautiful gardens and flowers growing.

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And the complex was used for so many things. During the Civil War they kept it as fortress and military prison, Native Americans were housed there, it was used as a jail, and most recently a famous author had a show there.

It was so cool being there. So much information, and such a history. Plus the architecture was amazing.

So we were able to see the rooms of Frank Morris, the brains, and his compatriots. It was pretty cool how they kept everything the same for the tourists.

jail

But because we were the Night Tour, things definitely took a creepy turn.

Gilmore girls creep

Like the hospital room. Full of these older, slightly rusty tools, and at night with a weird light. I wouldn’t want to stay long in that room.

Getting out of here

Getting out of here

Or the Isolation Chamber?

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The isolation chamber was were you were sent when you were causing trouble or if a guard hated you. You are in a small cell with nothing in it, and the day it is okay. But when it is night, it is pitch black in there and super creepy.

i'mscared

It was right next to the library where they were doing a lecture I wanted to attend, and that was the only way to get there so we had to pass through it. Oh man, it was scary.

Creepy!

Creepy!

And another kinda creepy factor? There were tons of seagulls everywhere. It felt as if I was in The Birds and they were just waiting to attack.

Not gulls but you understand the feeling.

Not gulls but this was what it felt like.

But it was a lot of fun and even though it was spooky, I definitely recommend it to anyone.

 

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For more San Francisco adventures, go to I Left My Car in San Francisco

For more stories from my everyday life, go to A Bump in the Night

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In other news, as I said before today is Clint Eastwood’s birthday so I’m going to celebrate the best way I can!

Just a few of his films.

Just a few of his films.

MARATHON!!!

MyKindOfMarathon

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For more Clint Eastwood, go to A Cowboy’s Christmas

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I Left My Car in San Francisco

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This postcard did not lie. I had quite the adventure in San Francisco.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Now I have traveled to San Francisco numerous times and have loved it. I have had all kind of adventures from getting lost in San Francisco, going to historic sites, traveling to see The Godfather on the big screen, touring Alcatraz at night; but nothing compares to this last trip.

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So it started out very tame. My friend and I had been enjoying Martin Luther King Jr.’s  birthday weekend. As the spring term had just started, we didn’t have much homework and decided to do a Lord of the Rings marathon. As we were watching Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, one of my friends, Alex, brought up the idea of shopping in San Francisco.

dun-dun-duuuun

Alex wanted to go to Union Square and Elaine was eager to join him. I wasn’t sure as I had work later that day, but Elaine had work too, so both assured me we would be home in plenty of time.

Yeah right.

Yeah right.

I was waffling, but then they dangled a trip to the de Young museum. Now to some that might sound really boring, but to me that was the deal breaker. They were having this exhibit on the Dutch Masters, and I am a huge fan. Johannes Vermeer, Jan Van Eyck, Jacob Van Rusidael, Rembrandt, William Kalf, Rachel Ruysch, etc. So that was it, I was in.

Double double yay

So the trip was on and I was excited!

So the next day went reasonably well. We started out to San Francisco talking about music, movies, philosophy, whatever. And we headed down to Union Square.

Now I am not completely adept at fashion. In most cases I know what looks good on me and always try to dress well. Or at least matching to what I expect the day to be like.

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And after all Marc Jacobs says:

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Well that’s all fine for Marc, but when you go into those high end shops in San Francisco, not only do I become aware of how little money I have, but also everything that is old or wrong with my outfit. You know missing buttons, scuff marks, frizzies on the sweaters, etc.

Mistake Great Gatsby

I actually didn’t feel as self-conscious this time. And it’s not because I was wearing some great outfit. Actually, most of the clothes I saw there were just ugly. To me the colors were wrong, designs, and even the accessories. The shoes were cute though.

So Alex didn’t find anything that he wanted, and Elaine and I did not have the money for anything even if we saw something we love. So we headed down to the museum.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

As we start heading to the museum…that’s when it happened.

dun-dun-duuuun

When the engine overheats.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

So we need to turn the car off and let the engine cool, and figure out what to do. Only one problem, we’re in San Francisco. That means…NO PARKING!!!!!!!!!!

Crap!

Crap!

Yep we drove around and around and around and around trying to find a spot but where getting NOTHING!!!! Not only is there NO parking, but all the empty spots are now reserved for smart cars. It made us all so furious!!!!!!!!

Supernatural impala

We didn’t do that. We were able to finally find a place to park. The only problem now is that Alex didn’t know anything about his car.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

He had just gotten it. While he started calling his father, Elaine called her father and started looking for the manuel.

Phew!

It turned out that since Alex’s car was really fancy and expensive, he needed a special kind of coolant. So then began more calls as we had to figure out which store carried the coolant to put in the car. After we found a store we had to try to get to one and find parking.

Duh!

Yep, this meant we spent another 20 mins trying to find a place to park.

Crap!

Crap!

We finally founs a place near an O’Reilly’s and put in the coolant. Now, by this time it was too late to go anywhere else. Alex thought we had a chance of going to the museum and then heading back, but Elaine and I both agree to  not risk it. So we said good-bye to San Francisco and started heading off toward home when…

dun-dun-duuuun

Yep you guessed it, the adventure is not over yet.

As we start driving across the bridge the light comes on AGAIN!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We were so scared. Now for some of you who have never been on the Golden Gate Bridge, let me tell you that is a place you DO NOT want to get stuck on. I just started praying we would make it off before something happened.

pretty please beg

Luckily we made it off the bridge and decided to stop at the nearby Vista Point to call a tow truck.

Now I’ve never been to Vista Point before, I wasn’t ever really aware of it before this time, but apparently it is a BIG tourist attraction as the place was packed chock full of people. We couldn’t find parking ANYWHERE!

whatsthedeal

I know, just not our day. Am I right?

So we drive around and around, hoping and praying for a parking spot. Along with hoping and praying that the car doesn’t break down while we are searching for it.

pretty please beg

And it was kind of weird because I noticed a piano mover’s truck there. Why would a piano mover stop at Vista Point and stay there? They were there for quite some time. It was weird.

Weird

Weird

Anyways, so we finally manage to find a parking spot and Alex calls a tow truck. And we all begining calling people to try and find a ride into the city with the car and a ride home.

I’m thinking, this’ll be easy!

howtheGrinchstoleChristmasWrongo

First I call work and let them know there is no way I’ll be able to make it in and then I immediately think to call my Aunt Ann and Uncle Jeff as they live in San Francisco, and I know they would help us out. Unfortunately no answer.

facepalm Star trek

So then I call my cousin Celeste who also lives in San Francisco. No answer.

Then I call my cousin Erik, who doesn’t live in San Francisco, but was visting his mom, my Aunt Ann. No answer! By now I am getting pretty upset, and wondering why NO ONE is answering their phones. This was how I felt:

NonepicksupPhone

(I later found out that my Aunt and Uncle didn’t answer as they were not in San Francisco but in Napa visiting friends; my cousin Celeste was in Los Angeles visiting family; and my cousin Erik was heading back to school.)

Alex and Elaine were also having no luck reaching our friends. Our friend Aylin had gone home for the weekend, as did our friends Haley and Allie. Our friend Julie was in San Francisco visiting friends, but had gotten sick and couldn’t get us either. Alex called his roommate Roger, but Roger had lent his car to his girlfriend Cora.

So we were stuck and it sucked.

Reality Sucks

Elaine’s parents lived not too far away, although with traffic it was going to be like two hours, but they offered to pick us up if we couldn’t find anybody. We didn’t really want to have them drive all that way and back, so Alex decided to call a cab into the city as soon as the tow truck took the car.

So were stuck waiting at Vista Point.

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Now usually I bring a book with me in my purse just in case of situations like these.

GilmoreGirlsCarryBookWithMeHabit

But this was the ONE time I didn’t and it could have really come in handy.

Instead we ended up making up stories about the people who were there visiting Vista Point, in order to pass the time. The best one was the one Elaine came up with, making one couple spies on some super secret mission involving my suspicious piano movers.

Eventually the tow truck came and picked up the car. As soon as it was gone, Alex called the cab company who said they could meet us in 15.

Double double yay

BUT…

There is always a but

There is always a but

We had to go on the other side of the bridge. Yep, we had to go down the creepy stairs under the bridge that looked like they were going to fall apart.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Yes, and I’m not kidding. Underneath the bridge is uber creepy. It’s the kind of place that serial killers or rapists would hang out.

Freddy Kruger

I actually wouldn’t be that surprised if I saw him there. Or him.

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So we finally make it to the other side and are waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting, and waiting. 15 mins pass and no cab.

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Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Just kidding. But we are upset. It’s getting later and later, we are hungry and we want to get to the shop before it closes. Alex calls the cab company again, and they tell us the car is on the way.

Now the side of the bridge we were on was where bikers or cyclists as I should really say, hang out. There were large groups and a couple from Australia that were really cool. But…there were some really weird people.

Weird

Weird

So we had been waiting about 30 mins, when these two guys come up on their bikes. They had been drinking beer and biking. They saw me and Elaine and tried hitting on us, but they were pretty dumb.

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Then they decide they need to pee and just whip their junk out in front of us.

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I mean come on dudes. After that we had some other weirdos come, and we decided that the cab wasn’t coming (50 mins now). Alex called the tow company who told him he didn’t have to come today as his dad had already made arrangements. So we called Elaine’s parents and headed over to Vista Point as fast as we could.

run-away

So we went to Vista Point and started waiting. Shivering as it was getting colder. And then we discoverd that Vista Point didn’t have the best upkeep. Lights kept flickering.

flickeringlights

It felt like we were in a horror film or something.

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Finally Elaine’s parents get there, and we are all so happy we practically leap for joy!

Double double yay

We head on home, stopping for a bite along the way.

So that was my adventure in San Francisco, it wasn’t the first, and it will most definitely not be the last.

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For more scenes from my everyday life, go to Five to Nine

For more on Marc Jacobs, go to Perfectly Imperfect

For more on Gilmore Girls, go to What a Fanatic!