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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Bringing the World to Your Backyard: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Romantic Moment #12

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It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Now this movie holds a special and dear place in my heart. Even though it is now considered a Christmas movie, it is one of my favorites to watch anytime because of the great message. Here is one man who helps and touches so many others, without even realizing the affect he has on everyone. He may not be a famous or a millionaire; but in his kind and quiet way is helping everyone in the town. I also love it because Jimmy Stewart is in it, and he’s my favorite actor. Plus we also have the film directed by the amazing Frank Capra. He is my second favorite director and I simply adore practically every film he has made.

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Now this may come as quite a shock, but I am not choosing the “Lasso the Moon” scene as my romantic moment. I know, I know; it’s a great scene and I absolutely love it, as I do every scene, but I thought I’d move us into a different direction.

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We start off It’s a Wonderful Life, with all these people praying for George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart); for God to please help him in his time of need. God decides to send in an angel to help him. We hear all this from Joseph, an angel overseer, who selects Clarence for the job. Joseph fills Clarence in on George’s backstory so he will know what lead George up to this point in his life.

Flashback

Flashback

From a young age George was a leader and eager to travel the world. When he was 12, he saved his brother from hypothermia, rescuing him when he fell into some icy water and sacrificing his ear. He works at a pharmacy and saves Mr. Gower, the pharmacist, from jail time when he points out that Mr. Gower accidentally messed up the dosage in  draught on account of him being distraught over his own son’s death. We are also introduced to Mary, a girl a few years younger than George, who declares she will marry him and love him forever.

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Fast forward the years and George is now 22, and eager to go off into the world. He was working for his father at the family’s Building, Saving, & Loan; until his brother graduated, and now he is going to use all the money he put aside and go off for college. That night he goes to Harry’s grad party and hijinks ensue. This is where we have the famous pool scene and moon scene. Both are awesome! But unfortunately as George and Mary are getting closer together; George’s father becomes ill and dies. The only way to keep the family business going and save people from evil Mr. Potter is to stay. So George does for another four years.

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Fast forwarding again, and Harry, George’s brother, is back from college. But instead of staying, he is going to work for his wife’s father. George is distraught at having to stay in the town longer, but after finally admitting his feelings for Mary, is happily ready to start a life together.

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Yes every time George tries to leave the town forever, he is just sucked back in. He doesn’t even get to go off in WWII on account of his ear. But he enjoys his life with his growing family. However, everything goes sour when an account of money is misplaced. If George doesn’t have it soon, then he will go to jail and they will lose everything. As he starts contemplating suicide, Clarence comes and stops him.

No killing yourself on my watch

No killing yourself on my watch

George then wishes he was never born, and sets off to see what the town and people would look like without him. Will they be better? Or worse?

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Most Romantic Moment: I Want You to “See” the World

It is after George and Mary’s wedding, and the two are excited to leave the town for their honeymoon. Once again as George is preparing to leave the town, something happens to get him to stay. (The man just can’t get a break.) There is a run on the bank and to calm everyone down, George and Mary sacrifice all of their honeymoon trip money.

Here’s the romantic part!

George was so busy trying to help everyone that he hasn’t even realized Mary left the building. He gets a call from Mrs. Bailey (Mary)  who asks him to come home. George doesn’t know what home she is speaking of, but heads off to the address she provided him. When he gets there, it turns out to be the old house on the block, the one that everyone throws rocks at to “get wishes”. Mary has fixed up the whole place with posters of far away places, she has a record playing tropical music, and a chicken rotissering over the fire.

It’s so romantic because Mary knows how much George has longed to leave Bedford Falls, and how many chances he has sacrificed for others. While she can’t take him around the world, she decides to bring those far off places he loves and dreams of, here. She even has Bert and Ernie, the cop and cabdriver (not muppets), serenade them. How romantic is that?

 

So romantic

So romantic

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To start Romance is in the Air from the beginning, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

For the previous post, go to I’m Sorry Sounds Better in a Song: Music and Lyrics (2007)

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For more on It’s A Wonderful Life, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more on Mary Bailey, go to I’ll Give You the Moon: It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

For more George Bailey, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more Jimmy Stewart, go to Hunk-a-Thon