^^ Though they don't look happy, Connor said the jailhouse at Alcatraz was his favorite part of San Francisco, so he really is enjoying himself more than he is letting on!
^^ Photo courtesy of Connor. He's getting pretty dang good at this whole picture taking thing…of course, he then decided to act his age and jump off the bench with the camera in his hands, giving both Ian and I a heart attack.
^^ This kid loves these smashed pennies and begs for one every time he sees a machine.
This past weekend, we took the kids to San Francisco. We headed over there Saturday morning. There was a car accident on the bridge, so it took us forever to get over there, but we made it with a few minutes to spare before our boat departure to Alcatraz. Alcatraz was the main reason we went. Connor is obsessed with jails and we thought he would like it. We had to book the tickets weeks in advance and of course Isla came down with pink eye two days before our trip. Given that the tickets were non-refundable, I decided we were going anyway…and thankfully, Isla woke with white eyes on Saturday, so it ended up being a non-issue anyway.
We made it to Alcatraz and Connor cared about nothing but making it to the jailhouse, so that's where we went. It includes an audio tour. For the first five minutes, both kids seemed interested, but Isla's interest quickly wained. And, to be honest, I understand why. It is so crowded in there, it's hard to see things. And how do you explain to a kid that they can't play in the one open jail cell because there is a massive line of people waiting to get in and look at it too?! Connor made it about halfway through the audio tour before he was done. At that point, I decided to scrap the tour. We walked to a quieter part of the jail and let the kids run around for a few minutes before heading out. We spent a little time walking around the island before Isla started pitching a fit to go back on the boat, so we headed back to the dock. Later I asked Isla what her favorite part of San Francisco was and she said the boat rides, so I am guessing that was the reason she was pitching a fit to get back to the boat. I will say I don't think Alcatraz (especially the tour) is meant for younger children at all (there were seriously hardly any families there), but Connor did say seeing the jail was his favorite part of the trip, so it made it worth it.
After we got back to San Francisco, we headed to our hotel and got checked in. We hung out for a bit before heading to dinner. And after dinner, we just got the kids ready for bed. It was a miracle, but somehow both kids were asleep before 9pm…our kids actually going to sleep in a relatively timely manner in a hotel room is pretty much unheard of.
The next morning, we got up and headed out. We walked down to the wharf and took a ride on the cable car. We got off at the cable car museum. There really isn't much to see there, but Connor loved it. Isla really wasn't interested at all, but I got her a $3 notebook in the gift shop and she sat on the floor, happy as can be, drawing away. We then got on another cable car and took it to Union Square. Then we crossed the street and hopped on a street car (yeah, our kids love the random public transportation and we had unlimited passes) and took it down to the street car museum. This museum was so incredibly small. So small. But, it had the front of a street car in it and Connor happily got to sit there ringing the bell and playing with all the knobs…until it was time to go, and he was then no longer happy. And the museum (they really can't call it that, being so incredibly small, but whatever) had a kids table with coloring pages, so Isla was totally content too. After the museum, we crossed the street and grabbed lunch in the Ferry Building. Then we hopped back on the street car and took it to the end of the line. And from there made our way back to our hotel to grab our car and make our way home.
It was a fun little family adventure. I'm glad we went. It's fun seeing the kids enjoy things so much. Though, it's not as fun when you have to take them out of a place they are enjoying…real life people, real life. I'm glad we got to do something special like this before the baby comes. I even said to Ian while we were trekking around, how we got a good few months in of not having to take a stroller places with us before going back to that.
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