Saturday morning we headed to the beach. The manager at our hotel told us that cars were allowed on the beach and for some reason, driving on a beach seemed like a cool idea. And it was, right up until Shawn veered off the beaten track and we ended up stuck in soft sand. Things looked grim for a few minutes until the laughing started. Em jumped behind the wheel and the boys and I got out to push. It took a few tries but we managed to get the car back onto the packed sand.
We left Grover Beach and headed for San Francisco. We were making good time until we ran into horrific traffic (courtesy of a Fleet Week / Blue Angels / 49ers combo.) It was at this point with our hotel in sight, as it took minutes to move inches, after we'd been stuck in the car for hours, as our bladders simultaneously threatened to burst, that we had the first meltdown of the road trip.
The meltdown blew over as soon as we saw the snugly, stinky sea lions (the ones cuddling in the lower left side of the photo are my favourite.)
After the sea lions, we made out way over to Pier 33 to catch our boat out to Alcatraz.
The setting sun and fog combined to give everything an eerie glow as we sailed across the bay.
By the time we reached Alcatraz, it was dark and very spooky.
It felt like we were walking through a movie set. It was difficult to reconcile in my mind that this was a real place where real people lived.
We stood on a cliff as our tour guide told us stories of convicts desperate enough to try to escape Alcatraz by swimming to freedom and we tried to find some relief from the icy wind whipping around us.
Looking out across the dark water at the sparkling lights of San Francisco is something I will never forget.