Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Trip to the Rock


Jake’s parents came for a visit and fell in love with Half Moon Bay.  It’s kind of hard not to.  With miles upon miles of golden sand beaches, a small town community, and moderate climate – What’s not to love?  The answer to that question will be covered in a future post…




The highlight of their visit was a trip to Alcatraz.  This has always been on our list of things to do, but has never worked out.  Mainly because it is necessary to make reservations and purchase tickets in advance - totally against our spontaneous nature.  I find it unbelievable that this attraction sells out 365 days a year!  There is only one tour company that transports guests to the island and back.  Can you say cha – ching?


We initially weren't sure how Hannah would handle the tour.  (A) She poops out easily and wants to be carried. (B)  She doesn't like bad guys.  (C) The temps for the day were in the mid 70’s and that’s just plain hot to her.  All in all she did a great job.  Upon arrival on the island, we stopped at the gift shop by the dock.  I noticed a junior ranger workbook that seemed like a great educational investment and kept the tour on a kid level.  Once the steps in the book were completed at the conclusion of the tour, the girls would earn a junior ranger badge.  How exciting!


We took our time on the island.  I think we spent a good four hours there.  It was an absolutely beautiful day.  Not a cloud in the sky and quite a few sailboats doing their thing in the bay.  From the island you have a great view of downtown San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Bay Bridge.  We toured the island on our own as well as with a ranger who talked about all of the escape attempts.  I was pleasantly intrigued by the history. 


At the end of the tour the girls and I hunted down the park ranger to collect our junior ranger badges.  The ranger took his time inspecting every last page of the girls’ workbooks.  To his dismay, they had not completed every page.  I had instructed them to only do the “steps” in the book and the extra pages would be a great activity for the car ride home.  After all, I’m not going to have them sit and fill out workbook pages rather than take in the sights while we are actually there.  This was unacceptable to the ranger.  He was actually going to withhold the badges!  Then, he acted like he had a heart and handed the badges to me to insure that the remaining pages were completed, then and only then, I could give them out.  Wow!  All for a cheap plastic badge that looked like it could have come out of a gumball machine.  Guess what Mr. Ranger?  In spite of your absurdity, the girls never finished the workbooks, and I gave them their badges. 


All in all the experience was a big thumbs up!  I would highly recommend it.  Thank you to the Haines for making it happen.