Alcatraz: Not Just an Abandoned Prison

Alcatraz at sunset (CC image via )

Recently, I took a vacation to San Francisco, California. I had never been there before, and I have no shame: I wanted to cram as many touristy experiences possible into my week-long trip. Visit the Golden Gate Bridge? Of course! Head down to Fisherman’s Wharf? Sure! Book a ferry months in advance to visit Alcatraz? …Well, what’s so interesting about an old prison? We have one of those on the East Coast; how different could it be? I really didn’t care about hearing about Al Capone or the “Birdman” for the thousandth time (I know a few people who really like crime documentaries). What I didn’t realize was that Alcatraz has a much more complex history. Continue reading

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California Dreaming

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There are so many places I’d love to visit, but only so much time and money available. So, on a recent winter night, when a friend began discussing her upcoming business trip to San Francisco with my wife, I thought little of it. We LOVE San Francisco, but had already been there (twice). If we were going to repeat trips we owed family a visit in Florida. So I was a bit surprised when, fueled by several glasses of Pinot Noir and Cabarnet Sauvignon (oh, did I mention they were discussing this at a wine tasting?) my wife and friend announced we were meeting up in San Francisco in April. Continue reading