Thursday we started off the day by going to Brenda's French Soul Food where we had breakfast. We ordered their beignets because we had heard they are the bomb.com. There were four flavors to choose from or you could get a flight and try all 4.
-Molten Ghirardelli Chocolate filled
-Granny Smith Apple filled with cinnamon honey butter
- Crawfish spiced with cayenne, scallions and cheddar
We ordered the flight but instead of getting the Apple filled one (because yuck) we got a plain one instead. Oh my goodness, they were so good. Kevin had the crawfish one and he thought it tasted amazing, he was wishing he had ordered two of those. And y'all the chocolate one was sooooo good. It was warm and the chocolate oozed out. Delicious. The plain ones were yummy as well, but nothing to write home about. But, did I say that Kevin and I loved the other two... because we talked about them all morning. Really good stuff!!
We walked around the area, did some sight seeing and piddling in shops etc, not doing anything in particular. We came across this Street so I had to take a picture. Ellis is my family name on my mom's side, and Jace's middle name.
We stopped in a fortune cookie factory and watched the lady make cookies. We were charged $0.50 to take pictures in there which I thought was hilarious. The lady sat there doing the exact same thing over and over, grabbing the cookie material off the press, putting the fortune in it and then folding it into the fortune cookie, and then started over with the next one. She made them super fast, probably 30 a minute. I can't imagine having to do that all day long. So monotonous. I bought a chocolate dipped cookie and my fortune was very appropriate for our trip.
After walking around for a while we headed over to the Ferry Building Marketplace to do some taste testing. It's not really a touristy place you hear about much in San Francisco, but I had seen some information about it when we were looking up places to go and do. It's across from the Hyatt Regency, so I think a lot of locals and business folks walk here for lunches during the workday. The Ferry building houses several bakeries and restaurants, and it's in a beautiful part of town. It's on a pier so the view outside was very pretty. I found an article on pinterest about the best vendors and items to eat, and tricks and tips for sampling things from many of the places. So, that's what we did. We made a list of everything that sounded good and hit up as many places as we could. It was a lot of fun and a neat place, and sadly couldn't make it through our list.
The view outside the Ferry Building
Here we go... where should we start?
Cowgirl Creamery got rave reviews for their grilled cheese sandwiches. We ordered one and spilt it, and let me just tell you it was the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever had. Delicious doesn't even come close to describing it. I've searched online but can not find the info to what kind of cheese was used in the sandwich. Probably Top secret, because it's steal worthy. It was amazing. YUM!!!
Next up we tasted some olive oils on bread. Weird I know, but it was yummy also. We tried several different options.
Next up was Acme bread that had rolls... these didn't win any awards with us so we only took a couple bites each!
Kevin got an oyster from the San Fran Fish Company that he said was delicious. Oysters... no thank you.
Blue Bottle Coffee is supposedly the best place to go for the locals. When we walked in to the Ferry Building I saw a couple different coffee shops, so I was just curious if the locals would tell me the same thing that the article did about which place was the best. Both guys I asked said Blue Bottle all the way. They said it's the best coffee in the city. Kevin tried their ice coffee, because it was a little warm in the building and he agreed with the locals that it was a winner.
il Cane Rosso is known for their egg salad and their lemonade. Random combo right?
The article told us that places don't advertise samples, but if you ask they will give it to you. So that's what we did at most places. Lot cheaper to try everything and not get too full.
Neither Kevin nor I have ever had a macaroon. I've seen them so many times, but I have never knew what they were or tried one. Until now... We bought a chocolate one and vanilla from Miette Patisserie. I wasn't crazy about the chocolate one... shocking right?? But the vanilla one was super yummy with a great flavor. Success!
Kevin tried a sushi roll, and we tried a meatball but sadly I forgot to get pictures at both of those places. Womp Womp.
We ran across this Japanese photo booth store, so we had to do it. It was hilarious because the machines made your eyes super big and animated like Japanese animation, our skin was super smooth and my hair looked healthier and fuller. I wish I always looked like that. HA! We cracked up though because with it making your skin super smooth, it made Kevin lose his masculinity. His face was so smooth that it made him look a bit weird, so that was hilarious. After you took the pictures you were moved over to a booth and were able to decorate your photos with stickers and funnies, and then you printed them. Super cute place. I'm a sucker for a photobooth.
A cell phone picture of the picture, so not great quality. But, it was fun!
Thursday evening we went on a night tour of Alcatraz. We rode the ferry over while the sun was setting which was beautiful. The boat ride was freezing though, we had chosen to ride on the top deck of the ferry so the wind was pretty brutal. We arrived before it was night time, but by the time we were inside it had turned pretty dark outside which made the tour even more creepy than it was anyway. Alcatraz was very interesting. We listened to audio of guards that worked there and prisoners telling their story, and all about the events leading to up to prisoners escaping. We stayed longer than we had to, and caught the last ferry back so we could observe additional features of the tour. I kept thinking if we miss this ferry there is no way I could stay overnight in this prison without having a full on panic attack. We toured the prison hospital which looked like something you would see in a horror movie, and also got to learn about how the cell doors operated which was very intriguing. The tour guide who talked to us about the cell doors did a great job of showing us how the sounds of the clanging of the cell doors provided security for the guards and also for the prisoners. It was a scary place for a lot of the prisoners, so when they were locked in their cell for those hours they were safe, and the same with the guards. And when the doors were open and the inmates were allowed to come out everyone had to be on guard for their safety. The whole tour was really neat, but I'll admit very unsettling. When I say it was creepy believe me when I say I didn't sleep good that night. The guards and their families that worked during this time actually lived on the island next to the prison only separated from the inmates by the prison wall. Can you imagine living only feet away from the prison that housed some of the worst criminals, and having your children there with you? Mind boggling to me. We got to see the area that was used for solitary confinement, where certain prisoners who caused a lot of trouble or attempted to escape were housed for months at a time. It was pitch black in those cells. Extremely disturbing.
It was a great tour, and I learned a ton about the prison.
The views from the ferry ride
I was freezing!!!!
The public shower room
The voices the tour used for their inmates were men who just sounded pure evil. It gave me goosebumps and the hair on my arms stick straight up.
The watch tower
The view from outside the prison walls. It was said the prisoners would look out to the city and see all that they were missing.
We turned down a hall and saw this.
I wasn't expecting it, and definitely stopped me right in my tracks.
The 3 prisoners that escaped put fake heads that they had built in their beds to trick the guards. They went through the wall vent and were able to successfully escape Alcatraz. However, no one knows if they made it to shore or if they drowned. No bodies were ever found, and no one has ever come forward claiming to be them. Scary!
The operating room in the prison hospital.
Have no fear we made back on the last ferry that took us back to San Francisco! Whew!!