Father’s Day 2011- Alcatraz

While this post is titled “Fathers Day” I like to keep things in chronological order so I will start with Mothers Day since thats in May and Fathers day is in June. :)

We were somewhere on the road in Texas on my first Mother’s Day. My husband was away at training for the first four months of Josie’s life.  Having him back felt like mothers day everyday. We did celebrate by drinking wine out of paper coffee cups in a cheap hotel. We were all together and it was lovely.

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I  don’t think I even have a photo of my first mothers day, so we can use this instead, it was taken in April 2011.

By June 2011 we had finally moved into our apartment and felt somewhat settled. We were pretty cramped so every weekend we would load up all the dogs and check out the sights between Monterey and San Francisco. Naturally Alcatraz was on top our list to see, especially with my husbands new job being in Law Enforcement. I surprised Frank with tickets for Father’s Day to head over to “The Rock”

One thing we didn’t know back then was exactly how long it can take to get to San Francisco. Despite being only 50miles from San Jose, travel time to San Francisco is usually 1.5hrs. That being said I am amazed we even made it to the Ferry on time. I remember being a little frantic about getting there on time and trying to find parking- which turns out to be apart of all my San Francisco memories . But, somehow we it on time and onboard!

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Also looking back, I’m amazed at how nice the weather was that day too. San Francisco is usually windy and cold. It was sunny, little windy, but by all accounts a perfect June day. I did learn to dress in layers and always bring a coat. And yes we took our 6month old to a Federal Penitentiary which housed some of America’s most ruthless criminals from 1934-1963. I mean of course we took her, we were brand new in town and wanted to see the sights too. One of the best pieces of advice I was given while pregnant was, “the baby comes into your world. Keep doing everything as you would and bring the baby along.” So yep we brought our baby to Alcatraz.

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Alcatraz is a “self guided” tour with headsets. You can tour it at your own pace and choose to listen or not to the commentary. It was so cool touring the place and imagining how it must have been in its heyday.

I did feel somewhat unprepared, I mean I knew the gist, but I also felt like I could have been more prepared about the people who were in prison there. While we were there there author Jolene Babyak was there selling her newest (at the time) book “Breaking the Rock”.

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Jolene lived on Alcatraz as a child, her father was a guard and assistant Warden. I was blown away talking to her about what her childhood would have been like growing up there.

I would highly recommend visiting Alcatraz if you have any interest in the history of the prison or the lives of the some of the most notorious criminals in America, such as Al Capone, The Birdman, Whitey Bulger. You will need to make advance reservations online. You have to be there at a specific time for your ferry out, but can catch any of the returning ferries back to SF once you are done with your tour. 263551_662675391479_6970993_n

I had to take a break from the tour and feed Josie. I still laugh that I went outside from the prison cells to breastfeed my baby on Alcatraz. I do love the innocence of your first. While I did over think some things about having kids, breastfeeding was never one of them. I would feed her wherever, whenever she needed. I did have a nursing cover, but not once did anyone ever shame about how or where I was feeding my child. It does make me sad to hear stories about mothers getting yelled at or asked to leave a place simply because they are breastfeeding.

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All in all I would that was one of the most memorable Fathers Day for all of us and I’m so glad we took our baby to a prison ;)

~M

 

 

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