Weekend to St Petersburg in Aug 2016

We have always wanted to visit Russia, so St Petersburg was our pretty destination.

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Going to Alcatraz!
Going to Alcatraz!
Going to Alcatraz!
Going to Alcatraz!

Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012: Day 16 – San Francisco to Sonoma

By Nige on Tue 19 Jun 2012 at 22:00
Type: Post
Story: Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012
Tags: Alcatraz | Golden Gate Bridge | Hilton | San Francisco | Santa Rosa | Sonoma | Starbucks

All ready to go for Alcatraz this morning.  Everything packed and stuff in the car.  We will be off to Alcatraz in 10 mins.  When we get back we will watch the England match in the lounge and then we can head off over Golden Gate Bridge.

The view from Alcatraz
The view from Alcatraz
The view from Alcatraz
The view from Alcatraz

We grabbed a taxi to head to Alcatraz and we arrived at the pier a good 30 mins prior to the boat leaving, but there were loads of people in the queue ahead of us – not the Billingham way at all.  We couldn’t quite believe that so many people would be getting on the first boat to Alcatraz.

We took the audio tour which was interesting – to be honest we had both done it before but it was nice reminding us about the prison.  It’s a bit odd how a prison has become such a tourist attraction.  It’s interesting how it makes you feel sorry for the inmates, the conditions being so harsh and the ‘hole’ – where they went for solitary confinement in the dark – well that was unimaginable. 

You forget that these guys were murderers and bank robbers, and end up hoping that the 5 escapees unaccounted for did actually make it across the bay (highly unlikely).  Weirdly, the prison closed on the exact day that Vick was born (yes, I thought it had been closed more than 35 years as well!).

A street in Alcatraz
A street in Alcatraz
A street in Alcatraz
A street in Alcatraz

Anyway we got one of the first boats back that we could after we had finished the audio tour and we had most of the place to ourselves.  Once we were back we had nearly an hour before the footie, so we walked back to the hotel and picked up a Starbucks on the way back (thanks Derek).

We checked out and got back into the lounge to watch England.  One of the attendants there was from Ukraine so she was quite interested (in the football).  Good old Rooney – didn’t have a great game – kept giving the ball away, but at least he managed to fall against the ball in such a way that it ended up in the back of the net, from another stupendous cross from the man of the championship so far, Stevie G. 

An inbound tourist boat arriving at Alcatraz
An inbound tourist boat arriving at Alcatraz
An inbound tourist boat arriving at Alcatraz
An inbound tourist boat arriving at Alcatraz

Also really good to get our own back on “did the ball cross the line or not” debate.  What was that 65th linesman doing?  Wasn’t his job to adjudicate on things like that?  He was 2 feet away and he couldn’t tell that the ball had crossed the line?  I did feel sorry for the Ukrainians, but not for long.  Ho, ho, ho.

We then got into the car and headed off for Sonoma – the sun was out; there were no clouds in the sky and it was fab.  It was probably the best day for weather either of us has ever had in SF.  It’s almost always cloudy/foggy in the morning here, and it only clears up a little by the afternoon, and it’s been really clear all day today, so we have been really lucky.

Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge

We stopped off at the vista point just after clearing Golden Gate Bridge – took a couple of photos, then it was another case of fighting with the mad traffic heading away from SF.

It got very hot, very quickly, so we ended up at 90f when we arrived in Santa Rosa where the Hilton was.  Nice hotel and nice pool.

For dinner we went to a lovely Italian in Santa Rosa called Lococo’s – truly amazing pasta and the rib eye steak was well tasty.

Stats for Day 16: 80 miles, 2 Starbucks coffees (one each), 0 Hollywood celebs spotted (although I thought I saw a dog that looked a bit like Lassie), 12 Subway inches consumed, good load of calories consumed, reasonable amount of calories burned (walking in SF).

Plan for tomorrow is to possibly go on a winery tour in Sonoma.  Trying to work out how to get back to the hotel though.  There’s nothing worse than spitting it out is there????


Follow the whole story here: Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012


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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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