Once our stomach's were full we headed back to the hotel to prepare for our next adventure - Alcatraz! I had purchased tickets online the night before so we just hopped on a trolley car and picked up our tickets.
Alcatraz Island is only a short boat ride from Pier 33 on a solar powered boat. The views from the boat were awesome.
The city skyline.
The Bay Bridge.
And the Golden Gate Bridge.
The island includes lots of plant life and many species of birds.
We happened to be there on a day when a former resident of Alcatraz Island was also there. Jolene Babyak lived on "The Rock" as a child when her father was associate warden of the prison. She's the author to several books about the prisoners of Alcatraz and Eyewitness on Alcatraz which details life on Alcatraz for the guards, families, and prisoners. I'm hoping to pick up this book soon!
We walked around the whole island and I wish we could have stayed longer, but we were getting hungry. Once back on the mainland, we headed over to the Pier 39 area for lunch. First we were side-tracked by some loud barking coming from a hoard of sea lions.
We found a lunch spot and I had some clam chowder. I was definitely taking advantage of this seafood thing while I was near the ocean. This is slightly ironic considering the clams in my clam chowder were most likely not fresh.
My mom and I were debating how to spend our last hours in San Francisco and eventually decided on renting bikes and biking to the Golden Gate Bridge. I knew that San Francisco was hilly, but we both underestimated how strenuous of a bike ride we had signed up for. Funny that they didn't mention the physical challenge when we were signing up for our rentals. Good thing my mom and I both exercise regularly so we were able to power up the hills. I estimate that we probably did about 15 mile ride.
Since I was meeting my boss in the morning and my mom needed to catch a flight, we caught the train back out towards the airport Sunday evening to our second hotel. The next morning, my mom and I enjoyed a quick breakfast together before I headed out for my customer visit and she flew back to Chicago. My mom caught another round of bad luck and her flight ended up being delayed over an hour! Her drive home ended up being a bit later than she wanted but she made it safe and sound!
I was able to sneak in one run along the bay before I left San Francisco. The weather wasn't too bad and I caught to enjoy some gorgeous views as the sun was setting. I wish I could have this scenery on all my runs.
On Tuesday, I squeezed in a short yoga session at the airport! San Francisco Airport has a small yoga room and I enjoyed getting away from the crowds for a few downward dogs! Then it was back to a very chilly Chicago. Even though I complained about the cold weather in San Fran, I would gladly exchange the single-digit days we've been having in the Midwest for those 40 degree days!
I wish that my mom and I would have been able to spend a few more days exploring San Francisco as we definitely missed out on a few things we wanted to see. But, overall, we both had a great trip. I really enjoyed traveling with my mom and I am so grateful she is willing to explore new places with me. This was our first trip together without the rest of my family and I hope we will be able to do this again in the future. (And Dad, if you are reading, we can take a trip to go golfing somewhere!)