I’m sending you to Alcatraz. Yes, I’m talking to you. I absolutely believe that you’ve seen Alcatraz from afar at least twice a month yet have never been over to Pelican Island and I’m now telling you to do it. I’m not asking, I’m not suggesting, I’m just going to sound like your mother and order you (finger wagging).
When I moved to San Francisco 7 years ago, my parents came to visit me before I’d even hung up new curtains in my apartment. They wanted to go to Alcatraz and with my slight obsession around mass, pathological criminals, I jumped at the chance.
I believe San Francisco is the only city in the USA that locals actually love doing touristy things but everyone forgets about this little island, covered in bird droppings.
We went to the daytime viewing, stuck on the 80’s style headsets and wandered around. I walked in and out of cells, trying to envisage living in a tiny 5ft x 9ft room knowing that if you can swim like Phelps, you’ll make it the 1 mile to Fisherman’s Wharf and then you’re off to repeat offend because you’re a freak. Did I get carried away just then? Oh well!
A tourist from mid west somewhere started chatting up my dad, even though he was sat with my mum (happens frequently and also vice versa). She was so excited my parents were from England she started rambling on about how she’d contacted a local newspaper (heaven knows where in the country, but I’m thinking along the Waking Ned type village of 87 people, 77 of these being old wrinklies). She said she had so much in common with the reporter: they were both people (kid you not, her exact words), both from a small town, both loved eating and music. And the list goes on.
Mum and I have zero filter so started rolling around laughing. I was asking this woman if she and the reporter had ‘two eyes, legs and ears in common’ and she said yes. The worst was that this woman then talked about her 3 kids. She’s breeding more of her?!
But the whole trip overall was incredible. I still need to do the night tour and I’ll do this by the end of the year. So the next time you’re thinking about Halloween and spooky things, consider taking a trip to Alcatraz, at night, start chatting to female tourists and you’re be sure to scare the bejeebers out of yourself.
Best ways to book your trip are just online. Day rates are $38 and Night tour rates are $45. It’s not hugely cheap but it’s a lot cheaper than that Chanel purse you’ve been eyeing up: Alcatraz Tickets (must've taken them months to come up with that name), Alcatraz US (got actually quite good combo deals) or get this Speedo swimsuit on, splatter yourself in oil to keep warm, throw on this Pelican costume for a bargain $45 and start doing the butterfly crawl. Remember to pack a flask of Mojito - you'll need it, trust me.