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We took a quick break to grab some Sushi at Safeway.
We have affectionetly dubbed Candace and Chris as our “Edmonton transplant” couple. Originally from Sunny California, Candace met and fell in love with Chris who was there visiting his best friend (Candace’s brother!!). Due to some pretty strict immigration laws Chris was unable to stay in the US at the time so they moved back to Edmonton, which is now home for them and their little baby boy Troy (what a cutie!). We had a terrific day hanging out with them and their families who flew from all over the US to be here for the wedding. Thank you Chris and Candace for choosing us to capture your special day.
- Harvey & Samantha
Jamil and Shaista had a colorful, energetic, love-filled wedding. It was such fun to watch them giggle and exchange stolen glances with one another as we photographed them. Sometimes you just know when a couple is meant to be and that certainly is the case with Jamil and Shaista! They had their reception at the luxurious Hotel MacDonald in the famed Empire Ballroom and the entire room was decorated perfectly, adding to the majesty of the night. As a bonus their favors were personalized M&M’s!! So delicious. How’d they know M&M’s are our favourite?
Our final day in San Fransisco came so quickly and we still had to pick our way through busy China Town and take a tour on a double decker bus. China town was full of interesting trinkets and small gifts. The shops were literally packed floor to ceiling and you really had to be careful walking amongst the aisles. It ended up being a colourful, fun filled day and a perfect end to a wonderful mini-vacation!
The streets were strung with flags and lanterns which really set the atmosphere for the bustling streets.
The best tourist deals and most unique gift items can be found right here. What fun!
After leaving China Town we saw a lone biker on this classic San Fransisco street.
Pretty clear here, one door is an exit and the other leads to the “path less travelled”. Really makes you want to open that door…right??
The view off the top of our double decker bus ride. We ended up buying the “Hop on, Hop off” pass and enjoyed a day of classic San Fransisco sights with amusing commentary from our young, inexperienced tour guide.
Some serious gentlemen playing chess? (Sam say’s “it’s not chess”)
A picture of San Fransisco City Hall. This beautiful building was right across the street from a fabulous, fresh farmer’s market. Yum!
What a funny surprise! These ladies were being escorted down the busy San Francisco street, right in front of our double decker bus!
They just kept coming…
The Hilton Hotel shows off some really sharp, angular architecture.
I guess San Francisco Dad’s aren’t really #1 Dad’s…but they still like mints.
The beginning of our third day in San Francisco was spent embarking on a two part tour of Angel Island and the infamous Alcatraz Prison. We chose to visit Angel Island first so we could spend the rest of our day exploring the prison. Known as the “Elis Island of the West”, Angel Island has a history of mistreating Chinese Immigrants for months before deporting them back to China. The hour long tram tour took us around the island and our guide made history come alive.
After spending a scant 2 hours on Angel Island we boarded the ferry once again and took the short ride to Alcatraz Prison.
In place of a tour guide our admission to Alcatraz included a self-guided audio tour (the best I’ve ever taken!). This desk was the first stop for new prisoners.
A little farther along in the tour we were told about meal time routines, safety precautions (including the mustard gas that could be dispensed from the ceiling in the event of a riot), and the prisoners last meal on the day the prison closed on March 21, 1963. Sam and I thought this meal sounded like one of the better ones…but who knows what you might get in prison these days.
This shot was taken through the dining hall bars, looking at the prep kitchen.
During the audio tour we stopped to listen to this guide tell a story about one of Alcatraz’s most famous prisoners…”The Bird Man of Alcatraz”. Fascinating!
A typical cell for a prisoner at Alcatraz.
A view inside one of the “solitary confinement” cells. There were two solid steel doors to ensure no light could enter the space.
A cell showing how it might have looked when the prison was in use.
A cell belonging to one of the three prisoners who made a successful escape from Alcatraz. Although the prisoners later died (or did they??). They were the only three to ever escape from the confines of the prison walls. Amazingly enough the prisoners dug the holes with regular dinner spoons.
This picture shows an older building on the island which housed a military prison before the island was turned into a federal prison and re-named “Alcatraz”.
Another one of the older buildings on the island. Possibly housing laundry facilities.
A typical row of cells in Alcatraz.
A break room for the guards. Look carefully at this one…see anything?? Ohhhhhhhh.
A view out to the chilly waters surrounding the island.
A ferry boat returning to pick up another load of tourists and return them to the mainland.
A picture showing the remains of the guards “social hall”. At one time this building housed a bowling hall, a dance floor and some pretty rockin’ parties.
Another two parts are yet to come, so be sure to check back and find out how we ended this mini vacation!
Here is a glimpse into our second day in San Francisco. Much to our disappointment day two was even colder and more blustery that our first day ( a real disappointment to those who only packed capri pants and t-shirts…Sam!). Despite the cool wind we decided to embark on a day-long bike trip across the famous golden gate bridge to the town of Sausalito. The bike rental guy assured the girls that the trip was a leisurely pedal with only one large hill and nothing they couldn’t handle. He also promised a ten degree increase in temperature once we were on the protected side of the bay. After buying some tuques and gloves (yes… it was that cold!!) we headed out. Much to our disappointment the money hungry bike rental guy told some major fibs about the difficulty of the bike path and failed to mention the “push you off your bike” winds going across the open-air bridge. After we had pushed our bikes up 4 major hills and were almost blown into the ocean we arrived in Sausalito. Lucky for us we were able to catch a ferry ride back at the end of the afternoon and avoided a sweaty, exhausting repeat of our morning ride. You’ll notice there are no pictures below of anyone actually riding a bike (I guess no one wanted the tuque/helmet/wind swept cheeks look posted for all to see) so we opted just for the riveting story without posting the evidence.
On our way from the bike rental to Sausalito.
Those cable card are everywhere!
Getting closer to the bridge…we’ve already climbed one hill and are resting easy that the hardest part is finished.
The bridge is even closer yet it seems to be taking us a long time to get there…by this point we have realised we have at least one more hill we will need to climb.
We are finally on the bridge and it is WINDY!! Yikes! The fog is just starting to come into the bay but the view is still pretty awesome!
We made it across and we have now climbed three hills! It is becoming obvious this ride isn’t our definition of “leisurely”.
We are sweaty and windswept but have finally locked the bikes up and are looking for a good vegetarian lunch (Yeah, that’s right. We’re vegetarians) option in a place known for seafood. On our way to lunch we came across a man selling pictures with his bird. As you can see it was the boys parents who thought this would make a good picture!
After a great vegetarian sandwich we took some time to look at all the fabulous boats in the marina! Wow…it’s hard to imagine a life where a million dollar sailboat can sit unused as a “hobby”.
A view of some of the smaller boats in less expensive moorings.
After dinner we took a walk to see the infamous (stinky!!) California Sea Lions at Pier 39 basking in what is left of the sun. These guys are so funny! With all the noise and constant shuffling, pushing and complaining it’s no wonder they need so much sleep!
A final view looking up and away from where the Sea Lions are sleeping…it looks so peaceful!
Check back to find out what we did on our last two days in San Francisco. More great pictures to come!