Mother's Day on the Rocks

My Beautiful Baby

Mother's Day Treats from my Babies

Outside the Prison

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On the ferry, nearing the island.The first building you see when you arrive on the island.Walking up the hillThe Morgue: It's stinky around the morgue.A closer look inside the morgue. See any ghosts?The warden's old houseThe lighthouseBay BridgeThe Financial DistrictGolden Gate Bride. It's very windy on the west side of the island.The water tower on the northeast side of the island facing Angel Island and Marin County
On the ferry, nearing the island.
On the ferry, nearing the island.
The first building you see when you arrive on the island.
The first building you see when you arrive on the island.
Walking up the hill
Walking up the hill
The Morgue: It's stinky around the morgue.
The Morgue: It's stinky around the morgue.
A closer look inside the morgue. See any ghosts?
A closer look inside the morgue. See any ghosts?
The warden's old house
The warden's old house
The lighthouse
The lighthouse
Bay Bridge
Bay Bridge
The Financial District
The Financial District
Golden Gate Bride. It's very windy on the west side of the island.
Golden Gate Bride. It's very windy on the west side of the island.
The water tower on the northeast side of the island facing Angel Island and Marin County
The water tower on the northeast side of the island facing Angel Island and Marin County

Inside the Prison

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"Times Square." Behind the bars above, guards used to walk along the catwalks.Solitary ConfinementThe libraryThe windows in the libraryA tiny window looks out on the city.So close and yet so far. Especially on New Years Eve, the inmates could hear people cheering on the mainland.In the warden's officeThe four wardens of AlcatrazThe great escape. The escapees put a fake head in the bed to throw off the guards.They escaped through a hole the dug out with a spoon. The escaped inmates were never found.Walking out of the mess hall toward the cell blocksThe magnets in the store look like an Andy Warhol painting
"Times Square." Behind the bars above, guards used to walk along the catwalks.
"Times Square." Behind the bars above, guards used to walk along the catwalks.
Solitary Confinement
Solitary Confinement
The library
The library
The windows in the library
The windows in the library
A tiny window looks out on the city.
A tiny window looks out on the city.
So close and yet so far. Especially on New Years Eve, the inmates could hear people cheering on the mainland.
So close and yet so far. Especially on New Years Eve, the inmates could hear people cheering on the mainland.
In the warden's office
In the warden's office
The four wardens of Alcatraz
The four wardens of Alcatraz
The great escape. The escapees put a fake head in the bed to throw off the guards.
The great escape. The escapees put a fake head in the bed to throw off the guards.
They escaped through a hole the dug out with a spoon. The escaped inmates were never found.
They escaped through a hole the dug out with a spoon. The escaped inmates were never found.
Walking out of the mess hall toward the cell blocks
Walking out of the mess hall toward the cell blocks
The magnets in the store look like an Andy Warhol painting
The magnets in the store look like an Andy Warhol painting

Pretty Gardens on the Rock

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The prickly thorns on this plant remind you of the harsh life on the Rock.
The prickly thorns on this plant remind you of the harsh life on the Rock.
The prickly thorns on this plant remind you of the harsh life on the Rock.

Happy Mother's Day!

It's the end of Mother's Day and what a day my husband and children planned for me!

I don't know what your husband planned for you, but my husband kept me on the rocks all day. Yes, with two days left before my surgery, he and the kids planned a day with cards, gifts, chocolate (Sees dark, my favorite), Alcatraz, dinner out (big surprise there) and seeing the new Star Trek movie. Phew...that's a lot to fit into one day, which is good when you're trying to forget about your tits getting cut off.

The morning began with cards (including one from our bitchy cat) and gifts (I love homemade gifts and cards from my kids).

"Happy Mother's Day to you, happy Mother's Day to you..." sang my children carrying all their gifts to my bed. We all got ready to go and I found out where we were going later so we could be prepared with clothes and accessories.

"It's going to be cold, mommy," said my youngest. With that, I figured out where we'd be going. Alcatraz Island. That's right, my husband was taking me to prison on Mother's Day.

"I haven't been there since I was a kid," I told my family. "You know, the only time locals go is because someone comes into town. It's like walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. The time we went was because some cousin was here from back east; Ohio or Michigan." When my cousin was here, later that day, I remember my dad making it a point to drive through the Castro District just to provide a little culture shock to this small-town teen. When we passed two guys kissing, he didn't know what to do. He leaned over to me and told me what he'd just seen. It was no big deal for me having grown up around San Francisco.

Alcatraz was fun. The kids enjoyed the short ferry ride over to the island and it was a perfect day to be out on the bay.

When we first arrived, there was a ranger gathering everyone up at one of the lower buildings. He asked some people where they were from. We could hear various languages spoken in the crowd. Then he asked Sophie where we were from. She kept quiet (for the first time in her life) and looked up at me.

"Oh, we're from here," I told him our city.

"Well, you're right across the bay. Who's visiting from out of town?" he assumed.

"This is my Mother's Day treat."

We walked around the island -- otherwise known as "The Rock" -- up the steeply graded road up to the top where the jail cells are housed. Too many times, Mark talked about how he thought I hated being there.

"No, I'm having fun. I haven't been here in so long." There was one thing I did miss though. When I was here as a teen, they used to do the tours guided by rangers and they would all have their little stories filled with individual details. Now, the tour is an audio tour with everyone walking around wearing headsets. That was a bit odd, but with the big crowds of people there, I suppose it makes more financial sense.

It was a fun afternoon and it mostly kept my mind off the surgery except when I looked out on the view of the city and thought I caught a glimpse of the hospital where I'll be starting Tuesday.

Otherwise, there were the creepy places to see, like the morgue that was stinky, and the really old places like some of the buildings built during the civil war. We even saw a pair of exhibitionist seagulls screwing close to where everyone waited in line for the return ferry.

Back on the mainland, after returning to the car, we changed into our nice dinner wear. Yes, I changed into another outfit in the back seat or our car. Why not? The windows are tinted and I got used to doing that in our younger days when we would go up to Tahoe for the day and ski from the first lift up the mountain to the last run of the day. We'd hike back to our car with all our ski gear and I'd change out of my ski pants and layers of tops in the car as Mark drove down the mountain.

"You clean up well," said my dad at the our next stop after he found out I changed in the car.

We had an early dinner with my parents at one of our favorite restaurants, The House of Prime Rib. What? Did you think someone would actually cook dinner? At dinner, I was the only one having any alcohol to drink. It may not have been "on the rocks," nevertheless, it was quite tasty; a Ravenswood Zinfandel.

I wasn't thinking about the surgery at all until my mom said, "I hope your aunt remembers she's flying in tomorrow."

My stomach felt sick. With the arrival of my aunt, it meant I would be only hours away from my surgery since she was helping us the first week. My mom might have been looking forward to seeing her sister, but it was with her comment that encouraged me to order the wine.

Dinner was nice. It was pleasant sitting by the fire place in a restaurant I have been going to since I was a child, just as my native-San Francisco mom has been dining at since she was a child growing up in the Marina.

My wonderful husband wanted to make sure we got a reservation for this Mother's Day and I found out he made the reservation about a month ago. Wow, honey...I'm impressed!

After dinner, it was time to head home, but not before stopping at our local movie theater to go see the new Star Trek film. That stop was spontaneous since we figured I wouldn't be healed up enough to go out to the movies before they stopped playing it at the theater.

So, as you can tell, this was a greatly reduced-stress day. I know tomorrow is a school day and we shouldn't have kept the kids out to nearly 10 p.m., but screw it. They'll be stuck in the house a lot in the next few weeks, so why not?

Happy Mother's Day! Enjoy the photo tour.

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