Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fort Point Weekend

 So this weekend was free entry weekend at most National Parks.  Since the Bay Area is surrounded by many National Landmarks, like Fort Point, Muir Woods, Alcatraz there were many choices.

Since we were definitely on a budget this weekend, it made for a fun weekend.
 So the plan was to visit Fort Point, followed by a day at Ocean Beach.  However, what is tricky about the Bay Area is that, while it can be in the 90's at home in Concord, it can be in the high 50's - low 60's at the beach.  This was the case this weekend.

As a bonus though, we came across the Athletes Village as well as the finish line for the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon.

This is includes a 1.5 mile swim from a ferry positioned next to Alcatraz, followed by a 18 mile bike ride from the Marina Green, through the Presideo and Sea Cliff, down to Golden Gate Park, and back. The race concludes with an eight mile run, from the Marina Green, through the Presidio, down to Baker Beach, up the Equinox Steps ( 400 steps up the cliff) and then finish back at the Marina Green. 

I would love to do a triathlon; however, I am not sure this would be the one.  This is not for the faint of heart.  Between fighting the currents between Alcatraz, combined with the climb out of Baker Beach, this is a serious Tri.
 We finally made it to Fort Point.  This fortress was originally built by the Spanish in 1763 to protect the advance of Russian expansion towards Alta California.

Later, once California became a state, this Fort was built in as it stands today to protect the San Francisco Bay entry.  Interestingly, it was completed in February 1861, two months before the siege of Fort Sumter, which was the beginning of the Civil War. It was realized at the battle of Fort Sumter that walls found in these forts could not withstand rifling cannon fire.  So Fort Point was the last fort of its kind built and remains the only fort to remain in such pristine condition.

 Above Fort Point is the Golden Gate Bridge.  Some of the best pictures can be taken from this vantage point, especially from inside the Fort.

For you Alfred Hitchcock fans, this is where Kim Novak supposedly leaps in to the Bay to be rescued by Jimmy Stewart in the pivotal scene in the movie Vertigo.

So, you can imagine, between the heights of the Forts, bridge up above, and the spiral staircases on either end of the fort, we definitely felt like we had to keep a close eye on the kids.  Myles wanted to climb over everything.  Sophie enjoyed the art exposition that was happening to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge.  What she especially enjoyed was the crape paper dresses.  The detail on these dresses were spectacular - you wouldn't know that they were made from material

Emma is at the stage that she really enjoyed the museum aspect as well as the California State history.  She is completing fourth grade so she this was the year she learned  what made California the most populous state.

 In fact on Tuesday she went on a field trip to the Sonoma Mission and General Vallejo's home and barracks.

Thursday included Gold Rush Day, which Emma got to pan for gold (painted rocks).  Later that evening, Emma and Sophie participated in the Woodside Elementary talent show.  For more on these events, check out Beth's Blog.

So we finally made it to Ocean Beach, spent approximately an hour, freezing as the kids played in the sand.  They originally wanted to body board; however, the surf was too rough and if there aren't any surfers in the water, it is probably a good idea to stay out of the water.  

These were the things that kept us moving forward this week.

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