On April 16, 2018, 5 clients and 4 staff started their journey to San Francisco the first night we traveled to Winnemuca, Nevada, where we stayed the night. We enjoyed a nice walk to a little local Pizzeria for dinner, and on the way back to the hotel, we stopped at some local attractions, and learned some history about this location. Then it was off to bed.
Tuesday, the 17th, we woke up at 6:00am, had breakfast, and started the next leg. Today was a fun-filled day. We got to eat lunch in the cute town of Sausalito, CA. Some of the clients had their very first taste of seafood. After eating lunch, we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to where we parked, and then walked back ½ way across. The light in the clients eyes was brighter than the San Francisco sun! While walking across the Bridge we saw an officer. One of our Thayne participants wanted a photo. After snapping the picture he stated, “That was the best part of this trip.” It truly reminded me that it's the little things that make the biggest impact in our lives. We then drove down to the water, where we got to listen to the wave's crash along the rocks, watch surfers, fishermen, and a crab catcher. This night we ate at a delicious burger shop.
Wednesday the 18th was a HUGE day for us. We woke up and ate at the all-famous McDonalds (some of the clients will tell you this was the best place we ate!), walked down the Pier to where we loaded the ferry to Alcatraz. We received a mixed review of fears, and excitement. Some clients stayed on the deck floor while others braved the top deck. Upon arriving to the island we got a special surprise, William G. Baker, a former prisoner, was visiting. He spoke to us about being in prison and about his life. He just wrote a book which several purchased. The hike up to the top was a beautiful sight. Once getting into the prison we had a audio tour taking us through each location and telling us about the events that took place in them. After the audio tour we were free to roam around and look at the prison and the island itself. After returning to the “mainland”, we took a cable car down and hung out on the pier, checking out the shops, sea-lions (another favorite for some of the clients), and having lunch at a Crepe shop. We then continued walking around got to listen to some local musicians play, watched a local artist, rode a trolley, then had dinner at Nicks Lighthouse. It was a dinner full of trying different types of seafood: oysters, clams, crab, shrimp, and snapper. The ones who ventured to try it liked it! What's San Francisco without visiting Ghirardelli Square? Here, the clients ordered some desserts and bought some chocolates to take home!
Thursday the 19th, we woke up and had breakfast at a diner, and headed back towards home. We stayed the night along the way, and had a Chinese dinner. This was the only hotel that had a pool, but everyone was far too tired to go swimming.
Friday the 20th, we had breakfast, then headed to Evanston, where some of the clients were home and some were participating in their first days of Special O. All in all, this was an amazing trip for clients and staff! Personally, my favorite part of the trip was that I enjoyed seeing things in a totally new light than I would have ever done without the clients. Seeing the joy upon their faces, the amazement of something's, and the unknown of others, was a pleasure to witness.