As soon as Jerry and I decided that our honeymoon would start in San Francisco, we knew that we wanted to check out Alcatraz. We have both always been fascinated by “The Rock” and had to see it. Plus a nice ferry ride never hurt anyone. What we didn’t realize is that you have to buy your ticket several days in advance. Since we were only there for two days, we knew we had to do something!
Upon arriving to San Francisco, our first order of business was to get some food! We decided to go to Fisherman’s Wharf and get some seafood. I’ll save that for another post because it was SO good… Anyway! We asked our waitress how we should go about getting tickets to Alcatraz for the next day. She said that since the ticket booth would be sold out, there are street vendors that you can usually get them from. Not shy about a good haggle, I was excited at the prospect.
We set off to find ourselves a street vendor and happened upon a corner store for Shell Vacations. Basically it’s a time-share program and they give stuff away. We were greeted by a guy who gleefully referred to himself as “Peter from the Wharf”. Each time he talked about somewhere we should go, he would say, “just tell them Peter from the Wharf sent you.” Now it may be just me, but just because you add “from the Wharf” to your name, that doesn’t make it any less common. I digress. After some discussion, we decided to take the gamble and sit through the schpeal. Here is how we got free tickets to Alcatraz:
In exchange for a $20 deposit, Peter from the Wharf signed us up for a 90 minute presentation for Shell Vacations the next morning. We did sacrifice our time, but it was well worth it! We made a pact that every answer would be no and off we went! For our 1.5 hours of time, we cleaned out with the freebies! Of course we didn’t buy anything but here is what we got:
– The refund of our $20 deposit to ‘hold our spot’
– Free Breakfast
– Free Parking at the Wharf
– FREE tickets to Alcatraz
– Tickets for a Trolley ride around town that we sold back for $20
– 2 free nights at a hotel (i.e. Hilton Head)
– The pleasure of meeting Peter from the Wharf!
We knew that handing over $20 was a gamble, but on the first day, we were willing to chance it for the fun and the possibility that it wasn’t a scam. Let me tell you, those time share people are hilarious! And crafty! But we managed to say no no no thank you! We had a great time at Alcatraz and love that it was such a fun story!