As promised, here is a photography post — pictures taken from a field trip to Angel Island, known as the Ellis Island of the West  My son’s class is learning about Chinese immigration.  It began with a ferry ride from San Francisco.  Here are shots from the ferry: 

Alcatraz

(Don’t think I don’t appreciate every moment of living here!)  I learned a lot.  Did you know the bunkhouse walls are covered with poems, carved in Chinese, by the detainees?  When translated, they’re both beautiful and heartbreaking.

Though Chinese immigrants were the most common (and the most poorly treated) at Angel Island, I was surprised to learn that Russian Jews, escaping Siberia through Asia, were the third largest group detained there. 

Imagine my excitement to see crochet displayed as a typical item found in the “women’s room.”

By far, the highlight of the trip was the ferry ride back, where we happened to get a 360 degree view of the Blue Angels practicing for Fleet Week.

We weren’t the only ones out there watching:

The Blue Angels were VERY fast and RIGHT over our heads but this is the only shot I could get -- can you see the jet in the middle of the frame?

The only glitch of the day was getting back to school.  Long story short, the huge influx of tourists in for Fleet Week, plus Friday rush-hour commuting, made catching a street car for 50+ kids/adults impossible.  We ended up walking way, way farther than anyone that age should be expected to walk.  But I did get this cool shot on the trek back as we snaked through downtown — by this time, my dogs were really barking!

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