Since the team had the day off in San Jose on Friday (thanks, Michel!), we decided to take advantage of our free afternoon in the sun to tour the Bay area while documenting a few of our favorite things for the On the Road Blog. To start our tour of the city right, we set sail for a boat cruise around the Bay to get an up close view of some of San Francisco’s iconic landmarks.
It may be a notorious prison that housed some of the world’s most dangerous criminal masterminds for 30 years, but we’ll always have a soft spot for Alcatraz. Back in the 1980s, when the Canadiens started the postseason, then-general manager Serge Savard – who knew exactly how much trouble a bunch of 20-something-year-old hockey players could get into in Montreal in the springtime – rented rooms for the team at a hotel off the island on the South Shore to keep them on their best behavior. Stranded with little contact with the outside world, the locale became known affectionately among the players as “Alcatraz” for the duration of their stay. Thanks to their time spent in the playoffs distraction-free, the team captured the franchise’s 23rd Stanley Cup in 1986. Based on its contribution to Canadiens lore, The Rock has officially made its way onto our list of favorites.
Growing up, there’s nothing we loved more than racing home from school in time to catch Full House at 4:00 p.m. every weekday afternoon. We were raised by the lessons Danny Tanner taught us in 22-minute blocks and there’s perhaps no better way to bring us back to our childhood than a trip to San Francisco to see where the magic happened in person. Set in the city, every episode started with a shot of the family enjoying a peaceful picnic in Alamo Park across from the famous Painted Ladies so to bring that sense of nostalgia back, we hit up the park to snap a few shots of our childhood in photo form.
Opened in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge has withstood the test of time over the years and is also on our list of favorite things under the category of “well-preserved bridges”. The most photographed bridge in the world, it was named one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers and has designated lanes for bicycles and pedestrians to take in the beauty of the San Francisco skyline while suspended 220 feet above the bay. Thanks to our intrepid local tour guide, Mike, who drove us around to find the best views in the city between stops for authentic fish tacos and Ghirardelli chocolate-covered strawberries, we were able to shoot the bridge from just about every angle imaginable.
After the week we’ve spent out west, there’s one thing we can confirm for sure: the best decision Gary Bettman has ever made was adding a rule that every team has to travel to every NHL city every year. Thanks for the sunshine, warm weather and memories, California. The only thing that would make us happier would be to add one last favorite to the list before heading home: a big win against the Sharks.