Friday, March 14, 2014

SanFo Travel Report: Alcatraz Island Tour for Criminally Sexy Party with Benefit

I'm checking out St. Regis Hotel today, I will definitely miss this hotel, the great service, the friendly staffs and the perfect location to walk around day and night!  I am not saying goodbye to San Francisco though as my friend is picking us up and we're heading to San Bruno and we will stay with them for a couple of days!  I haven't really done any Tourist-y stuff with Mr. AMW and Baby AMW so I'm definitely NOT saying goodbye to San Francisco!  With the help of my friend, we managed to book a day tour via groupon site!  Will share more about our tour after Friday!

Today, I am sharing what happened to our Criminally Sexy party!  If you think flying Press People and Makeup artists from around 40 countries is cool, wait 'til you hear where they are taking us for a party! 

At Alcatraz Island!  Yes, ALCATRAZ!  Same as you, I had goosebumps all over when it was mentioned that the "night" party will be happening there!  Seriously, how could a depressing place like Alcatraz be an "It place" for party?  Well, Benefit Cosmetics USA team made it happen!

After a 15 minute boat ride, we finally arrived the island with Maggie and Annie welcoming us!  The island definitely doesn't look depressing at all with huge pink Benefit Cosmetics backdrop and friendly smiles from all the staffs!

The sign you see upon entering the island.

Since this is a Criminally Sexy party, most of us are in heels or wedges and Benefit thought everything down to the smallest details!  Why did I say so?  Well, we were all offered "shoe valet", each of us get flats so we are more comfortable trekking all the way up to the prison cells.

First, we were guiding all the way up by an amazing old lady who told us interesting stories about Alcatraz.

If you haven't watched any documentary about Alcatraz, well Alcatraz island is also referred as The Rock.  This island was developed with facilities and lighthouse, as a prison from 1933-1963.

After the guided tour, we were ushered to the main hall for an Audio Tour, you can pick several languages you're most comfortable with!  As usual, Benefit Cosmetics stepped up on their game and changed all the earphones in PINKS!

Of course, the best narrators for this tour are the men who actually lived it!  The Audio Tour uses actual voices of the correctional officers and inmates who lived on the island during the Federal Penitentiary era!

 Upon entering the cell, there are several notable landmarks inside.

 The Main Cellhouse
The size of the cell house are all the same and the facilities are very basic.  You cannot add anything more in the cell but just appreciate what you have.
Size of each cell: 5 by 9 foot


The very basic things you see inside each cell

 Times Square

As seen on some photos above,some inmates have talents or hobbies have better looking cells.  Some paint, knit, play the musical instrument, etc...

As for every prison cell, there will always be those hardcore inmates who just won't listen so they are locked up in a more secluded area.  

 Some notable criminals who stayed at Alcatraz island.,

They were locked up in a more secluded cell without lights, sounds, pictures.  They only get to go out once  a week to take a shower and spend the rest of their time in the dark.

Recreation yard

Visitation Room

For 30 years, there were around 36 men who tried to escape in 14 several attempts.  5 are missing, 6 were shot and killed, 2 drowned, 2 executed and 21 were recaptured.  No matter how impossible "escape" seem for the island due several factors like extreme security measures, the cold water, the presence of sharks etc...  there are still men who succeeded in escaping The Rock.

3 men uses a spoon to chip out the plaster around the vent and used a dummy head to fool the guards, up until this very day, there were never found! 

The view of San Francisco opposite The Rock

Golden Gate Bridge at night

And to keep things light check out what Benefit did to lighten the depressing island!

 Party the Benefit Way! I think if there were ghosts around, I'm sure they were having the time of their lives dancing with us!  *laughs*  Okay, that sounds creepy but it definitely doesn't feel that way at all! 

I want to thank both Benefit Cosmetics US and Philippines for inviting me as a guest Makeup Artist from the Philippines to be part of this global event!  I am honored and I want to thank YOU ALL for making this possible!

Any other information about Alcatraz that you want to share?
I'd love to hear from you, after attending this island tour, I found myself researching  more about the island the stories of inmates!

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