Friday, April 9, 2010

Hello! So, we just got back from San Francisco last night. We had a really great time seeing all the sights and eating some delicious food. On the way to San Francisco, we stopped at the Jelly Belly Factory and took a tour. So many jelly beans! And they also serve jelly bean shaped food in the cafe like pizza and burgers! Another cool thing is they have "paintings" made entirely out of jelly bellys. They have famous people like Ronald Reagan and Elvis and things like the Statue of Liberty. They don't allow photos during the actual tour so I just have a few from before and after the tour. Here's us with our hats on posing with Mr. Jelly Belly. "If you have a head, you MUST wear a hat inside the factory."
In San Francisco, we saw most of the famous sights, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, rode the cable cars (up and down a very steep Hyde St), drove down Lombard St. (known as the "crookedest street" in SF), Alcatraz, the Golden Gate bridge, though we didn't drive, walk or bike across. Just looked from afar. This is our Alcatraz photo.
We also visited the Aquarium of the Bay. They have an underwater tunnel for viewing similar to the Shark Encounter at Sea World. You walk through the clear tunnel and are surrounded by fish and sharks and rays swimming through the water. Very cool. We also have a photo from the Aquarium.
The kids LOVED their hats that they got from the Aquarium and wore them all day. The hotel where we stayed was in a very convenient spot, a few blocks to the Embarcadero and most places we wanted to see. We parked the car at the hotel and used Muni passes for transportation when we were tired of walking. The Muni system there includes the city buses, historic street cars, the cable cars and even underground trains. The kids had a ball riding the street cars and cable cars. If you decide to go I highly recommend getting the City Pass which includes admission to several attractions (Aquarium, Exploratorium, a bay cruise, etc) AND you can ride any of Muni's transportation for 9 days. Driving in SF is a pain with all those steep and crowded streets and parking is VERY expensive. For us, the City Pass worked out perfectly. Ok, enough of my sales pitch for the City Pass. (and I'm not even getting paid to promote them! LOL) Back to our trip. Also at Fisherman's Wharf is the USS Pampanito, a WWII era submarine. (FYI-it was also the submarine used in the filming of the movie Down Periscope.) We toured the submarine and saw how submariners lived during that time. Very tight quarters. Some were actually sleeping inches directly over the torpedoes.
Since we were at the ocean, we definitely savored the fresh seafood. We enjoyed clam chowder in San Francisco sourdough bread bowls, which was amazing. And Hubby HAD to get a whole cooked crab before we left. Yum! In Chinatown, we saw a bunch of old ladies playing cards (Pai Gow?) in the park, went to the fortune cookie factory and watched them making fortune cookies and even got to eat some of the mess-ups while they were still warm. While in Chinatown we stopped at a place called The Potsticker and had dinner. It was actually a little early for a dinner crowd but we were the only ones in there and got special attention and delicious potstickers, fried rice and orange chicken. Picture the waiter actually serving us, spooning rice onto our plates, from the platters we had ordered. And did I mention the food was delicious? We wandered the streets and browsed the markets selling strange (to us) foods. Durian fruit (the stinky stuff), vats of clotted blood, whole pig legs, all kinds of mushrooms, most of which I had never seen before, cooked ducks hanging in the front windows. It was pretty amazing.
All in all, we had a wonderful time and wished we could have stayed longer. And we didn't forget all my nephews and my niece! Expect something in the mail for you very soon! If you want to see the rest of the photos from our trip, I posted them on my Facebook profile. There are about 70 photos. Well, it's about time for dinner so I better go. Oh, one more thing...I am an auntie again! My sis had a baby boy April 6 (the day we left for SF)! Welcome to the world Little Little B!

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