Originally posted April 2010
Every year we try to go to San Francisco. My husband’s brother and sister, who are twins, both live there with their families. Seemingly, this is not a big deal.
However, my husband and his family are from the Philadelphia area and I just think it’s so freaky both his brother and sister (did I mention they are twins) ended up living in the San Francisco area. None of them think it’s a big deal but I’d like to use it as the basis to conduct yet another scientific study on twins!
We always plan this trip in January during President’s Day weekend. It is quite a way to travel for a long weekend but we are always up for the challenge. It’s also our niece’s birthday and my in-laws fly out for one of their annual visits too. It’s a big family affair!
We arrived into San Francisco on time. Now, I have to complain for a bit. I’ve been to many airports with my children. I have to say San Francisco is one of the worst airports to travel with kids. The simplest things there are difficult.
It’s tough to navigate a stroller, car seat, luggage, and kids – the passageways are just so narrow. Then the elevators are numerous. To get out of the main airport, you have to take an access shuttle. In most airports, it’s not a big deal.
However, in San Francisco, you have to take an elevator to the exit level, go outside (yes, outside, granted it’s very short distance but it’s still outside), and get another elevator (an extremely small elevator) up to the shuttle level. Not at all child-friendly.
We managed through the maze at the airport and got our rental car. We didn’t have plans for any immediate family events and already decided to visit China Town.
Based on a recommendation, we selected Empress of China for lunch. Please take my recommendation, if you are traveling with kids, don’t pick this place for lunch.
It is not at all family friendly, I mean not at all, they had no high chairs. None. As you could guess if they didn’t have high chairs, they certainly didn’t have a kid’s menu. We made the best of it though. We moved a chair and Leah just stayed in her stroller.
Although the decor was extremely out-dated, the food was good, and the fortune cookies fun. Speaking of which, we were onto our next stop, a fortune cookie factory.
Before the trip, I did do a little research and found The Golden Gate Fortune Cookies Factory offered tours. You can order a tour online but we decided just to wing it. It’s down a really small alley. I love touring factories. If I can tour a factory I will, I know it’s probably odd, but I find it fascinating. The information on the site does portray it accurately but for some reason, I had a big factory tour in my mind.
As we made our way through the tiny door, there was a tiny place to stand where you saw a tiny woman making fortune cookies right in front of you. As the cooked dough came off the machine, she would fold the small piece of fortune paper using a little metal device.
She then placed the finished cookie into a cooling mechanism, a big cardboard box. It was all very high-tech. There were three stations where cookies were being made. We didn’t leave our little area right in front but they did give us some samples of the messed up ones coming off the machine, which we all loved, especially Leah.
Of course, we couldn’t resist buying a mixed bag of chocolate (who knew) and regular cookies. These set us back five dollars – not sure if that’s a good price or not but we bought them. They also charged us a dollar to take a picture. This was a complete waste of a dollar because we didn’t realize the flash didn’t go off. We didn’t get the picture. Oh well, we’ll just have to go back again! So, it wasn’t the factory tour I was expecting but it was still cool.
We then went back to our car and started to leave China Town before we realized we hadn’t seen the China Gate yet. It took a while but we finally drove by the gate. We were able to snap a quick picture – better success than at the Fortune Cookie factory.
Click Here for Part 2
Highlights = Our hotel, Usultan, California Academy of Sciences,
Jeffrey’s Hamburgers and more on the SFO Airport