Our first stop was the Jelly Belly Factory. A few interesting facts:
1. Ronald Reagan put Jelly Bellies on the map.
2. Jelly Beans are a form of Turkish Delights – (applets and cotlets).
3. Jelly Bellies have a set of novelty flavors called BeanBoozled that were the kids’ favorites to look at. These flavors included barf, baby wipes, booger, and canned dog food.
4. There is an artform called Jelly Belly Bean Art. Check out the gallery.
We then made it into the city for some Dim Sum at the Hong Kong Lounge. It was good. I don’t think it was necessarily better than Jade Garden in Seattle, though. I think I was expecting to have my mind blown by some fabulous San Francisco Dim Sum. But, good dim sum in San Francisco tasted like good dim sum in Seattle.
We stopped at Ghirardelli Square and got our requisite free chocolate, then walked along the water front to our cruise.
We missed the Alcatraz tour because it was booked up. So, we went on a cruise that circled Alcatraz and went under the Golden Gate bridge. It was cold and the engine was a bit too loud to hear the tour guide spiel over the loud speaker. Not sure if I’d recommend this.
Finally, we hit a french restaurant called Restaurant Decroix. Overall, not a great experience. We were served burnt bread 3 times, then Tenille’s Crème Brulee had a squiggling worm in it. Full review here.
We drove about 15 minutes out of town and stayed at the Embassy Suites next to the airport. This was a good call for us. It was super close to town, but not as hectic nor expensive as in town. Also, the Embassy Suite is great if you have a family with more than 4 people. We had our family + my mom + my sister. I never realized how difficult it was to find a hotel room for a bigger family. Almost all other hotels and motels require you to get 2 rooms. What do you do if you have 3 or more kids? I found that there’s an entire website dedicated to this problem. (Unfortunately, the bottom line is that you have to pay more.)