Family Fun in San Francisco: Day 1

Last month, we took a family trip out to San Francisco for a summer getaway. I already shared my adventures in Napa with my mom, which were a blast (we got a head start on the trip)! But since we were only an hour away from San Fran, my dad and sisters flew out and met us for a few days of vacation. My parents and sisters only live just over an hour away from me so I do see them quite a bit, but it was still nice to get away for a vacation with the whole family!

Our first stop of the day was Chinatown, which was a short walk from our hotel. I had read great things about the Golden Gate Bakery, but to our misfortune, the bakery was closed since the owners were on vacation. We walked a couple blocks up to our second stop, the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. I had no idea that fortune cookies originated in SF!

Sisters enjoying fortune cookie wafers

The small factory was down an easily missed street, but you definitely couldn’t miss the crowds – there were so many other tourists there ducking their heads in! I must admit I was a bit disappointed after reading such amazing reviews. It’s a very small space and everyone was rushed in and out fairly quickly. That said, it was pretty interesting to see the fortune cookie process.

The cookies start as flat wafers and then someone (lady in front) pushes lever down, which then folds the cookie in half. Next, the fortune papers are placed in the cookie BY HAND. So if you happen to get a cookie without a fortune, it’s not bad luck, this is a manual process!

Next up was the Cable Car Museum (free admission). Cable cars are one of the most famous parts of SF, so we were curious to learn more about them. Unfortunately we ended up not having enough time to actually ride one, but it was fun seeing the history!

The cable cars we saw on the streets have come such a long way since the original design of the cars (picture of car from the first batch below). It’s like a bench with a thin cover -crazy!

The power for all of the cable cars city-wide is right here in the middle of the museum. There are 3 giant wheels circling the power for the 3 main lines – California, Mason and Powell. It’s VERY loud and pretty toasty in here – so keep in mind if you’re stopping in to visit!

At this point in the day we were pretty hungry! I definitely don’t recommend this if you’re in an amazing foodie city like SF, but we ended up eating linner (lunch + dinner) at chain restaurant, Chevys (only because we were in the mood for Mexican, the menu was kid friendly, and we needed food quickly). I ordered a steak salad in a taco shell – delicious and also kind of a monster. So much food!

After lunch, we needed to do A LOT of walking – you saw what my plate looked like! The famous Union Square was only a few blocks away so we decided to check the area out, and loved all of the beautiful heart designs scattered around the square.

Fun times with my sisters

Although I never thought I’d eat again after “linner”, we walked a good 40 minutes to our dessert stop, Bob’s Donuts & Pastries. The reviews from locals were phenomenal, raving about this little donut/pastry shop open 24 hours a day. I do want to point out that I do NOT recommend walking from Union Square to this little shop, but rather take a cab (or Uber as we did all over the city), because the area isn’t the greatest at all (no reviews pointed this tidbit out)!

Dad was still full from lunch and my sisters didn’t like the options available (there weren’t many to pick from when we stopped in), so it was just my mom and I eating here. We decided to split a traditional and jelly-filled donut since we couldn’t decide which one we wanted. They were pretty tasty but we still weren’t understanding all of those rave reviews! 

The day ended with some dad-daughter bonding time, as dad and I headed out to a sports bar down the road to watch the Giants vs. Phillies baseball game, which was so much fun!

Our first day was pretty jam-packed and loads of fun! And all of the hills in the city made for great workouts since we didn’t make time for actual trips to the gym. I’m also thankful for it since I ate so much!

Stay tuned for more on our family trip to San Francisco!

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  • Anonymous

    Thanks for putting us on your blog!
    Love you!!!!!