Sometimes it's okay to be a tourist.
The "tourist" label has received a lot of bad press among travel bloggers. "Tourist" is a bad word. "Don't be a tourist, be a traveler."
I completely understand the sentiment behind that statement and I try to keep it in mind during my travels. I even have my own saying for each travel blogathon:
"It's not a vacation, it's an exploration."
But for me, that doesn't mean I won't stop to enjoy some of the more "touristy" aspects of a place. When you're in New York City, you're going to see the Statue of Liberty. When in Paris, you're going to see the Eiffel Tower.
And when in Seattle, it's okay to check out the Space Needle.
In fact, it's the first thing I did after the Greyhound ride from Vancouver and checking in to my hostel. It was the second stop during the Pacific Northwest Blogathon and City Hostel Seattle was just a short walk to the Space Needle. So why not knock it off my list right away?
I'm glad I did. And I picked a good time to go seeing as the sun was just getting low in the sky. It made for a beautiful view of the sun setting and golden hour hitting the entire city of Seattle.
And it gave me a better appreciation for the size and scope of the city. I had expected to meet a friend in Seattle but our plans fell through at the last minute and I was left without prior research or any clue about what to do. And that was entirely okay with me because I've learned as I travel that plans have a tendency of working themselves out. It goes against logic but I've also learned that overplanning can kill a trip as effectively as anything.
Speaking of planning, when you're in Seattle, make time for the Space Needle. Go during sunrise or sunset. It's worth the twenty bucks to ride to the top. And just before you hop on the elevator, you'll be given the option of taking a free picture in front of a green screen. By all means, take it. It's free. It's ridiculous. And sometimes they hand you a giant plastic salmon. Just go with it.
But for the love of all that is good about travel, do not eat at the ridiculous spinning restaurant.