“Two peas in a pod” is usually used to describe two people who are so much alike that they get along so well. Although my half brother and I were not raised in the same household, I realized we had much in common when I visited him in Seattle, Washington in August 2008. Being that I live in Miami, this week long trip was a time to reconnect and explore this magical city. I landed in Seattle at and the trip began from there. In various locations throughout the city, there are viewing spots to take pictures of the city skyline. My brother and step sister took me to one of these spots and we drove my sister crazy when we became Tasmanian devils.
First tip on traveling alone, stay with family members or friends to see parts of the city that tourists wouldn’t normally travel to. Their beach apartment is an ideal location for work and recreational activities. Along the beach are shuttle buses to take you from various shops to the ferry drop-off. When in Seattle, take the ferry across the lake to downtown, the fares are reasonable and the ride is full of picture-perfect moments. When we arrived downtown, first thing we did was walk along the waterfront until we reached Pike-place market, a large farmers market that Seattle is known for. Not only is there incredible produce, but the seafood is freshly caught daily and the flowers are locally grown and gorgeous. Also in Pike Place is the original Starbucks. Go here for a taste of history. This tiny store is in its original condition but with added memorabilia all over the walls.
Second tip; take a chance to explore the shopping districts and local stores in the area you are visiting. Many shops in Seattle had sales on summer apparel, so I was able to buy clothing at a discounted price that I could wear at home. Make sure to check out the public transportation when visiting any foreign city. The bus and train system in Seattle is amazing. They take you anywhere from Chinatown to the Space Needle and even to the 5 hills or districts. In Chinatown, we visited local bakeries and supermarkets to introduce our pallets to a world of new flavors.
Third tip; make sure to see the sites and attractions the city is known for. In Seattle, they are known all across the world for the Space Needle. This structure overlooks the city and is open for tours year-round. For $16 teens and adults can go up to the 360 degree observation deck at the top of the structure. Here there are facts about the needle, how it began, and even places to see in Seattle. There is even a rotating restaurant a floor below the sight deck. Although I hear the food is great, I wouldn’t suggest this restaurant to budget conscious tourists. The meals average around $20-$25 a person. For a quick lunch I suggest going back downtown or hitting the art district for some amazing food.
Fourth tip, take time away from the busy city scene and explore outdoor wonders. On my last day, my brother, sister, and I went to a secluded lake surrounded by mountains. The water was freezing, but it was a perfect end to a wonderful trip. I was able to exchange personal stories with my brother after years of separation. When traveling, make the trip meaningful by getting the most out of your visit. My vacation to Seattle was unlike any other, life changing.
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