Today’s trek was into the park for a little bit of driving, and then a plunge into Gatlinburg.
The park was great again today, and we enjoyed watching an especially treacherous waterfall for a while before heading into Gatlinburg.
Our goal today was to hit the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Sio badly wanted to see this, so we ambled up to the cage, and forked over a whole lotta cash to get us in the door. It was worth it though. This aquarium has a people mover that scoots you in front of, through and under some aquariums with loads of cool things floating in front of you: sharks, sawfish and loads of other sea-worthy fish. Very cool indeed.
They also had several hands-on areas where you could put your hands on a horseshoe crab or a ray. I hadn’t handled a horseshoe crab since I was a boy visiting in Florida many, many years ago. It was cool to share that with Sio, and to bring back those memories. I would’ve loved to play with the rays, but there were dozens and dozens and dozens of parents and kids waiting to touch them. With only one aquarium worker in place, the wait was colossal, so we opted out.
Like many of these places, they funnel you through the exit…. at the far back side of the gift shop. 🙂 We didn’t see anything we had to go home with, although I did have to explain to Sio what Sea Monkeys were.
We again walked the streets of Gatlinburg, and this time down the street, Sio decided she wanted an airbrushed “tattoo”. We found a nice shop to do the work, and a few minutes later, she was sporting a Japanese emblem of “peace”. Cool enough, and designed to only last a week or so. That’s plenty long enough for me! 😉