Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Trip to Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN

A couple of weekends ago we met Gran & Pops and Uncle Kenneth & almost-Aunt Meg in Knoxville for a weekend of fun and relaxation. For a group that consists of four Alabama fans, one Auburn fan, and, I hate to admit it, one Tennessee fan, you wouldn’t think we would agree to meet in Knoxville and you definitely wouldn’t think we would willingly stay in a hotel within sight of Neyland Stadium, but the proximity to the cities in which we live, the fact that we got Mel‘s employee rate at the hotel, and, oh yeah, the overwhelming desire of the proud grandparents and aunt/uncle to spend time with the baby overshadowed everything else. (It‘s amazing how influential a tiny person who, at the time, could barely even say “da-da“ can be.)
During our stay, we decided to make the short drive into the East Tennessee mountains to spend a few hours visiting the Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. Melanie, Bailey, and I have been to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, which is considered the world’s best aquarium, and were surprised to discover that, while the Ripley’s Aquarium was smaller and didn’t have the big-time attractions like whale sharks and baluga whales, it was quite impressive and, in some ways, more enjoyable than the Georgia Aquarium, because we didn‘t have to fight huge crowds. Below are a few pics and some video clips (if I can get them to work) from our visit. Enjoy!

The good-ole’ family picture.

Bailey and Gran checking out some colorful fish. At the time of our trip to the Georgia Aquarium, Bailey was so young that she wouldn’t have cared less if we were in an airport terminal staring at prepaid cell phone cards, but at the time of this trip she was eight months old and was fascinated by the multi-colored fish swimming by. I predict a pretty cool saltwater aquarium in the future for the Williams household.

Bailey with her Gran and Pops, who definitely deserve a “Thank You” from all of us for setting up this weekend.

Above the surface of the shark tank was a huge, amazing mural of a tropical sky. Because the mural was too far away for my camera’s flash to reach, it looks like Bailey and Mel are hanging out at dusk in the tropics. By the way, yes, Mom, that is the shark tank behind Bailey, but there was a safety barrier out of sight between the edge of the water and the rocks Bailey is standing on so the only person at risk in this picture was Mel risking being spit-up on by Bailey.

There not whale sharks, but they’re big e-freakin-nuff for me!!! You can’t tell it in the pic, but these guys (or gals) were at least eight feet long!

Jellies + vinegar = lots of pain!!!

Lionfish. These fish are beautiful, but very poisonous. We won’t have any of these in our aquarium at home.

1 comment:

MOM said...

Thanks for the update. It's always fun to see new pictures. Glad yall had fun at the aquarium and with Gran and Pops. We are looking forward to all of us being together in April.

Love ya,