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