Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ripley's Aquarium at the Smokies

Two weekends ago, we drove down to Gatlinburg to take the girls to Ripley's Aquarium.  Grace hadn't been since the week before I found out I was pregnant with Anna and Anna has never been so we were excited to see their reactions to all the creatures around them!
They both ran from tank to tank barely stopping long enough to see whatever it is that was showcased in front of them when we first arrived.  Grace's main concern from the minute I asked her if she wanted to go was seeing the sharks.  I'm assuming this was the main reason behind her need to run, skip, hop, or gallop until we actually reached "The Shark Tank!"  There are two different areas where you can see different types of sharks.  A new area (or new to me) was an addition that houses nothing but sharks.  It included the giant "Jaws" head pictured below.......AWESOME!  The other shark area is completely enclosed above you and looks like you're underwater.  You can either walk or stand on the moving walkway which completely fascinated Anna.
We moved on to the giant tank holding (what seemed like) hundreds of sting rays.  It was here that Grace got sidetracked by her new, little friend standing next to her and the smell of the concession area.  I got out the lasso and pulled her along to the new penguin habitat.  This area was hilarious to me since each penguin had their name on them kind of like a bracelet!!  WAHAHA!!
We let the girls play around in the kids area for a bit before we headed out for lunch.  We went to the Hard Rock Cafe since we thought it would be fun for the girls.  Both girls ate great (sigh of relief) AND were well behaved (another sigh of relief).  We don't take them out to eat very often and it's SOOOOO nice when it works out for the best and the staff isn't ready to kick us out!
We loaded the girls up with their new stuffed sting rays and we were asleep within 10 minutes of our departure......well everyone except Matt that is!  If you're ever in the Gatlinburg area, you should take the time to check out the aquarium.  You'll see a bazillion different kind of fish, sharks, sting rays, jelly fish, barracuda, piranhas, GIANT crabs, a fun kids area and leave with a new souvenir!!  Well worth the time!    

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