Sunday, April 4, 2010


We're at the Wilderness Resort of the Smokies. Gene and the kids are at the water park swimming. I'm on the deck of our hotel room looking at the mountains and resting my foot. I'm a little disappointed in this resort. There are two separate areas. One huge compound that includes the indoor water park and the main arcade and restaurants and another huge compound up on a hill about a half mile away that has a smallish outdoor water park, a small arcade, a small restaurant and a small gift shop. We, of course, are at the far building. The feeling of excitement and fun that usually accompanies these huge resorts doesn't exist here. We have to take a tram from our building to the main pool. It is so much walking that I can't do it without my cast. I tried to wear my cast into the water park area, but the floor was so wet I ended up leaving after about two minutes and haven't been back. It's been in the 80s here and fortunately, the outdoor park has been open part of the day. The kids are having a blast, I'm a little bummed over not being able to do as much as I normally would.

This place (Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge) is the kids' dream come true. Yesterday we rode roller coaster go karts that curved up many levels and then then down some relatively steep hills. It was a long track and they let us go around six times. We also had a flashlight Easter egg hunt in our room. I brought over 100 candy and prize filled eggs and hid them around the hotel room. We had all the lights out and the kids only got to use flashlights. Fun times.

Today we went to the Ripley's Aquarium. My expectations were low. I mean, I was sort of expecting a two headed turtle or the world's largest goldfish. Wow! That place was awesome! It had a huge, winding underwater tube with views of all kinds of sharks and many sawfish. It had exhibits of gigantic crabs, an octopus, colorful jellyfish and touch pools with rays and horseshoe crabs. The Ripley's Aquarium was the best I've seen! We had expanded tickets that allowed us two other Ripley's attractions. We went to the Odditorium. The kids weren't impressed. They both had their hands over their ears the entire time and I thought Kaylin was going to cry over the 4-legged duck. We walked up and down the Gatlinburg strip, stopping in a few shops. We went to Cooter's Place and looked around the Dukes of Hazzard "museum." We were all too tired to experience a third Ripley's attraction, so will probably play one of their mini-golf courses tomorrow.

Tomorrow I promised Kaylin we'd go to the MagiQuest in Pigeon Forge. She went to the one in Wisconsin Dells last summer and loved it. I really just want to go drive around the national park and hike a little. Oh well, I'm sure it will happen for at least 30 minutes of the trip. Maybe an hour if the traffic is bad :)

I totally forgot about the drive along I-75 that goes along the top of the mountain range. It was horribly windy and actually made me dizzy shaking around and looking down. What a cool drive! We got a room service baked ziti and salad delivery tonight. I should clean up the leftovers and dishes before Gene and the kids get back.

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