While we were in Gatlinburg, we stayed in a condo. Rod and I and his parents each had a bedroom on the main floor. The kids slept in a loft on the second floor of the condo. The boys shared a bunk bed (just like at home) and the girls all slept in a queen sized bed also in the loft. I wish I had gotten a picture of them sleeping. They were so cute all snuggled up in a row :-). To get up to the loft, there was a spiral staircase. The kids had never seen one before, so they thought it was really cool!
My crew winding up the staircase
The forecast for our second full day called for some rain, so we thought that would be a good opportunity to do some indoor activities we had planned to hit. Our first stop for the day was the aquarium. I have to say that I am not always that enthusiastic about aquariums, but the Ripley Aquarium in Gatlinburg was great! The kids absolutely loved it!
Rod and Julia
Will really getting into the shark display
How many kids can you cram into the tube?
We got four of the five!
I loved the little arm band the penguins had on with their names on them. This one is Nick. They all had cute little person names. Nick, Mikey, Doug...
I absolutely loved these penguins!
After the penguin display, we came across a large tank where they had two 'mermaids' swimming. My kids, especially Izzie, were mesmerized! Every time one of the girls waved to the crowd, Izzie would wave back. A few times the girls blew kisses and Izzie squealed, "She blew me a kiss!" After the show was over, they announced that we could meet the mermaids. This made Izzie's day. Probably her week. Possibly her life!
The kids with the pink mermaid.
The kids with the purple mermaid.
After the aquarium, we went to dinner at the Dixie Stampede. This is a dinner show featuring horses and trick riders. I cannot tell you how much my kids loved this show. We all had a wonderful time!! I had one of those magical Mommy moments where I looked around and saw the joy on all of my kids faces and my heart nearly burst. It was a night I'll never forget.
The show has the audience divided in two. Half cheer for the North team and half cheer for the South. We were cheering for the North. When the women riders for the North team won their event, they threw carnations into the crowd. One of the riders, looked into the crowd, spotted Drew, pointed to him and threw the carnation to him. Those who know Drew know that he is an absolute lady killer. I was not shocked he got the flower. He was thrilled and loved his flower!
Drew showing off his carnation.