3/19/2008

Rain was predicted for the day, but the weather wasn’t bad when we got up.  So we prepared for a short hike or drive in the park.  We picked up some lunch supplies at a market on the way to the park, but it started raining when we left.  We decided to shop in Gatlinburg instead of going to the park.

We walked from our hotel along the main drag stopping a several shops.  Teagan bought a couple of figurines.  We ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  We did more shopping, including two fudge shops.  We returned to the hotel around 3:00 when we were all shopped out.

We decided to go to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.  We got there about 5:15 and stayed until they closed at 9:00.  The displays were very interesting.  There was a long glass tunnel that snaked under a tank containg sharks, sawfish, angelfish, tangs, grunts, barracudas, rays, morays, and tons of other creatures.  Separate tanks had lobster, octopi, lionfish, frogs.  There were also freshwater displays containing ciclids, silver dollars, and other similar fish.

There was also a good exhibit on incubation of various animals.  Another area described how the aquarium filters the water for the tanks and gave some of the technical details about the aquarium.  There was an observation window that shows some of the huge filters and water processing tanks.

We ate supper at the aquarium around 7:15.  Teagan’s fish sandwich was good, but Richard’s grilled chicken sandwich was really dry.  It makes sense that the fish sandwich would be better at an aquarium, we suppose.

We returned to the hotel around 9:30.

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