6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.



I think the pictures are going to speak louder than my words could ever express. Ripley's Aquarium is beautiful. It is the largest Shark Aquarium in the WORLD!

We arrived on a hot, hot day.
The kids were over their sickness but still a bit wiley and whiny. I didn't know if the day would be fun or just plain tiring for our family.

Boy, was I happily surprised! The kids absolutely LOVED it and so did the adults. Their whining disappeared and looks of absolute amazement flooded their faces. The day was filled with "Oh look at that!" and "Ah it's coming right at me!" and "Hey there's Spongebob!"

Spongebob wasn't there but we heard that a LOT! lol

We all saw things that we never even knew existed.

There is the "American Flag" fish right there in that picture to the left. What a hoot!

There were also huge turtles swimming around and stingrays that we could "pet." Yes we touched the Stingrays. There were fish that swam around and around in huge schools.

Then, we came to the Sharks. They swam around us as we rode the moving sidewalk from room to room in the tunnels. It felt like we could just reach out and touch them.

The urge to reach out and touch was overwhelming. Everywhere we looked there were sharks swaying by or "sitting" on the glass.

Their black eyes seemed to engulf every person in the tunnels. It was eerie because I would be looking at the smaller
fish just swimming around and out of the darkness there would be a "form" moving toward me. It did feel like we were in the water with them. All of the sudden the form would take shape and I would realize that it was another shark coming by. It would get closer and closer until I could actually see it breathe and count its teeth!

We ALL enjoyed the Aquarium more than we thought. I expected a huge "fishy" smell to permeate the
area but that wasn't the case.

After the Aquarium we decided to roam Gatlinburg a little bit. We began walking and the kids immediately saw the house of mirrors, so they went in to enjoy that while the rest of us sat down at Wendy's to rest our feet.

The day was hot, hot, hot. The Gatlinburg strip had NO shade that day so we only made down about two blocks before we all called it a day. As we headed back to the tram stop I spotted the Haunted House that I went in as a kid. It is NOT the Ripley's Haunted House. It's a house that sits just off the strip and kind of back a little off the street. There is a parking structure right next to it now but I remembered it right away. This is the ONLY Haunted House I've been in where the live "ghosts" actually TOUCH you!

I didn't know that they could tap you and so on but they did back in the day and apparently they still do because I got reports from our older boys that they
were tapped on the shoulder. The also listen for people to say a name so the can say the name and shout it out while the customers pass through the rooms.

That ended our day of fun. We only spend 3 full days in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg but we had a ball!

Brian, I and the kids were gone 9 days. Most of it spend on the road or at my parent's home. It was tiring but fun. It's one that will be remembered as it was a celebration of my parent's 40th wedding anniversary and our 18th wedding anniversary.

The cabin was a blessing, the trip
was fun and the memories will last a lifetime.

It doesn't get any better than that.


HISchild said...

Glad you had such a good time! The pix of the aquarium are spectacular!

See you soon.

Nodin's Nest said...

Wow that looks like such a wonderful day, I can't wait until my son's a little older and we can travel! Grab some post cards while your there!

YummY! said...

Aquariums are awesome.

Kristie said...

It looks like you all had a spectacular vacation. We went to the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky a couple of years ago and enjoyed their shark tank very much.

You got some great pictures. I especially liked the American flag fish. Did they have any of those fish that glow in the dark and live deep,deep,deep in the ocean?

Thanks for sharing your vacation with those of us who aren't able to go on one right now.

This Side of Eternity

Jenaisle said...

These pictures are awesome. The way you described them, as if we were there ourselves too. It is good to know that everybody enjoyed. Those shark's teeth are enormous and mean.

Thanks for sharing.

SmallWorld Reads said...

Having dropped in here from entrecard, I've been enjoying reading all about your vacation in my neck of the woods. We rarely venture over to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg because of the crowds, so it seems like a different world over there! We really enjoy the aquarium but need to try WonderWorks on a day when it's not so crowded.
SmallWorld (also found at

Syari said...

enjoyed the photos. REminds me of Kuala Lumpur's and Singapore's underwater world.

But I think this one is much better.