Sunday, September 25, 2011

Road Trip Adventures... Part III

More Driving
Following the memorial service, we hopped back on the road toward Ohio to spend the night with Brittany and her family. Not too many pictures because the kids did not. stop. moving. from the time we entered her house. (Sorry Brittany). But I guess that's what happens when you invite a mess of car strapped children to your home. On a positive note, we went out to lunch before leaving and the kids were all awesome. I'm not even making that up, a stranger totally told me so.
Visiting Brittany in Ohio
Visiting Brittany in Ohio
Visiting Brittany in Ohio
After Ohio (which by-the-by is the farthest north Welsey has ever been!) we headed southward toward Tennessee. This part of the trip was totally unplanned. We learned there was no real reason to head back to Indiana as was our initial intention, so in a fit of nostalgia Wesley suggested we go to Gatlinburg for a few days.

A couple hours before heading out I borrowed some wifi from Brittany and booked a place to stay. The listing said it was a beautiful two bedroom, two bathroom condo in Gatlinburg. It was absolutely a beautiful two bedroom, two bathroom condo. It was not, however, in Gatlinburg. It was, instead, precariously placed on the side of a mountain about ten miles outside of Gatlinburg.

Deer Ridge Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg
Deer Ridge Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg
We got in very (very) late and nearly turned around and drove home in seething frustration after losing our cell and GPS signals and nearly driving off the side of an unlit cliff. But after a little bit of therapeutic screaming, we decided to try one more time and actually managed to find the place. It really was nice, and we would totally (hopefully) return. Just not in the middle of the night.
Deer Ridge Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg
Deer Ridge Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg
The next morning we decided to venture into town and risk our lives on the Ober Aerial Tramway. Unfortunately, after arriving, we learned it was closed for the two days we were visiting. The amusement park at the top was still open though, so we drove on up to check things out. It was a little outdated (read = last refurbished around 1972), but still perfect for the kids. A few hours of climbing at the playground and riding the miniature train was just what they needed.
Ober in Gatlinburg
Ober in Gatlinburg
Ober in Gatlinburg
Ober in Gatlinburg
After running everyone ragged, we snapped a few obligatory mountainside pictures and then headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest. That evening we went out on a limb and took our (normally asleep by 7pm) kids to a late dinner and visit to the local aquarium.
Ober in Gatlinburg
Ober in Gatlinburg
Mellow Mushroom in Gatlinburg was a little on the pricey side, but totally worth it for the experience. Their booths would easily fit ten adults (major bonus when hanging with spastic kids), and the food was spectacular. The wait-service and ambiance was super calm and there was so much leftover food that we had midnight snacks and lunch the next day. I don't normally gush about restaurants, but this one is worth seeking out if you make it to Gatlinburg.
Mellow Mushroom in Gatlinburg
Mellow Mushroom in Gatlinburg
Mellow Mushroom in Gatlinburg
Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies was equally gush-worthy. We were visiting during off-season and went at night (around 8pm), so we practically had the place to ourselves. It was amazing. Ahhhhhh-mazing. The exhibits were well kept, child friendly and just plain awesome. If you visit Gatlinburg and can only do one thing? Do this.
Gatlinburg Aquarium
Gatlinburg Aquarium
Gatlinburg Aquarium
Gatlinburg Aquarium
Gatlinburg Aquarium
Gatlinburg Aquarium
Gatlinburg Aquarium
Gatlinburg Aquarium
Gatlinburg Aquarium
Gatlinburg Aquarium
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Wondering what on earth I'm talking about? Check out Part I of our Road Trip Adventure, Part II of our Road Trip Adventure, and be sure to stay tuned for Part IV!
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3 comments:

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Oh we LOVE Mellow! So yummy. And that is a super rockin aquarium!

The Spinks-Prihoda Family said...

I want to come along next time

Casey said...

great aquarium pics!

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