Happy Anniversary mom and dad!

Today we had breakfast at Bob Evans. I had an omelet with pepper jack cheese, sausage, onions and tomatoes (which I removed), salsa, sour cream, hash brown potatoes. Shawn had scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast, orange juice, and sweet tea.

We then went back to the Christmas place. We decided to pick up a couple of Christmas gifts…As it turns out, they are going to have one up on Bronner’s. They are in the process of building a Christmas Hotel to go with their shop.

We also went to the “Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies” in Gatlinburg. They have an awesome aquarium tank. It puts the Sea world one to shame. It takes up most of the building. It is set up on different levels so that you can walk along the top of the tank and then you go down to a lower level and you walk through various underwater tunnels.

The underwater tunnel area is called the “Shark Lagoon.” They have many organisms in the shark lagoon. There are of course sharks (several varieties), sawfish, grouper, eel, and many smaller bony fish (osteichtheyes).

I was shocked with the number of male sharks in the tank. Most of them were male. I only saw one female shark and one female sawfish. It was so easy to tell male from female from the tunnels being that they often swam over your head. [For those of you who don’t know, makes have a structure on their ventral surface (belly side) at the end of their anal fins called claspers. Females do not. The claspers are used in mating and are inserted into the female cloaca for sperm transfer.]

At the aquarium they also had hands on areas where I picked up a horseshoe crab and touched a stingray.

Other Aquarium Pictures:


Shawn got to see pirates...other creatures of the sea...

After the aquarium, we walked a little through the Mountain Mall and shops. We had Wendy’s there.

Then we went back to Pigeon Forge and went mining. Shawn bought me a bucket of sand and I panned for gems. I got several nice pieces. I got amethysts, pyrite, rose quartz, quartz, emeralds, rubys, topaz …all uncut and natural of course…we could have gotten them cut, but I didn’t.

We then got ready for the Dinner show “Black Bear Jamboree”.