Day 3 of our trek finds us on the road again, this time to Gatlinburg, TN.
About an hour or so into the drive, I spied a billboard proclaiming "America's Largest Indoor Flea Market" and my heart skipped a beat. Wes was in agreement that it was a must-see.
Caitlin asked "What's a flea market?"
Where have I gone wrong?
I said, "Baby, we're gonna buy some fleas for Tess."
I think she believed me briefly.
Oh, how I heart seeing that much junk under one roof!
Then, we turned and saw this...
And my heart went pitty-pat!
Caitlin said, "What's a Moon Pie?"
My mothering skills are truly lacking. I am ashamed.
There's no way to describe the heavenly goodness of a fried Moon Pie. It's melty, with a crispy coating, powdered sugar...and it's on a stick, for heaven's sake. Everyone knows that anything served on a stick is good eatin'.
I hope Wes' personal trainer, Drill Sergeant Ken, doesn't read my blog.
So, my kids' education in all things redneck complete, we hit the road again.
We went through Knoxville and just couldn't resist driving through the campus of the University of Tennessee. It is HUGE. We made a beeline for the football stadium, which is getting a facelift...
and proceeded to call the Hogs directly in front of it.
Lane Smith, this is for you!
And now, having thoroughly embarrassed my children, we proceeded directly to Gatlinburg.
Where we drove up into the Great Smokies National Park and had a picnic, of course. What else would we do?
We hugged a few trees while Flat Glenn enjoyed the view from the comfort of his gas-guzzling SUV.
Next stop, the #1 aquarium in the US (according to TripAdvisor), The Aquarium of the Smokies.
Where Caitlin proceeded to spout off all sorts of information about the various creatures on display. That child watches entirely too much Discovery Channel. (Dpn't even get her started on Whale Wars.) We couldn't keep up with her and she ditched me at the glow-in-the-dark fish exhibit because she "needed to go read some more." Here's a picture of Hayley and me in the jaws of the prehistoric Megalodon.
Caitlin will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the Megalodon.
We played with some horsehoe crabs...
...which I really liked petting, until I was informed that they are not, in fact, crabs but are related to spiders and scorpions. *shudder*
...who did not cooperate at all.
Caitlin confided in me that she's "going to work here when she grows up."
Free admission. Woo hoo!
It was so crowded that I was ready to start chunkin' tourists into the shark tank. But Wes bought me some coffee and a crisis was averted.
We would love to visit Gatlinburg again sometime when we can stay longer. It is so fun!
But, alas, we have places to go.
And so we bid a fond farewell to the beautiful and friendly state of Tennessee.