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General Discussions Discuss My vacation picutres! in the Community Center forums; *This post is gonna be pretty long so I'm gonna break it up a little to try and help everyone* As most of you know my mom and I went ...
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    fungus_01's Avatar
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    My vacation picutres!

    *This post is gonna be pretty long so I'm gonna break it up a little to try and help everyone*

    As most of you know my mom and I went down to Gatlinburg for a week for our vacation. Mom didn't feel like flying anywhere so we went with someplace where we could drive to in a decent amount of time. It's about 6 hours from Greenwood (just south of Indianapolis) so not to bad. So we packed up my car on Saturday morning on the 16th (I've got a 1995 BMW 325 convertible). We stopped at the Kroger near our house so mom could use the bank inside. While she was inside I noticed that there was steam coming from under the hood of my car and the temperature gague was running a little hot. After some debating we decided that we should take my car to the dealership and have the guys take a look under the hood. Now the dealership is where I bought my car and is also where my mom works so we knew everyone there and they knew us, so we were in good hands. Turns out my radiotor had gone out! Luckily we were less than a mile away from the shop so they were able to replace it and get us on our way within a few hours. Talk about great luck!

    So we get into Gatlinburg about 9pm that evening and get checked into our condo. We were right off of the main drag and within walking distance of just about everything. Sunday was our first full day and we hit the ground running. We went to Wonderworks in nearby Pigeon Forge which is a science/educational museum. It's full of hands-on exhibits like an earthquake simluation, a rock climbing wall and a drag racing simulator.

    My mom on the rock-climbing wall


    Mom as an astronaut


    They had an entire section dedicated to optical illusions....check out the shadow that this sculpture projects on the wall


    After Wonderworks, my mother wanted to try simulated sky diving. If any of you have seen this, they put you in this big room with a HUGE fan in the floor and you can simluate sky diving without the need of getting on a plane. I let my mom do this on her own. I much prefer getting in a racecar. But she had a blast.

    Getting ready to go




    Flying like a bird....sorta.... (Sorry it's sideways, I have no clue how to rotate the video)



    Monday the resort we were staying at had a "Welcome" breakfast where representatives from the different attractions came and told us about them. Most of them gave away some free admission passes so we got to do some stuff later on for free! One of them was a new dinosaur museum.

    Me with a T-Rex


    Me with a prehistoric alligator
    Last edited by fungus_01; 07-01-2007 at 07:40 PM.



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    Tuesday we started out taking a photography class with a man named Richard Iceland. Richard is a professional photographer and has been working the NASCAR circuit for almost 40 years! In fact, he hasn't missed any of the last 38 Daytona 500's! He now works with Carnival Cruise Lines (along with some other cruise companies) on teaching their photography staff. After our class he took us to Cades Cove which is part of the TN national park and we had the opportunity to use our new knowledge and practice on mother nature. We took a driving trail that was about 11 miles long and got to stop at quite a few places along the way including an old church, a mill and a few deer sightings.





    Deer




    The church






    The mill






    Wild turkey


    The great Smokey Mountains





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    Wednesday was kinda rainy so we really didn't venture far from our condo. The Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area is saturated with what I call "tourist trap" type attractions including quite a few courtesy of the Ripley's company (as in Ripley's Believe It Or Not). We decided to go to the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum which was full of articles and object ranging from the bizzare (a man with a horn growing out of his head) to the funny (the world's longest gum wrapper chain) to the sentimental (a piece of the Berlin Wall).

    Said piece of the Berlin Wall


    A horse sculpture made entirely out of wire clothing hangers


    Mom with a statue of the world's tallest man (she's 5 ft 2 in and he measure at almost 9 ft!)


    Later in the day it cleared up so we used another one of our free passes and went to Parrot Mountain. It's a local bird sanctuary who sepcializes in parrots in just about every shape, size and color you can think of.



    This little guy insisted on eating the bird food that my mom had in her hand and did not want to share




    I like to call these guys The Three Amigos


    Their garden and waterfall




    Tucans! The one on the left was bouncing around and being a ham for the camera, I was lucky he sat still long enough for me to get this picture


    Thursday we went white water kayaking on the Pigeon River. I have never ever been kayaking in my life and boy were my arms tired when we got done! We rowed almost 4 miles! I had a great time though. I wish I had pictures, but I'm sure you can understand that my digital camera wouldn't have enjoyed the water much.



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    Friday I convinced my mom to take a little road trip to the far north-east end of Tennessee. Before we left for our vacation I had taken a look at the map and realized that we were a mear 2 hours from a place that I really wanted to visit. It's been called a modern-day Roman colluseum and the atmosphere has been likened to "flying fighter jets in a gymnasium". It's home to the "toughest ticket in NASCAR" and is known as the "world's fastest half mile"...But most of us know it as BRISTOL!

    The Bruton Smith building which houses the ticket office, the gift shop (which I will happily say received a good chunk of my money ), the business offices of the track employees and The Bristol Experience an interactive museum with photos, trophies, cars and other memorabelia related to the speedway.



    One of Jeff Gordon's uniforms


    And one of Dale Jr.'s (how ironic that they are displayed back-to-back, the 2 future teamates brought together )


    Defending Nextel Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson's car (not quite sure why they have one of his, except for the fact that he is the current cup champ)




    The Bristol Dragway (which just received a facelift earlier this year)






    The World's Fastest Half Mile! (The track is currently getting resurfaced. The entire track was stripped and is getting repaved as we speak. The started the day after Kyle Busch won the first COT race and they assured us that the track will be finished before the night race in August. Now because of the current construction we couldn't go out onto the track, so instead they took us up to Bruton Smith's personal suite. Now as the owner of the speedway, you can imagine that his suite was pretty awesome and it was. Very large with leather seats, a full bar with granite countertops, private bathrooms and flat pannel plasma TV sets. I wish I had taken pictures of the suite itself, but I didn't think it was very appropirate. But because we were so high up I got some awesome pictures of the track itself.)

    What's left of pit road at the moment


    The scoring pylon


    Even from up high the banking is pretty noticable


    Victory circle


    A few of the buildings were left standing


    Even with the construction, Old Glory was still flying


    The start/finish line is about where that yellow piece of equipment is sitting


    They let us wander out into the stands for a few minutes to get a better look from a lower viewpoint.

    Starting July 1st you can purchase pieces of the concrete track


    It's a long way down....


    And a long way up!




    So that was our trip! That saturday we packed back up and headed back home. A little tired and a lot more tan (we spent almost the entire week with the top down on the car enjoying the fantastic weather). But now it's back to the real world, at least till the next vacation (which is MouseFest this December! :yahoo ) ~Rachel



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    It's about time!! Did you go swipe a piece of concrete before you have to buy one?

    Great pictures though. My MIL gets wild turkey in her backyard. The people that come to see them , deer and the elk we call flatlanders. Are you a flatlanders Rachel?? And where was your pirate shirt at?

    Lori
    Last edited by lorilovestigger; 07-02-2007 at 09:03 AM.

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    Yep I'm a flatlander and proud of it! It was waaaaay to hot to be wearing anything with sleeves, BUT I did take my pillow with my new pillowcase with me



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    Maybe someday you'll get to go back when there's a race going on.

    http://wewantstheredhead.blogspot.com

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    tiggerguy's Avatar
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    Great pics Rachel
    Brian
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    Thanks for sharing Rachel!
    Amanda
    always plotting, planning, and looking forward to our next adventure...


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    Great pictures and great report!! Thanks for sharing!!
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