Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wrapping Up Vacation

On the way home, I asked everyone what their favorite event was on the trip. Several mentioned the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. No one said Dollywood! It just goes to show that the most expensive thing is not always the best thing. What was most popular you ask? THE TITANIC!!!

Yes, there is a huge Titanic Museum that has just opened in Pigeon Forge. It looks like the Titanic jutting out from the street. Disclaimer before I go on ~ I have always been a bit obsessed with the Titanic. It was one of the best museums I have ever been to. It combined history with science and lots of hands-on activities. When you arrive at the museum, each person is given a card that tells about the life of one of the people on board the Titanic that fateful night. The card tells what the person was doing/did when the Titanic hit the iceberg. You are left to wonder until the end what will happen to your character. Three of us were crew, three 3rd class and one was 1st class (albeit a maid to the first class passenger). We knew that the 3rd class passengers had been gated in at night so they wouldn't wander into 2nd or 1st class quarters. As we were touring the 3rd class deck, outfitted with four narrow beds and a sink to each room, we then came up to the gate and saw the water rushing down the stairs into our quarters (held back, of course, by a sheet of glass). It was startling and very realistic. My heart sunk as I felt the fear those people must have felt.

There was no photography allowed in the museum. Some of the highlights were touching a very cold, large iceberg while standing on deck; waving our arms around in a trough of 28 degree water (the temperature of the ocean that night) -- the more you moved your hand, the colder the water felt;  the decks that increased in inclines so that you could see how hard it was to keep your footing as the ship sank; and finding our character names on the wall at the end under the lists of survived and dead. As was the case for most folks on the Titanic, only one man in our family group lived and most of the women lived. There is also a life-size replica of the grand staircase. It was really cool.
We did not give them lollipops every day of the vacation. It just looks that way in the photos! 

Of course, the gift shop was great, and I spent way too much on children's books. All in the name of education, right? It was a great destination to finish up our vacation. If you have the chance to go, they do have a really good homeschool discount on tickets, if you call in advance. No proof needed once you are there.

When we were not out touring, we enjoyed the swimming pool at the condo. This picture is so exciting to me. Little Red Riding Hood would barely put her face in the water when we started this trip. Look at this dead man float. Yippee!

Blessings, Dawn


  1. That sounds like a great museum!!! We had a Titanic exhibit at our local museum a few years ago with some of the elements you shared. (Tickets, ice burg, wall with names) It sounds like an awesome place! We'll have to keep it on our list if we are ever back in that area.

    I'm so glad y'all are having a fun trip!


    PS Are you going to NCHE?

  2. I thumbed through and saw all of your gorgeous shots. I thought originally, "I've been to Dollywood!" Then I realized that it wasn't Dollywood, but Opryland that I've been to. I have, however, seen Dollywood on the Travel Channel--it looks like a wonderful trip! You're right, though, about kids enjoying the non-expensive items the most. We had a similar experience after spending hundreds to take the 5 of us through Fiesta Texas in San Antonio--the kids much preferred the free Riverwalk.

    Glad to see that you all are safe and having fun. Also looks as if you are getting this blog update thing all worked out. Great.

  3. My husband will thank you. You've about sold me on the Titanic museum. I wonder if the one in Branson is the same thing?.....

    You guys had such a great vacation.
    I am guilty of buying books for our souveniers as well. The Creation Museum had quite the bookstore, er uh, gift shop!