Fall is my favorite time of year. My birthday and my mom’s birthday fall in September. M and my dad have the same October birthday. On top of all those celebrations, we try to soak up as much of the crisp air and fall-themed activities (corn maizes, apple picking, harvest celebrations, fairs, etc as we can).
Traditionally we kick off fall with apple picking at Skytop Orchard on Labor Day weekend. Along with yummy apples, the orchard has animals to see, a fantastic playground, and the most scrumptious apple cider doughnuts you can imagine.
We had a great brunch with friends on Labor Day. All our kids played outside enjoying the relatively cool weather than arrived just in time for the official end of summer.
Brent took off and extra day and hoping to avoid the weekend crowds, we went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN on the day after Labor Day. It was well worth the drive. The girls had a blast seeing many of the sea creatures we’d read about.
Our favorite part was the underwater walkway where sharks and fish swim above and all around you. We were amazed by the sawtooth shark (bottom picture) with it’s unreal-looking saw nose.
Both girls were fascinated by the activities in the Discovery Center. M especially loved the interactive tanks filled with seahorses, sea dragons and puffer fish.
The rays amazed us all with their graceful swimming, but C could have watched them for hours. She’d asked over and over to see baby sharks. We told her we’d see sharks, but we doubted there’d be any babies. Proving once again, her uncanny knack for predictions, there were 3 baby bonnethead sharks on display, and they were adorable. Unfortunately, we did get a good picture of them.
Another sight that fascinated C was the large sea turtle. M and Brent had seen it on our first trip through the underwater walkway, but C and I had missed it. Just as we were leaving C said “the turtle!” and there it was. We stayed to watch it until it swam out of sight.
This past weekend, our whirlwind continued with M’s second horseback riding lesson, the fair, and a harvest festival at a local farm. More to come on all that.