A Wonderful Time Playing!

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
~ George Bernard Shaw

photo of wonerworks in pigeon forge

Wes, Barb, Fred and me in front of the very cool Wonderworks building

And play we did . . . one evening this past week! We decided to play tourists with our dear friends Fred and Barb, and did so by going to Pigeon Forge. We enjoyed a leisurely drive through the Park to get there, while sadly surveying the devastating damage in several areas of the Smokies, caused from the recent terrible storm we had. It has changed the way certain areas of the Park look and will take many years before it starts to recover. Once through the Park we rode through the countryside, just enjoying the views and ride. Arriving in Pigeon Forge, we first enjoyed eating supper at Mafia’s, a pizza place, and appropriately named, as you felt as if you had slipped back in time while being surrounded by the mafia gangster-type photos adorning the walls, and with the sounds of Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Benet crooning in the background. Not only was the NY style pizza yummy, the music was great too as we ate.

After a dessert of key lime pie, we then headed to Wonderworks, and weren’t quite sure what to expect inside the large, upside down building. Once inside we noticed right away that the floor appeared to be on the ceiling with all the furniture and everything in place. After getting our hands stamped we proceeded to walk through the spinning tunnel, which although you were walking on a perfectly level ramp, made you feel as if you were going round and round, and I decided right away that I loved this place! The first encounter was an electrifying one, as I placed my hand inside the metal glove and allowed the electrical charge to fire away. Next on the agenda was something I’ve always wanted to do, scale one of the big rock climbing walls. So after getting the safety harness put on, I began ascending the wall, and what had first appeared to be a piece of cake, took a bit more strength than I was expecting. Nonetheless, I continued climbing and climbing with Wes following suit. When I reached the top it appeared to be closer to the height of the empire state building than that of a three-story wall! Climbing barefoot was great for going up, however it made it a bit tricky while trying to descend by swinging out a bit and coming back to the wall. All too soon I was back at ground level and my rock climbing adventure had come to an end, but oh what fun, and certainly something I would do again in a heartbeat!

photo of rock climbing wall at wonderworks

The barefoot rock climber

photo of rock climbing wall at wonderworks

Striking a pose

photo of rock climbing wall at wonderworks

Wes is done and down while I still play around

From there we moved on to trying to see how many basketballs we could get into the hoop in a set time, and how fast we could throw a baseball, while trying to strike out the batter. A personal favorite was driving the 4-wheeler through serious terrain, especially with this being a favorite pastime of mine as a teenager. From there we pretended to be astronauts, fly jets, crawled into a model of an old spacecraft. We just gravitated from one fun adventure to the next, making large bubbles, being silly in fun mirrors, and the list goes on and on. Then we came to the “Bed of Nails”. Hmmmm I thought to myself, I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to lay on one of those. So after Barb was the brave solider and went first, I then took my turn to lie on it. I must have been flinching because the gentleman running the nails up and down kept telling me to “Lay still”. When the nails started coming up, I could feel them poking right through my sweater and into my backbone and elbows, and what was probably less than a minute seemed like an eternity as I lay there feeling like a human pincushion! The man finally ran the nails back down and I got up and spent the next several minutes trying to inspect my elbows, as I thought surely they must be bleeding, but of course were not. I decided that it felt a lot like one of those poking allergy test, only it went the full length of your body!  But alas, I can now say “Been there done that!”

photo inside wonderworks in pigeon forge

Me practicing my moon walk

photo inside wonderworks in pigeon forge

Uh-oh . . . was this the anti gravity switch or the control for the thrusters?

photo of bed of nails
Yes . . . that’s inches of very pointy, sharp nails sticking up!

From there we rounded the corner, and went into another room, which started the beginning of a very neat, and interesting art gallery. It consisted of numerous paintings that featured optical illusions and other things of interest and metal wire sculptures that were positioned in such a way, that when a light was turned on, it cast an exact silhouette of the Mona Lisa on the wall. Then we moved on to the next point of interest, and after watching several other people attempting to move this little ball toward their opponent by brain waves registered by a headband, which controls the motion of the ball, Wes and I decided to give it a try. The others had moved the ball back and forth with the most relaxed opponent winning. So we sat down, placed the headbands on and well . . . relaxed. We sat there with the ball not moving for a minute or so, until Wes was worried about the ball not moving at which point I moved it a couple of inches his direction. Then as he relaxed again we sat there with nothing happening, so the unimpressed and bored public watching all left, and I couldn’t believe it when I looked up and saw both of our brainwaves registering about the same and actually overlapping in the middle screen. We tell people that we’re relaxed and that’s how we manage painting miniatures, now we know it to be a fact! Well, the adventures and delights seemed to go on and on and before we realized we had been in there for hours and it was time to leave. Needless to say, we made another great memory!

photo inside wonderworks

Barb and I play a duet, although I appear to be doing the Hokey Pokey!

photo in wonderworks in pigeon forge

Wes goes to town on the 4-wheeler ride

photo inside wonderworks

Making really BIG bubbles!

~ Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week ~

EXQUISITE MINIATURES BY WES AND RACHELLE SIEGRIST at the Nevada State Museum, Carson City, NV (Fifty of our miniature paintings are on display and available for purchase!)

6th Annual Miniature Fine Art Show at Artistic Designs Gallery in Brownsburg, IN

To view all our many exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html

Until next time ~ Rachelle


4 thoughts on “A Wonderful Time Playing!

  1. A Wonderful Time Playing!
    by Rachelle Siegrist

    “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
    ~ George Bernard Shaw


    Love the comment!!!! We just keep on loving life!!! Thanks so much for your fun times!! We are going to the coast and get lots of pics of the ocean. May do a little painting Plein Aire. Thanks Rachelle and Wes!!

    1. Hi Jim,
      I’m glad you enjoyed our fun and play time! Sounds like your going to enjoy some great fun yourself at the beach! One of my favorite places!!! I can’t wait to see some paintings and photos from your visit!
      Rachelle 🙂

  2. Dear Rachelle, What a great blog – and what a great place to visit. Apart from the climbing and dizzying bits I’d love to visit Wonderland. Is it anywhere near to Florida? If so I’d definitely take Claire there in January. A beautifully written blog. Love from Bill

    1. Hi Bill,
      Yes, it was great fun and a wonderful place to visit! This one is about an hour drive from us here in Tennessee, however there is also a Wonderworks in Orlando, Fl which is somewhere by Disney and would be close for you and Claire to visit in January. They have different things there to see and do, and as far as I know, they do not have the rock climbing wall, so you won’t have to worry about that 🙂
      Love and hugs 🙂

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