Posts Tagged tennessee

ZORB Smoky Mountains

As my first post here, I thought I’d give a quick review of ZORB Smoky Mountains and my trip there 18-19 June, 2011. There was no flying, but there were points spent and a good time was had by all :).

We first saw ZORBing on an espisode of The Amazing Race. (sidenote: It was a lot longer than I thought between that airing and my ZORBing–7 years). The teams went to ZORB Rotorua in New Zealand, but I figured that the experience in the Smokies would be pretty similar (incidentally, those are the only two official ZORB locations).

My family (my wife, and 3 daughters ages 2, 10 and 12) and I drove there from our hometown about 5.5 hours away with a friend for my oldest daughter. We stopped in Abingdon, VA and picked up my mother to make it a full car. We arrived at the ZORB site in the early afternoon of a sunny day and arranged for tickets for our guest (we had pre-purchased tickets for the family at Reserve Pigeon Forge).

A total of 6 of us went down the hill in the rubber balls, three times each (ZORB-tri-riffic). I have to say that it was extremely fun. The first and third of my 3 rides were solo down a windy trail. The second was with my wife and 10-year-old. The group ride was more fun, but the solo rides had more bouncing to offer–the group rides are on a straight trail. Each ride lasted about a minute, which was long enough; and the whole experience was a few hours–again, long enough.

We spent the night at The Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites which was only a couple of miles away using an award night from Priority Club Rewards. We picked up two rooms, each with a double bed. We paid cash for one and spoint 25,000 points for the other. The points spend seems high, but it was a nice hotel with an indoor pool and we got all the cookies and water bottles we wanted :). The cash room netted us 1,120 points back into the Priority Club Rewards plan.

We spent the one night and drove home the next day after doing some shopping at the Tanger Outlet in town. I’m not a big shopper, but it was pretty neat having that many shops clustered together in a storefront-style walkable “mall.”

I have to add again, that ZORBing was one of the most fun things I’ve done in a long time. I cannot wait to go back! But, how could I have done it better? Those 25,000 points seem like a lot for one night.

Up next: an NRSA flight on Southwest from RDU to MCO to go swimming with manatees at Cap’n Mike’s. No hotel involved as we’re staying with family.


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