Underwater Adventures

Last week I had you glued to your screen with a recap of how our wee family survived nearly a full day of travel on three hours of sleep. Riveting, I know.

Before I continue with what we did while in Naha, Okinawa, I want to add another item of importance when traveling with children: pack clothes in a carry-on for yourself. Why? Because kids puke and poop, and when you’re wrangling them in small spaces, it sometimes gets on you. While I didn’t get sprayed during this adventure, I’ve heard plenty a story of someone who had to sit with a pee-puke-poop stained shirt or pants for six hours. So, pack changes of clothing for your youngster and yourself.

What did we do with a 2.5-year-old in Okinawa? Fortunately, we had our cousin’s family as hosts the first two days, and they graciously ferried us around.

Our first adventure was heading to the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. Our hosts rented two cars and we set out for the northern part of the island.

Let's go see fish!

A note on traveling with a car seat. Miss Red has the proper car seat at home, but we weren’t sure what would fit in Japanese cars and needed something we could throw into taxis as needed, so we purchased a booster seat intended for older children. I know that this isn’t exactly safe, but we wanted some type of added safety, and considering we saw kids riding on laps in the front seat, I think we were OK. And it worked perfectly, since we took taxis almost daily – we literally threw it in, buckled her up, and off we went.

The drive took about an hour and a half and was a nice way to check out the scenery. Everything was so lush along the roads – flowers, flowers and more flowers. And an awesome sign of a warthog crossing, but I never got it on my camera.

The aquarium was wonderful. Miss Red loved seeing the fish and happily walked around the second largest aquarium in the world.

Under the sea

I finally started to relax and feel like I was on vacation.

We dodged mobs of school kids in matching uniforms, fighting to take pictures of the enormous tanks. Here was also the first time I really wish I understood some Japanese, so I could understand descriptions of the fish.

All you need to know about how sharks are born.

With the drive, lunch and the aquarium visit, we were wiped, and opted to head back and rest before dinner. Miss Red and Grandma konked out. I stared out the window.

Long day. Two bags and daddy's hand as head rest.

How did we get through the day? Juice boxes and animal crackers. Letting her walk everywhere and explore. Effectively tiring her out. She never woke up from the car ride and slept until about 4:30 the next morning.

Stay tuned for more adventures in travel…

– MD

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