Hawaii : Day 13 (Maui Ocean Center)

I don’t know how I managed to do it, but I spent 13 days on Maui without going snorkeling. Not even once. I mean, we thought about it, but it would just be too hard taking turns wrangling two kids on land while the other snorkel. And on top of that, I am not really good in the water and, in the past, hubs always snorkeled right beside me (or at least somewhere close by) and we obviously couldn’t leave two kids on shore on their own. So nope, we didn’t do any snorkeling.* I felt like I missed out on the whole Hawaiian experience…who goes to Hawaii without seeing some fish?

So on the last day of our vacation, just before we head to the airport, we went to the Maui Ocean Center. We saw so many fish! And not just fish, but sharks, sting rays, green sea turtles, and tons of other aquatic creatures. Just call it our version of hassle-free snorkeling. The kids were mesmerized, as was I.

The admission was steep, but so worth it. They were both absolutely thrilled to be there. Although I don’t think Anna cared for the sharks while we had to pull Will away. It was a good 1-2 hours spent before having to go to the airport and hop on the plane.
After we were packed and before we checked out of the hotel, we went to the beach one last time.
The drive to the Maui Ocean Center was along the coast. We stopped at a lookout for pictures.
Ah, Hawaii, I miss you already. So pretty.  PS. This is probably our best family shot during the trip.  All looking at the camera, but only 3 out of 4 smiling.
So many yellow tangs.
Face to face with a shark.
The best part of the aquarium was the underwater tunnel that put you in the position of having fish, sharks, and even gigantic sting rays swim around you.

I was half expecting the wait at the airport to be painful, but it went by fast. We bought a drink and it entertained them for a good 30 minutes.
Then another 30 minutes passed just having a good time watching the plane through the glass and walking on the platform.
The 9-hour flight we endured (from Honolulu to DC) wasn't too bad. The kids slept, but couldn't get comfortable. Hubs and I both agree that no more trips like this again until the kids are older. We will most likely have more road trips than trips where we need to fly from now on. It's just easier that way.

* Hubs did snorkel for about 10 minutes at Black Rock on our first day there. We were with family. I could've gone, too, but I was in a bad mood. Haha, long story.


  1. Ocean Center looks fascinating. I'm sure those big eyes Will had there are a sure sign of a very smart boy.

    I think after 3 hours, a plane ride is "getting long". LOL - I think I would never fly to Hawaii direct from the East Coast - there is a lot to see and places to stop at along the way. :)

  2. The truth is, if not for the wedding, we never would've even considered going to Hawaii again, especially not with the kids at this age. But since we were there, we figured we might as well try to make the best of it. And really, with all things considered, we had a great time while keeping everyone alive and healthy. I mean really, does any family manage to go on vacation without some yelling and screaming peppered in there?

    But yes, no more dropping coin on things that will force the kids to suffer through (long flights, TSA, long flights, grumpy parents, long flights...), especially not when they won't even be able to remember the good parts. At least we'll always have these pictures to look back on.

  3. Will is so cute looking at the fish! And both of them are soooo cute passing the Starbucks drink back and forth to each other. What were they drinking? And yay for a nice family photo at the end. What kind of photos was Anna wearing? They look so comfy!

    1. Hi Lisa, that was a strawberry banana smoothie. We don't usually buy Starbuck, but I have a GC that has been sitting in my wallet for years.

  4. What an amazing aquarium! Congrats on surviving the 9-hour plane ride. We've done short (less than 3-hour) plane fights with our girls but otherwise stick with road trips. The flexibility of road trips is nice with kids. Have a great day!

  5. looks like a great time! I would love to go to the aquarium in Hawaii. I have never been. I guess it comes with having kids not being able to do certain activities while on vacation unless they're much older. I went to Austria and couldn't do much with my baby at the time, but I too would wait til he's much older til we go on vacay again.

  6. Your littles are just the cutest. Their faces melt me.


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