A Whale of a Good Time

whale watching, funPeople ask me, “What are you doing for fun on your vacation?”

I’m afraid to answer.

Walking. Wandering cliff sides and warm sandy beaches. Watching whales.

To many, these skimpy answers do not constitute F U N.

Yet, as I peruse the Pacific Ocean from our balcony, or the bar, or the lounge chair, I can’t help but feel the simple joy of walking, wandering, and watching whales as they cavort just seemingly hundreds of yards away.

First I view fountains of water spouting out from the ocean up into the air. Some thing, or things, out there are having a whale of a good time.

They prove it by defying gravity and jumping out of the water, their tons of blubber slapping back down with priceless delight. From my vantage point on the beach, I can see the monumental splashes the whales produce.

I swear, they are having fun out there!

The thought brings me to a scene a decade ago, when our son attended college 20 miles away, but we rarely saw him unless he needed gas, cash, or homemade cookies.

One Saturday he surprised us when he came home at 8 p.m. unannounced or forewarned. As he entered the living room my man and I guiltily jumped apart.

Yes, he caught us, cuddling on the couch, glasses of cabernet half sipped, immersed in the movie we’d rented.

Sonny Boy shook his head in sorrow. “You guys are so boring,” he said sadly.

We laughed about it when he left (for a frat party). We thought we were having fun!

I guess it’s all in the perspective. I choose to follow the whale’s theory: just splash around and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

Just for fun.

(Note: Whales are mammals, so they are warm blooded, breathe air, and give birth. These gentle giants of the oceans are also extremely intelligent. It’s believed that the average Beluga whale has an IQ of 155 – in human terms that’s a genius. Furthermore neuroscientist Professor Patrick Hof at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and Dr. Estel van der Gucht of the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology have discovered that the brain of whales contain a special cell that is thought to make humans loving and caring. The neurons (known as spindle cells) allow humans to experience self-consciousness and to interact socially. Previously it was thought that these spindle brain cells, which allow us to feel empathy, were only found in humans and greater apes. However, the research conducted by Professor Hof has found these same cells in whales, and they are also located in the same brain region as humans, suggesting not only they are extremely intelligent but they are also able to experience empathy and love …. And, I would add, fun.)

6 thoughts on “A Whale of a Good Time

  1. I crack up when you refer to Jerry as “My man” in your story….not husband, best friend, lover. Gave me a smile tonight! Never have seen a whale in the ocean, only on t.v. You must be having a great vacation. I have not heard a word from you. Karen


  2. But can whales cuddle on the couch?! This story caught me off guard. I loved how we were in the moment but this time you dropped me back in your living room, giggling along giddily as little man left for his party. Thanks again for your writing that somehow transports me.


  3. It seems like, as with most everything, fun is relative. Personally, I’d rather cuddle on the couch, watch whales, or gaze at the ocean while soft breezes kiss my skin, caress my hair than go to a frat party. But then that gives away my age, doesn’t it? Although, I think I’ve always preferred whales to BMOCs.

    Keep having the FUN you’re having!
    I’d love being there, rather than in front of the computer, but then, your story took me there for a few moments – thanks for sharing your fun.


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