A Whale of a Good Time!

Those who know me well know that at least 60 percent of my dreams involve marine life, usually whales, and that a common nickname for me by my family is “whale.” So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that a lifelong dream of mine has been to go whale watching, and on Saturday, I did!

First of all, what an amazing day, made possible by Monterey Bay Whale Watch, which I can’t praise enough. They have marine biologists on each trip and share tons of information about all the wildlife you see. Plus, the crew was really helpful and took great care of us!

The day started with a delicious breakfast of waffles and strawberries — don’t forget this, it’ll come up later. After a leisurely morning, Jeff and I headed to Monterey and boarded our small whale watching boat, the “Sea Wolf II,” a humble vessel that looked like it had seen better days.

From the very outset, the trip was great. There were several otters in the bay, and though I didn’t get any good pictures, they were approximately this cute:

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The Monterey harbor is just lovely, with lots of boats that look like this:

In addition to otters, we also saw sea lions and seals:

The sea lions had taken over this wall of the harbor and were having a nice old time sunning themselves and splashing in the water.

Once we got into open water, the numbers of cute animals went down, but we still saw some albatross and pelicans.

It took us about forty-five minutes to get out to the whale migration highway, and though the day was clear, there were huge swells. I actually didn’t mind too much, and the pay off was great! We ended up seeing several different groups of whales over the course of the three-hour trip.

All the whales we saw were gray whales, which are no longer endangered and are currently migrating north. Did you know that gray whales only feed half the year? It’s true! Pretty incredible, but they go thousands of miles north to Alaska on empty stomachs!

After about an hour, the swells finally got to me, and I got gloriously seasick. Remember how I said breakfast would come up again? Well, it did twice with a vengeance. I actually didn’t mind too much, because it tasted good the second time around — more or less like a Jamba Juice actually — and as Jeff pointed out, the strawberries turned my upchuck a lovely shade of magenta. Plus I’d like to think that the sea creatures got a chance to have a taste of my delicious waffles and strawberries, a rare divergence from seaweed and krill.

Despite the seasickness, I LOVED my whale watching trip, and I think I’ll go again some time. But of course, the next time I’ll take some motion-sickness medications ahead of time to avoid the impressive puke fest that occurred this time. See how much fun were having?

At any rate, I highly recommend everyone try this! Whale watching was so fun, and March is the month to do it. If you go in summer, you can also see blue whales and humpback whales, so get out there!

Wine of the Month

Ever since Kieran joined the wine of the month club at our local hoity-toity wine store, I’ve been enjoying reading the outlandish descriptions of wines. I don’t really understand how one wine can simultaneously taste “fruity” “chocolatey” “oaky” and yet also have a “hint of meat.”

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Rain rain, stay a while!

Winter came somewhat suddenly to the city a few weeks ago, and since I have about 20 minutes of walking twice a day in commute, I resolved to trade in my cute flats for rain boots.

Originally, I planned to buy them in-person so I wouldn’t have to wait for the boots to come in the mail, but I was foiled by pre-season sales. For some reason, though it was pouring rain and still January, Target was stocking bikinis. Nordstrom, Macy’s and DSW sold only $100+ rain boots. Marshalls, Old Navy and Kohl’s disappointed, and before you know it, I’d been to scads of stores with no rain boots to show for it.

Finally this week I broke down and bought some boots online, and I’m so excited it’s raining right now! Soon they will be here, and though I suspect the rain will stop once they arrive, I also hope that it will continue so that I can actually use them.

Aren’t they just lovely? Too bad I lost my rainbow umbrella… I’m having to make do with rainbow polka dots — such a sacrifice! ugh.

The Essence of Caitlin

Being the cool cat that I am, I decided to follow the latest Facebook fad of looking up your name on Urban Dictionary. What I found was hilarious, mildly offensive and definitely worth sharing.

The definitions started out making total sense:

And then proceeded to enter the land of crazy:

Ya think some of these authors had a personal vendetta against a Caitlin in their life? Check your name on Urban Dictionary if you dare — I just learned so much about myself!

I heart art

Back in Leonardo’s day, few artists’ works were ever seen by anyone other than their mother — actually, I guess by the time you became a decent artist, your mother would probably have died in child birth or of cholera — but I digress. Today, we have the privilege not only of attending museums filled with priceless art, but also of consuming art by thousands of amateurs who have yet to “make it” in the art world. This is part of the reason I love the internet so dearly — it’s a great equalizer. I’ve been browsing deviantART a lot lately and I discovered several photographers I love and want to share.

In particular, this artist, Jonathan Jacobsen, is only 20 years old and produces the most amazing photos.  He lives in Chile, and if it weren’t for the internet, I’d never have seen his work, and neither would you. His series “Rainbow Warriors” brings a smile to my face.

Check out his full gallery here.

I also really like this still life from Little Black Umbrella, a German photographer.

And finally, this photo from Heather Breanne, an 18 year old from the US. Her photos are kind of emo, but pretty nonetheless. Her color palette is perfect for a cold winter night.

Aquamarine Love

Check out this Orbit gum commercial, it’s a dead ringer for the style of The Life Aquatic.

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See what I mean?

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Wes Anderson really can’t go wrong in my book. I’m going to have to watch something by him again soon for my indie fix.