I spent the first 24 years of my life in San Francisco and never went whale watching.

That all changed this past weekend when my in-laws were generous enough to invite all of us on a trip on the ocean.

We left early in the morning and the air was chilly but amazingly clear. The days leading up to the adventure were extremely windy and I love the way the sky looks after that.

The boat left from Bodega Bay, California, which is where many of you might remember Alfred Hitchcock filmed his classic film "The Birds"! We actually left not far from The Tides Restaurant (an earlier incarnation was the location for the bird attack that led actree Tippy Hedren to hide in the phone booth while the gas station exploded).

This was my first time on the ocean in a book smaller than a cruise ship. I took some Dramamine, just in case. The kids, too. All we needed was for our Hughes Bunch to all get sick at the same time. Wouldn't have been a pretty sight!

The only whales we ended up seeing were early on in the voyage. But that was AWESOME because I had never seen a whale in the wild before. Not in person, anyway. They were juvenile whales which really puts things in perspective because the adults are ENORMOUS!

We also saw some porpoises that swam very close to the boat. Elephant seals were also visible up close as the boat neared a giant rock close to the harbor.

We had clam chowder on the brain (or, in our bellies more like) but the restaurants were too packed from those attending a local festival. So it was off to homemade hamburgers made by Pop (my father-in-law). Those were better, anyway.

Even if we hadn't seen any wildlife, the kids and family and I had fun just bouncing up and down and side to side on the boat. It got pretty rough out there. By MY amateur standards. According to the captain, it was smooth as butter.

I recommend anyone who is lucky enough to live or be visiting a coastal area to take one of these tours. It is so worth it and everyone will enjoy it!

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