Back when I was still in high school and long before "Things I want to do before I die" became "Things to cross off my Bucket List", I had a lifelong dream to swim with wild dolphins. I had no idea where this would take place or how I might make this a reality, but I just knew that there was an experience out there with my name all over it, just waiting to be had.
When Phil surprised me with a trip to Lanai for my birthday, he eventually told me that he picked the location with the hope that he could make that dream a reality for me. And I am the luckiest girl in all the world, because my husband? He delivered.
I write about this often but it never loses its meaning: life out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean rocks. I am all about Living Aloha and sharing our island-adventures on the blog, and if a trip to Hawaii isn't possible, well then, let me just bring a bit of the tropics to you. If you're up for it, come take a swim with the spinner dolphins (and in the Four Seasons pool) with me. Clickety-click on the video below. 'Ya dig?
The experience was surreal; to be up close and personal with wild creatures so majestic was nothing short of life-changing. I had grown up visiting Sea World/Sea Life parks and watching dolphins in captivity, but to swim with those that are wild and free is magical. There were so many moments that morning when I'd pop up to the surface of the water, yank off my snorkel gear, SQUEAL with delight and ask Phil again and again:
"Is this really happening? Is this my life?" To which he would reply: "It is. Happy Birthday, baby."
We swam with a pod numbering upwards of 50+ at times, watching them dive and rise in their graceful, aquatic dance. We hovered above, below and side by side with them, watching in awe as some came close enough to be touched (we didn't). We listened to their clicks and whistles, feeling a bit like eavesdroppers but enjoying the moment all the same.
That hour and a half in the water with the dolphins was definitely the icing on the cake of an already perfect and romantic staycation-turned-second-honeymoon for us. I've dreamed about the dolphins twice since we've been home and have watched this video more times than I care to admit!
Life-changing, I tell you.
Just for kicks and to further prove this Bucket List dream of mine, here's a painting I did last year and titled
"Naia Neighbors" (Naia = Dolphin).