dolphins and whales
This started when I was in about grade two or three. And it started with my cousins. All of my female Smith Cousins were interested in dolphins and whales at the exact same time as me. We had so much whale and dolphin parephernalia, it was unbelievable.
My dad went to Vancouver for a business trip and brought me back a bag in the shape of an orca. I also accumulated several whale plushes; two dolpins, one small and one large; a small Beluga, a humpback and an orca.
It also helped that a store at The Forks, in the Johnston Terminal, sold whale figurines. My cousins and I collected them, brought them to school, and then played with them in the mudpuddles in the playground. Every birthday, I got whale and dolphin stuff.
I've seen real whales three times; once at the Minneapolis Zoo, and twice at the Vancouver Aquarium.