I first met the Blue Whale in Catoosa on a school trip. Like many school trips, all I wanted to do was talk to my friends, and it wasn’t until I was older that I grew to appreciate what Ol’ Blue represents to the area, and as a Route 66 landmark. In July of this year, I got the opportunity to visit it again, as an assignment from the Campbell Hotel to get a picture for a TripAdvisor promotion. We have won a TripAdvisor Excellence Award several years in a row, so we wanted to celebrate those years with photos of our 2015 and 2016 awards at historical Route 66 landmarks. When I arrived at the Blue Whale, I was struck by how many kids were playing in the water, hanging out, and soaking up the summer sun. I was instantly transported to my own childhood, when we used to fish and swim in the little crappie and catfish pond by my grandfather’s house. It is that childhood nostalgia that really gets you when you have to grow up, have a mortgage, and have big responsibilities. At that moment, looking at those kids splashing around, I hoped that maybe when I took my son to the Blue Whale, he might give it a little more love that I did as a child. All in all that is what the Blue Whale represents, that sort of love and excitement in childhood that seems to evade us as adults. Here’s to you, Ol’ Blue.