Water, water everywhere– touring pools on vacation

This weekend I’m in South Carolina at my family’s annual cousins picnic.  My mother and her cousins and their kids (and their kids) have a get-together every year, and people take turns hosting.  Pools play a prominent role in  these reunions, as two of our regular hosts– my sister Elizabeth and my cousin Lee– have in-ground pools at their houses.

I’m a real sucker for pools and hot tubs (and indeed, any watery location for splashing, swimming, and floating).  Whenever I’m traveling, I try to stay at a hotel with a pool.  It’s a low-key way to get a little serenity and purposeful or playful movement.  It’s also a great antidote to the cramped conditions of flying.

Friday night was pool visit number one.  My sister’s family is lucky to have a backyard pool (which, FYI, requires a lot-a-lot of maintenance).  Here’s a picture of it taken by my very talented niece Grace:

View of a blue-water pool, wit two reclining chairs on its patio, backed by a black wrought-iron fence, and lake in the background.

View of a blue-water pool, wit two reclining chairs on its patio, backed by a black wrought-iron fence, and lake in the background.

Here’s a night view, with my nephew Gray:

My sister's pool at night, with blue-green water and underwater lights, with my nephew Gray ready to take the plunge.

My sister’s pool at night, with blue-green water and underwater lights, with my nephew Gray ready to take the plunge.

My favorite way to shake off travel fatigue is to immerse myself in water.  We frolicked and floated and attacked each other with large squirt guns (Gray is an expert at this), and got out of the pool, relaxed and mellow and smiling.

Saturday was our family reunion, and I drove my mother and two of the three kids to Myrtle Beach, SC– a three-hour drive.  Boy, was I ready for another pool experience.

Luckily, there was another pool awaiting my pleasure.  It’s this one:

An L-shaped pool with elevated hot tub, with a large patio, assorted arm and recliner chairs, and dunes in the background.

An L-shaped pool with elevated hot tub, with a large patio, assorted arm and recliner chairs, and dunes in the background.

It’s quiet here, but for most of the party there were a lot of folks (ages ranging from 6 months to 75 years) engaged in traditional pool-party activities.  My nephew Gray (age 12) spent about 7/8 of the reunion in the pool– not a bad call.  Tip: if you end up talking politics at a family gathering, it’s much more pleasant to do so in a pool.  Things just can’t get too heated (ok, that was my attempt at a silly joke.  Forgive me.)

Today I’m at a big hotel on the beach, spending a couple of nights with my sister and her kids before heading back to Boston (and tackling as-yet undone syllabi and other work to-do items).  The ocean is lovely.  However, there’s a coastal advisory about higher winds and rip currents, so actual swimming in the ocean is not advised.

Not to worry–pools are coming to the rescue.  Today (in fact, as soon as I post this), we are headed down to explore pools and hot tubs and lazy rivers.  Who knows, maybe we’ll discover a splash pad?  Here are a few pics of them:

A big patio with a blue-water pool and loads of reclining and arm chairs.

A big patio with a blue-water pool and loads of reclining and arm chairs.

Another undulating shape of a pool at dusk, with one of the high-rises in the background.

Another undulating shape of a pool at dusk, with one of the high-rises in the background.

A hot tub under a roof; there are 5 other hot tubs under the stars. Ahhh....

A hot tub under a roof; there are 5 other hot tubs under the stars. Ahhh….

So readers, what are your views on pools, and in particular seizing the opportunity to take the plunge?  I’d love to know.

About catherine w

I'm an analytic philosopher, retooled as a public health ethicist. I'm interested in heath behavior change, particularly around eating and activity, and how things other than knowledge affect our health decisions.I'm also a cyclist (road, off-road, commuter), squash player, x skier, occasional yoga-doer, hiker, swimmer and leisurely walker.

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