Salt Water in Your Backyard Swimming Pool

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Salt Water is Easy on the Eyes

The only way to live well in the sweltering Florida climate is to have cool water to jump into close by.  For most, that means a backyard swimming pool.  These days, many homeowners choose to have a salt-water pool.  If this doesn’t sound appealing, then read on.  I’m about to change your mind.

First, if you have a normal pool with fresh water, you will know that it must be maintained with chlorine.  There are various ways to add chlorine to the water, but if you don’t maintain the pH of the water, it will turn green.  Swimming in it will be unhealthy.  Too much chlorine and it will smell, and getting water in your eyes will sting.

When I lived in Florida we had a typical in-ground pool and we bought big chlorine tablets to add to the water filter.  We tested the water to check the safety and often had a lot of trouble clearing up the green, which happened often after it rained.  Anyone who has such a pool, will be familiar with having to “shock” it occasionally.  Chemicals are added to bring the pH back to normal.

I had already left Florida to live in the northeast by the time salt-water pools were becoming popular.  Since then I have gone back to Florida to visit and had the opportunity to swim in a salt-water pool.  It was lovely.   Continue reading

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Narrow the Search for Florida Beach Vacation Rental

beach cottage porch

Beach Paradise

You want to take a trip to a warm place.  Florida is perfect.  No need to leave the US, just hop in the car or on a plane and in a few hours you are in the Sunshine State.  But it’s a big state.  And the variety of rentals can be overwhelming.  Which one is right for you?

Of course if you have a specific place in mind – near Disney, or close to relatives – that will narrow down the search.  But many people want a simple getaway to a beautiful beach.  That is my idea of a vacation.

So here are your choices:  1. Rent a condo or apartment on the ocean.  2. Rent a private home on the beach.  3. Rent something just off the beach, but close enough to walk there (this will of course be cheaper).  4. Or maybe you will be bringing your boat, and will need a dock / boat slip / boat ramp nearby.  Some places offer canal access to the open water.  5. The Florida Keys have many homes to rent with boat slips.

Will a pool at the property be a must?  Personally, I can’t do Florida without a pool.  I like a pool in the backyard.  One I don’t have to share with a bunch of screaming kids.  And remember, if you rent a condo and you are near the public pool, be prepared for the possible noise all hours of the day and into the night.

resort swimming pool empty

Condo pools can be noisy places

Are you okay with cars on the beach in front of your condo / apartment?   Drive on beaches allow traffic during the day.  New Smyrna Beach and Daytona Beach, on the east coast in central Florida, have beach traffic. It means any place you stay where that is allowed can mean very crowded beaches.  These are all things to take into consideration.

Some properties have ocean access, but no view of the water.  Views of the ocean mean paying more, but anyone on a budget can stay near the beach.  Even if the trek to the sand is just across the street, remember Continue reading

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The Florida Dream Home Giveaway I Plan to Win

Banana River Merritt Island

This is not a photo of the Dream House, but shows Merritt Island from the Banana River.

(Photo credit: “Merritt Island, Florida (southern tip)” by Leonard J. DeFrancisciOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.)

Have you heard about the HGTV Dream House giveaway?  Well, I am entering the contest over and over because it would be perfect for me.

The house itself is not really my taste, but it’s location is worth everything.  And the winner gets a boat and a lovely dock with pretty lights along the boardwalk.  I would live in a tent to be on that piece of land!

The Dream House is located on Merritt Island, near the Canaveral seashore / space center (Florida’s east coast).  It is on the Intracoastal Waterway / Banana River, which is exactly where I’d love to live.  Our new fishing business needs such a location, but living on the water is a dream that is out of reach for us.  That is why winning this house giveaway is a must! Continue reading

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Florida’s Glass Bottom Boat Tours

Because of all the bodies of water in Florida, viewing and enjoying that water has it’s own money-making opportunities. One unique way tourists can enjoy rivers and oceans is the “glass bottom” concept. With so many springs in Florida’s rivers, many of the state parks contain “Springs” in their name.  Those springs bubble crystal clear water up from underground to create the clear water needed for a great underwater view from a boat. (They also make a great place to swim as the water stays a cool 72 degrees in the heat of summer.)
Ocala Silver River attraction boat01
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Way back in the 1980’s, shortly after I had moved to Florida, there was a creepy glass-bottom boat story. One day, as visitors were taking a tour at one of the springs that offered such rides, suddenly the partial torso of a man glided beneath the glass! He had been diving and an alligator had eaten half of him.  I think it was a news story enhanced a bit for interest, but those alligators are

I believe that Silver Springs was the first to offer the Glass Bottom Boat ride.   Silver Springs (near Ocala) was a popular tourist attraction because some old Tarzan movies were filmed there. It is rumored that some of the monkeys escaped from the set and now Their offspring play in the trees around the Springs! The old “Sea Hunt” television show was also filmed at Silver Springs State Park. Continue reading

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