As you can see, our home definitely has that! We moved to Texas in early 2007 when my youngest two sons (we have 4!) were small enough that the pool was a paradise with plenty of room to splash around and play for hours.
Our family used it nearly every day at first but the novelty began to wear off with the Texas hot summers making the pool feel like a giant steam bath. Then we got the idea of adding an outdoor theater component! We had dreamed of being able to watch movies outdoors for a long time so I scoured home theater websites and Craigslist to purchase the inflatable screen you see in the photo, outdoor speakers and a sound system.
Our pool saw a flurry of activity again with the addition of portable fans, floating chairs, reclining loungers, outdoor lighting and a popcorn cart. We invited friends and family often for action flicks under the stars. Thankfully the homes in our neighborhood are relatively soundproof and we have a Mosquito Magnet that works wonderfully well to keep those pesky little buggers away! We were able to lengthen the movie season through the fall and early winter with the addition of gas heaters and blankets.
As you can imagine, setting up and breaking down our movie system takes a bit of work and planning, as does maintaining our beautiful pool. As time went on, we found ourselves holding fewer viewing parties just because of the effort it required to prepare everything and then put it away. And so, as the boys got bigger and the pool seemed smaller, we all used the pool a little less frequently.
That didn't change the amount or cost of the upkeep, however. Some years we battled the invasion of a nasty yellow algae, dumping loads of chemicals and money into the pool trying to keep it clear. Jim and I would spend many hours skimming and vacuuming the pool in the dripping heat, working to clear the water. Our automatic cleaner, The Polaris as we call it, needed frequent tune ups and new parts, usually at $100 a pop for Jim to fix it himself. All of that work and money - just so no one would use it!