August 22, 2010

Communing With Nature


When you live in Florida, sooner or later someone is going to take you to a lake or river and expect you to swim in it. Having grown up in Los Angeles, I have found it difficult to transition from chlorinated swimming pools to bodies of water filled with algae, fish, and small woodland mammals.

"I have no desire to swim with otters," I told my husband the other day. He was in shock that I had left my swimsuit at home. On purpose.

"This place is awesome!" screamed my son as he plopped a glob of floating green stuff on his head.

I looked the other way.

"Can you throw me my goggles?" asked my daughter. "I want to check out what's under here." She gestured to the knee-deep brown water in which she was standing.

"A fish just bit my leg!" yelled my other son in excitement.

I told my family that I would wait for them in the car.

When they finally emerged from the watery depths, everyone smelled delicious. Like lake.

"Next time I'll go in with you," I promised.

"Really?" asked my husband, hopefully.

"No."

26 comments

Misti said...

I am totally with you on this one. I'll get in the ocean a little, up to my thighs maybe, but never a lake. Blech. A pool is the #1 choice, of course. ;D

rebecca said...

I refuse to swim in any sort of water where I cannot see the bottom. It is just wrong. And scary.

And I have an irrational (or maybe rational?) fear of alligators so the chances of me going anywhere near a murky body of water in Florida is basically nonexistent.

Melissa said...

okay...i must be able to see my toes in the water...

the ocean in florida is great to swim in...north carolina...not so much.

lakes and rivers...uh...no thanks...i'll float on a raft...and maybe jump in to cool off in the middle of a big lake.

but visibility of my toes takes precedence 99% of the time!

(lol...my word verification is "untoede")

Donna said...

I'm with you. I don't like unclean, unclear water. And I grew up in the Midwest where everyone went swimming in lakes. I did, sometimes, but never enjoyed it. Good luck finding more pools!

Melissa said...

I'm not a big fan of any kind of water to begin with (although rest assured, I do shower daily), but natural water? Not so much.

And I've lived in Florida since I was 8, so it's not like it's unfamiliar to me.

Still. Ick.

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Rocket Ma'am said...

Not in Florida, no thanks. There are gators all over the place in the lakes and canals. Last year one jumped out of a pond nearby and killed a dog. And then people wonder why I don't want to take my kids to that park- yeesh.

nmassie218 said...

I am with you. Ocean, maybe. But rivers, lakes, ponds, streams...no thanks!!!

Emily Heizer Photography said...

I grew up in Orange County (ca, not fl) and it freaks me out too. I like lakes... but I still get seriously freaked out anytime I see bubbles... and don't ever get algae anywhere freaking NEAR me.

Aren't there alligators in that water?!

Kristen @ ladybug-blessings.com said...

yeah I think I'd pass too! Of course when I was little we lived at the lake! But now that would be too gross!! Not to mention I like to see what is in the water!

Kathy said...

I would be more concerned about alligators than otters in Florida!

Lisa, An American Mom said...

The key with lake swimming is that you have to swim in the middle where its deep and all the gross stuff isn't swirling around your feet. Next time rent a boat and cruise around, then go swimming. Way better. :)

Kay said...

I never used to mind swimming in natural waters... I went jet skiing in a lake and the next day, they pulled three dead bodies out of the lake that had been there for weeks. I'm terrified of swimming now, in case I touch a dead body.

Skubaliscious said...

We have snakes and alligators over here in TX...I use those as my excuse.

Anonymous said...

Since my idea of roughing it is staying at a hotel without and INDOOR pool, this weekend expedition of yours would be an issue. Make sure you always bring a good book and your nice high heels and let them know you'd love to hike, swim in snake, bug, garbage, dead body infested waters but you wore the wrong shoes and your swimming suit was missing that morning when you left. They should try, hard to have fun without you.

Diane said...

I watched "Jaws" in the theater when I was ten, I had my feet up on my chair the whole time! I don't mind wading in the Puget Sound (it's cold though), but I hate lakes and other kinds of natural water.

Alyssa said...

I didn't even know you could swim in lakes in Florida! I thought it was alligator city!

Brie said...

Small woodland creatures? Try "there is an alligator in every body of fresh water in Florida". I dont want to freak you out but it is true!
But this is coming from the person who knows this and still hops right in to go water skiing or jet skiing in said bodies of fresh water a few times a month.

Lindsey said...

Try swimming in springs. the water is clean and clear...and FREEZING. it is 72.5 degrees year round. but you feel clean when you get out and you can see everything. usually at parks the have a "pool" area in the spring, with concrete around it to keep out critters. i have to numerous parks/springs and never seen an alligator in them. here is a site:
http://www.theotherorlando.com/contents/chapters/16/kellypark.html

McKenzie said...

That is funny! I love swimming in lakes, as long as they look clean and the fish don't venture too close to me. Where I live there are lakes EVERYWHERE. But I can't say I blame you for not wanting to go in.. I hate stepping on the mushy bottoms of lakes it freaks me out. Haha.

LovesBug said...

In addition to alligators, the lakes here in Central Florida are also home to brain-eating amoebas that flourish in the hot water. So fun. I miss the ocean. If I do go in the lakes I don't put my head underwater (or if you do, hold your nose). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naegleria_fowleri

Regan said...

Just wait until someone takes you out on the lake at night with a flashlight so you can see gator eyes glowing just above the water. Bet you won't swim in any more lakes! Standard rule in Florida: No swimming in any fresh water...even puddles. Gators are everywhere!

Vicky said...

Otters are the least of your worries in our Florida Lakes!! HAHAHAHAHAAAAa(very evil and, intended, laugh!!)

Teen Queen said...

i have a friend who wont swim if she cant see the bottom. and i dont blame her. the only way i can do it is if i dont think about it. the thought of all the gross stuff in a lake is revolting.

nikki b said...

Oh you made me laugh! I live in the Tampa area and we moved from the "city" to a lakefront house when I was 11.
I will NEVER forget my first swimming experience there.
You do get used to the minnows, the hydrilla and the algae.. just wait till you get out of the water only to realize youve been swimming 20 feet from a rather large reptile! Welcome to Florida guys!!

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