The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Sunday, June 8, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Cool the county pool contests and just keep them open

My hair smells like chlorine and my eyes burn. That's because I'm writing this column in the middle of my daughter's swimming lesson.

It's at least 75 degrees here at the Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion.

I've turned into a bona fide pool mom. My butt has done hard time on the bleachers during swimming lessons, and I've had a lot of time to ponder.

Maybe I'm a thirty-something geezer, but I think fancy pools are overrated. I don't want to wait in line forever to be splashed in the face by water guns.

All a pool really needs is warm water, careful lifeguards and a place for kids to play where parents don't get wet.

There should also be ample accommodations for disabled people as well as family dressing rooms.

I love the Mountlake Terrace pool, but it's a defensive kind of loyalty. This pool used to be hot stuff: a lazy river, water sprays, a leisure area; the pavilion is worth driving to, and people do.

A Seattle grandma told me she brings her kids here because the Seattle pools are aging. In her opinion, there's nothing in Seattle that can compare to Mountlake Terrace.

“Interesting,” I said. Then I told her about Lynnwood.

If you've never been to the Lynnwood Recreation Center and Pool, imagine a small-scale water park. Two gigantic slides jut into the parking lot in a way that makes you want to whistle.

Inside, kids explore a play structure with water guns and a dumping bucket. There's even an indoor beach.

The only problem with the Lynnwood pool, in my opinion, is that it's too cold. Plus, on busy days the line wraps around the building for an hour.

But guess what? There's a new place to swim, ready to crush the competition.

The Snohomish Aquatic Center not only has a lazy river and splash zone, but also a FlowRider where you can actually surf.

I've haven't been, but I hear that it's the best pool ever.

What I want to know is how Snohomish County ended up in this “War of the Pools.” It's like a giant pissing contest. “You think your slide is big? Take a gander at mine! Go ahead, get out a measuring stick.”

Those of us who come from cities with normal pools are left with big eyes. Take Yost Pool in Edmonds for example. It's a gazillion years old.

If Yost somehow managed to hoist a slide up, I'm not sure anyone would want to touch it next to all that concrete.

So cool it, Snohomish County. I'm impressed with your pools already. You've got the biggest slides I've ever seen.

Let's focus now on keeping our older pools open. They could use some love too.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at http://teachingmybabytoread.com.

Story tags » Mountlake TerraceParentingLeisure (general)Youth Swimming

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