When I was in second grade, my parents decided to have a pool built in our backyard. My mother loved to swim, however, my father never ventured into the pool. He’d never learned how to swim. This fact always seemed ironic since he had served as the doctor on a U.S. warship off the coast of Italy during World War II. In spite of his fear of the water, or perhaps because of it, he took my sister and I downtown to join the first YMCA swim team.

Fast forward to my husband and I moving into a house on Barge with plenty of backyard to install a pool. Finding someone to build it was difficult, but ultimately, we succeeded. Unfortunately, the pool took the entire summer and into the fall to complete. By the third year we found ourselves frequently putting more and more water into the pool. Then we looked at our water bill. It was all too obvious that it was leaking into our neighbor’s yard. It didn’t take long for us to decide, “Goodbye, pool!”

That was more than 25 years ago. Today, Yakima is bursting with reputable companies that install beautiful inground pools for your family to enjoy. So, when Chad Bremerman, Yakima Magazine’s talented photographer, suggested a tour of some Yakima swimming pools, I couldn’t resist the chance to showcase them in this issue.

Our first stop was at Chad and Julie’s two-story house overlooking a beautiful backyard pool — complete with hot tub — that the couple and their two college-age daughters enjoy. Their wide deck has lots of room for lawn chairs to soak up the sun, and it makes a great place for a pool party. The pool was installed in the ‘70s and remodeled in 2019 and provides hours of fun and relaxation for their family and friends.

Our next stop was the home of Ken and Alicia Meissner, which sits high on a steep, south-facing hillside and offers an amazing view of the valley beyond. If it’s shade you’re seeking, their beautiful, second-story covered balcony is a perfect spot to stay cool while looking down on the family’s lovely pool and spacious hot tub. At the far end of the pool deck is a fire pit ready to warm up swimmers on Yakima’s chilly summer nights. It’s obvious that this outdoor setting is meant for entertaining friends and family.

The Chad Bremerman Magical Mystery Home Tour took us on to a house owned by Mitch and Sunny Cameron. Their house is at the top of a hill that provides an amazing north-by-northwest view of the Yakima Valley. Because the couple loves to entertain family and friends, they decided to build a spacious deck along with a large kidney-shaped pool. Eight full-length lawn chairs, shaded by umbrellas, provide a great spot for catching up with friends.

The Camerons have enhanced their pool’s ambiance by selecting a variety of desert plants to create a lovely, Southwest feel. They have a hot tub above the pool as well. I have to admit that I especially liked the assorted signs they’ve placed near the pool such as, “Don’t get drunk and pass out!” and “No Glass” and “Don’t Be an Idiot!” Definitely words to live by.

When it’s time to eat, an outdoor kitchen awaits, just steps away from the home’s basement door. They also have an outdoor covered patio dining area that can be reached by climbing the steps on the north side of the pool. I must admit the view offered from this patio is also breathtaking! It’s obvious the couple loves to entertain and they’ve created an inviting spot to welcome family and good friends.

Last, but not least, Chad and I drove south to visit the Morton family home out in West Valley. Chris and Kim live on a family farm and grow a large variety of fruit trees, as well as field crops. When the couple led us around their house to the backyard, the first thing we saw was a spacious bar with six chairs under two large umbrellas. Adjacent to it was a long table set under a white gazebo that appeared to be waiting for dinner to be served. Beyond that were comfortable lawn chairs and a matching sofa that would make a relaxing spot after a hard day.

But that was only the beginning. A large, slightly elevated, swimming pool awaited family members needing a cooling dip prior to dinner. The design of this pool is unique because they were able to create a raised corner that serves as home to partially submerged Adirondack chairs sitting under an umbrella. It seemed like a fantastic idea, especially for folks spending all day working hard on the farm.

At the end of our adventure Chad and I were tired, but happy that these families would not only allow us to see their beautiful swimming pools, but write about them.

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