Are You a Lake, River, or Ocean Person?

This question came up on a recent river trip with some friends. We floated the Comal River in New Braunfels, Texas, in tubes, soaking up the sun, alternating between feelings of relaxation and exhilaration. Best advice, protect the ice chests at all cost.

So during one of the calmer moments on the river, I asked my friends which body of water they preferred: river, lake or ocean. It went something like this, let’s pretend you just won a $1 million lottery, and after taxes roughly have $750K, which one of these areas would you buy a vacation house in?

Here are some rules: 1) You can’t buy land in all three places and travel by RV to each. 2) You will have a swimming pool at all three places so you can’t say none of the above, you want a pool with a lazy river, grotto, beach entrance and tanning deck. 3) You can change your mind every few years.

Before we decide, let’s discuss the hazards and benefits of each place. Up first is the mighty river. Like I said, she ‘s a beast. She can pick up homes, cars, roads, bridges and start fires if she feels like it. Some good friends of mine lost their cabins to the Wimberley floods of 2015 on the Blanco River. Prior to this, I always felt so safe at their cabins. If anything, I would have thought a car was their biggest threat because they were next to a busy highway. I have so many good memories from my times floating on the river. The people you tend to meet are very friendly, laid back and would give you a beer if your cooler didn’t survive the chute, but because of those historical floods, I would not spend my lottery earnings on a river house.

Next up, the ocean. Who doesn’t love to spend a sunny, breezy day at the beach? There’s so much to do. You can fly a kite, build a sandcastle, surf in the ocean, play Frisbee, have a picnic. The list goes on and on. But there are three main downsides to owning a beach house: hurricanes, sharks, and riptides. Not fun. I live near Galveston and they’ve had “the big one” hit on average every 20 years, give or take. If you don’t mind those odds, but worry about sharks, I don’t blame you. Galveston’s water on a good day is brownish-green and the sharks don’t seem to like it as much as the blue waters in Florida, California or the Carolina’s. Riptides are tough, though. You think you’re doing fine, then bam, it knocks you on your ass and you’re caught up in the vortex. But, the real reason I won’t be spending my lottery earnings on a beach house is because I would have to win a second lottery to pay for the insurance needed for the beach house.

Lastly, the lake. Here’s what’s great about lakes, some are constant-level lakes. These are the best. If there’s a flood and the lake has too much water, they just release the water. Sorry river people down below, we have levels to maintain! And if there’s a drought and no water for the rivers, too bad suckers! The main problem as I see it on lakes is boaters and jet-skiers. Forget going out on a holiday weekend like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Labor Day; it’s amateur hour. Boats and jet skis are bigger, faster, better and typically everyone on board has had a few. And it’s not like we aren’t drinking at the beach and the river, we are, but typically we aren’t operating heavy equipment. It’s best to just avoid these holidays and go boating Monday – Thursday when less people are there. The upside to having a lake house is all you really need is the view, you don’t need to be on the water if you don’t want to or can’t afford it. Sometimes the view from the top is better.

So for those reasons, I am a lake person and will buy a lake house should I ever win the $1 million lottery. Until then, I will just have friends with lake houses. Which would you choose, given the chance, and why? Leave your comments below.

Missed last week’s Random Thoughts about Amelia Earhart? Check it out here.

Random Thoughts – Are You a Lake, River or Ocean Person?
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