Farewell my dear friend

Relief from heat you offered

Deflated you sit

Oh the horror! The party pool we purchased two summers ago, for the bargain price of only $29 smackers from Target, has hosted its last party. It served us well during its time in our company, offering us a cool retreat from the Capital Area heat and a brief sanctuary from the Northern Virginia humidity.

It was the perfect spot for an afternoon dip with a magazine.

It played a role as Lulu's personal water park playground and gigantic water bowl (which may have ultimately been the untrimmed nail in the plastic pool's coffin).

Best of all, it was the centerpiece for many backyard parties, around which we sipped cold beer, dipped our feet, and enjoyed the company of our friends.

Following last week's 4th of July holiday, we noticed the air compartments beginning to sag. We were unceremoniously losing air each day, requiring constant refills. Initially we thought it could have just been the sheer heat and it sitting in the beating sun for hours on end. But after several days of refilling the pool, we had to come to grips with the fact that there was no saving Señor Party Pool.

Though the party pool died a hero this weekend, its entre into the cozy confines of our yard were far less certain. You may not know this, but Alex can be a bit extreme in both his thought process and execution of a project. Two summer ago during a classic DC sticky and humid heat wave, we sat, baking in the comfort of our home. I, lamenting the fact we did not have enough land to even entertain the idea of building a pool, wanted nothing more than to cool off in my own private body of water. I said, "I just wish we had a pool, something small, something to cool off in." Alex's brain kicked into overdrive and he sprang into action.

The next day, Alex called me from work with quite the excited tone in his voice. "I've found it!" He exclaimed.

Wendy: Found it? Found what?

Alex: Our backyard pool, I found it.

Wendy: Okay, I'm intrigued, tell me more.

My first mistake. My voice met Alex's in tone and excitement, allowing him to gain even more excitement, though this was premature, as he had failed to pause for a moment and check the standard "Wendy Rules" for a purchase.

  1. Is it practical?
  2. Is it inexpensive?
  3. Does it balance practicality and expense?
  4. And is it inexpensive?

The conversation continued...

Alex: It's an adult sized inflatable pool...

Wendy: Okay... (Picturing the small pools we used as children, only slightly larger.)

Alex: It fits about five people...

Wendy: Five?? That's a lot. (Starting to feel where this is going.)

Alex: It's about four feet tall and has a circulator pump with air jets, like a mini hot tub, but a pool.

Wendy: Whoa, whoa, whoa there Speed Racer, slow down for one second. How huge is this thing?

Alex: It's only about 10 feet across, our backyard will fit it, we just need to move the table and also...

Wendy: And how much?

Alex: It's only $600 and it's in my Amazon cart and can be here tomorrow. Should I buy it?!? Quick, tell me.

Wendy: You're ridiculous, goodbye.

Disgusted (yet not surprised) by the idea that Alex felt it would be reasonable to drop $600 on a giant backyard pool that would essentially overrun our entire outdoor space, I opted to use the remainder of my afternoon for something useful, so I headed out to Target for a quick shopping trip. While there, I perused the aisles, as I often do, and eventually stumbled across my inflatable pool destiny.

There it sat, staring back at me from behind its attractive red and white sale promoting price tag. Just $29, inflatable, with cup holders, 200 gallon capacity, the one and only, Party Pool! Oh Party Pool, you hooked me with $29 and you had me at cup holders!

On the way home I called Alex back, primarily to tell him he really shouldn't buy his monstrosity, but also probably just to rub it in.

Alex: Hi.

Wendy: I bought a pool at Target.

Alex: Oh?

Wendy: It was $29 and has cup holders. Does your $600 pool have cup holders? I didn't think so.

Alex: I'll see you when I get home.

Now two years later I couldn't be happier with "our" purchase. Therefore, we bid our party pool a fond farewell, and thank him for his two years of devoted service to our summer enjoyment.

We estimate we used Monsieur Party Pool ten times during this period, bringing the per-day cost of enjoyment down to under $3 a pop. A sound investment in my opinion. This on-a-whim purchase ended up being one of my favorite things to enjoy as it allowed us to leave the darkened air conditioning cave we call home, even just for a few hours at a time. Now my hunt begins for an affordable replacement. I may, or may not, involve Alex in the hunt given his extreme and impractical nature. Just sayin'.

Oh, Party Pool, we bid you a fond farewell.

Party Pool

Do you have any suggestions for a new 6'-8' inflatable pool option? I think Alex has designs on digging up our backyard or enlarging our pond area to be human suitable, and I can tell you that probably (absolutely) won't happen. If you don't have your sights set on an aquatic escape, perhaps you a few other tips for beating the heat during the dog days of summer? I'm all ears.

Comments 17


Kelly C.
7/12/2013 at 10:50 AM
I was going to say horse trough, then when I googled a picture of said horse trough, I ran across this and now I think you need to put your bathtub out there, lol! www.apartmenttherapy.com/good-questions-447-94428
Ha! Great idea to finally put our claw foot tub to work! :-)
Anne Carter
7/12/2013 at 11:04 AM
Found you a replacement. :) http://www.walmart.com/ip/9-2-x-9-2-Octagonal-Inflatable-Family-Swimming-Pool/22621071
7/12/2013 at 11:05 AM
Try Big Lots off of Duke S. We got one for under $15 a few weeks ago!
Awesome. Thanks for the tip, Julie!
Sarah Kate Snyder
7/12/2013 at 2:19 PM
Noooo... Not old faithful, say it isn't so!
7/12/2013 at 2:59 PM
Gah! This post made me laugh.

If we end up with another heat wave, I'm going to convince Mike that we need a pool like this.
Old Town Home
7/12/2013 at 4:54 PM
A sad sad day indeed.
Old Town Home
7/12/2013 at 4:54 PM
Oooh, a better shape to fit more people. And it appears there are more drink holders! Perfect. :-)
Kelly C.
7/12/2013 at 5:31 PM
You are a bad influence! I just left my Target with a $25 your old pool (I think it's the exact one). Walmart didn't have even one - they've already replaced the garden stuff with school supplies! And, the one at Big Lots was $75.
Bad influence?!?! No way, we're just helping you to realize the better things in life...like a blow up pool for your yard. :-)
7/15/2013 at 8:23 AM
I can't believe that, at some point, Alex didn't remove exactly enough bricks from the patio to make Senor Party Pool into an in-ground oasis. Now you need to find a DIY project using all that sad vinyl......and then Senor can live another day. Haha!
You and me both, Karin, you and me both!
7/15/2013 at 8:55 PM
So sad about your pool! Just wanted to let you know, during a slow day at work I discovered your blog and read it from first post to last! As a Naval Officer about to buy a house in DC I'm loving this blog!
Thanks for taking the time to read through all of our posts (even the horribly boring ones that I'm pretty sure I was responsible for). Glad to have you around and hope your move to the DC area is smooth and your enjoyment of our blog continues.
7/16/2013 at 12:06 AM
I got onr at at big lots for $40. It is made by intex and is 72" square. It looks the same as yours but it has headrests in each corner as well as mini inflatable seats in the corner. It seems to lose air every couple days but we can't find a leak. It's Not a huge deal to refill it.

I'm curious how you kept your pool clean and how often you switched the water? We have a giant tarp over it when its not in use but it still gets dirt and bugs in it. I dump out half the water every time I use it then refill.
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