Family,  gardening and landscape

The Best $16 I’ve Ever Spent

I should have called this post “welcome to our backyard,” but I went the sensational route.

That sometimes happens when I write late it was actually 9 p.m. at night.

The home we rented for our arrival back in the U.S. has a cute cabin-y exterior.

This is from the day we moved in…

Fun, right?

But my first impression was OH. NO. WAY.


What the pictures don’t tell you is that the location of this home has some drawbacks due to its close proximity to a busy road and some commercial development.

However, the backyard almost makes me forget all of those things and I can see why the owners purchased this home.

That’s right. The backyard of this home is a big pond, which is part of a larger lake system.

The pond is situated 10-feet, maybe less, from the house.

Here I am standing on the deck, which drops down to a patio and then the pond.

It’s pretty cool and I’m definitely enjoying the view while we live here!

So, the best $16 I ever spent?

It was on that raft you see in the pictures.

If you are a kid and this is your backyard you need a way to explore it, right?

The kids have been on duck ‘rescue’ missions.

They have gone net fishing.

They have ‘mapped’ the lake.

Don’t worry. No actual ducks, fish or maps were involved in any of these missions.

We’re not at a point in our lives where we need a kayak, a canoe, a paddle board or any other large item that needs to be cared for and stored.

A $16 inflatable raft that can take my kids on imaginary expeditions to far-off lands and can be rolled up and stored in a tote (if it lasts the season) is right up my alley.

I was worried that for the $16 price the raft wouldn’t be durable. You see, we’re at the point in the summer where I really, really need activities to keep the kids occupied. They’ve been using the raft for about a month and I haven’t added any air to it. Would I take it whitewater rafting? No. Definitely not. But for paddling around in a calm, shallow area? So far, so good.

You know what else is so far, so good? Their level of cooperation on these expeditions. This is probably because my daughter is content to let her younger brother do all the work paddling.

I’m happy with whatever arrangement they’ve come up with as long as they give me a moment of peace are entertained.

If you buy this raft:
1. The weight limit is just over 200 lbs. on the raft, so double check before purchasing.
2. The lifejackets cost WAY more than the raft, but don’t use a raft without one. I got this one from Dick’s Sporting Goods for my son and the women’s version for my daughter.
3. The raft came with two oars, but paddling that way required more coordination than my kids have at the moment. Instead, we screwed the paddles together to make one kayak-style paddle. That seems to work better for them.
4. The raft was $16 when I purchased it, but I just checked and it was $18. Amazon likes to fluctuate prices in an annoying way!

Thanks for hanging out in my backyard today! I’m feeling bad that I didn’t offer you something to drink. I can offer you something to read though! Here are some other posts you might enjoy too.

Books My Kids Are Reading Part 8

Gold Horseshoe Knock Off from Better Homes and Gardens

A Little Bit of Yard Work Does Wonders

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