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Living Large On The Lake

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Not too long ago in this lazy August, your faithful Travel Guru was found floating peacefully atop the blue-green waters of Lake Osoyoos in northern Washington State. We were holed up at the new Veranda Beach cottage community on the shores of the long, skinny lake that crosses the Canadian border. My 7-year old son Joe accomplished the neat trick of swimming seven times.

Ocean beaches are nice, rivers are fine to float or paddle, but the bitter truth is that I'm a lake guy. I grew up on one of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, and every summer we try to discover new lakes and spend some time on them. You just can't beat a lake cottage for views, ease of access to the water and swimming.

Veranda Beach is one of the new developments that is appealing to my nostalgic side by building cottages with wide, screened porches just steps from a sandy beach, with a marina attached to rent pontoon boats and Bayliners, and a trampoline float anchored off-shore that is perfect for tossing 7-year olds into the water. A few hundred yards north of us, the Canadians were bombing around their part of the lake with jet skis and fast boats -- one Canuck we met described Osoyoos as being "the Tijuana of Canada". But on our side it is quiet and peaceful and the swimming is sensational. At night we read and play games and barbeque, and for once the television doesn't rule our lives.

But then, I'm a lake guy. We're building family memories on these waters, and personally, I could spend the whole summer walking a straight line from my veranda to the water. What are some of your favorite lake experiences?