Above: Lake of Clouds House, Taos. You can stay here. Enjoy 3 bedrooms (plus den), 2½ baths, a hot tub, and a sauna. Oh, and did we mention the lake? Photographs Courtesy VRBO.com
I found the house online one hot, dry day last summer when all I could do was fantasize about being somewhere else, somewhere like a house with a … click, click, click … pool or … click, click … wait, a pond?! Actually, it’s a lake, the owners say of the spring-fed soak behind their 3,000-square-foot vacation house in Taos. Although small in circumference, the water is deep enough to shelter trout during the depths of winter and refreshing enough to delight visitors all summer long. Inside, the green-built house is bright and airy, with natural plaster and finishes by local artisans; the chef’s kitchen includes an indoor pizza oven. I imagine plopping down wet on a deck chair outside and digging into a hot piece of pizza as the river otters capture the dock and take turns giddily diving into cool, clear water (Ranchos de Taos, $239/night, vrbo.com/663491).