No, not my first sunburn ever, but my first sunburn in nine or ten years. I generally pride myself on being able to throw on some SPF 15 or 25, and being good for the rest of day. That's generally a good enough coating for my semi-latina skin to develop a nice, sun-kissed glow.
So today when I left to go tubing, I did just that. I slathered on some oil-free 15 (some 100 on my face - we don't want wrinkles, ladies!) and figured I'd be good to go for the day. A group of five ladies and myself hopped on our tubes and started our fourish hour trek down the river in Natural Bridge.* While everyone else constantly reapplied their SPF 50, I said no thanks and silently thanked my latin genes for keeping me from burning.
About hour three, I began to feel hot. By hour four, I noticed my thighs were looking a little red. By the time we got out of the water, I knew my legs were goners. By the time we got back to Granny's and I changed out of my swimsuit, I knew that a sunburn this bad had not happened since 2002 in Venezuela. Congratulations, Natural Bridge, your sunlight did in one day what the Canary Islands sun could not do in an entire week back in 2009. When I got back home, I slathered on the aloe vera, cranked up my little AC unit and just stood on a stool in front of it. I don't know what else to do. I'm considering a bag of frozen peas for each leg and maybe I'll just sleep in the freezer tonight. True story, I took two precautionary advil. So if you happen to see someone around that looks like me, but a lobster, that's just me, looking like a lobster.... for the first time in almost a decade. I am shamed.
In other news...
My wonderful parents (plus the pooch) came down on Thursday so that The Car Whisperer (Hi, Dad!) could take a look at Mr. Merlot. My father, by some miracle, was able to fix the car without even having to replace the starter (although, he had one ready just in case). However, this was not before he mentioned the car might have permanent electrical damage which caused me to burst into tears over the thought of having to spend that much money on a car again (I'm looking at YOU, living stipend!). All for naught, though! For now, Mr. Merlot is fine and up and running. Knock on wood.
We spent Friday hiking and grabbing some grub. Saturday was spent at the Farmer's Market ($1 eggplant, I kid you not!) and then the lake with OfficeMate and his parents. Today's venture to Natural Bridge has completed my outdoorsyness for a few days, at least until this burn turns into a tan or peels off. Yeah, yeah enjoy that lovely visual.
For now, though, I'll just nurse this burn and continue to motivate my skin. "You lasted so long without a burn, you've got this! Just turn it into a tan and I'll be sure to reapply from now on! We had such a good system going, why did you turn on me? Water under the bridge! Just heal! I'll keep giving you aloe vera and advil!"
Happy Fourth of July! I'm two of the colors on the American Flag! All three, if you count how blue my heart is after this sunburn.
*The tubing was lovely and relaxing. I enjoyed being able to lay out in the sunlight, let the current take my tube and I, and just absorb the (damn sunlight) lovely views of the surrounding mountains. No photos available because I love my camera and iPhone.