Go Fit Girl! hits the Mediterranean

Various sunscreens from 30 to 70 SPF with some aloe vera in case the skin needs soothing.

Before I start, just a reminder that you still have time for a chance to win the Comment Contest Tuesday drawing. It’s a super easy way to possibly win a prize. How can you not participate? Thanks to those who already have. Your answers are awesome.

While in Barcelona we have been doing a lot of walking. I brought five pairs of shoes with me for the week. Yes, it sounds like a lot. But three of them are flip-flops. And one is an amazing pair that are really great for walking. Sanuk makes awesome flip-flops, like these ones. (I have some others that Curt ordered for me [and a pair for himself] years ago when heading to Maui. I think they are no longer making them–which is a bummer since I love them and they are going to need to go to flip-flop heaven at some point soon.) My other “walking” shoes are my Mary Jane Skechers. (The link is close to my shoes, but not exactly. I am tired of looking for the exact ones.)

Yesterday was my first full day at the beach. We had walked along the beach before and sat in the sand. But yesterday I went out to soak up some sun.

Before heading to the beach I put on my bathing suit and slathered my body with sunscreen. The SPF 30 went on my body and the 70 went on my face.

With my mat, towels, magazines, books, music, etc. I headed to the beach with my water bottle filled up with cold water. I spent about two hours out on the beach. Once reapplying my SPF 70 to my face. Curt and I eventually met for lunch and I took a break from the sun. After lunch I headed back to the apartment to reapply my sunscreen all over my body and on my face again. I filled that water bottle back up and headed out for another lounge on the beach.

I have to say I love being tan. I grew up in Tucson, Ariz., and I was born to soak up the sun. I am sure as a kid my parents slathered me with sunscreen (especially when we went on our family trips to San Diego most summers). But once I was able to figure it out, I stopped using sunscreen. I hardly ever burned and if I did it was only my shoulders and my nose. Once I was old enough to be vain when it came to being brown, but too young to have a job, my summer goal was to get the best tan. I used to slather myself in baby oil. Yes, baby oil. And roast outside until I just couldn’t stand it anymore.

I was in San Diego in 2006. I spent about three hours one day on the beach. I hadn’t lived in Arizona in sometime and hadn’t been regularly worshipping the sun. I can’t believe how badly I burned. I don’t think that had ever happened before. And I certainly had never peeled after a burn. Wow, that was a lesson. My dad mentioned that likely not living in Arizona anymore and just getting older caused the burn.

I now arm myself with sunscreen. I usually have my SPF 70 in my purse. It is really for the face. But it can be used anywhere on the body if needed.

I know a lot of people don’t think sunscreen is important (but a lot do). I used to never think I needed it. Now I do. And now more so than ever. (My grandpa has had many skin cancers removed from his face.) But my cousin had the biggest scare of all. She recently had a huge melanoma removed from her arm. She also had her lymph nodes checked. That was serious business. Luckily she is OK. But she is pretty sure she knows when she got the melanoma after a bad sunburn.

You can still tan safely. Just be smart about it. You will still tan with sunscreen. Believe me, you will! It is almost 3 p.m. in Barcelona and I think for today I have decided not to soak up the sun while lounging on the beach. I will save that for tomorrow … my last full day in Barcelona.

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