How To Get a Florida Sun Tan The Hard Way

 By now most of you know that I am just a country gal that moved to the big city so most of my back in the day stories are from getting out of the country and learning about life.  That brings me to a story about my vacations to South Florida where my brother lived.  He was a fun guy with a great sense of humor who had done it all and continued to live out all his dreams until his death and therefore became the Man in my Eyes.

So I took my first jet plane ride to pay him a visit in his home in Lake Worth, Florida outside of West Palm Beach.  Since it was the middle of July, I remember getting off the plane and thinking I had fell into a sauna bath.  I had never felt that type of climate nor seen a palm tree so this was the beginning of my brother having a little fun with his young sis.

I had big plans to get a beautiful sun tan like the beautiful girls that I had seen in the magazines.   So on arrival at his house I headed for the bedroom to change into my one piece bathing suit.  My suitcase was packed with jeans and such.  My brother looked at me and with his dry sense of humor said, “Sis that’s a lot of bathing suit.  Now if you want something to drink you can get it out of the refrigerator cold or pick some grape fruit or oranges off the trees in the back.  Just make yourself and home.”  It did appear that he was laughing inside but little did I know why but I was soon to learn.

Out to the patio I went with a cold drink, a water bottle, sun screen, towel and headed for the lawn chair to acquire that beautiful sun tan from the Florida sunshine. Darn there were grape fruits and oranges all over those trees.  I couldn’t tell which was which since all of them were big and the same color but I wasn’t about to let him know of my dumbness.  Now I was a few minutes into this thing and sat down.  Ouch!  The darn chair burned my leg.  Next my body began to sweat like all get out.  My head felt like the sun was sitting on top of it.  I sprayed myself with the water in the bottle and darn if it had not even turned hot already.  That one piece bathing suit felt like a Hugh elastic band tightening up my body and my legs were bright red. I hadn’t even gotten to the sun screen.  My hair was soaked with sweat and my sun glasses were steamed over. Lizards darted all around the chair and the sand burned my feet.  Then I rubbed a little lotion on to get that beautiful tan but found myself covered in sand because I had laid the bottle on the ground.  So ten minutes into this Florida sun tanning experience there I sat, sweating, scratching, burning, thirsty with my feet in the air to stay away from the lizards and dreaming of AIR CONDITIONING. 

My brother Paul was relaxed back in his lazy boy chair inside taking a little nap but not really asleep just waiting for my dumb self to come inside so he could have a little fun with me.  Okay, I thought something is wrong with this picture.  I have to go in to cool off, get this sand off my body and take a look at my beautiful tan.  There he sat just waiting.  I came in grumbling about how hot I was and looking quite a mess.

Slowly Paul looked up with that I got her playful grin and said, ”  Sis you have only been out there for ten minutes.  That suit looks like a tent.  It takes longer than that to get a tan in Florida. Did you check out any of the little stores at the airport to see if they bottle Florida sunshine for St. Louis gals because it appears you might need it.”  That was my first lesson learned in Florida. 

  1. Don’t bother taking heavy clothes with you in July just wait until you arrive and go to the consignment shops for little or no clothing
  2. Don’t go in your brother’s back yard at 1 p.m. when there is no air circulating and the sun in burning hot.
  3. Make sure you read a book on Florida lizards before leaving your city.
  4. Read up on oranges and grape fruits because they are very different colored when falling off the trees than in the stores.
  5. Make sure you have a good pair of Florida sandals for your feet.  Leave the heavy designer boots up North.
  6. Don’t rush to get a tan within a 10 minute time span in someones back yard.  Take a nap first and relax then head for a beach where the wind is blowing.
  7. If you happen to have a relative that you are visiting, I would suggest asking a few questions about Florida sunshine, sand, climate daily changes and any other things you might need to learn before landing in South Florida.
  8. Don’t dare let your older brother get over on you.  Be wise.  Ask him questions before beginning this adventure.  After all he knows much more about it than you and it is okay to learn before experiencing pain.
  9. Take a deep breath.  Go to the shower.  Look in the mirror.  Don’t expect to see a tanned magazine bathing beauty but instead a red sweating City Gal.  Get a nice soft white tee shirt from your brother for after the shower clothing attire.
  10. Shower, relax, chill out, enjoy the air conditioning.  Take a little much needed nap.  After the nap start preparing for your next days adventure on the boat deep sea fishing.

There is six more days to this story and I learned a lot the first day.  The second day is to begin at 4 a.m. to get ahead of the hot sun on the fishing trip to catch Jaws himself. Now like there is a way of getting away from Florida sunshine in July. The Country City Gal Goes Deep Sea Fishing For The First Time!  Stay tuned.  I have learned from all my experiences after thirty years and I need to take a little nap, chill out and relax before writing this next story.  Stay tuned.  Come back for my BIG FISHING TALE in the great salt water of a Big Ocean!

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Robert Fowler

Robert Fowler is President of Retirement Media Inc. Check out Robert's blog at BoomerPlaces.com

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