Just over 4 years ago, my brother and his family moved to a hot, desert climate in the Southwest. We visit yearly, usually during the summer, since that’s when the kids in both states are out of school. So my family just spent the past five days in Las Vegas. 108 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s a dry heat. Like my convection oven, only bigger.
Not even a wisp of a cloud in the sky the entire time we were there. And that sun is brutal. So I listened to my own advice, and when it wasn’t possible to stay in the shade, I used a strong sunscreen. Personally, I love the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer stuff – it absorbs really quickly, and doesn’t feel at all slimy or greasy. But whatever you do, for the love of all that is holy, do NOT allow that substance to get in your eyes.
When I splashed into the pool at the bottom of a lovely, meandering water slide, it took about 4-and-a-half seconds for the sunscreen to get from the skin around my eyes to the surface of my eyes. And I thought my corneas might actually catch on fire.
So, when you get sunscreen in your eyes, rinse them immediately with lots of clean water. Use soap and water to wash your whole upper face, so that more doesn’t drip in again later when you start to sweat or when you jump in the pool again. Wear a hat. Get in the shade. And find a sunscreen made for faces, or a tear-free one.
Oh, and here’s another first-aid tip (this one’s not really my field, but I figured I’d share information learned) : When you realize a few minutes after jumping into a swimming pool that your cell phone is in your pocket, pop out the battery immediately (to avoid short circuits that’ll completely fry the inside of the phone), dry off what you can, and stick the phone in a zip-lock baggie with a bunch of uncooked rice and leave it overnight. The rice absorbs water vapor, helping to draw moisture out of the cell phone. This trick made for a mostly-functioning phone and a very grateful teenager (one who will likely not put a cell phone in his bathing suit pocket again).
We had an absolutely fabulous visit with my brother and his family. It was laid-back, yet fun-filled. Everyone, from the 7-year-old to the 45-year-old, enjoyed swimming, pinball, four square, laser tag, walks, a rock music show, restaurants, ping pong, air hockey, card games (we were, after all, in Vegas), and just being together.
And then it was time to come home. It’s painful saying goodbye, since it’ll be about 10 months until we’re together again, but we consoled one another with talk of the modern wonder that is Skype, and then the five of us went to the airport. For an 11:45 p.m. flight. Also painful.
The price differential between a redeye flight and one at a decent hour is big enough that you can’t ignore it when you’re purchasing five plane tickets. Hydrate well prior to one of these flights, because if you snooze through the drink cart’s procession, you’ll feel like you’re back in the desert by the time the three-and-a-half hour flight is over.
Once home, it’s amazing the good a brief nap can do.
Please forgive any sleep deprivation-induced typos or grammatical errors in today’s post. And keep sunscreen out of your eyes, keep your cell phone out of the pool, and keep making memories, even when you have to fly all night to do so.