Pool View

family vacation

In ALL, TRAVEL by Stephanie Klein5 Comments

Right now, I’m in bed, eating Key Lime Pie for breakfast. I’m away on a family vacation with a crew of thirteen people, all of us in swimsuits and sunscreen. Some of us hungover, everyone sleeping in. We’re mostly taking to the ocean and pools, deciding between a chaise lounge or hammock, a piña colada or planter’s punch. Abigail kicked up her feet on hammock, shaded between palm trees, and declared, “Now, this is the life.” Wonder which of us she’s parroting. We’re all in bliss, removed from technology, planning our Thanksgiving menu from afar.

Vacation Beauty: I’ve given myself the illusion of healthy by way of Vita Liberata. One last minute stop prior to my trip was to dash off to Sephora, shocking, for a tanning mitt. Since this summer, after running out of my UNtinted Self Tan Lotion in Warm (which was truly the BEST self-tanner I’ve ever used, with a flawless application and NO SMELL, not even when it was developing, and it didn’t stain my white clothes, sheets, nada. Hydrated, no moisturizing necessary. Gorgeous and dark enough for my white ass, even in the color Warm), I decided to ready myself for this vacation with their pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse in Medium, which has, I’m pleased to report, afforded my thighs confidence enough to be seen in public. I’d tried it this summer but was turned off when I went to sleep, only to awake to my white sheets stained and marked by browned streaks. But, it was, as promised, completely odorless with an almost instant drying time, and as it turned out, my sheets weren’t actually stained at all. Every last marking washed clean. The directions say that if you want the tan to last 2-3 weeks, you should apply a coat, let it develop for 3-24 hours, then shower, and reapply. Then again, the third time a (stunningly natural golden) charm. I’m happy with my one coat. So are the people who must look at me poolside. I know it’s fall and all, but I have to say, there’s no more immediate boost to your looks, or esteem, than bronzing up. At least with a fake tan it actually is a “healthy glow.”

I have $60 worth of magazines and have no use for headphones, enjoying the sounds of splashing, the roar of waves, the gulls, Lucas’s whispers as he speaks to the iguana who’s just padded his way beneath Lucas’s lounger. Abigail teaches her cousins to make proper mud pies. Phil throws the kids in the pool. They tell him to stop, yet swim back into his arms for more.

I floated on my back in the ocean, eyes closed, my elbows out, arms beneath my head, and my smile nearly hurt. To reconnect with nature is such a joy. To dig a sandcastle for hours with my children, to sit beside my father in beach chairs, to fall asleep beside my sister, it’s all peace and joy, and it’s not even Christmas time. Back to our regularly scheduled programming on Wednesday. Until then, I’m all self-tanner and love.

This is NOT a sponsored post, and yes, all opinions are my own, duh. Affiliate links included above. You guys know that I’d never push a product that I don’t actually use and adore myself. Just sharing the love that I love! Also, pretty proud that I avoided mentioning “not orangey” during a tanner review. Because again, duh.


  1. Your vacation sounds wonderful.. Is there a special occasion behind this or is it a “Just Because” event?

    Thanks for the self-tanner recommendations!

    1. Author

      Just because… because many years ago, when I was in high school, away on vacation with my parents and sister, my dad saw an extended family on vacation, the grandparents, children, grandchildren and cousins, and he said to himself, “One day, we’re going to have that.” This is our one day. My dad treated everyone to this big family vacation!

  2. Hurray for your father!!! He knows the things of which wonderful, lasting memories are made. And hurray for appreciating the wonders of utter relaxation and time together.

  3. I am also quite fair and have worked my way through many self-tanners and my favorite that I swear by is the St. Tropez mousse….it gives me the most natural “tan” EVER and applying it with the mitt ensures zero streakage. I even wore it on my wedding day!

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