What does a St. Tropez tan look like?

I think most people would agree that the only thing worse than packing is unpacking.

I’ve been trying to complete this dreadful task, but find myself using delay tactics.

For example, I spend long periods of time looking out the window, sighing deeply as I realize the warm Spanish sun no longer shines brightly.

Instead, it’s been replaced by gloomy, gray skies filled with clouds that seem ready to burst at any moment.

I also find myself dialing my mother, who’s still in the land of “tapas,” only so she can hold the phone up and I can hear the ocean waves.

Roxy’s also a bit depressed, but tries to make the best of it by sunbathing on a sunless terrace.

In the meantime, I could swear I hear Marcelo groan in the corner, as he attempts to shoulder the weight of clothes, shoes, bags, and other knick knacks.

Unfortunately, his groans are falling on deaf ears as I procrastinate to the fullest, trying to ignore the pile of clothes that begs to be returned to its proper place.

As I walk into my room, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

I look tired.

My eyes seem a bit sad.

Missing my fun in the sun must be affecting me worse than I thought.

Fortunately, I notice how tanned my skin is.

And this makes me smile.

Without giving it another thought, I race for the camera and spend the next half hour taking silly pictures of myself.

Roxy cocks her head to the side as if to ask, “What the heck are you doing?”

I answer her even though she hasn’t really spoken, “Documenting my 2011 Spanish tan.”

The Son walks in at this precise moment.

“Seriously mom, don’t tell me you’re talking to the dog again.”

“Oh, hush. I’m taking a photo of my tan because last year I forgot to do so.”

“What does that have to do with this year?”

“Nothing. I just don’t want another summer to go by without proof that I had a ‘Ban de Soleil for the St. Tropez’ tan.”

“A St. Tropez what?”

“Don’t you have a girlfriend you have to call?”

“Yeah. One who isn’t taking photos of her St. Tropez tan.”


What do they know.

And so, even though these photos aren’t the best, and my sister claims my eyes seem to be oozing sadness, I wanted to share them with you.

Oh, and notice how I’m not wearing any make up.

After all, who needs make up when you’ve got a St. Tropez tan?

Are you sporting a tan this summer?


55 thoughts on “What does a St. Tropez tan look like?

  1. Bella, you are gorgeous! These photos are fabulous, and your tan looks sooo amazing! It’s so true that you don’t need makeup when you have an even tan, it’s all in the skin! It’s glowing! I tan quite easily, but don’t like it so much because I prefer to wear darker-colored clothing, and I just look weird when I’m tanned. I’m also deathly afraid of skin cancer. -_- I know, it’s the paranoia talking, but there. hahaha. Sometimes, I like to slather on some self-tanner though, so I don’t have to go outside in the sun to get some color! But my fake tan definitely doesn’t look half as good as yours does!

    1. Laura, you are not paranoid. Skin cancer is all too real and we really shouldn’t take sun exposure lightly. The reason I’m happy to take in a little sun is because I have a vitamin D deficiency, but know that I only sunbathe gradually and during hours when the sun’s rays are not as harmful. And hey, fake tanners are a great substitute and surely not as harmful! Thank you for your kind words. I’m tickled pink, but you already know that! :)

  2. I can imagine it’s an adjustment…but you look fabulous! No sadness…just fond memories of a glorious summer in St. Tropez. Start planning your return and it will be something nice to look forward to! Welcome home!

  3. I see the sadness, Bella, I see it! It says, “Land o churros, sweet spanish nothings whispers under the stars, and quiet ocean waves – I hear you calling me. You need me. I am nothing without you… and Roxy of course. I glow! I bloom!”

    I, on the other hand, curse my English/Irish heritage as I lather up SPF 70 and STILL freckle under it. Sigh.

    1. Lori, thanks for putting a smile on my face! I’m sure your freckles are the cutest thing! :) Believe it or not, when you look closely at my face, you’ll see a smattering of freckles across my nose and cheeks. The Significant Other thinks they’re “endearing.” :)

  4. Oh Bella, sexy tan! Cute account of talking to Roxy :)
    Me? A tan? Really?
    I’m so white – genteel lady that I am – that you need shades to keep from going blind when you look my way, especially under the brightness of the sun. So white that you couldn’t discern my body in the snow.

    1. Debra, I call skin like yours “alabaster white”; the kind I always wanted when I was a little girl and saw Disney movies about princesses! :) So methinks you don’t need a tan at all! :)

  5. Bella,
    I was reading your post scrolling down slowly, looking at your pictures, and then I read you were taking pictures of yourself. I stopped reading and scrolled REALLY quickly. YEAH pictures of BELLA! You are one pretty woman. I am envious of your beautiful hair, I dream of hair like yours. *sigh* I too am a akin to Snow White, no tan, just pale. Anyway….BELLA pictures…you totally made my day.

    1. Georgia, your kind words have made my day! Thank you for that! You are also one of those alabaster white princesses! I love your coloring! :) I’m also tickled pink you like my mop of curls!

  6. —is that you??????????

    I love you. You are beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Fab. Gorgeous. Lovely.

    “I realize the warm Spanish sun no longer shines brightly.”

    in your memories, my friend. In your memories.

    XXXXX Welcome home.

    1. Kim, you are the sweetest! I now know where to come when in the need of a little ego stroking, sister! hee hee! Love you, girl! :)

  7. You are the color of creme caramel, cafe con leche, cappuccino, fresh baked bread, butterscotch pudding, all those good and beautiful things. It’s fun to see your lovely self-portraits!!!!

    1. Jann, you, my friend, have a way with words! I’ll make sure I let the Signficant Other read it so he can get some new material! hee hee! Grazie, amica! :)

  8. Bella I said it before and I will say it again you are a beauty with or without a tan. On a other hand, snap out of it, at least you were in Spain and you have a beautiful tan to proof it. What are rest of us have? Welcome home!

  9. Wow! Que hermosa con tu tan! I don’t have one this summer, tho I got a bit of one last summer when my daughter and I spent a week at Disney World. I came home very, very sad, too. Which is why it’s best never to go on vacation, so you don’t know what you’re missing. ;)

    1. Monica, gracias mil, chica! How wise you are. Every time I come back from Spain, I feel the same way. There’s a transition period, then all goes back to normal. But until it does, it’s the blues for little Roxy and myself!

  10. You are BEAUTIFUL, Bella! I don’t see any sadness, just a hint of longing for the warmth of the sea but also a faint naughtiness as you imagine your new days fresh with still warm memories to rummage through whenever you need them. You sparkle, my dear. With a secret. Love it!!

    1. Brynne, thank you, dear friend. Your words warm my heart! I like the idea of projecting a little naughty! :) You have a way with words, you know that?

  11. Bella – girl, you are sizzling. I hate endings, too. Beginnings are so much more exciting. There is nothing better than packing for a trip. At the end I want to throw everything away that reminds me of the trip……. but, we can’t. We have all those new memories bumping into themselves in our head… also waiting to be unpacked and savored. I don’t see any blues in your eyes, only peace.. that, and you are tan and too sexy (well, a woman can never be too sexy..). Welcome back…

    1. Brenda, thank you for your warm welcome, chica! I read “a woman can never be too sexy,” and had to smile. Because that’s exactly what the Significant Other says! :) You’re right–I do feel a great sense of peace. That’s why I love summer. It provides me with the opportunity to charge my batteries and return to face the daily conundrum with renewed energy and vitality. It’s good to be back!

  12. You don’t need make up – you look wonderful without. I have a tan but it’s not from an exciting trip like yours – just the community pool. Maybe next time I’m there I’ll pretend I’m in Spain.

    1. Jennifer, one summer I sported a community pool tan and guess what? It was just as nice as this one! My point is, it matters not where you get a tan, but how much fun you have getting it! hee hee! Thank you for your kind words! :)

  13. Endings are difficult but when you look so beautifully brown there is no time to think of the end but of the warm and glowing brown babe looking back from the other side of the mirror!

  14. Longing for sun sand and surf… no wonder you are still a little down. But the tan looks great! I’m not much for tanning… I have the pale skin… but I am still sporting the effects of my “farmer’s tan” from a couple weeks ago. The legs, of course are a beautiful fishbelly white!

    I miss living near a beach. I miss walking barefoot in wet sand. Where I have been for the last couple years, there are lakes but no sand, no beaches whatsoever. And I wear water shoes or crocs so I don’t cut my feet on the rocks. The lack of beach is driving me insane! I spent the bulk of my life a mere 40-minute drive from Lake Michigan, which is really more like a freshwater inland sea. Even many of the closeby smaller lakes had some sort of “sandy beach” component (although I suspect some of them may have been manmade- or at least man-encouraged).

    1. Amy, I can understand how you would miss being near a beach! I too love to feel the sand beneath my feet and the ocean waves as they creep up to greet you the minute you stick one foot in the water! :) Here’s hoping you visit one soon!

  15. You look beautifully tan and rested, Bella! What a great post! I love how Marcelo got into the post too – that is how my whole living room looks after a great vacation. So glad you had a great time but I can understand missing it, that’s for sure. And how fun your discussion with your son. : )

    Thank you for your lovely visit and generous words, Bella! : )

    1. Hi Shirley! I’m flattered you like my appearance! :) Poor Marcelo! He still hasa some junk on him! The Son is just silly but it makes for good post material! hee hee! You’re more than welcome, Shirley! Love your site!

  16. Oh Bella, you are so beautiful. Absolutely no makeup required. You do look a bit sad, it’s true, but it is completely understandable. I also have a hard time unpacking, in fact, my bag from Austin is still in my closet with stuff in it. Yes, my bag from the trip I took at the end of April! I have done this forever though, left bits and pieces from one journey to be discovered while preparing for another. Marcelo will be OK if your things stay put for a little longer, friend.

    1. Heidi, friend, I like you! :) Thank you for your sweet words! You’ve made my day! I loved your comment! Indeed, Marcelo is hanging in there even if he’s cursing me from his corner! :) I love the idea of leaving “bits and pieces from one journey to be discovered while preparing for another”! I think I’ll steal this marvelous idea from you! :)

  17. whou, these are not silly pics, they’re pretty documenting photos! And you’re beautiful showing us your sweet smile and wonderful skin!
    Of course, I agree with you. I hate unpacking so much!, I’m able to procrastinate unpacking for days! (including vacuum around my luggage!)

    1. Mrs. Allnut, muchas gracias, mi querida amiga! It’s funn you mention vacumming around your luggage because this trip around, I had to do the exact thing! You see, I bought a small bottel of baking soda with me, since you can’t get it where I live, and it opened up in the suitcase! What a nightmare to clean up! Thankfully, it acted as a deodorizer for the rug! :)

  18. Your tan is lovely. And a good souvenir to bring home from the beach. Any time you feel sad about being under the clouds, take a moment to check yourself in the mirror. It’s a beautiful sight. Side note: Love your hair!

    1. Rowena, that is a stupendous idea! I thik I will in fact have some of these printed and make a “brag book” like the grandma’s carry in their purses. Only mine will have photos of the beach and not of grandchildren! :)

  19. Great photos!
    I’m not sporting a tan, this year, or any other. Even with a lot of time in the sun, I barely tan. When I was little, I wanted to tan (my mother tanned a lot, my father just got sunburns), later I just stopped caring about that.
    As for unpacking, when i get back home from a trip, I unpack immediately; however, when i go on a trip and get there, I’m too lazy to unpack, I just leave it in the bag and get the things I need when I need them (and I manage to convince myself they’re not wrinkled too bad).

    1. I’m glad you like the photos, Ivana! Your behavior sounds just like my sister’s. Whenever we holiday together, we tease her about her ablity to “live out of a suitcase.” She does it so effortlessly and wrinkles? What wrinkles? :)

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