Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Beach Gear

I've been thinking a lot about the beach lately.  Perhaps because I'm in the final stretches of planning a vacation, and my last few have been beach-centric?  [By the way, if anyone knows of any not to be missed spots in northern Spain/SW France, please let me know!]  

Exhibit 1, Ipanema, where I spent a blissful few days during the Winter of 2008.

Exhibit 2, the Dominican Republic, Spring of 2008.  I believe that I may have been the only person who didn't get sunburned that day.  You see, as the whitest person in the group (yes, that's me in the blue dress and by the way, I had just gotten spray tanned a few days prior) if not the world, I am very well acquainted with sunscreen and its many benefits.

And, if I had a photo, Miami would be Exhibit 3.  Also quite enjoyable.

Oddly, despite growing up in California, I have only recently become a fan of the beach.  It always seemed like such a pain, lugging untold amounts of furniture, giant coolers and giant bags across hot sand.  While in Brazil I vowed that I would spend a minimal amount of time on the beach.  I insisted that I was not a beach person.

Well, turns out I am.  I love the beach...well done beaches at least.  And nobody does them better than they do in Brazil.  Now there may well be beaches somewhere in the world more naturally beautiful than those in Brazil, but I seriously doubt you will come across one that is more well equipped than the one at Ipanema.

The beach going public is provided with chairs, umbrellas and very good food from a variety of vendors that walk around through the crowds.  No need to even get up!  So you see there is little to lug to the beach as it is virtually all there already.  All you need is sunglasses, sunscreen, a book, a little money for said food, and your trusty sarong.

Sarong you say?  Aren't those largely decorative?  Well glad you asked.  As it turns out, they are the most intelligent piece of beachwear ever invented.  First off, you can wear it any which way as a cover up, the styling options are nearly endless, with the number of variations rivaling those in the Hermes scarf tying guide.  Then, once you get to the beach, simply drape it over your chair, tie it behind the back so it stays in place in all but the strongest of winds, and you're all set.  No need for a bulky, sand-filled towel!  I have never felt so unburdened at a beach as I did in my sarong in Brazil.

If I've convinced you, give this one a go, if you're only partially convinced, give this hammam towel a try.  It's sort of a compromise between the two that will ease you in.  You'll be over to the sarong side in no time, I promise!

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