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Please note: the above comic was made with lower quality tools. We appologise for any lack of quality.

As part of our trip to Arizona, we went to Reno, where we met up with our online friends, known to us as the Arcadia Clan (and add-on Star). It is in this city where we met up with our friend Jade Griffin and her husband Eric, who have the absolute most adorable 1 1/2 year old daughter ever. Here she is being devoured by a rare ground alligator:

Kyari - Sitting in an Alligator

One of the first things Jade Griffin and Eric did was to take us tubing. This involves going down the local river and floating down the gentles and the rapids on an inflated tube. It was great fun and I don't regret doing it for a moment, but... Well, for one thing, my wimpy Dutch sun block simply isn't up to Reno grade sunlight. And on top of that, the water just washes it off. I don't think any of us escaped without considerable sun burn, though Beedoo! and I seemed to have been hit the hardest. Beedoo!'s burnt ankles merrily swelled in a painful manner while the skin flaked off of her shoulders, but the world's smallest violin surely played for me: I was red as a lobster all over. Consequence of the gentle Dutch sunlight?

Fortunately, we have some considerate friends. Kessalia and Delphine loaned us their sun burn spray, and our roommate Star was kind enough to buy and leave us two tubes of Aloe Vera gel. Thanks a bunch, guys! This and shamelessly going around shirtless in Jade Griffin's house for a few days made a big difference.

Me, I'm doing a lot better now that the blisters have come up and popped and my skin is falling off... :)

I have never been tubing before, and the experience on the Truckee in Reno, NV, was totally new to me... sun care, however, is not, and I should not have gotten as burned as I did, but for a couple of mis-steps. I was good about wearing a hat, life vest (which no one else wore, but I think I may have been the only one who actually went under at any point...), and SPF 22 lip goo. It just figured that I missed some spots with my 70 spf waterproof sunblock over the tops of my ankles and around my armpits... which were covered when I was applying the sunblock, of course, and which were fully exposed to the midday sun the entire time. Since my mom had a malignant skin cancer while she was pregnant with me, (which could have resulted in abortion), I'm a little touchy about sun exposure and serious sunburns, so I'm deeply shamed that the two of us burned to this extent.

I think Arno was certainly in much more pain than me, but trying to get around with double-sized ankles was no picnic either... I had to resort to wearing the same crocs I wore on the river with no socks because it hurt to wear anything else.

I will say, though, that it's a good thing Arno burned on his front side. When I was snorkeling in Hawaii, I sunburned my back, butt, and legs, and found myself in intense pain every time I sat down, had to sleep face-down, and often found myself sticking to things, due to blisters breaking. ;p

And I must add that yes, Jade Griffin's girl Kyari is the most adorable child I have ever met. I have never met such a sweet, good-natured, polite, and smart child her age. She was saying "Ah-no" and "Beedoo" in response to us by the time we left, and even referred to me as "Auntie Beedoo." Awww!