I grew up in Palm Springs, where the mercury rose to a breath-taking 120 degrees F in the summer. So you would think that a week or two of over 100-degree temps for me would be no big thing. Wrong. Living near the ocean for nearly 15 years spoiled me, so now that I call Phoenix home there are some things that I’m thankful for to get me through this dry heat.
1. Iced green tea. I drink it by the gallons; especially because the water here is so hard. I’m a bit addicted to Starbucks and this cool beverage doesn’t help. I’ve even tried brewing it at home and pouring it over ice. It just isn’t the same.
2. Drive-thrus. And, I’m not talking fast food. (Well, unless you count Starbucks.) There is virtually no reason to get out of your air-conditioned car. Nearly everything here has a drive-up window: the bank (ATM and teller), the dry cleaner, regular restaurants, etc.
3. Own pool. For me, this is a flashback to my youth. Every house I grew up in had a pool. There weren’t as many community pools as I saw in Los Angeles. There’s something very relaxing about swimming when you don’t have to contend with the neighbors and their kids.
4. Ceiling fans. I hate air conditioning: the way my skin feels after days of being blown on, the way it coups you up in the house, and the noise it makes. But ceiling fans allow for the air to move, the rooms to remain cool and most importantly the air conditioner to run less frequently.
5. The gym. When it’s nearly 80 degrees F outside at 5 AM, it’s hard to get a run in. The Lifetime Fitness where I go is open 24 hours a day. It allows me to get my workouts in and never mind the temperature. And this is good because it keeps my cabin fever to a minimum.
6. Finally, Misters. These tiny sprinklers that mist the air in shopping centers and restaurants make it seem like it is 10 degrees cooler than it is. Believe me, there is a big difference between 92 and 102.
I realize that I’m probably missing a few things and will update as I discover (or rediscover) things. In the meantime, desert-dwelling readers tell me what makes these sweltering temps bearable to you.