Heat day

We did go to Paris, and we had a wonderful time.  I’ll write about that soon, but for now, all I can think about is how hot it is here . . .

Except for a few weeks of the year, I love the weather in Vienna.  Winter — great.  Spring and fall — amazing (and they actually exist here as entities separate from almost-summer and nearly-winter).  Even the summer here is typically pretty lovely.  But when it gets really hot, we get miserable.

We live in the 6th floor of a 6 story building, in what used to be the attic until it was converted into an apartment about 20 years ago.  The elements add up to an uncomfortable situation:  a) heat rises, so we get the heat, b) we don’t get the fantastic insulation of the thick stone wall construction typical in most old Austrian buildings, because that isn’t how they built the attic, c) we can’t really open the windows properly because we’re 6 floors up and there is very little preventing one of the kids climbing out one of the windows and d) even though this apartment was (relatively) recently constructed, it still doesn’t have air conditioning.  So, we’re on the top floor, poorly insulated, little window ventilation and no air conditioning.  It is not nice in this apartment when it is hot outside.

It’s not brutally hot in Austria most of the time.  Our first summer in Vienna we had one week of 90+ temperatures (30+ if you think in Celsius) and it wasn’t until the end of July.  I freaked out about the heat, and we bought an air conditioner, but that really was the only week of awful hot weather we had that summer.  Last summer, we skipped most of the hot weather in July and early August by being in the US (although we had plenty of hot weather there) but still got about a week and a half of 90+ in August.

We’ve never had unpleasantly hot weather before in June.  But when we woke up in Paris yesterday morning, it was unpleasantly hot.  And when we landed in Vienna yesterday afternoon, it was hotter.  After we got home, opened the windows and aired out the apartment, it was 91 degrees in our house.  INSIDE our house.  Using our window a/c units, we got it down to 86 this morning (it was as low as 78 in the boys’ room — they have an a/c unit just for their room, and the other one is attempting to cool the living room, and we just leave the rest of the house as it is).  I’m hoping, hoping, hoping that this streak of hot weather in June means we’re done with it for the summer, not that the entire summer is going to be like this.

I’ve said it before, and it’s true — it’s not the hot days that get to me, it’s the hot nights.  91 degrees in the house is really not comfortable, but I find trying to sleep in an 88 degree bedroom pretty much impossible.  Being hot, without a break, for so many days in a row (it got hot here on Monday — we missed the first day because we were in Paris — and it’s not supposed to cool down to reasonable levels, during the day or the night, until Friday night) is grueling.  It drains all of my energy and makes me pretty crabby.

And so, I’ve declared today a “heat day” (like a snow day, but in the summer).  I have no intention of doing anything or going anywhere today.  I’m not going to try to clean the house or accomplish any of the tasks on my to-do list (which is looking pretty impressive, considering we just got back from out of town).  I’m going to play cars, watch tv, and drink as much iced coffee as possible.  (And I’ll try to post some of our Parisian adventures over the next few very hot days, too.)  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the weather forecasters are as wrong as they usually are, and that we wake up tomorrow to the low 80s with a nice breeze . . .

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