This Road Trip Puts You in Blissful 70°F Weather for a Full Year

Brian Brettschneider
Brian Brettschneider

Humans love it when the temperature hovers around 70℉. We’re more productive at work, babies sleep better at night, and tourists worldwide think [PDF] it’s the ideal temperature for a visit (except for beach vacations). When the mercury rises above 70℉, our unhappiness shoots up too.

But you don’t have to stay in the climate-controlled indoors to maintain this optimum temperature. Climatologist Brian Brettschneider created a 13,235-mile road trip through North America that keeps you in 70℉ weather every day for a full year.

Using weather data from the National Center for Environmental Information and Environment Canada, Brettschneider plotted a route through places that have a daily high average of 70℉. (It will likely get cooler at night.)

The trip begins on January 1 in southernmost Texas. Get comfortable, because you’ll be in the Lone Star State for three months. On April 1, head east, arriving in Washington D.C. a month later. Now head northwest through Chicago, Wisconsin, and much of Canada; you’ll log a whopping 3873 miles in June on your way to Alaska. Return south as far as Portland, Oregon, then head back east through the Plains as far as Missouri. You’ll be there in late October. Spend the fall crossing west again. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in San Diego.

In all, you’ll pass through 31 states and three Canadian provinces.

If you want a shorter trip, Brettschneider also created a 9125-mile route that still begins in Texas and ends in California but omits Canada and Alaska.

9949-mile road trip map through 70-degree weather

And for those of you who like it hotter, he also plotted a 9949-mile trip that follows average daily high temperatures of 80℉. That map includes the 70℉ route in case you want to cool down.

9125-mile road trip map through 80-degree weather

It’s unlikely that you’ll see Brettschneider, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska, along the route—at least anywhere in the Lower 48. "I love the snow," he told CityLab.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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Florence’s Plague-Era Wine Windows Are Back in Business

A wine window in Florence's Via Santo Spirito.
A wine window in Florence's Via Santo Spirito.

Many bars and restaurants have started selling takeout cocktails and other alcoholic beverages to stay in business—and keep customers safe—during the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, 17th-century Florentines are surely applauding from their front-row seats in the afterlife.

As Insider reports, a number of buildings in Florence had been constructed with small “wine windows,” or buchette del vino, through which vendors sold wine directly to less affluent customers. When the city suffered an outbreak of plague in the 1630s, business owners recognized the value of these windows as a way to serve people without spreading germs. They even exchanged money on a metal tray that was sanitized with vinegar.

Wine not?sailko, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Things eventually went back to normal, and the windows slowly fell out of fashion altogether as commerce laws evolved. This year, however, they’ve made a comeback. According to Food & Wine, there are currently at least four in operation around Florence. Osteria delle Brache in Piazza Peruzzi is using its window to deliver wine and cocktails, for example, and the Vivoli ice cream shop, a go-to dessert spot since 1929, is handing out sweet scoops and coffee through its formerly dormant aperture.

Apart from the recent resurgence of interest, the wine windows often go unnoticed by tourists drawn to the grandeur of attractions like the Uffizi Gallery and the Florence Cathedral. So in 2015, locals Matteo Faglia, Diletta Corsini, and Mary Christine Forrest established the Wine Window Association to generate some buzz. In addition to researching the history of the windows, they also keep a running list of all the ones they know of. Florence has roughly 150, and there are another 100 or so in other parts of Tuscany.

They’re hoping to affix a plaque near each window to promote their stories and discourage people from defacing them. And if you want to support their work, you can even become a member of the organization for €25 (about $29).

[h/t Insider]