We knew it would be rainy and we were vale (Spanish word for ok) with the rain. Now Gijon is extremely humid, as rain allows for the lush greenery that is Asturias. We were spoiled in Southern California with almost no humidity. We could go on a moderate intensity hike and not even break a sweat. I am a sweater, that is to say I sweat (often in a sweater) easily, so I embraced the lack of humidity whole heatedly and never looked back.
When considering Gijon, we did not think about humidity. “But Jess,” you say, “if a place is often rainy, it only makes sense that the rain would increase the relative humidity, duh.” While I appreciate your meteorological insight, and you are correct, we simply neglected that fact.
Phil and I both grew up in the Midwest and as such are no strangers to hot, sweaty, and humid summers. It is a new experience, however, to be in a place where it’s relatively cool (50-65°F) and experience humidity. Layering is key (it’s actually quite useful in SoCal too but I digress). Usually when I walk out the door, I wish I would have worn a heavier jacket. Then, after about five minutes into our walk, I’m glad I didn’t. Ten minutes in, my jacket is off and I am carrying it. Because of the humidity, it doesn’t take much to work up a sweat while walking, particularly if you are a sweater in a sweater.
Gijon also happens to be super windy, so if you stop to have a seat on one of the many public benches (Gijon and Spain in general has a large elderly population and as a gerontologist, it pleases me greatly that they have so many spots for folks to stop and have a rest!), you are pleased as punch (what does that even mean?) to have your jacket to slip back on.
When my brother and I were kids, we would take turns staying with my aunt Harriet who lives in Kansas City. She did not have kids yet and she would shower us with attention and take us to fun places in the big city. One summer, while at the Ocean’s of Fun water park with my brother, Travis, she asked him how he was feeling. He told her, “I’m hot, I’m cold, and I’m sweaty”. This became a well known family story that we would all laugh at because what the heck kind of feeling is that? Well, lo these many years, I finally truly understand what he meant. I feel you, young Travis. I feel you. I am hot. I am cold. I am sweaty.