One of my favorite features in a car is seat heaters. I do a lot of skiing and spending time outside in inclement weather and am also someone who runs cold most of the time. Getting into a car with seat heaters at the end of a long day skiing or a wet trail run takes those experiences that I already loved to a completely new level. Heated seats make an already comfortable ride in a modern vehicle, all the more enjoyable.
Recently, I went to a bar in Bend, Oregon after day of skiing that featured tables in a covered courtyard. I ordered a beer and sat down at a table with bench seating along the perimeter of the courtyard. I was surprised and so thrilled to discover that the bench I was sitting on was heated just like the seats in the car I arrived in!
Despite the freezing temperatures, my friends and I enjoyed our beers and dinner outside thanks to those glorious heated benches. They were just warm enough to be comfortable and easily loose track of the time (and number if beer’s we’d had!) sitting out there in the cold.
I am a big proponent of outdoor dining and believe that for the mild climate, Seattle doesn’t have nearly enough of it. People are naturally drawn to spaces with access to natural elements, be in air, water or fire, and I believe can truly make a dining experience. As I was reminded while sitting on that toasty bench, creating comfortable outdoor spaces can really be very simple, even in cold climates. Heated with radiant hot water tubes, those benches likely used relatively little energy, the cost of which was most certainly offset by the additional beers purchased by people who just wanted to enjoy that bench a little longer.