- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 6, 2006

The summer tourists and other visitors who appeared to have abandoned the city during the recent heat wave returned over the weekend with plenty to say about August in the District.

“It has been too hot the last two weeks,” soccer coach Jose Santos, of Arlington, said as his players ran up and down a field near the Tidal Basin, kicking at a ball that occasionally curled against the northerly breeze.

The 90-degree temperatures felt like a relief to some, compared with the 100-degree days of last week.

Young men and women sunbathed on lawns while others played softball games in West Potomac Park as spectators sat on picnic benches under shade trees.

Still, the weather was a challenge for the Rademakers from the Netherlands, who had endured two heat waves at home last month.

“We still think this is hotter,” said Jany Rademakers, a university psychologist walking with her 13-year-old son, Max, from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.

“Everything is big,” she said to her son, who was seeing the United States for the first time.

Michelle Long, 35, and Tom Shore, 38, who were walking their two beagle puppies along the Mall yesterday, said they returned from New Mexico to catch the end of the heat wave.

“We walked out of the airport, and it was like getting hit with a blast,” said Mr. Shore, an Army officer.

Miss Long, a Federal Reserve employee, said the weather in New Mexico was cooler than in the District.

“It was in the upper 70s in the days there, and the humidity was low,” she said as the couple rested their dogs under a shade tree. “I loved it.”

Eduardo Hilera, 22, of Puerto Rico, was red-faced and sweating as his sister, Michelle, 17, and mother, Teresitz Fuentes, appeared to move effortlessly through the day.

“Today is hot,” said Mr. Hilera, a student returning to Penn State University. “I love the school, but I’m not sure I like this.”

He said, however, that he liked winters and snow even less.

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