Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fun Vacations That Can Save On Gas

Gas Saving Vacations
By Indra Books

Gas prices are up just in time to interfere with vacations, so here’s a suggestion for a well ‘designed’ vacation. Pack up the family and head out to view a historic home or a lifestyle museum. It’s fun and interesting to see how our ancestors lived. This is a great idea for kids, who are fascinated to see how people lived before ipods and computers. Younger children enjoy seeing how food was prepared and how people dressed and the kinds of toys children had a hundred or so years ago. Even teenagers can get a horrified thrill out if seeing how water had to be hand pumped and boiled to wash dishes or how a person’s whole wardrobe could be hung on a few pegs.

Our forebears were very creative in finding solutions to make their lives easier and lighten the workload. It’s interesting to see how they solved the problems of daily living-things from butter churns to room sized clothes driers, printing presses and medical supplies. There are blacksmiths and merchants homes, pioneer cabins and urban mansions. A huge range of activities are available. Children can throw tea into Boston Harbor and see Paul Revere’s house or study a working plantation. They can look into a sod house or a prairie bungalow. They can watch flour being ground or butter churned. There are seafaring communities like Mystic, Connecticut and early Spanish settlements like St. Augustine, Florida. From the west coast to the east you can visit the homes of rich and famous people from our past or the humbler homes of everyday working people.

For the gardeners there are herb gardens for medicine and food preparation, experimental gardens where new species were tried and developed and formal gardens for those who had the leisure to take a stroll around their domains.

What people thought of as stylish years ago may seem very foreign to what we like now, but they cared every bit as much about having a comfortable and elegant home as we do. They also had their decorating fads and favorite styles. This is a wonderful chance to check out floor and window treatments and furniture styles and colors. You can see an overcrowded Victorian mansion or enjoy the beginnings of the arts and crafts movement. If you can manage to see a variety of these priceless records of our national history you will come away not only with an appreciation of the way people lived but with a better idea of the styles you yourself enjoy. There are very few really new decorating styles. Most are updates or recreations of something that has gone before. There is a similar emotional appeal in a simple colonial room and a clean, balanced modern interior.

There are historic homes and whole settlements throughout the country from the very elaborate one at Williamsburg to simple farm life museums and log cabins. Most parts of the country have several of these homes within easy driving distance. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day trip. It’s easy on the pocketbook, and gives us a better idea of the people who settled our hometowns before we were born. We get a chance to look at a slower paced lifestyle and increased appreciation for our luxuries-like electric appliances, air conditioning, and easy care fabrics.

If the whole family enjoys this look into the past, you can follow up with a visit to some of the antique malls and stores to see and recognize some of the antique and collectible items which are still around. It’s fun to look at these survivors which were once vital or treasured adjuncts to everyday living.

Contributions to this article provided by Suzanne Copenhaver, ON THE GO 4 U's design consultant.

Indra A Books, author of this and many other lifestyle articles, is the owner and founder of ON THE GO 4 U, LLC, Personal Shoppers & Concierge Service in the Washington DC metropolitan area, providing life management services. In addition to its shopping and concierge services, ON THE GO 4 U also publishes a monthly e-zine and conducts workshops. Ms. Books is the Vice President for the International Concierge & Errand Association. For more information about the author and ON THE GO 4 U, please visit

© 2006 Indra A Books for ON THE GO 4 U

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