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I caught up on my stack o’ magazines Labor Day weekend, and boy was there a lot of inspiration I was unintentionally ignoring! I’ll be posting some of the best over the next few weeks. These posts are totally un-sponsored — it just happens that we have quite a lot of common with the minds behind Country Living, Southern Living, and Traditional Home!

I love to go on vacations that include history. Shiny cities and new galleries are enjoyable, but I like my art to have a bit of dust, the hotels to have a few cobwebs, and the streets to have brick somewhere underneath. When the hubs and I visited Tennessee a few summers ago, I quite enjoyed getting to know the older part of Chattanooga, mixed right in with its fancy facelift. And when we visited the Roadrunner a few years ago, we took a drive up to Estes Park, Colorado to enjoy the scenery – and take a look at The Stanley hotel (made more famous by The Shining).

All this to say – consider the historicity of wherever you’re going! You certainly don’t have to plan your vacation around it (though I understand battleground states are popular!) – but think about what happened in and around your next vacation location.

CL July-August 2013

Visiting Thomas Edison’s lab would be a fantastic side trip the next time we’re in NYC. Less than 20 minutes from Manhattan, via the Holland Tunnel, you’ll find yourself in East Orange, NJ – home to Edison’s lab (and studio) and his estate (Glenmont). Find more information about Thomas Edison National Park here. (Country Living, July/Aug 13, p61)

Added bonus? Find inspiration in the timeless lab equipment, and re-imagine their use – from flower vases to spice storage, spare button display to barware. Lab equipment can be used in genius ways, even if science isn’t your thing.