If I wasn’t busy earning a paycheck to pay for the leak in our kitchen and vet care for a new kitten, our next road trip would be to here:

Grass-fed cows…Ben and Jerry’s…Ethan Allen’s ghost…maple syrup…civil unions…skiing…a politically progressive single payer healthcare system,…Magic Hat beer, and, of course, leaf peeping. What’s not to love?

Vermont needs tourists right now. Southern Vermont was flooded by several late-summer storms, including tropical storm Irene, and the state is in dire need of visitors with dollars to spend on said maple syrup and Magic Hat. Autumn is when Vermont really rocks it out, though I admit, I’m partial to the Lake Champlain region in mid-August (that’s where I married Mike). The fall foliage report indicates those golden autumnal colors are surfacing around the Lake Champlain-Burlington area with colors peaking in central Vermont. The temperatures in the Northeast are supposed to reach 80 this weekend; the perfect way to enjoy all those chilly, fall things we enjoy like sipping cider and picking out pumpkins–without actually getting cold! Vermont offers more than 9,600 square miles of rural beauty and, with only a half million people living there, you’re bound to getting a little elbow room and quiet to yourself to take in Green Mountain serenity.

Sadly, we won’t be coming this weekend or even this year, not because of motivation or figuring out where to go, but because the nest and its inhabitants require some upkeep and care, which costs money. I doubt the reality of my budget will ever live up to my travel bucket list, even the quickie getaways, but this is the worst recession since the Great Depression, and part of being a grown-up means prioritizing. Vermont will have to wait until next year for our return. In the meantime, if you’re not saddled with plumbing expenses and vet bills, support the local Vermont economy. Peep at the leaves, buy a jug of maple syrup and don’t forget to pick up a six-pack of Magic Hat. You’ll have an awesome time and probably find yourself scheduling a trip back before you leave state lines.

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