note: photos from the trip are available here

So I went up to Vermont with Andy and Melanie this weekend. It was the second time Andy and I had been up to Vermont, the same Shelburne/Burlington area on the eastern coast of Lake Champlain. Things were familiar and it was almost as if a homecoming of sorts was taking place.

We did a bunch of touristy things such as the walk through sprawling Shelburne Farms, a visit to the Magic Hat Factory, and pitstops here and there to buy cheeses and wine. Lake Champlain was a beauty, especially at sunset, where the big lake retains a cozy feel as you realize that on the horizon, there are mountains that enclose this body of water – that its reach is finite. What colored the weekend in Vermont, without a doubt, was the foliage. In full swing, the fiery reds, saturated oranges, and bright yellows had us gasping from time to time at the sheer prettiness of nature. Looking at the leaves, I was reminded of that adolescent feeling of finding myself constantly staring at a very delicate and pretty girl for the first time, unable to pull my eyes away and trying all I can to remember her features, knowing that soon enough, she would hardly notice me and move on with her own life, much like the leaves that make breathtaking impressions only to fall away and disappear for another year.

Driving around Lake Champlain and eventually stopping by to take pictures near the water, the three of us silently took in the clarity of the skies and the intensity of all the colors under the noon sun. I joked (not without some seriousness) that perhaps when our fortunes materialized in the future, we should invest in a nice lakeside home in Burlington, complete with a docking pier for the boat and a spacious yard for barbeques and outdoor dinners. Most of all, for the sight we were currently witnessing. We would live the delicious bourgeois fantasy of the lakeside vacation home — invite and entertain friends, make weekend “getaways” from the rigors of our careers, and be able to say, Oh, we’ve got a place up there – you’re more than welcome to use it. Yes, such dreams will always come attached with pretensions and status markers, and of such concerns I am hardly exempt. But this past weekend, there definitely were moments when we did indeed experience dreams of unadulterated and innocent wishes – the kind where property values and renovated interiors are nonexistent and all you see are clear blue skies, a serene yet lively lake, and leaves with burning colors that kindle the nostalgia of your childhood moments spent with nature.

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