A Weekend Adventure

Life has been tough lately.  I know things will get better, and I know I’m doing everything I can to improve my situation, but still…

I have always found travel incredibly restorative.  While exotic trips across the world aren’t realistic financially right now, little mini-vacations are definitely in the budget!  On Saturday afternoon, I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed and a bit crispy (I’m not a fan of the term “burning out”), so I did a little research and convinced Jeb that we just NEEDED to go to Vermont!

This is prime “leaf-peeping” season in the Green Mountain State, so we had an enjoyable ride north before we hit our destination.  Traffic wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected, and along the way,  we listened to “The Four-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss.

The Ben and Jerry’s Factory

We definitely underestimated the popularity of the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour!  After wandering around a bit, we pushed through the crowd to buy our tickets.  Unfortunately, tickets were SOLD OUT for another TWO HOURS (that’s the next four tours).  We didn’t want to wait and essentially hold our entire day hostage for a free ice cream sample, so we decided to skip the tour this time.  I am a HUGE fan of Ben and Jerry’s products (who isn’t??), but we opted to wait and I left the factory without even a taste of ice cream!  How’s that for progress??

 

Magic Hat

I’m not a big drinker, but it’s no secret that I prefer microbrew and/or “craft” beers to anything that is produced in much larger quantities.  Our next stop was the Magic Hat Brewery in Burlington, VT.  We took a short tour and were able to sample some of their more unique varieties, like Green Apple and Wacko (which is made with beet juice!).  You can find descriptions of some of their other unique varieties here. One of my favorite parts of the tour was learning about some of Magic Hat’s “green” initiatives.  They consistently strive to find new ways to avoid waste and overall be more environmentally conscious.  While Magic Hat is not my favorite brand, knowing this motivates me to want to purchase it more often!

 

Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

Something tells me that this was NOT Jeb’s favorite part of our day.  We were able to tour the factory and check out some of the high-quality, extremely cute products!  After a lengthy search, Jeb and I also decided to buy a Hero bear for Talia.  Every time a Hero Bear is purchased, the Vermont Teddy Bear company donates a matching bear to EMS personnel for pediatric emergencies.  From my experiences as an EMT, I know how afraid kids can be when they see a fire or EMS vehicle arrive.  Something as simple as a soft, cuddly teddy bear can help them to feel calmer and more in control.  The company has also donated bears to children affected by disasters like Hurricane Katrina, through their Friend For Life program.

 

It’s so nice to travel outside of my local area and see how others are doing good things in the world – I truly believe that every difference, no matter how small, can have a huge effect on a person’s life.  This weekend was also a reminder of how much I really love exploring – I will have to do more of this!

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