Even before I moved to Vermont, I became familiar with Simon Pearce glassware and its reputation for elegant and yet everyday glassware. We are lucky enough to have some Simon Pearce pieces ourselves: champagne glasses that we got as an engagement gift, taper holders, serving platters, and tea-light holders. I am actually drinking out of a SP white wine glass as I type this (not mine, sadly, although having a collection of their wine glasses is on our list of big purchases). They have beautiful things and I always love going to their showroom and imagining what I would buy if I had all the money in the world, or if I could design my own home with money as no object. Since these pieces are hand-blown locally, they give me a little extra pleasure and I like giving them to people as gifts. I especially enjoy eating in the SP restaurant; the orzo salad is heaven. Actually, there's not a lot about SP that I don't like.
That includes their front door.
Now, this isn't a review. I'm just telling you, in case you live in the greater Boston area, that SP is a great company/restaurant and worth a visit because I always enjoy tidbits like that about other locales; I even have a notebook about places I dream of going that include restaurants, hotels, walking tours, must-sees and must-dos. If you're in the Upper Valley, I'd chalk a visit to Simon Pearce as a must do. With or without kids. And yes, you can bring your kids. Surprised? I was, too. But you know that waterfall I showed you yesterday? That waterfall actually powers the building that houses Simon Pearce the showroom and restaurant. So once Jax and I had had our fill of Mother Nature and her awesome displays of power and beauty, we headed inside for a man-made show that was equally impressive, especially to Jax.
You see, an amazing bonus to that walk to the waterfall is that on the way back to our car, we just had to walk through a doorway to enter one of the most mesmerizing displays of craftmanship on earth: glass-blowing.
I don't care how old you are; watching these young men labor so intensely over a blinding oven to create near-perfect glassware that is sold right upstairs is pretty remarkable. I haven't brought anyone there yet who hasn't hunkered down and stayed awhile, respect and awe reflected in their eyes. And that includes my little guy, who I actually had to tear away from this near-silent, ancient art. He could not get enough of the magic behind creating something beautiful from practically nothing.
I would have thought this would have either been a disaster or he would have been bored to tears. Instead, he watched breathlessly and oohed every time they brought the flame close. They always have what their blowing on display:
so I could show Jax which piece the man was working on and we could talk about how it was coming together, piece by piece. We had to watch them create four or five wine glasses before I could drag him away.
Then we walked through the showroom, where an older couple eyed me suspiciously (might have been my crazy hair; they use some industrial-sized fans in the glass-blowing workroom), and threw an off-hand remark my way about being brave to bring Jax there. But I was too high on the thrill of my evening with my son, watching him learn and appreciate new things and experience life in its magnitude to care.
Amazingly enough, I would definitely recommend taking your kids to watch the miracle of glass-blowing, no matter where you live. Whether it's in in the International Village in San Diego, or at Simon Pearce in Vermont, the experience is one-of-a-kind. And if you're worried about your kid(s) behaving themselves, just take one and talk to them about the process; you might be surprised how much they glean from the experience!