We Stepped Inside the Artists’ Worlds…If Only For a Day

On Wednesday, May 25, we were back on the Vermont tourist trail, but we managed to find several things we had never experienced before. In fact, we stepped into the shoes of artists, and as Raplh Waldo Emerson said, “Every artist was first an amateur.”

First stop was the Simon Pearce Flagship Store and Studio, located in Quechee, Vermont. Simon Pearce brought his glassblowing techniques from Ireland to this location in 1981, and now visitors can visit the turbine-powered glassblowing studio to watch artisans create amazing and functional works of art!

Bill and I became mesmerized as the artists worked in tandem to create wine glasses, one after another. We viewed two men engaged in what I likened to a dance… they moved in sync, each one knowing exactly what his part was in the creation of the wine goblet. We were so taken by the ongoing creative process that we must have watched them for close to an hour – a fabulous dance resulting in a piece of art!

After that experience we ventured back upstairs to the retail store and knew we had to purchase two of the identical glasses we watched being made –  we also purchased a bottle of Simon Pearce Pinot Noir, in order to fill our works of art!

Also in the same building is Simon Pearce’s farm-to-table restaurant that overlooks the Ottaquechee River as well as a waterfall. We were very lucky to get a table without a reservation and enjoyed every bite. Bill ordered Shrimp Toast Points while I feasted on Asparagus and Prosciutto Quiche. For dessert we shared Pavlova, a strawberry creation served atop meringue!

Located right next door – and also owned by Simon Pearce – is a Whistlepig Tasting Room – the only one in the world! Set on the second floor of an historic Victorian building is a cozy, two-room area where you can taste a flight of various Whistlepig, a rye whiskey, actually distilled near Middlebury, Vermont and known to be very high end.

According to Vermont law, the “taste” can only be one ounce, so Bill chose a 12-year, 15-year, and 18-year to taste. Not being a whiskey or bourbon fan, I watched and listened and sipped the final one, as our host likened it to my favorite – Grand Mariner…not really but it warmed me right up! Bill ended up buying a bottle of the 15-year and plans to save it for very special sharing – you know who you are!

Our final stop for today’s adventures was at Andrew Pearce’s Woodworking Studio and Retail Store. Andrew is the eldest son of Simon, and he specializes in woodturning of mostly cherry and walnut, resulting in magnificent furniture, bowls, cutting boards, platters and presentation boards.

Here we were able to view one woodturner as he created small bowls and then stamped them with the official Andrew Pearce logo. Although a different media, this process, too, was unbelieveably cool to watch. We were one on one with this artisan, communicating through facial expressions and hand movements. Laden with lots of safety clothing and equipment, and creating alone, woodturning was not as graceful as glassblowing but in both cases the result was truly a thing of beauty.

Of course, here again we had to purchase something – this time a walnut cutting/presentation board. My next charchterie items won’t know what hit them, placed on such a beautiful surface! We were also pleased to learn that for every tree used by Andrew Pearce, another tree is planted!

Our final day in Vermont, May 26, was spent once again on the golf course, this time at Bellow Falls Country Club. This is a very unique course, in existence since 1922. Again, hills abound, but here we encountered several blind holes, elevated tee boxes and even a waterfall along the 8th hole! Again, this was a longer and challenging golf experience but always lots of fun! On every golf cart they remind all players to…

  • Come relaxed and leave happy!
  • Remember the good times with friends more than your score.
  • Play the tees that make you the happiest!

While in Vermont we ate at some places we had visited on previous trips such as Killarney’s Irish Pub, Murdochs on the Green (delicious steak tips!), and Outer Limits Brewery, but we also tried a new spot called Calcutta’s, which was very good.

As you know, Vermont truly is Bill’s “happy place,” and we both did a major exhale and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves for several days.

The final stop on our 11-day journey was in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, where we watched as grandson, Adam, walked across the stage at Susquehanna University and accepted his diploma! How delightful it was to be part of this wonderful ending – which we all know is really a beginning!

We continue to thank Bill’s daughter Cara and husband, Peter, for sharing their Vermont home with us. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Stay Calm and Travel On…

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