Wednesday, July 05, 2006

various liquids

Rain this afternoon, lots of it, after a day and a half of threatening and spitting. I'm hoping that it will all wash itself out overnight and we'll get a whole nicer day tomorrow, but the forecast says it won't clear till the evening. We may have to go to the movies if that happens!

Today, though, after bullying kids through their work (reading, journals, and math drills) I piled them into the car and we headed to Sandwich for the Pairpoint Glass Factory. I had visited it more than 30 years ago with my mom and brother, and we enjoyed watching the glassblowers and seeing all the cool stuff they made. So it seemed like a reasonable rainy day excursion, and for once the kids did not complain about it.

We stopped for lunch at a tiny place called John's Capeside Diner, which was a real diner and so not-a-chain-restaurant that it was awesome. DS1 enjoyed his burger, DS2 ate about 2 bites of pancakes, and DD sulked -- the two little ones had been snacking all morning and had no room left for lunch, and it didn't matter a bit. I loved my scallop roll (OK, I ate the scallops and left the roll), and we hustled out through the steady rain back to the car, and to the factory.

When we visited there in the '70's, it was set up differently; I vaguely recall a tour guide, or at least someone explaining the processes we were looking at. Now, I'm sure they couldn't do that for insurance reasons, and it has a pretty neat, simple setup: one entire wall of the shop is glass, and the windows look down into the workroom, where you can see the glassblowers. One huge benefit: the windows block out most of the tremendous heat from the furnaces. I could easily have stood and watched for an hour, but the kids were restless and wanted to explore the shop, so I limited myself to a few minutes.

How crazy is it to bring three kids into a hand-blown glass shop? With my kids, not that crazy. Yes, they picked up some things, but they were careful, and they put them down when I told them to. They didn't jostle anything, they didn't run around or engage in any horseplay. They spent a long time looking at all the cool stuff before they decided what they wanted.

This trip was probably the most extensive on-vacation shopping we've ever done together. Each child picked out a pressed glass cup plate, which I paid for as a vacation souvenir, but then they wanted other things, too. DD picked out a tiny mille fiori crab paperweight, as well as a yellow glass bead bracelet, with a tiny white flower on each bead. DS1 picked out a set of three bird cup plates, each with lovely colors, and I sprung for a rack so he could hang them up in his room at home. For us, I bought three suncatchers for the kitchen windows, and a hefty glass starfish. It's so cool. Then I got some smaller glass shells to arrange around it at home. I'm not really the tchotke type, usually, but these... they're art.

Photos later, when the cable gets here!

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