July 12, 2019 by: Debbie Meritsky and Marc Rotman
A Personal Journey
We just had the opportunity to host my twelve year-old niece here at the Inn to help her on a personal journey to explore the people in her life and to learn about their lives and their stories. As an uncle who lives a distance away, I have only spent a day or two at the most with my niece at any given time, and usually in her home where she is most comfortable, and surrounded by other family members too. This time, she has come to Hammondsport to get some one-on-one time with Uncle Marc, and more specifically, to learn how to create a piece of Stained Glass. Not just any piece, mind you, but a reinterpretation of one of her own renditions of a Harry Potter emblem.
While determined to have her complete her stained glass panel during the visit, I felt that it was equally important to show her some of the highpoints of the Finger Lakes in and around our Studio time. As a card-carrying member of the “Bookworm” club, my niece generally prefers to curl up with a good book, so we thought it might be fun to help her explore the great outdoors and there’s no better place to do that than at Watkins Glen State Park. With over 800 stone steps and an incredible 19 significant waterfalls this gorge is incredible, and a great place to cool off during those warm days of summer.
Another activity that was a ”first” for her was kayaking. It was like she had been kayaking for years. We began at Champlin Beach on Keuka Lake and made our way to the Keuka Inlet where the water is calm and shallow. There are beautiful wildflowers along the inlet, and you get to paddle under the Main Street bridge too. Then it was back to the Studio and her project.
Just like the kayaking, my niece picked up on the Stained Glass techniques like a champ. In fact, of all the classes I’ve taught, she ranks toward the top as one of the best students. Normally in a beginner’s class, we work on a beginner’s level project, but in this case, she jumped right in to create her very own design. Once work began, and I demonstrated a given technique, she didn’t need much more instruction to complete each step.
Overall, we successfully kept her from her books for most of the visit with fun activities and good food, but we know she snuck in a little reading here and there when we were busy with guests. It seems that she had fun, but as with many twelve year-olds, who knows?
If you need to take a personal journey to contemplate life, try a few new activities, or just relax in beautiful surroundings, the Black Sheep Inn and Spa is the place for you. While you might not get as much teasing from Uncle Marc and Aunt Debbie as a family member might get, you never know? We are always happy to help you create a truly memorable adventure in the Finger Lakes, full of good food, great waterfalls, inspiring art, a little wine and beer for good measure, and, last but not least, a little duck-egg ice cream, too.
Looking forward to the next personal journey,
Marc and Deb
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