09 May 2010

How to Build A Sand Castle

There are fewer things that make a lasting impression than building a great sand castle.  It is the ultimate family activity.  I'm going to share with you how we build sandcastles down here in Solana Beach, California.  Although we are a sleepy little beach town, we take our sandcastle building very seriously.

There is no wrong way to build a sandcastle, it just takes fine sand and imagination.   However, if you want your sandcastle to be truly memorable there are a few tips worth knowing.  The fist tip is water, and lots of it.  Dry sand is impossible to work with.  Water works as a glue to bind it all together and mold the sand to make its shape.

For the past eight months we have been remodeling our cottage at the beach. Once in a while, throughout all that work, you have to take a little break.  Lately, between hooking up electric wires and installing plumbing it's getting exhausting.  So, I decided to mosey on down the beach for some R and R.

We don't just sit lazily in the sand with a colorful little bucket and a plastic shovel.  There is no sun warming your back as the waves lap gently at your feet while you make a moat around your dream castle.  Nope.  I'm now going to teach how we do it 'round these parts because, we really know how to build a castle!
Put away your little pails and shovels.  We're going to build a sandcastle the Solana Beach way!
We build some mighty sandcastles around here.  From the looks of it, it's not about the final result.  It's more about the finesse you put into it and the process in general.  Either way, we get the job down.

This durable, oversize truck is tons of fun, durable and sturdy.  It is ideal for building sandcastles.

Look at those tires.  They are huge and have treads large and deep enough to maneuver in any sand on any given day, be it sunny and warm or brisk and windy.  This truck doubles as a large sand bucket.

After the bed of your truck is full to the brim, you slowly back up to just the spot you want your castle to stand.  This is a very precise art.  You want your castle (or castles) exactly in the perfect location.

When your bucket is full of sticky sand, you can dump it out.  Just lift the bucket up and voila!  You've just begun building your sand castle. Your bed is emptied slowly and surely in the precise spot you chose.  If you've got one of those little sand playgrounds in your backyard, that might be a good place to practice but, you'll be missing a key ingredient — water.  You'll find that lots of water turns the sand into a much stickier substance.

You continue to drop your sand and build your castle higher.  It doesn't matter that the tide is coming in, or even if waves are crashing about.  At least it doesn't matter down here at Solana Beach because, we don't fool around down here.  Sand Castle building isn't a drippy, frilly, artsy pastime.  When we build sand castles we mean business.

Are these not fabulous? Never mind the details, the windows and draw bridges can be put in later.  We now have the foundation for some amazing construction.  Kind of like at the cottage.  The foundation is laid.  Now it's all about the details.  Sandcastles are very much like real life.  The joy comes from the process of living and building and not in the act of completion.  That's the mantra we keep repeating to ourselves.  Over and over again.  Adnauseium.

I digress.  With the base in place, all you really need to do now is figure out just what you want your sandcastle to look like.  You might want to add some seaweed or seashells or other treasures you find lying about.  Throw on whatever you like and turn your castle into a kicking' work of art!

Love you more than all the sand castles that will be built on all the beaches in all the world this summer.  Oh!  And, Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there.  Remember, yours is the most important job in all the world.  May your day be filled with all the things you love.




Anita said...

Tia, this made me laugh, I've never seen a sand bucket like that before.

Bossy Betty said...

Oh my! You are serious about this, aren't you!

Happy Mother's Day!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Some guy is having fun here. Lovin it.

Maya said...

Oh, that's certainly not what I expected to see!! We can't drive cars to the beach here, not to mention "castle building" trucks, hihi.

Maya @ Daily Vitamin Sea

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

The guy driving the dump truck is obviously having a blast. I know my husband, sons or even I, would get a thrill using a dump truck to make a sand castle. Unless a vehicle is permitted to drive on the beach here, they are not allowed. This guy was (I think) taking sand from the lagoon nearby and transferring it to the beach side in order to make more room for water in the lagoon (for the wildlife) and to distribute more sand on the beach of the summer months. For whatever their reason, it was great fun to watch and photograph!

Jenny said...

You crack me up! Hope you had a great Mother's Day!

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

My question is where is that kite coming from?

NanaDiana said...

Tia- Love it! Guess I won't be posting any pictures of my own wimpy little Sand Castles after seeing how your own start out! lol

bichonpawz said...

Fabulous my friend...simply fabulous!! Reminds me of the serious sand castle building down on South Padre Island! Hope you had a super Mother's Day!!