Tuesday, May 29, 2012


The Ludington Beach was definitely the highlight of our trip. It's where we spent most of our time. For Jack, that time was spent running in and out of the lake to get water and up and down the beach to get sand. He spent a lot of time filling buckets and scraping the beach. Through this, we learned a little about building sandcastles. And now that we are back home, I learned a little more through some research.

We are just starting our foray into sandcastle building, so we are clearly novices. We fill buckets with wet sand, dump them over, try to remove the bucket, and admire our work. Then someone jumps on the tower and we all laugh. It's a good time, no question. But our creations are less than architectural wonders. It's also really hard to get the sand to come out of the bucket correctly.

Amanda, our vacation MVP, did try to help step up our game. She was an engineer, after all, in a former career. She got the boys to dig a moat around their buildings.

What I learned after we got home was that we were doing it all wrong. Apparently, even Martha Stewart knows how to build a sandcastle. She has an article on her website that goes through the techniques. Her techniques even include a melon baller. I would expect nothing less.

So the expert way of building a sandcastle is to mound up sand and then create a bowl in the mound that you fill with water. Then you get to jump around in the water and pound the sand and water together. This is the step that got me interested. I could see us having lots of fun jumping around in water and sand. And you are supposed to do this over and over until the bowl is filled with wet, packed sand. Once you have a stable base, then you get to add towers by using a bottomless mold. This is where we got it wrong. Our buckets for building towers had bottoms. And since there is no way for the water to escape, the bucket, sand and water create a vacuum that ruins your perfectly nice tower.

So now I feel prepared for our summer trip to Florida, where we will once again be on a beach. I wonder if it will be more fun to kick down a well-built sandcastle than it is to kick over our already-toppling ones?


Mike was the best at getting a nice tower out of the bucket

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