Walking along the Costa Brava

Gorgeous, breathtaking, moving and complete awe for this beautiful planet we live on gives you a sense of what we felt as we walked along the coast of Spain’s Costa Brava.  We are heading out for another hike today, but wanted to share a few photos of yesterdays tour.  Hard to capture it’s true beauty. Reminded me of parts of California’s coastline, which we will be back to soon! Again feeling very lucky!

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Still time to build an amazing sand castle! Tips to show you how!

Since moving to Malibu, CA this summer, we ended up at the beach more often than usual. Who could blame us, there are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world here. It was a nice way to get to know our new hometown.  Not knowing  many people, we needed to have a project (since play dates were lacking) so we decided to perfect the art of sand castle building.  I say this sarcastically, of course, since ours really were never going to win any contests but that did not bother us. We just had fun and that really is all that matters.

Here are a few tips for any sand castle novices:

1. Bring a very big shovel

2. Grab whatever buckets you have, smaller shovels plus kitchen tools like spatulas, melon ballers, plastic knives and skewers.

3. Draw out an area in the sand where you will build your foundation.  Make it close enough to the water where you can use wet sand but be careful not to get too close…

4. Start piling up sand in the area you want the castle.  Form it into a volcano shape with a crater on top.  Have the kids take turns standing in the crater as you fill it with water and the kids can stomp it down, forming a strong base.  Pack in the sides by gently hitting the sides with the shovel. Continue this until you get the base to the desired size.

5. Flatten out the top and use this as a starting point for placing different molds with your buckets.  Start carving at the top and work your way down.  Use the spatulas to carve out levels and smooth sides.  Use melon baller and skewers to add details such as windows and doors.

6. And away you go.  Get creative by adding shells, seaweed, moats and bridges to your creation.   And voila!

All the years that I have been going to the beach I never truly knew the basics for sand castle building.  It  makes for a very fun day at the beach! So sad summer is on its way out.  Time to look into how to build a decent snowman next…