Thursday, July 10, 2008

(Drippy) Castles Made of Sand

Today's Wonder of the World is...Sand Castles!
The drippy kind!

I had never thought of making drip castles until I watched my dear hubby make dozens of them on our vacation.

Usually he makes more conventional castles with the boys.
Big ones.

Don't you love our high tech sand castle building implements?

But with Todd's drip castles, all you need is fingers! See?

He made dozens of drip castles last week. Children we didn't even know would wander up and join in.

I love those drip castles. They look very avant garde to me.

And they make me remember this.

Do you recognize it?
Here. Look at a view from farther away.

It's La Sagrada Familia, the cathedral in Barcelona Spain. La Sagrada Familia is definitely a World Wonder. We visited it back in 2002 when we lived in France. The kids thought it looked like a giant sand castle and I have to agree. It was stunning from far away, and even more beautiful close up.

They started building it in 1882 and they're still working on it. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi, who worked on it for forty years and dedicated his last 15 years solely to its construction. I love what he said about why it was taking so long. "My client is not in a hurry." How about him?!

Barcelona is full of Gaudi's work. I'll have to show you more of his wonders in another post.
(Ever wonder where the wordy gaudy comes from? It's from him! Gaudi=gaudy! He's definitely over the top, but in an amazingly creative way!)

Here is Sam playing at a park right across the street. With all the construction work going on, touring it was a little tricky with a toddler. Todd took the boys to the park while Sarah and I walked around inside.

People seem to either hate the design or love it. I find it very inspiring.

Plus it makes me think of the ocean. The sand and the waves always bring me closer to the divine. (Unless I'm trying to swim away from jellyfish!)

So there you go, another Wonder of the World: drip castles and a sand castle cathedral!

Now, a little housekeeping. Recently I was tagged by two lovely friends, Stitchinbythelake, and The Stone Rabbit. (And I wasn't even running!) Each of these ladies has a really fun blog--you must go see for yourself! I'm a little shy to fully join in the game, but I'll be a sport and give you the five random facts about me. (As if you need to know more useless information about me!)

So here goes...
Five random things about me...
1. I always drive stick shift in my dreams but I can't seem to do it in real life.

2. I have the bizarre capability to drink extremely hot liquids. I can also bend my fingers back in a witch-y kind of way.

3. When I was little I used to puff up my cheeks every night in hopes of getting rid of my dimples.

4. I once worked in an AIDS research lab but part of my job involved killing bunny rabbits. I cried every night until I quit.

5. When I was in 2nd grade I used to pray every night (while puffing up my cheeks?) that God would make me need glasses because I thought it would make me look smart. In third grade I got glasses and now I can't even see the big E on the eye chart.

So yey! Now you know even more useless stuff about me!

Also, I was recently bestowed a fabulous prize by my friend Barb at The French Elements and Denise at Couture de Papier. That just makes my day! Thank you ladies! You're so sweet!
Their blogs are really cool. Click on their sites and see what I mean!

Have a Wonder-full Thursday y'all!
Love, Becky

And thanks to kefi2927 for the close-up flickr picture of the cathedral, and to magic eye for the far away view. Great pics!


StitchinByTheLake said...

What a cute picture of Sam! I love the castle - that's the first time I've ever seen it, which is a wonder in itself. An amazing creature! You dream about driving? I don't think I've ever dreamed about driving, but then I can drive a stick shift...that's what I learned on. Blessings, Marlene

Barb said...

I would love to see that Cathedral in person. I like the fact his client wasn't in a hurry. Wish we could all be like that-lol

Todd's castle looks interesting. I don't think I've seen a drip castle. It looks like it could be in a Dr Seuss book (love him)!

Cute picture of Sam. He was really concentrating.

Suzie said...

Amazing sand castles

Rebecca said...

Hello from one expat Rebecca to another! I've been lurking here for a bit -- found your blog through your book which someone sent to me because it reminded them of *my* blog... the Internet's an awfully circular place, isn't it? Had to de-lurk to agree that La Sagrada Familia is absolutely a world wonder (any place which inspires my then-5 year old daughter to write glowing postcards about how cool it is must be pretty special). We'll have to try Todd's drip castle technique out this summer!

cd&m said...

Those drip castles are very Gaudi!

Mosaic*Queen said...

I think I like the drippy sand castles (LOL!). Next time I'm at a beach, I must attempt one.
The Cathedral is absolutely wonderful! Thank you for sharing those pics.

TattingChic said...

What a cool cathedral. I remember my Mother telling me when I was a little girl about Antoni Gaudi and when I told my teacher about it (that's where the word gaudy comes from) at school she turned her nose up at Mother was right...LOL!

The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

Drip castles,hm, never hoid of em! That cathedral is breath taking.
Aw..I hope those poor bunnies helped in the AIDS research!
Did you really hate your dimples or just everyone commenting on them, lol!

Felicia said...

I would've cried every night til I quit too. Love the castles :)

Rosemary said...

Love the picture of sandcastle building!!
I can do the bendy finger thing too!
I can drive a stick shift, but in my dreams I can speak perfect French. I can't really.
Have a great day,

laura said...

I have to laugh about the dimples! Cute! I remember praying for braces in the second such luck, so I made some out of paperclips!

Fete et Fleur said...

I gasped when I saw the photo of the cathedral. I have never seen anything like this. I would love to see more photos of his work. I loved the tag sharing. I can do #2 (too!) both of them!!

Have a wonderful evening!

Randy and Linda said...

Hi Rebecca, you are really quite good at this blogging! I quit looking for a few days and now here I am back with curiosity.
Wilmington-love it there, very artsy folks around, including The New Elements Gallery, that is still sending us postcards 4 years later! Linda bought some fish sculpture-metal-art from there that is 3 fish that hang just above your head in our kitchen - they have very cool painted designs on them.
20 minutes S. of Wilmington is a nice medium sized aquarium open to the public (Fort Fischer?). The battleship is great fun to walk around or view from a distance. Last time there before my Aunt&Uncle moved we ate at an oceanfront restaurant that had great views (of the storm) and great food.
The planetarium deal is always lots of fun. One of the older ones is in Chapel Hill where most of the early astronauts trained, and they still have shows and displays that are very geeky and fun. I remember in the '70's in High School going to what they called the "Heavy Metal Light Show". They played Pink Floyd, LedZep while you watched wild laser formations in the planetarium sky.
Eye Glasses - I'll bet you don't know as most people don't, that you can exercise your eye muscle to avoid having to get prescription glasses. My Grandmother first told me about this and shortly thereafter I found a 1940's book about it in the UNC library. The method she described was very similar to this book. I wondered why there weren't any newer books out on this subject, and the answer came to mind very quickly - all the specialists want to stay in business by fitting you with glasses. Once you get your first set, your eye muscles immediately begin to weaken and your eye becomes less supple to the shortening and lengthening that your eye muscles try to do to focus your lense onto your retina - just like a camera lense, with aperture (pupil), too! Then as a matter of course after a few years your eye muscles get even weaker and you need stronger glasses to compensate ... You can see the trend here. My eye doctor 20 years ago prescribed to me some driving glasses because I was out-of-focus for long distances to infinity. Well I worked my eye muscles using that book's method - just 5 minutes per day for a week or two. 20 years later I'm still 20/20! So many people don't know or understand this - but I bet it would help 50% of the people wearing glasses now. You can still reverse the trend of degeneration of your eye muscles and improve your vision. But eye doctors will NEVER advise you on this - it's sooooo simple, and its still kept from the public - what a shame. If you look at it purely from Physics, Physiology, and Optics standpoints, it's like adding 1+2 to get 3! I'd tell the world, but most people will only listen to their Duke Med. School doctor. Question - if some physicians can prescribe walking for heart exercise, and various other muscle exercises at a physical rehab facility - then why is it eye doctors don't prescribe eye excercises before they ever fit you with your first set of glasses? Hmmmmm. I noticed Todd wearing glasses in one of your pics - maybe he has a chance to breakaway from them. My best to you-all.

May Vanderbilt said...

Can I just say how relaxing it is to know that every day I can hop over here and there's another wonder? I LOVE it. You should do a tear-off calendar. Talk to your agent about it.

That being said, we always called drip castles witch castles in Florida. Isn't that fitting? I love them too!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

You folks make my day. Every day!

cammyk said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I was so excited when I hopped over to your blog and saw that you are the author of French by Heart. I just recently checked this book out of the library and absolutely loved it!!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Wow Cammy! What a small world!

Dana said...

The drip castles are so great--not being much of an ocean visitor (not too many in Kansas City) I know very little about sand castles, but I do love that variety. Oh, the wonder castle is too amazing for words--to think they are still building it! Another "wonder"ful post!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Love the factoids and I love drip castles - must confess I am somewhat of a wizard at making them!

Elizabeth said...

I love making drip castles! Thanks for making me smile.

Sherry said...

I've never heard of drip sand castles...that's so cool!!!!