Reflections: Building sandcastles tall enough to touch the stars

Anybody who has ever been a kid (which includes most of us, I imagine) or has kids and has been to the beach, has built a sandcastle.

Or at least tried to build a sandcastle.

Sandcastles that are replicas from an old Robin Hood movie aren’t all that easy to build.

At least for some of us, anyway.

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But you’ll always find that one guy on a beach who must be a sculptor or real estate developer -- the kind of guy who crafts sandcastles so impressive that you keep waiting for the Knights of the Round Table to show up, sweating profusely under all that armor.

These show-off sand sculptors erect colossal castles complete with multiple moats, towers, stairs and windows. The really good ones even have drawbridges you can raise and lower (OK, that’s a bit of a stretch but you get my drift).

Meanwhile, mere mortals such as myself have pathetic sandcastles that look suspiciously like upside-down and tilted buckets of sand. No wonder my children and grandchildren have never been particularly impressed with my sandcastles.

Of course, I do it my way -- the hard way.

But there is a way where it’s easy to build a sandcastle worthy of King Arthur instead of a sand shack not fit for a jellyfish.

Yep, with help from the “Sandcastle in a Box” kit by professional sand sculptor Ted Siebert (I believe he majored in the subject at Yale), you will build amazing sandcastles that will draw crowds looking on in hushed astonishment as if they were gazing at Michelangelo’s statue of David in Florence.

The kit includes everything but a castle’s kitchen sink.

The process of constructing word-class castles in the sand is demystified with the comprehensive kit featuring a variety of tools for building, outlining and embellishing the ephemeral sculptures.

The kit includes an illustrated 64-page book explaining how to build towers, windows, stairs, moats and other classic sandcastle features – even a dragon.

The kit includes a skewer stick for detailed outlining, a small shovel, a window template, a cylinder mold for tube shapes, a palette knife with rounded tip, a funnel for tower tops, turret flags, and a brush and straw for whisking away loose sand -- all packaged in a plastic tool bag.

Granted, all that may constitute a bit of over-engineering for some lazy people who simply prefer to lie in the sun or hit the surf.

I guess some folks just don’t know how to have fun. Or they’re smart enough to realize that even a Taj Mahal of a sandcastle is no match for a high tide.