Tag Archives: Beach

MakeSandcastlesNotWar Visits the Revere Beach International Sandcastle Festival!


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After a few days of heat wave hell, the weather finally got cooler around Boston.  It’s nice enough to go out and not scorching hot that we rush indoors from the sun.  Some days do get a bit cold around the beaches here in New England (which I don’t mind at all!), so those can be a blessing in disguise in the summer.  This is also the season where the beaches get PACKED with lots of people.  One beach nearby my area, Revere Beach, was busy with their annual sandcastle festival.

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The Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival brings sculptors from all across the nation to compete with their best work of art.  Sculptors use a mix of special sand, water, and various tools used to carve their masterpiece.  It’s all about carving a work of art using all of the tools (even your mind!) at your disposal.

I decided to check out the sandcastle festival last night during my first day off from work.  Here were some of my favorite sandcastle ideas from the beach:

Sandcastle #1: Oceans Apart/Inside My Heart

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This was the first creation that caught my eye quick.  It’s amazing how the flow of ocean water circulates over the figure of a woman looking straight ahead.  The way she wraps herself with the water makes it seem as though she is one with the sea.  What’s even more amazing is the small hole dug out through the wave so you can see the ocean water.  Having that interactivity makes the artwork that much cooler.  Props to Sue McGrew for her creative work!

Sandcastle #2: Whisper In the Dark

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As a dedication piece towards H.P. Lovecraft, Dmitry Klimenko sculpted this brilliant piece titled Whisper in the Dark.  This design showcases a human male being seeped into some sea monster, transforming into the very beast himself.  He dove feet first into the monster’s head and now he’s being sucked up even further.  It’s a cool sculptor with a creepy theme in mind (props to the reference from H.P. Lovecraft!).

Sandcastle #3: Who Are You

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Walking further down the line and I come across another animal-themed idea.  A Griffith sits down, nodding its beak onto the boy’s head.  Both the boy and Griffith stare hard, noticing how each is different from one another.  It definitely suits what Susanne Ruseler made when she titled it Who Are You?  Another cool animal figure here at Revere Beach!

Sandcastle #4: In Justice We Trust

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Roaming around a bit further and I find a political-themed work titled In Justice We Trust.  One side of the wall features a female judge holding a tipped scale with a bandage covering her eyes.  Within the other side features four small males pushing against the side of the wall.  It looks as though the four figures are pushing away from blind justice.  The political imagery really works here, especially with the wall holding up both figures.  You can thank Andrius Petkus for sculpting this piece.

Sandcastle #5: Remembering Self

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Moving down a bit further and I come across this peaceful, psychedelic sculptor.  The piece features a Buddhist entangled around a decorative aurora.  This Buddhist is sleeping peacefully and keeping mindful of his surroundings.  Morgan Rudluff came from Santa Cruz to carve out this mind-altering work of art.  It’ll definitely keep me mindful of how beautiful this beach is!

Sandcastle #6: Soul Evolution

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Coming in at first prize was Soul Evolution by Pavel Mylnikov.  This beautiful design depicts two angels near each other.  One angel reaches with his head up while the other kneels down in despair.  It’s a beautiful piece that symbolizes the two angels as pain and love.  Mylnikov definitely gets first place for this creative work!

Sandcastle #7: Look Up

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Last but not least we have the sculptor titled Look Up by Marianne van den Broek.  This sculptor features a woman gracefully looking high up at the sky.  She looks as though she is about to get up for a second and reach further up.  It’s really interesting how she looks like she is getting up to for a better view.  While the idea does seem obvious, it definitely makes for a cool idea.

These were some of my favorite sandcastle designs from the event.  It’s always great to see such talented sand sculptors create intriguing designs on Revere Beach.  Here’s to seeing some awesome sandcastles last night!

Waldenkindergarten: Nature’s Classroom


Kindergarten was one of the most fun school years of my life.  I was enrolled into Doyon School in Ipswich when I was six years old.  It was a typical classroom setting for me: fun toys to play with, crayons or colored pencils for coloring activities, watching kids trade lunches with each other during lunchtime, and a 15-minute recess session outside on the playground.

Recess was something I always looked forward to as a kid.  Having that pleasure of spending time outdoors and away from the small, dingy classroom was a blessing to me.  I usually played games with my friends or went swinging on the swings near the playground.  Looking back at my early years, being outdoors was something I always cherished in life.  To think that some schools don’t even allow recess time just boggles my mind!

One great thing about elementary school was taking field trips outside of the classroom during science class.  I couldn’t really understand how life worked until I stepped outside of the school and into the forests to experience nature.  Nature was something you had to see first-hand, not through pictures on a slideshow.  Some schools have even taken the concept of outdoor nature learning one step further.  That was when I stumbled onto a unique concept called forest kindergarten, which was the English term for Waldenkindergarten.

Forest Kindergarten is special program that is held for children up to the age of six years old.  It is a preschool education that takes place outdoors for more than half of the day.  The concept is about encouraging children to play, learn, and explore in a forest or some form of natural environment.  This unique educational idea can be described as a kindergarten without any ceiling or walls put in place.

Waldenkindergarten was initiated in Germany by a man named Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel.  During the 18th century, Friedrich developed a passion for plants and herbs while growing up in the forests.  He was increasingly interested in early education and was convinced that play was crucial for a child’s development.  By 1840 he coined the term kindergarten, which was known as children’s garden.  Unfortunately, the concept transformed into something similar to traditional schooling where children spend more times indoors.

It wasn’t until 1952 where a mother in Denmark named Ella Flautau decided to apply Friedrich’s core message to create an interesting classroom for the children.  This concept quickly caught on with her children and eventually spread around Denmark and Scandinavia.  Denmark now has between 200-300 forest kindergartens in the country.

The forest kindergarten classrooms eventually reached the United States, with the first school opening on Vashon Island called Cedarsong Nature School.  Cedarsong Nature School was founded by naturalists and child educators Robin Rogers and Erin Kenny.  After first opening its doors in 2006, the school received overwhelmingly positive reviews from parents.  It became so popular that parents were put on the waitlist.

I randomly stumbled on this concept a few nights ago and thought this was a fascinating idea!  A whole classroom dedicated to teaching kids outside to be with nature.  Whether it is in a beach or forests, children are really getting their taste of nature at such an early nature.  Learning about science while on various field trips was a popular concept at my school, but forest kindergartens really go the extra mile.  I have always grown up in the small town of Ipswich most of my life and I could not imagine living away from a clean environment!

This German concept needs to extend all across the United States to really provide the taste of nature to children everywhere.  We seem to take our environment for granted these days, sending our kids into dull classrooms with cement walls and mundane ceilings.  How is it that some elementary schools don’t even require any recess time?  Going on adventures and learning about the world around us is all part of growing up as a human being, so why do we continue to throw that concept in the garbage?  We toss aside these important activities just like we leave empty cigarette butts out onto the beach while we expect nature to take its course.  This is something we should continue to explore in the years to come.  Maybe the answer to rebuilding our current education system lies within nature, not standardized testing in monotonous classrooms.

Summer is the BEST Season


Happy summer!  Today marks the 1st day of summer 2016.  The days get longer, the sun shines a lot brighter, and ice cold beers taste great on a hot day!  Summer is the time to head down to your favorite beach to unwind after a long week of work.

Schools are out and restaurants are opening up their patios to provide outdoor seating for their customers.  Summer is my all-time favorite season of the year.  There are many reasons for why I look forward to the summer solstice starting.  Here are a few good reasons for why summer is the BEST season of all time:

Days Get Longer:  During the summer solstice, days get a lot longer than usual and the nights get shorter.  Longer days means more excuse to stay outside longer.  It’s always cool to watch the sun about to go down at 7:30 at night.  Nowadays the sun sets around 8:30ish or so, providing you with a reason to stay up later!

Wearing Less Clothes:  Hot days are the perfect excuse to wear less clothes outside.  After being stuffed up in your house while wearing those long-sleeve shirts, it is so relieving to finally give your body the light of day.  Soaking up your body with the sunshine feels good and is healthy for your mental/emotional health.  One of my favorite past times is to sit outside in my underwear while sipping hot tea.  Your body is a temple, not a prison!  Take the time let that beautiful sunshine touch every part of your body.

Staying Outdoors More:  Now that the weather is warmed up, you can find more reasons to get outside with your friends and family.  You will start to feel guilty about staying indoors for your job, but most companies allow their employees to leave early to get outside more.  Make the most of your summer by planning as much outdoor events as you can.

School’s Out:  Alice Cooper sang it best: school’s out for summer, school’s out forever!  Summer means millions of students are finally out of school for vacation.  After all of that hard work you completed, you finally get out of those classrooms to hang out with your friends.  No more pencils, no more books, no more dirty looks!

Camping:  Ah, camping in the great outdoors!  What better way to get back in touch with nature than pitching that tent and roasting marshmallows on an open fire?  There are thousands of campgrounds for you and your family/friends to go for a camping trip.  Camping is that quintessential vacation that you help you get closer to nature.

Beach/Oceans/Lakes/Other Bodies of Water:  If you live close to any body of water, you should definitely spend time there during the summer.  Lucky for me I live close to a few beaches near my apartments and it is always a blessing to lay out after an exhausting day.  Spending some time out on the beach with your friends is a great activity if you just want to loaf around.  Laying out on the beach is also a great time to get that tan you have been working on!

Outdoor Music Festivals:  What do Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Electric Forest all have in common?  They ALL take place outdoors!  Summer is the perfect season to attend that music festival you and your buddies have been planning for months.  Concerts are always fun, but attending a music festival outdoors is an experience like no other!

The Movies:  Some days will be too hot to even go outside, so going to the movies is a PERFECT indoor activity.  You and your friends can finally see that Captain America vs. Thor film you have been dying to see (or whatever superhero blockbuster Marvel is releasing these days!).  There’s nothing like heading into that air-conditioned theater to see that awesome blockbuster movie on a hot or rainy day.  Use up those rainy days to find the perfect movie to watch in theaters.

Traveling/Vacationing:  Most people plan their vacations around the summer time since there are very few holidays to prepare for.  Summer is the time to plan that cross-country road trip idea with your friends or that week-long trip to someplace you have never been to before.  Whatever your destination is, summer is the perfect season to do some vacationing with your family/friends.

 

Cracking the Mysteries of Egg Rock Island


Yesterday I took a walk around Nahant Beach on a perfect sunny day.  It was just like any other day walking through the beach, hearing the waves crashing into the sand while jamming out to tunes.  As I roamed through the beach, I noticed this strange island just miles away from me.  The island was just a mere few miles off of Nahant, surrounded by the crystal clear water.

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Peering to that island made me wonder what creatures lived off of the area.  Were there any inhabitants living there?  Animals hibernating for the winter? Sea creatures that were laying their eggs within the sand?

My curiosity got the best of me and I conducted research of the estranged island.  After locking down the coordinates through Google Maps, I discovered that it was called Egg Rock Island of Nahant Bay.  Egg Rock Island consists of 3 acres of land and was formerly known as the sight of a lighthouse.  The lighthouse was titled as Egg Rock Light, a quaint lighthouse that guided lost travelers within the Atlantic Ocean.

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Egg Rock Island is currently owned by the state of MA as a bird sanctuary.  You can view Egg Rock from Lynn, Swampscott, Nahant, and other nearby areas.  Swampscott even has a hotel called Egg Rock Inn where you can view the island from all rooms of the hotel.

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I’ve always loved being on a small island surround by miles of ocean water.  During my family vacations on cruises, I wandered around multiple islands while the ship was in anchor.  It would be amazing to own a whole island for myself.  Owning a house is one thing, but owning a huge island is a whole other exciting story!  There’s nothing better than having a huge lot of land consisting of sand, ocean water, palm trees, and creatures swimming around the sea.

For those residing within the Lynn/Swampscott/Nahant area, I highly recommend checking out Egg Rock Island during your next trip to Nahant Beach.  Egg Rock Island is easy to spot from the beach when you’re going on walks with your friends and family.

Where Do I See Myself Living?


During the last part of my earlier post, I mentioned that I wanted to move away from the city.  I have thought about moving to a new place for quite a while to explore new places.  One reason for relocating is to get away from the dense and confined spaces.

After giving it some thought, I conducted research on certain areas that I would be interested in heading out to.  I compiled a small criteria based around cities and towns I loved venturing to in the past years.  Here is my criteria list of what I am searching for in a city and town within the country.

  1. 20-30 year old demographic – When I move out to the new destination, I want to make some new friends who are around my age. I am always up for meeting new people who have the same interest as I do.  Right now I am a young, energetic adult looking for some friends who would show me around the area.  I don’t want to be in an area with people too younger or too older than me.
  2. Great single life – I am single and ready to mingle! As I set forth to my new home, I am looking for that special someone in my life to spend quality time with.  When it comes to relationships, I can be old-school in the sense that I’d like to know someone for a few years before I commit to a serious relationship.  My adventure has just started and I’m not looking to rush into being a relationship so quickly.
  3. Small-medium population – My population limit would be at least 700,000 citizens. I’m a social creature who loves going out at night, but it can be overwhelming for me when there is a large population of people in the area.  Keeping track of friends gets hard as I get older and living in an overpopulated city would make things frustrating.
  4. Located near Beach/Ocean/Lake – Personally I LOVE being near the water. Being near some body of water is very relaxing to me because it’s an oasis that I can escape to when my life gets too crazy.  I also love the idea of having an ocean view to look at in my own home.  If it’s not the beach, I could certainly settle for a lake or running river within a forest.
  5. Warmer climate – I consider myself a cold-blooded mammal who loves basking in the warm sun. There’s nothing better than waking up with the sunshine and breezy air in the early morning.  Summer has always been my favorite season and I don’t care for winter very much.  It would be wonderful to relocate to an area where there’s no such thing as sleet, snow, slush, or anything related to winter.  My new scenery would consist of bright sun, breezy air, and barely any clouds in the sky.
  6. Liberal – I am an open-minded person who is always ready to explore new and unique ideas. It is always exciting to hear about intriguing laid-back policies that would drastically change our country for the better.
  7. Reasonable prices on rent/food – Before conducting research on states on the western region, I was so fixated on the idea of moving to California. That fixation changed due to the high cost of living that I noticed within the state.  If finances weren’t such a burden, California would be my top choice to move out to.  Right now I have to settle on a state where the overall cost of living is on the lower end of the spectrum.  I couldn’t ever see myself struggling through paycheck to paycheck just to live another day at home.  When I settle into my new home, I would like to have more than enough money to be able to go out with friends and do fun activities.