Even though the first five people we talked to were clueless about the sand sculptures, we were determined.

Finally someone directed us to the end of the board walk where we found a huge tent AND a lot of people.

The “master” sand sculptures were protected inside the tent and it did cost us a few dollars to enter, but worth it to see something unique.

Sculptors from 10 countries were represented and the prize money is the largest awarded for this type of competition in the US, but I have no idea what that amount is.

The lighting was challenging – the sides of the tent were open and rain was falling intermittently so everything was overcast – and since I knew I would not be saving any of these pictures other than for the blog – I just went with it.

I wanted you to have a look at the unbelievably intricate work.

So have a look.


I had asked one of the leaders at the conference where a good public beach was located so that we could drive down on Sunday morning. She said, “Oh, Virginia Beach is the best.” A leader standing nearby agreed and then excitedly added that we would hit the last day of the Neptune Festival. “You’ll get to see the sand sculptures.”

We didn’t know what the Neptune Festival was, but the sand sculpture part sounded good.

So early the next morning (well, about 3:a.m., but that’s a whole other story), we headed out. We dropped B. from Headquarters at the airport and then headed south toward Virginia Beach. We did a Starbucks run and put in a CD of Dr. Jeremiah for our mobile church service and drove through unfamiliar streets and towns.

And found the beach. And the festival. And the ocean.

But the first five people we asked had no idea where any sand sculptures would be.

First things first. Although the night before Barb had seen lights reflecting in the ocean – this was the first true look and we needed to find a place where she could dip her toes.


On the morning of April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee realized that he had a problem. His army could go no further.

Meanwhile, a short distance away, General Grant was riding toward Appomattox Court House where his men had stopped the onslaught of Confederate soldiers. So, Lee (not having a smart phone) sent a letter asking General Grant if they could meet and discuss the surrender of his army.

Grant had a horrible headache that morning, but later said that once he read Lee’s letter, the headache instantly went away. He wrote back to Lee promising he would do what he could to get to the front of his lines to meet with him. But he said that Lee could choose the place.

Lee’s aides rode back to find Lee and deliver Grant’s reply. Lee was sitting under an apple tree next to the Appomattox River. Together, Lee and his aides rode further to find a good place for a meeting … and came upon the sleepy little village of Appomattox Court House then known as Clover Hill.  The village didn’t consist of much more than a few houses and businesses around the tavern.

But in that sleepy little village history was made.

The Village itself is called Appomattox Court House – but this building actually WAS the courthouse itself. Now, a new Appomattox Court House is in the nearby “new” town of Appomattox. The new Appomattox Court House in Appomattox is used for county records as is any modern-day court house.

Appomattox Court House in Appomattox Court House is used as a visitor’s center for the Appomattox Court House National Historic Site.

Are you confused?

Here is the old courthouse.