Take Us to Church – Christ Church Cathedral #69

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Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

With the day still young and the sun still beating down on us, Mercutio and I made our 6th cake stop of the day at Christ Church Cathedral.

Some history: In 1819 members of Christ Church Cathedral held their first service which was, in fact, the first Episcopal service held west of the Mississippi. Since then the cathedral continued to expand and in 1994 the current location in downtown St. Louis was noted as a National Historic Landmark.

Cake #69 at Christ Church Cathedral Photo Credit: Mercutio Krispytreats

Cake #69 at Christ Church Cathedral
Photo Credit: Mercutio Krispytreats

More history: Additionally the bells that are still used in the cathedral’s tower were made in the same German foundry where the bells used at the German Pavilion at the 1904 World’s Fair were made – it really is incredible how interconnected so many different areas of St. Louis really are. *History for the win!*

As for the cake, the cake-artist (or cake-tist, as I like to abbreviate it) chose to make the cake resemble a stained glass window, which is another feature Christ Church Cathedral is known for.

So glittery!

So glittery!

My favorite part of the cake, though, was the top, which I managed to get a somewhat off balance picture of because a 4 foot tall cake is only about a foot shorter than a full grown Cake Monster.

Cake #69 at Christ Church Cathedral

Cake #69 at Christ Church Cathedral

And of course since the sun was relentless that day, and this Cake Monster apparently wanted to see how long she could stare directly into the sun before going blind, Mercutio and I were left with another squinty cake selfie.

Photo Credit: Mercutio Krispytreats

Photo Credit: Mercutio Krispytreats

Before we left the location, Mercutio did snap this incredible photo of the wrought iron gate surrounding the cathedral and the vibrant red door just behind it. I was super intrigued by the symbolism of the red door, and after doing some research learned that it can have several meanings. The most consistent one though was that red doors indicate that beyond them, inside the church, the space was holy and the person could find sanctuary there – safety from harm both imminent and of a more symbolic nature. *Symbolism for the win!*

So even though I was still partially blind from the staring contest I had engaged in with the sun, Mercutio helped guide me back to the car, and we moved on to the next cake with snippets of the Hozier song this post is named for playing in our heads.

What Better Way to Memorialize a Memorial Than with a Cake? – Soldiers Memorial #68

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IMG_2330Even though this Cake Monster has lived in St. Louis her whole life, there are still places I’ve heard of and probably driven by but never knew much about. Luckily for me, and oftentimes Mercutio, my cake journeys have brought me up close and personal with many such locations including Soldiers Memorial.

Cake #68 at Soldiers Memorial

Cake #68 at Soldiers Memorial

Over the years I’ve heard of concerts on the steps of Soldiers Memorial and even used it as a reference point for parades I’ve watched downtown (yay free beads and candy!), but until the day Mercutio and I threw some change in a parking meter and crossed several lanes of traffic to see the cake, I didn’t know much about the location.

Back of the cake

Back of the cake

The cake itself was immediately eye catching as it was a striking bright blue contrasted with stark white “icing.” But the most intriguing feature was a giant ribbon looped around the front of the cake and draped and tied at the back. This ribbon served to not only add to the overall look of the cake, but also as a lure into the memorial itself.

Soldiers Memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day 1938 to honor both the service and the sacrifice of those St. Louisans in the military, those who are veterans and their families.

wpid-wp-1438290363507.jpegOutside the entrances to the memorial are four massive limestone figures – two at one entrance and two at the other – each representing a different virtue: Courage, Vision, Loyalty and Sacrifice.

These figures give way to a black granite Cenotaph, or empty tomb, inscribed with the names of soldiers and nurses who lost their lives in World War I.

You can see the Cenotaph behind the cake in Mercutio's picture

You can see the Cenotaph behind the cake in Mercutio’s picture

Gold Star Mother Mosaic Ceiling

Gold Star Mother Mosaic Ceiling

Directly above the Cenotaph on the ceiling is a red tiled mosaic called the Gold Star Mother Mosaic Ceiling. Fitted into the design of the ceiling is one large gold star dedicated to the mothers of St. Louisans who died in war.

Cake #68 at Soldiers Memorial

Cake #68 at Soldiers Memorial

Mercutio and I spent a lot of time inspecting the various parts of the Memorial and taking it all in. And even though we walked down the steps of Soldiers Memorial with a little more knowledge of the buildings of downtown St. Louis and a lot of respect for those who have served our country, as soon as we got back to the car, we found out that we are kind of bad at calculating how much time to put on the meter, and so we thanked our lucky stars that we were able to pull away from our now flashing red meter without a run-in with the meter fairy!

Cake Monster Writes an Ode to an Opera House – The Peabody Opera House #67

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Outside the Peabody Opera House

Outside the Peabody Opera House

In honor of Cake #67 at the Peabody Opera House, I wrote a short song/poem/opera(?) to honor a place that has given me so much entertainment over the years:

Cake #67 at the Peabody Opera House

Cake #67 at the Peabody Opera House

Who puts on shows better than anybody?

The Peabody! The Peabody!

And who always brings the party?

The Peabody! The Peabody!

Ok, so I might need to work on that a little bit, but still, I think it accurately captures how I feel about the Peabody.

One of two matching bear statues outside the Peabody

One of two matching bear statues outside the Peabody

Celebrating it’s 80th anniversary in 2014, the Peabody Opera House, located in downtown St. Louis, has seen some major renovations through the years, but has still managed to provide a venue for stellar performances from recording artists, comedians and musical theater touring companies. The idea for the building that is now the Opera House came about in 1904 around the time of the World’s Fair when the city was working on a project called The City Beautiful Movement. The project was an effort to make the city more beautiful (never would have guessed that, right?), and in 1934 the Opera House had its grand opening with a showing of Aida.

Cake #67 at the Peabody Opera House

Cake #67 at the Peabody Opera House

Since then, the Peabody has held countless shows and events, two of which Mercutio Krispytreats myself have been in attendance for.

Set of Book of Mormon

Set of Book of Mormon

Several years ago we saw Florence and the Machine rock the house, and more recently we saw the famed musical Book of Mormon, and it was fantastic! I even took a sneaky, blurry picture of the set before the show started.

Mercutio and Cake Monster at the Book of Mormon

Mercutio and Cake Monster at the Book of Mormon

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see a show at the Peabody Opera House, I highly recommend it because it is Mercutio Krispytreats tested and Cake Monster approved, and it doesn’t get much better than that!

This Cake Hunt’s So Bright…I Should’ve Worn Shades – Scottrade Center #66

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After the unexpected mannequin surprise that almost overshadowed the cake experience at the Compton Hill Water Tower, it was nice to spend a little time in the car catching my breath and thinking positive thoughts on the way to the third cake of the day at the Scottrade Center.

Cake #66 at the Scottrade Center

Cake #66 at the Scottrade Center

The Scottrade Center – formerly the Kiel Center – opened in 1994 and is the home of the St. Louis Blues. The Center also hosts other events and concerts and amazingly can seat about 20,000 people.

Sadly I have not had the opportunity to experience any event (Blues game or concert wise) at the Scottrade Center. And with all the cakes on our list and the fact that I’m still shaky on parking rules downtown (and just in general), Mercutio and I didn’t really have time to enjoy it either as I just pulled up to the front of the  building, found a small inlet that looked like maybe a car could fit into, and we jumped out to snap our customary pictures.

Cake #66 at the Scottrade Center

Cake #66 at the Scottrade Center and my eyes’ first battle against the sun

Plus as if this wasn’t already an exciting enough trip with the huge amount of cakes we were to discover, and the introduction of the accidental Mercutio selfie, it was also an exciting day for me as I learned the hard way that sunglasses are an absolute necessity when cake hunting midday. You can already start to see the intense squint I had to adopt that day as I was to fully experience the retina burning rays of the sun in all it’s late spring, early afternoon glory. Hooray?

Don’t Go Chasing Water Towers…Unless You’re Prepared for a Surprise Mannequin Attack – Compton Hill Water Tower #65

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Compton Hill Water Tower

Compton Hill Water Tower

It seems to be that while I almost always have a few plans up my sleeve when I adventure with Mercutio, the Universe tends to have one too and that plan almost always includes a surprise mannequin encounter when I least expect it.

Cake #65 at the Compton Hill Water Tower

Cake #65 at the Compton Hill Water Tower

Cake #65 at the Compton Hill Water Tower

Cake #65 at the Compton Hill Water Tower

After seeing the cake at Jay International and enjoying some delicious lunch, we headed just up the street a little to the next cake on our list at the Compton Hill Water Tower, and boy, was that place incredible!

The Compton Hill Water Tower is one of only 3 remaining water towers in St. Louis (out of 7 in the whole US) and the “youngest” of those three as well having been constructed in 1898.

wpid-wp-1436831397925.jpegThe area around the Water Tower is also super scenic and of course, as good adventurers do, we had to take some time to explore the grounds which

Mercutio and the bearded fountain

Mercutio and the bearded fountain

included climbing the steps pictured above and stopping for a photo op with a surly bearded fountain man.

Cake Monster and the bearded fountain

Cake Monster and the bearded fountain

But of course, all fun times must come with an equal amount of sketch when this Cake Monster is involved. And so as we headed back down the steps to admire the Water Tower from a far, what did we run into but none other than a mannequin!

Well, ok, she’s not quite a mannequin in the typical stringy haired, expressionless face, soul stealing eyes fashion, but in my book if it looks like a human but isn’t really a human, it’s a mannequin and to be feared or at least approached with caution.

The Naked Truth

The Naked Truth

But in fairness to the mannequin, she was pretty legit, in as much as mannequins can be legit. Her name is The Naked Truth, and she was given to St. Louis in 1914 by the German-American Alliance as a remembrance of 3 influential German St. Louis newspaper editors.

The statue is made of bronze, as requested by Adolphus Busch, in an attempt make her actual nudity a bit more subtle.

From afar, this mannequin was all right. In fact, I kind of liked her from far away – I can appreciate mannequins that stand for things and stay away from me. However Mercutio had other ideas:

Mercutio and the mannequin

Mercutio and the mannequin

The best way to conquer your fear is to face it head on, right?

The best way to conquer your fear is to face it head on, right?

Mannequin sketchiness aside, I have probably passed by the Compton Hill Water Town dozens of times, but never really knew much about its history, so I guess I can say I’m thankful for not only getting to learn more about a historical St. Louis landmark, but also for yet another opportunity to attempt to face my fear of mannequins and live to tell the tale.

Cake #65 at the Compton Hill Water Tower

Cake #65 at the Compton Hill Water Tower

A Grand Adventure – Jay International / South Grand #64

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Even before Mercutio Krispytreats and I were cake hunters extraordinaire, it was a fact practically unsaid between us that if I was driving us somewhere, I almost always had one plan that I let Mercutio know about and then a secondary plan that would play itself out once the first adventure had begun that I didn’t tell him about.

So it was no surprise to Mercutio that when he got in the car for our cake hunting adventure and asked me where we were headed first, I just smiled and said, “You’ll see.”

Cake #64 at Jay International Foods

Cake #64 at Jay International Foods

The plan all along had been to grab some lunch at The Vine on South Grand and then begin our adventure. But when I realized that there was a cake on South Grand at Jay International Foods, I knew that before sitting down for some delicious food, we would instead begin our day by crossing a cake off our list-as all good cake adventuring days should begin, really.

Yum?

Yum?

With as frequently as Mercutio and I enjoy the food at The Vine, we’ve definitely passed Jay International Foods a few times, and we’ve even been inside once or twice to check out the mostly quality foods (yogurt soda?). But what we didn’t know was that Jay’s has the distinction of being the first grocery store in St. Louis to carry international foods – pretty impressive stuff!

Cake #64 at Jay International Foods

Cake #64 at Jay International Foods

So with the first cake of the day already admired and photographed, we walked across the street to enjoy a hearty lunch before the rest of our outing.

Plus not only was this to be the trip with the highest cake count to date (even though we didn’t know it yet), this was also the trip that began another tradition that lasted through many later cake hunting adventures – the accidental Mercutio selfie. Behold, the first in a sequence of unintentional photos taken by Mercutio of Mercutio that I “somehow forgot” to delete :)

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Take Me out to the Ballgame…Before the Cake’s Gone! – Busch Stadium #63

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Nothing pleases this Cake Monster more than adding more cake hunters to my posse, and when those cake hunters also happen to be family members, and also happen to not be aware at first that they are on a cake hunt, it’s even more fun.

Cake #63 at Busch Stadium

Cake #63 at Busch Stadium

To set the scene, it was Cake Monster’s brother’s birthday (Brother Monster), and he decided that to celebrate, he wanted to go to Ballpark Village to look around and eat some delicious food. And if there is any thing this Cake Monster loves as much as cake hunting, it’s delicious food and family birthdays, so when Ballpark Village was brought up, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to combine my three loves (food, family and cakes..the real and plexiglass kind…).

Awkward family photos at Cake #63 featuring Papa Monster, Cake Monster and Brother Monster

Awkward family photos at Cake #63 featuring Papa Monster, Cake Monster and Brother Monster

So while there was external excitement over a birthday celebration and food, there was also a lot of internal excitement over the fact that we would be dining right next to the cake at Busch Stadium, and it just really made sense for us to see it after dinner, after all. And so once everyone was full of food and had the successful family birthday celebration glow about them, I nonchalantly brought up the cake only feet away, and thankfully everyone was on board to see it!

However it was a good thing we saw the cake when we did because only a few months afterwards, in August, the cake was taken down for the rest of the year.

"Front" of the cake

“Front” of the cake

I’ve read a few different articles on the official reason for taking it down, and they seem to differ a bit, but the one thing that remains consistent is that there was a dispute between the cake artist and the organizers of the Cakeway to the West that was not able to be resolved.

Regardless of this cake drama, and sadness for the cake hunters who never got to witness the cake in all its glory, I am super thankful that I did get to see it when I did and with my family no less.

"Back" of the cake

“Back” of the cake

Plus I can’t even count how many baseball games I’ve been to at Busch Stadium with my family. So seeing the cake with Papa Monster in particular reminded me of all the days we spent sitting in the highest seats at the very top of the stadium in the ridiculously hot St. Louis summer weather eating nachos with jalapenos (maybe not the best choice?)  and enjoying a baseball game together. *memories*