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*

Springtime at the Seminary – Concordia Seminary #62

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Cake #62 at Concordia Seminary

Cake #62 at Concordia Seminary

While epic, multi-location cake hunts will always hold a special place in my heart, sometimes it’s the short, single cake adventures that turn out to be the most beautiful. Plus after a historical journey into the past in St. Charles, Miles and I needed to center ourselves in the present and enjoy some scenic views.

So one day after work, Miles and I set out for Concordia Seminary in Clayton to see cake #62.

Cake #62 at Concordia Seminary

Cake #62 at Concordia Seminary

Celebrating 175 years since its founding in 1839, Concordia Seminary holds the title for being the second oldest Lutheran Seminary in the United States. Originally the seminary was located in Perry, MO, but in 1849 it moved to St. Louis with the present campus buildings being completed in 1926.

2014 was a big year for many St. Louis historical sites, but, sadly, even with as many advancements as we’ve made, poor pups like Miles James still aren’t allowed to put their four paws everywhere they want to visit. And so, especially when cake hunting on unfamiliar territory, Miles and I always have to have a back up plan in case we need to make a quick getaway because a cake location is not dog friendly. And let’s be real, a quick getaway in my case would probably be more like a weird little skip that would actually draw more attention to myself. :/

Cake #62 at Concordia Seminary

Miles on high alert

But, despite walking back to the car while keeping pace with a uniformed and badged up maintainer of the peace, we didn’t have any trouble checking out the cake and taking our time with the surrounding area which was really stunning in the glow of the setting sun.

Plus, although I cherish each cake memory I have, because this was a solo cake trip, this cake will always remind me of the perfect spring evening I spent with Miles cake adventuring and successfully avoiding any anti-dog situations.

History? More Like Her-Story – Lindenwood University #61

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Cake #61 at Lindenwood University

Cake #61 at Lindenwood University

Finally, with aching feet and paws, a distinct rumbling in both our bellies, a phone that was about to die, and eight cakes under our figurative cake hunting belt, Miles and I pulled into a familiar parking lot to see the last cake of the day at my alma mater Lindenwood University.

It was only fitting for an adventure of such historic proportions to end at a place that has both real and personal historical value for me.

The real history is pretty impressive – Lindenwood is the 2nd oldest school of higher-education west of the Mississippi River. It was originally founded in 1827 by George and Mary Easton Sibley – a pretty recognizable name around campus.

Cake Monster and friends  circa 2006

Cake Monster and friends circa 2006

And the personal history is not too shabby either. I attended Lindenwood University during my junior year of college and then again while I completed my Master’s of Fine Arts. During both stays on LU’s campus, I was also involved with the university’s Writing Center – first as a consultant and then as a grad student.

Cake Monster getting her Master's circa 2010

Cake Monster getting her Master’s circa 2010

I definitely had some real adventures back then both at the Writing Center and through the opportunities I had (study aboard in Peru, for the win!), so getting to end our historical cake hunting journey at LU’s cake was extra special.

As the sun began to sink behind the clouds and several students started to loudly whisper about the cute dog on campus, Miles and I took one long look around to take in and savor the very last minutes of the historical trek we had just completed through St. Charles. And as we walked back to the car, all we could think about were the new adventures ahead us – specifically the delicious food that was to be consumed immediately upon arriving home.

And Next We Go to Court, Of Course – St. Charles Old County Courthouse #60

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Cake #60 at the St. Charles Old County Courthouse

Cake #60 at the St. Charles Old County Courthouse

It was only fitting that, after perhaps being a little too liberal with the area that I decided to call a parking spot when seeing the cake at the Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, the next cake stop on our historical journey was at the St. Charles Old County Courthouse.

And of course, as this was an excursion for Miles James and I of the most exciting kind, we pulled up to the building of the courthouse only to find that the cake was no where in sight. So-after finding a more proper parking spot- we found ourselves at the bottom of a series of momentous steps that we could only hope would lead us to the cake.

As we conquered each step, I started to realize that since most of the courthouse is still composed of the very same pieces it was built with, Miles and I really were walking through a piece of history on the very same steps that the individuals who created the courthouse took themselves.

Cake #60 at the St. Charles Old County Courthouse

Cake #60 at the St. Charles Old County Courthouse

Finally after making it to the top of the steps and walking out onto a small plateau, we could not only see the cake, but we had a pretty majestic view of the rest of St. Charles including the other locations we had only recently made a part of our cake hunting history.

Although we had already had a long, historical day, Miles and I only paused for a moment to take in the view and soak up all the history we could before turning back down the same steps we had just climbed to head toward the last cake on our historical adventure through St. Charles.

Cake Lessons Learned – Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne #59

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Cake #59 at the Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

Cake #59 at the Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

I have found over the course of my cake adventures, that sometimes when cake hunting, just like in life, cakes are usually a lot closer than you think if you just know where to look.

This was the case for Mr. Miles James and I as we headed to the next stop on our journey which just so happened to be up the street a little ways from the cake at the First Missouri State Capitol at the Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne.

And with cake hunting, as in life, sometimes you have to take dangerous risks to reach your goals. In the case of this cake, which was on a little patch of sidewalk on the corner of a four way stop, a little thing like nowhere to park was not going to stop such seasoned adventurers like Miles James and I. So what did we do? Well, like the settlers of old, we found a little piece of land, called it our own (and parked the car on it), and set out to complete our journey, which I call a success!

Cake #59 at the Shrine of St. Rose  Philippine Duchesne

Cake #59 at the Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

The cake itself was one of the prettiest cakes I had seen, with the deep blue background and yellow flowers crisscrossing the tiers of the cake.

The Shrine was chosen as a cake home by popular vote, and after doing a bit of research, it’s easy to see why it was such a great cake location. St. Rose Philippine Duchesne was sent from her home in France to St. Louis in 1818 by Bishop DuBourg. Once settled in St. Charles, she was instrumental in founding the first free school west of the Mississippi.

After many years of educational work, she passed away in 1852, but when her body was exhumed three years later, it was found to be, miraculously, intact. She was canonized by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1988.

And so as Miles and I looked all four ways before crossing the street back to the patch of land we had claimed as a parking spot, we noticed the sun just starting to set and realized that soon our historical journey would be coming to an end.

Miles and I have a Capitol Idea – First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site #58

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Cake #58 at First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site

Cake #58 at First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site

Most of my cake hunting journeys are full of interesting and strange obstacles, and the historical cake hunting trip Miles and I were embarked upon was no different.

After having taken in the cake at the Lewis and Clark Boat House, Miles and I were filled with historic purpose as we set across the parking lot to see the next cake at the First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site. However as we came to a sign that told us we had found the correct building, the cake was nowhere in sight.

Miles began searching the ground area while I checked my map coordinates when suddenly I happened to look between two buildings and realized that the cake was in the backyard of the capitol building.

My first thought was to simply climb the fence that stood between Miles’ and my destiny, but as families with small children were shopping in the stores around us, I thought this might set a bad example – plus it may not be 100% legal?

But we were determined to see the cake and complete our historical voyage, so we walked around to the back of the building to try a different route, when as luck would have it, there was a section of the fence that was only latched, not locked.

Miles basking in our cake-complishment

Miles basking in our cake-complishment

I took this as a welcome invitation to walk right up to the cake, and was about to do so, when a man crossed the length of the yard with some brush and other backyard debris in his hands. He just seemed to be cleaning up, but he did present yet another obstacle to our cake-y conquest. So I decided to pick Miles up and have him do what he does best – win people’s affection.

With Miles on my hip, I called to the man and asked him if we could come into the backyard to get a picture with the cake. He seemed a little bewildered at first as if he hadn’t even taken much notice of the cake, but when he saw Miles, he smiled and said we were welcome to come back for a minute.

Without any hesitation, Miles and I raced toward the cake and snapped our customary pictures. As we were admiring the cake, our gentleman gatekeeper told us that even though most people think Jefferson City has always been Missouri’s state capitol, St. Charles was actually the state’s first capitol from 1821 to 1826 while the state was deciding where to have the capitol permanently.

I could tell he wanted us to stay and chat more, but Miles and I had adventures to pursue. So I thanked him for his knowledge and generosity and Miles and I trekked on to the next stop on our quest.

These Boats Were Made for Sailing – Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center #57

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Cake #57 at the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center

Cake #57 at the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center

For the next cake Miles and I decided to embark

On a journey much like Lewis and Clark.

We traveled to the boat house in St. Charles, MO

To find the spot where the duo left from so long ago.

In memory of their momentous trip,

The boat house offers something you don’t want to skip.

On the bottom level just behind the cake,

Are full size replicas of the boats Lewis and Clark decided to take.

Cake #57 at the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center

Cake #57 at the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center

And besides the boats, which are incredible to be sure,

Inside the museum you can get an idea of what life was like in 1804.

What’s more, there’s even a group of modern day performers,

Who set out every year and sail the same route as those early explorers.

So with historical pride beating in our hearts,

Miles and I continued on just like Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.