The Greenway Gets Caked (Again)- #41 Mississippi River Greenway – Trailhead in Jefferson Barracks Park

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Cake #41 at the Mississippi River Greenway - Trailhead in Jefferson Barracks Park

Cake #41 at the Mississippi River Greenway – Trailhead in Jefferson Barracks Park

Next on the list of cakes to be hunted by Mercutio Krispytreats and I was the cake at the Mississippi River Greenway Trailhead in Jefferson Barracks Park.

Many cakes ago, Miles and I had seen a cake on another part of the Greenway (#28 Centennial Greenway/Katy Trail), but this was Mercutio’s first time getting to experience the awesomeness that is the Mississippi Greenway.

The cake itself was located on the trailhead in Jefferson Barracks Park which – if I can read maps correctly, and let’s be real, I may not be able to – connects all the way to downtown St. Louis (*so incredible*).

It was springtime when Mercutio and I saw the cake at the trailhead and already it was buzzing with people walking and biking the Greenway. There were even several maps and signs posted up near the cake that explained the Greenway project and how far it would reach. (If you want to learn more about that kind of fun stuff, click here.)

Cake Fail

“Cake Fail”?

Cake #41 at the Mississippi River Greenway - Trailhead in Jefferson Barracks Park

Cake #41 at the Mississippi River Greenway – Trailhead in Jefferson Barracks Park

However, sort of sadly, even amidst all the nature we were soaking up on the trailhead, there was a little bit of sketch just around the corner. For even though there ended up being three cakes total at Jefferson Barracks, only two were placed when Mercutio and I made this journey. It wasn’t quite a cake fail, since we didn’t know at the time that another one was going to be put out there, but it was a little bittersweet to have to make another trip to a place we had already been.

The two cakes that we did get to see at Jefferson Barracks on our first trip were pretty incredible, though, and since it was the first time either of us had ever been to the Barracks, I’d still count it as a win.

Plus! After I posted the picture I had taken of the cake at the trailhead on Instagram, the artist commented on it thanking me for checking out. I love when things like that happen :)

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Let’s Get Historical – Missouri Civil War Museum #40

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Cake #40 at the Missouri Civil War Museum

Cake #40 at the Missouri Civil War Museum

After the surprise mannequin attack at the Mastodon State Historic Site, I needed a little time to calm down and return my breathing to normal. Luckily our next cake location was at Jefferson Barracks which was just far enough of a drive for me to have time to calm my frazzled nerves.

Jefferson Barracks was fortunate enough to be chosen as the home of three cakes.  The first one we saw was at the Missouri Civil War Museum.

The building that is now the museum was built in 1905 and called the Jefferson Barracks Post Exchange and Gymnasium Building (I really hope they had a cool acronym for that building because that is one long title). The building was originally used as a gym and activity center for soldiers.

During World War I it was used as a troops barracks. For World War II, the building again became a gym and activity center and eventually an overflow area for the nearby hospital. But it wasn’t until 2002 that the idea for turning the building into the Civil War Museum took hold.

wpid-wp-1425784819657.jpegThe funding for the museum was done entirely through individual and private donations, and the museum officially opened its doors in 2013. And according to the museum’s website, “The mission of the museum is not to debate nor to interpret the political ideologies of the causes of the war, but rather to pay homage to the historical figures of the era, without bias to either side.” I think this is an excellent stance for a museum to take.

Mercutio and I were not able to poke around the museum (cake hunting on a tight schedule!), but I do think it would be an interesting place to come back and check out.

So after a much needed lull in the day’s adventures, Mercutio and I soldiered on (get it?) to the next cake location just a short drive away.

PS If you want to learn more about the Missouri Civil War Museum, click here. That’s where I found all the cool information I posted above.

Cake #40 at the Missouri Civil War Museum

Cake #40 at the Missouri Civil War Museum

Why Are There Always Mannequins? – Mastodon State Historic Site #39

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2014-03-30 14.27.26It is a fact of my life, cake hunting and otherwise, that when something exciting or fun happens, I can be sure that something equally as sketchy is lurking just around the corner. Such was the case when Mercutio and I continued our journey to the Mastodon State Historic Site to see cake #39.

Cake #39 at Mastodon State Historic Site

Cake #39 at Mastodon State Historic Site

Cake #39 at Mastodon State Historic Site

Cake #39 at Mastodon State Historic Site

Let’s start with the exciting part.

Did you know that in the little town of Kimmswick, MO archaeologists found the first evidence that humans and mastodons coexisted in eastern North America? I had no idea either until cake hunting took us to the location of a bone bed where as early as the 1800s bone fragments and other artifacts were found indicating that humans and mastodons were hanging out together in this area. The findings at this site were so significant that in 1987 the location was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. And until the cake brought us here, I had no idea that this was even a part of Missouri’s history.

Cake #39 at Mastodon State Historic Site

Cake #39 at Mastodon State Historic Site

The cake itself was outside of a museum where, for a small fee, you can watch a quick movie that goes over the history of this site and what was found there. And after you take in the movie, you can walk through the back of the museum, down some stairs, to the actual site where the bones were found. So, of course, Mercutio and I were on board with all of this. Neither of us knew much about the site before the cake outing, and we were both eager to find out as much as we could.

So with open minds, we opened the doors to the museum expecting to be met with an exciting historical adventure. Instead what we found was the ultimate, the absolute worst thing I could have seen: MANNEQUINS, lots of MANNEQUINS.

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Completely unnecessary

wpid-wp-1425448083455.jpegOf course, on a day when I was excited to be learning so much interesting historical information, there had to be mannequins. AND to make my life even more horrifying, in order to get to the path that led to the bone bed, the main attraction of the entire trip, you had to pass by not only the sketchy human type mannequins, but also this massive sloth type thing that had it’s tongue out in what, if I’m being honest, was a very menacing way.

Additionally there was a life sized mastodon skeleton towering over everything, which doesn’t really qualify as a mannequin, but I’m gonna lump it in that category anyway, because I did not at all enjoy it looking at me.

Nope

Nope

Super aggressive

Super aggressive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So clutching Mercutio’s arm with a death grip, and basically having him guide me to the door while I closed my eyes, we finally made it out of the museum to begin our journey to the bone bed. We just had to go down a couple of stairs.

Why can nothing be easy on this trip?

Why can nothing be easy on this trip?

The bone bed itself is pretty much just an area of land with a map next to it saying, “Here’s where we found the stuff” (or, you know, whatever archaeological technical jargon they use to describe stuff), but it was still incredibly awe inspiring to realize that we were walking on the same ground as mastodons and whatever creature that sloth thing was supposed to represent.

2014-03-30 15.05.09And to top off the trip, as we were preparing to climb back up those dizzying stairs to head to the car, we saw something yellow along the trail. When we got closer, we found Mr. Tails, Sonic the Hedgehog’s side kick. Upon seeing this, Mercutio turned to me and said, “You should take a picture of that. It’ll make a good story for the blog.” So I did. And let’s be real, a rogue doll in the middle of the woods is just the icing on the mannequin-filled Mastodon Historic Site cake.

 

A Little Something Extra – The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery #38

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The Purple Pickle sign. 2014-03-30 13.41.59That was the first thing that greeted Mercutio Krispytreats and I when we arrived in the little town of Kimmswick for a day of cake hunting. We should have taken it as a…well…sign of the interesting adventure awaiting us.

Cake #38 at the Blue Owl

Cake #38 at the Blue Owl

What we had really traveled to this historic town to see was the cake at the Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery. What we got was a whole lot of unexpected adventure.

Unfortunately Mercutio and I did not have the opportunity to sample the food (or the “Levee High Caramel Apple Pecan Pie“) at the Blue Owl, but if the crowd waiting outside to get in and the huge list of TV shows the restaurant has been featured on are any indication, we were definitely missing out.

Cake #38!

Cake #38!

But we were on a cake hunting mission and had other sights to see, so we took our standard cake hunting pictures and started back toward the car.

As we were walking back, I noticed a lady a little in front of us walking a cute little dog, and I mentioned to Mercutio how cute the pup was (and probably something about missing Miles James). The lady (we decided to call her Anastasia) must have heard us because she turned around and told us we could pet her dog. As we said hello to the little dude, Anastasia asked us what we were doing in Kimmswick and if we had ever been there before. We said that we were on a cake hunting mission (and then of course, explained what that meant) and that it was our first time in town.

Then, in the true fashion of most people I tend to encounter, Anastasia started opening up and telling us about the history of the town, the best places to eat there and then finally, that just down the road is the Anheuser Museum and Estate. At this, Mercutio and I gave each other a look that said, “We are totally checking that place out.”

And what an excellent decision that was!

Anastasia had told us the estate was right down the road, and while I still decided to map it out on my phone just in case, she was right on. We had barely driven away from the Blue Owl when we came upon a huge spread of land and a massive mansion.

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Not terrified.

Not terrified.

 

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Terrified.

As we got out of the car, and looked around, the first thing we decided to check out were some gorgeous horses penned across from the mansion. They were pretty friendly and even wanted to pose for pictures…although, I was less stoked about the idea of a massive animal sniffing my face than Mercutio was.

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The back of the estate

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Decoration on the estate

We later learned that the estate was owned by Fred and Mabel Ruth Anheuser. When Mabel Ruth passed away in 2000, she gave the estate to the town of Kimmswick as well as a large donation to keep it looking good. And since then the city has added a museum and a tour of the grounds, which, I can say from experience, are pretty fantastic.

Front view of the estate

Front view of the estate

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Gorgeous

Before we left, we even got to check out the view across the river which in the early spring, was the perfect way to start a cake hunting day.

wpid-wp-1425170579211.jpegHowever as if the cake hunting universe knew that we were having a fun time on an unexpected adventure, as we were leaving, we saw a giant reminder of just how sketchy things can be when you are cake hunting:

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Why is she so angry?

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Totally legit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Monster Only Runs for Cake – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri #37

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Cake #37 at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri

Cake #37 at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri

After our group had finished posing with the cake at the Fox, I spied out of the corner of my little eye yet another cake just waiting to be hunted only a short walk away. And so, being the cake monster that I am, I made the executive decision that we were going to see that one also (aka I just kind of took off in the general direction of this cake hoping someone would follow me).

Luckily enough, the group was feeling gracious and followed me to the second cake of the night at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri.

Besides being a fantastic organization that helps pair children with adults who truly want to care for them and help them succeed, I also learned that 2014 marks 100 years since the St. Louis chapter of the organization was founded!! And even more exciting, the organization itself was founded in 1904, so 2014 marked it’s 110th birthday! With so many milestones going on, it’s no wonder this location was chosen as home to a cake.

Cake #37 at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri

Cake #37 at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri

Plus this cake was definitely one of my favorites! I really liked the color choices used by the artist and the fact that each tier has it’s own theme.

And so after my mama and I had taken our customary pictures with the cake, we walked back to the Fox to enjoy our show.

However the fun did not stop there. After the rockin’ show, and with two cakes in the books, our little crew headed home. On the way, we talked about the cakes we had seen, my mission to see them all and where the rest were located. And just as we were about to jump on the highway, we felt the car screech to a halt and shimmy over to the side of the road. All of us looked at each other wondering what was going on when our fearless driver screamed, “Cake!” We all rushed to the side of the car facing the street to look out the window and saw, a few feet away and up the street, the cake at the LGBT Center.

Of course, I ripped off my seat belt as fast as I could and started for the car door. But mid way through this rush, I looked out the window again only to realize that there were zero streetlights around the cake, so it was pretty much just a glittering lump in the darkness. And after searching my purse, I  also realized my cell phone was dead (the beginning of an all too common occurrence when cake hunting). So with a heavy heart, I informed everyone of the near impossibility of getting a good picture of the cake that night and with a big collective sigh, everyone put back on their seat belts and prepared for the rest of the ride home.

Regardless of this minor misadventure, though, when what starts out as just a trip to the theatre turns into a surprise two-for-one caking adventure, I still count that as a win in my book.

 

Cake adventuring aside, I do fully support the mission of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters, so if you’re interested in learning more about what they do and how to get involved, visit their website here.

We Will Rock You – The Fabulous Fox Theatre #36

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Cake #36 at the Fabulous Fox Theatre

Cake #36 at the Fabulous Fox Theatre

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through my cake hunting adventures is that sometimes, when you least expect it, life hands you a cake (apply this to your own life accordingly).

As it so happens, for Cakes #36 and #37, this was exactly the case.

As I’ve said before, my family has always supported musical theater. In fact, many of my childhood memories are soundtracked (that’s a thing right?) by songs from the different musicals I was exposed to growing up. (Check out Of Course I Have a Plan…Part 6 The Muny for further evidence of just how integral musicals were to my upbringing and how much they may have contributed to my eventual sketchy life. It will explain so much).

So in addition to spending my summers at the Muny, I was also fortunate enough to be able to see numerous shows over the years at The Fabulous Fox Theatre.

On this particular winter evening, I was set to see Queen’s We Will Rock You with my mama, papa and family friends. But it wasn’t until halfway to the theatre that a little light bulb went off over my head as I realized that in addition to being dazzled by an incredible performance, I was going to be dazzled by the presence of a cake.

Cake #36 at the Fabulous Fox Theatre

Cake #36 at the Fabulous Fox Theatre

I don’t know why it took me so long to put it together, but the Fox was a perfect place for a cake because in addition to being a fantastic St. Louis landmark, the theatre was also celebrating a major milestone in 2014 – it had been 85 years since the theatre doors were opened for the first show in 1929 (AND ’85 was the year I was born…it’s all coming together.)

I also read an interesting quote on the Fox’s website, “‘No longer need residents of St. Louis look beyond their own city for the finest entertainment.'” Apparently this was something that was said when the Fox held it’s first show. And, in my opinion, the theatre has definitely lived up to these lofty expectations.

The black and white helps with the blurriness right?

The black and white helps with the blurriness right?

I must also admit that this occasion, while already pretty incredible because of the chance caking, was made even sweeter by the show we were there to see: Queen’s We Will Rock You. Now it is true that this cake monster spend some time in England “studying.” And while I was there, one of the things I wanted to do was see a show. And when the woman at the ticket booth told my companion and I that this show was like seeing a rock concert, we were totally in. And she was totally right.

The basic idea of the musical is a little wonky, and I won’t get into it, but it is packed with a crazy amount of Queen songs and the best part is, often times the audience is encouraged to join in with the song (*Exsqueeze me?* I get to head bang to Bohemian Rhapsody in a reputable theater? *chah*).

So even though the cake may have been only around for a short year, I definitely would recommend taking any opportunity you have to check out a show at the Fox Theatre. And who knows, maybe the universe will bring you some actual cake when you least expect it (but for real, if that happens, let me know, I love cake :) ).

The ceiling at the Fox - totally not frowned upon to be taking a picture of this before the show

The ceiling at the Fox – totally not frowned upon to be taking a picture of this before the show

Cake Hunting in the Snow…Flurries – Spirit of St. Louis Airport #35

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After thirty-four cakes, I was finally settling into a nice cake-hunting routine: pick a day to hunt cakes, pinpoint which cakes to find, lay out a plan for driving to them and more often than not, lure someone into going with me. :)

Cake #35 at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport

Cake #35 at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport

For number 35, I wanted to see the cake at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in West St. Louis County with my (mostly) willing accomplices: my mama and Mr. Miles James.

And as a bonus, while we were driving to the location to see the cake, we got to experience a cake hunting first – finding a cake in the snow!! Ok, so it was more like snow flurries, but I’m gonna still count it as snow.

I’ll be honest and say that even though I grew up not far from this cake, like the one at the Kemp Auto Museum, I did not even know that there was an airport just a short drive from Chesterfield Valley.

After doing some research into the location, I found out some interesting facts that made me realize just why they had chosen this location for a cake.

The first thing I discovered was that the Spirit of St. Louis Airport was celebrating it’s 50th year of operation in 2014! (Hooray small airports/businesses!) So that right away seemed to be enough reason to have a cake at this location, but when I started digging deeper into the history of the place, it seemed like a tale right up this cake monster’s alley.

The airport was founded in 1964 (50 years ago…) by a pilot who was tired of waiting in line with his small plane at Lambert Airport while all the other bigger planes got priority. So he decided to find some land to open his own airport. Pretty legit so far…

Miles says, "Did someone say there was gumbo here?"

Miles says, “Did someone say there was gumbo here?”

BUT here’s where it gets good! The stretch of land that he found to build the airport on came to be called Gumbo…no explanation, just Gumbo.

Right, so on Gumbo they needed to build a tower, and this tower was built (according to the Spirit of St. Louis Airport’s website ) from storm doors (classy) and windows (those are important) on top of four telephone poles (seems SUPER safe). And what was this magnificent catastrophe-waiting-to-happen called? Why Old Shaky, of course!

After doing this research and seeing that, despite this randomness, the airport has managed to survive and thrive for 50 years, I was filled with hope. It really seemed as though this airport’s history was tailor made for this cake monster to enjoy and learn that from sketchy beginnings can come good things. And with so many unusual names and sketchy ways of doing things – I couldn’t be prouder to have this airport in my (former) backyard!

Just focus on the faces and not my fingers in the shot...

Just focus on the faces and not my fingers in the shot…

Plus! As if this hunt wasn’t exciting enough with all the snow (flurries), the exotic names of the land and tower, and having Miles and my mama with me along for the ride, this cake marks the first of a few cakes I found that had an image of a man with a very unusual expression on his face  – truth be told, he’s a bit terrifying. For all of this, I’d say Cake #35 was definitely a win!