At the Cardinals Kids Club Party

Yesterday, we went to the Cardinals Kids Club Party. Honestly, it was kind of a bust…just not what we were expecting. But the children still had a good time, because they got to have a few special treats. And I got a cute picture of them together, so I guess it was still a win!

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At the Ballpark with Bunny

Tuesday night was the last of my special trips to Busch Stadium with a child this season. Bunny was the only one who hadn’t been to a game with me (and Chickadee!) yet, and she was very excited to see the Cards play the Pirates! We even got to watch batting practice for the first time in a long time, and while we didn’t get to see our team, it was nice to see the Pirates wearing their Strike out Cancer t-shirts.

Bunny was fascinated watching the grounds crew clean up from batting practice and prepare the field for the game. She must take after me!

We had a really good view of the Gateway Geyser from our seats:

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And a beautiful view of the shadows moving across the field.

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Let’s face it…when you’re sitting that high up, the view is always amazing!

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Of course we stopped to see Fredbird. Chickadee was rather put out, and I think it was because she had to share him with her sister!

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Bunny wanted to have her picture taken with Hello Kitty, just like her sisters did. The only difference? Bunny towered over the cut-out!

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Before we left, we said goodnight to Stan:

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We’ve used up our (18!!!) free tickets. We do have one game left to go to as a family, and then we’ll just have to wait until next spring to go back to Busch!

The Cards-Cubs Game

Today, I finally got to see the Cardinals play their old rivals, the Cubs, at Busch Stadium. This is the game Moose and I were supposed to go to back in May that got rained out. He went to a different game with me in July, so Turkey (and Chickadee, of course!), came to today’s game with me. I was worried for a bit that this game was going to get rained out, too, but eventually, the sun came out. It was a lot of fun watching the grounds crew work with the tarp!

Even though the Cards had to disappoint us and lose, we had a fun time. Our seats in right field gave a new perspective on Ballpark Village, and the view in general was good. For once, Chickadee declined having her picture taken with Fredbird…she was so tired she didn’t want to leave me, although she cried about not seeing him for a good inning afterward! Turkey posed with our favorite mascot, however, and also asked me to take his picture by the foul pole.

I’ve taken each of the children but Bunny to a special, just us game…stay tuned for our girls’ night at the ballpark next week!

Back-to-Back Ballgames at Busch

We had a pair of tickets for both Tuesday and Wednesday nights’ Cardinals games. On Tuesday, I took Ladybug and Chickadee down to Busch Stadium, where we had field-level seats right by the Left Field Landing. Chickadee was disappointed that we didn’t have to ride the escalators, but she enjoyed getting a good look at Fredbird as he drove by!

Last night, I took just Chickadee back to Busch, where we sat in the very back row of the uppermost deck. We got to ride plenty of escalators that night! I of course had to take Chickadee to visit Fredbird, which was her favorite part of the night, because he gave her a hug!

The Cards won both games, and the Wednesday game was the final game of a sweep of the Reds, which made it even more fun, even if we did have to leave early due to an incoming storm…I didn’t want to get stuck in the rain with a toddler at the ballpark or on the train platform! Later this month, it will be Turkey’s turn to go to a game with me…stay tuned!

Cakeway to the West–Personal Favorites

Now that I’ve seen all of the “Cakeway to the West” displays, I feel that the time has come to pick my very favorites. It’s not easy to choose, because there were so many awesome artists decorating these cakes, but I have narrowed it down. The names in bold represent my “top ten” of all my favorites.

The Dogtown cake is my very favorite, for a lot of sentimental reasons. Dogtown was the neighborhood Ryan and I lived in when we were first married, and it was the perfect first place to live, as a newly married couple, and as new residents of St. Louis. There’s a great community feeling, and a great history, not to mention the awesome ethnic (Irish) flair…and this cake is like a love letter to all of that. I couldn’t have designed it better if I had tried!

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The Rigazzi’s cake is awesome, not necessarily because of the cake itself (although it references a lot of St. Louis favorites like the Zoo, beer, and baseball), but because of its location, both on The Hill, and beneath one of the remaining All-Star arches. It’s like a St. Louis tchotchkes Holy Grail!

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I also love the Blueberry Hill cake. It’s a tribute to pop culture icons…Darth Vader, Pac-Man, the Simpsons, and more. It’s random and awesome, and when you add in the bright colors of the cake, it’s easy to see why it’s a favorite!

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The cake at Historic Trinity Lutheran Church in Soulard makes my list for two reasons (three if I’m being honest). First, it was done by my very favorite local artist, Mark Hurd, who I’ve had the opportunity to meet at Art on the Square (and buy several pieces of art from!). Second, I love the way that the candle is an extension of the steeple. And, if I’m honest, I also love that it’s at a Lutheran church. You can’t talk about the history of St. Louis without mentioning us Lutherans at least a bit, right?

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I also love the cake at the University City Lion Gates. I’m not sure that there’s one more recognizably St. Louis culture cake than this, because it asks (and answers!) the all-important St. Louis question, “Where did you go to high school?”

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The cake at The Cheshire is just awesome in all of its fleurs-de-lis glory. I especially love the candle, with the writing, and the extra fleur-de-lis. It’s just a beautiful, elegant cake!

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The cake at Shaw Park is fun, because it shows all of the activities that can be enjoyed there all year round…swimming, ice hockey, and tennis all included!

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The Busch Stadium cake is a favorite because Cardinals. Enough said.

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The Ted Drewes cake both captures the spirit of the place, and gives us an excuse to get some frozen custard. It’s a win-win cake!

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The Carondelet Historical Society cake is a favorite because it references so much St. Louis history, some of which was new to me. I love how much I’ve learned through the Cakeway to the West project!

IMG_4112_2The cake at Saint Louis University is all kinds of awesome. The placement is perfect. Depending on which way you’re looking, there are fountains or flowers or a gorgeous church in the background. And the cake itself is really pretty, and perfect for the location.

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The College of Pharmacy cake might seem like a strange choice, but it really tickled me. Notice how it’s designed to look like a pharmacist’s lab coat? I love it!

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The cake at the Boys and Girls Club is great for a few reasons. I love the way it’s divided right down the middle to showcase the past and the present. And I really love that one of the cakes pays homage to the long-gone St. Louis Browns baseball team. Another bonus is that I learned a little something extra about St. Louis history after seeing this one, which is probably the most fun part of this project (for me, anyway)!

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The cake at St. Louis City Hall does a great job of showing what’s important in St. Louis. Notice all the fleurs-de-lis? Each one is painted in a specific way. My favorite, of course, is the baseball fleur-de-lis!

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The Post-Dispatch cake gets points because it’s Weatherbird. Really, what else could it be? For those not in the know, Weatherbird is the oldest continuous cartoon in the United States…it’s been around since 1901! More history…

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The Drury Hotel cake is another “what’s what in St. Louis” masterpiece. You’ve got the city flag, you’ve got the skyline, and in the letters of the city’s name, you have tributes to the Arch, King Louis, Lewis and Clark, the Cardinals, the Zoo, and the Blues. Plus, more fleurs-de-lis. Love!

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The Gaslight Square cake gets retro points from me, for being placed in a historic spot. Plus this is another great past and present cake, showcasing the importance of Laclede Gas back in the days of, well, gaslights, and its importance today. The lamp bases in the background are an added bonus!

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The cake that sits where the old St Louis Arena used to be is also cool, mainly because of the ticket stubs affixed to the top. You get a good idea of who performed there, and there are some impressive names listed!

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The West Alton cake was an unanticipated favorite for me. It recognizes the major natural disasters in St. Louis history: earthquakes, storms, floods, and the terrible drought we had a few summers ago. It’s not only the pleasant events that shape a city, and I’m glad these were included.

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The cake at the original Imo’s location looked boring when we first drove up to it, but once I looked at it, I realized how cool it is. The base is pizza boxes, while the top is decorated to look like the famous “square beyond compare” pizza. Perfectly awesome!

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The Ferguson Station Depot cake is the one cake that recognizes St. Louis’ contribution to the space race. It also focuses on other forms of transportation, and is wonderfully brightly colored. Plus, there’s a great ice cream shop just up the hill from it that we discovered and enjoyed…total win!

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The Old Cathedral cake is just beautiful. Covered in flowers and other images such as King Louis and religious and local symbols, it’s beautiful and peaceful. It’s just what you would expect at the site of the first cathedral west of the Mississippi!

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The Warren County Courthouse cake is a favorite for several reasons. It’s a tribute to all four seasons, which is fun. I enjoyed seeing a snow scene on the July day we visited it. It also has the Halloween scene from Meet Me in St. Louis…a perfect tribute to a great movie!

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The Greenville Public Library cake is decorated to look like Busch Stadium. I have no idea why this cake is so far away from the Cardinals home base, but it’s completely awesome…the Rally Squirrel even makes an appearance!

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The cake at Francis Field is a tribute to the 1904 Olympics. There was just no doubt that this would be on my list…history plus Olympics for the win! It even tells what sports competed in 1904, and it’s a very different list from the Olympics games of today!

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I really tried to limit myself to 10% of the total cakes, or 25 cakes, when compiling this list. I was right on target, too. But this cake, at the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle, kept coming to mind. I love all the old signs, many of which are neon, that are painted on it.

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The cake at the Shrine of St. Joseph was another that kept coming to mind. The cake is beautifully decorated, and the church is so beautiful, and I wouldn’t have even known it was there if it wasn’t for Cakeway to the West. So I’m allowing myself a second bonus cake. And since Stl250 ended up placing a few bonus cakes, I guess it’s OK that I have bonus favorites, too!

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And, one final late addition to my favorites list…the Reunion cake, which debuted at First Night on 12/31/14, and was then moved to the Missouri History Museum. It’s like a slice of all the cakes (I’m really very sorry about the pun), and was completed by many of the cake artists…the perfect way to wrap up Cakeway to the West!

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All of the Stl250 cakes are beautiful and tell great stories that share the history and culture of our city. It was really hard to narrow down my favorites, because I really love them all. These are the cream of the crop for me, though, and really define what this city is all about.

Happy Birthday Fredbird!

Today was Build-a-Bear day at Busch Stadium, so of course we were there. This year’s stuffed friend was a Clydesdale, which was very exciting, especially to our resident horse fanatic, Ladybug!

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Today was also Fredbird’s birthday, which meant that some of his mascot friends from St. Louis and Major League Baseball were there to help him celebrate. This is a really fun thing they’ve been doing for the last few years!

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I enjoyed the view from our seats, even if we weren’t on the right side of the stadium to see the Arch and Ballpark Village.

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We got to see John Lackey pitch his first game as a Cardinal:

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And get his first win as a Cardinal, too!

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Any day we spend at Busch Stadium is a fun day, but it’s especially fun when that day is everyone’s favorite mascot’s birthday!