While Turkey, Bunny, and Ladybug were at choir camp last week, Moose, Chickadee, and I looked for some fun things to do to help pass the time. One of our excursions was the result of a promise years in the making…we rode the red line of the St. Louis MetroLink from one end (Shiloh-Scott) to the other (Lambert Airport Terminal 1) and back again!
We’ve talked about doing this for years, and it was something Moose especially was interested in, so I figured the timing was perfect, especially since he and Chickadee are both currently still eligible for the 1/2 price child fare! We’ve never been to the Shiloh-Scott station before, so that was interesting in and of itself, as it has two separate stations, one for public access, and one for Scott Air Force Base personnel.
We were pretty much the only passengers on the train when we started out, and we saw many people come and go as we rode.
When we got to the airport, we went inside (as far as you’re allowed without a ticket, anyway), and were pleased to find the Cakeway to the West cake from the STL250 year still on display:
And then we got back on the train in the other direction. We weren’t alone at the beginning of the trip this time, but by the time we got back to Shiloh-Scott, we had the whole train to ourselves again!
So that’s it for our MetroLink adventure. The round-trip took us about three hours altogether, and I think we traveled close to 80 total miles back and forth. It was a nice was to spend a hot day (we were so thankful for the air conditioning on the train!), and we had a fun time seeing different parts of St. Louis as we sped by. I’m glad this was a promise that was finally kept!
This morning, we took a field trip to Cahokia Mounds, something we try to do around Thanksgiving most years. Chickadee enjoyed the climb to the top of Monk’s Mound, but she was a little reluctant to make the descent!
A few years later, and Chickadee still gets excited when we see a “Cakeway to the West” installation when we’re out and about!
When we were in Springfield, we came across a few pieces from the “Hats Off to You, Mr. Lincoln!” art project Springfield hosted in 2009, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Honest Abe:
We only saw three hats, but it was kind of like being back on our Cakeway to the West cake hunt last year, and the children loved it!
We spent a couple of hours this morning walking around downtown Belleville, looking at details on familiar buildings, and discovering a few new places, too. As we were leaving, I decided to see if the St. Clair County Historical Society Victorian Home Museum Cakeway to the West installation was still in place, so Chickadee could see it again. It was:
She still gets excited anytime she sees one of those big cakes around town!
Today we went strawberry picking at Eckert’s, and Dolly came along. She certainly fared better than Chickadee, who was quite stained by the time we were done! While we were there, we also walked around, and saw some animals…plus the Stl250 cake, which we were glad to see out and in good condition!
Maybe next month, Dolly will get to go blackberry picking with Chickadee!
I love that even over a year after our cake hunt began, I can still have an Stl250 cake to share!
The Missouri School for the Blind received one of the official cakes (originally located at the Green Center), via auction/donation after the celebratory year ended, and repainted it. The painting was done mostly by students from the school, with the help of a well-known Stl250 cake artist and one of the tireless Stl250 volunteers. I especially love the braille on the cake!
So, it’s an official cake in that it is one of the fiberglass cakes created for the event, but it’s unofficial because the school wasn’t one of the original locations, and it no longer has its original paint job. I’m so glad that it didn’t end up in a dumpster, and instead went to a location I thought deserved a cake in the first place!
One year ago today, our big Stl250 “Cakeway to the West” cake hunt began. We still hadn’t realized that we would attempt (and eventually succeed!), to find all of the cakes (that decision was made on March 15th of last year, if you were wondering, when Ryan posed it as a challenge that I could not back down from), but this cake at Eckert’s was the first one we went looking for, and one of the closest cakes to our home.
It’s the third month of 2015, and I do still miss our cake-hunting trips…it was a great way to celebrate St. Louis’ birthday, and get to know the history of the city even better!
Now that all of the Stl250 cakes have been placed (and many removed to new homes), I’ve made my own list of places that I think deserved Cakeway to the West installations. Now, I’m not trying to replace any of the cakes that were out there, because that would just be impossible. But since there were some bonus cakes, I thought it would be fun to think of other locations that could have helped St. Louis celebrate her 250th birthday. And there really were a lot of places in the St. Louis area that I think could have easily gotten a cake of their own!
- Dave Sinclair–Who in St. Louis doesn’t know “Thank you, and here’s my address?”
- Mercy Medical Center–So many St. Louisans celebrate the day of their birth at this hospital, it seems like a birthday cake would have been fitting.
- KFUO–The longest continually operating AM station in the country…how did they not get a cake?!?
- CPH–Maybe I just want more Lutheran representation, but CPH was also celebrating a big anniversary last year, and they’re very involved in their community, plus they recently won the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige award, so it seemed like they may have been a prime cake location.
- Gateway Grizzlies–The Frontier League could have used a cake…there are two teams from the league in the St. Louis area! Of course, I picked the one on the Illinois side…
- Schnucks–Doesn’t even matter which store, but with Schnucks being such a big chain in St. Louis, and them having celebrated their 75th anniversary last year, it seems like they deserved a cake, too.
- Bissell Water Tower–The other two standpipe water towers in the city got a cake, why not this one, as well?
- Cabanne House–I don’t think Forest Park had quite enough cakes, and this beautiful house would have been a great place for one.
- St. Clair County Courthouse–I think every other county in the area had a cake at their courthouse. I know the St. Clair County Courthouse is an ugly building, but fair is fair!
- Fitz’s–OK, I know this is unreasonable. The Walk of Fame is right next door, so there wasn’t really even any space for another cake, and the Delmar Loop rivals Forest Park for most cakes in a small area, anyway. But Fitz’s is a St. Louis staple, so I still wish they could have had their own cake!
- The Pageant–As long as I brought up the Delmar Loop, I may as well mention The Pageant. It’s always busy, and it’s such a cool building…why not throw one more cake that way?
- Art on the Square–I think this was the most surprising non-cake appearance for me. I was really expecting a cake to be unveiled on the Belleville town square the weekend of the art show…there were cake artists there selling their art, big crowds, Belleville’s 200th birthday…it seemed perfect. Alas, no cake.
- KMOX–It seems to me that the mighty ‘MOX deserved a cake for many reasons, including the fact that radio just wasn’t well-represented by cakes.
- BND–The St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a cake, why not the biggest paper in the Metro East, as well?
- Police Department/Fire Department–It seems like the city police headquarters or the Monarch Fire District in West County should have had a cake…an area’s civil servants are certainly important. Then again, after the way things played out in St. Louis last year, I guess it’s a good thing there was no cake at a police department…it probably wouldn’t have survived!
- The Galleria–In theory, it’s the best place to shop in St. Louis. A cake by the fountain would have been a nice touch.
- Missouri School for the Blind–After the Central Institute for the Deaf received a cake, I just assumed it would be a given that the school for the blind would also get one. I had a personal interest in this location, so it was quite a disappointment to me that it never happened.
These are the first places that came to my mind that could have had cakes…where would you have liked to see an Stl250 cake placed?
The gold cake prototype and the “Reunion” cake, the last of the Stl250 cakes to be unveiled, are currently on display together at the Missouri History Museum. It’s kind of fun to see the beginning of the project, and the end, together in one place!