Saturday, December 21, 2013

Last St. Louis

I took the girls to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. I was there last year when I went with Husband to meetings, and wanted the girls to see it. We accidentally stopped at another church before we got there, (above) but I sure do love architectural elements and beautiful doors, so it was a good stop.
When we got to the Basilica, their doors were even more impressive. The inside is awe inspiring.  The whole inside 83,000 square feet is covered with more than 41.5 million tiny squares of mosaic glass. We took a tour with a lovely guide, but did not take many pictures as mass was starting when we finished. The picture below is from the ceiling of the entryway. You cannot imagined the beauty and artistry and pictures only hint at it.

After dropping L. off at the motel for a nap, (she was recovering from being sick on the weekend,) I took M. and W. to visit City Museum. Above-W. found a friendly reptile at the gates to the museum.
Inside is a fantasy space of mosaics, sculptures, climbing and crawling apparatus formed out of industrial discards, and endlessly creative and eye popping exotica. You can crawl into a tight tunnel hole, emerge in a cage hanging from the ceiling and continue on into a concrete grotto with giant dinosaurs and fishes. Go a little farther and you may emerge from the tunnel by climbing out of the mouth of a full-sized whale, while hearing the whoosh of water rushing down an adjoining tunnel. I like the reviews from Yelp. Read them for a better idea of what this place is all about.

 There are hidden slides, large slides, curvy slides, drop slides and the ultimate 10 story slide. (Really!)
 There are visual nods to antiquity, nature, and history.
Cast off materials from other buildings and manufacturing is used to build walls, ladders, walkways slides and tunnels.

Ten story slide, from the bottom. Yes, we climbed all the way up, then found that there were two slide choices. We took the fastest one and declined to trek up again. You can get pretty good momentum in a 10 story drop!
This loopy climb was made with a smooth piece of metal running up it. instead of ruining your knees by climbing forward, you reclined on the metal piece and pulled yourself up with your hands. Ingenious!
The largest pencil in the world. Not just a model. If you were a giant, you could really use this pencil as all the materials used were correct-actual wood, graphite and rubber. Here is a story about some of the museum highlights, including the worlds largest "tightie whities."

We wandered far upstairs to the 4th floor and discovered a tucked-away art area with a friendly gnome of an artist who wooed us in to cut animal snowflakes. She let us choose pre-folded pre-drawn snowflakes of her design, and regaled us with tales of Polish wolves while we snipped. We bought three of her books. Great souvenirs!

Since it was winter, the roof with the real school bus hanging over the edge wasn't open, and since it was wet and "cold" out (in the high 30's is cold in St. Louis-it was -9 at home!) the outside tree house was also closed. Still, we had fun and were worn out and not nearly done seeing everything inside after several hours of being there.

Finally, this is a description from Trip Advisor that covers it pretty well:
Owner description: Don’t take the name so literally. We're about fun. Not your white walls, walk around, and be quiet museum. If you want to climb around, get active with your kids or are a big kid at heart, we're the place. If you get freaked out easily, you might not want to come. We’re four floors filled with miles of tunnels, a full cave system, over 30 slides, a circus, an arts area, a large outdoor climbing space, Architectural Museum, a Cabin that serves adult beverages, a Museum of Mayhem, Mirth and Mystery, and a ton more. Also, there’s the roof with a Ferris Wheel and a bus hanging off its edge.

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