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Downtown St. Louis

Sculpture in CitygardenBefore I get started, many of you might be puzzled as to why this post landed in the Wandering category instead of the Travel one.  Well, since the vast majority of my family lives in and around St. Louis, MO, it’s basically like a second home to me.  I have journeyed there all my life and far too frequently for me to consider it traveling or vacationing.  So I thought I’d mix up the wandering section a bit…

This past trip was extra special because my cousin Alli was able to fly in from Canada for a few days.  We’re practically sisters, and as always, we had a blast hanging out.  While there, we spent nearly an entire day playing “the tourist” because, well, it’s fun.  And also because St. Louis is BIG and there is quite a lot to see and do.  So Alli, my Aunt Patty, and I all went sightseeing in a city we have seen more than a million times.

Our first stop was the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (I may have been in charge of plotting out the expedition).  Hands down, this was the most elaborate structure I think I’ve ever laid eyes on.  Alli and I both thought it was more intricate than anything either of us had even seen in Italy.  This magnificent structure has one of the largest collections of mosaics in the world.  Twenty different artists created the mosaics that cover 83,000 square feet, with 41.5 million pieces of glass tessare in 7,000 colors!  This incredible masterpiece was started in 1912 and completed in 1988 (the actual structure was built in 1907).  It is meant to be a beautiful expression of faith and an inspiring place for worship and private prayer.  It is absolutely breathtaking. (When you look at the pictures, pretty much everything you see is made up of teeny tiny tiles.)

Being that I have a thing for structures, another stop on our list was The Fox Theatre.  This place is also very ornate (in a different way).  I’ll never forget my aunt taking me there, years ago, for my birthday to see “Jesus Christ Superstar.”  It was such an impressive show and the theatre itself was so remarkable that I remember being filled with wonder.  There’s really nothing quite like going into plush and fancy (even a touch garish) theatre to watch a Broadway Show.  Unfortunately, on the day of our recent visit it was closed for the holiday so I couldn’t get inside.  Since breaking and entering (even for photographic reasons) is highly frowned upon, I had to settle for an outside shot.

Now you recall that I mentioned I’ve been traveling to St. Louis my entire life, right?  And my cousin, Alli, actually lived there for most of hers.  Well it seems that somehow no one in our family thought to introduce us to a magical place called Ted Drewes Frozen Custard.  According to the fun St. Louis visitors guide we were reading (which prompted the sightseeing tour), Ted Drewes Frozen Custard is the #1 ice cream in the world – in the world!!!  And how is it that we only just discovered this? (Haha)  Naturally, we had to check it out.  And I have to say, we weren’t disappointed.  It also seemed that everyone else knew how delicious they were, as the lines were as impressive as the frozen treats.  Thankfully they moved fast and the wait was remarkably short.  How they manage to whip up such tasty desserts inside a tiny building in record time is beyond me.

We also ventured to various other places like Citygarden to see the new sculptures, fountains, and fun landscaping.  Truly, St. Louis has so much to see and do.  After awhile, we decided to call it a day since it was blistering hot outside and we had already seen a great deal of the attractions more than a few times anyway.  It was a lot of fun though.  I’m always up for an adventure with my camera at the ready.

If you’d like to read more about St. Louis, I did a post some time back about several attractions that are worth checking out.  Click here to read on.