It’s been a few weeks since my previous post and I am so glad to finally be back on the blog. Since my last post, I took a trip to St. Louis to visit my sister and then another trip to Washington D.C. to present my research at a tissue engineering conference. For those that didn’t see my update on the Facebook page, I also had my laptop, wallet, messenger bag, and camera stolen from me a few weeks ago.
It happened when Garren and I were in St. Louis with my sister, Andrea and her boyfriend, Sid. We were exploring the St. Louis City Museum (an awesome place, by the way) when someone smashed the back window of Andrea’s car and broke into the trunk. They took all of our things including Garren and Andrea’s valuables as well.
We wouldn’t normally keep so much stuff in the car, but we wanted to be able to explore the museum unencumbered by our bulky bags. We thought we were being careful by loading the trunk before we got there. My guess is they saw me walking away from the car holding my (new) camera and thought there must be more stuff in there. There sure was. They even got a set of car and house keys that paired oh-so-nicely with the address on my drivers license.
I’ve spent the past few weeks feeling stressed, pissed, and stupid. Why the hell did we bring so much with us? It makes me so mad knowing that many of the items they stole are sitting in a dump somewhere, rotting away. My handmade alpaca knit hat from Peru, my favorite leather bag, my trip journal from the Inca Trail… It makes me so mad.
Even with all of that, we still had a great time in St. Louis. We had lots of delicious barbecue, saw a live blues band, and got to explore the city. I would definitely go back to the City Museum and I still highly recommend you go there if you’re ever in St. Louis. Just do me a favor, and leave the valuables at home.
St. Louis City Museum
The St. Louis City Museum is a giant labyrinth of tunnels, slides, caves, and crawl spaces that will bring the kid out in even the oldest, crankiest grouch. First off, you need to get the idea of a museum out of your mind, because the City Museum is anything but. It’s more like a giant jungle gym for adults made from reclaimed found objects in the city.
The City Museum is both wonderful and weird.
Cost: $12 ($10 after 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays)
Park: In the official City Museum lot for $5
Wear: long pants, shoes you can climb around in, nothing too baggy that will get caught on stuff
When you get there: check your coat or bags to the left of the ticket counter for a buck.
On the main floor, tunnels, caves, crawl-spaces, and slides twist and wind all around. The four of us dove right in and climbed up the first coil we saw, working our way up into the ceiling.
My favorite feature was the giant whale you could climb inside. Andrea went right in the back door.
We’d quickly lose each other, only to find one of us popping out of an unexpected crevice.
I loved all the mosaic tilework! And the 5,000 gallon fish pond with Missouri River fish was a fun touch.
You could wander this place for hours and keep finding new things to explore.
We found a big slide made out of an industrial chute and painted rollers for a conveyor.
In a sliding mood, we ventured into the caves where we would make our way toward the giant 10 story spiral slide.
Sufficiently dizzy, we wobbled over to the “skateless” park, where there were half pipes and ramps for running around and big ropes to get your swing on.
We wandered into what seemed like an abandoned carnival from the 50’s, full of pinball machines, neon lights, and corn dogs.
At this point, we were ready to finally crawl around the outside area and check out the two planes we had seen when we entered. We got our coats from the coat check and admired the old printing press plates lining the walls.
It was kind of wet out, so we avoided the slides outside, but the salvaged airplane was pretty cool.
Make sure you secure things in your pockets very well as you crawl around out here. I dropped a lens cap from one of the upper cages, which was no big deal, but my iPhone would have been another story.
We probably spent a good 2-3 hours here, which felt like the perfect amount of time to explore most of the museum. There were still some areas we skipped, and in the summer months there is a rooftop area to play in with a school bus perched on the edge of the building.
The City Museum was one of the highlights of our trip, and is one of my new favorite museums, so don’t let my break-in story keep you away. Just make sure you leave your valuables at home, park in the main museum lot, and keep your wallet on you.
Do you have a cool museum in your town? Tell me all about it!