Monday, July 21, 2014

STL 250 Cake Quest - Central West End

Tim and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this summer.  It was our first big milestone anniversary, but with 3 kids ages 6 and under it can be hard to celebrate properly.  Thanks to my wonderful parents, it did not go unnoticed!  

My parents offered to watch our kids for us for FOUR DAYS!!!  Four days without kids is enough time for me to do everything while doing nothing at all.  Does that make sense?  Just like last year, we booked a room at the Chase Park Plaza.  We loved our time at the Chase so much last year and it definitely lived up to our expectations this year.  

BONUS: While we stayed at the Chase, we also got to see the STL 250 cakes in the Central West End! Here are some of the cake highlights from the weekend:

Chase Park Plaza
The Chase Park Plaza has great restaurants, an amazing Sunday brunch, a fun pool with music on the weekends, a movie theater, a salon and spa and a morning coffee bar.  What more could a girl ask for!

World Chess Hall of Fame
 The cake design didn't seem very chess-like so we took another picture with the giant King piece in the background.
The giant King piece is 14 feet 7 inches tall and 6 feet in diameter.
In 2009 and 2011, the US Chess Federation named St. Louis "Chess City of the Year".  What happened in 2010 St. Louis? Let's get the title back!

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Also called the "New Cathedral", it was built as a replacement for Old Cathedral downtown.
Tim claims that this is his favorite cake (and he's not even Catholic!).  
It is beautifully designed. 
We joined a free tour inside (highly recommend!) and learned that there are over 41 million mosaic pieces covering 83,000 square feet throughout the Basilica.  The installation of the mosaics started in 1912 and wasn't completed until 1988!
The reason the Basilica appears to "twinkle" is because the gold mosaic pieces (which contain actual gold), were individually hammered using a special tool that would slightly offset the mosaic square, allowing it to catch the light and twinkle.
The Cathedral is also known for this outdoor sculpture, The Angel of Harmony, that was donated by the Schlafly family to promote racial harmony.

Left Bank Books
This locally-owned independent book store celebrated its 45th birthday this weekend.
 Bench outside the book store.  Nice quote.  
I finished 3 books during our 4 days at the Chase while logging some serious time by the pool!

Gaslight Square
 Gaslight Square was once a thriving entertainment district in the 1950s and 60s that was known for its gas lit street lamps.
The cake also honors Laclede Gas, a local utility company founded as a provider of gas light.
This small memorial at the intersection of Olive and Boyle features decorative columns like those that used to be on the street.

Gaslight Theater
The Gaslight Theater is home to the St. Louis Actors' Studio.  Visit the St. Louis Actors' Studio website for show and ticket information.
This 97-seat theater still remains in the 100 year old building next to the West End Pub and Grill.

There are some other cakes in the CWE nearby area that we didn't make it to.  Here is a map with a key:
If you want to download a printable PDF file of the map, click here.

Thank you Central West End for another awesome anniversary weekend!  See you next year!

PS - Click here if you want to see some of our other STL 250 Cake Quests.

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