Monday, April 7 (backlog)
I like saying that I visited a museum, it makes me sound worldly and learned. Well before you start getting any high ideas, this is not the typical museum.
It’s a work of art. Made to be played in by children and adults alike. Totally my kind of place.
Located in the downtown area of St. Louis, visiting City Museum can be a challenge for RVers because parking is scarce. Many visitors will leave their RVs at a park on the edge of the city and drive in with their commuting vehicle, but as Julie and I wanted to drive a few more miles after we got done here we didn’t want to go that route.
We got lucky. It was a Monday and there were no large group tours scheduled to come in today, so when we called ahead that day the ticket master said we could park the rig right outside the building in the street-side bus parking. We could literally look out through the windows on one side of the museum and see Bertha and Cas pulled up at the curb. Talk about close.
The museum is located in an old 600,000 sq. foot shoe factory, and is the brainchild of acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly. All of the eclectic architecture and “sculptures” were made from found materials located within the municipal boarders of St. Louis: old chimneys, salvaged bridges, miles of tile, construction cranes… and yes, two airplanes.
There are several different “areas” to the museum and a ridiculous number of nooks and crannies to crawl (or slither) into and explore. We start in what I dubbed the fish room that has a 18″ wide crawlspace under the floor, a giant indoor treehouse, a maze of human-sized hamster tubes in the ceiling, and of course sculptures of fish.
Next is the caves, which can be spotted by a sign on on a nondescript door pointing to a 10 story slide. Ten stories tall? Heck yeah, where do I sign up? Wait, this means I need to climb ten stories worth of stairs? Hmm… yep! Still worth it.
There are actually two 10 story slides in City Museum, but one is located on the roof which is closed for the off-season. Maybe next time.
The caves are easy to get turned around in. Little passageways dart off in all directions and there are artificial dinosaur bones and such around. The stalactites and stalagmites were created, but look eerily real in the dim, often red, lighting. At one point loud organ pipe music echoes hauntingly through the corridors, eep. The caves empty out into an open-topped room where you can look 10 stories up at the climb you are about to embark on to get to the top of the slide: a complex series of spiraling staircases.
After all of that physical exertion, it’s time for lunch. Julie and I have, undeniably in my opinion, the best possible situation of all of the visitors here today when it comes to lunch. No having to sneak snacks in, no having to eat at the expensive cafeteria area in the museum, no having to make food ahead of time and leave it to roast in the car all morning, and no having to drive somewhere to go eat. We exit the building, turn the corner to go around back, hop into the Casita, and enjoy a fresh lunch of our own making with a view of the city and all the comforts of home. I love being an RVer.
Then it’s time to explore the outdoors part, which is open when the weather is nice.
There is actually a good deal of construction going on in ‘Monstrocity’, and I wonder about new stone tower going up in one corner. On the roof a bus hangs off the edge of the building, and to my understanding that can be entered as well, I wonder if I’d be nervous it being that high up?
I climb through metal tubes, skid down an entirely inappropriate number of slides for a grown adult, and curl up in a little wire ball perched atop a pole to watch everyone below. We have a great time. I do avoid the giant ball pit, because there are a lot of children in there and I wouldn’t want to accidentally squish one in my exuberance.
For the last hurrah, we head back inside and watch turtles in a pond, tilt around on crazy chairs shaped like tops, and run in a giant hamster wheel. Never get so absorbed in what other people will think of you that you forget how to have fun.
Oh, I almost forgot. There is a floor or so dedicated to “real” museum stuff too. The bug and old doorknob exhibits caught my eye the most, but I wouldn’t be fooling anyone if I said I came here for that. Nuh-uh, I came to play!
Ahem. So yeah, City Museum. Worth the $12 admittance.
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Last week I updated the About Amazon’s CamperForce post to reflect all of the changes for 2015, so for those of you who’ve been waiting for more information, head on over and take a peek.
Posts are running a bit behind real time right now, but I just wanted to say that I dropped Julie off safe and sound in Madison on the 8th and proceeded up to my parent’s house where I’ll be driveway surfing until early May when it’s time to head out to Yellowstone. Hope you’re all having a great week!
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