The third and final stop on our mother/daughter cake hunting adventure was the Museum of Transportation in West St. Louis County.
So far on our outing, we had had one sketchy type adventure at The Black Madonna Shrine and Grottos and one relatively quiet type adventure at The Maritz Corporation. So since we were one for one, it was pretty much a toss up as to what this last location would hold for us.
We should have known it would be sketchy.
Our first clue that something was a little off was the fact that when we pulled up to the entrance of the museum, which is a massive wrought-iron gate, we had to squeeze past another car that was on it’s way out. As we passed the other car, the people inside started making strange gestures at us and waving their arms. But with our eyes on the prize and more specifically, my mind on not scraping the side of their car with my car, we just figured they were being friendly, and so we waved back as we continued into the museum parking lot.
The next clue that things were a little off should have been that there were zero other cars in the parking lot. But it was late on a Sunday afternoon in early March, so, again, we didn’t think much of it.
Before I reveal the final clue that something was definitely not right, I want to interject a little knowledge about this cake location (and add a little suspense to the story!). The museum was founded in 1944 by several people who had gotten a hold of the rare, mule-drawn streetcar called Bellefontaine (hmm…a familiar St. Louis name…). Since then, the museum has grown to house the world’s largest collection of transportation vehicles. The Museum of Transportation’s website tells more about this saying, “With over 70 locomotives, half of them ‘one-of-a-kind’ or ‘sole survivors’ of their type, the Museum has one of the most complete collections of American railroad motive power, and its collections of automobiles, buses, streetcars, aircraft, horse-drawn vehicles, and riverboat materials are constantly expanding to reflect the ever-changing nature of transportation.” Legitimately incredible and right here in St. Louis!
*Now back to the regularly scheduled sketch.*
Right, so despite the fact that we had had a strange encounter with a couple leaving the museum and spied no other cars in the parking lot, my mama and I were not fazed and started walking towards the museum.
After trying the doors to the inside part of the museum and finding them locked (yet another sign!), we finally spotted the cake at the top of a hill next to a rather intimidating locomotive and started walking towards it.
Once at the top, I started in with the usual cake pictures when to our left came a rather loud, “Hey! What are you two still doing here?” More than a little rattled, my mama and I looked over and saw a rather burly man in a security guard outfit looking at us like he’d seen a ghost.
“We’re just here to see the cake,” my mama said calmly (the best way to handle unexpected sketchiness).
“Well we closed about 15 minutes ago. You guys gotta get out of here.” And with that, it all made sense – the couple at the gate was probably signaling that the museum was closed and if we had put that together with the lack of cars in the parking lot, we probably could have saved ourselves and the security guard an unnecessary encounter.
But all we could do was laugh, so we took the rest of our pictures under the watchful eye of the guard and then made our way back down the hill to our car.
Once we were safely off museum property, my mama turned to me and said, “You know, that was pretty fun. We should break the rules more often!” Ok, ok, she said something more along the lines of wanting to cake hunt again, but I mean, when else do you have a good excuse for being on museum property when they are technically closed? Cake hunting for the win!!