Sometimes when you’re cake hunting, you’ve just got to get creative. And that’s exactly what we had to do when we saw Cake #86 at Lambert Airport. Before I get into the fun stuff, let’s take a little walk down history lane. Lambert St. Louis International Airport is named for Albert Bond Lambert who learned to fly with the Wright Brothers. After land was purchased and put aside to serve as an airfield in 1920, Lambert worked tirelessly to bring worldwide attention to aviation. His effort was bolstered by a young Charles Lindbergh who arrived in St. Louis in 1923 to attend that year’s International Air Races and decided to stay in the city first as an aviation instructor and then later as the pilot who flew the mail between St. Louis and Chicago.
As public interest grew, so did the airport and the surrounding areas which soon included a paved runway, taxiways and hangars. Through the years Lambert Airport has grown and changed with the needs of the area including serving as a training location for Navy aviation cadets during World War II as well as becoming one of the first US airports to offer jet airline service in 1959 when Trans World Airlines began using the Boeing 707. Lambert has always been at the forefront of innovations in aviation and has shown incredible resiliency especially in the face of disaster such as the fact that even after the tornado that caused considerable damage to the airport in 2011, the airport reopened the following day and managed to complete the repairs and upgrades to the damaged parts of the airport in about a year.
So for a place that has so much epic history, my trip to see the cake had to be equally as epic. The idea for this adventure came early in the year when I realized that there was going to be a cake inside Lambert Airport, and with no future traveling plans in the works, I was worried about when I would be able to see this one, since I didn’t want to pay to park my car at the airport just to go inside and admire the cake for a minute. But then, a light bulb went off! Later that year I was going to be working at a conference at the Renaissance Hotel literally minutes from the airport, and being the nice hotel that they are, the Renaissance offers a free shuttle to and from the airport!
As my plan started taking shape, I enlisted the help of my coworker and fellow cake enthusiast Amelo. I knew that one day after we had finished setting up for the start of the conference we would have some free time between the end of the work day and dinner. We wouldn’t have much time, just enough to hop on the shuttle, snap a couple pictures with the cake and make it back before those we were taking to dinner even noticed we had left. And even though the edges of my plan were still fuzzy, she agreed!
And as the day I had been waiting for finally arrived, the first part of the plan went perfectly. We waited for the end of the work day, caught the shuttle to the airport and hopped off in search of the cake. Once inside the airport, I didn’t have a great idea where the cake would be located – the official cake placement list not offering any help in this matter. But finally, after asking someone who looked like they knew what was going on, we found the cake, and I showed Amelo how to properly admire a cake and take the necessary cake-selfie.
The whole cake finding and photographing process only took a few minutes, and so, feeling confident about our adventure and patting ourselves on the back for pulling off such an epic plan, we walked to the shuttle stop just in time to see the shuttle pulling away from the stop and heading back to the hotel. 😦
Crestfallen, we did the only thing we could do, sit down on the metal seats and wait for the shuttle to return. Luckily just as our anxiety was increasing about making it back to the hotel in time for dinner, the shuttle, which runs continuously, arrived at the stop again about 15 minutes later, and we boarded it bound for the hotel with memories of the great cake caper dancing in our heads.
Looking back now, I can’t believe we were able to pull off such a great adventure in the midst of everything else that was going on at the time, but when the call of the cake comes, you’ve just got to use all of your available resources to make the hunt happen.
Plus Amelo even put her cake hunting skills to the test by snapping this fantastic picture with a massively majestic cake she found while on vacation. Now that’s dedication to the cake life! 🙂