Time to Get Our Babler On – Babler State Park #126

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IMG_2570It was the best of the cake hunting times; it was the worst of the cake hunting times…nah, not really, it had been pretty good up until this point! But with the middle milestone cake out of the way and a new cake hunting companion along for the ride, it just felt right to go with something dramatic and so here we are. 🙂

For this series of cakes, I decided to switch it up a bit and instead of heading into the city and beyond, I would plan our trip around the cakes in West County and beyond, adding some spice to the hunt but mostly keeping it in my old stomping grounds.

And so for this trip, I was once again joined by my trusty cake-venture companion Mercutio Krispytreats and his fantastic boyfriend Palmetto Joseph Ray-Ban who not only comes up with amazing nicknames but also shares my love for impromptu song creation, but more on that later.

The first location on the list was Babler State Park, which is located in Chesterfield and *woah* is it beautiful.

The cake was placed near the information center which also happened to be near a cute fountain which of course we had to document. Once sufficient fountain photos had been taken, we headed into the information center to poke around.

Ok, so while there were no real human-like mannequins in this information center, there were enough animal type mannequins to render me a little uneasy of the place.

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                                                                        Really no need to go sticking your hand in a mysterious shadow box in my opinion 

Mercutio and Palmetto seemed to have much more of an adventurous spirit at this point and were even reaching their hands into dark crevices to check out “surprises” that helped them learn about nature – yeah, that’s a no thanks from me!

After we had exhausted all that the information center had to offer, we headed back out into the park to check out a large statue we had seen on the drive in. Walking all around it and reading the signs, we learned that the statue was of Dr. Edmund A Babler.

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                                                               Dr. Edmund Babler statue

Babler was a well known surgeon in the area with a deep sense of compassion and drive to help the less fortunate. Upon his death in the 1930s, the land for the state park was donated by his brother who was a huge proponent of the state park system and wanted to contribute land and resources to honor his brother. Currently the park has 13 miles of trails, numerous campsites and recreation areas and impressive natural attractions such as century old trees in some parts of the grounds. Plus all of the stone used to build the buildings and bridges were quarried locally which is just incredible.

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                                                                    Cake #126 at Babler State Park

 

And so, with some new knowledge, some exciting(?) animal mannequins and a few breaths of state park fresh air, Palmetto Joseph Ray-Ban had conquered his first cake of the hunt, and Mercutio and I could both agree that it really was the beginning of the best of our cake hunting times.

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They Built This Church of Rock and Stone – Bonhomme Old Stone Church #125

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10407008_828240108525_3432729700264754289_nSome milestones happen with a lot of planning and preparation, and with so much pomp and circumstance, while other milestones, like the hunt for Cake #125, happen quietly and without much planning but are just as memorable.

At this point in the cake game, as far as I knew, there were only going to be 250 cakes placed around the St. Louis area (“St. Louis area” being a very, very loose phrase in some cases), and so Cake #125 was exactly halfway – that turning point from “I think I might be able to find all 250 cakes” to “I’m definitely going to be able to find all 250 cakes.”

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                                                    Cake #125 at Bonhomme Old Stone Church

For this cake hunt, it was just Mama Monster and myself, and if memory serves, I believe we were headed out for some other type of adventure when I suggested we try to find the cake at Bonhomme Old Stone Church since it’s located very close to Chesterfield Mall where we were planning to adventure anyway.

While the cake itself was incredible to look at, what added a little spice to this hunt was the fact that while we had the address of the cake location, the GPS kept leading us down the same dirt path which seemed to go on forever and ever with no cake in sight and which we traversed several times before listening to the cake senses we had honed over the past few months and taking a turn we hadn’t tried yet which thankfully eventually lead to our destination!

10440965_828240188365_7853852708875434188_nBonhomme Old Stone Church was built in 1841 when a meeting space was needed for the Presbyterian Church that had been established in what is now Chesterfield – the very first one in the St. Louis area. What makes this church unique, however, is the fact that it has two stories – the lower level being used for a public school and the upper for worship services.

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                                                                    Cake #125 at Bonhomme Old Stone Church

This is unusual because at the time most churches were built directly on the ground and only contained one level. Sadly the advent of the Civil War and its aftermath caused the church’s population to decline, and it eventually closed its doors. But while the church does not currently hold worship services, it is still used for historic tours (add another notch on the list of cakes placed at locations that are on the National Register for Historic Places!) and special events including weddings.

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                                                                  Cake #125 at Bonhomme Old Stone Church 

With this cake being kind of  a loner cake for the area, it seemed very fitting for it to be the middle milestone cake of the entire hunt.

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                                                       Cake #125 at Bonhomme Old Stone Church 

And, really, what better way is there to celebrate such an occasion than with a cow wearing a party hat and blowing a festive horn on the side of a giant cake? 🙂

 

United We Cake – United Hebrew Congregation #46

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Cake #46 at the United Hebrew Congregation

Cake #46 at the United Hebrew Congregation

Most people spend their April Fool’s Day playing pranks on their loved ones and friends, but on April 1st, 2014, Miles and I went cake hunting.

On that day we only had one cake on our list as the weather was a lovely mix of rain and sleet and not ideal for cake hunting (or life really at that time of year). So we set off for the United Hebrew Congregation.

I’ll be honest when I say that at the time that Miles and I saw the cake, I had no idea the significance of the location or why it was chosen to be home to a cake. But after some research, I found out that the United Hebrew Congregation has some pretty interesting historical significance.

Over the congregation’s history, it has had many different locations. The first location was established in 1837 on the grounds where the Arch now stands – so crazy to think about the area where the Arch is located being something other than the Arch!

In 1841 the group took the name United Hebrew Congregation and became the first synagogue west of the Mississippi River.

The congregation moved around a little until settling in the 1920s in the building that is now the Missouri Historical Society. And as an added twist, the architecture firm that designed the building was none other than Maritz and Young (remember him?).

Cake #46 at the United Hebrew Congregation

Cake #46 at the United Hebrew Congregation

Finally in the late 1980s, the congregation moved to it’s current location in Chesterfield. Here they have a beautiful building as well as an artist-in-residence AND (this is pretty cool) the world’s first Torah scroll completely written by a woman scribe.

After learning all of this, I was more than impressed with just how connected this congregation is to so many pieces of St. Louis history. And the cake itself was pretty impressive as well. I absolutely love the eye on the bottom tier; it really jumps out at you and tells its own story.