Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Mud House and The Bonkers Museum

The hometown journey in November resulted in a return trip to KC that was a lively one thanks to some well-chosen stops on the way.  After a brief but soothing stop in Columbus, Ohio at our favorite German Village bookstore (the Book Loft) and some delightful noshes at a boisterous eatery called the Brown Bag Deli (highly recommend the Spice of Life:corned beef, scallions, cream cheese, Batampte mustard and onions on a crusty French roll), we rolled on westward and settled in for an overnight in St Louis.

St Louis was a kick and it kicked off with a sunny beginning at colorful coffeehouse The Mud House.  Over a steaming Cubano espresso, I took in the eccentric surroundings (like the MJ print and hidden plastic doll above) and soaked up my breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese, hearty black bean chili and greens.
 Soon, we were off to the main event which was the most utterly bonkers museum I had ever experienced: the City Museum.  There is not a more apt description of this one-of-a-kind marvel than the one the museum itself provides..."an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects."  It's breathtaking at once when you enter the grounds....the whooshes of spiraling slides, the precariously balanced school bus on the top corner of the roof.  We weave our way from corridor to corridor, floor to floor and soon realize it is virtually impossible to traverse unless you do it as the "natives" do.  Climb ladders, plummet down slides, crawl through tunnels and caves. Hang out and find munchies at the Shrine of Shameless Hucksterism.
City Museum is a delirious interactive ride of a museum and should be experienced by everyone who's in the area.  We finally gave our senses a break by stopping for a treat of mini hot, sugared donuts called GoNuts courtesy of City Museum's concession masters Samwiches.  This might not have been a wise choice as we immediately followed noshing on these chocolate and sprinkle-covered treats by heading to upstairs to see the rooftop Ferris wheel before hurtling down a ten-floor tall spiral slide, but oh, what a perfect ending to this brilliantly bizarro experience.  Keith's cousin summed up City Museum in a nutshell: it's like "an artist's dream".

Later on down the road, we soaked up the last of the balmy fall weather on the patio at Flat Branch Brewery in Columbia where I reflected on this fun-filled trip while sipping on a Katy Trail Pale Ale....I was ready to do it all again.


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