Thursday, June 27, 2013

Penguin Ice Bucket

We bought Franceth Manor about two years ago, and the previous owners left behind a penguin ice bucket, just like this one. Everyone who sees it says, "Oh, my Grandma used to have that ice bucket!" or even, "I used to have one of those!"

We started to see them everywhere in antique malls, until it turned into a funny game of spotting them and scoffing at the prices. Just a couple weeks ago we saw THREE at South County Antique Mall, and our friends have started telling us when they see them, either at antique malls or Grandma's house. When Francis decided to start a blog about antique malls on our travels, Penguin Ice Bucket was the obvious choice.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Pink Palace Museum of Memphis

St Louis has a really world class collection of museums, but the one thing we don't have is a true Natural History Museum. We were very jealous of the Pink Palace when we visited Memphis last year. Built as the intended residence of Clarence Saunders, founder of the Piggly Wiggly grocery chain, it was never completed. Saunders went bankrupt after loosing "an epic stock exchange battle", according to the sign, and the property was purchased by developers, who then donated it to the city of Memphis, to be used as a municipal museum. The museum is actually much, MUCH bigger than it looks in that photo, thanks to some really ingenious architecture.

The Pink Palace has an amazing collection of fossils and skeletons, many interesting exhibits about the history of Memphis, an IMAX and planetarium, even a replica of the original Piggly Wiggly store, and yet, not one Memphian recommended it to us! Memphis, your Pink Palace is freaking amazing! You have a T-Rex! And a narwhal horn!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

#1 Monster Truck Bigfoot

Yes, that's right, St Louis, MO (or more specifically, Hazelwood, MO) is home to the very first Monster Truck, 4 giant tires to rule them all, Bigfoot 4x4. You can find it, and maybe sit on a bench in the little display circle to contemplate it's magnificence, at Bigfoot 4x4, 6311 North Lindberg Blvd, Hazelwood, MO.

Bigfoot History

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fairmount Park

Francis here, giving you another guest blog. Once upon a time, Beth went to Fairmount Park regularly to watch the horses and drink cheap beer with her friends, but this was my first time and I figured I could write the blog though the eyes of the new guy.

I will admit, I was hoping for the feel of Churchill Down where women get the vapors and men wear white suits and get a good, refined drunk going. However, this is betting in Illinois east of St. Louis. The closest I got to my perceived notions was the occasional person wearing slacks and the Duck Dynasty shirts that weren't covered in cigarette burns.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Behold! The World Famous City Museum!

View from the roof - Steve Dixon

St Louis is very, very proud of their City Museum. People fall all over themselves to recommend it to visitors, even when 5 people already recommended it before them, even when the visitor already said that it was on their itinerary. DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? YOU MUST GO.

So, the City Museum is about the farthest thing away from a "little known" part of St Louis, but the rabid fandom made it the obvious choice for our first meet up. Plus, if I want you to tell more people about this site, I have to give you some great pictures of your favorite St Louis attraction to show your friends, right?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fabulous Carpet of the Fox Theater

I'm swapping the Tuesday and Thursday posts this week so I have more time to put together the City Museum post. Here is one of my all time favorite items of St Louis trivia: No matter where you go in the Fox Theater, all the elephant trunks in the carpet pattern point toward the stage. This a hallway leading off one of the spiral staircases, and is one of the most impressive installations I've ever seen. It was installed by Stephens Floor Covering back in the 1980s and is a custom Axminster imported from Europe.

Here is your annual reminder to take the Fox Tour! Summer is the best time to do it so you can go backstage. There are no shows on the calendar for the rest of June, July, and August, so make a date for a Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday tour at 10:30 am!

Thursday, June 6, 2013


So I'm sure that most of you know about Rainforest Cafe, but have you heard of T-Rex? Normally I wouldn't post about a chain, but it turns out there are only TWO T-Rex restaurants, one in Orlando at Downtown Disney, and one in Kansas City, KS, of all places. The food is average, but the restaurant is awesome. All these animals and dinosaurs are animatronic, there's a giant octopus over the bar, fish tanks and REAL FOSSILS everywhere, and there's a "meteor shower" every 15 minutes. Plus they have a Build-A-Dino in the gift shop. Definitely worth a visit, especially if you have little ones!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Compton Hill Water Tower

Compton Hill Water Tower has been on my radar for YEARS, but it is only open for public viewing the first Saturday of the month and full moon evenings, and up until recently, Francis had drill on the first weekend of the month (and I forgot about full moon evenings). This is one of those things that I knew would be so awesome that I would feel guilty if I went without him.

Boy was I right! This is the coolest thing ever, and if you are able to climb 198 stairs, you should put this on your calendar for the next available date!