Monday, July 20, 2015

Forest Park Weekend

This weekend I got to spend some significant time in a beautiful location - Forest Park in St. Louis. The park is about 1400 acres. It is home to a zoo (free), art museum (free), outdoor theatre (musicals), science center, golf courses, trails, wide open spaces and so much more. In 1904, Forest Park hosted both the World's Fair and the Olympic water sports.

My Forest Park adventures started Friday night. There is probably only a handful of my people my age who have never seen Jaws and I am  no longer one of them. Friday night we went to an outdoor showing of Jaws in the park sponsored by the St. Louis Art Museum.

The movie didn't start until 9 p.m., but we got there extra early to set up our space. There area closest to the screen is for blankets only, but we brought chairs to sit in. Although it seems far away the view was actually quite good as was the sound system.
According to the comments on their Facebook page, several food trucks were scheduled to be there. However, comments indicated ridiculously long lines for the food trucks at last week's movie. We decided to bring our own picnic food, just in case. Turns out we were there early enough that the lines weren't bad so we decided to get some goodies from the trucks. Our strategy was for everyone to pick something different and we would share. I chose tacos from Cha Cha Chow. We sampled a lobster taco with lemon sauce, a cheeseburger taco with lime slaw and a spicy chicken with lots of cilantro. The favorite was the spicy chicken. I couldn't resist the lobster taco even though it was double the price. It was tasty, but the lobster was a bit stingy for the price. The cheeseburger taco was the miss of the bunch - loved the lime slaw but the meat was "meh".
My nephew chose a cheesesteak sandwich. It was classic and good.
My husband chose pizza (surprise!), Instead of getting pepperoni he decided to get something a little different because he knew that is what I liked - so sweet :) He chose the Margarita pizza. It was delicious, but not what he considered pizza. We did agree that if he were served this as an appetizer (not calling it pizza) he would have liked it. He ended up going back for a couple of the spicy chicken tacos. 
It was super hot and humid. They gave out fans. I waved it like a madwoman with limited cooling results, but a least I was cute and artsy while I fanned myself :)
A chalk artist made this incredible drawing on the parking lot. For a tip, she would take pictures of people with the picture. This was our silly interpretation.
Time for a quick bathroom break before the movie. My tip for you all - if there is any possibility of using a real bathroom do not be lazy like me. I was already hot and tired from walking up and down the hill. I just didn't want to walk back over to the Art Museum, so I foolishly chose the portable toilet. I ended up having the door opened on me - thankfully, my pants were still up. For the record, there is no speedy way to pull  your pants up quickly when your skin is all hot and sweaty. While I was struggling, I heard a thud. I just knew I'd dropped my phone in the toilet. Again, thankfully, it was still safe in my pocket. Two crises averted. Although the overall portable toilet experience was bad, I will say it was one of the cleanest I've used. Pictured below is the sun setting on the statue of King Louis IX (namesake of St. Louis).
Another tip - to make finding your seat again easy (or in this large crowd, possible) park yourself by something distinctive - like the Canadian flag chairs.They were even smarter by bringing a tall flag to place on their chairs.
 Movie time!

Just for fun I recorded a couple of scenes. Trust me, the picture quality was much better in person. I love this quote "Out there is a Perfect Engine, an Eating Machine that is a miracle of evolution - it swims and eats and makes little baby sharks, that's all."

And a little drama for you...

We all enjoyed our evening. The movie was good and I can see why it became a classic. Even with antiquated special effects it definitely created drama. I seriously, did not expect to see someone get eaten though - yikes!  And I did wonder why they couldn't just shoot that beast dead a little more quickly. After reading more about the production online, I want to re-watch it at home.

Since I rarely go to Forest Park, it was surprising to find myself there twice in one weekend. My photographer friend invited me on a photo outing and she chose Forest Park. We had a great time wandering around snapping pictures and enjoying a slightly rainy morning. Here is a little of what I saw...

Does this statue remind you of anyone? It is St. Francis of Assisi, but I saw a certain NBA player. 
Wandering around the park made me slightly envious of those who live so close to it. We saw lots of people running, walking, biking, etc. There was even a guy running up and down the huge stairs. I found all the people very motivating. According to many messages on bricks by the fountain (I was quite engrossed), Forest Park is a magnet for active people. And I want to be one of those people
Once I get back into the groove, my husband and I are going to plan a Forest Park workout. I am excited already. We had so much fun last summer on "fitness adventures" and I think Forest Park would be a great adventure for us.

And one final hurrah - I made this Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream. It was supposed to be a two layer cake, but I made it single layers. My strategy was to share with as many people as possible, so I wouldn't eat the whole thing. Single layers made that much easier. I delivered most of it to family and friends and saved one delicious piece for myself :)  Don't let the blueberries and zucchini fool you - this is a "naughty" cake that won't be a part of my life again for while. .

For more on "getting back into the groove" and "avoiding naughty cakes" please seen this coming Wednesday's post....


  1. I love fitness adventures!

    And your pictures are just lovely.

    1. Thanks, Meg. I am eager to get back into the swing of things and have some of those adventures.

  2. I love Forest Park! They have such great stuff going on in the summer.

  3. First of all, have you ever thought about doing freelance photography? You should because your pictures are amazing. The ones of that statue are breathtaking, it reminds me of the one in Jackson Square in New Orleans. Secondly, I'm glad you enjoy Jaws! It scared the everloving daylights out of me as a kid, and I still love it!

    1. I would love that, but I am need to work on some of my skills (and my confidence). There are so many awesome photographers out there. Yeah, when I saw that person getting eaten all I could think is "people took their kids to that".

  4. That parking lot shark is amazing!!

    Mark Eaton?

    1. Apparently you can hire the artist to do pictures for your events...make signs, etc. That reminds me I probably should have credited the artist. I will edit the post. I thought the statue looked like Lebron James when he used to wear his headband. I had to look up Mark Eaton and I could see that too.

  5. I just love your pictures! You seriously could consider a side profession! Glad you had a nice time albeit a hot one. Definitely watch Jaws again at home. Glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Thanks Desiree. I have thought about it, but I am kind of intimidated by all the other good photographers out there. Yes, I will have to watch it again so I can get a better look at Roy ;)