Running from the Law: Meet Me In St. Louis - Basilica, Kitchen Conservatory and Ice Skating

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Meet Me In St. Louis - Basilica, Kitchen Conservatory and Ice Skating

On our way back to my house from the arch, I drove Ally through the heart of St. Louis.  We saw downtown and made our way up through midtown and St. Louis University campus (where I went to law school) on our way up to the Central West End and Forest Park.  However, as we were approaching the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, I mentioned that I'd recently gone on a tour through the church and how beautiful it was.  Ally loves beautiful churches as much as I do, so we made a pit stop to check it out.

The Basilica is most well-known for its mosaics.   The mosaics collectively contain 41.5 million glass tesserae pieces in more than 7,000 colors. Covering 83,000 square feet (7,700 m2), it is one of the largest mosaic collections in the world.  The mosaics in the side chapels and sanctuary walls were designed and installed by Tiffany.  (sourceI know these pictures can't even begin to show the intricacy and beauty of the mosaics, but I couldn't resist taking some photos.

The mosaics are made of such tiny tiny little tiles - I cannot even begin to imagine how long it took to complete this project.

Below, you can see the alter in the background.  I have been lucky enough to attend two weddings at this church.  My friends Claire and Angela were both married here.  Not only were they both incredibly gorgeous brides, but they had this church as a backdrop to their beautiful weddings.  Could you even imagine being married in a place this spectacular?  Swoon. 
The pictures cannot do this place justice.  If you're ever in St. Louis, I highly recommend checking the Basilica out - it's incredible.  And if you have the time, the tour is really great, you even get to go down into the crypts below the cathedral.
Hi Ally!
After a long day of being tourists, we headed back to my place and took a little power nap to recharge.  I forced Ally to watch one of my favorite movies ever, Mermaids, which she'd never seen.  How can you not love Cher and Winona Rider?  Awesome movie - hope you liked it Ally.

That night, I'd reserved us spots in a Girl's Night Out cooking class at Kitchen Conservatory.  Ally's been reading about my cooking classes and obsession with KC on this blog forever, so it was only appropriate that she get to experience one first hand.  I was really excited about this class, called "Aye Carumba."  On the menu for the night was Endive-Avocado-Orange Salad with Queso Fresco and Chipotle Pecans, Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Empanadas, Spicy Shrimp Tacos, Strawberry Margaritas and Kahlua Fudge Bites for dessert.  Does that not sound amazing?
The great part about this class was that it was a demonstration class, which meant we got to sit back and relax and chat while Dawn showed us how to make everything.
First up, Dawn made the pecans for the salad.
While we sipped on the most amazing strawberry margaritas on the planet.
The shrimp above turned into the shrimp tacos below.  SOOOOOO good.
Next up, the empanadas.  I thought these were going to be incredibly hard to make, but she made it look so easy!  Like so easy even I could do it.  That's saying something. (or maybe it was just all the tequila in the margaritas - tequila makes everything easy! hahahaha!)
Do those not make your mouth water?
Is it bad that I wanted to dip them in a vat of sour cream?
Served with the cold endive salad. 
And then came dessert. 
And oh, what a dessert it was.
Kahlua Fudge Brownie bites.  I thought I died and went to heaven. 
I will most certainly be making these again.
And again.
And again.
It was such a fun class!  Thank you Dawn! 
After class we were both completely spent, so we went home to bed.  But not before a little cuddle time with the animals.  (Yes, I still had my Christmas decoration up - deal with it).
The next morning we spent a good couple hours watching TLC's Say Yes to the Dress in our pajamas.  Man, I love that show.  It's like a train wreck - I can't turn away.  I still can't believe that brides would ever want see-through dresses?  Really?  Anyway, we finally made it out of the house and over to Forest Park for a little ice skating. 
I think somehow my week skiing in Breckenridge threw off my ice skating moves - I was terrible.
(Ok, I'm terrible anyway, but I need an excuse.)
I even look uncomfortable!
Ally, on the other hand, was a natural.
Ok, I lied.
We both sucked.
We spent most of our time on the railing watching everyone else and trying not to break any bones.
I did impress Ally with my mad twirling skills.
We spent the rest of the afternoon pigging out on Indian food, shopping, shopping and more shopping (including some wedding dress shopping - we couldn't help it - but no see through dresses).  And before I knew it, it was time for Ally to head home.  So sad.  Big tears. 

But it was such a fun weekend!  We miss you Ally!  I can't wait to come visit you in Dallas in April for the Royal Wedding!


  1. I'm so glad there wasn't a picture of me totally falling on my ass included, but, you know, not all of us can be as graceful as you. ;)

    And again, just for good measure: WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT A SEE THROUGH DRESS?!?!?! Gah. I still dream about that Swiss dot dress--obviously.!!!

    I had so much fun--thank you for an amazingly fun weekend!


    PS. How is my Mally snuggle pup doing?

  2. I love the pictures of the cathedral! SO pretty

  3. You are such a great tour guide! That basilica is AMAZING! So beautiful and breathtaking.

    The Ay Carumba meal is making my mouth water. Please post recipes if you try them!

  4. Aww looks like an awesomely fun weekend! You two are too cute! And you've totally inspired me to go to the Basilica sometime soon - can you believe I've never been?!

  5. The mosaic at that church is AMAZINGLY stunning.
    Looks like you guys had a blast, besides skating, I would fall on my face. LOL

  6. Oh you did a great job showing her our city! Fun. :) The Basilica is just so beautiful - I've been to the ordination there a few years ago and with the pageantry of a Catholic ceremony, it is truly breathtaking.

  7. Wow the Cathedral is gorgeous! Must have Kahlua brownies! I don't get the see through dress thing either - when did the most wanted look for brides become "skank"? You look like better ice skaters than me at least!

  8. So so so so fun!!! I want in on the next girly weekend!

    These pictures are fab :)

  9. The mosaic of the cathedral is breath taking!