The world is winding down from the tumultous but transcendent celebrations that marked International Josh Week. Here in St. Louis, the festivities were more low-key than usual, but all in all they were good.
The morning of International Josh Day, I got my first present: a new waffle iron. We immediately put it to work. My first attempt was okay, but not breath-taking.
The next day, we tried again. This time, Yoli handled the batter. The waffles turned out much better. Since this was Tuesday, I had the day off, and my parents agreed to watch Jadzia and Ludi. This freed Yoli and I to spend an afternoon together. We decided to tour two institutions that are quintessential to St. Louis: the church and the brewery.
We started at the Cathedral Basilica.
I had never been inside of the Cathedral, though I’ve wanted to see it for a long time. It’s distinctive exterior green domes have intruiged me for years.
What I didn’t realize was that inside the cathedral is completely covered by beautiful mosaics that depict biblical scenes, bits of St. Louis Catholic history and more.
Our pictures of the mosaics leave a lot to be desired, but here are two of the best:
A depiction of Pentecost.
A depiction of King Louis of France.
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable. One highlight of the tour was when we noticed one of the mosaics had a llama (or alpaca). It was a mosaic representing the St. Louis Archdiocese’s missionary work to Bolivia (which we knew nothing about). Our guide had been to Bolivia. So it was nice to have that connection.
As soon as we arrived at the Anheuser-Busch brewery and stepped out of the car, we were hit by a wall of smell. I don’t know if it was the hops or what, but we knew we were in the right place. For Yoli, it brought back olfactory memories of the Ducal brewery in Santa Cruz.
The tour was a bit fast. You got to see a lot of the brewery, but you didn’t really get to take anything in for long. It was a definite change of pace from the Cathedral. The scope of the brewery is amazing. They are producing so much beer there… And the level of technology needed to pull it all off is staggering. One highlight was seeing this robot arm which was part of the labeling process.
Of course at the end, you get free samples of A-B products. I decided to sample O’Doull’s… And I have to say, having tried that, I can’t understand how anyone can drink and enjoy beer. Yoli didn’t care for it, either, so we finished up with some fruit punch.
The day ended with a visit to Oscar’s Cafe in Normandy on Natural Bridge (very close to UMSL). It was a very nice place, good atmosphere and location, and great food. I had bleu cheese-encrusted beef tenderloin in red-wine reduction and Yoli had the pecan-encrusted walleyed pike with lemon beurre blanc.
On Saturday, Justin was in town with his family, so we celebrated my mom’s birthday. Because of the complicated logistics (Yoli, my mom, and I all work on Saturdays) we decided to invited everyone to our place for breakfast. It was another chance to bust out the waffle iron. And this time, the waffles were near perfect (in my humble opinion). Yoli also made buñuelos, which were devoured. Jadzia and Hayden played together a bit. They were at times a bit standoffish, but it went well overall. It was also nice to see Keaton.
To finish out our roll (yes, we still use film) we took some photos of the girls. Here’s a few for your viewing pleasure: