Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wanna know how I got these bruises?

I left on Wednesday to go east for a wedding. The wedding was lovely. I'm very happy for my sister and my new brother-in-law. I'm just not going to go into great detail about that in this blog post, mostly because it feels awkward talking about my sister's wedding on a blog.

It went well. They're officially married. The End.

This blog post is prompted by something else: bruises. I have a lot of them after this trip. On my legs, on my arm and on my upper back. I can't remember how I got one of my bruises, but I do recall how the other ones came about.

Don't worry. I didn't get the bruises from the wedding or the wedding reception. I went to Saint Louis's City Museum, which is much like a jungle gym on steroids and museum wrapped into one. We did this they day before the wedding, and it was a blast... even if I did end up with bruised knees and lost my chapstick somewhere in the man-made caves.

I didn't take that many pictures, because I was too busy climbing and slipping into narrow spaces that only my 5'2'' frame could fit, but it was an experience. The first crawl space I came across upon entering made me feel claustrophobic. My brain kept telling me I wouldn't be able to fit in there. I'd get stuck and they'd have to call for someone to pull me out, or chisel away the walls.

So, I skipped the first crevice I saw and opted for a passageway where two could pass each other, while standing, and with plenty of room to spare. It took me around the back of a water fixture, to the other side of a giant whale, which was the center feature of that level.

At this point I'm feeling a little underwhelmed by my safe trip around. My sister has already moved up to one of the levels between the levels, and shouts down to me. We've lost track of our mom and dad, but you soon realize that this is part of the experience of City Museum -- finding yourself utterly lost, but someone managing to make it back to where you started simply by going, "I wonder where this leads?"

Seeing my sister up in a higher level lead me to my first "I wonder where this leads?" moment. I found an opening within some twisted branches that reminded me of a giant nest, and I went for it. Next thing I know, I'm crawling through spaces that I never thought I'd go and climbing through tubes of wire like I've been doing it for years.

I came across a guy while climbing through two gutted out planes and he said, "You've done this before, haven't you."

Nope. Just bringing out my inner monkey. Just remembering that up until about age 9 or 10, I climbed trees and crawled through tunnels all the time.

I need a place like this at home. Arrows show most of my trip around the outside of City Museum.

And then I went down that slide right there. Best slide I went on. 
I have to be honest. I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy the climbing and the crawling part of this place. I kept thinking that I was too out of shape, I hadn't done anything like this for a while, I was going to have a panic attack and end up stuck somewhere where they wouldn't be able to get me out...

I had a lot of fun, though, and wish that I'd had more time to explore. I am definitely going back there some day. If anyone happens to know of places similar to this elsewhere, let me know. After this experience, I'm considering taking up climbing. Maybe not cliff climbing, but rock-wall climbing.

Baby steps.

Enjoy some more picture:

You can get to that dome on the other side.

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