Victorian Murder Mystery: The International Sherlock Holmes Exhibition

The game is afoot….

Sherlock Holmes is a much-loved “high functioning sociopath” we all are very familiar with. I would not call me a fan girl of the show Sherlock, but I cannot wait for the new season to come in the BBC in January 2017. So I could not resist going to see The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes at the Pacific Science Center instead of braving the Black Friday craziness.

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Outside the exhibition

The day was a crisp cold day in downtown Seattle with some sunshine peeking out from the clouds. With a peppermint mocha in hand, I made my way to line gathering outside the entrance to be the first few people inside. The exhibition is about how the character of Sherlock became, the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle life (he was one of many who contribute to the beginnings of forensic science), and taking the visitor on a hunt for clues to solve a mystery using the same basic techniques as Sherlock would use during the Victorian times.

At the beginning of the exhibition you are given a small detective notebook with pages for activities within the exhibit to solve a crime. Each part of the exhibit has the background on how the field of forensic started, how those techniques are still in use today and the background knowledge on some of the clues you will encounter while solving the crime. As you walk through the exhibition you are deducting clues and facts in order to figure out what happened at the scene of a crime.

Towards the end of the exhibition there is a section devoted to various shows and movies spun out of the books known to many. One thing I did learn from this section is the phrase “elementary” was never a line uttered by Sherlock or Watson in any of the books written by Conan Doyle. It was added as an effect for a movie back in 1937.

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Horseless buggy

At times I was a little confused on how you are supposed to go about collecting the clues. At one point I had a hard time finding one of articles in 221b Baker Street home of Sherlock Holmes. I had to ask a volunteer for help. It ended up being one of those ah ha moments that should have happened sooner (palm to forehead). One thing I thought was missing was how forensic scientist today use Sherlock Holmes’ techniques to solve crimes. Oh well the scientist in me is always trying to get more young kids interested in sciences (especially young girls).

Overall the exhibition is worth exploring especially if a fan of Sherlock Holmes and you want to put those amateur sleuthing skills to good use. I enjoyed learning about how forensic science came about in Victorian London England, and knowing more about a great-great grandfather who was a London “bobby” on the streets of London around the same time as Jack the Ripper was roaming around.

…. as for whodunit, you will have come see for yourself for the answer.

More Information:
Pacific Science Center Pacific Science Center Exhibit runs until January 8, 2017.

Never theorize before you have data. Invariably you end up twisting fact to suit…:

Deception Pass State Park

For the longest time I have been wanting to visit Deception Pass and the bridge that keeps showing up on my news feed over the past couple of months. Over one holiday weekend Dad and I loaded up the truck with our fishing gear and headed for Deception Pass Park’s Cranberry Lake for some fishing. Along the way we stopped to take in the sight that is Deception Pass Bridge.

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On a Friday morning we loaded up the truck with fishing gear and drove an hour and a half up to Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey  Island side to Cranberry Lake. Once there we were greeted by a serene looking lake, and quietness of an early morning fishing spot. The side we ended up on was the east side of Cranberry lake near the entrance to the park’s campground. A half an hour into fishing I had caught my first fish, a medium size striped bass. For some weird reason I was more tickled about catching it than any other fish caught the whole day. Around 8:30am the Navy decided it was time for some training with the F-18 Hornets (Navel Air Base Whidbey is nearby). At one point if you were not awake already, you would have been once one turned on its after burner and then a sonic boom would jolt you awake. After awhile you just became use to the sound roaring over head as they were doing maneuvers over the lake. Later in the morning we ended up with a medium-sized catfish and a very small striped bass which sadly had to be released back into the lake.

 

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Stripped Bass
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Catfish

After a while I started catching large clumps of water weeds instead of fish. A true disappointment when you think there is a fish on the end of the line giving a fight.

After four hours of fishing we decided it was time to go when more people started showing up and crowding the dock. On the way back home we stopped at the Deception Pass Bridge Park to view the bridge by the same name. This bridge when seen in the flesh is quite a marvel of engineering, and raw beauty nature surrounding the structure in breath-taking. Being on the side of the bridge is a little nerve-wracking when cars are speeding past you close to the narrow strip of concrete you are standing on. But the view was worth the nerve-wracking, and I would never change that feeling.

 

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View Below The Bridge
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Vew From the Bridge

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The water below was a light turquoise color close to the waters around Hawaiian Islands during a rain storm and could see the swirling currents in the channel below. At one point a motor boat was gunning the engine into full throttle to get through the channel to the other side. I have heard in the past people have become stick in these strong currents coming off the Strait of Juan de Fuca into Skagit Bay.

 

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Skagit Bay w/ Strawberry Island
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Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Pacific Ocean

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There were plenty of trails to hike down to the beaches along the channel, but I would like to save those for another time when I can devote a whole day to it. I believe another visit will be in store soon, and hopefully it will be on a sunny warm day. Driving back along highway 20, there were two lakes looking very tempting to fish. Pass Lake and Campbell Lake are the next lakes to tryout in the near future.

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North Beach Below

Now I can check this off the bucket list, and hopefully will have the chance to take out-of-state visitors to this wonderful gem close to the San Juan Islands. Maybe I will see them too. Who knows?

Seattle Skyline Atop Kerry Park

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Panorama view atop Queen Anne

Since the Seattle Center is in lower Queen Anne neighborhood, I thought it would be wonderful idea to take my Nana to Kerry Park to see the Seattle skyline and Elliot Bay in all of it’s glory.

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Downtown Seattle with Space Needle

From the perch atop Queen Anne hill, there is a spectacular view of the Space Needle, downtown Seattle, Elliot Bay, West Seattle, Alki Point, Bainbridge Island and in the far distance Bremerton. From this point of view the Olympic Mountains in the distance on the Olympic peninsula could be seen. To bad the clouds coming in where hiding this beautiful sight. Oh well! Another day perhaps.

West Seattle looks very close to the Southern California beach towns off highway one from a far. The ones with the apartment buildings close to the shore. Train’s song Mermaid comes to mind when I go through West Seattle. Strange but true. These buildings are visible clear across Elliot Bay from Queen Anne hill.

West Seattle Alki Beach (C) Seattle Apartments

Heading home from Kerry Park through Upper Queen Anne, I decided to give Nana a tour of the neighborhood perched atop the hill. Upper Queen Anne reminds me of Nob Hill in San Francisco where the houses are a mix of old Queen Anne, Craftsman, Old Farmhouse, and old/new mansion styles. The whole hill has a quaint charm of old Seattle and this truly an old part one should see if you are into architecture.

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Sitting in the sculpture

After the little driving tour, we both headed home before the rain clouds could catch up to us in Shoreline. I realized how “Seattle touristy” this day was, but I just could not do another Space Needle tour again. This was so much better!

 

 

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The Fremont Troll Love’s Chocolate

The Fremont Troll loves’ chocolate. Apparently if you give him a Theo chocolate bar (dark chocolate one) he will let you pass over the bridge and not crush your Volkswagen Beetle.

I met the troll at last on a hot sunny day in Fremont. But before I adventure up the hill to see him I went for a tour of Theo’s Chocolate Factory for some much needed chocolate (and a bar for the troll).

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Theo Chocolates was the first stop in my adventure in Fremont. The tour is around an hour long explaining how cocoa beans are grown to the making of the chocolate bar. Since Theo is a fair trade company in the chocolate industry, part of the tour is talking about how the chocolate industry is run. The eye opening part was how in some places where cocoa beans are grown the industry mirrors the blood diamonds of the diamond mines in Africa. Sad truth, but at least there are companies out there giving a fair wage to the farmers of cocoa plants.

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Our tour guide was very passionate about chocolate and even worked on a cocoa tree farm in South America. While listening to the talk, I sampled an array of chocolate samples (Dark 85% chocolates, 70% dark with sea salt, Milk chocolate, and 70% dark raspberry) and found I do not like 85% dark chocolate. Still taste very bitter to me no matter how long I let the piece sit on my tongue.

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View of the factory and how the process of refining the cocoa beans to liquid gold (chocolate) started in an air-conditioned viewing room of the production floor. From here you can see how the raw cocoa beans are roasted like coffee beans and then processed into liquid chocolate. We did get to go on to the processing floor in sweltering heat registering little over 100° F. Dear goodness it was hard to breath at first, and then you realize how amazing the body can adapt to breathing in hot chocolate flavored air. Next was a tour in the kitchen where the chocolate ganache and other delicacy like chocolate marshmallows are made. If I worked at Theo this would be my job. We could not see where they wrap the chocolates because the heat from the production floor coming in the room would cause problems for the bars. Bummer since I wanted to see how this was done. In the store I picked up a few chocolates: dark chocolate coconut, dark chocolate ginger, moon-pie and you guessed it milk chocolate.

After all those chocolate samples, Nana and I decided to take a walk through Fremont to burn off the chocolate (and the calories). We walked over the Fremont Bridge and admired the view of Lake Union and the canal. Have you noticed the towers on the bridge look like London Police Boxes from Dr. Who?  I didn’t until Nana pointed it out to me. While walking back to the car we witness the bridge open for a sail boat. Amazing how graceful this bridge opens and closes at an average of twenty times a day!

Fremont Troll love’s chocolate, and that is what he likes when you visit. I finally after living in Seattle all these years have finally visited the troll. This 18 foot tall troll sculpture which has roots in the Norwegian folktale Three Billy Goats Gruff is crushing in one hand a California Volkswagen beetle. Apparently the troll dislikes Californian cars. Getting to the troll was a test of my Seattle driving skills in may ways. I admit I ran over a low level traffic circle (who puts a traffic circle in a middle of a narrow street/intersection?) and parked illegally on the street since the space was big enough to park my “normal” size car (I have no shame really!). At one point I tried and failed to park between two cars because who ever just vacated it was a Smart car instead of a normal size car. But at last I finally met the troll and he let me pass over the Aurora Bridge.

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Fremont, the center of the universe, and the only place where you can buy a $500,000 Stalin statue to display is really a fun neighborhood to explore. If possible, check out Theo Chocolate factory tour while in the neighborhood (I recommend this to anyone who is a huge chocolate fan). This is one quirky neighborhood to explore on a warm sunny day and a place you will never forget.

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English Scones and Peonies Birthday Weekend

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday with those near and dear to me. Even the hot temperatures did not deter me from going outside and enjoy the sunny weather. Here is a few of the celebrations this past weekend.

All started with a wonderful dessert get together on the shores of Lake Washington. A wonderful friend of mine has a place by Lake Washington and for an evening she hosted a fun dessert party to celebrate another and I’s birthdays. Whole group enjoyed eating yummy desserts made with a wonderful view of Lake Washington and the sound of the waves splashing on the shore. All evening we played the game Taboo until all of us were stuffed with chocolate and ready to head home to digest it all.

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Following morning I headed to Edmonds to the farmer’s market to see what the vendors had. I ended up with bunch of peonies, raspberries and strawberries to take home. There were so many flower vendors with a whole bunch of peonies that really made it hard to pick which I wanted. I ended up with a pretty bunch in light pink with purple bell flowers to round out the bouquet. The market was hopping  along with the nearby restaurants full of brunch-er relaxing outside at sunny tables on the sidewalk.

Being a hot day and close to water, I decided to walk down to the waterfront to “cool off” by the gentle wind. As I walked along the boardwalk to Marina Park, I stopped for an ice cream cone at the Waterfront Cafe for a chocolate waffle cone. This place had been my favorite stop for ice cream since I was a kid at the beach here. Its real smooth creamy ice cream! As I was strolling along I cough sight of this strange but awesome boat docked in the harbor. Someone really went all out for the tropical theme for their boat.

Sunday after church Mom, Nana and I went out for a celebration of out birthdays. Being one of the hottest days so far in Seattle, we decided to do English style afternoon tea. You would think to only drink something cold when it is hot outside, but something warm or hot really does cool you down. There is a place we have gone in the past at Bothell Country Village called Village Eatery & Tea Co.  All three of us had the Cozy Tea for One which consisted of small garden salad, four tea sandwiches (mine was the tomato and pesto cream cheese) as a starter ( we gave each one sample sandwich to try), dessert plate with a large lemon grazed scone (with Norfolk Cream and strawberry jam), and assorted chocolate tea bites. All this with a mug of Bourbon Street Vanilla Rooibos tea. This tea is the best Rooibos tea I have had and I picked up four ounces of loose leaf tea of it before leaving to enjoy at home. After we headed home to cool off from the hot temperatures Seattle was feeling.

I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family to celebrate this weekend. I am so happy to had such beautiful weather. I hope all my readers had a wonderful weekend as well.

February Update

Those who have been following for a while would know February is the one month where I go into survival mode. One month out of the whole year I don’t look forward to. I err on the side of being cautious when entering into the month. Things do go bad-very bad- within a span of 28 days. I can say nothing major happened this time-thank God!

With that said here is what happened while I was offline in the month of February.Look at this #zulilyfind! Brooks Capri & Celestial Ravenna 6 Running Shoe - Women by Brooks #zulilyfinds size 10: I started my intense training for Rock n’ Roll half marathon I will be participating in June. I am look forward to accomplishing this goal of running a half marathon and doing it for a good cause (Saint Jude Children’s Hospital). Now since I bought my first Brooks Running shoes on clearance at DSW, I will have to make good on this promise to myself! I never knew a pair of running shoes would be a major motivator to run this race. Come June I will be “Run Happy” as the Brooks’ running campaign slogan says. So far I have kept my 5k and 10k pace, so I will just need to work on keeping them at a longer distance.

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A friend got engaged to a man she met online two months ago in the beginning of February, and for the rest of the month I have been trying to figure out how I feel about this surprise. So far I feel as if I am not a great friend when I smile and act as I’m happy for her engagement when I really am not. I feel this may come across as jealous, but that is far from the truth.  I just see a huge red flag called committing to early before really knowing the person, red flag. I guess some people just know this is the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with very early on in a relationship. I hope this works out in the end.

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I finished another book called, Loveology by John Nark Comer. The book talks about what God’s plan for love, relationships and marriage. One tidbit I pulled from this book was the four marks of a relationship that leads to marriage.
The Chase: Man’s job is to pursue, and draw out the women into a relationship. But it is a two way street where both take risks to build a relationship. A disheartening trait of a man is considered cowardice in the Scriptures.
The Line: Don’t wake up the sexual part of the relationship until the relationship can be followed all the way through. Right time will happen.
The Friends: Speak good things about them to others, and the couple is never alone because they have support from friends as well as family. Going Somewhere: No rush, no hurry, but a relationship that is continuing to grow through the relationship.

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I will be continuing to train for the half marathon in the next three months. Looking at my calendar for March, it looks as a busy month of events. Stay tune to find out!