Monday, August 17, 2015

California Day 2 - Sherlock Holmes and Yarn Bombing

Good morning! Our adventures on my second day were fun with a museum visit and shopping. The temperature was still high in the low 100s, but luckily we had a nice breeze all day which helped keep us cool.

We spent the morning at the Discovery Cube in Santa Ana to see the International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes that was organised by EDG and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed, which is understandable with the amount of historical material in the exhibition.

When you first enter the exhibition you are given a small pamphlet (on left in photo above), which you use throughout the exhibition to solve a mystery.

The first part of the exhibition was a history of the author, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the various influences on his writing. I loved reading the letters that Doyle had written concerning his books.

After that you enter a reproduction room of what Holmes' rooms at Baker Street might have looked like. The attention to detail was great with his violin, Persian slipper, and the 'VR' initials on the wall.

The second part of the exhibition gives you a chance to learn about 19th century London and crime during that time. After that you are introduced to a replicate of a crime scene supposedly committed by a man named Persano. From there you have different stations you go to that allow you to reenact various parts of the crime to compare to Inspector Lestrade's report. At each station you punch a hole in your pamphlet which should give you a coded message at the end.

It was quite fun especially at the end because the 'crime' isn't what you were expecting, but is definitely something worthy of Conan Doyle.

The last part of the exhibition was display cases of various film props used in the newer adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes series and movies. They also had memorabilia from the series like books, games, etc. I hadn't realized that there was a fake Sherlock Holmes book produced at one time. The author had written a letter to warn people of the deception.

Overall, it was a great exhibition with a nice combination of history and literary tidbits for lovers of the stories and a bit of fun with the imaginary mystery adventure for adults and kids to solve.

My only complaint was labelling and numbering. I felt that the labels could have either had a larger font size or at least put a bit higher on the display cases so they can be read without bending down so far. The numbering was alright in certain areas, but in others the color of the numbers seemed to fade into the background. I will say it is always a juggling act with labeling in museums and how they should be displayed to make the exhibition informative without being distracting.

Afterwards we headed over to Mitsuwa Supermarket, which is a large Japanese grocery store with a food court, shops, and a J.sweets bakery.

We got several dishes to share for lunch. Pictured above is a bowl of miso ramen with pork, bamboo shoots, and naruto, a bowl of salmon and roe over rice, and a hardboiled egg marinated in soy sauce. I tried everything but the egg because I knew it would be way too salty for my tastebuds. 

The funny part of this food adventure was the meal that Amanda's mom had gotten. She thought it was beef and rice, which we all tried and thought was good. When she went to get get some different type of food she realized that it was beef tongue!!! Amanda and I thought it was hilarious because neither one of us would have eatten it if we had known what it was beforehand.

After lunch we wandered around the supermarket looking at the various shops. Amanda found an adorable little solar powered dancing panda that she had to buy for her panda collection.

Inside the market, they had a mini Kinokuniya bookstore. I found a Rilakkuma amigurumi pattern book and a few gifts for the holidays and Amanda bought some new pens in fun colors.

We decided to have dessert at the J.sweets bakery. We bought several flavors of their mochi creams and one of their mochi donuts. All of them were delicious, though I think my favorite was the sakura mochi cream.

Alot of their desserts looked vaguely familiar. It turns out that they are partners with Minamoto Kitchoan, the Japanese confectionery shop I would visit in London during grad school!!!

We wandered around the supermarket. So many foods, fruits, and kitchen puts my local Asian markets to shame!

I bought quite a few things, but a good majority of it is for my sister's friend Chad who loves Asian food. The chocolate at the bottom in the center is one of my favorite brands, Tiriol, which we have tried in some of the Skoshboxes so far. I was happy to see that they had it at the store in a variety box. They also had large bags of umaibo sticks. I got the cheese flavor and Amanda got the sweet corn flavor. When we got home we opened our packs and divided them up so we could have half of each flavor. We also tried the barley tea drink, which was good. It isn't sweet, but isn't too bitter either. I hope I can find it at my local Asian markets when I return home.

We finished shopping and Amanda wanted me to try some macaroons at a shop called Honey and Butter that is located in a place called The Lab, an anti-mall, which is a collection of outdoor shops. Unfortunately the macaroon shop was closed. They only stay open for as long as they have macaroons in stock. Once they sell out, they close for the day. It would have been nice to try these macaroons. They decorate them to look like Sanrio and other characters.

The plus side to visiting The Lab, we were able to see some yarn bombed trees and fencing. Part of me thinks it's fun and the practical part thinks it is wasteful...just when you think what you could make out of the yarn. I will say it does add a bit of cheerfulness to the trees :)

Today's plans are a work in progress. Amanda has to work half days since she took a majority of her vacation earlier in July when she attended SDCC in San Diego. So I plan on working on some cross stitching until she gets off of work. What?! You thought I wasn't going to bring things to work on or read! Blasphemous!!

Until next time >___<

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