Saturday, December 31, 2016

SS Galaxy - A Museum In Second Life

According to the ship's website, the SS Galaxy - The Queen of the Sagittarian Sea - was quite the attraction in her heyday: "With over 650 meters in length, 110 meters beam, and 8 decks of living and leisure space, the SS Galaxy is the largest single-build and the most exciting attraction in Second Life today." An impressive build that spans a full three sims, the Galaxy was created in 2007 and once featured a full staff, over 100 rooms available for rental, a shopping mall, a variety of activities and regularly scheduled events, and even "cruises". (While the ship does not move, the staff would set up monthly "Port of Call" excursions via teleport exchanges.)

Unfortunately, the Galaxy is no longer a working vessel with on-board rentals and scheduled events. In May of 2015, for a variety of reasons, it shut down, but in August of that same year, Linden Lab stepped in and reopened the cruise ship as a museum of sorts. A team of Lindens and Moles created a "Preservation Society" and added some new attractions for visitors: a water slide (see final picture, below), swan boats, a hot air balloon tour, a bowling alley, and even a working movie theatre. Large wall maps located throughout the ship will give specific and direct landmarks to the various attractions.

Many of the original areas have been carefully preserved, such as the Wedding Chapel and Reception Hall, pictured above, or the charming Bamboo Garden Japanese Restaurant, pictured below. There are a couple of art galleries to visit, and a nicely-appointed spa area. See if you can spot Bob the Boulder, a place where the sea floor actually juts up into the ship!

Located right off of the Blake Sea, the SS Galaxy is easy to reach by boat from the Mainland. Although there are no rezzing areas on the ship itself, a tiny nearby island offers a free sailboat rezzer. You can also sit around a fire on the island and watch the hourly fireworks over the Galaxy, float around in Galaxy life preservers, or play 7Seas fishing from the island dock. Or, head back over to the Galaxy to explore some more! (I highly recommend the water slide, myself.) With a ship that spans three full sims, you're sure to find some fun onboard. Enjoy!

Monday, December 26, 2016

"What're You Doing New Year's?"

Bay City's New Year's event set for 31st December
Guest post by Marianne McCann

BAY CITY, SL (26th December, 2016) — Citizens of Bay City, Second Life's® city by the bay, will be marking the end of the year in fine fashion, attending the annual "Prim Drop" in the Bay City Fairgrounds in North Channel on the evening of the 31st of December. The party will include an hour-long set of DJed tunes presented by Marianne McCann, as well as fireworks and other festive fun. Food and drink will also be provided for all attendees.

The event is presented as an outdoor, high-class, wintertime soirĂ©e, and black tie attire and/or full dress is requested. All Second Life® Residents are welcome to attend and ring in the New Year with the Bay City community.

This will also be the last event within Bay City this year for donating to Child's Play Charity. Child's Play is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that offers online communities such as ours an opportunity to help seriously ill children around the globe during their hospital stays with the purchase of games and gaming equipment.

As of the 24th of December, Bay City has raised L$151,408 for Child's Play Charity through their annual silent auction and tree lighting concert, as well as other local events.

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab® and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest group for Residents of Bay City.

For more information,  please contact:

Marianne McCann
Bay City Alliance

Friday, December 23, 2016

"Santa Baby, Hurry Down The Chimney Tonight"

Back in October, I blogged about a fabulous haunted house and spooky cave designed by the talented DarkDharma Daguerre. I was delighted to find that she has also created an incredibly detailed North Pole Village & Santa's Workshop in the Snowlands of Sansara. According to DarkDharma, "This first existed back in 2006-2008 as a much smaller Santa's Workshop with no village. Then, in 2009, the land in Porvoo was purchased where the build became the North Pole Village & Santa's Workshop. Due to my ever-present desire to improve on things, the build has always gotten bigger and better every year! I have been honored to be featured in Linden Lab's Destination Guide for the past few years."

She continued by explaining, "North Pole Village and Santa's Workshop is an immersive holiday experience designed after fairy tales, folk lore and stories about the North Pole and Santa." Comprising almost the entire sim of Porvoo, the Village contains everything from a North Pole Post Office to the "Better Watch Out!" coal mine to an Elf Command Center, pictured below. Make sure to enter every shop in the village, as each contains wonderful, creative and humorous surprises.

In Santa's Workshop itself, visitors can explore various rooms and spot elves baking cookies, making toys, creating chocolate marvels (pictured below), and even sleeping in their own Elf Dorm. Jump on the Claus' bed, kiss a special someone under the mistletoe, and see if you can find the entrance to the secret Snowflake Room below the workshop, where you can find the first of fifteen presents located throughout the parcel. DarkDharma mentioned, "As with all the past holiday seasons, I will be featuring a 'hunt for the holiday presents' that will be hidden by the elves all around the village and in the workshop!" You can pick up instructions and a HUD right inside the Village gate. 

Once you go back outside, don't miss the North Pole Aviation area, where you can visit Santa's reindeer and also help Santa with a test run of his sleigh. All of the reindeer (as well as many other items throughout the sim) are available for purchase. Right outside the gates of the village, you can enter and explore the Crystal Ice Cave, picture below. There are several surprises waiting inside! Make sure to have local sounds turned on throughout your visit.

Life is full of strange coincidences lately. I pulled up the 1953 song "Santa Baby" as music to explore this parcel by, not realizing that it was by Eartha Kitt and that it was the A-side to her B-side hit, "Under the Bridges of Paris", which I featured in my last blog post. In any case, it makes a perfect soundtrack as you wander through the North Pole Village and Santa's Workshop. In lieu of tips, visitors are asked that if they enjoyed their experience, to please make a donation to the children's charity Feed A Smile at the landing point. DarkDharma concluded by saying, "I've incorporated many childhood imaginings into the build to make it in every way possible a delightful experience that takes visitors away to another place and time where they are invited to enter the magic and B*E*L*I*E*V*E!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Oh, What I'd Give For A Moment Or Two..."

The title above is from a song called Sous Les Ponts De Paris (Under The Bridges of Paris). There are some amazing bridges in First Life, including those over the Seine in Paris. I loved this recent article about that beautiful city auctioning off the infamous Love Locks taken from the Ponts des Arts bridge (among others). From grand architectural feats like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco to the wooden covered bridges that span the creeks in my area of Pennsylvania, bridges are often more than just practical ways of getting from one point to another. They inspire songs, movies, and books, where they often show up as meeting places, or symbolize important life transitions.

It's been a long few weeks since my last post, during which First Life has thrown me several unexpected curve-balls that have meant less time available to go inworld, and even less time for blogging. However, throughout the turmoil, the images of bridges kept coming into my head, so I thought I'd do a quick post on some of my Mainland favorites. I hope you enjoy these Second Life marvels as much as I do.

The lovely bridge pictured above is located in Lordshore on the southern continent of Jeogeot. Built by Garden Mole, it is situated adjacent to a scenic overlook and picnic area off of Route 9. 

In stark contrast to the industrial geometry of the Lordshore Bridge is Molly Linden's elegant bridge to the Linden Homes Japanese sims in Hoshigarai, pictured below. The soft red brick is echoed in the walks that run throughout those sims, and ties together the landscape perfectly.

There is a very cool drawbridge (pictured below, both open and closed) on the old continent of Sansara, connecting the Second Life Railroad tracks in Periwinkle to those in Purple. Created by Athos Murphy in 2004, this bridge is the only one featured here that was not created by either a Linden or an LDPW Mole. The LM actually places you at a landing point which is a train station; just follow the tracks East from there and you'll soon reach the drawbridge.

The graceful bridge over Straits of Shermerville, pictured below, was created by Michael Linden. It connects Nova Albion, the urban area next door to Bay City, with the vast suburbia that is Shermerville

Over on the old Teen Grid you can spot Xenon Linden's bridge in Nailsworth, pictured below. And on Sansara, in the sim of Hooper, you can find an almost identical bridge by Ben Linden. 

I wrote a post here about Chamonix City and the Global Online Hockey Association (GOHA), but I had never photographed the rather impressive bridge that links the Mainland proper in Braggiani to the community sims that comprise Chamonix City. Built by Abnor Mole, the bridge (pictured below) serves as the entrance to those six sims, and hovers high above an outdoor hockey rink. Halfway across, visitors can board a hot air balloon for a tour of the City.

I'll close with one of my favorite bridges, pictured below, about which I blogged here. The Bridge of Light in Durango, located in the Snowlands of Sansara, was built by Garden Mole, and the more traditional bridge above it was built by Eric Linden. 

Do you know of any interesting bridges on the Mainland? If you do, I'd love it if you'd comment below with a LM so I can check them out. Meanwhile, enjoy the inimitable Ms. Eartha Kitt singing about bridges in Paris while you explore!

Under the Bridges of Paris

My darling why I sing this song
Is easy to explain.
It tells what happens all along
The bridges of the Seine. 

The vagabonds go there at night
To sleep all their troubles away,
But when the moon is shining bright
My heart wants to sing it this way. 

How would you like to be
Down by the Seine with me
Oh what I'd give for a moment or two
Under the bridges of Paris with you.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Horizons - Retro Futurism Comes To The Mainland

A great deal has already been written about the brand new Horizons sims and related experiences (including the official introduction by the Lab here), but since they are technically a part of the Mainland, I couldn't just ignore them here, now could I? Of course not! So, what exactly is Horizons? Teaser billboards featuring the image below starting popping up in Bay City and other places a few months back, and our resident Lindens and Moles were all busy with some reportedly huge, super-sekrit project. Well, that project turned out to be huge indeed — a new planned community comprised of thirty-six (!) residential sims surrounding a six-sim adventure experience.

Located just north of the continent of Zindra, all Horizons sims are adult-rated with a double-prim allowance. The residential areas are split into 1024 square meter parcels with a unique feature — they come with a "mailbox" controller which allows the owner to rez one of six houses (see examples pictured below — all of which reminded me, in a good way, of "The Jetsons"), and these houses do NOT count against your land's prim allowance! In addition, the homes come with "resource packs" containing items you can use in your house and on your land. Similar to what happened when Bay City was introduced, Horizons parcels began to be auctioned off by the Lab in mid-November. When you visit the residential sims today, you'll find a mix of parcels up for auction and parcels for sale by owner. In addition to the private parcels, two large community centers and four infohubs provide areas for residents to socialize, learn about how to buy land or use the mailbox controllers, or allow them to enter the other part of Horizons, the experience area. If you are curious about the residential areas, you can start your explorations at the community center at Themis, located here.

The Horizons Experience is literally central to this new venture. The residential sims completely surround the six experience sims, the entrance of which can be seen below. One can choose to enter as a player or as an observer, although the same dangers apply to both. If you choose to "play" the experience, you will receive a HUD at the entrance which will guide you through five quests and a variety of terrains. You can return to the entrance to claim any prizes you've gathered along the way. Each quest must be completed before you can progress on to the next.

The first region in the Horizons experience is pictured below. As a Wild West landscape populated by robots, I can't help but be reminded of HBO's incredibly popular current series, Westworld, but at least in Horizons you can distinguish the robots from the avatars! Whether you choose to enjoy the gaming aspect of the experience, or you decide to become a "homesteader" and help to start the new Horizons community as a resident, or if you just want to visit to enjoy the gorgeous handiwork of the LDPW moles, I'm sure you'll find, like I did, that Horizons is a true treasure and a welcome addition to the wild frontier that is Second Life Mainland.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Mare Secundus

The Mare Secundus is a vast, inland sea which can be found in northern Sansara, spanning at least ten sims. It contains a number of interesting islands worth exploring, where adventurers can wonder at an ancient lighthouse, visit several observatories (one with a telescope and moveable observation window in the roof), climb over the ruins of buildings and primordial tree stumps, or even commune with a flock of flamingos under what appears to be one of the last remaining giant trees. Let's start our explorations in the observatory at Okinu, the gold-domed building pictured below. Go inside, where comfortable cushions have been provided for you to relax and watch a model of the solar system moving across the inside of the dome. Then, venture outside and over towards the large rocket ship, also pictured below.

You will need to touch the lever outside in order to extend the walkway to the ship's door. Once inside, take a seat, and hang on! In a few, brief moments, you'll land on a strange moon, pictured below. Look around for evidence that the LDPW moles were here before you; they left a marker for future explorers to find. The moon is dotted with otherworldly flora and fauna, but watch out for the latter, because some of the creatures appear to be hungry!

One might also spot a mysterious monument with an eye in the center, partially visible under the arched rock pictured above. A similar monument can be found on an island in Elderbridge, back on the surface. The Elderbridge island also contains a small beach, a picnic area, and a zone in which you can rez vehicles or boats for further exploration. In fact, there are at least nine rez zones in the Mare Secundus: three on piers (Elderbridge, Thurston, and Zolezzi), and six  underwater (Margery, Mandrake, Leipzig, Hepurn, Zaharik, and Henshaw). The one in Zaharik is actually inside and underwater cavern!

In fact, the entire Mare Secundus is a diver's paradise. Most of the sea floor is dotted with sunken ships, mysterious ruins, and more of those primordial tree trunks, indicating perhaps that some long-ago disaster (or global warming??) sunk an ancient civilization below the waves. The glowing rock in what looks like a sea floor crash site (pictured above) gives some credence to the disaster scenario.

In addition to ruins, glowing rocks and giant clam beds, intrepid underwater explorers will also encounter three hippo statues, two of which are in Thurston and are pictured above. As I mentioned in this blog post about Hairy Hippo Fun land in Bay City, hippos are the unofficial mascot of Second Life, and can be found in many locations all over the Grid. There is even a hippo easter egg in SL browsers (press CTRL, ALT, SHIFT then hit the H key). From the sea floor to the mysterious moon high overhead, and everywhere in between, the Mare Secundus is a wonderful place for a visit...or five! So take some time, bring along a spare wetsuit, and see what you can discover there. Careful observers might even uncover the meaning behind the name of the sea itself. Happy exploring!

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Little Piece of Art

At the far north of Sansara, in Maryport near the old Linden Village, is A Little Piece of Art. This small, friendly cafe (second picture, below) is located along the side of the road, and contains cats, coffee, and freebies for passing travelers. An informational notecard at the entrance provides a list of blogs (including, to my delight, this one!) and landmarks for further mainland explorations. Artistik Oluja (Art Oluja), owner of the cafe and curator of the gallery onsite, states that "'A Little Piece of Art' started as a space to appreciate mainland exploration and settled at Maryport on Sansara in August of this year. The cafe is a hangout for friendly, positive users, old and new, who enjoy exploring mainland, especially those who enjoy a little wordplay and corny snacks!"

The parcel is situated between the road and the sea, and overlooking the ocean is the brightly colored Pixel Gallery, pictured above. There are five levels to the gallery, which contains a mixture of the curator's private collections and some of her own pieces for sale. The third level of the gallery contains some free pieces by Art, a couple art-related gachas, and a bench with a wonderful view of the waterfall. The fourth level down includes seating and a viewing room of Art's machinimas, which she rotates periodically. The lowest level leads outside, where between the waterfall and the sea one can find places for quiet meditation or yoga.

"The pixel gallery was inspired by my love for the good old blocky prim," commented Art. "But more importantly, I enjoy displaying the works of creative people who not only have unique ideas but also happen to be supportive and encouraging towards other user's creative experiments. I hope SL folks exploring mainland are comfortably curious here, and find it is a positive space where they can be inspired and encouraged by other artists, just like I have been!"

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bay City Institute for Anomalous Research

Tucked into a tiny corner in Tanelorn, the Bay City Institute for Anomalous Research is an enchanting find. Described as a place for "discovering, researching, and preserving diverse cynosure," the Institute is run by Professor CC Columbo, Director, and Professor Geohistoria Farshore, Researcher. Professor Columbo spoke of his colleague Professor Farshore as someone who spends his time "looking for exhibits, exploring the Grid, and having adventures. He's from Caledon." The parcel overlooks both the West Channel and the unnamed sea to the south of Bay City, allowing for surreptitious deliveries of artifacts by boat as needed.

Wandering inside the main building, pictured below, one encounters a great number of strange and unusual artifacts. According to Professor Columbo, "the exhibits will be rotated and brief stories will, with any luck, be written about each piece. This is a work in progress." Statues of Bast rub elbows with dinosaur skulls and medieval suits of armor, and there is even a strange, glowing, very futuristic-looking box sitting near the back door. What could be inside?

Professor Columbo's office is located in the round folly on the south side of the parcel, pictured below. The professor commented about the office, "It is where Geohistoria Farshore and I keep up with the administration of things and plan explorations." The office inside the folly is a delightful jumble of books and packing crates and even an adult phoenix in purple-feathered glory.

Professor Columbo is the first life brother of Bay City's own Uccello Galway (Uccello Poultry). He commented, "Uccie and I speak often about the time bubble that was created when I moved our family graveyard from next to her Bay City Arboretum of Atypical Vegetation. It was the same Faerie magic that moved the Institute from Dennis to Tanelorn, mostly intact and oddly expanded. Parts of the site disappear into the time stream and/or the Nevernever and other parts appear. Little critters come and go. Uccie's alt Zyx Flux, the source of the Faerie Magic, rezzes the critters and helps with landscaping." (Take a moment to explore the Arboretum as well - it is a wonderful and quirky place with a similar feel to the Institute.)

Although the parcel is only 784 square meters, it feels deceivingly larger. Every bit of space is well used, with many places to sit and enjoy a moment of quiet contemplation. When I asked about the aforementioned graveyard, Professor Columbo told me, "You'll see a statue of a cherub to the northwest after you arrive. It's the one that was in the Dennis cemetery, and it is a memorial for Lydia Rose. That's my RL daughter. She passed away many years ago before she was three years old. I have always had a memorial marker out for her, at minimum. At one time a quarter of the Nangrim sim (which Uccie and I owned) was named for her. I like to think of the Institute (and the Arboretum, since it was my idea to have that in Dennis) as a way that Lydia and I explore together and have adventures." The Bay City Institute for Anomalous Research sparks the imagination and will rekindle anyone's love for adventuring. Why not visit today?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bay City Tree Lighting and Charity Auction

by guest reporter extraordinaire, Marianne McCann 

The Bay City Alliance will host its 7th annual holiday Tree Lighting event on Saturday, 3rd December 2016 from 1-4 pm SL. The event will be held at the Bay City Fairgrounds, in North Channel and will feature DJ GoSpeed of KONA Stream, and live performers Christov Kohnke and Zachh Cale. The event will also feature ice-skating, dancing, refreshments and a lot of fun for everyone, as well as the annual lighting of our Christmas tree.

Once again, Bay City will host a silent auction to support Child's Play Charity.  Bay City is a Silver Sponsor of Child's Play Charity, having raised over US$2,000.00 to support the work of the charity. We are asking Second Life™ designers and artists to participate by providing fun, interesting, unique, or other transferrable items (or a no-copy object that the auction winner can give to you to redeem their prize, if the item(s) have to be no transfer). Please contact Marianne McCann to participate. Items need to be in by November 28th.

The auction will end at the conclusion of the event. All proceeds from the silent auction and from donation bins at the venue will go to Child's Play Charity. Child's Play is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization which offers online communities such as ours an opportunity to help seriously ill children around the globe during their hospital stays with the purchase of games and gaming equipment.

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab® and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest group for Residents of Bay City.

For more information, or to participate in the event, please contact Marianne McCann inworld or at

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

And We Walked!

On Sunday, November 13, 2016, a group of adventurers set out on a walk via the train tracks in southern Heterocera. The walk was a lot of fun and was without incident, except for a few of us falling off or through the tracks in Lutra. (Who does one report holes in the tracks to anyway? The moles? The SLRR group?) Ziki and I had not told anyone where we were headed, and the group seemed surprised and delighted to end up at the D-Lab train station in Poecila.

But by far the most delightful surprise was the fact that D-Lab owner Dazai Voom had created a group gift especially for us! I had told him we'd be walking along the SLRR tracks, so for the gift he designed a steam train engine-shaped pipe, with smoke coming out of the chimney (see picture at left). A huge thank you to Dazai for his creativity and generosity! The pipe is still available in the group gift area of the main shop and sky garden. You simply need to join the D-Lab group to pick up your very own pipe! D-Lab, about which I wrote here, is a delightful place, and well worth a visit in any case.

If you'd like to join us for further adventures, please visit our home, Cael Ystafell, and click the group joiner near the blue sign (see below). We will post notices about future walks there, and group chat is a good way to stay connected while walking! We'd love to have a really large group join us next time, and who knows what mischief we might get into and what new adventures we might find! 

Until then, keep exploring, and keep walking!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Prim Mining at ANWR

On the great day of Primsmas (which is to say, yesterday, when the Lab announced a 1.5x increase in Mainland land impact/prim allowance), I did celebrate by visiting the Temple of the Prim, about which I blogged here. But then it occurred to me that I'd never written about the prim rig in ANWR, that magnificent mining apparatus in the center of the ANWR channel, pictured below.

According to the Second Life Wikia, "ANWR is one of the sims added on March 22, 2005 as part of Heterocera. Along with Cyclops, Suduffco and Sandra, it forms the narrow strip of ocean that connects the main continent and the northern continent. The name is a reference to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge." The ANWR channel is a transcontinental waterway, allowing boat travel between Sansara and Heterocera, and there is a lot of traffic through there. In addition to watching the passing boats, one can stand on the rig itself and catch a Yavapod in the form of a hot air balloon, hop on a very modern-looking SLGI train, or even ride a tugboat to Calleta.

But the best part about ANWR is the rig itself. Go below the main platform and you'll find the actual drill, pictured above, pulling up prims from the depths of the Linden ocean. And below the rig, along the ocean floor, a prim pipeline runs the entire length from Sansara to Heterocera. One can only imagine the increased production effort the recent prim increase will demand!

So take a visit to the ANWR rig and see for yourself. Marvel at the seemingly limitless supply of prims being mined for YOUR pleasure! Hop on one of the previously-mentioned tours and explore the nearby continents. Or, near the helicopter landing on the upper level of the rig, you can pick up two free sailboats for future travels through the channel. And above all, enjoy the prims!

Saturday, October 29, 2016


We've visited Satori a lot lately, but there is still so much more there to see! On the east coast of that continent, between Route 8 and the sea, you'll come across a place called Sanctuary. Spanning three sims — Afanasyav, Blue Quill, and Rideau — Sanctuary offers a variety of landscapes to explore. Let's start in Sanctuary by the Sea. One arrives on a boardwalk which serves to connect several buildings on the hillside with a series of small piers, pictured below. On each pier sits a unique structure; one is a a seaside bar, one a small cafe, and one even boasts a tiny rooftop movie theatre.

From this area, we will venture north along the coast, and then inland...but be careful! Once leaving the seaside, visitors will notice that their health meters activate (that small heart in the location bar at the top of your viewer). This means, of course, that you can be "killed" here, so watch out for snakes and 'gators in the swamp! The 'gator pictured below seems pretty harmless, but one never knows what might happen when you hear banjo music playing in a swamp...

According to owner Roxi Firanelli, "Sanctuary started out as a small piece of oceanfront therapy. Over the last six years it has grown to encompass almost three connecting regions. As I would pick up surrounding parcels, I would theme them — the forest, the swamp, the meadow, the roadside — mainly because I just liked to have different looks. Then along came my friend Darth Kline, who is a master landscaper and visionary. He took the designing to a new level, and since I'm lazy and he's good at it, I let him! He's built whole forests, farms, towns, wharfs and even replicated Dangernon...the ancient citywide build that DRD did for the Fantasy Faire. There is usually some part of the land that is in construction and we love it that way."

There are a number of beautifully furnished homes on the property, like the one pictured above, plus there are lakes, beach areas, a delightful tea house hidden among the rocks, a large open air pavilion, a school bus abandoned in a stream, and numerous other scenic spots perfect for a photo shoot. One of my favorite parts of the parcel is a small shipwreck off the coast, pictured below. It reminds me (on a much smaller scale) of the S.S. Ayerfield in Sidney, Australia — an abandoned ship, built in 1911, which is now a floating forest of mangrove trees.

According to Roxi, "There is a small community that lives here and calls this home, whether it's up on a platform or down in one of the houses.  Sanctuary has always been open to anyone, and anyone is welcome to join the group and call it home, if for no reason but to be able to open a box and get dressed in private. Darth and I are bloggers and Jarath is a profile photographer, so we set up scenes on a regular basis and sometimes like them so much we incorporate it into the land." If you enjoy your visit to Sanctuary, let Roxi, Darth and Jarath know — the guitar-playing 'gator in Rideau is also a tip jar. Have fun exploring!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Moonlight Teahouse

The Moonlight Teahouse is a peaceful Japanese teahouse perched on the edge of a high cliff on the north coast of Satori. Visitors arrive on a high parapet (see fourth picture, below), and after passing under the red arch, will soon encounter an area for Tai Chi where participants can look out over the rolling sea as they play. 

Extending from the parapets, steep stairs set into the rocky cliffside will lead you up to the teahouse and surrounding gardens. The teahouse itself is flanked by two different Zen rock gardens (see photo, above). According to The Smithsonian, "Zen rock gardens, or karesansui (translated as 'dry-mountain-water'), originated in medieval Japan and are renowned for their simplicity and serenity."

The serenity continues along paths behind the teahouse, which wander through gardens (pictured above) filled with brightly-colored flowers and over a bubbling stream before circling back around to the teahouse itself. The structure (pictured below) is from POST, and allows for repose or restful meditation while feeling the cool ocean breeze through the open windows.

Myron Byron built Moonlight Teahouse as a gift for his partner, Sara (Saraphen Resident). He states, "I've been building for years, but not many have seen my work. Nothing is on the market. I've done a lot; furniture, statues, jewelry, hair, clothes, props, machinima, poses, all kinds of buildings from baroque palaces to hangars and modern grunge, etc. Moonlight Teahouse is the first of my builds made available to the general public and, to my surprise, received a lot of traffic thanks to unexpected exposure in Destinations Editors' Picks (from late Sept to late Nov 2013). It was built with midnight (WL) setting in mind. I hope you enjoy your visit!"

You can port directly to Moonlight Teahouse, or for the more adventurous, approach it by sea. Located in the sim Tuli along the Coastal Waterway, the parcel can be reached by boat from either Nautilus or the Blake Sea, or from other points along the Satori coast. Providing a tranquil oasis along a busy coastline, the teahouse and gardens are well worth a visit.

Friday, October 21, 2016

"And I Would Walk 500 Miles..."

A question: would any of you lovely readers be interested in taking periodic group walks across the Mainland? Ziki and are planning to organize just such a walk in November, and we hope to have YOU join us! Plan on fun and silliness as we explore the vast expanses of the Second Life Mainland together

The first walk will be held on Sunday, November 13 from 2-2:30 PM SLT.

We will start on Rte. 5 in front of Cael Ystafell, our home on Heterocera, and walk along the tracks of the Second Life Railroad, ending at a super sekrit location for fun and merriment!

When I was a little girl, my grandmother often took me for walks on the nearby railroad tracks. We'd walk, chat, stop to pick blueberries and have picnics. I have several sets of railroad tracks near my home in first life, and I still enjoy those kinds of walks. So, while there are many Mainland roads we could explore in the future, I decided to take advantage of the tracks near our house, and start there! If you'd like to walk with us, please contact me inworld or by email at just show up! We'll have a group joiner for any future adventures set up at the starting point.

We'd love to have LOTS of people joining in on the fun - imagine a whole gaggle of avatars walking the SLRR rails! To get you in the mood, here's a clip from one of my favorite cheesy 80's movies, "Benny and Joon," set to The Proclaimers "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". We hope to see you in November!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

"I'll Sing You This October Song"

It's October in Bay City, and there's plenty of spooky fun to find as you walk along the city streets, whistling The Incredible String Band's October Song. When you first enter the City from the East, crossing the bridge from nearby Nova Albion, you'll spy the Channel Island Asylum sitting on a hill in South Channel. From the Destination Guide: "For years, Channel Island Mental Hospital was the home of the mentally deranged of Bay City and beyond. Now abandoned, the asylum is said to be the home of strange goings-on after dark. Bring a friend — and stay together." Are you brave enough to visit?

Alternatively, you could venture across the street to visit the Haunted Hay Maze, located in the Bay City Fairgrounds on North Channel. According to Bay City's "unofficial Mayori", Marianne McCann, the City has been "doing these since 2011. It is fun for all, not too scary, but still with a few spooks and good things. The LDPW has helped with the set up. I went harder this year with the maze. Last year, folks said it was too easy." The Haunted Hay Maze is always a lot of fun, with places to pose for spooky photos and prizes to find throughout the maze. Come down and give it a try!

On the other side of Bay City, on the island separating Eastside from Westside, sits the crumbling grandeur of Hotel Falmouth. If the fountain of blood outside doesn't scare you away, enter to explore this once-grand hotel, now said to be haunted. Sit down for a drink at the bar with some really creepy teddy bears, or head to the elevators and pick a floor at random. Like at the hay maze, clicking around throughout the hotel may score you some delightfully creepy prizes.

Finally, for those of you who prefer non-spooky October celebrations, the Bay City Brewery is hosting the annual Bay City Oktoberfest party on Sunday, October 23rd, 2016, from 2:00 - 4:00 PM SLT. Grab your lederhosen and come on down to join us for seasonal music with DJ GoSpeed Racer of Kona Stream, and of course, for lots of BEER! Happy October from Bay City!