Friday, December 18, 2020

Christmas Places: Rebel Yell and Christmas Town

By Gemma Cleanslate


Christmas at Rebel Yell is always special because of the depth of decoration and the many activities available to all visitors. Skating, snowboarding,skiing, sledding... take your pick, If it too cold outside you can go bowling or play pinball.

This year they have a marvelous display of the hometown of Santa, Rovaniem in Lapland. Read the history at the entrance. 

Santa is there and is so proud of his home he is showing it off in so many ways.

He is driving couples around in a sleigh, having dinner with people, listening to their wishes , supervising his elves at the workshop and doing a wonderful job!

I even found him having a happy dance on top of his train.
He has set up horses for riding with your honey, or alone. I found a fishing hole and sat for a while trying to catch something to no avail but it was fun.

The Gingerbread Bakery is filled with goodies and I had to stop for some roasted chestnuts on my walk through the village. 

There were many visitors wandering the town and nearby woods on horseback checking out all the venues  . Go visit!

After that visit I stopped at the Holly Jolly Cafe at the Christmas Expo  for a live show   DaliLu  (DaliLuuDj)  and group singing. She has a lovely delicate soprano voice that charmed the audience. It is great to see the good that the Expo does every year for the ACS and this year was no exception.

Well it was a bit later than other openings however Laura Liberty got it done. I was so happy to see Christmas Town come to life again. This venue has everything! There are shops where you can pick up anything you have forgotten for decor, numerous outfits for any party, and much more. One thing I always like to visit is the New Years Eve shop. Check out all the decor you need and food and drinks , of course , Champagne .

This year there is a new item I think, unless I missed it last year... Jigsaw puzzles you can buy and actually make own photos into a puzzle~! The old make your own card is still available to work with and take home. There are spots around the lovely ice lake where you can just sit , relax by the fire and watch the skating. There is also a scary sled ride if you have the nerve. Look for the underground entrance and good luck!

Skating here is so much fun. The ice is delightful and one can use the skate balls or  your own AO. The best part is entering the magnificent Castle. This is an experience you must not miss.The ride through is a guided tour that takes you back in time to all the favorite old and newer Christmas movies beloved by all. I am happy to be reminded of those not to miss again on TV.

There is a music attachment to use while skating through. I love it!

Hopefully Santa will be there and you can get a picture before you leave.

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, December 11, 2020

Power Up For Charge Syndrome

By Fritter Enzyme,

The palet for the holiday season is mostly red, green, and white. The palet of the Charge Syndrome sim is one of hope and brilliantly played pastels. Not at all your typical holiday sim. Yes, it has ice skating and snow. But you must see this delicious snow.

 Pastel blues and greens are most everywhere. Trees are so full of lights, the land glows. Get to the top of the mountain and do the rope slide down. There are many ways down, and many rope slides around to use.

Take a leisurely stroll by the ocean. It is so enjoyable surreal to cruise about this world on one of their bicycles. This is a great place to come for relaxation, photography, music, and to learn about the cause they support. Then go for a fly about' to find all the hidden features and hideaways. Each will please your eyes and soul. I did enhoy the "Calm Radio" Christmas jazz music going down. This is a very peaceful place to just relax for a while.

Learn at the landing point about helping out "Power Up For Charge. This is a charity sim, so this season help out the best you can. And as always, tip the venue if you dig it. Even a single Linden helps and shows appreciation.

Fritter Enzyme

Monday, December 7, 2020

Bayou Du Chat Noir

By Fritter Enzyme

What a trip it is going through this bayou late at night. It is lush with vegetation and culture. And it is very cat themed. So what is not to love. The buildings are beautiful at night, all era settings inside and out. Everything just glows. You will be lucky to find a hotel room available, or land. It is a popular place. 

There are art galleries where you can 'bayou' some pictures (I know, bad pun), and a few cool bars. There's a nice library as well. Do take some time to check out behind the buildings in the downtown area. Some old-timer coin-operated machines are around to play with. 

The graveyard is nice, great for Halloween season. Look for the green voodoo shop downtown as it is a must-see. Maybe get a reading and get your voodoo on. Talk to the swamp spirits, seek their wisdom.

Kitty Vinji and Kylie Quinn share duties of running the sim. They host fun events time to time. Halloween is a major event, but check out the bayou Christmas. I knew Kitty from her previous store, the Dapper Cat (which is now a barber shop), in a different bayou that we both lived in. They have set out to make their own place, and they very much succeeded. 

You do need to hand out at the Love Shack for a real good time and some great tunes. The atmosphere is perfect! Get your info card at the landing site. Have fun, and always support the sims you dig!

This link will bring you to Kitty's temporary gacha store and nearby Cat Museum:

Fritter Enzyme

Monday, November 30, 2020

Still More Christmas Shopping Places

By Gemma Cleanslate

The Christmas Fair at Ancient Life is absolutely delightful. The streets and Lanes are a wonderful place to walk and shop. If you are looking for old time characters for your region decor there are so many here along with old fashioned sleighs. elves, carolers and so much more. I even saw some thin ribbon candy! I am pretty sure I saw Scrooge checking into the hotel.

Take a look at this milkman with his wares and truck too . Some of the figures are animated and so adorable. Santa is waiting there for you when you arrive.

I sat down with Santa for dinner at a sumptuous table that would look great in a region dining area. One shop  had some beautiful carpets that I may go back for but not sure they are suitable for a houseboat . I found a very pretty chickadee outfit and did indulge myself! If you have some decor for sale I did see some empty shops along the way.  Visit and get that old fashioned feeling of this holiday centuries ago.

I love to visit this region every year I think mostly because I like the name Snuggles! This shopping area has many very well defined larger shops full of a special item... Gnomes,  Floral, Indoor decor etc, so it is easy to locate exactly what you are looking for  in case you need something in a hurry.  It is always beautifully decorated for the season.

 I went into the indoor decor and found a whole rack of really nice holiday cards. Sets for special friends, honey, kids, and some with songs are available. Some allow you to add your own messages. 

I also love the flying sleighs led by reindeer. Some nice chubby Santas hang around here .

When I visited Erotic Shores Christmas region a few weeks ago it was billed as "Stores ready for rent." Well now it is ready for shoppers as “Christmas Shopping at its Best.”  I found several mens shops there with good holiday outfits. This is something I usually hear complaints about , that men cannot find clothes. .So visit here if you are having trouble. Of course there are many women's shops to check out too. One or the shops had some Christmas books and wrapping for sale.  

If you have some wares for sale there is still room for a few in shops and also market tables on the street for rent . While you are there look for both skiing and skating behind the shopping.

One more place I visit every year is the Christmas Store at Dench Designs. Amanda Dench always has wonderful free gifts for members and non members in her shop.
Outside there are cute little outdoor scenes that would fit well on small properties as well as large areas. Inside the shop are many items from trees, reindeer, animated characters and my favorite, those you can dance with !

It is great fun to choose the one you want and try out the dancing before you buy one for your own. Jump on , choose your dance and go.Try it! Go upstairs for the gifts!

I will be finding more winter venues  for you to visit mostly scenic but some with shopping and perhaps with some winter fun!

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, November 23, 2020

More Christmas Shopping Places

By Gemma Cleanslate

My tour of Christmas markets and sales of decor and outfits continues. Some of these venues have gifts around so keep an eye out. Also check the windlight settings and be sure to check the Music media . There is lovely music playing at most sites and it adds to the experience .

If you are looking for a ‘Special‘ Santa. a working Santa, a fire fighting Santa, a carpenter Santa, etc., you need to stop off at Christmas at the North Pole. There is such a gathering of them just waiting to go to work for you  where ever you need them/ Perhaps your water region needs  a Santa to deliver gifts in a boat. Well, he is here waiting for you . If there is a fire possibility get a fire truck with Santa. There are also loads of toys for sale here too in the elf’s store.

There is also a rezz zone where you can rezz the scenes to see what they look like before you buy. I had some fun there, looking at the various scenes.

Some people will be having fun gatherings for the holidays. If you are looking for some really goofy decor for the area or the house check out this place, Never You Mind.  It is a delight to visit and  if one really wants to buy some of the critters to roam around and just keep you company by sitting on your shoulder. There are singing elves, walking cupcakes, Angels and so much more. Most are singing holiday songs in their strange little voices. There is a little tipjar at the entrance where you can get a little shoulder pet for a small tip. I got a couple.

Clematis Island is hosting a Christmas Market that is so chuck full of decor, clothing, globes, toys and on and on. Everything is either on a snow laden stand or in a  shop on the roadside. Stop off at the Roasted chestnuts cart in the road. It is really a teleport area that will take you up to a lovely skating rink. I saw more little stands there waiting to be filled with more goodies. Also at one of the stands I picked up an invitation to The Nutcracker that the RIPA will be presenting on numerous dates in  December. I will be going!

Another venue where you can shop and skate right in the same market is over at Serena Little Inagua .This is a typical German winter market with stalls holding offerings from candles, wreathes, globes, Nativity scenes, cookies and other food. Watch for the red gift boxes near the stalls.

I almost bought a great looking ski outfit from Almut Brunswick Fashion but remembered I had better check my packed away ski outfits first. I think I got one last year. One stand had some cute ugly sweaters too but I do have those for sure .I stopped over at the wine bar before I left since it was my last stop of the day but discovered it was for sale. It was very busy while I was there .Around the perimeter look for the lovely scenes for your region or outside your home.

Gemma Cleanslate

Note: The wrong SURL was given out for Serena Little Inagua originally. It has since been corrected. - Hat tip: Annie Brightstar

Monday, November 16, 2020

Early Christmas Shopping Places

By Gemma Cleanslate

Time passes so quickly . It seems like a week ago I took down my Christmas decorations in sl and here I am getting ready to at least think about this year’s decor and activities though it is still a month and days away. 

I love to visit the sweet little Christmas markets with their little stalls housing goods from many creators that are around the grid . The snow covered trees and ground add to the festivity of the season. I am leaving my pocketbook home and just taking my camera along ( That won’t work for long).

The Winter Wonderland Christmas Bazaar is always  pleasure to visit. The walkways are lined with oversized snow globes that are  so lovely. ωɨԃgεт (Sahirah Hauptmann)  of Sahi Designs creates the decor found here. There is a skating pond near by and you can rezz a zippy little sled to scoot round on the ice or put on your skates and take a spin.

The next stop was at Dina LaVega (Dinahel Resident) ‘s ChristKindl and Advent Calendar. This quaint market with stalls  circling a large skating pond has large and small decor for your house or  larger area to decorate . It had snow globes in several different sizes and out came my purse! The market was busy while I was there because of the lovely wares that are offered. Stop by just to admire if not shop.

Around the back of the market area there are more goodies for sale to decorate your region for the winter. Charming winter settings for very good prices.

Christmas Lane by Bee Caudron of Bee Designs is another wonderful market to visit. Inside the market area and outside the sights are so cheery. She describes it as “A big  mall full of Christmas decor items in a magic place where you will feel the real Christmas spirit wherever you go.” and it is.

Many artists presents their creations in the little shops. I did succumb to trying the gachas near the entrance. Watch out for all the cute critters running around.  This is another site where you must roam both outside inside the market area to see the enticing offers of winter decor and, if not shopping just to enjoy the lovely need a bridge ,  of a camping site or a small pavilion? Go take a long walk inside and outside this market . It is well worth it.

“3D Republic's  Annual Christmas and Winter Market. Bringing together many creators from various backgrounds to bring you the joy and creation they have brought to SL. You need to take a walk outside the building  to get to the market itself over the bridge.  Explore the market. Many little shops filled with goodies. Be sure to stop at the gift tree for your gifts!”

This is a lovely market to roam through. They will be open until January 6 in case you forget anything.  

Here is 3D:

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, November 2, 2020

Cooper's Coffeehouse

By Bixyl Shuftan

Among the places one can relax in Second Life, one recently had a major makover: Cooper's Coffeehouse. Located in Lionheart Nala, people can enjoy games such as 7Seas and checkers, live music events, books to read, and of course a chat with other residents. Last month not long after it's reopening, I interviewed with the owner, Cooper Udimom about the location.

Cooper, like a number of other residents, had gotten his start at The Shelter, which had only recently closed. "I heard! I was so sad (frown). That was literally my first hangout spot in SL. I was just recounting in a chat how when someone gave me an object to wear on my first day and I wore it. Well turns out it was a giant prim penis that stuck on my forehead and I had no idea how to get it off. Made for an interesting time. Gosh its crazy to think I've been in SL ... over 15 years! My first avi was in 2004."

Cooper explained when he first joined, it was under a different account, "Long since gone (chuckle). I don't even remember that accounts name. But I started using my Alex1 Richardson avatar I believe in 2006. That's the avatar I created The Lighthouse Restaurant with. I still have all of the old products, notecards and textures. All from nearly 10 years ago. Quite the trip down memory lane." And how was running a restaurant in a place where people didn't need to eat? He actually did very well, "Honestly it was so much fun and super challenging - because there wasn't anything like it in SL. We were one of the first, so it exploded kind of rapidly. We had 1,000 plus people in our group and booked out reservations two to three weeks in advance. I had an amazing general manager, who basically ran the place after a few months. I am so sad she is no longer playing SL. We even kept touch in real life for awhile, but she's since disappeared (frown)." Checking his notes, the place had been running from October 2008 to January 2010, "We had an average of 100 unique visitors a day, 18,000 in the first 8 months."

He would take an extended break from Second Life, "I actually joined the Navy in real life. So that was why I took such a long hiatus from SL. I lived and traveled all over the world for a good eight years." Needless to say, things were different upon his return, "I came back in around 2017. I think mesh had just started to take off. I was on very intermittently until about April of this year when COVID happened. That was the biggest change. Logging in in 2020 and finding literally 99% of avatars were totally different, and you had to buy a specific'"shape' just to find clothes that would fit you. It was a massive learning curve. I really felt like for probably a month just like I had back in 2004 when  I first got into SL." When I asked how intermittently he was on, he answered, "I was on SL maybe once or twice a month from 2017 until 2020. (I) had a lot of real-life things going on."

Also in 2017 was when he first started The Coffeehouse, "That started on a tiny plot here in Lionheart, a sim or two over. ... It quickly became too small, so we moved to a very large property over in Second Norway. That was our biggest location in terms of space." He would later move a third time in June this year back to where it is now, "Definitely lots of moving around (chuckle)." Of when he first opened it, "The first few days it was very relaxed. I think we had a few live music acts. But there wasn't really anything *big.* I didn't really have the time nor the funds to pour in, moreso just wanted just a place people could come to to relax and unwind. But we developed a fairly decent group after about six months. And that was with no advertising other than the 30$L places ad, and the occasional post in a live music group or something." As mentioned, he didn't have much time, "I really only came on to pay tier and to ocassionally do some live events. ... Now that I have more time and a little bit more RL funds, I'm hoping to put some more effort into getting the word out."

Things changed in 2020 with the Pandemic, "Which was, morbidly enough, beneficial for me in the sense that I now worked from home. So I could really put more effort into SL. Granted, I went back to college also in January of 2020 so I still didn't have *too* much time. But definitely more than before. And now my schedule is really starting to mellow out as I approach graduation."

The Coffeehouse has recently gotten an overhaul. In an notecard, it was described as taking "over 20,000$L in renovations spanning three weeks ... with 1,000 combined prims." There are several games people can play with each other, "Chess, Checkers, Hangman, Memory games, Connect-4" and others, as well as 7Seas fishing contests. There are occasional chess and checkers tournaments. It is billed as a "Certified 'safe space' and child/family friendly." I asked what sparked his decision to spend the time and money. He answered, "I had much more time to devote to SL. The build before this that was here was very rapidly done. I think I put everything together in half a day. So I really wanted to take my time, get a new logo, develop my own drinks and menu, and really design the place thoughtfully and methodically. This all took me probably three weeks of four to six hours a day either on SL, researching things online, or looking up products in Marketplace. And then the obvious building, which all took place off-site very slowly."

The place had it's grand reopening on Friday October 2, " It was a very very soft reopening ... And by very very soft I mean I sent out group notices and subscriber IMs, and that was it. I'm hoping the renovation and some renewed effort in terms of advertising helps build up a better base and we can have some well attended events here in the near future. So I reached out to a few writers groups and individual artists in SL, only a few got back to me. I think we have maybe four or five SL books or publications thus far. Not much. Again, hoping to change that with renewed vigor and resources. We have a panel on our sign 'Be a Featured Artist.' We offer free exhibition space for photographers and artists and of course space in the reading nook for anything people would like to contribute." For those interested in contributing short stories, "That's okay. My plan is to in the next week or so add some sort of 'filing system' where people can contribute notecards with short stories, poems, etc."

There were people around, so I asked if the reception to the changes to the place were very good. Cooper answered, "Yes! So far very good I think we've had about 10-15 people in the first day.  Zero advertising thus far, other than our group notices. I truly think the renovation is going to be very good in terms of word of mouth advertising."

Of his plans for the near future, Cooper had this to say, "The plan is to add some small things like the filing system in the reading nook, and whatever other suggestions we may get from visitors, and then devoting time to reaching out to media outlets such as yourself to start advertising. I think after maybe two to three weeks we will start working on live music events, maybe try our bingo night again. Some of that buffer time is for mental recovery as well as financial (chuckle). I'm actively trying to hire some people right now as well to hold events so it doesn't all fall to me."

For later on, "I think long term the plan is really to just build up a good following, where there will always be people here so if someone just wanted to come here to meet new people or make friends they could. Of course I have a bunch of 'dreams' you could say. I'd love to hold charity events here, maybe an art exhibition or writers conference. Definitely a regular open-mic kind of event." Two possible charities were the Relay for Life and Homes For Our Troops.

Cooper makes no money from the Coffeehouse, though does accept donations to help pay the tier. One can check out the location's online calendar of planned events at , though there will likely be plenty of unplanned ones.

Cooper's Coffeehouse is located at:

Bixyl Shuftan