Friday, December 30, 2022

Winter at Astoria

By Gemma Cleanslate

Now that most of the holiday is over and the New Year yet to begin I went to visit a more quiet place that is set for the winter, Astoria. Well, by quiet I mean a place where there is no market or selling and the soft snow is falling on woods and trails and there are places to sit and relax or have fun with winter sports alone or with friends.

Arriving one feels the peace of the forest immediately. There is a post with teleports to many venues making it easy to get around. I like to walk first in the woods and see the animals and trees and shrubs and little hidden places to relax.

I came across a feeding station for reindeer and cattle. I did not get too close to those massive animals.

Farther on I came to the frozen water where I found a young polar bear frisking on the ice while Mom watched . Again I did not go too close! I did join some penguins who were sliding on the ice and hanging around having fun. I loved it so joined them!

My next stop was at the coffee cafe where I took a hot chocolate and rested a bit before I walked on. I took the TP to the Christmas tree where I found a gift . I am not sure it will be there for long but take a look for it.

I found a ski lift that took me to the top of the mountain. A very nice snow board rezzer gave me a board that I had a hard time controlling! Ha ha! Good thing there was a sled rezzer there that was much better to ride. The lighting there is so silvery, not quite night time but close to it, magical. Be sure to use the shared environment to experience it .

I made it back to the Dickens project for a show by the VIRTUOSO PERFORMING ARTS called Time Capsule. It was lovely and thought provoking.

That is what Virtuoso does. “The message I wish us all to send out within and around our group this coming year is the magic of change, as we work to save the world resources we all need to survive now, and for future generations to come….”

Wonderful performance.! Here are some photos from the presentation.

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, December 23, 2022

Brian's Christmas Amusement Park

By Bixyl Shuftan

 For some days, I'd been hearing about a new attraction in the sims where the Newser office makes it's home: the Sunweaver community. Finally while on Cynthia Farshore's Santa sleigh ride, I saw it. It was a Christmas-themed amusement park taking up most of the north edge of the Sunweaver Bay sim.

It had a mixture of attractions, both rides and picturesque displays.

From across the water in the Sunny Beach sim, it was somewhat hidden with just the Christmas trees on the edge clearly visible.

I soon decided to see the place for myself. The edge had a helicopter pad, and a small train stop for it's own smaller rail track that went around the place, with a switch track circle nearby.

I soon saw I was not alone. Brian, the park owner, was checking the track and locomotive.

I asked about what inspired him to make the park. Brian told me, "I have over 85000 items in my invetory so I might as well get some use out of them. ... I tried to keep to rides that could pass as xmas themed."
I asked him which of the attractions were his favorites. He responded, "That's a hard one, the MadPea items run the best but the Culprit made items have the best sense of humor." So I asked which of the latter. He pointed to a UFO/plane ride, "Try this one."

It turned out one's seating position had some options, one one the saucer making you look like you were barely hanging on.

One of the larger attractions was the bumper cars.

"The bumper cars should be fun," Brian told me, adding that they were know and he hadn't tried them out against anyone else. So we both gave it a shot. They were slightly hard to steer, but still entertaining. 

Not far away was a ferris wheel.

Further down were a couple minor attractions.

Then a reindeer barn and gingerbread cookie place, the latter which had the most elves.

Those lazy things they're all down at the sweet shops."

There was another plane ride with some funny poses. 

The west end of the park had a few more rides.

I gave the "spinner" a try and it swung me all around. In real life, that thing better be bolted on tight.

There were a few snowmen on display.

Looks like Frosty got himself in trouble.

In the back was a party area, "The Xmas band and dance floor, if someone gets in the mood." Brian would say after Christmas, the band would take on more of a New Year's Eve look.

Finally there was Brian's own house. Not an attraction, but a private place for him to relax.

 Brian is already thinking of what to do next, "I'm Already thinking about what I can Do for Valentines Day. .... Nothing solid yet, thinking maybe a fairy forest kind of thing and maybe a ride or two if I have anything that fits the theme. Plus I need to get back to work on my space station." So when would that be ready? "I have the docking area in. It can be seen just above and behind Cutlass."

Brian would say the amusement park will be up, "As long as Cynthia has her Santa sleigh tour running. ... Anyone and everyone is welcome to use this place. And if someone wanted to throw a party here, I would say yes. I love to theme build. I'm never happy and am always tweaking and adjusting."

So come on over to Brian's Christmas amusement park while it's up.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, December 12, 2022

Calas Galadhon Park - Christmas 2022

 By Dancerina

Holiday Enchantment at the Calas Galadhon Park

Calas Galadhon is a 13-sim estate in Second Life, with occasional seasonal sim additions for special builds, that brings the beauty of the natural world to the virtual world. ( For many of its 13 years, Calas was self-sufficient; and recently has begun to integrate voluntary donations to assist with its continued community driven enjoyment.

Hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring tingle tingling to…Come on; it's lovely weather for a CARRIAGE ride together with you this season at the Calas Galadhon Park!  Each Holiday Season, Calas Galadhon Park at Calas Galadhon, invites visitors to tour, engage, and enjoy the sim with holiday festive decorations.  This year marks its 13th year, and from the look of things, the sim will continue to attract visitors from all over Second Life to enjoy the Holiday Season in this fanciful and decorative way.

Some of the Holiday excitement at the Calas Galadhon include the Christmas Wish 2022 Entrance; a Dance Pavilion; Christmas Sleighs; The Christmas Balloon; Ice Skating; Vista Couples Walker, Horse Rezzer, Calas Galadhon Park Entrance; The Beanery; Photo opportunity with Santa; The Mistletoe; Train Dining; Cabin, and more this season; AGAIN!  

Hundreds of Second Life citizens are flocking to the park to enjoy its indoor and outdoor Holiday enchantment! Visitors can expect to swirl on the ice, grace the dance floor, snap a photo, take a ride, or wine and dine with self or company. Each year seems to more and more festive, and that's what everyone looks forward to--the anticipation and expectation of one their favorite Holiday sims.

As I arrived at Calas, I stood in awe of the meticulous attention to Holiday details etched and set in almost every opportune area of the area.  There was an outside dining well designed with the Holiday spirit.  As I walked toward the hill, I encountered a father and daughter blissfully enjoying a horse trot as they enjoyed the fancy sim. 

Mr. Gino (Gino Paris) and his daughter, Ariel Renee were enjoying the season as they toured Calas.  I introduced myself as an SL Newser reporter who was there to capture the intricacies of the sim and wondered if I could take a picture of him and his daughter.  He smiled and said, "Sure." He assured me they were enjoying their trot. I joked with him that his daughter would soon become a great rider as he is. He said he hoped she did, but had a strong feeling she would grow up to be a dancer. The conversation took a beautiful turn, as I am a dancer, and took pleasure in hearing him say that. We said our goodbyes as he lastly stated, "hope you find a lot of interesting people to chat with." And that, I did.

The sim's holiday festivities feature extravagant displays such as tall lit Christmas trees, trains, diners, outdoor dining outfitted trails, and more. The flaring holiday flamboyance is one of the many holiday enjoyment in Second Life. The attractions in the park can be enjoyed alone, with friends, family, and even strangers.

I walked through the park and enjoyed a few landmarks.

I took a turn and ended up at the Beanery where I met a couple creating unforgettable memories with a unique experience as they sat cozied up with each other at the Holiday festivities! They were experiencing dazzling scenes that celebrate the magic of the holiday season! While I didn't get the gentleman's name, I spoke with his lady, Gweneth Morningstarl. I asked her about her experience, and she shared how much she was enjoying her time with her date on such a beautiful sim. When asked if she comes here often, she stated it was her first time, but repeated how lovely the place is.

Ride through a spectacular trail that matches perfectly the streaming of Holiday music; playing the Christmas favorites. The most popular displays include reindeer, colorful snowflakes, toy soldiers, gingerbread men, candy canes, and, of course, Santa Claus. Stop by a dazzling life-size Christmas tree and an enchanting area of lights.  The park creates a family-friendly environment and fun for all ages. Make sure to drop by the Christmas Pavilion to warm up by the fire, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, and see how some of the visitors spend their time on the dance floor amid a well decked pavilion for the holidays!

The sim is so amazing this year that if tickets were to be bought, they would be sold out!  Every visitor will enjoy a unique experience as you either walk or ride through the decorative sim! Experience dazzling scenes that celebrate the magic of the holiday season!

This Holiday Season is here, the merriest and happiest time of the year is loaded with great food, family traditions, and a whole lot of delicious drinks to make every moment jollier. While sitting by the fire is certainly cozy, adventure enthusiasts would appreciate visiting the Calas in 2022!  If you are looking for something festive and fun for the entire Second Life family to enjoy this yuletide season, you have come to the perfect place. From illuminated trails loaded with fairytale characters to shining Christmas lights brightening up some of Calas' paths, your visit will be brightened by all the twinkling and jingling at this great Holiday Park!

This is a Gemma Cleanslate inspired article.  Thank you, Gemma--for the inspiration, back story, and encouragement to capture the season's spirit at Calas!

As a news reporter, she can be found on multiple sims covering the news, and Santa is not exempt from the interviewees.  Gemma can be seen in this photo enjoying a Holiday season chat on Santa's lap! 

Submitted by:
Dancerina OnPointe Starlight

Friday, December 9, 2022

Christmas Locations: Stormwind and Christkindl Market

By Gemma Cleanslate 

My latest trip to shopping for Christmas took me to Stormwind , Christmas at the North Pole where “Santa Claus (Vircha Kerouac)” his own shops. Inside and outside there are treasures. One shop I stopped in was loaded with ice world creations. They are great not only for Christmas décor outside on regions but for the whole winter season. Horses, penguins, dogs, and other creatures to grace the snowy areas are among many selections all made of ice. They will not melt .

Outside there are loads of Christmas scenes and a whole shop filled with so many choices . On the square outside the shops one can get a whole herd of reindeer or a herd of horses for your property. There is a magical tree with elves and Santa .

You will land in front of the Fire Department which is also filled with great décor involving fire department equipment including fire fighting elves. I l love the elf that climbs a tree to rescue a cat and brings it safely down. Across the way is a shop where there is a wonderful choice of wreaths, some with animated creatures in them all with sparkling lights.

Stop in before you go up the hill to the other quaint shops .

I have been visiting the 8th annual Christkindl Market and Advent Calendar since the advent calendar began since I am a member of the group to get the prize. It has a marvelous skating area with a nice corner of tables and benches to sit and have a hot drink and a piece of pizza.

Circling the large skating pond are stalls with loads of lovely goodies for your home. Farther down I found some lovely Christmas winter pictures and again I had to get a few at that price! I saw some very unique nativity scenes in one shed that would fit very well in anyone’s home. One was a circular rotating music box that played 3 carols.

I had to buy the two snowglobes that were an excellent price. I could not resist. I had to run away not to get one. Put this place on your list . It is lovely and an enjoyable place to spend time shopping or not. There are many unique items here I have not seen anywhere else. Enjoy in the shared environment.

I think most of the time for getting décor is almost over. My visits now may continue to mention shopping here or there but will be looking a some of the beautiful restful winter regions celebrating Christmas all around the grid.  

Gemma Cleanslate