…it was a great ride…

The virtual world of Second Life provides opportunities, challenges, new, old, change…  We have lived them all,  just as we do in our every day real life world.  Everyone handles these very differently…and probably most handle a virtual event differently than they might handle a similar event in real life.  The one thing that is really not the same…when something in our virtual life just disappears.  It is rarely a challenge we have to face in real life as we usually know why something disappears…we lost it, we moved away from it, we didn’t nourish it, it passes away, etc.  But in Second Life, a friend can just never log in again; a shop might just close with no warning; a region…a place we have created and enjoyed and shared…can just “pooof” !


If you have followed my blog, or my Flickr photostream or if you know Jac or me, you are aware that we have been part of the SL surf community for a few years.  Jac maintained a surf sim in the Costa Rica Sims Estate for the enjoyment of all prior to our relationship.  This was where we hosted our first SLSA surf comp in early 2009.  After leaving that estate and setting up our own sims in June 2009, together we provided a public surf experience on Sol Mañanero!  We hosted our second SLSA surf comp in the fall of 2009.  At first, we were fully tropical with a small shopping area that included merchants such as LeLutka, Jak Surf, Namiko, Frankie Miles… and then after nearly a year, we made the decision that we needed a change.  The shopping area was taken down and a beautiful waterfall, stream and tropical forest were put in its place.  The surf still crashed upon the beach, but it was a more natural break than before.  We had a few residents living out on the surf sim for nearly a year too, and found that they were always happy to have such a beautiful home.  We also provided a dive area too… natural beauty under the surf!

Then…everyone might remember that we had a MAJOR change in October 2010 when we went full arctic surf and winter solstice…and we had ICE and SNOW everywhere!  This was such a beautiful change as well…and welcomed for many reasons.  The surf sim was placed on Showcase by Torley in January 2011 and visitors came in droves to see the seal colony, the orcas and the narwhals under the Northern Lights.  In February 2010, we hosted our third SLSA surf comp…and the surfers had the most unique lag-free (and chilling) experience ever!

As Jac and I looked back over our Second Life and we discussed how things had progressed and changed, we were planning our next sim design.  We did want to move out of Winter and into a warmer season, and had many discussions on just what we might create.  Tasmania was an idea often mentioned…the wild  uninhabited coastline with the huge wave crashing at Shipsterns.  But as we thought more about it… it became more apparent that maybe we didn’t need to provide a surf sim any longer.  Looking back over the two years, we realized that very few SL surfers used our sim.  It was enjoyed much more by non-surfers who came to enjoy the beach, the water, and the view…more for the relaxation and the photo-op, than anything else.  Sooo….a huge decision was made and executed quickly…and on March 28, 2011, Playa Sol Mañanero was removed from the grid.

If you ever had a chance to visit our beach …during tropical days or arctic freeze… we hope you enjoyed your stay.  I’ve seen many gorgeous photos taken on our sims, and am happy that those memories can be contained in some medium.  Will I miss having a surf sim at my doorstep…?    Yes…but change is part of any life…and YES… it WAS a great ride…

’til next time…


p.s.  Sol Mañanero is still under reconstruction…but I’ll share more when we have it near completion.

**Winter SOLstice**

In early November, Jac and I were talking about the state of Sol Mañanero and where we wanted to go with it.  We had seen Sol change over the 17+ months with the most recent change that I blogged about earlier this year.  We still felt that we had the most beautiful home location and surf sim and while we could keep it as is, we both seemed to need something different.  My “compound” built by Patch Thibaud had been my primary home in SL for over 2 years and quite frankly, it felt like it had become more of a monument than a home.  I know that change was the “air” for me.

We tossed around a few ideas and realized that we both still loved the elevation and did not want a “flat” environment.  We decided mountainous and seasonal would be a good way to start.  Well since the “season” upon us was Winter, we jumped right into the cold, crisp climate!

In less than 10 days, the full sim had been transformed into a beautiful mountain home full of snow and ice!  Hardwoods and evergreen trees growing everywhere along with grassy meadows and water.  Can’t live without the waterfalls and rocks either, so we added those in as well!  The main home from GOL Project Design (Dakota Neumann) is elevated and I built wood decking to help integrate it into the terrain.  In the next few weeks, we added bits and pieces here and there.

But we were really struggling on what to do with the homestead (surf) sim.  We thought about mountain cabin rentals for the season with snowmobile tracks around a lake, about just the lake with trails, and then while I was away and not online too much, Jac came up with the brilliant plan of true arctic surfing.  It would be new and different, but fun and incorporate an SL activity that we both still enjoyed.  He had started it with the amazing terraforming and thoughtful design and then I added ice piles and floating icebergs…  Jac put in a Botha designed house to serve as a “warming” house for all that freeze themselves in the water and I again built decking to make it accessible.

Now less than 6 weeks later, I think that the sims are nearly complete.  Yes, we will tweak here and there, add something or remove, but the concept and primary bits are done.  On the “surf” sim, we have orcas in the water, seal colonies on the ice and wolves chasing caribou on the land.  On the home sim, beautifully peaceful mule deer graze in the meadow, elk are near the waterfalls, arctic fox up by the house and mountain sheep in the hills.  Sounds have been placed, so we hear the hoot of the snowy owls, the waterfalls, the seals yapping and the orcas chirping as the wind blows across the land, water and ice.  In addition to surfing, we have skating on the main lake and sleds (in a rezzer) to zip down the hill upon.  As the night falls, and yes, we only have short days, the skies light up with the Aurora Borealis which brightly beams all around.

Come visit… surf a bit (wear your warmest wet- or dry- suit), then head into the warming house out on the surf sim.  Walk into the main sim and find the skating animations on the iced over lake  (single and couple versions) and then look for the sled rezzer up on the hill, jump on one and zip down the hill!  Just be sure to turn your environment to night (9pm or midnight) to enjoy the lights dancing across the sky.

We call this our… Winter SOLstice… and we hope that you will enjoy it as much as we have while putting  it together!


p.s. Watch for the announcement of a party on 17th of December… yesssssss just around the corner!

Going Bald… Successfully!

As you saw from my previous post, a “Bid Me Bald” event to raise funds for the Relay for Life of Second Life campaign was held on Sunday, March 21 at Sol Mañanero Surf.  The RFL of SL team Eternal Beacon, hosted and our team captain, Dione Kohime, pulled double duty and DJ’d as well. 

It was a fun-filled event.  I had opposing kiosks set up.  One asking party-goers to bid for me to be bald, and one asking to let me keep my hair.  There was a definite push as it was evident just who wanted me bald and who loves to see me in hair!  LOL   Each time Linden were paid to the “Bid Me Bald” kiosk, I would groan…and then Linden would drop into the “Keep Me in Hair” kiosk to which I would cheer!  For 2 hours, we were entertained with the music that DJ Dione laid down from awesome mash-ups to songs about Sunshine/Sunny/etc… we danced, chatted, hoo’d and laughed!   One of my friends, Kekoa Arbizu, filmed the party and put together this video…take a look, it tells you a bit more about the “Bid Me Bald” event and shows us having a great time!! 

At the end of the event… looking to the kiosks, I found that those that favored the Baldness came in a bit higher requiring me to be bald for 2 days!  And then after some late breaking donations were made through Monday night (after this photo was done), I was up to 3 days bald! 

A Successful Event for Relay for Life of Second Life!


Now…the coolest thing about this whole event?!?  We raised over L$126,000 Linden for Relay for Life of Second Life benefitting American Cancer Society (late donations totaling an additional 2800L were received after above photo done).  The generosity of all amazed me and while I know that many might have wanted to see me bald for more days, I think that the offsetting kiosks worked to bring in more linden!!!   Thank you all to those that joined me and that paid my kiosk through Monday night for that reason.  The “Bid Me Bald” event for Sunshine is over… hmmm should I do another one?  🙂 

Bald IS Beautiful!!! 🙂


‘Til Next Time… 


Be sure to visit … to find out more info or donate USD! 

My RFL of SL ACS Webpage 

Eternal Beacon’s RFL of SL ACS Webpage 

The Relay for Life of Second Life Webpage 

Credits:  Video by Kekoa Arbizu of the Waterfront Group; My Outfit by Likka House; Music by DJ Dione