West of the Rain

I don’t know how I discovered West of the Rain, but I do know that I have seen a ton of photographers taking amazing photos of the sim. 🙂

I’m a bit late to the party, because I took these photos last month, but better late than never, right?

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It has that old, vintage, grungy, lost to the world look that is so popular right now.  I’m old, but even I don’t remember when gas was only 27 cents a gallon. 😛

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There were lots of areas to explore, and I was just entranced when I found this camper.  I love how the vines and ivy have grown up, around, and into the camper.  I did have a peek inside, but I always feel like I might be intruding when I do. 🙂

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I love the marina with all the different boats.  I have no idea how to sail, but going out on the water on one of these looks like it would a great afternoon of fun.

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I found this covered bridge and couldn’t resist snapping a pic.  These bridges always make me think of simpler times, when nobody was in any particular hurry to get anywhere.

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There was even a general store with some fabulous produce for sale.  The watermelons looked delicious and the aromas from the spices was amazing.

There was much more to explore than I’ve shown here, so make sure you put West of the Rain on your ‘to visit’ list and soon. 😀

Exploring Nouvelles Aventures

I first heard about Nouvelles Aventures through Inara Pey’s blog.  It looked very interesting, so I headed over to check it out for myself.

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When you land, you’re greeted by this amazing vista – a huge barn framed by gorgeous sunbeams.

I’m not sure I would have picked the pink sky, but it works. 😀

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I’ve seen this piece before, but I was struck by the beam of light combined with the beautiful particles – bubbles and fireflies all swirling around. It definitely gave the scene an ethereal feel.

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And, of course, my requisite lighthouse pic!  I’ve not seen this particular lighthouse build before – I love the blue roof of the lighthouse contrasted with the thatching on the cottage roof.

It’s one of my dreams to live in a converted lighthouse – I’d put my bedroom in the top of the tower, just so I could wake up to those amazing views every day. 😀

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I was particularly taken with this beautiful tree.  Its branches were slowly moving in the soft breeze, and it looked like a fabulous place to just sit and reflect for a while.

There are lots of areas to explore and photograph, so grab your camera and head on over.  There’s a Flickr group set up for the sim if you want to share your photos.  Have fun!

 

Hestium II

While out and about looking for places to photograph, I came upon Hestium II.  The land description mentioned ‘stories,’ so as a writer, I was curious and went to explore.

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When you land, you receive a notecard about Hestium.  It states, “The houses in this tiny community are ‘inhabited’ by unseen people.  They are people from all walks of life, from different times and places – with different backgrounds and agendas.

But who are these people?
That is for you to discover. Their homes hold clues to who they might be – sometimes in plain view, sometimes hidden away. Walk in, look around – in cupboards and under beds. Examine their homes

So why are they here?
That too is for you to decide. YOU can create their stories.”

Curiouser and curiouser. 🙂

I wandered around, trying to see what clues I could find.  Inside the cottage above, there were traces of the inhabitants.

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It looks like they left expecting to come back – the table is still set for breakfast.  I’m not sure I’d want to climb up that ladder every night to go to bed, but the view out the windows is amazing!

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I tried to see if I could figure out who had been there and where they were, but no luck. 😦

The sim build is beautiful, though, so even if you’re not a sleuth, it’s still well worth visiting just to see it all.

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I found this gorgeous castle? temple? Inside was a – well, I’ll let you explore that part for yourselves. 😀

Have fun creating your own stories!

Byrd Island

Perusing my way through the Destination Guide, I came upon Byrd Island.  It sounded intriguing so I went to see for myself.

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The land description reads, “Take a step back in time to explore this once inhabited island. The Light house keeper and his family left the island never to return. Could it have been the birds, or something else? Byrd Island is now open for tours.”  Indeed, the island was empty of inhabitants, other than the multitude of birds.

Since the island was empty, save for me, I took the opportunity to take some time and experiment with the lens settings as per Myra Wildmist’s blog posts.  I was able to get the full sim shot above, though I obviously need some more practice!

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The island itself is a bit foreboding, with a windlight that gives it a spooky feel.  Add in the ravens flying around everywhere, and you can almost imagine Tippi Hedren running around screaming. 😀

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There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore, and since there is no one else about, don’t be shy about poking around.

This would be a wonderful place to take some spooky and/or eerie photos, now that Halloween is fast approaching. 😛

The Gates of Melancholy

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit The Gates of Melancholy. According to the land information, the sim is inspired by the life and work of famous American painter Andrew Wyeth.

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I’d seen pictures of the sim taken by several different SL photographers, so I was curious to head over and see it for myself.  I wasn’t disappointed.

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There are tons of areas to explore and the windlight is simply amazing. Sometimes I will find myself playing around with the windlight on sims to get different effects for my pics.  But I loved the windlight on this sim. 😀

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I think one of the reasons the sim is so appealing to me is that it reminds me of 1) home, and 2) simpler times.  No reminders of things that are ubiquitous today – cell phones, TVs, cars, etc. Just peace and quiet.

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I would love to live somewhere like this – near the shore, where I could listen to the waves crash on the beach, but high enough to be protected from most storms, sheltered by huge old trees.

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I’ve never lived near the water, so I am fascinated by places like this.  Being that close to so much water seems like it would be amazing.  Of course, I’m sure I wouldn’t appreciate the storms and hurricanes, but it’d be worth it, right? 😛

The sim is absolutely gorgeous, so hop on over and check it out.

Exploring Legacy Ridge

Legacy Ridge has been on my ‘to-visit’ list for quite some time now.  Things always seemed to get in my way, however, so I didn’t make it until yesterday.

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Legacy Ridge is a mix of urban and rural areas.  From the landing area, you enter a small town, complete with a mix of businesses and a few homes.

The first store I spotted was the florist – the bed of sunflowers caught my eye, since they are my state’s official flower. 🙂

I love wandering around all the different places people build – in part because I don’t own a lot of land in SL, and I never seem to have enough prims to go around. 😛

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I thought the ‘Falafel House’ was a hilarious pun, so I just had to snap a pic.  The main street of the town in Legacy Ridge is fantastically decorated, with tons of little touches and details.  I also liked ‘Joe Mamma’s Coffee House.’

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I found this fabulous fifties diner, complete with vintage neon sign.  There was also a terrific motel, which included an outdoor pool.  It reminded me of all the places we stopped on our vacation to the Grand Canyon when I was a child. (Not that I was born in the 50s – just to clarify.) 😀

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I think this is my favorite pic of the ones I took at Legacy Ridge.  You can see the whole town – main street, the motel, the bay, and the private homes up on the ridge.

I did wander up onto the ridge, and had a peek at some of the homes.  The information at the landing point said that some of the homes were private, but most of the ones I saw looked unoccupied.  It gave the whole place kind of an empty, hollow feel.

There were a lot of nice touches, though, including the mailboxes posted on the roads for each house – something I see every day where I live.
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After wandering past all the homes, I came across a more rural area of the sim, which included this fantastic farmer’s market stand.

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This little farm was behind the market stand, complete with outhouse and chicken coop. 🙂

Pop over and have a peek for yourself.

Cheeky Tiramisu Cafe

I’ve visited the Cheeky Tiramisu Cafe a couple of times before, but had never taken the time to wander around and check out the surrounding build.

After seeing it on the Destination Guide, I decided to head over and spend some time to see what I could find.

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The first thing you see is, of course, the cafe.  It’s wonderfully decorated – these pastries look so scrumptious! My sweet tooth had me drooling all over this display case. 😀

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Once you leave the cafe and wander a bit, there are lots of little hidden nooks and crannies filled with all kinds of cute and wonderful things.

These baby ducklings are adorable!

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On past some seating areas I found a bridge, which led to another area.  Here I found all sorts of fabulous buildings, including this quaint little cottage, complete with working water wheel.

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This building was my favorite – the round window reminds me of the all the rounded doors you find in the Shire where the Hobbits live. 😛

It was all just so homey and inviting.

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Of course, my travels wouldn’t be complete without a lighthouse, and Cheeky Tiramisu did not disappoint!  The lighthouse is just lovely, especially with all the floating lanterns tied to it.

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Beyond the houses and the lighthouse, I found another bridge that led me into yet another area.

When you visit, make sure you take the time to explore thoroughly.  There were several other areas I found that aren’t pictured here, but were gorgeous and beautiful and relaxing and soothing.

Cheeky Tiramisu is definitely going to be on my ‘return to’ list of places – beautiful, serene, and fabulous. 😀

Tranquil Beauty at Selidor

I’ve often visited Selidor, home of Fallen Gods.  Alia Baroque is well-known for his amazing skins.

However, I had never taken the time to wander around the sim, which is a shame, because it’s beautiful.
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After seeing Selidor listed on the Destination Guide, I decided to take a quick jaunt over there and see what I could find.

What I found was a wonderfully decorated sim.  I discovered two new areas I’d never seen before, including the island building in the picture above.

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A beautiful, tranquil, and magical place. There’s even a ‘Lost Town’ just waiting to be found. 🙂
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My favorite spot, though, was the absolutely fabulous gardens.  There are little hidden areas everywhere, each filled with lovely statues, furniture, and more.  I spent quite a bit of time exploring, because there was something new around each bend.

Ancient statues, hidden coves, gorgeous waterfalls – it was all just stunning.

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I would love to have a fountain like this one in my own garden.  Though many of the statues seem to have a Grecian influence, there were also statues with an Egyptian flavor, as well as a bridge that reminded me of Viking ships with their dragon figureheads.

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Of course there were fantastical elements all over, including this amazing statue.  The sim is a treasure trove of wonder, and you never know what you’ll find around the next corner.

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So if you find yourself shopping at Fallen Gods, don’t forget to step outside the store itself and explore this amazingly gorgeous area.

Ethereal Beauty at The Outer Garden

On a recent wander around SL, I spotted The Outer Garden on the Destination Guide.  It looked intriguing, so I headed over for a look.
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I have to say, when I arrived, my jaw just dropped.  The Outer Garden is an ethereal, fantastic, and breathtakingly gorgeous build. Many of the decor pieces are from {anc}, which gives the sim a cohesive feel.
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This little scene is absolutely adorable.  A whitewashed treat store with warm cocoa available and what looks to be Rudolph serving behind the counter. 😀

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As I wandered around, I kept finding hidden little areas and they were all fabulous.  I am a big fan of {anc}’s work, and the pieces have been used and placed so wonderfully.  The aesthetic of the decor is just stunning.
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This scene was one of my favorites. The bed is so ornate and beautiful and all the added pieces just add to the whimsy and fantasy.  I’m running out of adjectives to adequately describe just how beautiful it all is!
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Gorgeous – and these pictures don’t do it justice.  I did have a lovely time playing around with all the different photo filters in Firestorm, but when I went back to edit my photos, the sim windlight is spot on, so I ended up using the photos with no filters. 😛

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I love these dogs by {anc}, and judging by the number of times I’ve seen them used around SL, so does everyone else. 🙂

The little goldfish and bubbles emphasize the whimsical nature of the build.  I had a fantastic time wandering around and snapped a ton of pictures.

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The sim is truly magical and gorgeous and beautiful and you should definitely hop on over and have a wander around.  Take a friend, spend some time, and enjoy the ethereal beauty of The Outer Garden.

Nusquam – Welcome to Nowhere

I often say that I live in the middle of nowhere.  I really do – I live smack in the middle of the United States.  In fact, I live in almost the geographical center of the contiguous 48 States.  Can’t get much more ‘middle of nowhere’ than that, I don’t think.
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My nowhere looks pretty similar to Nusquam, except for the water and the rocks. Trees, railroads, old barns – those I can find everywhere around where I live. My small town is surrounded by farms, fields, pastures, and livestock.

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This is another familiar sight – tractors, fields, hay bales, old and/or dilapidated farmhouses.  Somehow it’s much more attractive in SL. 😛

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Horses grazing in the fields – also common, though around here it tends to be cows much more often than horses.  Horses are prettier. And smarter.  😀

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Lighthouses seemed pretty scarce in the middle of nowhere (go figure!), so I had to content myself with pictures of tractors.  I love the grungy, rusted, worn textures on these.  Although these days, the tractors I see are new, bright green and yellow, with enclosed cabs and air conditioning (farming seems very lucrative around here).

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I think this counts as a lighthouse, though the building portion is much more reminiscent of an old train station.  The old train stations in nearby towns have been converted into offices and museums.  One town still has a passenger train come through it, though.

Nusquam may be the middle of nowhere, but it is sure a sight prettier than my every day view.  I took these photos earlier this month, but just got around to editing them.  Nusquam seems to be a popular spot for photographers, as I have seen it all over Flickr and other social media.

It is well worth a visit – be sure to wear your boots, in case the horses left any ‘presents’ in the fields as you wander through. 😀