My adventure started this morning, when I logged in-world and received this rather lovely sun frock from PINK OUTFITTERS. It’s ideal for a virtual summer and features a lovely, bubbly skirt shape complimented by a snazzy white prim belt. How could I not embrace the holiday mood in such a pretty frock? After some minor tweaking of the belt and some serious rummaging in my inventory I was all set to go, adding my aptly titled TRES BLAH ‘Neato’ bag, ‘Arizona’ jewellery from GANKED and TRUTH ‘Iris’ hair to complete the look.
Look out sunshine, here comes Kitty!
But where to go? I don’t really know of any holiday resorts in-world, so how would I find a decent one? Lots of beaches are actually pervtastic nudie affairs and that was the last thing I need at the moment! Freenis on a Tuesday morning? I think not!Fortunately Cajsa Lilliehook , esteemed SL photographer and blogger for ‘It’s Only Fashion’ along with Gidge Uriza, came to my rescue. She’d recently kindly distributed a listing of locations she uses for her fashion photography, and the list covered a vast array of locations.
Sure enough, a few looked promising, so I took a leap of faith and I plumped for The HEART REEF RESORT
Trust Cajsa to have found such a stunning location! This is a true holiday paradise, primarily aimed at couples , but with it’s Mediterranean hues and stunning, rocky backdrop replete with romantic crashing waves it’s perfect for taking holiday snaps that will be the envy of your Second Life peers. But don’t stop at snaps, oh no..there’s LOTS to see and do here, as I soon discovered! First up when you rez on the beach you can collect FREE scuba gear, which really looks and sounds the part and before I knew it I was soon scuba diving courtesy of the Scuba Scooter Tour! One of the things I LOVE about Second Life is that you can ‘sort of’ experience things that you wouldn’t do in real life..of course it’s just fantasy but it’s fabulous fun all the same. I can tell you that scuba diving has never been on my ‘Do Want!’ list. I’m a firm believer in neither going up or under and staying firmly fixed to the ground. Call me a fuddy duddy, call me a wimp, I care not, I just know that it’s not for me, but here in-world I can virtually experience this kind of thing and have a ton of fun just the same! Seriously, it’s AGES since I had this much fun in Second Life, and I LOVE the fact that the owners of this sim have put so much effort in to make it look so beautiful, authentic, romantic and one of the best beach resorts upon the grid! Incidentally, when you embark upon the Scuba tour it takes you underwater into a mermaid’s retreat, and if you’re lucky you’ll see a mermaid or two. I was indeed blessed to see a beautiful vision dancing among the waves, although because of the tour I didn’t have the chance to stop and talk to her, it certainly seemed like she was having a whale of a time. Oh, speaking of whales (see what I did there?) listen out for the wonderful whale song as you paddle underwater and swim through shoals of Dory and assorted tropical fish. You may not find Nemo, but you will find a few sea monsters! The tour takes about ten minutes to complete, and if scuba isn’t your thing you can enjoy a swimming tour or even a a boat ride..there are loads to choose from via a board upon the beach.
After my watery adventures it was time for a sauna (yes, a sauna!) in the rather beautifully equipped beach side steam room. After you’ve cleansed your pores you can lie back in one of the hammocks or massage tables that are placed nearby.
There are even bottles of massage lotion for you to treat your partner to a relaxing rub down; of course I was on my own so lucked out, but I did find a stunning spot for a cup of tea and some meditation as the sun set…
Because this is a virtual world you can enjoy your sunset and flip back to midday at the click of a button, and that’s just what I did as I slipped on my sandals and went into the town centre. The atmosphere here is fabulous. No, I’m not joking, turn up your speakers and listen! Careful use of sound effects really make the difference here; there’s the sound of the ferries engines and horns blasting out across the sea, as well as hungry seagulls by the dock and as you travel into the town itself (which is based upon Mykonos and Santorini ) you hear the chatter of crowded streets, the braying of donkeys and even lunchtime clatter as you progress. The buildings are very pretty and the winding streets just beg to be explored, and again just like upon the beach you can opt to take one of many tours to enable you to enjoy all of the sim, and take some great photos too.
This time there are walking tours and bike rides geared towards both singles and couples, and it’s nice to see that tinies are accommodated too..but really this is somewhere to enjoy with a loved one, and I strongly suggest you do. Once I’d finished a surprisingly long walking tour of the resort I decided to quickly change and relax with a beer on the terrace as the strains of ‘Zorba’s Dance’ filled the air…blissful. I wish I’d a bowl of olives and a beer beside me in real life, that would have made my experience absolutely perfect!
Now that I’ve found this amazing virtual holiday destination I know that I will keep returning to enjoy it because it has so much to offer, and is so beautifully done. I don’t have many criticisms either; for starters you don’t get blasted with notecards when you rez in which makes a really refreshing change, although on this occasion I actually would have appreciated some tips on the best windlight settings to use at locations in the town and on the beach. There are tip jars (deposit freely, this place is so worth it!) and voting booths which aren’t really a major distraction either and it’s certainly worth your time to vote for this place so that hopefully more people can find out about it and enjoy all the wonderful experiences that it has to offer.
Alas, it can be laggy at times, and when you’re touring you can find your movements become a tad hesitant on occasion but that is the nature of the game unfortunately.
It’s a wonderful way to spend a few hours in world and a place that I know I will be recommending to all of my friends, and I am sure once you’ve visited you will be doing the same:)