On this grid I actualize the worlds I imagine, conjure my wildest daydreams, and walk a path unknown. I am here to create a fantasy for others to enjoy. Landscaping is my medium, my love language, and my story.
– TONAL (Avalyn Aviator)
At the start of 2022 I visited the TONAL brand regions, held and designed by TONAL (Avalyn Aviator) who, despite hailing from California, has a clear love of France. At the time, the two regions offered an engaging mix of Parisian cityscape and open French countryside (see: A trip to France in Second Life); since then, the estate has grown somewhat. So, given this, and the fact that I had a timely reminder from Shawn Shakespeare concerning the estate, I thought bookending the year somewhat with a return visit as 2022 draws to a close might be a good idea.
Gone now is the cityscape I encountered in January 2022; instead, the three core regions of the estate offer a more rural setting, caught in the depths of winter. At the western end of these three regions sits the open countryside of Lake Siren, offering a memory of Village des Chasseurs de la Valle de Londyn which stood within it at the time of my January 2022 visit. However, this is just an echo; the landscape has changed considerably, now being built around a smaller village, within which can be found properties available for rent.
This is curious place, inasmuch is sitting in the middle are a couple of light aircraft parked on a small apron – although how they got here is a mystery; however, each has its own little secret. Touch the red-and-white DSN Debonair and you’ll be transported to your home location; the C90 King Air, meanwhile offers an experience-based teleport to the TONAL airport, sitting further to the west of the regions I’m exploring here, and so beyond the scope of this article.
Close to this village sits a rather interesting camp site (or I assume it is), although whether units here, both on the ground and up on tree boughs, can be rented was not immediately clear to me. To the north of the village, the land drops away around the edge of a narrow-necked inlet cutting into the rugged landscape. Fed by a series of waterfalls dropping into it from two ends, the inlet forms a T-shape, the east side of its stem forming a long tongue of land ending in a bridge passing over the water’s neck.
To the north of the region, the land is largely given over to a private house and grounds, whilst westwards the land opens out in rolling, snowy countryside. Here can be found rezzing points, allowing visitors to drop a car or – as I would suggest – a horse or other rideable, and take to exploring. The major road runs more-or-less due west, and sadly doesn’t offer a route up to the façade of the hilltop hotel.
Travel far enough westwards along the road and you’ll come to a stone bridge providing access to the third of the regions I explored. The home of the city setting at the time of my start-of-year visit, this region – TONAL Family – is now given over to the huge and impressive Château de Chantilly. Open to the public, this contains echoes of the city build; its rooftop bar brings to mind the (more ostentatious) Jardin et Salon de Thé found within the January build, whilst the considered use of statues in the ground also helps give a sense of continuity between the two very different settings – something I always enjoy finding.
Within the chateau there is much to be found: an art gallery, museum, library, lounges, a spa, the Chateau also offers luxury rooms for those looking for a place in which to spend time. Details of the rooms and rates can be found on the TONAL website, which also provides information on the estate’s rentals and the TONAL airport, mentioned above. Those staying at the chateau gain access to all of its facilities, which also include horse riding, hunting, swimming and horse racing.
Taken together, these three regions within the TONAL estate offer an interesting and generally photogenic visit with plenty of opportunities for exploration. However, I do have to be honest; in places, there is a lot going on, and as a result frame rates can take a hit, so be prepared to drop your draw distance or disable Shadows (if used), other than when taking photos.
The TONAL estate is rated Moderate.