We sat on the screened-in porch of her house and talked as the sun went down around us. The surf and gulls got a little louder, and the sky turned red.
All of this was in Second Life of course, in a simulation -- or "sim" -- that she built using SL's tools. It's beautiful, and remarkable work she's done, more so because she's been in SL for less than a year.
We even had coffee and cookies, Ida put them out on the table for us and showed me how to have my avatar take a cup of coffee. I figured out myself how to make the avatar drink the coffee.
When I drink coffee in-game, the avatar tosses it back like drinking a shot of tequila. Doing that in real life will sear your throat from palate to lungs, but it doesn't seem to do my avatar any harm.
Likewise, I can make my avatar laugh, but only if I want him to throw his head back and let out a huge, braying guffaw. Makes me look like an idiot. I haven't figured out a way to just chuckle knowingly in-game.
I discovered Ida through her blog, Baedeker, a tourist guide to Second Life. If, like me, you want to roam around Second Life and look at all the things people have built, Baedeker is a good place to go. It's the name for a real-life tourist guide begun in the 19th century.
Ida showed me a couple of the things she's seen in Second Life, including Roma SPQR, a reproduction of ancient Rome. I'm a bit of a Roman history buff, as well as a fan of the show on HBO, so I got a special kick out of Roma SPQR. We also visited Spaceport Alpha, a museum of spaceflight in SL, with reproductions of real-life rockets and other spaceships.
At that point, my Second Life client crashed and, by the time I logged back in again, I only had a minute or two longer before I had to return to real life (or, as we say in SL, "RL") and do some real work.