Supposedly the second-biggest celebrity hotspot in the country, after Bridgeport.
Our family moved here years ago, when I was still a child. I think it was mostly for Mum’s benefit – she had always loved fishing outdoors, and honestly there weren’t a lot of great fishing spots in Bridgeport. Starlight Shores, on the other hand, was full of open lakes and beaches, but I wouldn’t really call it a quiet town. It was a real hotspot for anyone looking to make it to the big time in performance, like my grandma – Mum told me she was a famous singer. I was pretty young when she died so I didn’t remember her very well, but I imagined she would have loved it here.
Soon after we moved, our cousins and their families followed. Apparently all of my aunts and uncles were convinced, like Mum and Dad, that Starlight Shores would be a perfect place to raise their children. I was pretty happy about it, personally. At least this way, the whole family could stay together.
In spite of my environment, I had never had much interest in becoming a celebrity – at least not in the typical sense of the word. Since I was little, everyone around me – my parents, my friends, my teachers – had told me that I was a genius. With your brains, they said, you could do anything. Now that I was in high school, I seemed to be one of the few people my age who actually knew what they wanted to do with their future. After I graduated, I was going to get a degree in communications at the best university I could get to, and when I came home I’d begin my career in politics. That was the plan, anyway, and I had been working towards it for as long as I could remember.
I had always been a bit different from my siblings. If it comes to that, we were all pretty different from each other. My sister Emily was two years younger than I am, but beneath all the make-up she wore, we were pretty much identical in looks. To call her a ‘troublemaker’ would be putting it lightly, though I guess some would say she was just a typical rebellious teen.
Emily didn’t do as well as I did in school, but I had to admit she was a pretty damn good mechanic.
A skill like that, coupled with a delight for chaos and mischief, and it’s no wonder she was grounded eighty percent of the time.
Not that a simple grounding ever stopped Emily. I was the only one in the family who knew that she snuck out every other night. I had my suspicions about what she, in all her underaged glory, got up to on those nights, but I would never tell Mum and Dad – they worried about her enough as it was. As long as she wasn’t doing anything too illegal, it wasn’t really any of my business.
Our little brother, Flynn, had always been our parents’ favourite. All three of us knew it, but I don’t know if Mum and Dad realised it. He wasn’t bad as far as brothers go, and he certainly never annoyed me the way Emily did. He spent most of his time sitting in front of the television instead, like the little couch potato he was.
When he wasn’t glued to the couch, he was sitting at the breakfast bar scoffing any leftovers he could find in the fridge. We all thought it was a miracle that he was still as thin as he was.
Like Emily, Flynn wasn’t too motivated in school. It wasn’t that he was struggling, exactly – he was just too lazy to put in the work. His teachers always said the same things… “he’s a smart boy”, “he could do so well if he tried”. My brother was a smart kid, but unlike Emily, who used it for mischief, and I, who put my intelligence into academic success, Flynn just didn’t bother using his brain at all.
Then there were our parents.
Mum had grown up in Bridgeport, and met Dad there when they were both teenagers. They got married, and my siblings and I were all born in Bridgeport before we moved here.
Mum was passionate about fishing, and had been a self-employed angler ever since she graduated high school. She seemed really happy in Starlight Shores, where there are lakes and beaches everywhere. Dad, meanwhile, had apparently always dreamed of becoming a world-famous chef. Back in Bridgeport, he had a pretty high-ranking job at the local bistro, but now that we lived in Starlight Shores he was working as a sous-chef at a fancy restaurant in town.
Lately, Dad had also got really into practical science. When we moved to Starlight Shores, he had splurged on a full chemistry setup in the basement, where he now spent hours after work with his textbooks and chemicals, trying to discover new ‘potions’. So far, all he had really managed to make was a bottle of what he triumphantly named ‘stink-juice’ – much to Emily’s mischievous delight.
One evening, while Emily misused Dad’s inventions and Flynn blasted the TV on full volume, I stayed holed up in my room, trying to study but unable to hear myself think.
I was about to get up and go yell at both of my siblings to be quiet, when my door opened of its own accord and my sister slipped into the room behind me. Deciding to ignore her in the hope that she would leave, I sighed and determinedly returned to my work.
“Hey, Di.” So much for her leaving. I scowled and didn’t reply.
“Di?” Shut up and go away, I willed her in my head. Can’t you see I’m trying to study? However, as always, Emily either didn’t pick up on my not-so-subtle hints or simply ignored them.
“Di! Oi, Diana! Can you hear me?” Impatiently, she snatched the pen from my hand and tapped me sharply on the head with it. “Hey!”
“Hey, yourself!” I snapped at her. “Can’t you see I’m trying to work?!”
“Yeah,” she grinned. “But I wanted to talk to you.”
I knew that she wouldn’t leave me alone until I agreed to listen to whatever she had in mind. Grudgingly, I slid out of my chair and stood up to face her with my arms folded firmly.
“What is it?”
“Okay, so I just thought of this really cool idea-”
“Wait a second,” I interrupted her. “Is this some kind of evil plan you need my help with? ‘Cause you know that’s not going to happen.”
“But Diiii…” she whined.
“But I really, really can’t do this without you! You can trust me, it’s going to be soooo much fun.”
“No, Emily.” I felt a little bad for turning her down so quickly, until I reminded myself that what she was planning was almost certainly harmful and probably not very legal. “You know how I feel about that kind of stuff.”
“Yeah, yeah,” she rolled her eyes. “But this time’s different, I swear.”
“Yeah, right. That’s what you said the last time. Just leave me alone about it, okay? I don’t want anything to do with your damn suicide missions!”
Her pleading look twisted into a scowl, and she jabbed an accusing finger at me.
“Yeah, you wouldn’t want to risk damaging your squeaky clean reputation, would you? You need to get out sometimes, Di, and fucking live a little!”
“Hey, that’s not fair!” I retorted. “Just because I don’t have to have the cops on my tail all the time to get any fun out of life like you-”
“Yeah, you’d rather suck up to everyone and be Little Miss Perfect, right?”
“Well, I’d rather be a suck-up than a criminal!”
“Then I guess that’s where we differ.”
“Yeah, I guess so,” I spat back through clenched teeth.
Emily scowled at me, and I turned away from her contemptuously. “Just get the hell out of my room.”
After my spat with Emily, I went to bed seething. Tempers were still high the next morning, when I crept downstairs an hour before the bus was due to get ahead on some work before school.
I was surprised to see my sister already seated at the breakfast bar with a bowl of cereal in front of her. She seemed to have decided to ignore me, however, which I was all too grateful for as I sat down at the computer to do my work.
By the time eight o’clock rolled around, I was on the footpath outside and making my way towards the bus before either of my siblings had even left the house. This was pretty normal – Emily and Flynn were only ever on time for things when they wanted to be there. And that definitely didn’t apply to school.
Besides being the first out the door in the morning, I was almost always the last home of the three of us. With Mum and Dad both working high-paying jobs, money had never been much of an issue for our family. I didn’t work part-time for the money. I wanted to teach myself responsibility and new skills, and on top of that, I’d heard that having work experience as a student provided a significant advantage when entering university. Within a few weeks of my sixteenth birthday, I had secured a job at the local grocery store, where I had been working now for over a year.
My job mainly consisted of checking stock and helping customers. Sometimes I took over the register, but I was interrupted so often that I soon moved exclusively to sales and another girl was hired to work at check-out.
The manager of the store, and my boss, was a woman named Belli. She was generally kind to me and the other employees, although she had been quite strict at first. Eventually, once she realised that I could be trusted, she eased up a little, and now the two of us got along so well I would almost have considered her a friend.
“Hey, Diana! Your shift’s over, you can go home now, hun!”
“Thanks, Belli!” I called back. “See you tomorrow, then!”
I didn’t bother to change out of my uniform before leaving the store through the back employees-only exit. I passed one of my coworkers in the storeroom on my way out, who bade me a cheerful goodbye as I left.
The grocery store was only a few blocks away from my house, so it took me only a few minutes to walk home. As I made my way up the front path, I could hear muffled shouting coming from inside, and sighed. Sounded like Emily and Dad were arguing… again.
“… completely unacceptable!” I heard Dad yelling as I paused on the other side of the door, wondering whether it was safe to go inside. “You’re never going to get anywhere in life if you keep doing this, Emily!”
“Geez, Dad, chill out! It’s just one bad grade, it’s not the end of the world!”
“It wouldn’t be this much of a problem if it was ‘just one bad grade’,” Dad cried angrily. “You’re failing all of your classes, Emily! You can’t keep doing this! Your mother and I will not put up with it, do you hear me? You had better start putting some effort into your education, young lady, or we’ll be shipping you off to boarding school within the month!”
Emily fell into a sulky silence, and I picked the moment to get into the house and safely upstairs as quickly as possible. I could feel my sister’s glare on the back of my head as I walked past, but I ignored her. I had enough to deal with as it was, and no desire whatsoever to involve myself in Emily’s mess as well.
With or without her help, my life was about to get a whole lot more complicated.
As you’ve obviously realised by now, I decided to move the family to a different town at the start of the new generation – partly because Bridgeport was getting unplayably laggy, on top of having a reputation for bad performance, but also just because I prefer the aesthetic of Starlight Shores overall. In hindsight, considering Nicole’s LTW, I probably should have started the legacy here to begin with. Ah, well… makes it more interesting, right?
Anyway, since we have a large timeskip and a new house separating this generation from the last, allow me to leave you with a bunch of bonus pictures to apologise for the lateness of this update.
First, a check-in on the extended family (who did indeed move to the new town pretty much just so that they could stay in the story). Aidan’s, Bridie’s, Cody’s and Tyler’s families all settled down in modest houses around Starlight Shores.
Aidan and Violet are both adults. Their eldest daughter, Iris, is now a young adult, and both of her siblings Terrance and Jamie were teens when they first moved in, although I believe both are now young adults in-game. The family also has a couple of story-progression-induced dogs.
Bridie (adult) and her son Alfonso moved in together with their plethora of dogs. Alfonso has recently become a teen in-game.
I don’t know what it is with this family and dogs, but Cody and Vivien have had their fair share as well. Here they are pictured with their son Ethan, who has since grown into the cutest (and I mean that in an ‘aww look at the widdle puppy dog’ kind of way) sim teen I have ever had. He now has a much younger brother (currently a toddler) named Ron. Cody is also an adult now, and seems to have inherited his father’s receding hairline.
And finally, Tyler and Herbert, with their young offspring. The eldest (in the yellow shirt) is Carolina, followed by Chana (the toddler) and Charlie (the baby on the right) who is, by the way, a boy. As you can see, this family is also drowning in dogs.
And now to the main house.
Similarly to the house back in Bridgeport, most of the lower floor is an open-plan kitchen-living-dining area, as well as a bathroom and laundry off to the side.
Whole room, from the TV perspective:
Below is the party room, small and classy, for hosting events and house parties indoors:
The back garden consists of a hot tub, barbecue area, and large pool with recliners.
The front garden is mostly plants, with a clothesline set up just outside the laundry door.
Street view of the house:
Aerial overview of the property:
Second floor plan:
The second floor is mostly bedrooms leading off the upstairs hallway (pictured below) with an extra bathroom.
Bianca and James’ Room:
Bianca and James’ Ensuite Bathroom:
And that’s it! Stay tuned for the next chapter, which should (hopefully) be out by next week 🙂