Our founder Zach Adams and his wife Nikki became the proud new parents of twin boys: Ryan on the left with his father, and Quincy on the right.
"Oh dear," said Nikki, "they're expecting me at the office right away, but I don't want to leave them yet."
Zach assured his wife that he would take good care of the babies.
"We need to get our population up if I'm to get into the Agency. We need your Business District!"
"Of course, darling, I shall gladly go for you," Nikki said.
"Don't forget your promotion!" he teased.
Not much happened those first few days with the newborns, unless you counted bottles, dirty diapers and Nikki's promotions.
Ryan in the tux and Quincy in the sweater.
While Nikki skilled and worked to become a Business Tycoon, Zach continued to stay home with the little guys.
It was a far cry from his ambition to be Head of the SCIA, but things in Mesa Vista were progressing nicely. There wasn't much he could do about the situation, but that didn't mean he couldn't try to push things forward a little...
Under the guise of doing some grocery shopping, Zach paid a visit to one of the town's new businesses, Mesa Vista Country Market.
Oh, the intrigue! he thought wryly.
He was pleased to see that Kerie Ng was indeed the owner, proving the rumors true.
"Neil Cameron, you old coot, what've you been up to?"
"Zach, m'boy! I was just thinkin' this town could use a good old-fashioned diner. What I wouldn't give to go out to breakfast for some down-home eggs and bacon."
"Hey, Zach." Kerie smiled, looking up from the register. "You should stop by my house sometime. Diane and I are neighbors now."
"I'll take you up on that invitation, Kerie."
And so, the wheels were set in motion...
Carl Homeless was actually the first household I played in Week 2, though "house" is a loose term, as he is the star of my attempt at Callista's Homeless Challenge. The challenge is won when the homeless family sends a teen to college, which in itself has difficult requirements.
Carl immediately starting jumping rope, which is a good thing because he will need Body as well Charisma and Creativity in Callista's custom Homeless career.
Since Carl is a single guy at the moment, he can have only three Buy-Mode items placed on the lot at a time, so this alternates between the tent, a fridge, a toilet, a shower, a mirror and an easel. The fireplace is a Build-Mode object, which is not subject to the limit.
The rules say that primary aspirations are random, which I took to mean I had to roll for Carl's. He's Family with a LTW to have a Golden Anniversary. Poor guy, this isn't going to be easy for him.
I'm not sure I'll be able to stick with this challenge, but I wanted variety so we shall see...
It took all week for Carl to get promoted from Level 1 Bench Squatter to Level 2 Panhandler, due to high skill requirements and long hours 7 days a week.
Looks like Carl is conducting business with Nikki Adams at Neil Cameron's sports bar.
Neil wanted to be a Mad Scientist, but since that wasn't going to happen, he would settle for spending his twilight years living on his own terms with his own business.
The Dugout got its name because of its location across from the baseball diamond, and quickly became a favorite hangout for the residents of Mesa Vista.
Especially once we got the barstools turned in the right direction.
Neil and Madeleine Mazza soon became a team in the "Wednesday Night Shucks" matches.
Madeleine eventually asked Neil if he would like a roommate, after which he told her in Rocky fashion, "absolutely."
Madeleine knew she would never get her dream of Six Grandchildren with Neil, but she was very fond of him, and in the meantime she could put her sewing skills to good use and make something else with him, something they could do together...
Zach continued to monitor Mesa Vista's progress and was further encouraged when he heard an import store had popped up. He correctly surmised Shin's Orient could only be owned by...
"It's none other than Diane Shin! Look at you!"
"I saw Kerie the other day, she said you're neighbors."
"Yes, there are a few of us on our little street. Neil lives there too."
"Kerie invited me to her house, maybe I could stop and see you sometime too."
"Sure, then you can meet Stephan."
"Yes, my husband."
"You have a husband?" Zach asked incredulously.
"Why are you so surprised?" Diane asked a bit crossly.
"I-I'm not... really. Congratulations. It's just I thought I'd met everyone in Mesa Vista at the Hoops and I don't remember a Stephan. Where did you meet him?"
"You got some time? It's a long story."
"When I got to my new house, Madeleine Mazza was passing by and had a good chuckle at my t-shirt."
"That wasn't very nice."
"Come on, you know it made me look a bit wacko. She didn't mean anything by it, she even offered to sew me something more sophisticated once she was good enough.
"I told her about my hasty retreat from Sim City, that I had left the rat race without a thought of changing out of my goofing-off-at-home clothes, that I needed some serious R&R and that's how I ended up in Mesa Vista. She asked what I wanted to do here, and I said 'what everyone in Mesa Vista does, dig for treasure until you can afford to set up and run your own community business.'
"Then she said that didn't sound like much of a break to her, and had I ever considered taking a vacation... a real vacation."
"So that's what I did."
"I went to Takemizu Village and checked into the cheapest hotel there. I wasn't exactly loaded with cash as you well know, so I could only afford to stay four days."
"The first thing I did of course was buy something to wear that was more suitable for... sightseeing, and then saw the tour guide."
"The first place he told me about was the wishing well."
"What did you wish for?" Zach asked.
"Patience... in good time."
"I will say right after that, I didn't exactly get my wish."
"I went to all the places the tour guide suggested, and it was delicious..."
"And the day before I had to leave, I had one of the locals take a picture to remember my time in Takemizu by."
"On my last night there, I met Stephan Go."
"And that's when my wish finally came true."
"When I left the next morning, I felt like the weight of the world, or at least my suitcase, had been lifted from my shoulders."
"Because I would never be alone again."
"So yes, I hope sometime you do come over and meet my Stephan."
"... Thank you for that, Diane. Well, I'd better get home now."
"Zach sure seems eager to get reacquainted with us," Diane told Marie Sims, who had moved into a house on the same street as Diane, Kerie and Neil. "Has he stopped by here by any chance?"
"No, and I've been holed up here trying to max all my skills, then I'll be set for life."
"At least you don't want to be a Mad Scientist like most of us."
Marie started her first week with all the skills required for a Celebrity Chef.
Unfortunately, stargazing in Mesa Vista did not come without peril, nor did it help with meeting the fire requirements to open a position in Law Enforcement.
Before I knew it, Marie's week was up, and she was well on her way to becoming perma-plat, even without Zach Adams.
**Click here for Part II**