Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Europe tour 2013 continued...

All right, it's time for the second part of this story.

Honestly, there's not quite as much to tell about my stops in Amsterdam and Paris since these were almost purely session stops -- no videos or live performances.  But there was A LOT of wrestling, and there were some funny moments also.

I left London Monday morning on a too-early flight from London City Airport.  The silly thing was that everyone assured me this airport was very close to the studio and easy to get to, but no one knew exactly how to do it.  So I left even earlier to manage the trip, and I ended up on the only flight of my life that's been too short -- no time to nap!

I arrived too early to check into the hotel, but that gave me a nice chance to do a tiny bit of sightseeing and stroll around the Vondelpark and up the Leidesplein.  After check-in, I had three back-to-back sessions -- all with guys who'd booked wrestling but ended up preferring muscle worship.  That was a bit restful after my busy time in London and my early morning travel, but, on the other hand,  I've never done so much arm wrestling in so short a period!

The next day was quite miserable and rainy, which was perfectly fine since it was my major stay-in-and-session day.  One gentleman in particular was completely endearing -- not only was he fun to wrestle, but as a gift he brought me a rubber ducky mascot from his soccer club (so sweet!) and Murakami's 1Q84 trilogy.  This has become the very next item on my reading list; an inspired gift.

And then there was Wednesday.  This was the day I reserved for sightseeing since I'd never been to Amsterdam before.  I mapped out a walking circuit of the city with more stops on it than I could possibly make.  I figured I'd just set out, stop when I felt like stopping, and skip things when I felt like walking.

Stop number one was pancakes.  When I saw Bettie in London, she'd just come from Amsterdam and she "warned" me that the food was awful -- all potato fries and waffles.  I personally couldn't see a thing wrong with this and vowed to sample fries, waffles, and any other local delicacies I encountered, which I found included pancakes, cheese, and beer.  I admit my diet usually consists of "do more exercise" unless I'm preparing for any specific event.

Next I wandered a bit through the Jordan district, where I found two specialty balloon stores right across the street from each other.  Alas, it was still too early for them to be open, and I had to press on.  I came upon the Tulip and the Cheese Museums, which equalled gifts for my mother and sister (tulips) and my father, brother, and 2nd sister (cheese).

I passed the Palace and the New Church and did a bit of lovely, upscale window shopping.  (I would really buy too much at Desigual if I let myself get started).  I headed on to the Old Church, where I got to witness the uncanny degree of secularism in Amsterdam.  At the New Church there had been a visiting exhibit of Ming Dynasty art on display.  At the Old Church they were installing another exhibit "The Museum of Broken Relationships," which featured mementos and text explanations that people across the world had donated commemorating their break-ups.  Plus, the Old Church was smack in the middle of the Red Light District, so the working ladies in their display windows were actually facing the church wall across a tiny little foot path.  Fascinating, and quite un-American.

From there, I headed to Central Station and walked along the water to the Maritime Museum.  I was running low on time now, so I didn't try to go in.  But my hopes were fulfilled and there was an exhibit of historic canal boats moored outside the museum.  I had a great time looking these over, and then I continued to the Botanic Garden, where I used the same tactic of circling the place and seeing what I could see over the walls and through the windows.  I was trying to save enough time to get to the Stedelijk Modern Art Museum.

I soon realized, though, that I would never make it to the Stedelijk before closing, so I detoured into the FOAM Photography Museum.  Not a bad choice.  And very entertainingly, one of the exhibits was "Dalton Anatomy," a series of photos of sculptures the artist had made from found objects and refuse in Ridley Road Market -- which was practically next door to where I'd just been staying in London.

I wrapped up the day with a pass through the Museumsplein (even though everything was closed), a delicious grilled salmon dinner (have to take myself out nicely at least once per trip), and one last late-night session.

The next day I headed on to Paris, but before I leave Amsterdam, I will note that the single strangest thing about the stop was the manager at my hotel.  Bettie had also warned me that her Amsterdam hotel had given her trouble over having guests to her room.  I happily had not a bit of trouble myself, but her warning did make me hyper-conscious of the front desk and whether they seemed to be over-interested in the hotel comings and goings.  In the three days and nights I was there, no matter what time I passed by, the same manager was NEVER not at that desk.  I hope it was a set of triplets because otherwise it was a cleverly disguised robot.  Actually spooky.

Onwards to Paris.  Of this stop, there is very little to say except that it was the busiest session stop I have ever made.  I was lucky to arrive again earlier than I was able to check in to my hotel because in the time I killed waiting I walked two blocks and discovered, without trying, the best almond croissant in the world.  This was the extent of my exploration in Paris, and I'm sure I could have had equally good success at any patisserie in the city.  Lucky too that I've made more leisurely, touristy trips to Paris before.

Once I did check into my hotel, I immediately had six sessions that day, fell into bed, and was up at 5:30 am to get started again at 6.  Wonderful stop, wonderful people, wonderful matches with everything from hard competitive wrestling to tickle bondage to boot domination.  Next time I'll plan a longer stop!

So that concludes my Eurotour 2013 Travelogue.  In conclusion, I will be back in 2014, without a doubt.  Some planning is needed, but I expect even more stops (at the very least, Germany, I won't miss you next time!) and more wrestling ;)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

europe travel account 2013 (london)

Written on the train b/w Amsterdam & Paris...just getting to post now:

There are no really appropriate words for how overdue I am for a blog entry, so I'll just fall back on the handy phrase “better late than never” and go from there.

I'm 2/3 of the way through my European tour right now,on the rapid train between Amsterdam and Paris. Pity it's such a grey, rainy day (again!) because I'm sure the view along the way would be lovely in sunshine.

Anyway, my first stop in London was an absolute, exhausting blast. So great seeing Monica and Richard again after years since my last London trip, and so great seeing Minxy, Venom, and Honey after their recent visits to NYC (fucking awesome how many Londoners we've had visiting New York lately; means I already know a ton of people when I visit there!)

Also, the was definitely one of the most competitive wrestling-filled tour stops I've ever made. On top of the fact that I went over for Monica's video event to fight some amazing women, quite a lot of the guys in London like to go all out as well.

I flew over Thursday night, and didn't get a direct flight, something I will never do again. So after some chopped up napping on the plane, napping in Reykavik (appropriately very cold), and napping on the second plane, I arrive slightly late in London. I struggle all my baggage (yes, I am carrying my travel mats too) down to the Underground, where the ticket machine won't take my credit card. I head back to currency exchange, then back to the subway. Now I am rushing, rushing to make it to my first session. I arrive at Monica's studio in a rained-on flurry, but ready to go. That's when I get the message that instead of the three sessions I thought I had that day, I really have five! Thank goodness Monica brought me snacks – think it saved my life ;)

So I powered through that night, and had a fabulous time – competitive, semi-comp domination with a huge opponent, competitive again, brutal Boston crab domination (crazy! – I think this guy was more masochistic than flexible, but, wow, he could take a lot, so fun!), and finally lift & carry with a gentleman who only liked shoulder rides.

The next day was sessions in the morning and the video event at night. I won't say how the matches turned out since they're all for Monica's video store, but I will say my two matches were extremely hard fought! I went up against Antscha first, and I was very curious going in to this one. I fought Antscha on my lat trip to London, and I'd heard over and over that she's gotten a lot better since then. But so does everyone who trains – I wondered how much better. Well, A LOT. Antscha was a fantastic opponent who pushed me so hard! She's gotten more skilled, and considerably stronger too! She had the power advantage over me, so I had to be tricky to get my advantages.

My second match was with Bettie. I'd fought her before too, and I'd ALSO been told she'd gotten better since then. In her case, that scared me a little since I already remembered her as one of my toughest-ever opponents. I just hoped I'd gotten equally better. The Antsha match had been hard enough that my arms were actually shaking a little before the match with Bettie. But I knew once we got going that would all disappear. And indeed it did. We fought that match hard, and it was SO close, and so back-and-forth, and thank goodness it was the last one because afterward instead of shaking I was just aching. And then we all went out for Vietnamese food – hooray! Much needed.

I also want to thank all the guys who came out to watch the event, especially the ones who met me beforehand for sessions so I got a chance to see you again. Thanks to my two great opponents. Thanks to the other ladies Venom, Tyger, Geri, and Lydia for putting on great fights, so I got to watch some as well as be in them. And a HUGE thanks to Minxy Li for photos because the one great disaster of this trip is that I forgot my camera charger.

Last day in London. Again sessions in the morning and videos afterwards. The afternoon was spent filming some mixed matches with Monica and Richard. I'm afraid I traumatized their poor victim a bit with a rather tight elbow tie as we were doing a bondage finale to a domination match. Oh dear, he did not like that at all, no he didn't. My second video there was a sporty sort of BJJ match with Richard. A lot of flow and movement, and a lot, a lot of holds. After that it was on to shoot number two.

I bussed over to LWS where I had a request for a custom in the Villainess Bondage style. This one was even more elaborate with five different ladies involved. Venom I already knew, but I got to meet Isabella, Puma, and Ivy as well. Isabella was on my team, but the rest of the ladies I got to tie up :)

After this mega project, there were two videos to go. The great tragedy of October's NYC Mega-Filming was that the footage of my excellent bondage match with Minxy was lost. So Minxy, Honey, and I arranged that I would bondage wrestle Honey's “boy” in exchange for her reshooting Me vs. Minxy.

Now I assumed bondage wrestling someone's boy would be a straight out domination, but it became immediately apparent that this guy planned to fight – hard! So I cranked the level right up on this match and took it to him viciously. At first we were trying to do the bondage with some special-for-the-occasion, extra-long pink ropes of Honey's. But they were so very long that it was impossible to do anything but make a tangle. Then Minxy tossed my short white ropes in to me, and the binding started. Once the ropes were cinched tight and all the thrashing and squirming were shut down, then I was able to bring the long ropes back to decorate my captive with pretty pink bows ;) In contrast to my early victim that day, the more horrifically rough and evil I was to this guy, the more he liked it!

And finally, my rematch with Minxy! So wonderfully good! Many, many people will not attack when they bondage wrestle me, or they'll forget within a minute. Not Minxy! She kept getting ropes around my arms, making it so hard for me to do anything, and causing all kinds of trouble. Plus she's hilarious and incorrigible with all her banter and chatter. Unluckily for her, though, I had just done a two-hour bondage session that morning where I had a chance to work out a brilliant new tie. I was beyond determined to recreate it, and ultimately, it looked great on Minxy! She says she'll get me next time, though – we pledged an ongoing bondage rivalry, and I can't wait until she comes back to New York for our next installment.

Oh, dear god, look how long this has gotten. We'll have to talk about Amsterdam and Paris in another post.