A year ago I posted about Devotion, the Birmingham based FemDomme event and how I was going primarily to disprove a persistent notion about how large an entourage of maids (and indeed Dommes)they had. Yes, I have a long memory, I'm very much aware of that. Of course that was utter rubbish (and deals with the fantasy vs reality) but the event, venue and indeed the necessity to book a few nights in a hotel made going something of an adventure and both of us had been discussing going again. Initially we were looking at June or thereabouts however the dates for 2016 changed and whilst neither of us fancied January/February... May could be good: hopefully close enough to summer that we'd not have to deal with the usual English weather either.
So I set about booking a hotel, time off work was booked and everything seemed pretty good. I even had a head start on the packing as, frankly, I've not been anywhere in 2016 other than Burns Night in January (and a blog post that, as I type this, I'm still working on) beyond a bit of a dent in my bank account no major problems arose. Well other than the fact that the digital calendar that myself and the 'Decision Making Unit' use decided that no, it'd be more fun to assign that to a private calendar, colour it the same as our 'maybe going' one and sit there looking dumb. So I'm getting excited, the DMU is wondering why and pretty much the week before we went the penny finally dropped and a hurriedly booked day off was acquired. It's both of our faults: Mine for not double checking the confuser and her for forgetting that whilst she's using an iPhone, I'm limping along with Android... the two have mutual incompatibilities.
If you have an issue with that statement, bury it in a deep dark place. I've used Android since 1.0 and it's always been worse than iOS. End. Of.
So with that technological snafu corrected we're in the West Bromwich hotel right next to Xtasia and it hadn't changed much, it's still a city centre hotel and it's taken a bit of a beating. Not that this in anyway impeded our stay. Food was excellent, room was Ok, weather was.... quite odd really.
The day we arrived was a glorious sunny day with the temperature supposedly around 23C and when we were sat at in the restaurant eating our evening meal the heavens opened. Thunder, lightning, all very very frightening and we watched the rain bouncing off of the pavement. Not 24hrs later and the sky was clear, pavements dry and the sun was beating down as if nothing had ever happened. Welcome to spring in England I guess, not that what fell from the sky was a 'light shower' although my weather app was quite adamant it was such.
In the morning it was the usual routine, getting up, shower shave and lounging around the room in a post breakfast stupor waiting for everything to dry off so we could get clothes on. It's kind of interesting always being in the same hotel for the same reason as you have the same amount of downtime with nothing to do but look out the window and see the world go by or in my case how the little housing development is progressing over the year, answer: slowly but they are continuing to build. Yes, I'm aware it's a bit weird but I find it interesting to see how the world changes around us without ever really noticing unless you're not a local.
The major issue I, personally, had was that when the Mk3 Pink thing had returned from the cleaners a label had been attached warning about permanent stains that couldn't be removed... now hindsight being 20/20 I should have more strongly argued about brining a spare outfit. Whilst the decision maker was correct that nobody could see them... I think this was the final outing of the Mk3 :( It looks like a The Boat 2: Electricboogaloo really delivered a beating I couldn't see because of the dark (it was worn at a HOWL, Boat 2 and this Devotion in that order). I was slightly irked that the outfit had only 3 outings BUT I tempered this with the knowledge that it was made from a pattern and a Mk4 was only a phone call and payment away.
Ohh and it appears I've put on weight. DAMN IT! Gonna have to get a bit fitter for July. So the corset was exceptionally tight... at least it took the strain.
As neither of us were working the venue we figured that showing up about 30min after doors open would be a good move, it's let everything settle, we didn't need to 'hurry' and we'd still get to spend most of our time enjoying ourselves. Good plan. Shame that my other half's watch had crashed, yeah I don't quite get the whole smartwatch thing either, without her realising and was permanently showing either a static time of 14:45 OR had about 8 hours of clock drift. So... WE thought it was 14:45, acting like it was 14:45 but in reality? We shoved up at about 13:59 wondering what was going on.
On the plus side it was a glorious sunny day as both of us walked out the hotel and made our way next-door (litterally), yep we had some amusing, amused and bemused looks from people as we strolled along. I really don't get the issue, who hasn't seen a sissy maid wandering around? LOL.
Getting in to the venue was, as anticipated, a breeze. Phones were handed over and stored in a bag, our Xstasia card was swiped (surprisingly still valid despite never being used except last year) and we handed over our cash, all very polite all very up market (as I mentioned last year) and yes, their card machine works.
The only major downside to Xstasia is that it, like many such venues, doesn't have any form of air conditioning present. So beyond the breeze as the front door was open and the draught from the smoking area... it was rather warm in places, mainly where people were congregating. But other than wondering if I'd fit in the bars fridge a few times it wasn't a major issue, just had to make sure to drink plenty of fluid (and with the weight I was aiming for bottled water more often than you'd expect).
After a brief chat with Miss Treat and Alan and the ever present Toy Soldier (nice guy, always smartly dressed) my DMU decided it she was in the mood for some coffee & cake, so we went in to the little room and she found a nice place to sit. Now this room is where you'll find the maids who are actually working the venue, at least during these functions at the event. Interestingly enough, despite all having collars I did see more than a few slip ups... nothing major but still enough to raise an eyebrow between the two of us.
Not that I could do much about it, with the heat I was busy fanning the people at the table (and myself occasionally) using the jumbo Chinese 'battle' fan. I was actually quite surprised just how much air it was able to move with marginal effort... neat, every one was cool and happy... full of cake as well (didn't have any personally but it looked nice, they even had gluten free and full veggie options).
We spent most of our time wandering around, watching the kinky versions of musical chairs, pass the parcel and sitting outside chatting both between ourselves and to other guests (contact details were swapped and so on and so forth). We even headed in for a bit of a play on some of the kit that has appeared further in to the venue, I swear this wasn't here last year although perhaps we didn't go down that far? Still it was a fairly nice addition to find, perhaps not as good quality as the kit in the main area but still very sturdy and suitable for getting a fresh set of happy bruises.
Got to admit that whilst my beloved Decision Making Unit doesn't tend to carry around an impressive bag of toys with her, she's really getting quite good with that fan although we both agreed that she needs more practice with the whip. Not that it didn't feel wonderful just that her aim needs work, hey we've all got to start somewhere and I'm a pretty good target practice dummy :D
With herself worn out and myself quite happy we stayed chatting to people, enjoying the odd breeze and generally letting our hair down whilst others played (it does make a nice accompaniment to any conversation I find) before deciding to head back to the hotel. We were both struggling in the heat and honestly the back of the dress was soaking wet... so... yeah... it was hot, we had fun and we'd spent a really enjoyable time getting that way.
It turns out that we left only an hour before doors closed anyway, time really does fly when you're having fun. Which rather sums up our whole trip away and experience of Devotion: Fun.
We'll definitely be back again next year.