WANDERLUST YEAR IN REVIEW

This year was exceptionally marvelous. I am living my best life and I don’t plan on stopping! My first love is pleasure but my second love is travel and the combination of the two is what my dreams are made of. So let’s see- I kicked off 2017 in a private hot tub under the stars at Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley with a dear client. And baby, it only got better from there!


  Tōdaiji, Great Eastern Temple, is one of Japan's most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark of Nara

Tōdaiji, Great Eastern Temple, is one of Japan's most famous and historically significant temples and a landmark of Nara

I've wanted to go to Japan for as long as I can remember; the stars aligned and it was finally my time to go. My first trip to Japan coincided with cherry blossom season this past April. Seeing the cherry blossoms at Tōdai-ji temple surrounded by deer in Nara was heaven. My second trip was in the fall and autumn was vivid- seeing the leaves change in Kyoto was breathtaking. I really had good timing with both trips. I was also blessed with interesting clients and had a lot of fun with Japanese and expat men alike!


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  Getting checked out & feeding deer in Nara

Getting checked out & feeding deer in Nara

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  View of Nara

View of Nara

  Tōdai-ji (東大寺) is a Buddhist temple complex in Nara that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara- its Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿, Daibutsuden) houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese as Daibutsu (大仏)

Tōdai-ji (東大寺) is a Buddhist temple complex in Nara that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara- its Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿, Daibutsuden) houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese as Daibutsu (大仏)

  Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

  Fox god statue in Kyoto

Fox god statue in Kyoto

  Kyoto pond

Kyoto pond

  Kyoto at sunset

Kyoto at sunset

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Along with my libido, my collector heart was lit on fire as well. I loved how organized Japanese record stores were. Some of the larger chain music stores even had entire rooms devoted just to punk. It's basically Ramona heaven! I prefered record shopping in Osaka, although the hunt was fun in Tokyo. That said, record shopping in Japan can be confusing; it's hard to tell whether a record is used or a repress as all the vinyl is in such good condition. Basically, it’s a record collector's paradise! I definitely picked up some Japanese pressings of classic Rolling Stones albums with Japanese obi strips and the like as well as many items off my want list within my personal collecting niche: 1980s Japanese hardcore punk. Of course I caught a few live shows both trips which were amazing as I got to see some of my favorite bands. Also, shows in Japan are air-conditioned so I could keep my leather jacket on comfortably which delighted me.


  The tuna and the whale were my favorites

The tuna and the whale were my favorites


One of my favorite moments in Japan, after a hard day of shopping, was eating sashimi in Kōenji. Kōenji is my favorite district in Tokyo; it has great vintage and record shops. The restaurant was tiny with a little room in the back, past the classic sushi bar. You had to take your shoes off to enter and sat cross-legged on a tatami mat as you were served the most incredible raw fish. I felt amazing after that meal and was truly satiated. There were many moments in Japan where I longed for nothing as I was completely satisfied. It is a place that fulfills many of my desires on so many levels.


  Back in the USA old Hollywood glamour at the Chateau Marmont

Back in the USA old Hollywood glamour at the Chateau Marmont

  Agent Provocateur suit & a heated pool made for a happy Mistress

Agent Provocateur suit & a heated pool made for a happy Mistress

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Where else did I go this past year that’s worth a mention? Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles was a total blast. I am a sucker for the 1920s glamour and historical rock’n’roll debauchery that haunts every inch of that hotel. Eating in the garden terrace was a delight! I enjoyed staying at the Ace Hotel in New York City and drinking copious amounts of Stumptown decaf Americanos. I always love returning to my hometown during the summer as NYC in the summer is pure magic. I love walking the city streets on hot nights, running into old friends, and people watching. I would choose a crowded subway car over Bay Area traffic any day! Unless I’m on my motorcycle and lane splitting here in the Bay (which is illegal in New York).


  Of course I got tattooed in NYC by one of my friends: flaming heart with poppies

Of course I got tattooed in NYC by one of my friends: flaming heart with poppies

  He who wants the rose must respect the thorn

He who wants the rose must respect the thorn

  Manhattan view at sunset at the East River in Greenpoint, Brooklyn as my friend and I fed stray cats the neighborhood is trying to rescue from developers

Manhattan view at sunset at the East River in Greenpoint, Brooklyn as my friend and I fed stray cats the neighborhood is trying to rescue from developers


I spent some time in the majestic mountains in North Carolina. I did a quick jaunt to Mexico City right after Thanksgiving. I, of course, went to Napa a few times to go wine and dine with a few gents. Well, more like sparkling water and some of the world’s best restaurants. Right now all I can really think about is how I’ll be ringing in the New Year in Havana, Cuba! And then shortly after jetting off to Tokyo…


  Street shot in Mexico City

Street shot in Mexico City

  At the antique market, La Lagunilla, in Mexico City

At the antique market, La Lagunilla, in Mexico City


I am so grateful for this past year and I am filled with excitement for next year’s travels and adventures. To those who have stayed in my life and to those that I have met this year; you are what it means to be generous and thoughtful. To those that I have yet to meet: what are you waiting for? I invite you to be a part of this upcoming New Year with me. So mark your calendars and plan on enjoying another fantastical year with your favorite Mistress!

Your Mistress, 
xx Ramona Ryder


  On my beloved 1978 Honda CB550

On my beloved 1978 Honda CB550

  A rare hot day in the Bay Area at Albany Bulb with view of the Golden Gate Bridge

A rare hot day in the Bay Area at Albany Bulb with view of the Golden Gate Bridge