California Dreaming

The return leg of our Australian adventure took us through Southern California. 15 hours trapped in an airplane sure makes travel seem a little less exotic. Running 45 kilometers and then getting in a plane is about the worst thing you can do for your recovery. My legs have been leaden for a week. We spent a night in Ventura and three nights in Malibu at Pepperdine University‘s Graziadio Executive Center. A family business seminar is what drew us to Pepperdine and we were happy for the transition time after the long flight back to Los Angeles. The seminar gave me a chance to connect with fellow businesspeople who have a passion for family business education. We explored new research and gleaned a better understanding of what makes successful family businesses thrive and sustain themselves for generations.

Before the seminar, we spent part of a weekend bumming around Ventura, one of those classic SoCal surfing towns. Ventura’s economy is driven by agriculture and industry, but the iconic pier and point break are what give the town character. Ventura is known for many things, among them, it is the launching point for trips to the Channel Islands National Park. We only got to experience the views of the islands from the mainland this time, but several years ago, we spent a great day of hiking on Santa Cruz Island. The ferry ride was out of Ventura Harbor and we saw lots of whales as we crossed their migration route. The Channel Islands are worth exploring.

On this year’s trip, we got a chance to run the bike path that hugs the Pacific coast. Our legs were pretty knackered from the Six Foot Track and the long flight, but it was fun to get out and loosen the muscles. We also visited some friends at Patagonia, Inc., whose headquarters and flagship store are located in Ventura’s historic district.

In Malibu, we had a chance to experience the beauty of Pepperdine. I was busy with worskhops, but Deb and Shep had a chance to explore the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. They even visited some rustic camps in the mountains that had been used to film movies in the past. They also explore thed natural setting where M*A*S*H was shot. So, California was a nice stop on the way back to the east coast.

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