Laguna Beach & Disneyland

Last month, our family spent a few weeks in southern California. We were headed to Los Angeles for the YPO-WPO Global Leadership Conference and Global EDGE, so we expand the trip to include some Horst Engineering customer visits and a little downtime.

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The first part of our California stay was in the Orange County city of Laguna Beach. This coastal town about an hour south of L.A. is neat place. I hadn’t previously spent any time there. We rented a little two-room cottage about 1/2 mile from Main Beach, which was near many of the restaurants and shops. This part of California has a lot of vegan eating options. The healthy food is bountiful. We had a small kitchen in our cottage, so we made good use of the small Whole Foods that was a short walk from our front door.

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The Main Beach had a fantastic playground that the kids thoroughly enjoyed. I swam in the surf once (with my wetsuit) and the kids played in the waves for as long as they could stand the cold water. During our stay, Debbie and I each got in a few good runs. There was an awesome outdoor municipal pool 100 meters from our little cottage, so I got up early one morning and swam laps for the $2.00 guest fee. You have to love California for this sort of thing. It was a low-key visit to an artsy and sporty town.

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One day, we drove to Anaheim and Disneyland. It was a surprise for the kids…and for me too. I hadn’t been to Disneyland in 15 years. The park is quite a contrast from Laguna Beach. Anaheim, where I have been several times on business trips, is a concrete jungle. It was school vacation, so the park was overcrowded. It was a cool day with intermittent sunshine, but that didn’t mean the lines were short. It was an interesting experience. The crowds were a bit overwhelming for them, and by the end of 10 hours, they had their fill too. Check the box on that one.

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Thankfully, we followed our Disney day with a trip to Crystal Cove State Park, which is between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach. After my morning visit to a customer in Costa Mesa, we were joined by my cousin, Dan Roy, who currently makes his home in Los Angeles. He is used to Livingston Family adventures, having done a handful of ultramarathon trail races with us. He has crewed for Debbie and spent time with the kids, so he knows how we roll.

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We had a fun and easy hike around the lower half of the park. We had some awesome views. We watched the sunset from the beach and then retreated back to our cottage for some dinner. The next morning, I shuttled the family to our Santa  Monica hotel and Dan helped me return the rental car to Orange County. Our short stay in Laguna Beach was fun.

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