Los Angeles & Santa Monica

Part two of last month’s trip to Los Angeles for the YPO-WPO Global Leadership Conference and Global EDGE was in Santa Monica. After four days in Laguna Beach, we moved to the fantastic boutique hotel Shutters on the Beach. I had two-day board meeting there. While I was in meetings, Debbie and the kids explored Santa Monica.

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Our location couldn’t be better. We did early morning runs on the beachside trail. There was a very cool “adult playground” with pull-up bars, rings, and a host of other exercise related obstacles. By mid-morning, the walkway was teeming with walkers, runners, cyclists…and tourists. There was a kids playground too. Santa Monica High School was less than a mile from the hotel, so one afternoon, I was able to get in a good track workout while dodging lacrosse balls.

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We were within site of the Santa Monica Pier, which falls into the Disneyland category, but still worth a visit. The Promenade shops and restaurants were fun. My sister, Stacie, lived in L.A. for a few years and worked in Santa Monica, so I had been on a few occasions. Again, the vegan food options are abundant and we had a few meals at Real Food Daily, a great spot.

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We got childcare help from the daughter of a friend who lives in Santa Monica, and were able to get out for a couple of dinners. We even went bowling with my board friends, which is a very “non-Livingston” thing to do. Someone noted that I was “competitive.” That drew a chuckle. We had a blast.

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The Santa Monica visit was a short three days, but we packed it in. I had another YPO board meeting to cover before the main Global Leadership Conference started on a Sunday afternoon. I caught a ride downtown and checked us into our Hilton room. Debbie and the kids enjoyed the Ocean Front Walk and playgrounds one more time, and caught a taxi downtown later in the day. Debbie’s mother, Barbara, flew out to meet us that afternoon and she spent the second week of our trip watching the kids while we attended the conference.

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The conference was fantastic. Mrs. Schieffer and the kids did their “homework” at the large public library strategically located across the street from the hotel. They did a double-decker bus tour that took them all over Hollywood. They went to three museums. They explored the town. We had one day together after the conference ended, but storm Titan had already made landfall.

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The storm brought heavy rain and wind, but we still took the Metro to Universal Studios for an interesting day of tours, rides, and rain. It was the last day of a long trip and everyone was ready to get home (to the snow, ice, and cold), but we made the best of it and had a good time. Our original hope was that it would be spring when we returned to New England, but our hopes were dashed. Winter still had its grip on Connecticut. Regardless, our SoCal sojourn was worth it.

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