I went to L.A. for James Malinchak’s Big Money Speaker BootCamp. To save money on air and hotel, I booked it all through Allegient Air. They only fly between LAX and XNA (NW AR Regional Airport) twice a week, so it gave me a couple of free days before the conference.
My friend, Johnnie, put me in touch with his firend Kerry in L.A. He had heard about all the plot twists and turns of my life through Johnnie and had wanted to meet me for a long time. We hung out one evening and went to Venice. We found a plce to eat, walked on the pier and I got to feel/smell the ocean breeze. He said there were surfers in wet suits not far from us, but they were beyond where I could see. It was nice just to be there and I was determined to enjoy it my way—by taking in a much as possible with my hearing, sense of smell, and touch. It all confirmed I was in California and not the Ozarks. I’d forgotten what no humidity felt like.
It was nice hanging out with a laid-back Texas native who lived in Dallas at the same time I did, though we didn’t know each other then. He’s been in L.A. since the 90s but that accent is still intact. Maybe I would do the same thing if I were him. It turns out a lot of people out there think it’s charming.
On the way back to the car, we stopped and patted a blue parrot sitting on a rail between the sidewalk and an outdoor dining section of one of the many restaurants. He was very tame and I figured he’d probably been photographed more often than some Hollywood celebrities.
It was a Wednesday night, so the usual myriad of oddballs parading around Venice Beach weren’t there. I was looking forward to seeing as much of that as I possibly could. We drove under the Santa Monica Pier. By this time it was getting too dark to walk out on it. I was glad to get a little taste of L.A. before getting to work.
It was time for me to get back to the hotel and preregister for the conference. I didn’t want to deal with a mob the next morning at 8:00 am. It was time to get in gear for the conference, which I was sure would be intense, informative, and tiring. But I knew I was taking a giant step toward the future I want.
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