Portland Weather ForecastPortland in the winter is… uninspiring. So my wife and I up and moved to Los Angeles for a month. I never imagined that I would like LA so much. I imagined that I was moving from the land of hip, authentic people who are a bit lacking in vitamin D to a land of plastic surgery, name dropping and rude drivers.

The rude drivers prediction did come true. But the other qualities I’d assigned to people in LA didn’t pan out. Maybe it was the part of LA that we called home – and the fact that I only left our little bubble three times during my month long visit. But I’m sold on LA (at least the Venice / Santa Monica part of LA) and we are already planning our next trip down.

Sun setting in Venice Beach

Sunset from the High Rooftop Bar in Venice Beach – where we celebrated my wife’s 50th birthday in style.

So here’s my list of LA Highlights:

Venice Beach is great. I’ve been to the boardwalk before and it’s a quirky place that looks like it’s a mix of Portland grit and Orlando t-shirt shops. But I didn’t realize that there’s more to Venice – just a few blocks off the beach is the Abbot-Kinney neighborhood. That’s where we landed, renting a house on Airbnb, just one block outside the business district.

The main street of Abbot-Kinney is unique for LA. It’s only two lanes wide, plus parallel parking. That may not sound amazing – but LA is the land of 12 lane wide freeways and 8 lane wide back-alleys. We must have found the most walkable / bike-able area of LA. It’s a 20 minute bike ride to Santa Monica which is probably my second favorite part of LA. There’s shopping, bars, restaurants, the largest Whole Foods Market I’ve even seen and the people are really friendly.

Taking a pomodoro break

Taking a 4 minute dog-petting break during my workday at Tom’s in Venice CA.

I’ve established my coffice (that’s Coffee + Office for the uninitiated) at Tom’s. Tom’s is the shoe brand that gives away one pair for each pair purchased – and they have a coffee shop in Venice. The biggest bonus: they have an outdoor covered patio that allows dogs. I got lots of practice with the Pomodoro Method– working 25 minutes, then petting my Golden Retriever Rowan for 4 minutes, then back to work.

Just south of Venice is Marina Del Mar, which seems to host more than it’s share of Meetups. I stopped by a Toastmasters group for coaches and a discussion about becoming “Internet Famous.” The Internet Famous Meetup lead to a weekend training with Marisa Murgatroyd called Message to Money Live. You’ll notice some tweaks to my business based on this valuable training. And I finally got clear on my tagline: Go beyond one-on-one coaching. Start reaching a wider audience with online video.

I also built a video studio in our Airbnb – and made videos and posts about it because I’ve found lots of coaches need help setting up a video studio at home.

Taking a break on Huntington Dog Beach

My wife Kat and Rowan take a break from playing on Huntington Beach

Of course the time in LA wasn’t all work and no fun. We had plenty of beach biking and walking along the Venice Canals and pedestrian streets. Unfortunately dogs aren’t allowed on beaches in LA. Eak! Our Golden Retriever didn’t understand why she wasn’t allowed to run free when she smelled the ocean. So we drove her an hour south to Huntington Dog Beach. I think all the dogs from LA were there. At least all the Goldens. LA is the land of Golden Retrievers. I expected to see more purse-size-dogs, maybe those are more to be found in Beverly Hills. We also didn’t see Pit Bulls – but we stayed out of Compton.

Cryo Therapy chamber

-250 degrees for 3 minutes.

When I travel, I believe that one should live like a local. So I got Cryogenic Therapy. Three minutes at -250 degrees. It was cold. I’m not sure it did anything other than make me cold – but it’s all the rage with actors and athletes. And I got to cross that off my bucket list (OK – I had to add it to my bucket list before crossing it off.)

Snapchat Code for Brighton West

Take a photo with your smart phone to follow me on Snapchat.

And on the half-work, half-fun side, I finally got around to using Snap Chat and Facebook Live video. I’m not sure how to use these tools to increase profits yet, but I’m feeling more connected to my 17 year old niece who’s been teaching me how to do things like make rainbows spew from my mouth in a snap video. There’s got to be a business purpose to spitting rainbows, right? If you want to follow me on Snapchat – here’s my snap code.

Thursday we start the drive back to Portland and rainy cold weather. LA has been good to us. But this will be my first return from vacation where I don’t have office-mates waiting to welcome me and my tan back to the dreary north. Let me know if you want to Skype or Snapchat to see my tan!