What a treat to leave snowy Heathrow and arrive in the blue skies and heat of LA. Once through the airport, which is a nightmare, I sped down the freeway to the very charming www.terranea.com at Rancho Palos Verdes, which hugs the coast opposite Catalina Island. Shorts straight on, which was slightly frightening for the other residents with my white knees on prominent display, but a lovely walk round the estate in the late afternoon heat. My room had gorgeous views over Nelsons with their beach bar to the sea beyond.
Saturday night was an early supper with an old travel friend and early to bed, as I had a date, along with some other colleagues, with Captain Gary on board the www.psaltyadventures.com for a 3 hour trip to see some whales and to roam the waters of Catalina Island. We picked up the boat at San Pedro and were soon out of the harbour and in amongst the seals and dolphins. Sadly, no whales spotted but a fun morning out and some fresh air was much needed after the 12 hour flight across. We then went straight into a 4 hour meeting with other villa rental specialists which was fascinating and a pretty unique opportunity to sit down with 25 other rental experts and hear their thoughts.
The registration for the show was seamless and the opening night ceremony a fun chance to catch up with colleagues. The next two days were a blur of networking, appointments, lunches, discussions panels and evening receptions, where we all got a chance to chat to a lot of industry peers, meet members of the Conde Nast team and generally ‘bond’. It was a great show and I think we all felt very lucky to be involved with CNT and to be on their ‘officially recommended’ radar. A final day in LA with some appointments and a quick gawp at a few of the amazing Bel Air mansions and it was time to fly home again for another bout of jet lag and climate readjustment. Still well worth the trip!
Andrew Loyd is a 2011 Conde Nast Traveler Villa Rental Specialist