Sorry for the lack of posts over the last week or so. I just got back from a business trip in Southern California. I spent a week down there working 11 hour days locked up in a conference room. The days were long but rewarding. As it happened, the conference room we were using all week was the executive board room. I’m far from an executive so it was interesting to see how things go there. The seats were incredibly comfortable. Plump and leather would be a good way to describe them. There was a break room with a refrigerator crammed full of soda, waters etc. They had their own professional grade coffee machines and every kind of tea on the planet.
On top of the nice conference room, I happened to be staying in the Huntington Beach area. My hotel was directly across the street from the beach and was very nice. Luckily my company had negotiated a ridiculously cheap rate. My only regret was that I didn’t have more time to enjoy the area. Every morning there was a mass of surfers swimming out in to the surf to catch the amazing waves that crashed against the shore 24 hours a day. No wonder this is such a popular surfing destination. At night the beach was full of people enjoying bonfires all along the beach. I sat out on my balcony with a cocktail trying to relax after the long days and kept finding myself wondering what all these people did for a livingâ€¦â€¦â€¦ (Had they just worked all day too?)
I did manage to get out a bit in the evenings. On one night, a friend of mine and I drove down to Newport Beach to drool at some of the high end car dealerships there. We’re both car nuts so it was a fun trip to make. I couldn’t help but notice how wealthy the area seemed to be. I think that BMW’s were considered the economy car around there. I was absolutely amazed at how many there were. I can’t even count how many Bentleys, Mercedes and even exotic cars like Ferraris, Aston Martins and others there were. Either everyone down there is rich, or there is a TON of debt in that town. My friend and I were talking about how incredibly wealthy it seemed to be there and he said, â€œThere must be a ton of millionaires around hereâ€. I thought about it for a second and said, â€œYeah, either that or there are a ton of debtonaires around hereâ€. My guess is that it’s a bit of both.
On Tuesday night the main street was crammed with booths for a street party. Again, I wondered, â€œWhat do all of these people do for a living?â€ I mean, rent down there has to be incredibly high. Modest houses were upwards of $1M. I suppose if you drive far enough inland the prices probably come down enough that middle class families can afford them. If you live in Southern California near the water, I’d be very interested to get your input on the local economies there. It could be that I just happened to be in one of the wealthier areas of Southern California during that week.
I will say that if I had a choice and could afford it, I would live there. The waves were mesmerizing and the climate is exactly what I like. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford that lifestyle. As aggressive as we are being at saving, I don’t think we’ll ever amass enough money to live in that area.