West Institute in California

It’s been a busssy summer! It’s been over a month since I’ve updated, so here goes my first effort to get caught up on the happenings of summer.

West Institute

Less than a week after I returned from Myrtle Beach, I headed to Los Angeles for West Institute (the third of four professional development conferences during the summer I participate in the planning and execution of). The weather was beautiful. But I would expect nothing less from southern California! On the first Saturday while I was there, I had the opportunity to go to the Los Angeles LDS Temple. When I lived in L.A. as an intern in 2008, I never had the opportunity to go inside the temple. I was so grateful for this opportunity. L.A. will always hold a special place in my heart because it was there that I decided to serve an LDS mission. I feel like the decisions I made in L.A. in 2008 changed the trajectory of my life in a way I didn’t expect but in a way I will forever appreciate.

On Monday we headed to the magical Trattoria. I describe this restaurant as magical because beautiful white lights hang over the patio and every evening the entire restaurant joins in the singing of “That’s Amore!” And this restaurant has the most amazing endless garlic knots. Delicious.

Wednesday evening is the Big Bash, which at this Institute site takes place on a Yacht. The weather predicted rain (which is crazy in L.A. in July) but thankfully it only drizzled a little bit on Wednesday morning.

Ready to board the Yacht.
Ready to board the Yacht.
Institute Staff at West Institute aboard the Entertainer Yacht.
Institute Staff at West Institute aboard the Entertainer Yacht.
It's tradition that we take a selfie at the Big Bash.
It’s tradition that we take a selfie at the Big Bash.

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Thursday evening we gathered at Raymond’s sister- and brother-in-law’s house. Their house is in the Pacific Palisades, and you can see the Pacific Ocean from their backyard. If it’s a clear night, you can even see Catalina Island. This was a very fun night. We always take lots of pictures while we’re up there.

8th Annual West Institute Reception and Dinner 128

8th Annual West Institute Reception and Dinner 146

Wearing our FitBits for our work wellness challenge. FitBit should pay us for the amount of advertising we did for them this summer ;)
Wearing our FitBits for our work wellness challenge. FitBit should pay us for the amount of advertising we did for them this summer 😉
Our matching Institute staff  pullovers.
Our matching Institute staff pullovers.

After West Institute concluded, I headed down to Long Beach to spend some time with my great aunt Fannie. She is a beautiful lady inside and out, and I had a great time learning more about her love story with my great uncle George. I was also able to spend some time down by the Pacific Ocean. It was kind of a windy day, and there were A TON of kite surfers out on the water.

The beautiful ocean with lots of kite surfers.
The beautiful ocean with lots of kite surfers.
Delicious Mexican dinner with Fannie.
Delicious Mexican dinner with Fannie.
The California sky was amazing that night.
The California sky was amazing that night.

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