California Dreamin...

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By: John P. Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST

It all started out with a super bowl victory.  I was attending the Barron’s Magazine Top Teams Summit and forced to watch the super bowl on the road with a bunch of non-Patriots fans. My three week tour which culminated in the second family wedding in two months. 

This time son Tom married Samantha in a setting that clearly reflected their southern CA lifestyle with the entire family gathered around for four days of love and fun. Surf City, USA… AKA Huntington Beach, CA was the scene of the festivities; The Pasea Hotel specifically. Go there if you can.

What’s not to love about waking up to the Pacific Ocean every day, knowing that there are between 75-125 people you know that you’d love to hang out with for the day. That’s what Tom’s wedding week in CA was like. Cruising the beach, the pier or walking down to some surfer dude breakfast joint, it doesn’t take long to get into the mood.

Amongst the coolest things, literally was the dip into the Pacific. We were there, so why not was the question. But then on the following day, I asked my daughter and swim partner Julia if we would go swimming on the Cape when it was 57 and windy with 55 degree water. She convincingly said no, and proceeded to dive in for the second day in a row. Even baby Ellie had her first swim in the heated pool after handling a 6 hour flight like a pro. It must have been that CA vibe or the SoCal air.

The wedding itself was spectacular. Ceremony, venue, party and after party including a surprise delivery of 75 IN-N-OUT Double Doubles and enough fries to feed the town were all very well planned and perfectly executed. As a guest that all made me feel great– wanted and loved. I know that the bride and groom feel the same way and are blown away at how much friend and family support they had participating in the fun.

For most, after all, it was a destination wedding as both Tom and Samantha both grew up here in the Boston area. They went to LA for business, and met as they competed against each other on a few technology deals. The destination part didn’t stop their friends. They easily outnumbered family by 4–1. In fact, most of these wild millennials used the cross country opportunity to get to wine country, San Diego or some other cool west coast place.

As a parent, you want to see your children have good friends, direction in life and stay close to you even when distance physically prevents that. This past trip drove home those feelings and left all in attendance a little happier and a little closer.