After completing my filming for Pilates Anytime the next phase of this adventure was commencing- the 2017 Pilates Method Alliance Conference. I was so lucky to spend some more time with Kristi Cooper and Amy Havens going on a road trip. The Drive from Santa Barbara/ Montecito/ Carpinteria was going to be at least three and a half hours. As you can see on the map, we had to pass through LA to get there and that means traffic. I think we were on the road by 11:30am and arrived around 5:30pm (with a lunch stop at Wholefoods).
We had some fun conversation in the car, some laughs and some chair dancing all while taking in the changing landscape. It is really interesting getting closer and closer to the desert. One of the really interesting sights to see while on the road were all of the wind farms. I found them so cool to look at:
As we got closer and closer to the resort, I introduced the ladies to a little bit of Chet Faker (Nick Murphy) while we settled on our "approach soundtrack" which was a combination of early Janet Jackson and Madonna. I felt like it was quite the start to the weekend.
I was feeling very spoiled when I checked into my room. It has an amazing view over the golf course and beyond that to the southern border of the Joshua Tree National Park. I just wished that I could have some more time to explore this amazing landscape some more. We are definitely going to have to revisit California- it's so interesting to feel the combination of familiarity of the USA (because of the media exposure) and at the same time feel the newness of it all. Once we settled in to our rooms it was time to hit the Exhibition Hall for the Sip and Shop (a concept I can totally get behind).
The first night at the sip and shop gave me a glimpse of the magnitude of it all. There were at least 1000 delegates at the conference and when you also add to exhibitors to the mix that is a lot of energy in the room- but it is really positive. It was a lovely sense of togetherness which I really loved.
I was so grateful to be included in the Pilates Anytime dinner on this first night and to be able to spend some time with John the CEO of the company. From the moment I walked in to the studio at Padaro Beach I could feel that sense of family and it was reflected here at dinner too.
The first night finished as the following nights were destined to finish... at the lobby bar. I have had the best three nights hanging out and getting to know fellow finalists from this year's Pilates Anytime Next Instructor Contest. I was lucky enough to get to spend some time with Victoria Becka, Juan Estrada, Trina Altman and Delia Buckmaster (who is likely to be one of the funniest people at this whole event).
What an introduction to an event I have wanted to attend for year- I have realised that I will be making this a stand out of my calendar for years to come already! Bring on the conference!