Right now we are at LAX waiting for our flight home from one of the best family trips we have ever taken. Every day felt perfect. Abe and I feel refreshed and totally in love with our kids and our little family.
On Sunday, we went to church on the south side of L.A., and afterward we drove to the Santa Monica National Recreation Area to get our National Parks passports stamped…and to hike around (quite possibly in that order of priorities).
We had no idea what the Santa Monica National Recreation Area was, but we discovered that the part we visited used to be the estate of King Gillette, inventor of the Gillette razor blade. It is currently infested with rattlesnakes. I am not exaggerating. For our entire hike, we heard a literal chorus of rattles on both sides of the trail, and even the grounds of the visitor center had so many snakes that Abe took a picture of one slithering right outside the front door.
But the rangers assured us that these snakes are very laid back Southern California rattlesnakes; the only people that get bitten are young men trying to grab the snakes. They aren’t aggressive like other rattlesnakes, and unless you step on them, they leave you alone. We decided to trust the ranger on that one and actually learned to somewhat enjoy the sound of the rattlesnake soundtrack on our hike.
After we had lunch, we drove to El Segundo to top off our rental car and have ice cream in the car while the girls napped. Abe talked about how all of the funerals we attended this year have changed his perspective and goals, and we felt so grateful for the opportunity to be alive. This trip felt like such a gift.