After we said goodbye to my brother, Sam and I
had a couple more hours with my folks. My Dad had been wanting to go to the Santa Monica Pier. I think he was feeling nostalgic about a past visit there too.
I wasn't sure why he wanted to go to a place that I saw as a bunch of tourist shops and an amusement park, especially with the cool weather we'd been enduring. Seriously, it got down to the 40s. The winters in California can be brutal ; ) but the weather on our last day day was beautiful so we decided to go for it.
Inadvertently, we missed our turn onto I405 South and ended up taking Topanga Canyon Boulevard, through the Santa Monica Mountains past Topanga State Park to the ocean. I was thrilled to see another example of beauty and natural wonder in Southern California.
We spent a little bit of time walking along the boardwalk with my parents, admiring the view.
Sam tried his luck at climbing a rope ladder.
We ate some greasy food then headed for the airport.
It is a gift to have had an extended amount of time to relax and play with the family in which I was raised.
It is a gift for which I am truly grateful.