Hooray for Hollywood! Part Four

After we had our lovely meal at Gladstone’s, we were picked up by our wonderful friend, Jim Parson. Let me tell you a little about how that happened…

Jim has been a Facebook friend of mine for some years, and we have often joked that one day I should write a pop-up version of my Marilyn book. (Hey, it might get published! You never know!) By the way, Jim is writing his own book at the moment, which promises to be absolutely out-of-this-world. You can read all about it, if you check out his Facebook page and give it a ‘Like’. Just click here…

During the Marilyn musical, Jim was one of the people who came up to meet me at the interval. I had not known he would be there, and he did not know I’d be there, so it was a great surprise for both of us. I introduced him and his lovely wife Zena to my parents, then after meeting again after the show, we said our goodbyes.

The next day, Jim very kindly invited my parents and I to stay at his home on the very last night of our trip. We were absolutely honoured, and after our lovely lunch at Gladstone’s, Jim drove to Malibu to pick us all up. The route we took back to his house, involved going up and down the same mountain we had just driveIMG_0183n over, on our way to Thelma’s. It was the scenic route, and boy was it fun! We stopped at the very top and looked down into the valley below. Jim told us that part of what we could see was Van Nuys, where Marilyn grew up. It gave me quite a thrill to look down over there, I must say. We also saw some very cute properties, just like this one: IMG_0175

After a really enjoyable journey, we arrived at Jim’s house, and can I just say here and now that we were made to feel so incredibly welcome and comfortable. We honestly felt as though we had all been “real life” friends for years, and it was just wonderful to be so at ease and at home. I’d also like to add that all of the Marilyn fans we met in Los Angeles, were the kindest, most fabulous people we could ever hope to meet. Everyone treated us so well, and it was an absolute honour to meet each and every person.

This brings me on to a lovely surprise… When our friends Jill and Kip had taken us on the brilliant Los Angeles tour (see the first part of my blog), we were hoping to meet up with another Marilyn fan and friend, called Jackie. Unfortunately she couldn’t make it in the end, which was really sad and disappointing. However, unknown to me, Jackie had arranged to spend the evening with us all at Jim’s house. Imagine my delight when I found out! I couldn’t have been happier!

You can see from these photos, just how happy we all were to spend time together!

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That night we went to a Chinese restaurant, and we had such a great time. In fact we were having such a laugh, that we didn’t even realise it was closing time until the poor staff looked desperate for us all to leave! It truly was a night to remember.

DSCF6702 DSCF6712The next day it was time to go home, but not before we had our last all-American breakfast! My gosh I do miss those pancakes. Ours just aren’t the same at all, and what’s with the yummy buttermilk? I don’t think we can even get that over here (but if anyone knows a place that sells it, please let me know!)

Before we left for the airport, there was just time for one more excursion, courtesy of our good friend Jim. Off we went to the Ronald Reagan Library, and although we were too early to get inside, we enjoyed a lovely hour wandering the grounds. The views were spectacular, and the company was even more so; which made this last visit, a really special one.

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After a few more hours at Jim and Zena’s home, it was time for us to head to the airport. It was extremely sad to say goodbye, and more than once we were asked to stay a little longer. Jim and Zena will never know just how much it meant to us to feel so wanted and comfortable; their kindness and hospitality was next-to-none.

But in spite of the good company, it really was time for us to leave, and at 17.50 hours on 2 August 2016, we took off from Los Angeles International Airport, heading back to the UK.  Our trip was one we shall never, ever forget and while we were only there six days, I think we packed a huge amount into it… A red carpet event; seeing the musical I had worked on as a consultant producer; touring the Marilyn sites with Jill and Kip; eating at Barney’s Beanery; shopping at the Americana; going to Westwood; meeting Bill Pursel and his fabulous family in Vegas; staying at Planet Hollywood; touring Thelma Todd’s building; eating at Gladstone’s; and spending time with wonderful friends…

IMG_20160728_120659510We are tremendously grateful to everyone who made it possible for us to go on the trip, and to those who made us feel so welcome during it. To all those who went out of their way to spend precious time with us, we say Thank You. We will remember your kindness forever because you truly made our trip a very special one.

We will see you all again sometime! xxxx