Travelling and Poking About

My Greatest Adventure with Marilyn Monroe

March 2, 2016

The Mayfairy - Frankie hollywood sign

I’m back participating in the #TravelLinkUp and this month they want me to tell you about my greatest adventure. Well, I’ve had a few but nothing has been particularly Indiana Jones-esque, so I wasn’t sure what to choose.

It surely had to be something from back in the days when I actually left the house and enjoyed life, rather than these days when I sit on the couch with a cheese toastie. The biggest trip I’ve ever taken was a month of travelling around the world; Singapore, Cairo, Rome, Paris, Dublin (followed by a road trip around Ireland), London, New York, Rio de Janiero, Buenos Aires and L.A. By the time we got to Rio were starting to run out of money. I recall literally dancing for joy with my husband creature when we booked a bus trip to see Christ the Redeemer and the nice man behind the counter brought out one of those old fashioned credit card machines. One where there’s nothing digital and they take a carbon copy of your card to take to the bank later. Luckily, Rio is quite a dance-y town, so they never suspected a thing.

You can imagine, though, by the time we made it to Los Angeles, the dire state of our finances. We were staying in a hotel that was local enough to the tourist destinations of Hollywood and we’d spent some time wandering around, even watching Will Smith filming a movie on Hollywood Boulevard. I, however, wanted to visit the spot where Marilyn Monroe was interred. The graveyard – Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery – was a little way off but has quite a few celebrity guests in long term residence, so Mark, my man friend, was on board.

The Mayfairy - Frankie Marilyn Monroe Handprints

We visited Marilyn Monroe’s hand print and star… there was only one thing left to see…

The Mayfairy - Marilyn Monroe Star

In the interests of pinching pennies we’d decided to take a local bus to the grave. Our hotel had given us directions to the bus stop (fun fact: Bus Stop is also a 1956 Marilyn Monroe movie), but once we arrived there things became a little confusing. There were multiple buses utilising this very stop and it wasn’t clear to us which one was going in the direction we needed. There was a small crowd gathering around the stop by now, waiting for their public transportation, so my husband wandered up to a group to ask if they could help us with our bus-indecision.

Unfortunately for us, speaking English wasn’t on anyone’s to do list that day and the year of high school Spanish I’d indulged in had only left one phrase imprinted on my memory: tengo catorce años (I am 14 years old). This was no use.

There was a petrol station positioned just behind the bus stop with a busy forecourt filled with patrons. My extra friendly companion wandered up to the nearest pump and started chatting to a lady who was just trying to get some gas. She nervously eyeballed Mr Chirpy Foreign Stranger. She spied me lurking a few metres away. Mark came over to me and motioned me over towards the nice gas lady’s car. Next thing, I was being pushed into the back seat and we were off!

She explained that she was giving us a lift to the cemetery on her way to work. She wouldn’t have done so if it was just Mark, but because he was with me it felt safer. Seriously, the sight of me wilting awkwardly in the sun instilled a feeling of safety in this woman. She was Russian, but no I don’t remember her name. I’m terrible.

While she was happy enough and feeling secure with us in the back seat of her car, we had no such safety catch. She could have driven us to a deserted alley and pulled a gun, demanding all kinds of nasty things. She could have driven us to Mad Dog’s house and locked us in the basement-cum-dungeon. She could have started smoking crack and driven recklessly on the freeway. Hell, she could have tuned in to country radio.

But fuck it. We winged it. We had sod all money and a lucky glint in our eye. She was as good as her word and drove us to the cemetery directly, dropping us off across the street. We waved her off and went in to pay our respects to Ms Monroe, Dean Martin, Jack Lemmon et al. The sun shone and we had a pleasant time.

The closest I'm going to get to meeting Marilyn Monroe

The closest I’m going to get to meeting Marilyn Monroe

On the way back to the hotel (or wherever the hell we were going – I don’t remember now) we treated ourselves to a taxi. Because after a day of reckless behaviour what’s a little overdraft inducing taxi fare? Best not to push one’s luck any further.

There you have it. A great adventure visiting the dead where nothing really happens. Tune in for more enthralling stories like this next month.

Also, if you actually have adventures you might want to write them down and join the link up  – just shove the link on Emma, Angie, Jessi or Andrea‘s page before 7 March 2016. They’ll take it from there.

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  • well, that’s an adventure:) you never know she could have been dangerous, so you were lucky!#travel linkup

    • Yeah, only really thought about it afterwards…

  • I have hopped in a few strangers cars in America only realising afterwards how potentially dangerous it could have been
    Emma Inks

    • Yeah, it just seems to exciting at the time so you don’t worry about it…

  • Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad

    How nice of that lady! It’s sad that we have to second guess people’s motivations these days, but sometimes you do just have to wing it! I’m glad you got to meet Marilyn after all, and lived to tell the tale!

  • adales8

    I can safely say that that you are far braver than me. I’d never have gotten into a strangers car in LA. You and Mark are wild ones! xx

    • I don’t know if I’d do it again… but yeah.

  • Glad your risk paid off!

  • That is quite the adventure! And a trip all around the world sounds like absolute heaven. What an amazing experience.

  • What an adventure! And so brave of you guys getting into a strangers car – I don’t think I’d have the nerve! It makes for a great story though and so wonderful you got to Marilyn’s grave after all!

    • Thanks. Wasn’t even thinking about it at the time – just did it XD

  • I lived in Southern California for 25 ys and never once went on any sort of public transportation down there, that is just not a thing done! ahhahaha way to go for trying though!

    • Yes, well, lessons I learnt the hard way XD

  • FlashandFrugal

    Haha, everyone’s just amazed by the could’ve-been-dangerous hitch-hiking! Seriously, sounds cool. We had a less good time in Hollywood – also due to being flaaat broke at that time. But loved the rest of LA and Cali. 🙂

    • At least it’s sunny… being flat broke in the sunshine doesn’t seem to be so bad XD

  • Love when some random person ends up saving the day and being far nicer than we expect anyone in today’s world to still be. But where’s the photo of you doing the typical Marilyn Monroe pose? You’ve got the blonde hair and the floaty dress so I was totally expecting some posing too 😉

    • Haha, probably wasn’t wearing appropriate underwear XD

  • Ha wow, glad it worked out in the end!

  • What a unique adventure! I can’t wait to get back to the US one day 🙂

    • Yeah it’s such a great country to explore!

  • The kindness of that Lady makes your heart happy doesn’t it?