Tibby’s Adventures in LA LA Land

31 May

Did you know Hollywood was originally dubbed “Hollywoodland”? A.J. Llewellyn told me this on my recent visit to the author’s fair home city of Los Angeles. If you look closely, you can see in this photo the sign on the real estate office that still bears the name.

I’ve never had a better trip anywhere. A.J. is the consummate tour guide! We didn’t stop from near dawn to dusk for four days of beach combing and star searching.

My first full day we spent on Venice Beach and in Malibu having the yummiest lunch at Duke’s with the most breathtaking view! We talked for hours about life, writing, and everything. The waiter was adorable and very attentive. And, oh my God, the dessert–a huge slice of chocolate covered ice cream pie heaven! I should have taken a picture, but just the memory of the calories is making my waist expand!

As for the other sights that day, I don’t know what tickled me more, the jaunty gull who kept us company, or the tsunami warning sign I took a snap of on Venice beach. How about I show you both and you decide?

There was plenty of glamour and Beverly Hills style fun to be had. We drove the canyon roads around the city for hours the next day while A.J. showed me the secret nooks and crannies where the rich and famous go to play and relax. You’d never guess how precariously some of the beautiful homes are perched on these hillsides! Just looking at the drops made me dizzy, much to my dismay!

To give me a break from the higher elevations, we traveled Rodeo Drive where I saw my first Bugatti! I don’t know who owned that car, but I couldn’t help imagining my boy Kit from Acting Out outracing the LAPD in this sweet, sweet ride!

In fact, I spent a lot of my time on the left coast daydreaming of my characters who live there. Their voices were so loud in my head I swore a few times they were walking next to me. On Venice Beach, I felt Greg and Aaron from No Apologies with me, staring out at the ocean waves. It created such a longing within me for them, it brought tears to my eyes. I could literally feel their love for one another in this place everywhere I went.

At the film studios, my connection to Greg was particularly strong. Everything about them is so steeped in Hollywood history. The gates of Paramount Pictures in particular are spectacular in their Art Deco glory!

Each city I travel to seems to have its own personality. Its own soul. LA seems to shimmer in the glittered leavings of people’s dreams and desires. Creativity and glamour were palpable forces shaping the very air I breathed.

When A.J. unerringly steered us to the building used in Richard Gere’s rescue of Julia Roberts in the film Pretty Woman, the quote from the movie sang out in my head:

Welcome to Hollywood! Whats your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some dont; but keep on dreamin’–this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’.

(Note: Click on the photos to see them in all their full-sized goodness!)

9 Responses to “Tibby’s Adventures in LA LA Land”

  1. Denise May 31, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    I live vicariously through your travels. It sounds like an awesome trip and it makes the characters come alive in my mind to hear you talk about your connection with them like this. Amazing.

    My vote has to be for the gull. He’s adorable and I can hear him saying, “C’mon, lady. You’re plate’s full of good stuff. Spare a feathered friend a bite here.”

    Glad you had fun,

    • Tibby Armstrong May 31, 2012 at 10:39 am #


      The best thing would be to share it with you in person! You are my goddess! 🙂


  2. AJ Llewellyn May 31, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    Tibby, so glad you got to see Hollywood from my point of view. I love this place and as you could tell, it’s history!

    • Tibby Armstrong May 31, 2012 at 10:39 am #


      I never dreamed the trip would be so spectacular! Thank you for making my visit incredibly special and unique.


  3. silverdapixies May 31, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    I am so Jealous!!! It sounds like you had the time of your life darling. Love the pictures too!!!



    • Tibby Armstrong May 31, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      Hi Silver,

      I really was incredibly lucky to have AJ as a tour guide. I’m glad I could share the fun with you!


  4. mywithershins May 31, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    I’ve only had the opportunity of seeing Hollywood through the eyes of an 18-year old traveling with her parents and younger brothers, so I didn’t get to see a lot of the glamour, although we did make it through the Universal Studios tour. Looks like you had a lot of fun and saw some amazing sights!

    The seagull is adorable and reminds me of the impertinent black birds at the Kennedy Space Centre, 12 years ago. My family and I were eating in their picnic area, when all of a sudden my daughter said, “Mom, the bird.” I responded with, “Yes I’ve seen them”, to which my daughter replied, her voice rising a little higher, “No, Mom, the bird…” And that’s when I felt the tug on my hot dog. One of the birds took a peck at it while I was still holding onto it!

    • Tibby Armstrong May 31, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      Oh my goodness! I would have been VERY surprised to have a bird pecking at my lunch! Thankfully, there was a window between us and he didn’t have the opportunity.

      It sounds as if you’ve had some pretty cool adventures of your own! I’d love to do the Universal tour sometime, but I only went out for three full days so there wasn’t much time. AJ packed the days full for me as it was. Next time!

      Thank you for dropping by to share your stories. 😀


  5. naramalone May 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Your post gave me chills. Excellent piece! You have me thinking of the hours I spent exploring CA with a girlfriend when I was stuck there for a month at training program in Palo Alto learning how to repair medical equipment. Loved the ride down to Big Sur. My friend liked our visit to Rodeo Drive best. And riding those canyon roads with her at the wheel scared me senseless, although probably not so much as it it would have scared me if aI’d been driving. Thanks for the ride down memory lane.

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