Let me take you down.. ‘cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields… forever

Published on 28 May 2023 at 16:30

Liverpool…. Well it was just FAB!  


     Saturday morning as we said farewell to our quaint country cottage, we all felt a bit sad. What a peaceful location to spend a couple of days and recharge our batteries. Once we hit the road and got closer and closer to Liverpool, the more my excitement was building. This was it. This was the day I have dreamed of. We arrived and immediately walked over to Mathew Street and were met by John Lennon himself. Well, a statue of John Lennon. My eyes were twinkling, my heart was pounding, and the boys just looked at me with amusement. This was my pilgrimage. I turned around and there it was… The Cavern. Was I really here? 

     After driving all morning, we decided to first get a bite to eat so we could hit everything without feeling the pangs of hunger. We ate at the pub directly across from the Cavern so I could gaze upon the site ~ the entire time just itching to get inside. We had tickets to one of the Beatles museums, so went through that first. Afterwards, Cody and I went into the Cavern. It was everything I dreamed it would be. You could feel the energy of of all those who have been there before - the magic of the history that was made. This was a place I could easily sit and listen to music for hours. It was mesmerizing. 

     Once we departed the Cavern, we wandered through the area to stop and see other statues: Cilla Black, Brian Epstein, and Eleanor Rigby. The area was hopping with tourists and residents alike. Other people making the same pilgrimage as myself. On top of us crazy Beatles fans, there were loads of Hen and Stag parties. The atmosphere was definitely one filled with joy and frivolity. Good times were being had yesterday, for sure. 

     Unfortunately, for the Reitan’s - Greg and Cody both had hit their walls and so we went to check into our hotel. We stayed at the ‘30 James Street Hotel’ - which is a historical location that used to house the White Star Line offices. Again, for anyone who knows me even a little - The Titanic is another huge fascination for me. This made the site extra special. The building itself is beautiful and the design is modeled after the original Scotland Yard building in London. The hotel is also a hot spot for weddings as well as hen parties. There was a lot of activity going on. Unfortunately for us, we did not have a very good experience. In Titanic terms, we were given ‘third class accommodations’. The room itself was fine, but it was ungodly hot in the room, no airflow at all, no ability to open a window, and absolutely miserable. Additionally, the lightbulb in the one and only lamp was broken and showing exposed wires, the toilet would not flush without having to manipulate the inside workings, the handle on the hot water faucet was gone, the phone didn’t work, and the table leg was broken. Yikes. If this is how they functioned, we could understand now why the Titanic sank. While the desk staff was more than friendly, our requests for a fan, a fixed lamp, and help with the toilet went unanswered. My American personality finally came out and I went down to the desk for a plea for something. We did get a fan, which basically felt like the equivalent of someone standing by us and waving a paper fan. It was not the best night. But, we knew we were there long enough to sleep only - so powered through. I appreciated the historical relevance of the building and found that part fascinating, we just did not have a good experience. We were up and out first thing this morning. 

     **Additionally, while we had tickets to go to the Western Approaches museum as well - Neither Greg or Cody were feeling great, so we sadly bypassed it. We truly wish we could have gone to see it, as it was definitely something we were all interested in, but this was one of those days we had to alter our itinerary to opt for rest and wellness over squeezing everything in. 

     While Greg took a nap (in a very hot room) - Cody and I decided to walk down to the Riverfront to see the Beatles statues. They were truly FAB!!!  We also wandered further down the pier area to see the Titanic Memorial. We hung around this area for a bit and just relaxed and took in all of the activity. From there, we went to dinner at ‘The Old Bank’ a pub that is housed in an old ornate bank building. I figured my mom would appreciate the bank aspect. They had some live musicians, so we enjoyed dinner and some drinks. Cody tried his first ‘Long Island Iced Tea’ or two… and I had my new favorite Cider - Old Mout (rhymes with fruit) - Pineapple & Strawberry. 

     Our next mission - get to sleep so we could get through this room in Hell - I mean the hot box. 


SUNDAY - Our day with Jackie - Beatles tour guide extraordinaire!

     Here comes the Sun ~ do do do do… Today was the day. 

As I mentioned in my first blog, I happened upon Jackie through a Beatles page on Facebook. Today I learned of the Liverpool magic - and have no doubt it is what brought Jackie to my attention. We spent the day with her, just the 4 of us, and her driver. It was PERFECT! We got to see the houses where all 4 of the Beatles were born and then where they lived as teenagers/young adults, the hospitals where John and Paul (and Jackie and her dad were also born) - then we went to the Casbah Coffee Club where the Beatles used to play. This was a place I was not very familiar with and it was absolutely fascinating. The club itself was in the basement of Pete Best’s parents house. John, Paul and George all helped paint it, and their paint jobs are still there today. It is now run by Pete’s nephew Roag - who was a character himself - he told us all about his family and the club in a very energetic and captivating manner. The history behind how the final 4 fab boys ended up together is quite a journey. The stars had to align the right way many times over. If one thing different had happened, there would never be a Beatles. Once again, the Liverpool magic at work. I believe it! 

     We also went to the cemetery where the ‘Eleanor Rigby’ grave is located, the spot where John & Paul first met (more magic), Strawberry Fields, and Penny Lane. Strawberry Fields is a spot I could spend by myself for an entire day. It’s a peaceful, park-like area filled with trees, flowers, benches, and the spirt of John Lennon everywhere. Bliss. Penny Lane, there you can feel the presence of Paul McCartney at every turn. The barber shop, bank, the shelter in the middle of the roundabout, and we even had blue suburban skies. It will forever be in my ears and in my eyes. 

    The history, stories and secret points of importance were shared with us as we spent 6 glorious hours being ushered around in the back of the van hanging out with who I now can attest is by far the best Beatles Tour Guide around. I could share some of her stories, but I would not want to spoil the experience for you. Instead, my recommendation is to contact Jackie, book a tour (she’s booked up this year, so you need to look at 2024) and get your tickets to Liverpool now! You will have the most magical day - Hands down - one my BEST DAYS EVER!!! This day was everything I dreamed. I think I spent most of the day in an awed stupor - not believing I was seeing these places. Hearing the stories and seeing the actual locations - I have an entire new perspective of these songs and will never hear them the same again. I feel like I have been blessed with some Liverpool/Beatles magic and can hear these songs through different ears now. I know not everyone gets to go on this pilgrimage and experience this. I am so incredibly thankful I could make this dream come true, and so thankful to Jackie for appreciating how much it means to those she shares her days with. She made it all absolutely magical. 

     As we left Liverpool, I continuously exclaimed to the boys what a great day it was. While they were mostly just along for the ride, they both thoroughly enjoyed it, and have a new appreciation for the Fab Four as well. We then hit the road to drive to Glasgow. Once again, we got to experience some of the most beautiful scenery I have EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Sorry Wisconsin, but these hills with their sheep and cows does put you to shame. I now know that I definitely need to return to be able to spend time in the Lake District. For anyone thinking of traveling this way - I cannot recommend enough to not be afraid to rent a car. I am finally getting the hang of driving and the fact we have the freedom to come and go, and drive through the country has been 100% worth it! Don’t let it intimidate you! It has been all part of this great adventure and made the trip even better! 

    Tonight, we stay in Glasgow long enough to sleep and then head into the Highlands tomorrow. I have no doubt we will all be wowed by what is in store for us. We are in no hurry, and have nothing timed we have to be at, so we can just enjoy the route and take it all in. In the meantime, we are in a hotel where there is actually AIR CONDITIONING and it WORKS! YES, we are showing our spoiled American colors and rejoicing in the cool air!  But seriously, the weather!!!  WE HAVE HAD ABSOLUTELY PERFECT WEATHER! Sunny blue skies, temperatures averaging in the mid to upper 60’s. We know we have been lucky - we are just enjoying every bit of it (have heard it’s getting a bit toasty at home). 

     Slainte’ ~ 

          Lady Tracy 

                (PS - We plan to stop at our castle tomorrow…. )




Add comment


Jackie Spencer
a year ago

What a beautiful day we had! Thanks for your kind words about our tour. Liverpool magic truly sparkled x