Archive for the ‘photo journalism’ Category

My favorite months in Italy are May & September.  If you have an opportunity to visit any other month of year, I recommend you seize the moment.  The moment for me came in November.  My agenda was to revisit Rome and an overnight trip to Assisi.  I only had eight nights.  That’s rather short for me.  I generally always stay two weeks in Europe.  I decide eight will have to do and I shall be utterly grateful for them all.

I have visited a lot of the usual tourist attractions so for this trip, I decided let’s try to visit some places off the radar plus whatever I happen to stumble upon while roaming.  I did not think this fellow would be one of them.  We gazed at each other a long long time.  Love at first sight.


My Buddy


Let’s see what is going on in Rome & Assisi



hot, sweaty & happy, Paul McCartney does it like that to you :)  but....we didn't get rain.

hot, sweaty & happy, Paul McCartney does it like that to you 🙂 but….we didn’t get rain.

Friday, July 12, 2013

What was supposed to just one night led to a two-night stay and it started off with a bang, me and my friend Kelly’s first ever chance in life to hear live THE Paul McCartney. It was great to finally see the man. We’ve recently been to Liverpool. How we never got to a concert floored me so it became my mission to make this happen. Well Paul made it happen in Washington DC and I won’t ever try to buy tickets feeling nervous and excited because I messed up so many times trying to get them online it’s a wonder I even got a ticket.

How to describe it?


I have seen Led Zepplin twice. Lots of bands really but this was a one of a kind show and I’m so very thankful to have had this experience. You’re watching a legend. At 71 years old, he is still spitting fire and damn cute!!! Whether he is fluffing his hair or adjusting his pants with the boyish grin I could just scoop him up.


“Memorable, fun and beautiful Irish day…….and I have the photos to prove it!”

My friend booked us with Celtic Compass tours and I’m really glad she did. This turned out to be such a fun, memorable day with a buffet of everything that Ireland could deliver. Stunning scenery, gorgeous animals, Irish roads, castles, ruins, crosses, the sea and more. Walter is a great guide and driver. He will also work around your interests as well so if you require anything not listed, just ask. I definitely recommend Celtic Compass Tours.

Here is their website:

our photos:






You never know what a sentence can lead to…. and I mean that on several accounts.  Way back during my ailment of I miss Italy, I had a thread “my Italian scarf intervention” little did I know at the time what some friendly posts were going to start, a ball of thread was starting to unravel and roll with red thread and soon that thread was going to start connecting us and pulling us together no matter where we actually were, friendships started brewing and really it goes back even further than that – I realize now that same ball was bouncing thru trip reports, discussions, Orvieto, Florence the beautiful, Venice, you name it— till one fine day you all wake up, see a thread about life being too short and go to Rome, so that’s what we did.

Here is the original post we saw that spurred us into action:

The Traveling Scarves of Italy began…………word of warning for those who may not know me from my other reports, they can be long, personal, I don’t give a hoot about spelling and grammar I just write….. so today that’s what I’m doing, buy the ticket…take the ride 🙂

Why you have to love Italian men.

Why you have to love Italian men. More about that later and Life.

and I did…….than there was blessed Katina sitting in the land of Oz at 2 a.m. , finger on the trigger, hearts were racing, palms sweating and before you could say hop, skip and jump the tickets were bought…….I was anxious about this, did I have any business going to Rome in February?  I was going to Greece in May.  I had made a deal with myself….Italy every other year a new country in-between, well deals are made to be broken it seems, so far this is my third straight year with the affliction, I blame Michelangelo for it, I love him and Italy .

Katina says…….well I can go in February, how about February?  I stare at it SO HARD and  because of her, I pushed that button, than buttons started pushing from everywhere, some quickly, some slowly after much thought, two more from Australia, one from Ireland, one from England, one from California, one from Utah, two from New York and my tiny little state of Maryland.

Who are these scarves who went to Rome you may be thinking?  Well I’m going to tell you about them.

Katina – lives in Australia but is Greek as well, one thing I know if I ever meet him, I’m going to love her pop.  Anybody who wants’ to tell me what Greek word came from such and such came from is allright in my book !  Windex is for movies!  He is real.   Kat went to Italy with her daughter last year, they met up with Melissa,  TA’s aussie girl–Melissa and I had talked yes we are traveling together,  I believe she told Katina one day we are going to Italy with Jeannette and Katina being reserved and cautious of course thinks  I am not doing any such thing with a stranger !  Never say never ……..Katina looks like Jennifer Aniston to me, dresses in such nice fashions that she could show the Italian ladies a thing or two and that’s saying something because we all know Italian women know how to dress.   Beautiful outside…beautiful inside, that’s Katina.

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Katina 🙂

Lilly – aussie two!

We have nicknamed Luscious Lilly and she is – I am sentimental and emotional it comes with being Cancer the crab.  LL is my partner in crime in that department, we like to touch everything to really feel it, sounds cause emotion, music can make tears – not unhappy ones – the ones that mean your alive and you know you blessed and lucky to see or hear what you just witnessed.   I think booking this trip was a big emotional step for Lilly, she hasn’t traveled without her husband before Henry.  We are not just talking about a few hours flight, this is the real McCoy.  All the way around the world for some 24 hours but she did it !  She can be on the quiet side at times but when she opens her mouth watch out for the zinger because your sides will be splitting with laughter.  A dead-on sense of humor!   I won’t ever hear the words “Ciao Bella” without thinking of Lilly ….ever.

Lilly :)

Lilly 🙂

Yvonne –  aussie three

Yvonne led me to this discovery of the red thread…….she realized it and described it to me.  It hit me so strong that she was right that I even tied a small piece of red thread inside a purse on a zipper.  Me and my Yvonne (yes I have claimed her as my own)  began our red-thread in Orvieto.  We were looking to stay in the same place last year but were going at different times. Yvonne made it there first….same place, same bed, when I arrived I got angels.  Yvonne left me a note on a postcard with angels.  She told me to take care of Aramo our B&B manager and after that – our destiny was sealed and that postcard has been at my bedside ever since – even to this trip in Rome.  Yvonne “has it goinn on as I like to say.”   She is smart as a whip, stunning I say and I had to tell her, ” dear Yvonne,  I don’t know if u ever noticed but you are built like nobody’s business”  Women half your age would die for a figure like that.  How the *ell do you do it?  Seriously guys, tall, thin, legs from here to Ethiopia, dresses smart, loves my man Michelangelo.  She used to be a nurse before she retired and somehow has been given an injection from the fountain of youth.  Her whole face smiles… that is Yvonne !   And she is still there now as I write…

The Red thread from Yvonne

The Red thread from Yvonne

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So that’s our aussies including Melissa who couldn’t be with us.

Now we jump over to England with Julie.  She is luckiest woman alive, she can get those Ryan airfares dirt cheap and be over in Italy so fas.  Me and Julie love Italian romance and man stories.  Way back she was telling me, I’ve got some stories to you know and it starts with a smooch on a bridge in Venice.  Well after that our red thread is tied and glued. Her accent sounds just like the Beatles and I could listen to her talk forever.  I love the stories about her and her mom traveling, especially when she got her mom paranoid about the suitcase weight and her Mom wore two bras on the plane.  That is just the thing my mom would do.

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Julie talking with Yvonne in the red coat

Kathleen is from England but lives in Ireland –  I got to know her much later but better late than never.  If anyone can become a saint for the love of cats, dear Kathleen will be a saint.  She donates part of her salary to them, feeds many strays and pays to get them fixed.  She wakes at the crack of dawn to start this process.  Julie and Kathleen met in Venice so I got to know her thru Julie.  We didn’t get many days in Rome but I’m grateful for the time she could spend with us.  She’s as sweet as sugar pie !

Kathleen sitting next to Yvonne

Kathleen sitting next to Yvonne

The USA contingent – consists of some ladies who went and others who couldn’t but who were there in spirit and seeing us on a webcam by the Pantheon.  I will tell you about them next than onto Rome.  Big intro yes but it had to be done so you can understand why this trip is unique and special.

The American’s –

Ellen is from NY and we got to meet last year actually due to my trip report with me and Kelly’s mothers.  She somehow  found it and sent me a PM.  Of course I write back and to this day we have never stopped writing, thru good times and bad,  we got to meet in here in America and now in Italy.  Frank Sinatra was called “old blue eyes” so Ellen should be called  Ms. blue eyes because they are pretty and expressive.  Ellen has been to Italy many times and knows Rome very well.  She was a very good sport about seeing things she has already done before on previous trips.  She speaks Italian very well and saved us a many a time with her language skills.  She loves Italian romance as well and can tell you her own stories.

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Ellen 🙂

Trish is a retired school teacher and has a great love of Italy.  I always admire Trish’s life so much because not only does she travel there for pleasure but she also stays a good bit and goes to school learning the language.  She stays in real Italian towns.  She gets to know real Italian people and you sense that appreciation about her which is contagious.  We got to meet in orvieto last year and she introduced me to some of Orvieto’s delights as well as dinner at one of her favorite places.  Trish is very organized and saved the day a few times with advise.  I think she is home now and probably in that I’m heartsick without Italy mode.  She also drives in all countries one thing I have never been able to do.

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Trish 🙂

Laura has a great love of Venice.  She does a good bit of traveling on her own because her husband it not of fan of travel in Europe.  For the longest time, she wasn’t going because she didn’t feel it would be right to leave him when she had so much other stuff going on but somehow she got it done with a surprise hey I can come four nights.  She is the virgin and thru her you get excited remembering your first time , (heyyy not that first time)  of your first Rome.  She is excellent with the maps.  I was proud of her.  She got around better than me and I have already been there!  I know Venice has her heart but I think Rome should get a little piece of it as well.

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me and Laura

Barb – I met thru Laura, I did not get to spend a lot of time with her.  She’s a classy lady and funny too!  She has a sense of humor like Lilly.  Barb we needed more time!

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Barb blue scarf on

Jeannette –  I do not know what or why but sometimes I feel like I was just born, maybe it was because I was busy raising my two children on my own, school, suffering and heartache to ever pay attention properly but in the last ten years, especially the last five, I think life is beautiful so I am looking at the world and people with brand new eyes.  I appreciate small things, big things, birds, sounds, sights, smells, stories, history, art, my list doesn’t end and I can’t STOP traveling.  Out of all the countries I’ve been to (still lots more to go) none of them has a hold on me like Italy.  None!  Why is that?  I keep asking which makes me keep going seeking answers.  I love everything about it , the people I meet along the way and trust me I attract the good and the bizarre but I think I figured out why?  Me and puppies are just about the same.  We will charge onto something or someone happily, giddy, wanting to play and explore ALL DAY.  People sense that and get your energy.

singing………..I’m leaving on a jet plane !  next…..

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me (Jeannette)

My flight is from Baltimore to Atlanta, than Atlanta to Rome, I go down the East Coast later watch myself go right back up it on plane #2, for the price I got hey who care’s !


Update:  I’ve got reports all over the place and am slowly trying to collect them here in my new blog.  It will be something for my grandchildren to read when I’m hairless and toothless sitting on my rocking chair so they know their grandmother or great grandmother LIVED!!!  I’ll label them “travel flashback.”

Day one – I work ten-hours and we have a 9:30 p.m. flight to London, I got my prized J16 seat, though I almost changed it, Kelly tried to get next to me, k16 and she called British air, they said no that’s for a mom and infant, well I called them right up, am I next to an infant? Please change me, the man says well its usually available for that but it has not been taken, BA lets u check-in 24 hours before the flight, for fifteen minutes ahead I’m manning the website, I have to check-in for Kelly her computer is broke, I’m bound and determined to get k16, the instant it’s on I dash off to k16 and place Kelly there, ahhhhhhhhhh relief,

We don’t sleep, always too excited plus I need the right conditions to sleep, sitting upright in a plane is not one of them, even reclining some, isn’t going to cut it, we’ve got a layover in London than off to Rome for one-night, this time we did the Leonardo express which I had never done, worked well except just missed the train, so had to wait, no biggie but by this time me and Kelly’s eyes are out on our cheeks delirious with sleep deprivation, I booked near termini, lug those cases to our street, we were in hotels same street, but different she checks in and I do, we are also starving to death, a great surprise waiting for us is a note from our friend Max who lives in Rome, he gave us the address where he was and a phone number, we couldn’t get him on the phone and no energy to find where he was, he nicknamed us the terror twins and I don’t even know if he would have recognized us, we were that tired and out of it , have u had that when u can’t even form a sentence with your mouth ? we eat dinner down the street, I will find the name, something with Angelina and we really liked it, we had a nice waiter who took good care of us, plus told me I talk with my hands and my eyes which is a mafia trait, thanks buddy !! off to bed, there’s a note on my pillow, max came there, oh lord, that means we missed him and he practically had to walk or ride right by us? This happened in New York too with max, max I promise I will buy a phone for Italy next time, I’m an anti-cell phone user but I’ll do it for you

I stayed at hotel Katty, had single but a double-bed put my sound machine on and slept the good sleep, I had a plan to meet Kelly at 1030 am, I was up earlier so I dress and head out for coffee, I find a place down the street with tables and coffee, no one is at the outside tables but I’m in Rome darn it and I want to hear Rome, I have three-cups, go into my usual shakes after, an older man walks by gives me a look, no smile, than proceeds to walk back and forth and back and forth the whole darn time, I decide I’m not speaking to him which I would usually do, no smile, no talk, I say

I go meet Kelly and tell her about where I was and we go there and eat breakfast, she had waffles with chocolate, yuckkk and I had Panini, we get to the train station and get our fast ticket to Naples, I paid a guy 3 Euros to get my stuff on the train worth every penny!

In an hour and 15 minutes, we are in Naples, that was a good ride, now to find the next train to Sorrento, we are by the big doors that go outside so I tell Kelly, well lets go out and look at Naples for a minute, so we step out look around than go back inside, I have a hard time remembering Italian names to things and if its close to a name I know I’ll memorize that, its easier, well I had already named the circum whatever train with its new name, circumcision, which I told Kelly … right off she spots a sign, see I told u I tell her, she will always recognize that train sign now, we head to down, it’s a bit crowded, we are at the right bin and a train pulls up, we go to get on and a bum says to Kelly, noooo Sorrento, nooo Sorrento, she’s asking me why is he saying that and I have no ideal either but we get on, well he is right, it does not go to Sorrento, we hop off in some town, get on an outside train station, I watched the stuff and Kelly goes to find out from someone what we need to do, she comes up on another side, I said how did u get over there? She said I don’t know???  How u getting back? I don’t know, well ask I yell, a man directs her , says next train, we sit smoke and see the train coming , Kelly gets my back pack on me, we roll to the edge and the bugger kept on going, didn’t stop, we both yell at the same time, awww *** !!!! two-workers from the office are out smoking watching they see and hear us and start chuckling, next one comes they come out again, yes this one, this one !!!! thank god,

like the ride into Sorrento, I like looking in people’s yards, buildings u name it, I see water and a shipyard, yahooooo this is it, we are on our way aren’t we? I love that,

Once we get to the Sorrento stop, there’s a man and wife who are kind of paying attention to us in that they got ohh lord can we find an elevator conversation, the man says in very little English and lots of hand movements to walk to the end kind of a box it will be easier, grazieeee we yell, after getting out of the train station and heading down the hill we see them again, he says “WHERE YOU GO?” hotel nice, he motions go left at intersection, we do, we go right on by hotel nice, he sees that and they come fast walking to us and turn us around and show us it, ahhhhh grazie I say, Italians sweet people for sure,

Rome tidbits :

Hotel Katty –…

The restaurant we really liked

Mamma Angela’s via palestro 53…

found it here !

We get to our room, two-single beds, decent size, not too small or big,, I open the window, view is of a garden and a small-pond, it has gold fish in it, there’s a pretty ash tray, Kelly says that’s not an ashtray, yes it is I said, feel the grooves, we can smoke in here !! well we do but mostly at the window, plus I asked the at the lobby because Kelly didn’t believe me, I go about unpacking, I like to feel like I’m living where I’m visiting, I like my stuff sorted, Kelly has never rolled her clothes for the suitcase, she called me before the trip to ask me about it, I said yes go for it, I do it all the time, well I was proud of her, she surely rolled and fit a lot of clothes in her bag, took her some work to do though, lot of good that did her because now that it fits and is rolled so perfectly, she didn’t want to unroll anything and wear it, I swear she only used the top layer ! LOLLL

the plan was when we got to Sorrento was to do the open-air bus to get an overview of Sorrento, since arriving later than planned we can’t and now go out onto the street to decide what, now Julie and Chris from England who were joining us for this trip had arrived the day before, Kathleen coming from Ireland was arriving the same day as us, all the sudden from about on a balcony, I hear “Jeannetteeeee” I look up and it’s the girls, Chris has a balcony on her room, yeahhhhh we yell ! they come down, we hug hard and catch up, so so happy to see the scarves, (our nickname) now ladies, chime in, u know I have the memory of a gnat, so if I forget something we did, my notes are all gone from the checked bag home, so I’m winging it,

next we go to dinner, this was to a place that Julie had been to a few years ago with her mother, actually I believe the night before they ate there too, the name of the restaurant is Largo Sedil Dominova, it’s on the little lanes that go off of Piazza Tasso, here is their website, , this place has great prices, good food and most of all live music, a fellow comes and sings with a piano player and for the life of me, I don’t know why he’s singing there and not in a concert hall because he is THAT GOOD ! he sang Bocelli, absolutely beautiful and many more artists, the restaurant also has a host of characters who work there who make it lively and fun, one little man never says a word, he just walks by, looks at you, pulls your pony tail, moves your wine, takes the parmesan, gives it back, a silent personality with gusto,

made some friends here, by the end of the night leaving I got big hugs from all and was told they were my family which was funny because a week later, walking by they all yell JEANNETTAAAA, btw all Italians say my name their way, it’s not Jeannette, it’s jeannetta, and I like it

We are headed back to the hotel, me and Julie got a beer, I was giddy happy to be back in Italy and in a special new place, I stayed out, smoked etc, Kelly went to bed, she wasn’t asleep yet and told me the sink was stopped up, filled with water, well I have to use it so decide I most go down to the desk and tell them, it’s the night guy and he is talking to some friends at the doorway, (one of which is cute ) he says he can send someone in the morning to fix it, his friend who we have nicknamed the plumber, says he will look at it, so up we go, Kelly is in the bed, he’s got a plunger, he gets that sink going in no time, Kelly’s still awake but pretending she’s asleep, somehow while saying goodbye and the Italian kiss a real one comes along, don’t ask me why, I’m vacation and don’t give a hoot, I can see Kelly’s body shaking under the sheets, she is laughing, well this can’t happen so I see him off, she has such joy telling the girls the next day about the “plumber” and you THOUGHT THE NIGHT WAS OVER ?? we had fun joking about it, it was “excEllent” and i asked Julie if she had any blockage in the room if so i knew the man to fix it,


I saw a documentary on the Alhambra palace which sealed my fate in making a visiting to this exquisite place.  I will definitely need more time in Granada.  One night is just not enough but if that is all you have than go!  We were lucky enough to go to the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel.  We had a nice walk back from Alhambra with a smashing dinner and explored the Alcaicería.    I don’t agree with those who say see The Alhambra and then go because there is nothing much else to do in Granada.  I saw many things that need to be explored.

Here is my reflection photo from the Alhambra Palace that I am very proud of since I am not a professional photographer at all just a point & click kind of girl.    Sometimes you click in just the right way.  I’m sure thousands of others have taken this same shot but here’s mine!

my favorite reflection

my favorite reflection

Enjoy Granada, below is the gallery.


Maybe it was my cool room which I loved with all the Spanish touches that shot me with such a Spanish feeling.    This place evoked what I had always imagined.  It’s crazy but I felt Spanish.  In my own mind, I could start speaking it fluently at any moment.  Now to be fair, that is in my own mind.   In reality, I know maybe five things.

Seville oozes a charm.  It has the most orange trees I have ever seen in my life.   Thousands.  It’s a bittersweet thing because from what the locals told me you can’t eat them because they are very bitter.  Luckily someone told me that or I would tried to make my own juice in the morning.   They are beautiful and decorate the city in a magnificent way.

Not to take anything away from the other places I have visited in Spain but somewhere in my heart where I was feeling Spanish I have decided I am Andalusian Spanish.  It must be the case.   It has everything I want to see and feel….small tiny lanes, adorned balconies, siesta, yes God grant me siesta, I could do that in life.   There are bells, the tapas, animated conversations and a vibe I can’t almost describe but it’s there.  My friends felt it too!

Strangely enough I didn’t have a whole lot planned for Seville.  I usually have big ol list but for here I did not, I did have a few things but really left it to let’s see where the Spanish winds take me.  The winds first brought us to the Cathedral with the lane full of outside cafes which is extremely up my alley.   I am a huge fan of cafe life and people watching.  I found out that old saying from my mom “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” is true since I always ordered too many tapas.   I like the smiles in Seville.   I like the history as well.  One of my papers, I did bring along was on a free walking tour with Pancho.  It was a kind of spur of the moment thing.  We met the others at the fountain by the Cathedral and were off for a walk and a bit of history.  We learned of girl who snitched on her father in the Jewish quarter.  She had a boyfriend she wasn’t supposed to have and with that a great many tragedies were endured and deaths.  Roads of sorrow. See it’s not ALL beautiful oranges thru the lanes of Seville.   We learned of father and sons battles and King Alphonso’s gratitude for Seville’s loyalty.  The eternally grateful symbol is stamped all over Seville.     Look for it!  We know why several crosses were placed in areas to keep down the partying at residential squares.   We know what the local word  is for tourist girls and romance.  We saw a beautiful balcony that’s in a movie and up to that point I was thinking that needs to be my Juliette balcony but alas someone else already stole the idea for Don Juan.  We saw where the Romans have been and what they left as in columns.   Our guide was a lively bright girl from Poland.  I think her name was Anna.  I’m not going to tell you everything about the walk so you can experience this on your own.  One thing I do not recommend with Pancho Tours is the meetup later to go see the Flamenco.  I didn’t care for it or the location but I highly recommend the walking tour and DO TIP!!!

I recommend the following:

Do climb the Giraldo tower.  I had the bad knee from a spill in Barcelona and just took my time going up and made sure to stop at all the windows for views.  I spent so much time here I missed the entry for the Alcazar.  I thought I would be able to fit it in later in the trip but could not, big regret but something for next time right?  My friends did see it and absolutely loved it!

Do visit the Cathedral and the tomb of Christopher Columbus.  Will any of us especially in America ever forget the year 1492?   It’s been tattooed in my brain since I was a child.

I did not get to lots of things in Seville.  There just wasn’t the time on this trip but I am extremely happy and grateful with all that I did get to see and do along with cafe life.    I sacrificed a night to go to Granada for the Alhambra palace.  That was no mistake but I surely wish I would could have had more time for my  Andalusian Sevillian Spanish life I was leading.   It was incredible and that was just Seville!  Imagine visiting all the others?  I will!

Granada’s  post is next and the best reflection photo I have ever taken in my LIFE!!!  I’m so proud of that photo!

ciao for now,

My advise is this, if you get an opportunity for a winter  break to Amsterdam definitely go for this trip.  I mixed it up with Spain so kind of got the best of both worlds.  I’m going to break this trip up into multiple posts.  Amsterdam, Barcelona, Seville & Granada.

my itinerary was:  (there was more but this is what we managed)

  • the Anne Frank house  (buy your tickets ahead)
  • World War II and the Holocaust in Amsterdam.  I booked with history walks and I highly recommend them.  Peter was very knowledgeable, great personality and brought the history alive for us.  I highly recommend this tour.    Here is the website:
  • The Resistance Museum , website:
  • Dinner cruise on the canals booked with Viator.  (excellent)

    We used the bus 197 to get to the hotel from the airport.  Nice and easy.  Here are some photos from our trip.   The Superbowl was on my last night AND my hometown team the Ravens played and WON!!!   I could not stay up that late but I wore my team colors that night.  What can I say?  The old girl ain’t what she used to be!   


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I’ve mentioned we love Liverpool.

One thing I really love is that they love us!  I enjoy all that lovey talk.  The locals often start or finish their sentence with okay my love, yes my love, cheers my love, here love, there love, lovie and on.  It is so so cute and I hope they never stop the love.  We so enjoyed this along with the Liverpool accent.  Now regarding the accent I am here to tell you at times even a lot of times it can be hard to understand.  You find yourself just staring which one time got us a reply of  “why’s your friend looking at me like I’m speaking Spanish?  well uh…. it could be ?  I don’t know?

Would I change it ? Nope not one word or lost in translation moment.   A fellow working at our hotel is a good example.  I have an interaction with I believe Matthew.  Matthew I say, I can’t understand what you said?  How come I understood the Beatles but can’t understand you?  Well he explains I’ll tell you lovey — very slowly.   Those beatles, well when they get on tv or in front of a mic, they start talking “posh”  now when they are speaking to their mates, they never talk posh like that and I’m shocked you don’t understand me because I’ve been talking very posh to you also and if you heard me talking to my mates, well……you wouldn’t understand us either.   I know I’m talking posh loves because my dad just called a bit ago and I answered the phone and dad says Matthew is that you? Yes Dad, why you talking so funny Matthew?  I have to Dad, I’ve got to answer the phone in a posh voice at work.  It’s the rule.   So you can ask my dad, he says to us , I’ve been talking posh to you he says eyes blinking with an adorable face.   Yes you have Matthew we smile back.

Our Day One – arrive by train , our journey from the US has started in London and Chris has secured train tickets for us and it’s an easy breezy ride to Liverpool.  Chris is staying by the docks, we are staying near the train station and Ellen has a hotel near us and the train station too.  Les who you met earlier in the trip report has driven on the wrong side all the way to Liverpool.  First thing on the agenda, the magical mystery tour.  Les described it best tho so if you didn’t read it, take a look at his report.

I enjoyed this tremendously and if you can imagine you can feel an “air” a “feeling” a “than” moment about something.  A moment when you are visiting something important to you and an era you didn’t belong too  but you love –  I had this feeling standing more in the front of  the Strawberry Fields gate more than any place on this tour.    The way the trees whispered?  the wind?  I don’t know what or why but that was my spot.  My Beatles moment.

My second beatles moment was during the Fab 4 exhibit.  You wander into the white room, see the white piano, see John’s photo, hear him and read his words.    It’s not a lot going on but what is……. is very powerful, sad, beautiful — gosh lots of things at once rapidly.  It made me bolt backwards.

(I will be back in a bit with more)  promise….I have a repairman issue going on

ok back like greased lightning!   To add a bit more about the exhibit I was moved with Elvis being there.  I’ve yet to get to Graceland why that is I have no idea I suppose because I have not made it happen but I made a decision in Liverpool I am going to Graceland.   This week I booked my trip to Memphis in the spring.   For me, it’s important just like Liverpool so I’ve got lovey Liverpool to thank for that push in life.  That night in all it’s pageantry was the Cavern Club, the Cavern pub and the Grapes.  I’m not a real bar person anymore because 11 pm is too inviting for bedtime it seems but once in a while I’ll make a spontaneous night of it and what a better place?  Like Les said, I did meets lots of people all thru the night, some local some visitors as well.  Some I didn’t understand either so I’d just nod, smile and say nice to meet you.   Did get Liverpool scoop I didn’t know, one being that Ringo wasn’t good to Liverpool which surprised me.   A fellow told me he dissed Liverpool and I am thinking maybe it’s a memory thing, something not pleasant he doesn’t want to revisit.  I don’t think it’s Liverpool necessarily but that’s pure speculation on my part.  Another told me Paul is good to Liverpool but you better not make one dollar (or pound) off him that he doesn’t control and mostly that’s for charity so I suppose that can’t be a bad thing?  George everyone loved, not one word. Same with John and someone said his sister is half owner of the Cavern Club.  Hope that’s true I like the idea of that.   I like that when you are visiting here you see the songs coming alive.  There is a Penny Lane, there is a strawberry field.  How did they see that and make such good songs out of it ?  I can’t do that so I guess that’s why I’m working in accounting and they are the Beatles.  That talent is pure fascination for me.  Les is right, he did get sick but I suspect from food and not the beer.  We didn’t really drink that much to cause such an illness.  He was green around the gills.

Liverpool is having its rain on, lots of it and soon we’re to be in Chester and I’ve been looking forward to the Old Warm Charm of it and I can honestly say no one tried better to get there but me.  I got on a train, off a train with notice we don’t know when we can go, I got back on a train, all while not moving anywhere, just sitting, I walked to a bus they said wouldn’t come, floods and people on boats, good golly you have to be kidding me?  Can I go to the left? right?  under?  Nope, no Chester for you.   back on a train….. The hotel is great about getting us a room and helping with cancelling the hotel in Chester.  Julie’s there with her friends waiting for us.  (in Chester)   I’m not a fan of rain but Liverpool looked so sparkling and pretty at night in the rain.  I can definitely come back to Liverpool.   I forgot to tell you about the exchanges with the little boys (one who was smoking) and I told him off about that but anyway…..they were cute, so cute, I could picture their little faces up on a movie screen with the film just on their faces fast stepping, walking and talking beside me :

them:  Where you from?

me:  “America”

them:  where at ?

me:  near Washington DC

them:  you like it ?

me:  sure !

them:  you like Liverpool?

me: yes very much, it’s a cool city

them:  ever been to New York?   We want to go to America.

me : yes and one ahead in the group lives in New York and one used to live in New York

them:  where at in New York?  ever been to Brooklyn?

me:   yes and one of the ladies I told you about is from Brooklyn

them:  REALLY ?  BROOKLYN?  who, which one?

me:  Pat I believe up ahead.   Pat I yell but she’s not in front, she must be behind me and didn’t answer.  They all chime in at the same time PaTTTTTTTTTTTT !!!!   with a big accent on the t’s,  she answers from behind and they run over with the biggest curiosity in the world, is it rough Patttttt?  did you see guns????     did you see…..  I can’t hear all of what they were asking, Pat can tell you about that but I tell you that these little boys, kinda rough around the edges, were priceless with innocence and complete mischief wrapped all in one!  I can still hear them now : PaTTTTTTTT !  and that long T sound

The story continues with guest writer Les.  See next link !

our Highlights included……

The Tower of London along with the key ceremony at night.

This you must apply in advance to receive the tickets.  It is free and for us a very unique evening.   The Countess of Chris arranged these tickets to be mailed to her for the ceremony.  She lives in the UK.  On my tower visit during the day, I was up for consideration to be a mistress to Lord Omelette.  He eyed me cautiously wearing his cloak and wig and told me he was seriously considering it but alas by days end, he chose another.  I believe he knew I was to be Mrs. Omelette or nothing.  Sighhh but at least I left with my head!    Jokes aside that tower is fantastic, it’s got it all, history, intrigue, architecture and some ghosts.  I didn’t get to see one though but at least they did have a tv screen that showed you if you were to be a ghost, what you would look like.

Buckingham Palace – this is wear I bought my crown.  Later I make my grand entrance wearing it while attending a high tea  in Chester.  Julie from Liverpool was my lady in waiting and attended me for the event.  She wore a lovely tiara.

(we love to have our silly fun while traveling)  keeps smiles on our faces I think?

Windsor Castle – in a word “stunning”  but the line to get in with a handful of ticket attendants was some kind of crowd control torture I believe.  Get a ticket in advance!  No matter, it was worth the very lengthy wait though I may still send the Queen a strongly worded letter regarding this matter.   🙂

Hampton Court and swishing

For one solid year, we girls daydreamed of swishing thru Hampton Court in our swish gowns.   Heartbreaking weight restrictions on the flight over made it impossible for us to bring swish gowns.  Henry saved the day by offering us free velvet cloaks at the entrance and therefore we di