Archive for the ‘travel journey’ Category

I think we packed a lot in on our San Francisco trip.  It was much colder than I anticipated so we bought sweatshirts than we were fine.  We saw a lot of other tourists who must of experienced the same.  I bet sweatshirts sell well in SF!!!  🙂

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We stayed at a hostel and although it was decent and a super nice staff, I would not stay there again.  Outside the hostel, were too many aggressive homeless.  I have never seen that before and it was rather shocking.  One being very aggressive even made it into the lobby !  I’ve seen homeless everywhere but not really going after people.

https://www.hiusa.org/hostels/california/san-francisco/downtown

Besides that, we had a wonderful stay.   Here is a lineup of our activities.  We loved Dylan’s Tours and that’s how we got to a lot of these things.

https://www.dylanstours.com/

The streetcar ride  ( a must )

Fisherman’s Wharf & the Seals

Alcatraz

Pacific Heights

Day trip to Monterey/CarmelPebble Beach  (very nice and beautiful scenery)

Golden Gate Bridge

Suausalito /Muir Woods  (BEAUTIFUL)

Haight Ashbury

SF Fog (hey it’s an attraction too!  🙂

For your viewing pleasure photos of our first trip to SF.  Last year, I went to a lot of places for the first time.  Gosh I love that !  Exploration 🙂  San Francisco has many things to offer.  Go ahead a treat yourself !

I think pictures speak louder than words so here are some more !

It’s vital to have comfy shoes here.  Next time, I will bring more warm things!

(watch there be a massive heatwave)

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.

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My Buddy

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

 

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Unfortunately, I did not get the time to write a proper trip report on Greece but instead did a travel video that I think captures the essence of Greece and our wonderful trip.

Delos is magic and has incredible history !   What a place, I am so glad that we made that a priority to visit.  At the little refreshment stand we meet a fellow who lives there.  I told him you are so lucky.  He said to me thank you really for that because my family says, “WHAT ARE YOU CRAZY STAYING THERE”?  there’s nothing around”?   He told us that’s why I love it so much and offers us to see some of his photos.  I said, “sure,”  and he brings me his camera and proceeds to show us some of the most incredible sunsets and photos of Delos that I have ever seen.

He gets a call that a group has lost their 80 year-old grandfather so he zooms off  in this tiny white truck to find him.  He says just keep the camera and when you’re done looking just give it to one of them inside.  It was getting close to the last boat leaving Delos and before you knew it he was back.  The elderly gentleman had taken an earlier boat.  Kelly and I say our goodbyes because we didn’t want to miss our boat and off we go walking while he waves.  On the walk, we come to a dead-end.  Ummm this isn’t it we realize.   In the next moment, the fellow comes around the bend in a tiny white truck with the dust blowing.  He yells, “says get in the back,”   The next thing you know we are speeding along the paths of Delos  being bounced laughing our butts off drunk from happiness.  Who would have thought we would be roaming around Delos like this?

He took us to the boat and stayed till we left.  Than he took the truck along the island following us waving till he was a tiny white dot left in Delos.  What a nice guy!  That’s Greek hospitality.

our wild ride:

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:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187791-i22-k2342544-Life_is_just_too_short_so_why_not-Rome_Lazio.html

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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Yvonne

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 !

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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,

I have to say Barcelona sure took me by surprise.  Maybe I thought it was going to be like Madrid?  I liked Madrid.  Had a trip there in May.  Surprisingly it is nothing like Madrid.   Spain reminds me more and more of Italy with each place you visit having its own personality.  Since I’m new to Spain I am just discovering these aspects.  It’s a grand discovery.  That’s what travel is about for me, different people, places and things.

Now to the man, Gaudi.  I am most enchanted with Michelangelo.  I love everything about him, contrariness and all, that’s what gives him spice I think.   I didn’t expect that Guadi would be so artsy and so interesting.  As you explore Barcelona, visually taking in the delights Gaudi has left you, you feel gobsmacked (learned that from my British friends).  What a man way before his time but who came along at exactly the right time.  Here is a link for a bit of background on him.

gaudiexperiencia.com/gaud%C3%AD/biography

The Food:  Jamon, Jamon Jamon !!   I need it everyday.  We almost had it every day.   I found my self staring at it in shop windows mesmerised just as much as looking at a pretty dress!  Ahhhh, there it is……come to momma !

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The Flamenco:  Saw my first show in Madrid and once is never enough.  I never knew the dance would make you feel like you can’t breathe.  I don’t mean while dancing, I mean while watching, while sitting.   We went to Tarantos two evenings and the first night got to meet the papa of one of the dancers who was so proud.  No wonder, she was terrific.  The second night, this time it was a guy who stole the show.  I do believe my friend Vivian started to whimper and cry a little.  Flamenco does it to you like that you see.

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The Market:   We were only able to get to one incredible market called Boqueria.  Before visiting inside we decide to have some beer and jamon right outside of it which was nice because we got to meet two couples that were interesting to talk to, one from the midwest in the USA and the other from Sweden.  Sweden made my eyes go big for a second since I am a big Alexander Skarsgard fan liking that he’s not too big for his britches and doesn’t let fame go to his pretty head.  I also like his family especially what I read of the granny.  The husband has done work with the family.    Of course, I joked well if you see him around town tell him Jeannette said hi.  For you ladies who don’t know who Alexander Skarsgard is take some time to view google images.  It won’t disappoint.  Fire engine hot baby!  lol, True Blood fans well, I guess I don’t have to tell you a thing.   Okay so after meeting these two nice couples I hear a fellow from a nearby table asking, “did you say you are from Baltimore”?  Yes….we are, he said me too”!!!   Well fancy meeting you here in the dead of January in Barcelona.  I asked why are you here?  He said vacation.  I don’t know why I had in my head that I’m the only person in January visiting for a vacation but somehow I did.  He had a plate of seafood and we say, oh you are a Baltimore boy for sure.  So after the snack, we head into the market.  This market is sensational and graphic all at the same time.  Some things I am not used to seeing in a market or anywhere for that matter.  I saw a bowl of I think rooster heads?  What is somebody going to do with that?  I bet something good I don’t know about.  I saw rabbits hanging and fish so fresh it was still blowing bubbles.  Now that’s fresh!  The Swedish couple we met told us they always go to the seafood inside the market that cooks it up for you.  Stools are scarce so I suggest hang on the sidelines and dash to one if you see somebody get up.    Deciding what to choose is hard because there are so many choices.  Watching them grill it is a delight in itself.  I want to squirt my seafood with all the things I saw in bottles at home when I’m grilling.  We asked finally, hey what’s in that bottle?  It looked like greenish water.  It was delicious and I will ask my friend Vivian what was in it exactly because I can’t remember right at this moment but I will tell you.  I have every intention of grilling shrimp or something this summer with that concoction.

The trip:  Now to explain my trip a bit, me and Vivian started our trip in Amsterdam.  To be honest when I was researching a reward flight ticket to Europe in January Amsterdam had the lowest taxes so Amsterdam it was.  Now as you know, that could never be a bad thing.  It was cold, wonderful, beautiful and sad meaning the Anne Frank house.   My friend Chris got to fly in from London and meet us in Amsterdam.  We had a great time together, laughs, frozen feet and a bit of humor from an older local in Amsterdam who told Chris (when she had been saying she was tired from the flight)  oh yeah!….that jetlag from an hour flight will do you in,  we laughed but to her defense she arrived at night.   lol…..  She couldn’t go to Barcelona with us so it was me and Vivian exploring Barcelona together. Searching for warmer temperatures the south of Spain was looming in my head as well.   Between friends advise and researching the trip it slowly evolved into Amsterdam, Barcelona, Seville, Granada, back to Barcelona than back to Amsterdam for the flight home.  A lot of traveling yes which is exhausting but sometimes I get a wild hair and want to fit in as much culture and change as I can possibly muster.  Other trips, I like to hang in one place and not move around so much.  With this report I’ll include Seville & Granada separate.

What we saw and did:

Sagrada Familia – from the outside…. we were too late for our timed ticket, yes a bummer!

La Pedrera, Casa Mila ….don’t miss this if you go to Barcelona

The Barrio Gotico – we did a walk from National Geographic traveler guide, what a wonderful area

La Ramblas – oh up and down we will go…..many times but only ate at one restaurant there

Park Guell – incredible views over Barcelona.  We stayed till dark, what a park !

Barcelona Cathedral – don’t miss the geese in the side courtyard, the Cathedral is stunning

Palau Guel – again like all items by Gaudi, incredible!

Columbus monument – next time I want to take the elevator to the foot

the Port area – reminds me of Annapolis

Hop on and off bus – we spent two days riding this bus.  What a wonderful overview and was so easy.

We met a bunch of girls in a restaurant, there were several tables and none of us knew each other but we all started talking and the waiter said why don’t you all move closer together so we did and when the restaurant closed we took him too!  We partied like rock stars us and the young girls.  The waiter took us to a place that was like a speakeasy.  They played ragtime music and I started feeling like a flapper.  We all loved it, what a cool place!  We danced at bars that I cannot remember.  I had a spill on one of these black things in the road that are like a road blocks, hurt my knee and hand.  That was a huge ouch for a few days and I limped around and took Aleve.

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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:  http://www.historywalks.eu
  • The Resistance Museum , website:  http://www.verzetsmuseum.org/museum/en/museum
  • 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 !

https://giannettaj.com/2012/10/14/scoused-soused-and-yanked-by-liver-birds-trip-report-on-liverpool-chester-les-guest-writer-on-a-segment-of-our-englandireland-trip-where-he-met-up-with-us-ty-les-good-read-good-humor/