Although it was just yesterday that I was in Liverpool, I am already about dying to go back. I was only there for 4 days (supposed to be three, whoops!), but I have never had a more amazing weekend in my entire life. That’s right, ever. I truly, truly believe that I am meant to live in Liverpool. But I’ll keep gushing about the incredible place after I explain my time there!
I’ve got to start back before we left on Wednesday because I didn’t cover that in the earlier post. Wednesday we went to the Camden Markets with the ISA group. Well, we were supposed to meet the group but we were 20 minutes late and never found them! We were considering skipping and going another time because my wonderful mama got Heather and I a Groupon spa/massage trip to a place near us, but we decided to do that another day and see Camden. The place was AMAZING! It is full of different shops and places selling dresses, jackets, touristy things, etc.etc. for super cheap prices – and you can bargain too! I got an iPhone case that was originally ten pounds for five pounds, a scarf for eight pounds and a mug for one pound! We had to leave after that or else I would definitely have spent/bought more. We are planning on going back very soon though since there are so many good deals. It definitely beats going to typical H&M or Forever 21!
Thursday, Heather and I had classes from 9-5 … it was almost unbearable with the thoughts of our weekend coming up! But we got through it and after class we ran home to get ready to see Jersey Boys that night! Our tickets were only 22 pounds and we were in the front row! I was beyond excited, but when we got there, we were about 2 feet away from the stage that began at our foreheads. I was looking directly up when they were on the stage, and when they moved upstage I couldn’t see them at all! I was a little upset because I missed my favorite part, but I always love being close, and for such a cheap price I really couldn’t complain. At intermission though, we ended up moving to the empty seats in the row behind us which made all the difference! We could see everything now and the show was just great! It was my fourth time seeing it, but I’m pretty sure it will never get old. Needless to say, I’ll be going back again … very soon!
After the show, we got home at about 11. We hadn’t packed for Liverpool at all! We got all of our tickets together, packed up some clothes, showered, and finally got in bed at around 2AM – only to wake up at 7AM to get ready and meet our bus at 8AM. Surprisingly it wasn’t very hard to wake up, but it was probably because we were very excited to get there! The bus ride was five and a half hours, but I slept about half the way and listened to my iPod the rest. It was not a bad trip at all. When we got to Liverpool, we thought we’d be able to walk to our hostel, but with the rain an the crazy wind and our lack of knowledge for the place, we walked around for about 20 minutes then decided to get a taxi. The taxi ride was only 4 pounds so it wasn’t expensive and made things a lot easier! We made it to our hostel, Hatters Hostel, where we checked in and got our key. The people working at the reception desk were so nice and welcoming, which made me very excited for the stay. The hostel was great too! The walls were covered with murals and Beatles paintings and photographs – it was pretty amazing. Our hostel was a 6 person room, but we were the first to arrive in the room. We chose the bunk in the corner so we’d have our own little section. After we made up our beds and dropped our stuff off, we headed right out to explore the city .. little did we know we wouldn’t be back until um, 3AM?
So we began down into the shopping center of Liverpool, which is a huge area full of stores and restaurants that everyone walks around in. It was so cute and nice! It was raining and windy, so things were a little more difficult. We stopped into a pizza place to grab some lunch/dinner, and it was honestly some of the best pizza I’ve eaten – and coming from me, you know that’s a big deal! After that we headed out to find Matthew Street – the place where The Beatles basically had their beginning. Right when we stepped on the street it started to DOWNPOUR, so we ran into a Beatles shop on the street and browsed around for a bit. There was so many things – key chains, posters, books, photographs, socks, slippers, mugs, etc etc etc! We didn’t buy anything because we knew we’d be back, so when the rain let up a little bit we headed back out. We took a couple of pictures but it was so muggy and wet out, we figured we take most pictures when we came back on Saturday. We went into a little bar called the Lennon Bar, which was completely dedicated/shrined out for John Lennon. You walk down some stairs where the walls are covered with pictures of John and then into the bar which had the look and feel of a hole-in-the-wall bar. I loved it. We sat down and enjoyed the place .. there was karaoke going on so we were able to listen and laugh at that for a little bit. We decided to hop around a bit so after that we went to The Grapes, which is a bar that The Beatles used to grab a drink from after their shows back in the 60s! We went in and took a seat and were greeted and chatted up by so many people! We met an older man and his wife who could not believe how young we were and still loving The Beatles! He was so so nice and they told us about a show at the Cavern Club the next day that we needed to check out. After they left us, a couple other older people danced around us and talked to us about Liverpool. I have never been in a place where everyone was so amazingly friendly – I already had fallen in love with the place. We were there for a little while, then decided to go back to the Lennon Bar. We walked in to an older man – about 85? – singing some karaoke. He was not only a great singer but SO adorable! We danced and cheered him on as he sang a couple of songs, and afterwards he came over to say hi to us and gave us a postcard thing of his daughter who is a singer! After he left, we listened to a couple more people sing while Heather tried to convince me to get up there .. I really did not want to but I figured who cares, I’m in Liverpool! So we got up there and sang ‘Hard Days Night’ which I realized about 10 seconds after we started how absolutely horrible we sounded. It was very embarrassing but we had fun with it and everyone seemed to as well! Once we got off stage we danced to some other people singing and Heather ended up getting up again and karaokeing with a guy to another Beatles song. They sounded much better than we did, but I think it was because of the guy and not Heather, hehehee .. We headed out of the Lennon Bar again and decided to check out the famous Cavern Club. To get in, you have to walk down a couple of flights of stairs which makes everything much more exciting .. we walked in and right away I was already too happy to explain. There were so many people around having fun and dancing, and there was a band, The Rockits, on the stage singing mostly Beatles songs but a few others as well. We went out to the front by the stage and started dancing with these two older woman .. immediately they grabbed our hands and we were all having a blast. Some younger girls from South America (I think?) came around too and we were all dancing and eventually more people joined in and everyone was going crazy. Heather and I took a break after a while and headed over to the side for seats where we sat down across from a cute couple who we began to talk to. Their names were Ian and May and they were so friendly! We danced around with them for a little bit and they invited us to the club next door with them. The place was called Flare, it was SO crowded! The dance floor was full of lights that changed colors, it was so cool. We weren’t there for very long because of how crowded and crazy it was, so we left there and, you guessed it, headed back to Lennon Bar AGAIN! Of course there was more dancing with them and everyone there and in time Heather and I decided to call it a night and head back to the hostel. We said bye to Ian and May, exchanged numbers and said that we’d try to see them again. We walked home which is such a close walk, and made it back pretty late. The four extra beds in our hostel were now filled and we tried not to wake them up although I’m sure we were loud. Heather took a quick shower, but I was so exhausted I fell asleep before she got out!
Saturday we woke up around 11AM. I jumped in the shower and got ready for the day when the girls who were in our room showed up. Little did we know, it was the SAME EXACT South American girls that we were dancing with the other night! One of the biggest and weirdest coincidences of my life. We about freaked out. We talked with them for a little bit but wanted to get out and explore so we left by noon. We headed straight to Matthew Street where we took pictures of just about everything. We saw the original entrance to the Cavern Club, a ton of statues dedicated to the Beatles, a wall full of bricks with musicians who have performed at the Cavern, and soooo much more! We visited the Hard Days Night Hotel, which is a hotel completely dedicated and themed by The Beatles. We took some pictures and went into the souvenir shop where I bought a poster. After we left there we wanted to grab lunch so we stopped in a cute cafe on Matthew Street called Cafe 31. The people there were so nice and the food was delicioussss! Heather got some tea too which was some of the best tea I have had since I’ve been here. We wanted to check out the show at the Cavern Club that the couple told us about the night before so around 3 we headed there. The band playing was called The Shakers, and they shared the set with an acoustic player named Jay Murray. The Shakers were so much fun! They were all dressed in matching vests and ties and played a bunch of Beatles songs – they were SO good! Jay got on the stage after them and played a bunch of covers as well. He asked everyone who wasn’t from Liverpool and called us out – when I told him we were from America he replied that he thought we looked American. Great….. haha, anyways, throughout his set he kept calling us out and talking to us, it was so much fun! He sounded so good too and everyone sang along to him. While he was up there, an old man showed up, clearly hammered, and started to dance around and do weird things. He pulled out a rubber chicken and started squeaking it and stuck it in his drink .. THEN he pulled out a blonde curly long haired wig and put it on .. I realy don’t know. Jay was laughing at him, telling us it was his father, and saying that was our welcome to Liverpool. It was strange, but I was laughing so hard and loving it! When Jay finished playing, the Shakers got back on stage and sang a bit and talked to us as well. So it was then 6:30 and we decided to head back to the hostel to get ready a little bit before heading right back to the Cavern Club at 8 for a Beatles Tribute show we had tickets to. We had front row seats for it and they acted just like the Beatles and everyone danced and sang along with them. Everyone kept yelling RINGOO to sing, which they gave him one song! It was so funny though and I loved every minute of the show. At the intermission of their show I told ‘Paul’ that it was Heather’s birthday and if they could sing Birthday to her. He said it wasn’t on their set list but he could dedicate a song to her. So towards the end of the show, he called her out for her birthday with a comment that Heather was not his favorite name (since he divorced Heather) .. he dedicated a song to her, and what better song then ‘Get Back’! It was so funny but we got up and danced and sang and when the show was over we went out into the main area of the club where the musicians on the stage were the Cave Dwellers. It was the guys from the Shakers with people who were able to come up and play and sing with them. A man and girl came up and sang and played with them and the guy played the guitar behind his back, behind another guy, AND with his tongue! It was one of the craziest things I’ve seen and everyone went crazy over him. While we were dancing around, the photographer for the Cavern walked past us and recognized us .. he asked Heather if she was here the night before – it was soo funny ! When this show ended, we went back to get a picture with the Shakers and talk to them a little bit. We talked to the main singer Eddie and the drummer Tony. They welcomed us to Liverpool and told us to come see them play there on Sunday night and we told them we wouldn’t be able to because we had a bus back to London at 5 on Sunday, but that we’d be back very soon to see them again! After this we decided to go and walked into the Lennon bar for a little bit before deciding to call it a night. Walking out of Lennon Bar, there was a fast food pizza place above it that we went into for some food. While ordering, the people next to me realized we were American and asked where we were from. Turns out, they were from OWENSBORO KY! It was so crazy and we all about freaked out! The girl we met, Dori, had moved to Liverpool for graduate school and now worked at the Beatles Story. She was so nice and we told her we’d try and see her when we went the The Beatles Story! On our walk home we talked about how obsessed we were with this place and that we never wanted to leave. The idea of possibly staying another night came up and on instant we both said YES. When we got back to the hostel we asked them how much it would be to stay another night – only 12 pounds each! And we looked at bus tickets and found some for Monday night for only 9 pounds! Of course we had to do this, so we booked each and went to bed very happy.
Sunday morning we woke up at about 10AM for the Magical Mystery Bus Tour we had tickets too. We went to the houses that the Beatles all grew up in, Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, and saw the school that they went to, where they all first met, etc. etc! We got so many pictures, signed the gates at Strawberry Field and had such a fun time. After that ended, we wanted to eat at a cafe on Matthew Street named Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, but it was closed. So instead, we grabbed a cheap meal at Subway before going back to the hostel for a little bit. At the hostel, we met and talked to some guys we had met on Friday before heading up to our room. Everyone at the hostel was so nice and fun! We are definitely staying there again when we go back. Up in our hostel, the South American girls had left but we met the guys that were staying there. One guy was from Malaysia (I think?), and the other was from Sweden (or Norway.. or Finland…). We talked to them for a little while before we headed out for the night. We started our at Lennon Bar where there was a guy dressed up impersonating Elvis. He sang ‘Ticket to Ride’ alternating between an Elvis impression and John Lennon impression – it was absolutely hilarious. After watching him for a while we headed to the Cavern Club to see the Shakers play! We got a seat and ended up sitting near the Cavern photographer again … who asked us if we ever leave – and of course, our answer was no! While the Shakers were playing, Eddie noticed us there and got pretty confused since we were supposed to leave, but we told him we just weren’t able to do it! We also sat next to an amazingly sweet Australian girl, Sarah. She was a huge Beatles fan as well and we all chatted for a little bit. I told her and the photographer that it was Heathers birthday and the photographer took Heather and pulled her up on the Cavern stage where the Shakers sang to her! It was so much fun and I got it on video – she went crazy and couldn’t believe she got up on the stage at the Cavern Club! After she came down, we danced around and sang to the Shakers music some more until their show was finished. We headed back to say hello again and for more pictures and ended up in the dressing room talking for a while! We got a lot of pictures with them and told them to remember us when we came back! Of course they said they would and we talked to them about getting shirts and found out that one of the guitar players actually plays with the Pete Best Band. Heather died, of course. After some more chatting, we said goodbye and that we’d see them soon and went back out to the club where an acoustic player was up next. He played a bunch of Beatles songs (of course) and we danced with Sarah and everyone else around! There was a group of older couples on the other side of the club that kept waving to us and dancing with us and we ended up moving over there for a little bit to talk with them and dance with them! They gave us their email and number and told us to come back and see them, which we said we definitely would! After more dancing (of courseee) the show ended and the club closed around 12 .. we walked across the street to the Cavern Pub. There was more music and more Beatles covers and more dancing (Can you tell our weekend consisted of a lot of dancing?) and the pub ended up closing around 1 .. we went over to the Grapes for a little bit where we chatted around with some other folks before heading back to the hostel and falling asleep the moment we walked in.
Monday morning we woke up about 1030 and headed out for some breakfast and to see The Beatles Story! We went to the Starbucks that was attached to the museum and got some tea and snacks. We went over the The Beatles Story where we ended up finding Dori and she got us tickets for free! She was so sweet – I got her email and Facebook and told her I’d be contacting her about what she did in grad school there etc. etc. The Beatles Story was a museum that took you from the time The Beatles met to the time they broke up. There were pictures of them, their actual guitars, glasses, clothing, etc, replicas of the Cavern Club and Abbey Road Studios, and so much more. At the end there was a room full of quotes by others and by the Beatles themselves, with a section for each Beatle to remember them. It was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been to! We weren’t able to go to the 4D show thing, but it’s definitely on our list when we go back. After that, we went back to Cafe 31 to eat again. Food was still delicious and the tea was addicting. We had to head back to the hostel to grab our luggage and get a taxi to the bus station. As much as I wanted to stay, there was no way we could skip out on another bus! The bus ride home felt longer than the one there but I think it is because I didn’t sleep as much. But we made it home at around 11 and I had to skype my parents/Holly to tell them about the weekend.
It was an amazing four days and I have never felt so happy in a city in my entire life. I really couldn’t tell you what it was about Liverpool – the overly friendly people, the live music everywhere, or the livliness of the city – but it’s probably a mix of everything that just makes that place so wonderful. I felt at home there and it was only a weekend. I have not only been converted into a soon Beatles obsessed fan (THANKS heather!), but I think I’ve also gained an addiction to Liverpool. In just four days I have fallen so so so in love with that place. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love London, but Liverpool is something else. I can’t even explain it I just love it so much. I will be back there as soon as I can, and hopefully in the future I will be there to stay for good!