England Day 6: So much Beatles, part 1

On our first (and only) full day in Liverpool, I had booked us several Beatle tours. I mean, this was my big chance to see all the Beatle things, or as much as I could cram in. Though there are a lot of different tours, I knew I definitely wanted to see Paul and John’s childhood homes – and the only way to see them (go inside them) is via the National Trust tour. (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatles-childhood-homes)

It’s really easy – you just book your tickets through the website, and you meet up at the Jurys Inn hotel (that’s the current meet-up spot) to board a shuttle bus. This hotel is right by Albert Dock – in fact it was the hotel right next to Staybridge Suites, where we were staying.

Kids under 5 are free, but still need a reserved spot, so you can email or call them to book that. Kids that need carseats, you’ll have to bring a carseat for. They do provide booster seats.

We knew it might be a gamble taking a baby, but overall Elena is pretty well-behaved and never melts down. Unfortunately she was going through a happy shrieking phase. :-/

Anyway, the shuttle bus takes you to John’s house first and later on to Paul’s. A lovely married couple do the tours for the houses. We had the wife for Paul’s house and the husband for John’s. You can take pictures outside the house – in fact, they took pictures for everyone in our small group that wanted one. But once inside, they take all your cameras and phones and lock them safely in a cupboard. Because of copyright issues, no pictures are allowed inside. (In Paul’s house, his brother Mike’s photographer is all over the walls – much of it taken in the spot where it is hung, and that was another copyright reason.). You can buy little tour books of each house, so those make a nice souvenir.

Other than being strict about photos, they couple couldn’t have been nicer. And because we aren’t assholes and we didn’t want our baby annoying people, when we asked if we could take her outside if needed, they were very nice about it and said we could absolutely take her out or to another room if we wanted. (They were trying to keep you all in one room at a time, but said we didn’t need to worry about that.) All the people on our tour were older and many seemed to be grandparents, and everyone was really nice about the baby, so that was good too. Having been childless and annoyed about parents who make zero effort to keep their kids from bothering people for so long, it’s something we are sensitive to.

So we did our best to juggle her between us and take her outside to the yard or to wander around another room when she got restless. I didn’t mind, because honestly, I’m so steeped in the Beatles, they probably didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. So to be alone in a room in John or Paul’s house, just soaking it in, was really special.

In John’s house, the acoustics on the front porch were really good, so the guide said to go out there and sing, which I did. And in Paul’s house (as seen in that karaoke carpool episode), the upstairs bathroom also has good acoustics. So I sang in there too. Paul’s living room was something – because that’s where his dad’s piano was and only some of the most famous Beatles songs ever were written in that room, so no big deal. Honestly, to walk where two of the Beatles grew up and where John and Paul became friends and bandmates and where they wrote songs… it was amazing.

So no pics from inside, but here are our outdoor pics.

John’s house:

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Someone fell asleep on the shuttle ride there. Too bad she didn’t stay out longer, haha!

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This is the front porch with the good acoustics:

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This is John’s Aunt Mimi’s house, of course. His dad sort of ditched them and his mom was a little flighty, so he was raised by Mimi and George. When he was a teenager, John’s mom was famously hit by a vehicle and killed, which (of course) affected him the rest of his life. Paul’s mom died young of breast cancer, so they bonded over losing their mums. Mimi was very strict, and didn’t like John’s friends that much and they all had to go around to the back door. Paul included. :D

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Next up, the row house that Paul grew up in. The woman in this photo is our guide:

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You can see her taking pics for people in the background!

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After our tours, Doug took Elena back to the hotel room, while I ran out to get fish & chips for lunch. After asking the best place to go, it turned out to be a pretty far walk along Albert Dock, into the big shopping mall/boardwalk. But I was on a mission, so I raced there as fast as I could go. I happened to have the stroller with me since I wasn’t supposed to be going very far. And in the end. I buckled the fish and chips in there since that was the easiest way to deal with the stroller and the big boxes. I got some weird looks, but it worked.

This is what the shopping area looked like. I took this in front of the fish & chip place, and had to walk all the way back to the right, and then around the part that is jutting out and back behind it to the right.

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Also spotted this:

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I gotta say, the fish & chips were really good. Elena really enjoyed mushy peas – and I think that has given her a like for peas for good so far. She used to not like them that much, before she had them in England!

After bolting down lunch, we headed out for a second Beatles tour. So stay tuned for that in another post!

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