Generation Z. Cruising in an RV.: Our Lifestyle Adventures: Touring London and Liverpool as the Fab Four

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Our Lifestyle Adventures: Touring London and Liverpool as the Fab Four

Penny Lane, beneath the blue suburban skies!
at the entrance to the Ritz
When Trisha, Krishna and Yeye left for Edinburgh, my BFFs Ann and Jingjing had already arrived from Manila. We were all booked at the University of London which opens up its rooms to tourists when its students are on summer break. The room was adequate, with a double bed, an ensuite bathroom, a small kitchen with an small oven, a one-burner stove, a small refrigerator and some plates, glasses, and silverware. There was no TV but there was a wide long study table on one wall.

We had one special mission in London: High Tea at the Ritz. Karen, Jingjing’s friend came with us. All four of us ladies dressed up for the special night. As expected, we were all in black and white cocktail dresses. Bill was our escort, handsome in his blue sports jacket. We were at the Ritz early so we had our photos taken with the regally costumed guards and at the elegant waiting lounge. Tea is served at the Palm Court, “a dramatic room…flanked by high walls of gleaming mirrors, a ceiling…with intricate gilded trellis, romantic birdcage chandeliers, a striking stone fountain…and a soaring vibrant floral display.”

High Tea ar the Ritz in London
The Ritz is a five-star hotel in Piccadilly opened by Swiss Hotelier Cesar Ritz in 1906. It caused a dramatic shift in the industry’s focus as it spearheaded the ultimate in hotel luxury and high standards. Afternoon tea, on the other hand, was started by Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford in the early nineteenth century. The story goes that she asked for tea and finger sandwiches by late afternoon since the practice was dinner at 8 or 9 which was the only other meal after late breakfast. The Ritz carried the tradition and soon it became the social event of high society London. It was the place to be “seen.” The Four had to be there!
ready to go home

At 5:45 PM, our reservation time, we were called to our table. What an array of eats! The variety of delish tea sandwiches was extensive. But that was the night I started my love affair with English raisin and plain scones, Cornish clotted cream, and strawberry preserve. There also was an assortment of pastries and cakes. After one and a half hours, the allotted time slot for a reservation, we had so much left on the three-tiered High Tea trays. Besides, they served other special High tea fare from trays that were offered from table to table. What an experience!

But the highlight of our stay together was our day trip to Liverpool. Yes, being sexagenarians, we were serenaded by the Beatles during our prime. We just had to go to where they all started. Sadly, Bill did not want to join us even if he was also a Beatles fan. He had to have a haircut and make my fascinator! We hired Ver, a Filipino who is well-known to Filipinos traveling to London. He took us to the Beatles’ town, a 3 ½ hour trip, in his van, and took us back that same night. At lunch time we were served his special treat, chicken and pork adobo and white rice right there inside his van!
    
the Fab Four tour black cab
where John Lennon and Paul McCartney met to start it all
In Liverpool, we took the highly popular Fab Four tour. In a traditional English black cab, we were taken to the homes of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, where John and Paul met, what Ringo Starr frequented, Eleanor Rigby’s tomb, Penny Lane, and other places that evoked fond memories of Beatlemania. But our favorite place was inside the black cab, not only because it was drizzling the whole time but also because the driver played Beatles’ tunes every time we got back in the taxi. And, guess what we did? You’re right, we were sang our hearts out every single time!

Liverpool Maternity Hospital
where John Lennon was born at 6:30 pm on Oct. 9, 1940
When the tour was finished, we looked for the Music Hall of Fame, a wall painted where the platinum records of the Beatles are hung. There we found a duo playing their guitars and singing the songs we had been singing. So, guess what we did? Yes, you’re right again!  We took over the show and the duo gladly faded into the background and accompanied us. We gave the performance of our lives. Pretty soon, a huge throng gathered around us, enjoying the spectacle of silly old women getting lost in the euphoria of the songs! After we left, a new group continued the festive spirit.

where Ringo Starr was born
That was pure, unadulterated joy. The Beatles may have been the Fab Four but that day a new Fab Four was born! But we had to proceed to Edinburgh and to April’s wedding. Before we left, we met with Peng Harris at Nando’s, a popular chain in England. Peng was a colleague in I/ACT who married Graham. They  have a beautiful daughter Alysha. The mix of Caucasian and Asian races is always a surefire one. 
the Performance of our Lives
at the Liverpool Music Hall of Fame

Touring with family is fun but so is touring with friends. Please don’t ask me to choose!