Last night, my husband, Roy, and I saw the “Let it Be” Beatles tribute show in Thousand Oaks, California. Roy is from Liverpool and we have a flat there, so the Beatles are special to us.  As family and friends know, my mother-in-law served the Beatles coffee in their dressing room (they were in their underwear and shirttails!) We think it was 1962 or so. Edie was the best mother-in-law…we miss her…..

They showed some scenes from Liverpool during the show that we can see from the window of our flat. The Liver building (the one with the clock) was shown in old photos projected at the show last night. The Beatles statue (see photos below) is located near the water; you can just make the figures out it the distance.

As I watched the show, I wondered if anyone else in the audience was from Liverpool or if it was as special a place to them as it is to us.  All of my husband’s family are in Liverpool, and we always look forward to seeing everyone during our visits.  It is “home” to us, just like California, where we live most of the time and Milwaukee, my home town.  I’ve always thought that the cities that are “home” to us are an unusual combination–Liverpool, Milwaukee and the greater Los Angeles area!

As I sat at the show, I was thinking about family and friends in Liverpool and other parts of the UK, and I got all misty-eyed thinking about seeing them soon.  We will have a new great niece or nephew during our upcoming visit.  We will attend a wedding…we will visit friends outside of Liverpool, too. I feel so lucky to have Liverpool in my life and our wonderful friends and family.

As I listened to the Beatles music and thought about what the city has meant so much to me, I could feel tears coming down my cheeks!  Don’t tell Roy!  I am such a softie, but I thought I could try and show what the city means with some photos, perhaps some you’ve seen before, but some new ones, too.

The jelly bean Beatles at the Albert Dock, which is very close to our flat.

The site of the Cavern Club and this statue of John Lennon are just a few blocks from our flat.

Not sure if you can see the fireworks; we celebrated New Years a few years ago with family and friends at our flat. I believe lots of beer and wine were consumed!

The ferries come in and cruise ships dock just a few blocks from our flat. I’m here with niece Nicola and her husband, Paul, or Simmo, as he is nicknamed!

It was so much fun to see the three Cunard ships–the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria come into port together for the first time in Liverpool. The building to the right is the original Cunard building, so to celebrate the line’s 175th birthday, all three ships came into the original home of Cunard (it moved it’s HQ to Southhampton, but is using Liverpool as a stop on several cruises now.)

Family and friends stopped by to see the ships, as there were over a million people along the route. Paul’s parents, Fred and Margaret (on the couch) joined us to toast the magnificent ships!

During the evening, there was a special show where the lights changed on the Three Graces at the Pier Head in Liverpool. The light show on these historic buildings was fantastic.

During the light show, the early days of the Cunard Line were featured.

There was even a nod to the U.S.

As the last ship left, Roy and I ran across the street to see it off!

Roy went to university in Coventry, and his college friend, Steve (and his wife, Jenny, dear friends) came to visit. The Pier Head on the River Mersey is a must-see spot.

During a summer visit, we walked across the street from our flat to a fun fair. Great nephew, Sam, in the bubble in his Liverpool Football Club kit, of course.

While the men were shy, the boys showed up for the photo–Archie, in Pat’s arms, and Sam out front.  The women of our Liverpool family got together for a photo during a summer get together at Nicola and Paul’s.

When my niece, Sarah, and sister, Chris, traveled to Liverpool from Milwaukee, we visited Penny Lane.  Roy owned a flat near Penny Lane and didn’t sell it until after he moved to the U.S. When he did sell it in the early 80s, I was waiting for him in the car outside the flat, and Paul McCartney’s aunt came on the radio to request one of the Beatle’s songs. I was so surprised.

I like to bake for family and friends when I am in Liverpool.  I love kneading bread and looking out the window!

I make flatbreads with olives and stilton for our friend, Dan, pictured a few photos below.

So many family and friends are huge fans of Liverpool Football Club, so our friend, Dan, arranged a special tour for us.  Here’s Roy and me at Anfield. We came through the tunnel that the players use to come onto the pitch. As I write this, Roy is watching a tape of the Liverpool game played at 4:30 a.m.  California time.  They won!

Did the tour with Roy, Monica and Dan.  Monica and I in the press room at Anfield ready to take questions!

Dan, Monica and me in front of the LFC logo inside Anfield.

Here’s a view of the new stand at Anfield.

There’s an intensity to watching Liverpool play football, as you can see at a family gathering to watch the game.

One Christmas, we went with the gang to take the kids to a Christmas display.  We all loved it!

Karen sets a beautiful Christmas table.  Pam helped!

Sam enjoyed the Christmas poppers with his Mum, Leanne. Can’t believe that this was five years ago this Christmas!

Roy, Carla, Lola and Ian on our hike in Wales.  Really loved it!  For those not familiar with the North of England,Wales is a short drive from Liverpool. We had a wonderful day and brought a picnic!

Can you believe these fab Liverpool women came down to London for my book event last year?  Love them!

OK, Leslie is from Wales, but Jimmy is from Liverpool.  They live in a great town near Manchester called Knutsford, and we stopped at the beer and whisky place for a drink. Too fun!

Jimmy and Leslie’s son, Thomas, during a visit to our flat on a rainy day.  You can see the LFC temporary face paint.  Jimmy and Thomas are big Liverpool fans, like all of our family and friends.  Well, there might be a few Everton fans, too, but not too many.  Everton is the other football club in Liverpool.

We went on the Liverpool Eye with Jimmy, Thomas and Leslie.  Great views of the city.

You can tell how much Bob likes photos!  Great dinner with Roy’s siblings and spouses in West Derby in Liverpool.

We had a barbecue in Liverpool when my niece and sister visited from Milwaukee.  Here’s Sarah with Ellis and Anthony, who clearly does NOT want to be in this photo. Hilarious!

Great photo of Ian, Karen and Chris.

Chris and Sarah are big Harry Potter fans, and some of the scenes from one of the Harry Potter movies was filmed here in front of the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

Love this photo of my sisters-in-laws Pat and Karen.

Karen, Pam and Karen. Was this before a wedding?

We really get dressed up for weddings, particularly ones in castles.. Got to have the fascinators (hats), too!

This photo is from a dinner with our nephew, Joey, and his wife, Hannah.  Karen, Ian, Roy and I drove over from Liverpool to Manchester, to see their renovated house and had a wonderful dinner at a restaurant near their home.

Another great dinner, but dark photo. I see Dan, Monica and Barbara and Sian and Nancy on the opposite side next to Roy.

We have great dinners out in Liverpool.  This one is with our friends Jackie and James, visiting from London. We ate at Art School, the best restaurant in Liverpool.  Dinner was fabulous and we loved the time with our friends. Jackie and James are huge fans of Liverpool and its stunning architecture.

Liverpool is beautiful view at night, too.  This is a great example of the architecture that James and Jackie admire.

We never get tired of looking out the window!

Can you see the old building reflected in the new? A beautiful sunset in Liverpool.

St. George’s Hall in Liverpool is another example of beautiful architecture.

Of course, we were at the Hall for a beer festival.  Here is my all-time favorite photo of the brothers, Roy and Ian.  Having a pint, of course!

Back to the Beatles…the statue of them at the waterfront.  Roy took a photo of me with my latest novel, Love Reconsidered.

Here’s the statue before it was finished. Ringo wasn’t in it yet.  It was exhibited for the first time at the annual international Beatles festival in Liverpool. Roy and I attended and really enjoyed the speakers and exhibits. We heard Donovan, Pattie Boyd and Peter Asher, to name a few.

Hope you get an idea from these photos about how special Liverpool is.  Can’t wait to see family and friends when we are over and meet the new member of the family. Exciting.  I love Liverpool!

Even as the storm approaches, it’s beautiful in Liverpool.

Here’s a photo Claire took from the top of the Cunard building. The red brick building on the corner is the original White Star building; White Star owned the Titanic.  The ship was designed in that building, and when it sank, the officials had to speak to the crowd from the balcony (on the other side of the building), as most of the crew were from Liverpool, and the family and friends of the crew were frantic for news. Of course, the vast majority of the crew perished. The musicians who famously played while the ship sunk signed their contracts in an old building just up the street from our flat near City Hall.