When I was little, my dad used to sing to me every night before bed. Usually it’d be a Beatles song like “Yellow Submarine” or “Octopus’s Garden.”
I’ve loved The Beatles for as long as I can remember. Not only did Dad sing me their hits as I fell asleep each night, but Abbey Road and Help! were the albums he always played on road trips. “Rocky Raccoon” was one of the first songs I learned to play on guitar because it was one of the songs my dad commonly played. Over the years, I learned the lyrics to many of their songs — and music was always something my dad and I bonded over. He instilled in me a love of Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead and Van Morrison and The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty and Norah Jones. But The Beatles — they were special to us.
So you can imagine how much it meant to me to see where The Beatles got their start in England. I called my mom before we left for Liverpool and told her that the only reason we decided to squeeze a day in there was because it’s the hometown of Paul, John, George, and Ringo.
“That’s so cool, Nessie,” she told me. “Dad would’ve loved that.”
Abbey Road was just the beginning. We saw it in London and got the photo, something so touristy and annoying to locals, but I didn’t care. I was thrilled. We walked the crosswalk The Beatles walked (that’s on the cover of their album) and saw the studio where they recorded albums.
And in Liverpool, we went on the Magical Mystery Tour (something I HIGHLY recommend if you’re in England and are a Beatles nerd like me). We saw the homes they grew up in and the schools they attended. We stopped at Penny Lane for the picture, and as we drove down one of the most famous streets in the world, we listened to the song “Penny Lane.” We stopped at Strawberry Fields and learned about why the lyrics in the song were what they were. And we finished it off at the Cavern Club — the place where The Beatles played many gigs and grew their fame.
Andi dealt with me well — I was shaking from excitement and on the verge of tears the whole time because I couldn’t believe we were seeing the places we were seeing. She took every picture for me, smiled at every stop, and listened intently throughout the tour, doing everything she could to make sure the experience was worthwhile for me.
It’s something I would’ve loved to share with my dad, but I know somewhere, he’s happy I got to see all of the Beatles-related sights on this crazy trip I’m on. I know I was thinking about him the whole time.