Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fantastic Field Trip to Liverpool

On June 28-29, we were taken by coach (our mad driver Terry, a former jockey with golden earrings), to learn all about the Beatles in Liverpool, and we got much more than our money's worth. Some even got the once in a lifetime experience of performing onstage at the famous Cavern Club, where the Beatles got their start. Here's a selection of photos from the trip.

The group at the entrance to Beatles Story museum.

Sarah Jones, Erica Wilcheck, Brendan Wood, Karly Mason, Becca Schuler, and Katie Hungler at the Beatles museum cafe.

Katie Hungler at Penny Lane.

Professor Mark Otten and our Magical Mystery Tour bus.

Susan Landenwitsch (left) and Kim Krekeler at Strawberry Field.

Enjoying live Beatles music at the Cavern Club: l-r Mathea Harbaugh, Dennis Halpin, Anna White, Hannah Kutcher, Kim Krekeler, Nina Adams, and Christine Jagger.

And THEN! Kimberlyn Angelo, right, was invited up to play guitar with Two of Us, a Beatles tribute duo. See the video in a separate post.

Dennis, Katie H., Susan, Karly, Anna, Kimberlyn, Kim, and me at Paul McCartney's teenage home. We were given an excellent tour inside Paul and John's homes.

Hatters Hostel (an excellent hostel in a former Victorian YMCA), where we stayed the night.

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Location:Liverpool, England

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kimberlyn Angelo Plays the Cavern

The highlight of our Beatles field trip to Liverpool came when Kimberlyn Angelo was invited onstage at the famous Cavern Club, where the Beatles got their start, to accompany the Beatles tribute duo Two of Us on two songs, "Blackbird" and "I'll Follow the Sun.". She was terrific and needless to say we were all very proud of her. Watch and listen for yourself:

The Light and the Dark

I don't know and probably will never know for sure if traveling abroad has had anything to do with the fact that my credit card was hacked and over $5,000 of fraudulent charges appeared among my transactions between June 22-29.  But the experience has put a real damper on my travels and destroyed my desire to stay abroad and visit Spain a la Hemingway after the study abroad program ends on July 6.  Although my card company (Chase) assures me I won't be responsible for the fraudulent charges, when something like this happens, it forces you to recognize the extent to which there are nasty folks out there, looking for every opportunity to take advantage of others.

I would have been traveling alone in Spain, which I had some reservations about anyway, not out of any fear of not being able to take care of myself.  It's just that travel experiences are always far richer if you can enjoy them in the company of others.  I had hoped that others could join me in Spain, but for various reasons they couldn't get away from their obligations.  Still, I was prepared to go it alone and experience some of Hemingway's favorite places in San Sebastian, Pamplona, and Madrid, until the hacker took away some of the joy of life.  I'd been hacked once before, but on a small scale compared to this.  Looking at the transactions online felt a lot like watching a ravenous monster insatiably devouring all in its path before I cancelled the card.  You certainly feel violated when this happens.  It's a kind of financial rape, I suppose.

But we move on.  Now I can get back (assuming the airline can find a seat for me) and set to work a week earlier than planned on editing a book manuscript and getting it ready for publication.  And truthfully, I'm happy to have the extra week.  The book (a non-fictional account of a small town Indiana high school basketball team in 1963) really needs to be finished in the next few months.  The 50th anniversary of the team's accomplishments is coming in 2013.

The other bright side has been the group of students on this trip.  Though we've had some challenges and Mark and I needed to be forceful in setting some boundaries early on, the group has got on well without major mishap and they've been a ton of fun to be around.  I wish I hadn't been so busy that I couldn't spend more time with them.  I think the Liverpool field trip exceeded all our expectations and created a few spectacular lifelong memories in the process.  And we still have five more days in London ahead of us, with a Beatles walk, the Natural History Museum, a play at the Globe, and everything else that Britain's great city has to offer.  Who knows for sure, but I think people in this group are likely to remain friends for years to come, if not for the rest of their lives.

And that makes doing all this worthwhile.  The forces of evil can't take that away, can they?

At Hadrian's Wall in the North of England

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Ringo show in Liverpool

Several of us trained to Liverpool last weekend to see Ringo Starr in concert with his all star band. It was a terrific show. Here are some photos from the trip.

The group just after we arrived at the Lime St. Station in Liverpool. From left Dustin, Katia, Dennis, Katie, Hannah, Susan, Kimberlyn, and Nina.

Dennis, Kimberlyn, and Katia.

Me in front of the Empire Theater, where Ringo performed. The Beatles performed there in the the 60s.

Kimberlyn realizes she's actually going to be seeing her childhood hero.

Opening act Mila Falls. She was very good and we got to meet her after the show.

Ringo appears. Rick Derringer on guitar.

Edgar Winter does Free Ride.

Ringo looked amazingly good for a 71 year old man. And drummed as well as ever.

Susan and Dustin with Mila Falls after the show.

The happy group enjoys refreshments. Later I matched wits with a local Beatle expert in a head to head contest in which we tried to stump each other with questions about the Fab Four. He was very good but I got him on questions about the Beatles in america. It ended in a tie.

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Location:Liverpool, England

At the American WWII cemetery near Cambridge

Returning from Cambridge, our driver Colin suggested we make an unplanned stop at the American WWII cemetery there, and we were very glad we did!

Superintendent Michael Green led us on a powerful and very moving tour. (note to future British study leaders: this is highly recommended, if you can fit it in).

Students even got to participate in the lowering the flag ceremony, quite an honor!

It was an experience none of us is likely to forget.

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Photos from Cambridge Field Trip

On Wednesday, June 22, we traveled by coach, with our wise driver Colin, for a Darwinian field trip to the Sedgwick Museum and a tour of Christ College, where Darwin was a student.

The Mathematical Bridge, meeting point.

The group at the entrance to the Sedgwick Museum.

Mathea Harbaugh entertains fellow students (Katia Sittmann to her right) with story time, the tale of Tinyranasaurus (sp?) Rex.

Lunch break.

Sheltered from the rain at the entrance to Christ College.

Cambridge Fellow Professor David Norman spoke to us of Darwin's days at Christ. This was Darwin's actual room.

The Darwin statue in the Christ College garden.

Cheshire and Nina say hello to Darwin.

Mathea stares down Darwin

I've been telling everyone that Darwin hung out with the Beatles, but no one believed me.

Kim at yet another Christ College memorial to Darwin.

Me under Poet John Milton's mulberry tree, under which he composed a number of his sonnets.

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Location:Cambridge, England

Photos of first days at Harlaxton.

The Manor, no place like it on earth.

Students explore the Gold Room.

The Cedar Staircase

In the Van der Elst Room

In the Great Hall.

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Location:Harlaxton Manor