On the Road Again…

T H E   S A G A   C O N T I N U E S  .  .  .

After oatmeal, half a grapefruit, hot coffee, and cold orange juice in the dining car for breakfast yesterday morning, the Lake Shore Limited crossed over the Chicago River and rolled into Union Station, downtown Chicago, almost on time.  Sometimes the trains run late, but if you care about service with a smile, you will love the Red Caps that meet you in Chicago.   If you ask for their assistance, they will pick you up as you get off the train in one of these . . .

They drive you into the station, deposit you in the Metropolitan Lounge to wait for your next train, pick you up later on and put you on your new train; or, if Chicago is your destination, they take you to get your luggage; they know how everything works, and are so helpful.  Our Red Cap, “Moses,” even drove us in this cart, with all our belongings through underground passages, directly to our rental car!  Now that’s what I call heaven.


And so off we went (musica for the moment, click, then come back) in a strange car, on strange freeways, with a strange and oddly cranky voice on GPS, always upset with us . . . to the point where I had to turn her off.  She seems so mad when we don’t turn right when she tells us to.  Joe thinks one of those kind of people in the car is already one too many.    We’ve given ourselves two days to drive the seven-ish hours, kitty-corner across Wisconsin to St. Paul, Minnesota, on Highway 90, so we could do a little meandering along the way and see the sights. First meanderment?  Lunch!  We don’t know where we were; it was big, it looked clean, and there were a bunch of cars out front; it had good bean soup; the lettuce for the salad was ice cold, and there were chunks of creamy blue cheese in the dressing.  Who could ask for more? Afterwards, with a tip from the waiter, we made a beeline for a town called South Beloit, with our eyes peeled for “a red roof”. . . we knew we’d come to the right place when we saw this little item waiting outside the entrance door.

Wouldn’t that be darling in the yard filled with pumpkins?  Too bad it wouldn’t fit in our suitcase!  It’s still there if anyone near Beloit is reading this and needs a pumpkin wagon! Here’s something else that got away.  .  .

This one was a bit more painful to let go . . . I have the perfect place for it!

Don’t you see my name written all over it?  I thought long and hard about how to get it home; the pros and cons of having this thing with the curvy trim; the sea green drawers with the glass knobs, the grooved spacers, and the Beatrix Potter decoupage, shipped; it wasn’t very expensive either . . . but taking its picture gave me such satisfaction, enough in fact; so there it sits, for the next lucky, and more local, person who has a Peter Rabbit Room they are trying to decorate! In South Beloit, on the Illinois/Wisconsin border. 

But you won’t find this there anymore!  This is safely tucked into the back of our car! Watch for it soon, I’m out shopping for you; I bought this quilt for the Vintage section of our store, for some lucky person (unless something happens and it accidentally goes home with me!).  I also found a gorgeous banana dish.  Still looking for embroidered dish towels and cute vintage jars!

These woods are what we see from our hotel room window.  We’re near Wisconsin Dells, and it was very quiet last night!  Good sleeping weather, only to the high 50’s today, yipeee!  Sweaters, socks, and green shawl.  Looking forward to tasting our first “Butter Burger” at Culver’s today.  Have a wonderful day Girlfriends! 

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113 Responses to On the Road Again…

  1. Laura says:

    It seems you drove through my neighborhood!! I live in Waukegan, IL right on the Illinois & Wisconsin border. That Beatrix dresser is tempting!!!

    Have a wonderful trip!!!

  2. Sheryle Towle says:

    Love that quilt! Love this train ride! Now…off in a rental car….. Is it wrong that I have not dusted this week because I am so busy on this cross country adventure with you & Joe? I did do laundry & dinner was on the table last night, but that is pressing it. Thankfully, Mike is understanding. Happy trails!

  3. mari1017 says:

    it all looks so divine, Susan! So glad you and Joe are enjoying your trip – LOVE that antiques shop! I’d be lost in there for hours 🙂 And that quilt is gorgeous!!! love the color combinations!
    I travel vicariously through you as I sit here at work. So thanks for the smile your post brought this morning ~
    have a great day!!! ♥♥♥

  4. Connie B. says:

    I feel your pain about the Peter Rabbit dresser…it must have torn your heart out to leave it there! Found some Peter Rabbit items on a recent trip to Colorado…so much so that I had to ship them home…turned out not to be a wise decision…the cost of shipping was twice what I paid for the items at an antique mall…! When my husband asked what it cost to ship them ground delivery, I replied, “You don’t want to know!” I never did tell him…tee-hee!

    • Karen P says:

      It reminds me, Connie, of the anguish we felt as we were faced with the inevitable task of having to ship our Beatrix Potter “treasures” home from England on our trip there last October. We had “over-bought” (is that possible, I ask you?!) and things just didn’t fit in our suitcase and worse, in our little rental car. So, we bit the bullet and shipped them via the Royal Mail. Our hubbies (my brother-in-law and husband) didn’t even want to know what we paid! Smart men! But, sometimes it’s just worth it, right?

  5. Betsy says:

    OH Susan! What self control you have! That little chest would have looked so good in your Beatrix Potter room. We are all on the trip with you in spirit. My husband and I took the train from Philadelphia to New Orleans several years back and it was a wonderful experience. We met wonderful people, the dining car food was really good and sleeping wasn’t bad. One woman ended up giving me her favorite butter bean recipe. Enjoy your journey!

    • Carolyn Ann says:

      Hi Betsy, Is the recipe good? I would like a good butter bean recipe.

      • Betsy says:

        Here’s the recipe…..it’s really good!
        Baked Butter Bean

        2 cans of butter beans (15 oz.) rinsed and drained
        3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
        1/2 cup ketchup
        1/2 chopped sweet onion
        3 strips of bacon, diced
        In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients except bacon. Pour into a greased 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with bacon. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Serves 4-6

        • Carolyn Ann says:

          Oh thank you, Betsy! It looks like a winner. I know my family will love it!

          • Carolyn Ann says:

            Betsy, Just wanted to let you know that I made the baked butter beans this evening…and you’re right, they are so delicious! My husband and kids loved them. I’m calling the recipe, “Betsy’s Baked Butter Beans.” Afterall, it sounds so cute!

          • sbranch says:

            I have no kitchen! It’s not fair! I have to wait until I get home. . . they sound so good!

  6. Country Gal says:

    Oh that chest of draws is soo you ! At least you have a picture of it ! Love the quilt I would keep that ! Looks like you two are having a wonderful time, nice to see the woods from your hotel . Waiting for your next adventure. Have a wonderful day !

  7. Wow, thanks Susan! I feel like I’m right there with you. So happy you have shared all this, makes me want to take a train trip. I am fortunate that my husband likes to treasure hunt with me. We have a big Flea market/ antique extravaganza in Springfield, Oh. this week-end and the Country Living Show in Columbus, I will be thinking of you while looking for treasures. (((:

  8. Cheryl says:

    When you get back on the island, you could so easily replicate that piece! Keep the blogs coming! I wait every morning for it.

  9. Gamma Rori says:

    Today’s post was SO worth the wait!! The Beatrix Potter Chest of Drawers and the quilt were FABULOUS!! I use to live in Traverse City, Mich back before the earths crust cooled and on occasion would make it over to Wisconsin, they have wonderful antique shops…heck, the whole mid-west has wonderful antique shops!! Thanks so much for the memories, I love being able to remember that beautiful region of the country!
    )))HUGS((( -Gamma Rori

  10. Sometimes its a good thing we don’t have a way to get something home, isn’t it? I like all three items….Love hearing about your trip, every detail.
    Mama Bear

  11. Kim says:


    I can see why you would want this Beatrix Potter dresser, I think you may be able to find a dresser just like it in you home town and just paint it as you remember. You can get glass knobs any good home store! and just duplicate this very cute Peter room dresser! Again it looks like your having a good time and enjoying the trip! soon you will be home again with your girl~Kitty and all that is Home…. God peace!

  12. Gail says:

    Good Morning Susan,
    I am enjoying your trip vicariously. My husband became paralyzed ten years ago, so we don’t get to do much traveling. You hava a knack for making everything seem perfectly wonderful!! Your sunny outlook on life and all it has to offer us is tuly a gift. I’ve enjoyed all of your books too. Thank you for finding wonder and beauty everywhere. Take care and God Bless, Gail

    • Francine says:

      Gail – I guess we’re sort of in the same boat! My husband had a massive stroke almost 13 years ago! He’s partly paralized and has some brain damage, so we don’t travel either, but I sure enjoy Susan’s trips and being included!!

      • Gail says:

        Hi Francine,
        So nice to hear from you. I live in Massachusetts. How about you? Have you been a Susan Branch fan for long? I have been a fan since her first book way back in the 90’s. Once I met her and Joe at a book signing for her Autumn Book which I love. Take care and thanks for writing. Hugs to you and your husband.

        • Francine says:

          Hi Gail! I live in Wisconsin. Yes, I have been a fan of Susan’s for a long time! Lost track for awhile, but now I’m back on board! Wow! Can’t believe you met her! Thanks for the hugs!

          • Gail says:

            Wow, this is so much fun! I love blogging with you. I am eagerly awaiting Susan’s next post telling us more about her trip. So she must be near where you live. I am quite excited these days because my daughter is getting married in three weeks. Her fiance is in the military and they are living in Alaska where he is stationed. She will be home on Friday and I can’t wait to see her. I also have a son who lives in Manhattan. Do you have children? It is a beautiful autumn day here. I hope you enjoy this day!

          • Francine says:

            Gail! I think we need to become pen pals! Yes, I do have kids – 4! All grown. Congrats on your daughter’s wedding, that’s so exciting, isn’t it?
            Beautiful here as well, but chilly! Br-r-r!

          • Gail says:

            Hi Francine,
            I think it would be a blast to be penpals!! How do we do it? I am not sure I want to post my address here. Gail

        • Francine says:

          I don’t know either Gail!!! But there must be a way! Have a great weekend.

          • Christie Ray says:

            Hey girls…give your email address and the other can email you their mailing addresses…that should work. I have become pen pals with some of my blogging friends that way;) have a wonderful day…

  13. Deborah says:

    wow, great stuff! I feel like I have done some traveling today….can’t wait to check out your ‘new’ stuff on the website, especially that quilt!

  14. Rachel S. Brown says:

    Welcome to Wisconsin, Susan! You’ll love Culver’s. My girls love their ice cream or “custard” as they call it here. Happy antique hunting and have a safe trip.

  15. Joy Hall says:

    What a delightful trip so far. I just love seeing everything about train travel. I’m not a fan of flying so I think (having the time), that train travel is the thing for me.

    Love following along with you from my studio!

  16. laurie says:

    I love the chest of drawers, I love the quilt but the butter burger is still on my mind!Never heard of that before! Sounds lovely!

  17. Christie Ray says:

    Dear tender-hearted Sue,
    If I could hop in the car and travel right now, to that sweet dresser, and bring it home, I would! But it sure is inspiration for a project…
    I am a new “girlfriend” who has been following your blog for just a few weeks, but I just bet we would feel like long-time friends if we were to chat over coffee. My goodness, but we have too many commonalities. I must tell you, when I became a 5th grade teacher in 1994, after going back to school with 3 little ones, I went to the local craft store to purchase fun, teacher supplies, and I came across your stamps and colored pencils in the prettiest packaging. I bought blank notecards, and created all sorts of cards to give to my students throughout the year. I used them to stamp their good papers…the little girls loved them! My teaching career lasted 13 years, the last 6 years teaching children with special needs. I passed my stamp collection on to the teacher who took my place, as she had no supplies to speak
    of. I am hopeful they have continued to be a source of joy…but I bite my lip now, as I wish I had kept back a few. But God blesses when we release things for the good of others. So now I have found you, after all this time. I am now in the midst of a journey, creating my first little children’s book…writing, with pen and India ink, and illustrating with watercolors.
    Turning 50 in November, I never dreamed there would still be new beginnings. I have created all my life, always always the crafty one out of four kids…
    What inspiration you are, my dear, and how thankful I am for your gracious spirit, sharing your trials, mistakes, growth, and successes.
    So, I know your circle of 6 closest girlfriends would surely have to grow to seven, if we lived in close proximity of one another..;)) a girl can daydream, right! Next cute quilt you come across, with the soft peter rabbit colors, has my name on it, okay? Serious as a … Well, you know..I’m totally serious:)
    Have a delicious day, dearest,

  18. Suzanne says:

    This is so much fun Susan…..I feel like I’m on the antique trail with you! It has been fun following you on your train ride too. It’s so much fun to find antique treasures. I ordered your jars with the red lids, they have shipped so I am anxiously anticipating their arrival! Hope you and Joe have a wonderful time and keep us posted, I so look forward to following your adventure!

  19. Julie says:

    Love the quilt and love butter burgers!

  20. Nellie says:

    This is a great way to cross the United States, following your blog! I would be heartsick at leaving such a wonderful piece as the Peter Rabbit chest behind.:( The quilt is wonderful! Enjoy your lunch! I have chicken noodle soup simmering on the stove.

  21. Coni says:

    Hi Susan,

    It sounds like your trip is off to smashing success! Hope you find lots of goodies to show us later.

    Have fun!

  22. Carolyn Ann says:

    Hi Susan, So sweet of you to shop for us! Too bad about the Beatrix Potter dresser. 🙁 Are you sure you can’t get it on the train when you’re headed back home? Let us know how you like the Butter Burger. What is a Butter Burger?

  23. {oc cottage} says:

    Out of everything in that interesting tale…what intrigues me most, is the “very quiet night”. No cars? No freeway? No sirens? No flight pattern? Just crickets! How is that possible? And I live in the ‘burbs, mind you! ;} One day I will discover the mystery of the illusive “very quiet night”! {although, I suppose that will always include my kitty man, Dutch, banging open my linen cupboard to get in there and sleep on something freshly laundered! He has very discriminating taste! ;}

    m ^..^

  24. Terri says:

    Susan, I just might have to do that traing thing next summer when hubby is home and we will be traveling up north to NY/CT/MA across to Detroit and then back to NC. Have you read the book called “Christmas Train” by David Baldacci? Your trip is reminding me of that book! How FUN!!!

  25. Sharon from Maine says:

    Susan that little dresser was so adorable! I don’t think I’d have had the will power not to get it. Yes, you could replicate it when you get back home, but if you had the one from the antique shop it would have been a reminder of your trip. But you did get the quilt which was beautiful. It’s going to be hard for you on your trip seeing bigger pieces like that and not being able to get them. Well, if you do change your mind about the dresser, maybe you could call the shop and tell them to ship it home for you. It would be there waiting for you — Sorry, I know I’m just making things worse, right! Anyway, thanks for taking us with you, it’s so much fun checking each day to see where you and Joe are, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

  26. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Oh my, I love being “on the road again” with you 2! My car would come to a screeching halt if it saw a red building with a pumpkin cart out front & GPS Gertie would be in a tizzy! I suppose shipping those 2 big treasures would quadruple the price, but, I’ll bet it was tempting! So, now Joe will be on a quest for old wheels to make your very own cart! And, the perfect spot will have to wait for you to recreate that charming little dresser. Have a super day and happy hunting! Thanks for the great blog!

  27. Gigi says:

    Oh crikey — must have been so hard to leave that dresser — so perfect for your Peter Rabbit room! Love the pretty quilt — you did good ;).

  28. Francine says:

    Well, you’re right in my neighborhood….between Beloit and The Dells is where I live! We had a hazy day and the smell of smoke around here yesterday due to a wildfire in Minnesota!!! Hope you don’t run into that haze and smell! Loved the B.P. dresser! It screamed S.B.!!!!!!! Enjoy your trip. Did you ever stopp at P.O.S.H. in Chicago? Lovely hotel silver!!! Just a fun place to look!

  29. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Gosh, your comment about the GPS voice and Joe thinking “one of those kind of people in the car is already one too many” got me into the giggles. I think he and Norm could compare notes–or roll their eyes together…? One of our two schnauzers sleeps in the car, the other sits peeking between the bucket seats “helping Norm drive”. He says “One backseat driver is enough!” Glad you are enjoying your trip through Wisconsin on your way here–I love the quilt you found! We’re having a hard frost tonight but temps in 70-80’s next week! Better the cool for your trip than the 90-degree weather we’ve had… 🙂

  30. Francine says:

    My favorite quilt shop is in Spring Green, WI. not too far from The Dells! It’s called Country Sampler – they are on-line if you want to check it out! Did you ride on the ducks while in The Dells? My very favorite thing to do!

  31. Sandra says:

    Deelightful! It’s sort of a let-down that I have to return to house cleaning now.

  32. Sandra says:

    whoops…forgot to say, I just purchased the August issue of Where Women Create and have thoroughly enjoyed your fabulous interview. Please, keep doing what you do ’cause you do it so (s)well!

  33. Holly says:

    My favorite thing is driving the country roads here (midwest) in any direction and finding antique shops! I’m from the west coast where there are less unknown roads, and even less antiques. I love the quilt. Enjoy the drive! I’m enjoying your trip highlights!

  34. Cory says:

    Loving the fact that you are in WI! Keep up the great work from the road!
    Safe travels.

  35. Nina says:

    Hi Susan Really enjoying your trip! Thank you soo much for taking us all along! The Peter Rabbit chest is so you! But as previously noted I am sure you can replicate it. I have a wonderful brother in law who if I see anything when I am out and about and takea picture of it he will make one similar for me! So far he’s made me countless shelves & a dresser with cute little cut out hearts and my all time favorite an airiondack chair (not sure if I spelt it right!) Anyway loved the quilt & pumpkin wagon too. Thank you again for the updates it really does feel like we are coming along with you! xx

  36. Peggy Cooper says:

    I call my GPS “Harriett”, and she is very cranky indeed. Recalculating!

  37. Siobhan says:

    First thing I did this morning was tune in here, and boy I am so glad I did! And I have to say, I got a little ferklempt when Willie sang, “We’re the best of friends, insisting that the world keep turning our way, and our way, is on the road again…” just thinking of you and Joe, traveling your way together, turning off that gps voice (my niece calls hers Carla!) and having such a beautiful time together. Be sure and let us know if he gets cranky EVER, so we feel a little better about our own situations. 😉 Ha ha! Thank you!!

  38. Shawn says:

    That quilt has my name all over it. Can’t wait until it’s for sale. When will it be up on the website? Hurry I can’t wait.
    Enjoy your trip! Thanks for taking us with you.

  39. Sandy Richmond says:

    Susan, I grew up in Minnesota, and have lived in Massachusetts for over 30 years now. I love both places, and I am thoroughly enjoying your blogs. I have done the train trip from MA to MN and I have driven from MA to MN, as well as flying! My trips were a little different from yours in that I had my kids along! I am re-living my trips as you travel along. Enjoy, enjoy Minnesota. It is a beautiful state.

  40. Darlene says:

    Hi Susan, love the quilt!! It’s beautiful. I can’t wait to see what else you will find and share with us!! Have fun and a safe trip.

  41. Jen says:

    Oh, welcome to Wisconsin! I’m on the other side of the state, right outside of Milwaukee, but so glad you’re here! The temps are perfect for fall! This week is going to be just gorgeous! Welcome!

    • Karen P says:

      Hi Jen!

      I’m from outside of Milwaukee, too (originally)! Nice to know there are Susan Branch fans so close to home!

  42. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    You are having such a good time!!! Good for you. Love the dresser, love that pumpkin cart.
    The quilt is beautiful. I love 50 degree weather. Enjoy the rest of your time

  43. Gert says:

    Oh Susan iso love to read about your jouneys… Love that dresser…but possibly easy to replicate..if you so desire! Oh, I did really like that pumpkin wagon…that would be so cute full of pumpkins in our front yard!! Your motel sounded so cozy & wonderful… I sure hope you enjoy your “butter burger” today…you must let me know!

    xoxo Gert

  44. CindyK says:

    Very interesting! I think you will love Butter Burgers at Culver’s. My favorite though, is the sourdough melt, just like a pattymelt! Yum! I’m going to be keeping my eyes open for the wonderful things you bring back for your online store! Have fun!

  45. Elizabeth says:

    Have been to a Culver’s, my family loves the “Butter Burgers”….I don’t eat meat. Your journey sounds wonderful, my husband went to school in Madison and I have visited Wisconsin only on the way to NY but would love to return…I love cheese and would like to do a cheese tour!

  46. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Good Afternoon Sweet Sue & Joe….I Loved that Pumpkin Cart…& I know How You Loved that Magical Dresser….awwwwwwwwwwwwww….. Those Quilts!…I Love those woods outside Your Hotel Room… Just wait until they Turn into Autumn! Hey Have Ya Noticed any Pumpkins anywhere? & so Cool how The Chicago Train Station Treats it’s “Special Cargo”….I saw On Twitter How Yummy those Burgers are…I am so Hungry! :-)…well Sweet Sue You & Joe…Stay Safe on Your Car-Trip….I Adore all Your Updates! sending lots of Hugzzzz & Kisses…You Fun-Travelers! xoxo Poof!

  47. Looks like you are having a great time! When I think of the Red Caps in Chicago, I am reminded of Cary Grant dressing as one in North by Northwest to escape the police, FBI and James Mason! Cary and Eva Marie Saint also took the Chief on the next leg of their voyage… You are following in their footsteps!

    Take care and have fun!


    P.S. Would you mind if I shared your brownie recipe with my own blog readers? I want to tell them about the best brownies, ever! I will credit you and put in a link to your blog… Although, I’ve already blogged about your blog twice, telling people how great it is!

  48. JudyCnNC says:

    Those treasures were left behind because there must be something around the next bend that you want more – wait and see. Sounds like you are having fun – I sure would love antiquing with you and Joe. Judy C in NC

  49. Libby Pasztor says:

    Hi Susan! You really were in my neck of the woods this morning; I’ve lived in the Chicago area all my life, and taking the Metra train to Union Station has been the start of many a wonderful, memory-making trip downtown for me. I currently live in Grayslake, IL, and Beloit is just about an hour-and-a-half drive from here. . . Hmmm, wonder how long that Beatrix Potter chest will be there. . . 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your trip—-I love “training,” and love hearing about your adventures!

    • Kathy Kolb says:

      Libby, we should get together with Laura from Waukegan and have tea. I live in Winthrop Harbor but go to Grayslake a lot. I love the book store and quilt store there.

  50. Karen P says:

    Love the post, Susan! Following your adventure every step of the way! The weather is beautiful here in Wisconsin right now. So happy that you were able to share our “little piece of heaven” that we call home.

  51. CarolK says:

    Gosh, that seems so quick, here it is only Wednesday and your on the road after Chicago already! I’m loving every minute of your trip and in the back of my mind planning ours for next year. I’m glad you archive your blogs because I’m going to miss all next weeks. Darn, darn, darn! My guy and I are leaving on the 17th on NCL heading for Nova Scotia. Yeaaaaa! This time I’m bringing a journal along, I learned that from you. Safe trip – later gator…

  52. Ginnie says:

    You’re so close! Have a wonderful time in Wisconsin and MN. Looking forward to more traveling stories.

  53. Jennie says:

    Your adventures just sound like heaven to me! It is so hard to let go of those ‘too big to get home’ treasures. I just experienced that a couple months ago at a little antique shop on the west coast- absolutelty perfect little cupboard complete with shutter doors at the bottom and glass doors up top and very well priced! The problem? It was too long to stick in the Element without at least one seat ‘put up’, and to do that we would have had to leave one child behind in it’s place! Believe me, I was tempted . . . 😉

  54. Jocelyn says:

    woo-hoo Antiquing is so fun. My hubby and I just returned from a trip to Kansas (by car). We went through 8 states!! We stopped in MO at an antique mall called Reliques. What a cool place. The one thing I really noticed on this trip was the prices get higher and higher as you travel south. Our last stop was in Ocala FL and there were items we saw in MO for $7 were $35 in FL. Go figure!

  55. Marianne says:

    It’s wonderful having the time to really enjoy a few days to “get lost” in a new area and discover without rushing or worrying. This has been so much fun traveling with you! In fact, I can’t wait to open up my laptop just HOPING you’ll be in my inbox! HA! Have fun in the midwest!

  56. Sweet Mormor says:

    While I’m from Iowa, (and I love Iowa) Wisconsin is the PRETTIEST state – the hills and valleys – the drive in autumn is breathtaking! I don’t blame you if the quilt never makes the vintage sale page! Enjoy your “butter burger” – the mushroom swiss one is “drippy delicious” and the turtle sundaes are chock full of toasted pecan halves! Good luck!

  57. Gumbo Lily says:

    Oh that dresser would be perfect for my granddaughter, Betsy’s room. She has an adorable Beatrix Potter theme going on in her nursery, thanks to her Beatrix-loving mommy. Fun stuff!


  58. Jane Alexander says:

    AH, it is SO fun to ride along with you on a train. I always went from Houston Texas to Memphis Tenn. on a train many times in my childhood, in the 1940’s and perhaps some in the 1950’s. Thank you for being friends with all of us. You certainly delight us with your Blog’s. You have actually shared your life with us, and make us feel happier! Love and blessings to you and all the girlfriends out there!!
    Jane Alexander

  59. Jeannie M from NC says:

    I am loving your (our) trip across the USofA! My husband and I would love the antique barn! Oh, and besides the embroidered dish cloths, anything with nasturtium flowers on it! I had to laugh about your GPS, my couxosin and a friend traveled here (NC) from Texas in a motorhome a couple of years ago and had the same one! They called her Tokyo Rose! We used her in my car, she was awful! Have fun in St Paul and on the way there and back to the train!

  60. Beth Rang says:

    It’s so good to hear about your trip. I live in Wisconsin, but very close to the Twin Cities (near Stillwater, if you get over there you’d love it!). Our trees are starting to show off their fall colors just in time for your visit.

  61. How fabulous. Old fashioned train travel. Enjoy!!

  62. That Willie Nelson song is one of my favourites. Thanks for including it.

  63. maybaby says:

    Oh, you are in for more wonderful adventures and finds as you travel to St. Paul! I adore antiquing and exploring in Wisconsin. Here in St. Paul, I am looking forward to the Creative Connection! I am attending on Friday, taking a class in the morning and volunteering at the Handmade Market that afternoon. What part of the event are you involved in? Hope to get a chance to say hello!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m speaking Saturday morning, signing books at the autograph party, going to classes . . . look forward to seeing you!

  64. Patsy says:

    I just love being able to travel vicariously with you. The quilt is wonderful. I would love to come upon that antiques barn. Fabulous! Was the chest too expensive to ship?

  65. Eugenia says:

    When we travel, road trip yahoo, we use http://www.yelp.com to find look favorites of everything. Try it and see if you like it. Fun fun fun.

  66. Love, love that Beatrix Potter dresser! Thank you for taking pics and sharing them with us.

    Susan and Bentley

  67. The lovely quilt is an easy stow-away…but oh the drawers, it’s never to late to call the shop and have them ship it. Imagine having it waiting for you when you return home! What a sweet remembrance of your trip (and it needs a good home!)

  68. Val Westberg says:

    Welcome to my neck of the woods!! I’m from Madison and travel betw Janesville and Wi Dells for my job! It’s a pleasure to have you here. I’d say I’d nearly faint if I walked into Culver’s and saw you and Joe!!!!! The Culver’s here in SW WI are the new family gathering place, like the small diner we frequented as children. Any time there is a concert or school activity, people gather here for Frozen Custard that is awesome. You’ll walk in and continue to meet and greet with families you just left!! Enjoy your trip. Hurry back! 🙂 V

    • Terrie from Atlanta, GA says:

      Hi, Val! This frozen custard thing in Wisconsin is SO HUGE; i hope Susan & Joe actually get to try it. Years ago, my sister left her southern roots and moved to Milwaukee to attend college at Marquette University. While she held onto her headbands and monogrammed sweaters, she “turned local” enough to memorize the telephone hotline of the BEST frozen custard shop in the city ~ the hotline was updated with the current flavors being made, so you wouldn’t make the trip and be disappointed. She can still recite the phone number to this day! A Marquette party trick (for nerdy engineers)?!

      • Val Westberg says:

        Hi, Terrie.
        YES Frozen custard is the bomb! I think it’s all that butter fat that is so addictive and at Culver’s it’s not only in the custard but even in the burger buns…hard to be from the Dairy state and stay skinny 🙂

  69. Cyndy says:

    OMG – I cannot believe it – South Beloit – my husband grew up there, his parents still live on their farm there, and I was never told about this antique place…they have kept it from me for 35 years – our Anniversary just celebrated earlier this month. My husband is not fond of antiquing, but his Mother is… I will give them the benefit of any doubt, though, since they did suggest a fabulous shop just over the line in Clinton, Wisconsin; perhaps, personal preference. I have found many a fabulous find over the years…and antiques in the Midwest are so much more affordable than where I live in Virginia.

    Fortunately, Glenn does not mind antiques in the home, and I have many family pieces, along with those purchased over the years to cozy up our home. But, I keep looking….

    Stay safe as your fun continues…

  70. Jacqui G says:

    Susan, it seems to me that you are talented enough to make your own Peter Rabbit dresser…
    Your blog cheered me up- I had a little surgery done yesterday and was in pain and feeling down. I can always count on you:)

  71. OMG Susan……you and Joe must have just drove by! I visit that Antique Store every chance I get. Sure you don’t want me to run and buy that dresser for you? Keep it safe until your next trip…..I mean, really, isn’t that what friends are for…lol.
    Love everything you do. So glad your blogging now. I feel like I’m having tea with a sweet friend every day. Enjoy your trip thru “God’s Country”.
    Hugs, Karen
    P.S. Culver’s also makes a wonderful Strawbery Salad in the summer.

  72. Barbie Tabb says:

    OH!!! I saw that red topped building saying Antiques, and first thought was – I wonder if she’s on the way from Chicago to Wisconsin? YUP!! I’ve been there!! then you mention Butter Burgers from Culvers and I am just SO JEALOUS!!! I’m originally from Green Bay and whenever I “go home” we stop at the antique place and also get a butter burger and cheese curds!! I grew up thinking it was normal to butter both sides of the hamburger bun, after all it isn’t called the Dairy State for nothing 🙂 I appreciate the photos from “home” and I am picturing your scenic trip out west! THANKS for the daily conversation. I feel like we’re penpals 🙂

  73. suzy says:

    In case no one went back to read a previous SB blog..the Norman Rockwell and corgi one, look at my posting there – probably the last one listed – about the carbonite program that will save all your files and pictures etc when your computer goes bust. Or, if you don’t want to go back that far, here is the website: http://www.carbonite.com ..absolutely safe. Not free, (50 or 59 dollars/yr), but well worth it.

    • sbranch says:

      I bought a little box at Costco, a separate hard drive and backed up everything on that. Sits in a drawer. Backing up, especially PHOTOS, gotta do it! Thanks for the info Suzy.

  74. linda says:

    That Beatrix Potter dresser indeed had your name on it! But, you can recreate your own for your perfect spot!
    Where did your train cross the Connecticut River? I used to live in Connecticut and New England is still in my heart and soul.
    It is wonderful to “ride along” with you on this trip, thank you

  75. Barbara says:

    What a wonderful trip you’re having! Love all of the items that you’ve shown us today. Makes me wish I were with you.

  76. Doreen Strain says:

    Sounds like you are really enjoying yourself Sue. Thanks so much for the tweets, I enjoy hearing back from you. I’m so looking forward to the pictures you are going to be showing us of the convention. Just try to take a few moments and embed the whole experience in your memory, your going through it because of who you are and what you have made of your life. You should be feeling such a sense of pride…embrace it!!!! So many women are with you in spirit, there is no way you could ever feel alone. Just think of all the joy you are giving so many of those who are in attendance and having you sign their books and actually getting a chance to meet you ‘IN REAL LIFE”, in a real reach out and touch you kind of way. I know you must hear over and over again, about how you are having such an effect on womens lives but take hold of those wonderful statements and know that you “Susan Branch” really do make a diffenence in who those women are and what changes you have inspired in their lives. I for one have gotten so much enjoyment from just reading your blog not to mention the laughter from all the little remarks we make back and forth with each other. You and Joe enjoy the rest of your trip and I’ll be tweetin ya! The “girlfriends’ have been hanging out here holdin down the fort while your away. We’ve been sharing some of the goings on on FB too! Love Ya ! xoxo! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  77. Paulette says:

    Hope you enjoyed the Butter Burger and Wisconsin. My sweet, departed Churchill the cat loved Butter Burgers, especially when we were travelling (he got to go on trips with us because he was diabetic and it was tough to find folks to take care of him).

  78. Tammy Barnum says:

    Culvers has THE BEST french fries, too. Great for dipping in your ice cream! Hope you tried them. 🙂

  79. Cathy says:

    I have been contemplating train travel with my mother for vacations. Now after reading and seeing your train trips I have a better idea of what we may have in store for us.
    I am still a little apprehensive about arrangements, what the many train stations are like and if the trips involve any difficulties for older travellers.

    • sbranch says:

      The trains are fairly accommodating, there is even a handicapped room in every car. You can ask about that when you make the reservations.

  80. Vicki says:

    Hi Susan,
    I really enjoyed taking a train ride with you and Joe. What a wonderful way to travel. In our busy world it’s nice to know there is still a way to take time and enjoy America as it deserves to be seen. While I have never travelled by train, I have always had an interest. We now have a “Light Rail” in the next town (I live in VA) and Bill (my beau and recent Fiance’) and I took a ride on it last week for the first time. Just HAD to try it, was like a mini-train ride!

    I am looking forward to following along with you both on your trip! Have a great time and safe travels to you both. Can hardly wait to see the new things you have available for Autumn. 🙂
    God Bless,


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