Travel Blog!

Today it’s a travel blog!  And we have music!

First move in any off-island adventure is a trip on the ferry.  We’re traveling, as we always do, the slow way; meandering through four states, Massachusetts to Rhode Island, through Connecticut, into New York City, America’s Hometown.

As you can see, it was a perfect day for a sea voyage across the sound.  Cold and windy, around 38°, and clear. We parked our car downstairs on the freight deck, and came up to sit by a sunny window, drink coffee and read the paper.

Forty-five minutes later, we docked in Woods Hole.  We climbed back in to the van . . . Joe took this photo through the windshield, of me digging through by bag to find the phone.  We have everything with us, chocolate, apples, homemade granola; plus, an electric tea kettle and an ice chest for the milk for the tea–which I am happily drinking now.

About a half hour from Woods Hole, we leave Cape Cod via the Bourne Bridge . . .

On to 195, through Fall River, Rhode Island . . .

. . . and over the bridge . . .  tons of coastline in Rhode Island, so there are lots of bridges!

Into Providence.  My photos don’t do justice to this darling city . . . so many wonderful buildings, such a cute downtown . . . here are just a few I took through the car window . . . see the wind whipping the flags? Chilly!

More wonderful old buildings . . . New England cities are filled with them.

And a mix of old and new . . . gorgeous day, look at that sky!  We parked here and blew down a couple of blocks to the Providence Mall to SHOP.  People who live on Martha’s Vineyard (at least the ones I know) crave a good Mall (no chain stores on the island), but then when we get inside, we are like kids in candy stores, overwhelmed and don’t know what to buy.  It’s all so big and sparkly and there’s so much of it!

After shopping (tried on cute shoes, they didn’t have them in my size; found a sweater in “my color”) and mocha coffees, we drove into the most amazing Connecticut sunset that seemed to go on and on . . . heading west — and thinking, hmmm, where should we have dinner?

We choose a destination dear to our hearts, the Griswold Inn, where we stopped the very first time we went to New York together, all those years ago.

We love it because it’s filled with history!

It’s in the quintessential New England town of Essex, Connecticut — another extremely American town as all New England towns seem to be . . . this one, maybe even more so.  The moon was beautiful, horns up, smiling; it looks full here, but that’s just the trick the camera is playing . . .

I think they keep their paint colors simple on the old houses just so the flag looks good against them!

Even the lines on the road were red white and blue!  How can you not love this exuberance?  So we found a parking place . . .

And went in through the green door . . .

To this welcoming lobby . . .

And then . . . I hardly know where to start with the photos, the restaurant is so full of interesting things and cozy nooks . . .

Here’s the bar, very cozy, publike, and neighborhoody . . . With a fire in the fireplace and a twinkly Christmas tree taking center stage.

And who doesn’t love a well marked ladies room?  In all its two centuries of existence, the Griswold Inn has never met a sign or a picture of a boat it didn’t love.

And they have a Library Room, full of old books, where you can eat!

The walls are crowded with historical artifacts, everything labeled as to who, what, where, why, and when.

Like eating in a museum!

Loved the ship models — especially this one over the fireplace in the main dining room.  Guess which table we chose for the first of what will probably be a month of Anniversary Dinners?

Oh yes, the one in front of the fireplace.  A toast to 25 years of luckiness and Just the Right Guy for Me. ♥  The softest kindest heart I’ve ever met.

But, we have to get serious, enough of this mushy stuff, down to business . . . Mmmm, hot rolls with maple butter.

I had the white bean and tomato soup made with chicken stock and a green salad with bacon and tomatoes; Joe had a juicy steak with a gorgozola sauce and steamed broccoli which we lingered over, analyzing and enjoying every bite.  When Joe and I go out to dinner we do two things — 1. First, we mentally redecorate the entire restaurant — which wasn’t necessary in this case; and 2. We try to figure out what’s in everything, how it’s made; if we want to make it at home, we write everything down in the little red book I carry in my purse.  If it needs cayenne or more garlic, we make note of it.  This was simple and delicious and just right.

We shared this bad boy for dessert, because we can, because it’s our Anniversary.  Shut up.  You’re parked in a judgefree zone.

And that was it, back into hats, coats, scarves, gloves, and outside for more photos, this one is of the gift shop across the street — then into the car for another hour of driving, and then, last night, a hotel . . . and here we are, it’s morning, barely light out; almost time for me to make Joe his Anniversary Cup of Tea!  We head into the city this morning, New York, New York (a city so wonderful, as someone mentioned the other day, they named it twice!); we’ll be at the New York International Gift Fair for most of today . . . in case you’re looking for us!

With my iPhone I’m able to send photos and videos directly to Twitter . . . in case you’d like to check in today and see how it’s going.  Also, if you read that your comment is “waiting for moderation,” it’s because I’m away from the computer and haven’t been able to “moderate!”  (You wouldn’t believe the huge amount of spam that comes into this blog . . . I have to “moderate” in order to remove it before your comments can go up.)  I promise, it will come asap.  I do so hope you have enjoyed your Slow Boat to China today . . . Love showing you our little corner of the world . . . Have a wonderful day!

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284 Responses to Travel Blog!

  1. Beth Colt says:

    What a fantastic blog! Love all the pictures, I felt like I was there with you! Happy Anniversary.

  2. Candy Northrop says:

    Yum! Those biscuits look scrumptious! Happy V.D., Susan and Joe! <3

  3. Kathy Means says:

    Dear Susan,
    I love the way you stop in the middle of what you’re cooking to make a cuppa! It’s the only way to go, especially on a cold day. By the way, we have a “STOP” sign across from the front of our house, too. But, my windows are dirty and I won’t be calling attention to them with window-hearts! Thanks for the recipes.

  4. Teresa says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for sharing your intentional love of the simple things and the love of the grand things. Friends, old and new, embracing every part of the day. Enjoy so much, getting your emails. Yours maybe the only one that I want to open during the day. You teach me and lift me, encourage me and especially, you make me smile.

    • Judith Mellenthien says:

      I Love your blogs and newsletters and look forward to receiving them. You are “my favorite” and I would love to win the tin for the Valentine biscuits.
      Hope you and Joe had a “fabulous” anniversary!

  5. Jean Rosenfeld says:

    Your blogs get more fun every time! I really enjoy getting them and seeing your photos and reading your comments. I especially enjoyed the one mentioning the Griswold Inn in Essex, CT. We used to visit New England every fall in the foliage season and not only ate there but stayed at the Inn. What fun! And what a neat place! We stayed at many country inns back in the 80’s and 90’s, so that brought back very nice memories for me. Thanks!

  6. Kerrie Taylor says:

    Hello from Oz
    Would Love Love Love
    to win the hearts
    You are very generous
    Happy Valentie !

  7. Hi Susan,
    Just recently found out about your site & blog…thanks so much. I love the pictures you post of the moon & the Island scenery! ♥
    I would love for you to send the cute heart pan to me in Long Beach, California.

  8. Clare says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Susan! I’m going to make those delicious looking tea biscuits tomorrow, even though I don’t have a heart-shaped muffin pan….would love to win the one you showed here. It’s awesome. Love your blog and love everything you share with your fans.

  9. Candy says:

    Happy V-Day! I love the stories and photos of the “kitties”.:) It would be great fun to make your great scone recipes in that cute pan.

    Thank you for sharing your world with us.

  10. Candy says:

    Thank you

  11. Kaaren says:

    You, dear Susan, have the ability to make each one of us feel like you’re our best friend, and, if we happen to share so many of your “loves” in life — which I do — then your writing touches our hearts all the more.

    Many, many thank yous for being out there and taking the time to connect.

    And, yes, I’d love even more hearts — in a pan. Kaaren

  12. Clair says:

    How fun the heart muffin pan is!!! Would love to receive a package from up North!! Good luck to me. 🙂

  13. Barbara says:

    Thank you for the “heart”felt recipes that you share with all of us. I look forward to reading your blog from a friend across the country. The recipes are a delight and I so enjoy trying them out. Happy Valentines Day!!

  14. Sherry Richter Puntillo says:

    Thank you very much for the opportunity to win a fabulous treasure from
    you! You’re very generous….come on, Random Number Generator…you can do it (for me, please!


  15. Sue Giljum says:

    I Love your stories and look forward to reading them. I have Tea parties with my 5 granddaughters and the heart pan would be perfect for them. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I’m the lucky one. Thanks Susan!!!

  16. Sonya Hewes says:

    LOVE reading your blogs, look forward to them to make my day all warm and cozy and full of love for Valentine’s Day (or as I say Happy Singles Awareness Day!) Lol
    The muffin tin and heart shape tin would do very well in my kitchen! ♥

  17. Donna Dragonette says:

    Aside from the fact that reading your blog brightens up my day,the thought of baking yummy scones in that lovely tin makes my happy.
    Thank you for your inspiration and creativity and making me feel “warm and cozy.” This Christmas I made struffoli with my daughter listening to Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey (thanks to watching your video)….I felt as if I were right back in my Nana’s kitchen.

  18. Leah Sandidge says:

    Everytime I read your blog it just inspires me to take time and smell the roses or what ever I have dreamed up to cook. Thank you so much for letting me realize I don’t have to do everything just like everyone elso does. I have always been my own person (for instance if I want to hang a chair on the wall or anything else that might be out of the ordinary) that it is perfectly ok . Well I am off to make Valentines with my 6 year old granddaughter Emerson. I just love that feeling after I read your blog. Thanks so much

  19. Gloria Dotzler says:

    I’m also new to your lovely website, recommended by my good friend Sue. I loved following you on the trip to New York City since I’ve not been there myself. The Valentine tin would be great to put my decorated heart cookies in when our grandson comes to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Love the muffin tin and I really want one of the Emma Bridgewater heart mugs for my tea. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  20. grandma glenda says:

    ohhhh…would so love to have the heart pan and tin, but i’ll still make him the biscuits. he’ll lov valintine morning. thanks so much for sharing your travels. can not travel anymore and enjoy going along with you and your hubby.

  21. Jane says:

    You make everyday sweet . . . wish I could repay the favor in some small way. I smell those darling heart biscuits, am smiling at your feline friends, & dreaming/humming along with the infectious sounds of your chosen piece of music. Thank you! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      You “repay the favor” by being here! I love doing this, would probably do it no matter what! But it wouldn’t be as much fun if you weren’t here to leave such sweet notes!

  22. MaryAnn Jones says:

    I must say girlfriend, I am so into waiting to hear from you. I enjoy so much all you say in your blog. You have such a way to make all of us feel welcome into your life and a part of it.
    Thank you…..I cannot wait to get home and have a cup of tea with my daughter and just enjoy her wonderful company, just like i look forward to enjoying yours.

  23. Joanne Conte says:

    You do Valentine’s Day better than anyone else! Thanks for the recipe! Yes, I did hear Paul McCartney’s new song on the Grammys. It’s simple and beautiful from a man who was called the “Heart” of the Beatles. Wasn’t he great on the last number? “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Sweet!

  24. Jennifer W says:

    Those scones looks divine. I love orange and choclate together and raspberry and chocolate. My favorite would have to be cherries and chocolate. Harry and David makes these divine chocolate covered bing cherries, delish!

    Jack is looking rather mischievous on top of the fridge 🙂

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe!

  25. Judith says:

    Dear Susan, I am making those biscuits first thing tomorrow morning. They look divine! My daughter is having a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and I am busily looking for all the teapots, saucers, and teacups. I keep thinking- “What would Susan do?” You have awakened my creativity. I love hearing all about Girl Kitty and Jack. I hope I win the heart shaped pan. I have a special place in my kitchen for it. Thank you for inviting us into your world…it is a warm and safe place. Your friend, Judith

    • sbranch says:

      I have a little party mantra, think of the five senses: Does it look good, smell good, taste good, sound good and feel good? Then it’s good! The sixth sense is imagination and that’s the funnest one of all! Have a wonderful time! ♥

  26. Dear Susan,
    As a “young” great-grandmother, I am very active in our great-granddaughter’s life. I would love to have your heart-shaped baking tin to make “I love you” surprises for her and my husband (Papa). And I think those devine Orange Chocolate Chip muffins would be even better shaped like hearts.
    Love your blog!
    Nancy Whitmore

  27. nina sznurman says:

    Love your house–especially when you do the dance with the teacup around the kitchen–love girl kitty and Jack–and did I SAY i LOVE YOUR KITCHEN–ITS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO COZY–i CAN SEE YOU IN THERE COOKING ,BAKING,DRINKING TEA AND COFFEE-YOU ARE A GIFT –thanks for taking us along

  28. Sally says:

    Oh I wait to make these for my sweetheart tomorrow !

  29. Sheila Arita says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you from all the women who multi-task,running around trying to make everything prefect and always looking for that one thing that makes everything beautiful.All I need to do is read your blog and it all comes together!!
    My motto is I try to always do the right thing(when in doubt I always ask myself if its the right thing or not and go with it)Your Blog Is :The Right Thing:
    Love sheila

  30. Donna Lynn Kawano says:

    Thank you for sharing….. I love your blog and enjoyed sharing your ‘trip’! Hope you had a wonderful anniversary. Can’t wait to try the orange, chocolate chip scones! Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! 🙂

  31. Shannon Anderson says:

    Susan you inspire me to want to bake -when you post your wonderful photos! So excited to try the recipe! Thanks for the great ideas!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  32. Carol LeBlanc says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you so much for letting me come along on your Anniversary trip. I adored seeing all the pics from your road trip. I have traveled those roads and have oftened stopped at The Griswold Inn…one of my favorites.

    I also loved your homecoming ….I agree Home Sweet Home especially when you have 2 furballs waiting for you. My heart sings when I see Jack and Girl Kitty.

    I collect all things heart so needless to say the muffin and heart tin would be a most welcome addition to my collection

  33. Debi Hutchinson says:

    Thank you, dear Susan Branch, for such a wonderful blog. Reading your blog is like receiving snail mail from a wonderful friend. My favorite part of the day is printing your blog, running a hot lavender bubble bath, and soaking in the tub with your blog and a nice cup of tea….ahhhhhhh…..a very nice way to end my day. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe from me and Hutch.

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