The View from the Balcony, We Are Not in Charge . . .

Standing on our little balcony, with the wind and the clouds and the sun sparkling on the water, is awe inspiring and frightening.  What’s between me and this endless view?  One really good gust of wind!  To describe it, I need words much deeper than “vast” although vast is true.  But others would be, infinity, desolation, natural wonder, loneliness; the power of Nature; these words still sound small compared to what we’re seeing here; nothing stands between us and it, but this little ship bobbing incongruously on top of the swells.  Us looking out to sea and only God in the heavens looking back.

If you ever need to put yourself in your place, this is a good spot to do it.  We are SO not in charge.  What an amazing planet!  I took this photograph just before sunrise from our balcony.  I have videos too, which I can’t wait to show you, but too much bandwidth is required for them from the ship; we’ll have to wait until we’re back on land. In them you will get to hear the wind, and see the movement of the ship on the water!

 And the ship isn’t really all that small, but it sure feels that way in the immensity around us.  Here’s the hallway outside our room.  I guess the reason people come away on vacation is to shake things up a bit; our little every day world and schedules are challenged, we don’t have quite the control over our environment as we generally think we do!

So we make up for it with tea and dancing every day in the Queen’s Room at 4 pm!  As sweet salve to the travelers’ souls, we get this kind of beauty. The orchestra plays Cole Porter and we are served cucumber sandwiches, radish slices on buttered peppered bread, smoked minced ham with mayonnaise, and egg salad; soft, powdered sugar scones with jam and clotted cream, and tiny cream puffs and napoleons.  Yesterday we sat with a darling young couple from Germany; heard all about their lives, their home in Hamburg (it sounds beautiful there!).  He travels to China all the time, for his business as a designer of LED lighting; they own a 19th century manor house in Hamburg that they rent out for weddings and anniversary parties.  So interesting to hear about the politics and cultures of other countries, not filtered through news media.  Yesterday, the Scottish couple we sat with, the husband was a policeman; although he looked to be about fifteen, tall, thin, blonde, wearing a blue checked shirt, and not a bit like a policeman; and his wife, darling in a cream colored shawl and top to match, was a water tester for their city.  They were both born and raised in Inverness; they met because she was his little sister’s best friend.  In the evening our table partners are a British country doctor (who does watercolors) and his wife, who’s lived all over the world and has stories to go with it.  We are not in Kansas anymore dearest Toto.

Four times I have done this post and four times it has disappeared.  As I said, I don’t have quite the control over things as I do at home!  I got smart this last time, copied it first.  So when it disappeared, I just pasted it back up.  I’m going to now try to go directly to post.  Say a little prayer that it goes through.  Loving your comments, you funny girls.  You are my anchor to reality! xoxo

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

232 Responses to The View from the Balcony, We Are Not in Charge . . .

  1. Linda L says:

    Living this trip with you vicariously as you travel to my homeland England. I know you will love Beatrix Potter’s home, I do – it is a special place..wish I could go home to Stratford on Avon, but not possible, so I will travel with you and enjoy every minute. Thanks for going for me! Have the best of times and fill your soul with memories…Linda

  2. Elizabeth A. McDermott says:

    Dear Susan,

    Thank you so much for your lovely pictures and comments. I came over from Scotland in 1951, on the original Queen Mary. Of course I was just a wee girl back then. My mother, God Bless her sweet soul, was sick practicly the whole trip. She unfortunately never cared for traveling on any ship again. I remember it to be quite an experince for a five year old girl. I was thrilled and overwhelmed at the same time. I am sure things are much different now. Enjoy your trip!

    • Just another Becky says:

      Elizabeth, just wanted to share that my daughter is the general manager of a theatre which is on board the original Queen Mary (docked here in Long Beach, California). I’ve had several opportunities to go along and walk the halls, have a drink at the bar, watch the sun set over the water, and go back in time a bit. Wish I could have seen it “back in the day”. Too bad your mama was sick the whole trip. That couldn’t have been much fun for you, either!

  3. Shanna says:

    I can only imagine what it must feel like to be bobbing in the ocean with nothing but water all around. I feel quite small just standing on the cliffs gazing out at the Pacific. What is that object on the left of the screen in the first picture taken from your balcony?

  4. Country Gal says:

    Fantastic photos ! WOW ! So many interesting people you have spoken to bet you will meet a lot of people with wonderful stories ! Thanks for taking us with you on this wonderful trip .

  5. Lisa says:

    That is wonderful that your soul is drawn toward thinking of God. He is vast and we are small. I pray you will be completely refreshed by this time away from America. Thanks for the posts!

  6. Lynne from Mount Hermon, CA says:

    I wake up each morning hoping I hear from the sea and you! Thank you for transporting me during an unexpected time-of-sabbatical from travel. boo hoo But it’s great to daydream and plan for the next adventure… hoping it’s right around the corner!

  7. Libby Pasztor (Grayslake, IL) says:

    Thank you SO much, Susan, for sharing this extraordinary trip with all of us back on terra firma. . . I don’t think I would ever choose to “sail the ocean blue”—I don’t swim, and I have a sneaky feeling I’d get seasick—but I LOVE experiencing it vicariously! My husband and I have talked about going on a river cruise, down the Rhine or the Danube—not such big waves there 🙂 —-but it wouldn’t be nearly as grand as what you’re experiencing. You’re sweet to work so hard to share it all with us, computer difficulties notwithstanding! XO

    • Sarah says:


      You might enjoy a cruise on a paddleboat down the mighty Mississippi. My husband, daughter, and I took that trip a few years ago with my parents, and it was divine. They don’t call those ships “floating palaces” for nothing! It was like stepping back in time, and we could always see the shore along the river, and there was absolutely no seasickness to be had. We stopped at old plantations, and many other wonderful ports of call. And the NICEST people I have ever met on that trip. Mostly older people, you know, the “greatest generation” types. It was a trip of a lifetime. The paddleboat fleet cruises lots of different rivers in the US. I highly recommend it! 🙂

      Your friend,

      • NancyP says:

        Hi Sarah,
        This sounds divine! Although I loved the 2 cruises I have been on, and Meclisine (sp.?) is always in tow, I am not so sure that across an entire ocean would be good for my stomach. Your Mississippi cruise sounds just wonderful. Although I was born, and lived in Iowa until age 9, I still would like to ask you what time of the year you think would be best? Not in the humid heat of summer, but maybe October, or spring? When have you gone on it? Thanks so much!

  8. Ann says:

    Each day’s report is amazing! Loved your thoughts on the ocean and closeness to God. One of the best parts of traveling is meeting people we would never meet otherwise. How lucky of the British doctor and his wife to eat dinner with YOU and Joe.

    • Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

      Ditto, ditto, ditto! I agree 100% with you, Ann!

  9. Pam says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share! It is just so wonderful. My world is so much richer because of you.

    • Siobhan from Santa Monica, CA says:

      I feel the same exactly! So generous of you to share all these yummy details…you know we are eating it all up out here. Delightful!

      I always feel most connected to the spiritual and holy in nature too. What a beautiful world we get to live on!

  10. Roxana A. says:

    Susan, I am enjoying this virtual cruise very much, especially since it’s doubtful that I’ll ever do one in reality. Thanks to the generosity of your heart, we are treated to an experience rich in detail and depth of feeling. I treat myself to your blog every day….it expands my world and my thoughts. Thank you!!

  11. Clairellen from Michigan says:

    Dear sweet Susan, We are SO lucky to stowaway with you on the Queen Mary. I really can’t think of anything more fun, serene, exciting and memorable as an ocean voyage on such a beautiful timeless ship. Don’t we live in an exciting time? We can fly in hours around the world, or take it slow and easy on a ship or a train. Ahhhh! I know you’re missing Jack and Girl Kitty; any reports on how they are doing emotionally? Until tomorrow….thank you so much for inviting us along.

  12. ellen scott says:

    what an insightful trip it makes you realize how awsome God is….a vast ocean and so many people from all over the world….how different our cultures and speech and how basicly the same we all are…….this trip is really fun for us armchair travlers thanks for bringing us along

  13. claresgabby says:

    You are not only an artist, but you paint a mighty fine picture with words, my traveling vicariously friend! And your pictures are wonderful…add photography to your many talents. Loving the pictures and stories! (I am reading The “Forgotten Garden” which is the perfect companion for “our” trip to England.) Still waiting to see Joe in his tuxedo!!! ENJOY!

  14. Suzanne Talbot says:

    Tea and Cole Porter! So perfect for you and Joe.
    What a wonderful ship and what interesting people you are meeting. And I’m sure they say the same about the two of you.
    Even though the time must be going fast on your ocean journey, you get to experience it all over again on the way home!
    I just love every blog and tweet. Thank you so much, Susan, for doing this for us.

    Suzanne – Carmel, CA

    • Suzanne, don’t you live in a magical place! I love and miss Carmel! Was last there in 1982 with my Dad and Step mom visiting my step sister, while on a visit (my last with my Dad) after moving to WNC in 1981 with my husband and sons (4 and 2). I always loved walking the streets there every time I was able to get up there from So Cal. Loved the Nasturtiums growing in the gardens just like in my home town of Laguna Beach. Our world has some beautiful places doesn’t it?
      Susans trip is just awesome!

      • Suzanne Talbot says:

        Hi Jeannie,
        I do love living in Carmel, but it has changed a lot from when you were there in 1982.
        Your hometown of Laguna Beach is also a magical place. Was last there in the summer of ’60 I think. On a family vacation when I was in high school. Loved going to all the little pottery shops. We even went to Kay Finch’s shop nearby, and she is so collectible now.
        You’re right! Nasturtiums grow so well in Carmel.
        Yes, I just love following Susan and Joe on their trip!
        Can’t wait for her trip diary next year!
        Thank you for replying to my comment.

  15. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    Hi Susan,
    The words you chose, “…awe inspiring and frightening….” IS how I feel everytime I look at the Current Voyage Itinerary Satelite picture….you are neither “here” nor “there”…….Kinda in the MIDDLE of lots and lots of blue!!!
    The opportunities available to us, right now, are truly Amazing!!!! You ARE in
    the MIDDLE of the Ocean!!!!….But you are safe and warm and laughing and
    dancing and meeting people from all over the world!!! And…..You have a
    suitcase full of US!!!!! And speaking of being in a suitcase…”I’m sorry” girls if I moved around alot last night……I got a “charlie horse” ….and was trying ever
    so quietly to wriggle and “EeeeeeOwwwwEeeeOwwwwwEeeeeOwwwww!!!!!!”
    We are kinda packed in like a bunch of sardines…..but I wouldn’t change it
    for the world!!!! “Thank You Susan!” for making memories….for ALL of US !!!
    Hope you have a great day! Or is it Night? Or Tomorrow? XoXDawn : .}

    • Chrissy Thrower says:

      Haha, Dawn, I think I will sleep out on the balcony tonight! You kicked me three times last night! Ha!

    • Kate says:

      Remedy for charlies horses in bed. A bar of soap under the bottom sheet. Sounds crazy, I know, but it has worked for my husband and myself and other people we know who have tried it. Any kind of soap will do. We use Ivory.

    • Oh we noticed alright Dawn; but, we are trying to respect Susan/Joe and didn’t want to make a ruckus so we just let it go last night!!!! You need to drink a glass of orange juice and it will make the “charlie horse” go away (this is true by the way ladies…works like magic). Hope everyone gets settled in earlier than they have been….some and I won’t mention any names are sneaking in after hours!!! Shame….I guess Susan is going to have to put a curfew on some of you??

    • We are having fun aren’t we! Such great dance partners there! And Susans Joe looks so handsome in his tux! What a couple they make! All the people that are fortunate to sit with them!

    • Silvia Niomi says:

      LOL…..there are probably schools of sardines swirling right now underneath the QM2, sardines in the suitcase, sardines in the sea. I was getting a bit fidgety myself in the suitcase…. glad u let us out, Susan.

    • Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

      LOL… ! Thank you, Dawn! Susan, you are so right! These girlfriends are an absolute HOOT! 😀

    • Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

      That’s what I was trying to warn you all about — there is soooooo much blue ocean. The QMII is huge when its docked but put her to sea and she looks like a little toy boat in a bathtub. I don’t care that you all snicker at me for wearing my life jacket all the time. I admit, its a bit bulky with my sequin formal but this is the only way I can appreciate the mass beauty of it all. I promise to take it off once we dock!! 😉
      PS: Am I the only one who snuck a teaspoon back to the room? SORRY! I promise to return it to the table in the morning!

      • Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

        Sorry Dawn! Not sure why my post landed in your space… just like the accomodations – we squeeze in where we can!!

      • sbranch says:

        I have to say, you might as well take off that life jacket and kick up your feet because to be bobbing out there in a lifejacket is just not going to be good!

        • Laura says:

          You girls are too funny! Due to Dawn’s Charlie horse kicking and the extreme puffiness of Christine’s life jacket I have befriended Uncle Michael and am now residing in one of his spare suite of rooms in his two-story penthouse. My suite has a grand piano, an Olympic size pool and a full gourmet kitchen where I can while away the hours baking carrot cupcakes and chocolate chip muffins (Susan’s recipes). Please Susan and girls come for a pool/tea party later this afternoon. Uncle Michael said he would entertain us with musical selections played on my grand piano. We will move on to the pink champagne at some point I’m sure!!! Xoxoxoxoxo

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          I was thinking the same thing…too cold, hypothermia, etc. And just think how those sparkly sequins would attract the sharks, etc. LOL! 🙂

  16. It is always sooo exciting to get updates from you and Joe! The photos were beautiful … can’t wait to hear from you again. Thank You! ♥

  17. Darlene H. (way out west) says:

    ………Love the trip so far Susan! Is it warm outside or too cold to sit? Are you wearing those little patches to help with sea sickness? I would stick them all over if I was you. When you get a little uncertain, just remember, you get to go shopping in London. Happy Sails!

  18. Doreen Strain (from Florida) says:

    Short and sweet….I’m loving your blogging! So enjoy seeing the pictures. I feel like I’m there. BTW…I’m using me tea cup I bought just for reading your blog while (we’re) on “our” trip. Glad you are enjoying yourself. I know for a fact after reading all these post that we “girlfriends” are too. I’m even writing about it in my penpal letters! xoxo FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  19. Sylvia Faye says:

    Susan thank you for your kindness in thinking of your girlfriends in blogland and taking us with you on this voyage across the ocean.
    Your ocean picture is truly awesome…only God can create and He knew that His creatures would appreciate beauty. Cannot believe the colours and seeing (looks like a little house jutting out in God’s immense world) the ocean. I remember flying over to Australia and being over this immense body of water and thinking ‘when will I see land again?’
    Teatime and sweet old fashion music to dance with ‘the love of our life’…WHO CAN ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE??????
    ~Sylvia Faye

  20. Susan Williams says:

    Susan- Please post a picture of you and your husband at a formal dinner!!
    Love reading your travelogue. Thanks so much

    Another Susan in Wayne,PA

  21. Kathleen Smith says:

    This is so incredible…that we can enjoy your cruise with you. Thank you to you for going to all the trouble it takes to be faithful in journaling, taking pictures, and posting for all of us to enjoy. Can’t even imagine how wonderful this voyage must be!
    Enjoy! Look forward to your daily updates. 🙂

  22. Kathleen Smith says:

    This is so incredible…that we can enjoy your cruise with you. Thank you, thank you for going to all the trouble it takes to be faithful in journaling, taking pictures, and posting for all of us to enjoy. Can’t even imagine how wonderful this voyage must be!
    Enjoy! Look forward to your daily updates. 🙂

  23. Kelli Davison says:

    Susan this is so much fun to read! I have loved your cookbooks since I got out of college 25 years ago! It is so fun to see your beautiful artwork and now to read about this amazing trip! 🙂

  24. mari says:

    Hi, Susan! Love your posts from the ship ♥ My mom always said that no matter now big the boat, you’re so small when you’re out there ~ no kidding!!! Love the tea and Cole Porter – have you ever seen “Anything Goes”? Great little musical with his music 🙂 Keep enjoying ~ we’re sooooo blessed to be in your pocket 🙂

  25. patti frain says:

    Love your rambling Susan… I am now called the rambler. My husband is an artist too. I am his biggest fan. He mostly draws and paints at night so he uses me as his critic. He asks for my opinion (which is usually, it’s great honey). I then tell him I’m off the clock at 9pm and then he post’s the drawing on his fb page… Love the title of today’s blog post. There have been so many times that I knew I was not in charge. I usually start my day with my plan but by the end of the day I’m usually saying it’s God’s Plan. I remember the 1st time I saw the ocean. I felt so insignificant. My problem’s seemed so small compared to the vastness of the ocean. I can only imagine how one feels when you are out there with no land in site…Safe travels, enjoy your time. Enjoying your trip. Thanks for sharing…<3

  26. Pat says:

    I have been telling all my friends about traveling with you and what a great time I am having. The people you are meeting sounds fantastic and what an array of work they do. I am totally enjoying this trip even though the space is sometimes crowded with so many of us. I can’t wait until you get to land so we can see all the photos. I’ll have some tea and a scone, please.

  27. stephanie says:

    You are inspiring me to travel more!

    This post is the best of why we should travel – new people and seeing the world in an entirely new way. It’s fantastic!

    Love hearing the stories. Love the pics! I’m LOVING the up close tea pic – can’t get enough of those.

    It looks like a dream – so much fun!

  28. Marie says:

    Thank you, darling Susan, for telling us everything. I love hearing about all your interesting new friends. I picture you and Joe being the perfect ambassadors for the U.S.

    Marie in CA

  29. Joan B says:

    Thank you for sharing the world with us, Susan!! I so appreciate the efforts you are making.
    Joan B.

  30. Beth in SC says:

    I love the pictures you are posting and am so thankful you are taking us along on this trip!! Looks lovely but I think I’d go bonkers not seeing land. I’m a big ol’ scardy cat! 🙂 God is amazing and the beauty of nature is just one blessing he gives to us. I’m so happy for you that you are able to see and enjoy such views! A once in a lifetime opportunity! 🙂

  31. Jo Ann Pollick says:

    Thanks, Susan. What a blessing you are to all who will never travel this way. You are giving a wonderful gift daily.

  32. Susan, I know by now how much you are missing Jack/Girl; so, I am giving them virtual hugs/kisses everyday for you by giving my two kitties extra love!!! So, you just stop fretting over them I have it all covered for you and it is my pleasure to do that for you since you have been so generous in taking me along on this wonderful voyage!!!!

  33. Joann says:

    This is such fun!!!!!!!!!!!! And I KNOW we don’t have control….we’ve been trying to find the ‘you know what’ for ages, and still it is elusive. Somewhere, out in that vastness is future, past and now….. capture it!

    and be careful with all that clotted cream….we don’t want clotted arteries….but oh, I forgot!!! Dancing to Cole Porter removes it….

    OK, keep indulging….we love it that way!!

  34. Rosemary says:

    It sounds to me like you are soaking up the whole experience, so to speak. It is always amazing to me that you can and do just perfectly, deeply, and beautifully zero in on the details…both visually and in the written word. So many times I say to myself “Yes! that’s exactly how I feel about that” Makes it so enjoyable to experience this voyage through your eyes, words, everything! Still am thinking about your comment that all of us are sleeping so quietly…like spoons??? I loved that and hope to remember it when I am with my Grands next time. CHARMING! Thank you. Have a lovely evening!

  35. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan, again…..oopsey….I was so excited about your early morning before sunrise photo…..I accidently touched the wrong button:( Sorry:( Do you feel like you are dreaming or as though you are in a movie???? The ocean sure does look like it’s “the boss and is surely in charge!!! Mother Nature is truly grand!!! So breathtaking!!! Enjoy every second!!!!

  36. Such beauty in the sea and sky! Susan, I love reading what all the “Girlfriends” say!
    I would also love to see the picture of you and Joe in your dinner clothes from the other evening! It made me smile to see Joe’s little sailor going along with you! I wonder if Jack is looking for him there at home though? I’m having a great time going “with”! Thank you!

  37. Barbara Belcher says:

    Once again you have made my day. Thank you for the pictures and details of your trip. I am enjoying every minute. Love the sweet and detailed additions of your fantastic trip.
    Barbara 🙂

  38. Susan, we are having so much fun traveling with you across the ocean blue! Not getting sea sick at all! The people you are meeting, and who are the luckiest for getting to know you and Joe!


  39. Jackie says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,

    Okay…in one of your videos of your sea journey, we expect you to do your best Celine Dion with the sea and the gorgeous sky in the background….I’m sure Joe would love to video that! Just don’t go hanging off the bow or anything silly like that….perching on a safe bench would suffice! Loved the sea picture today and being so close to God in the sky….amazing.

  40. Colleen says:

    Oh! Thank you so much for taking us along! I did not get to see your ship before she set sail on your journey. I tried but we were too far away and not familiar yet with the subway system. Did you get to go to the High Line Park? I hope you did, you all would love it! Safe travels! xo

  41. Oh, you make this Anglophile’s heart sing. Love reading about your voyage. Almost as good as being there myself. My husband wanted to take this cruise and I didn’t think there would be enough to do. I think I need to rethink. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      There is more than we could ever do, we miss more than we actually get to go to, there’s that much!

  42. Joanne Y. says:

    Thank you Susan for this exciting trip!!!!!
    I have been with you since the Queen Mary pulled out of the harbor,
    I was in awe. And when you passed under the bridge, I was so very
    happy for you.
    Enjoy every minute!

  43. MNBarbb says:

    Loving every picture, every word of description, and every bit of the trip!
    Thank YOU so much, Susan, for sharing your time with we girlfriends and keeping us abreast of all the details.

  44. Today was voting day in Indiana and I got out and did my civic duty with zest. But at the end of my busy day, it was soothing to read your words which are always so beautifully written. I feel like you are in a movie….do you also feel that way? One of the best things I find when we travel is talking with people from other places. It is fascinating to hear about their parts of the world isn’t it? Deep down, we are not all that different are we? Are you sleeping well? And how is the food? In our experience, there was always plenty of it!! Looking forward to more news. : )

  45. barb bussell says:

    I, like the rest of your girlfriends, am so grateful for this chance to sail the ocean blue with you, Susan. I doubt if I’ll ever do this in reality, and you’ve been so gracious and generous in making this blog such a big part of your experience. Thank you, so very much! I’m definitely going to talk about this on Facebook and try to explain to my friends what a wonderful thing is going on here!

  46. Del Jean says:

    Thank you for this little basket of mighty encouragement, dear Susan!:
    “Us looking out to sea and only God in the heavens looking back.” Today my only remaining brother flew back to Afghanistan after a lovely two week vacation at home! …thus I’m finishing my third pot of tea ~all have been “Angel’s Dream” tea, when I usually drink one at the day’s beginning. He and I are all that is left of our family, so saying good bye naturally is more difficult as we age.
    But your kind posting, God, and this third pot have given me sweet comfort and courage.
    And it is such fun to ‘travel’ with you!

    • Bless your heart Del Jean and blessings to your brother for a safe visit and a safe return trip home!! My nephew has had 4 tours to Iraq and missed most of his sons life to date and he is 7. What a sacrifice these young men/women are making for our freedom. God Bless

  47. Connie Michael says:

    This has been so much fun…..and I love your pictures! Have checked out the QM’s website, the rooms, compared the menus, love the webcam…. am amazed at how FORMAL it all gets onboard there! This is the closest I’ll get to a cruise also – so kick up your heels for all of us x 1000! 🙂 Ah… are a treasure! Hugs! Connie

  48. Mary S. says:

    OH, my!! What gorgeous photos!! And the food sounds sooo wonderful!!
    How incredibly interesting to meet these diverse people and hear about their lives!! I love doing that! That is one of my favorite things about going to Disneyland or Yosemite – there are always people from other countries there, and I do my best to get to talk to them!
    *sigh* I am going to think about you on this ship while I am scrubbing my kitchen floor this afternoon!! I am so happy for you!

  49. Marcia in Brazil says:

    I am loving “our” trip to England. Tea and dancing at 4 p.m. sounds like heaven!

  50. love being on the cruise with you…love love cruises…would love to be there with you…I bet the lobby is beautiful…isn’t the water incredible…it is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t ben on a cruise that the water is the star of the show…phyllis

  51. Jackie P says:

    I look forward each day to reading this blog about your amazing trip. I LOVE the ocean –– don’t know if I would ever be brave enough to sail across such a vast amount of water! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It has been sooo enjoyable!

  52. Silvia Niomi says:

    Hi Susan, thanks so much for taking us along…. I’m having lots of fun following along. You know, I can relate to that feeling of ‘smallness’ juxtaposed to the sea. Quite a while back, my husband and I tried deep sea fishing off the coast of Monterey (for the first time). It wasn’t until we were waaaaaay out there and I looked at the teeny, weeny, tiny, winy coastline that it hit me. The feeling of being very small in something much bigger and grander then me.

    The tea you drink on the ship is very light is that a black tea or something else?
    It looks yummy.
    stay safe. xoxox

    • sbranch says:

      It’s either English Breakfast or Earl Grey, but not strong, is what I’m thinking.

  53. Nancy M. says:

    Beautiful….just beautiful photo!

  54. Linda M. says:

    Susan, I have to thank you for making the time to write these posts (and being so persistent to get them to ‘take’). This is my most favorite time of the day—when I see a post from you in my blog roll I save it for last, so that I can savor it. I find myself examining each photo you post with the most excrutiating eye for detail, so that I do not miss a thing, scrolling back and forth from your words to the photo, and then back again.
    This is so much fun! I truly feel like I am experiencing your trip along with you!

  55. Joanie B from San Diego says:

    This is really too incredible and FUN, have to agree with another blogger, you have a fun way with words. Travel wakes us up to other people and other worlds that we couldn’t even imagine, so we grow and change from the experience and bring it all back home, a little better and different person than when we left. Thanks for packing us in with you, I was going to say that I haven’t slept a wink for the snoring and the drooling on the pillow. ;-D

  56. Jane in Pennsylvania says:

    I’m really enjoying your posts & am looking forward to the whole trip. I’m so glad we have you and Joe as our representatives from the U.S.A. We couldn’t ask for better ambassadors. Thank you.

  57. jeanne hedin says:

    Your post was delightful and insightful. It is a joy to share this trip with you! It’s getting late so I’m ready to spoon with the girlfriends. 🙂

  58. Jean Shaffer says:

    Thanks so much for your daily updates-I am really enjoying your trip and look forward to what is in store when your finally arrive. Thank you, my friend!

  59. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan…i just sit in front of this computer and smile….it all looks so wonderful and you always feel so good when someone you like is having the time of their lives!!! This favorite picture is the hallway….gives a real sense of the place…could be right out of a Hitchcock film…..!!!! just think about all of the neat interesting people in all of those staterooms….some of which you have told us that too….keep on bobbin’ and dancin’, cindy… : )

  60. Danielle says:

    Hi Susan, I am loving our vitural cruise! Everyday I look forward to checking twitter and your blog to see what you and Joe have been up to. Love seeing pictures of the ship and the beautiful ocean. Such a wonderful way to travel. Room service in your cocoon with that amazing balcony sounds like heaven. This is so much fun and you haven’t even gotten there yet. The best is yet to come : ) Looking forward to more updates. Thank you so much xoxo


  61. Rita from MN says:

    Reading your entries brings back memories of our cruise from three years back. Lovely views from the balcony-yep! Feeling like being in the middle of nowhere-oh yes, but for us it was the Pacific Ocean we were sailing on. And intermittent internet-oh, yeah. I admire your sticking with it for us.

  62. Hi Susan

    Your photos are so delightful! It will be wonderful to see your videos when you get home. Do you and Joe dance in the ballroom?

    Ohhh –I remember that looong hallway on the QM2! I have a bad sense of direction so I was always getting lost on that ship. It wasn’t a bad place to get lost on, however, as there was always something good to see where ever I ended up.

    I am enjoying your posts very much, Susan…looking forward to more!



    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we danced yesterday at tea to that beautiful orchestra, had to say we did it!

  63. Lisa R (northern Arizona) says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’ve been gone for a few days, so here I am trying to catch up on your posts from the ship!!! How exciting that you can share with us!!! I am amazed. Most amazed by the Hand of God, the One in charge. How magnificent His creation is! And I’m most amazed by you, and your generosity to share your vacation with us. You could easily go on your trip, and share all about it after your return, and no one would blame you a bit. But here you are, sharing away! Love hearing about tea and cucumber sandwiches and powdered scones, tuxedos and dancing, and all your new acquaintances!! We’re having a ball on this trip!!! I know you’ve been told a hundred times, but I have to say it again, you are a wonderful lady Susan. Thanking God right now for the blessing of you.♥

  64. Robin says:

    Thank you for letting me “stow away” on your trip. I am loving it all. Can’t wait for the videos too.

  65. Suzanne Talbot says:

    Just checked the Queen Elizabeth web cam. They are docked at Dubrovinik and someone is sunbathing on the bridge. Something you and Joe could do Susan and we could see you!
    But I think a little too scary while your ship is moving along at sea!


    • Suzanne Talbot says:

      ……..I meant Dubrovnik!

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think we are allowed out there to the front of the ship — it’s just for crew, but that would be fun!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Are you telling us that you and Joe aren’t going to try to re-create the scene from the Titanic with her standing on the very front of the boat, with arms out to sides like flying? Yikes!!! Just teasing–makes me sick just to think about it! LOL!

        • sbranch says:

          hahaha! We thought of it! But no!

        • Silvia Niomi says:

          that’s hilarious…. hahaha….LOL. Please don’t try this Sue. We all want you and Joe to come back home safe and sound. I’m sure that part was done in the studio.

  66. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Hi Susan *
    The View from your Balcony is awesome and I bet every time you step onto it, you have an “AH” moment!
    Oh, Susan it’s all so loverly. Yours and Joe’s sea haven is perfect.

    I am, and all of us girlfriends are are right nearby, in our hearts and thoughts, wishing you happy sailing as you get nearer and nearer to England’s shores.

    Your voyage updates, the glorious sunrise and ocean photos and the delightful tales of your shipboard dining companions are little “gifts” you share with us through this blog. T H A N K * Y O U .

    May I add to my post tonight…a helloooo to all the girlfriends “tagging along” on your wonderful voyage…especially Lori from Maine (I just received your sweet e-mail today and will reply tomorrow). See you all on deck with Susan!

    “My soul is full of longing
    For the secret of the sea,
    And the heart of the great ocean
    Sends a thrilling pulse through me”.
    – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow –
    Luv from * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

  67. Becky says:

    Ship life sounds like a wonderful break in time for the soul, a way to simultaneously escape from the world and connect with the world in all the interesting people you meet!

    Perhaps you and Joe could occasionally sign on as seasonal help! You could teach watercolor and calligraphy… Joe could teach cooking classes… free trips to England!

  68. Becky says:

    PS- that long hallway is terrifying!

  69. Joan says:

    Have you met any people that “know who you are?” That would be SUCH a thrill for them!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I met someone at the Captain’s cocktail party last night who had all my books! I was much more thrilled than she was!

      • Joan Lesmeister says: I think she was just trying to be cool and sophisticated! She probably tweeted everyone she knows after the party!!!! xoxoxo

  70. Judy says:

    Hee, Hee – you found out – I brought my little Cairn terrier Toto along with me on the trip – we are having such a wonderful time and she is really loving all the pets she gets from all the people. JC

  71. Barb says:

    Hello Susan,

    Such breathtaking photos and your words are so spot on! I loved hearing the stories of all the people you and Joe have met.

    I have to say after seeing the narrow hallway though…….all I can think of is Sailor(Pete) with the theme of Mission Impossible playing as he lets all of us girlfriends out of the suitcases, peers around the door to see the coast is clear and we all go down the narrow hallway and out amongst the ship to classes, to dance, to tea and then Pete rounds us all up and we sneak back into the room in into the suitcases once more. Whew that was close! LOL
    Hugs & Smiles Barb, Ludlow MA

  72. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Thank you for sharing this bit of loveliness with us, your readers. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more!

    I was going to ask if anyone recognized you and then saw what you wrote about the Captain’s cocktail party. How exciting!

  73. Barbara from SoCal says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! I’m enjoying this more than you know. I will never make it to England (or any other country) so I am living through “you” ……….. and it’s fun!!

  74. Pam G. says:

    I never thought I would want to take a sea trip but between the fascinating people, tea daily and the food….you make it seem delightful. I always think I’d be seasick and wouldn’t have the clothes, etc.

  75. Judy in Seattle says:

    My two kitties are even enjoying seeing all these pictures and stories, too 🙂

  76. Joan in TX says:

    Yikes. Your description of the vastness of Nature that you are experiancing – made my bone marrow quiver! I can’t imagine what Columbus and his kind felt in their small slow wooden sailing ships; esp. not knowing where they would end up and what they would find when they got there. (I’d have to keep reminding myself and be kissing that ship in appreciation that it is as big as it is, has modern technology, big engines and it has lifeboats!) But still it’s creepy. Anyway, having a spot of tea as I’m catching up on my reading. This is so cool taggin along. Land ho!

    • sbranch says:

      We were talking about the Mayflower at dinner tonight — no heat, no down comforters, no tea in bed, how did they do it — 3 months or was it 4, on the high sea? No oranges! Brave souls, and bless those souls for us!

  77. Diane Harris says:

    For those of you not on Twitter, here’s an update on what’s happening as the internet is slammed with every passenger using it on the boat right now:

    Susan posted on Twitter “We get off the boat at 9:30 am, taxi to car rental place, get car, then we are ON OUR OWN, which is much more dangerous than it sounds.”

    She continues with another 144 character opportunity: “I promise to make up for it later! Would someone like to go to the blog and leave a comment and tell everyone what we’re doing tomorrow?”

  78. I miss being on the ocean in a ship and yes it does put us in our place! At times I thought how insignificant my little problems seem. Somewhere in the Old Testament it says that there are paths in the sea. I think that is remarkable!!! I learner that through a lovely post written by Brin from messythrillinglife.blogspot–and she is a lawyer who should be a theologian!

  79. Christy says:

    So much fun to read your blog and see the photos – your enthusiasm is infectious!

  80. I’ve been reading yor blog for a couple of years, Susan, and I love it. It inspires and soothes and always makes me feel better–happier! Thanks you so much for all the joy you bring to your readers.
    I’ve particularly enjoyed reading about your cruise to the UK, which is where I live. It’s fascinating to see you take such pleasure from what we take for granted.
    Right now I’m on holiday in The Peak District in Derbyshire. Sadly the weather is not at its best, but the scenery is as beautiful as ever.
    I stayed in Tenterden a couple of years ago. I went with a friend and we had a delightful little cottage in Theatre Square, right off the main street, opposite Monsoon, if I remember correctly. We visited all the National Trust properties we could fit in in a week–at least ten! Have a wonderful holiday.

    • sbranch says:

      Even your storms are pretty to us! Big rolling dark clouds today, chilly air, we have slippers, tea, Joe’s writing postcards and I’m painting so it’s just fine!

  81. YOu know what? I’m thinking if Lucy Maud Montgomery were able to post about her trip to Scotland, she’d say exactly what you are saying.
    brings a tear to my eyes and still is.

    You are amazing, Dear Susan! <3

Comments are closed.