Good Bye Queen Mary II

Our last day was so beautiful!  We started off by walking around the deck six times —  which equals two glorious miles of very nice view and clean ocean air!  The sun was shining, there were seagulls flying along with us, Irish seagulls, because that’s the closest coastline!  We’ve never been so happy!  We’re almost there!

We’re packing now and putting our twelve (12) bags, yes, embarrassing (and that’s not even counting your bags!!!), outside our room for collection right now.  We’re probably going to take up the whole hallway.  While I’m typing, Joe is putting the bags out. Then we go to sleep (or we try) and then we dock at 6:30 am tomorrow, May 11, and disembark at 9:30!  It’s hard to leave because it’s been such an awesome trip (awesome really is the correct word!) but wonderful to know we get to do it again in about seven weeks!

Here we are, earlier tonight, in Lowely’s charming Uncle Michael’s (he’s between me and Joe) beautiful two-story stateroom for a Bon Voyage to the Queen Mary cocktail party!  They (Michael and Ken) are off to Rome tomorrow, and we are off to Beatrix Potter’s House via lots and lots of gardens!  That’s my new haircut, which actually, despite the fact that to you it probably looks just the same as it always does, is a really good haircut!  I will have to travel on ships every two months for the rest of my life because I always get my best haircuts on ocean liners!  Too bad, but it must be done!

I can’t believe whoever is in charge of the internet on this boat just let me put up these  photos; I will not push my luck and just live to believe that in England I will have more of everything a person needs to do a blog in less than three hours per post!  But tomorrow girlfriends, we are going to pick up our car, then all pile in (I know, difficult for us all to fit after what they’ve been feeding us, but we’ll work it off soon, by walking around wonderful gardens!) for the trip east to Tenterden in Kent, where we have an apartment (don’t know exactly what it will be like!  It’s an adventure!) on the High Street!  We will be stopping for lunch at the same exact place we stopped the very first time Joe and I came to England together.  The restaurant is perched on a cliff over the water.  You’ll like it!  I may not get the computer hooked-up tomorrow; we have driving, map-reading, unpacking, and grocery shopping to do, but I’ll try!  Depends on the internet-powers-that-be!  We stay in our Tenterden apartment for two glorious weeks.  Get ready because we’re going to take you to some wonderful places!  My dad and his wife Jeanie got this dream necklace for us just before we left. ♥ XOXO

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169 Responses to Good Bye Queen Mary II

  1. Marilyn says:

    What a great trip, and the best is yet to come! 🙂

    I can’t wait to see England through the eyes of Susan Branch.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  2. Ann says:

    You are back on land! Love your haircut and the outfit in the pic. I hope you try to forget about us for a little while and enjoy your time with Joe.

  3. Susan in the country says:

    Who is “Lowely’s charming Uncle Michael”? I must have missed the introductions in a previous blog! He/they look like fun!

  4. pat addison says:

    is it time to jump ship yet??? what a fun voyage over, sad to be leaving the ship. an apartment, sure there will be room for all of us??? i brought my cats along, they’ll be quiet as mice . 🙂

  5. Carol Maurer says:

    Its been soooo much fun going on this journey with you and Joe!! Can’t wait to see our apartment. So happy that the weather is cooperating as well. I’m anxious to see the photos that you will be taking of the Potter house, etc! Last year, Victoria Mag. had a large article on her place with lots of pictures. I’ve so wanted to share with you some of the stuff in the article, but have resisted as I know you will want to experience it fresh. Take care and ENJOY!!!

    Carol M

  6. Siobhan from Santa Monica, CA says:

    Wave to my relatives in Ireland for me! And I have some in Jolly Olde too. I got worried last night thinking you were flying home and this was our last day at sea…I am so relieved to know we are coming back on the ship. Now I can breathe easy and enjoy all the amazing things to come. You two do look very happy indeed! <3

  7. Irina Wistoff says:

    Have a nice time in beautiful Kent! If you perhaps visit the charming “South Foreland Lighthouse” near Dover on the famous white cliffs (one of the most special places in England for me) I would be quite happy about a short “Hello” from you…
    Sending a warm “Hello” from good old Germany to one of the most beautiful islands on our planet, enjoy!!


  8. Deb Evans says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for taking me along on the ship with you! I had a currant scone and my cup of tea in an “Emma” mug yesterday,to get in the spirit of things along with you. I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful time travelling all around. I’ll be taking notes for my next visit with my husband. I keep talking about your adventure to him, hopefully planting the seed in his head that we should take that boat trip someday too! Do you have room in any of those 12 bags for souvenirs? Have fun!!

  9. Carole K says:

    Your hair=ADORABLE!

  10. Pat Mofjeld says:

    The trip has been enjoyable and informative for us–I’m glad you had good weather and fairly smooth seas. Thanks, again, for all of the sharing. I laughed about you putting the luggage out in the hall–Heh, the good thing about having 12 pieces of luggage is that your rental car can’t be one of those tiny cars that aren’t as safe! Looking forward to “our” traveling in England! 🙂

  11. And the real adventure begins……love the skirt, sweater and new haircut. And so glad the weather is cooperating. Can’t wait to see the gardens and food and other delights you find on your travels.

  12. Betty says:

    Looks like you had a fabulous crossing. We just returned from visit to Lake District. After Hill Top Farm we enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Drunken Duck (between Hawkshead and Ambleside) and dinner last night at Dodd’s in Ambleside. Try these.

  13. I have been enjoying following you along on your grand adventure. I am so looking forward to the next segment!

    Susan and Bentley

  14. Sue Connolly says:

    What a wonderful trip so far. No worry about how many of us will fit into the car for our next part of the travel. Most of us remember the 60s and how many can we fit into a VW bug.

    • Diana - Highland, IL says:

      We got 14 teenagers squashed in our purple VW bug in 1972!! WHOO HOO!!! what a great memory!!! LOL..

      • Sue Connolly says:

        My best car friend was a 64 split window VW van, painted purple and named Raspberry. We had many wonderful adventures and if I remember right we had about that many in there heading to a music get together (not Woodstock). The old VW bug we got 9 in that going over to the real Alice’s restaurant in W. Stockbridge.

  15. You look so well rested and you haircut is adorable, Susan! I can’t wait to see what you see in England!

    Dream on and enjoy every moment!



  16. Vickib says:

    Hi Susan hope ur having a lovely trip so far .. Wow ur staying in Tenterden only 5 minutes up road from me!! Im in rolvenden just down road .. Hope u have a fantastic time will continue to follow ur blog and see what a fab time your having in my neighbourhood.. If your still in the area on 9th June I’m having a garden party for my 30th birthday your both very welcome to come for a drink and bite to eat 🙂 just pray for good weather take care and wishing u a very enjoyable stay in England xx vicki

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

    Looking forward to stretching legs a little in the rental car. Will try hard not to be a backseat (or backtrunk) driver. Off we go! 😀
    Love your outfit in Uncle Michael’s stateroom! Have a safe trip, lots of laughs (but keep focused!) while adjusting to driving on the wrong side of the road, and make more wonderful memories! Thank you soooooo much for sharing with us. Pip! Pip! Cheerio!

  18. Dale Worness says:

    My goodness! TWELVE BAGS ??? (Please don’t leave mine on the ship!) Bet you’re glad you don’t have to pay for each bag separately. Imagine the cost of that? Are you sure you’re coming back to the U.S. in 3 months? Sounds like you’re planning on becoming British citizens! England should be so lucky! It will probably seem strange to be on terra firma again after being on the ship for a week. Just remember to drive on the left-hand side of the road! Usually by the time you get used to it, it’s time to come home! Have fun in your new apartment in Kent. At least we don’t have to remind you to send us pictures! Can’t wait to see them! Have a very safe & happy trip around Jolly Olde England! 🙂

  19. Janice R says:

    What an amazing vacation! I can only dream….. thank you so much for taking us all along to enjoy this with you. Pictures are amazing. I am not on Twitter but have enjoyed the ones on your blog. Enjoy every minute!

  20. Jane alexander says:

    So nice to see the photo of you, Joe and the others. 12 bags!! That makes me laugh. But, I’ve seen how much I take for a much shorter trip than 7 weeks!! Back at my home front, I saw 5 bunnies running all around my neighborhood this morning. Can’t imagine how that would be on your ship!!

    I know your apartment will soon be wonderful for the next couple of weeks. Can’t wait to see it….and the landscape around it!
    Jane Alexander

  21. Jenny says:

    You look radiant and so young in these pics of you on the boat. I’m excited that you’ll be arriving (I’ve felt a bit claustrophobic for you these last days). I can’t wait to hear about your land journey.

    Best wishes.

  22. Sue says:

    Well, here we go…I am so excited…I haven’t been back to England in 14 years…the last time for only 2 weeks…
    Can’t wait to see the parts that I missed on that trip…
    Sweet dreams…see you in the morning….xoxo Sue M.

  23. Love the photo and your new haircut … you and Joe make a beautiful couple. This is a special photo, thank you for sharing it. Can’t wait to hear more … details such as your grocery list, etc. Jus’ kiddin’ , well, not really … ♥

  24. Janet Rowland says:

    I can’t wait to see everything! Have a wonderful time.

  25. Girlfriends, I just want to take this time to wish everyone a very HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY!!! I hope you all enjoy your families and have a very special day!!!

  26. Jack says:

    Interesting to see that so many of these girlfriend comments are actually from the locals there in England ……..they seem to be more interested in the details of your activities and
    places you plan to see than your followers in the USA— how nice to be welcomed by so many wonderful and thoughtful gals . I can see you are going to have such
    a nice time associating with these folks , during your visit……

  27. Wendy says:

    Thank you Susan for having the patience with the picture sharing process. I have enjoyed all photos, your descriptions, wit and humor. This is most likely the only water related trip I have taken where I did not get seasick! What a pleasure and of course we owe it all to you and Joe. Get those land legs moving, settle in and do have High Tea, pictures please of food and tea service!! Adorable necklace, pretty skirt and do enjoy unpacking those 12 bags! Until next time … thank you!

  28. jeanne hedin says:

    The first leg of the trip has been so enjoyable. Now on to the next. We are all good map readers, so we can help navigate on the “wrong” side of the road! 🙂 Have fun getting settled in your apartment. 🙂

  29. Pat says:

    Finally I will have my land legs back. It has been a wonderful voyage. I have enjoyed the ship completely. But I sure hope you let me out of the suitcase soon as we are really packed in here tight.

  30. Suzanne says:

    Can’t wait until you take us with you to visit the cottage of Beatrix Potter. I have always loved her stories and paintings. Her style is a bit similar to someone I know…and admire….(hint: initials SB…??)

  31. Pam G. says:

    love the hair! I’m looking forward to land adventures. The sea trip went by sooo fast-I was just getting my sea legs.

  32. Ooh, got to get my land legs! Packing us all into a car is going to be like the 50’s fitting all of us into a phone booth! Remember seeing pictures of that? Arms and legs hanging out everywhere! Gardens gardens, here we come! Can’t wait! Wow, lunch sounds like fun! On a cliff overlooking the ocean, wow! Safe traveling!


  33. Jo says:

    While you are in Kent be sure to check out: The Three Chimneys, Hareplain Road, Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom. My only caveat is that the last time we were there was 6 years ago but then we thought the food and the people quite wonderful. Say hello to Sissinghurst for me.

  34. Diane from Washington state says:

    I am exhausted from all of the travelling…..whew! You really had to make me carry so much of that mountain of luggage?! lol. You and Joe look so happy! You look like an English spring flower in that adorable outfit…so pretty! I am glad that we have landed and are in England, and look forward to all of the sights and a real english tea time. I had to laugh at some of your Twitter comments, they were so fun! So glad to be “with” you! Hugs!

  35. Jeanie in Latham, NY says:

    Dear Susan,
    When you get a chance to go to a place that sells British magazines buy a Launch issue of Landcape magazine. It is a magnificent publication with beautiful photography, tasty recipes, crafters, gardening etc. You will love it!
    Jeanie in Latham, NY

  36. Debbie '51 says:

    oh – I’m having such a wonderful time!! And I just love your haircut! So perky!!!
    Can’t wait to see Beatrix Potter but I sure have been enjoying the trip so far.
    Relax and Enjoy!
    Thank you for taking us on this lovely trip!
    Thank you, Joe, for your patience with all of us girls!
    oboyoboyoboy!!! Can’t wait for more!
    ♥ to you both!
    ♥Debbie from Washington♥

  37. Rhonda D. says:

    Susan, I love your outfit in this picture. You look amazing girl! Really, you’re lookin’ good. If you were going a little farther north, to Scottish country, they’d be saying that yerrr a bonnie lassie, and you look rikt guid!! You and Joe are a beautiful couple.

  38. Gail Marie says:

    Wonderful diary!

  39. Georgie says:

    Twelve Bags! I am smiling… And nodding in agreement! I love your hair! Cruises are the. Est places to get your hair cut. One year we happened to take two short three day cruises (because we won one) and the same girl (Bridgette) was on board. We gave each other a bug hug and squealed when we saw each other! Of course I got my hair cut again. LOL. She was the best! Cant wait to journey to Beatrix Potters home with you. It will ease me back into reality once I return from Oahu!!! I am reaching out to hug you too… And squealing Big time! Loving that DREAM bracelet!!!

  40. Ginnie says:

    Just checked Twitter, so know you are safe & sound in your apartment – yea! Sweet dreams.

  41. Cindy says:

    I am so glad you’re sharing this experience with us. I haven’t been to England since 1960. I lived there for 11/2 years. Loved every moment of it it’s great getting to do it again.

  42. Susan Kellam says:

    My sister visited Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop Farm last year and ran into two of the most precious young English boys. They told her to “Be sure and look for the mouseholes,” because the guides don’t point them out. Apparently the resident mice created their own little entrances and they can be seen only if you know to look for them! So my advice for you is to BE SURE AND LOOK FOR THE MOUSEHOLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a wonderful time!

  43. Elizabeth in Montana says:

    Ooooo…owww…the gear shift is poking me in the ear, and I wanna sit by the window! hee hee…thanks for taking us along!

    • sbranch says:

      So sorry about that, but I was even more worried when Joe almost clipped all of us on the left side of the car with that oak tree!!!

  44. Joann says:

    Dearest Susan,

    The cruise was incredible—and the walks did me good, too!!! The room, although crowded, was quite nice; all of us seemed to get along pretty well and Joe didn’t seem to mind sharing the space with hundreds of us at all…. (or at least he didn’t tell us).

    I’ve always wanted to see the Beatrix Potter farm….and I really need a vacation now after graduation today, which, by the way, epitomized DREAM. Amanda’s dream of becoming a doctor came true today….and this mom is so proud I can barely speak.

    I’ll be blogging all about it, so stay tuned.

    Have fun on the restaurant on the hill; I don’t like heights at all, so I may stay in the car for this one. If you could bring me just a little cup of soup, I’ll be fine; I’ve eaten enough in the past week for three people.


  45. Marie says:

    Tenterdon is only a hop, skip and a jump from where I lived and worked until my retirement two years ago, in a little village called Brenchley. I worked at the Manor as the chef. Anyways, you must check out Scotney Castle, Sissinghurst, oh and Bateman’s, Rudyard Kipling’s home in Burwash. Also if you have the time you must check out the beautiful little village of Alfriston, which is also in East Sussex. It’s such a quaint little spot and right up your alley!

    • sbranch says:

      Every one of those is on our list, you are a mindreader! Loved Scotney Castle last time we came over, have to go back!

  46. "Diane S. says:

    Loving the tales of your travels, great haircut.

  47. Sandi says:

    I’m so excited for you! Love reading about your trip.

    Thank you for sharing it with us,


  48. Linda Joan says:

    Hello to You,

    I was reading Freda’s Hive blog and she posted about some wonderful British celebrating fabric, Here’s the post:

    Love, Linda

    • sbranch says:

      Every shop window is loaded with British fabric, china, bunting, bedding, everything, to celebrate the Jubilee! And the fabric is darling!

  49. Simone Dextraze says:

    Susan Branch, you are my inspiration. I love your art, your writings, your videos, your photos. I am 63 years old and am learning so much from you. Please don’t stop.

  50. Lisa says:

    Hi there. I have just discovered your lovdely blog (and work) through Pinterest. It’s very late here and I couldn’t sleep so I decided to have an online wander and it led me here. I shall be back to read more abot your time in the UK. I live in Southampton and not far from the docks and seeing the QM2 is quite a frequebt occurence for me!
    Whilst reading through I spotted the name Vanna which instantky caught my attention. Our daughter is named Savanna and we shorten her name to Vanna all the time, it’s so unusual to see it elsewhere!
    Love the mug you made at the EB factory.
    Lisa x

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Lisa . . . a little more Vanna info: On American TV, there was a game show called Wheel of Fortune; the cohost was a woman named Vanna White — it was her job to look beautiful and display the prizes with white gloved, jewel bedecked arms, so I thought Vanna would be the perfect name for the “person” who draws the winning names for my giveaways . . . much better than the other name: “Random Number Generator” (the blog tool that chooses a random winner).

      Savanna, what a beautiful name for your daughter!!! Happy to see you here; yes it was just a few weeks ago we were in your beautiful magical country having the most wonderful time!

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