Time to say Goodbye . . .

How to say goodbye?   I started trying to put this post together last night, but, as I was doing it, matters were made even worse when  Love Actually came on the TV in our hotel room!  So all I really did was cry.


How do you say goodbye to this?  Did you hear those birds?  And it’s only a small taste of the magic and beauty that’s been around every hedgerow since we got here.  It’s not really over, I tell myself, I still have so much more to show you when we get home . . . you’re going to love the rest of Rosemary Verey’s garden! Not to mention, we get to go  back to Hill Top!  To Beatrix’s husband, William Heelis’s office in Hawkshead!  And to William Morris’s house!  And so much more!!  Look what we have to look forward to!  Waaaaah.

Would someone please tell me how to say goodbye?

Because I just can’t do it.

words fail me

But the clock is ticking  . . .

. . . even here, in a land, that sometimes you think, time forgot.  Yesterday we went to Lacock, the perfect little village where Cranford was filmed.  I hope you’ve all seen Cranford, because it’s a charming story of yesteryear and looks just like this . . .

… only better, because when you are on this street, you can hear the English accents, feel the breeze, smell the lavender, see the clouds moving; you know it’s real because they have cars there now; and you can go in here and get the London Times if you want . . .

. . . because, in fact, what seems to be a dream, is all very real.  Dreams, you can wake up from; we won’t ever wake up from this.

How do you say goodbye to the everyday charm of life here?   Tea rooms,  cottages with names like Dove and Sky; kitchen gardens in every patch of dirt; cavorting lambs around every bend; paths that take you over ancient stone footbridges,

through fragrant wildflower meadows that go forever?   Where “My-toe-hurts-bet-tee” is the nature national anthem (a wood-pigeon is singing it outside our window right now) . . . this completely handcrafted country, with a full size electric tea kettle as standard in every hotel and every rental!  People who say “dodgy” and “crap job” and  who have cars like this right outside your hotel window and think its normal?

How can you not love them? Well, you really have no choice, you just do, don’t you!?


Because this is the epicenter, the ground zero, of charm.  They show us how it’s done.  And just when the whole world needed some cheering up, they did this — they had a big wonderful party . . . for the sweetest of reasons . . .

. . . and decorated every corner of England, in the biggest and smallest ways . . .

Which sent our whole family, including Petey, over the top!  Thank you England!!!  Joe was reading this over my shoulder and we just decided to make ourselves honorary English people as of this moment.  Petey too.  I hope no one minds.

 So goodbye shockingly beautiful place. We are putting the last bits into our bag (never said bits before but now I’m English I can get away with it) this morning, and going off to do the thing we saved for today; going to  Chawton House, the home of Jane Austen, for one last garden stroll and walk through history before we board the ship and sail right out of Southampton into suspended animation for seven days. Where blue meets blue in an unending swirl of sky and water . . . on a big ocean liner, with violin music playing, while waves lap at the windows.  Talk about unreal.

Good bye darling pubs; goodbye Rachel and Paul, Siobhan and John and all the wonderful people who made our trip so special. Goodbye Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District, the Lake District, and Kent, and everywhere in between.  Waaaah.  We are going to miss you very much.

Goodbye land of enchantment, it was wonderful.  Take good care of yourself.  Until we meet again.

You better get packed Girlfriends, and get yourself back into those suitcases; keep your raincoats on, it looks like we’re going to need them — and don’t worry, we know what’s waiting for us on the other side; we won’t be too sad. We have home and kitties; some of us have dogs that have missed us so much; we have our friends and family and own beds to look forward to.  You can get the crimps out of your legs and I get to finish our English Diary too!  Not to mention a picket fence garden, and tea with the best friends a girl could have . . . I brought everything home with me that I will need to make a real English Tea Party!  I have Union Jack bunting!!!  I have Pear Cider!  We have our wonderful memories, and also, let’s not forget, about 10,000 photographs.  Yay, US!  We did it!  Wasn’t it fun?  XOXOXO  Bon Voyage!!!!  Thank you for coming along . . . I’ll try to write from the ship!  But you know . . . it can be dodgy! ♥

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363 Responses to Time to say Goodbye . . .

  1. pat addison says:

    hello susan, what a wonderful trip it has been, so many beautiful places and gardens, cute little pubs and stores and inns or hotels…itws been a marvelous trip, now its back into the trunk for the trip home, and its a little crowded in here…who packed the lamb in here??????? but its home to kitty cats and clotheslines, yarn baskets and pretty flowers in the garden. i can only imagine your kitties are anxiously awaiting your return, so a safe voyage home dear susan, and welcome home!!!!! hugs……. 🙂

  2. Gloria Dyer says:

    Dearest Susan and Joe, Thank you for the pleasure of seeing, hearing, and virtually tasting and feeling your glorious adventure to England. I love the way you blog; you put your heart and soul in it, and your words come alive and I begin to believe I was with you and Joe. As a writer, you did it. You got me hooked, I want more. You have touched us with your SB magic! Have a peaceful and restful journey home, I’ll patiently wait for your next entry. Love, Gloria

  3. Sigh . . . I have tears in my eyes typing this note to you, Susan. I can’t begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed traveling with you in this magical place.
    (Now we are off to sail with you, again, then home again, home again, jiggety jig!)

  4. Cindy says:

    Oh Susan…how can you bear to leave? I don’t think I could. My sweet hub would just have to leave me there. LOL. Been going back through all of your posts, so beautiful, EB, BP…all divine. For now, I will just have to live vicariously. Thank you for taking us along. Can’t wait to see your English diary!


  5. Rachel says:

    Americans don’t say ‘bits’? No wonder my son is always mocking me when I tell him to pick up all these bits LOL

    I have enjoyed seeing a little bit of home as you travelled- thanks for bringing me!

  6. Cyndi in NC says:

    I’ve enjoyed coming along with you and Joe and of course Petey! I think England is one place I could go and not be disappointed with. I do have one request on things to bring back. Could we pack some lambs? I’ll share my spot with them! Save journeys.

  7. Michele says:

    If I “accidentally” get left behind ~ I won’t cry! :0)

  8. Bethie says:

    Love, love, love that you have taken us along on your journey. It was and is simply marvelous. Oh please tell me you are going to be offering Union Jack bunting on your website! I long for some. This posting brought tears…not wanting to say good-bye to all things British… so, I revel in your joy.
    Blessings and grace,

  9. Sharon Calvert says:

    Having ‘just visited’ the Lake District with Susan and Joe, I found this link, (provided by Susan Wittig Albert, author of the ‘Cottage Tales’ series) quite interesting: http://www.visitcumbria.com/rushbearing-festivals.htm

  10. Victoria says:

    Ohhhhhh! Sweet Sue,
    I just read your post and have those same heavy, dark gray feelings of saying goodbye to so much green beauty, charm and delight that is so so real ….. and then I got to the part with Jack and Girl Kitty at the door waiting sooooo patiently for so long, with so much hope for you and Joe to come home… That did it!!!!!… tears keep on rolling down my cheeks onto the key board as I write this…
    Well, we just can’t say goodbye, we’ll just say, “Until next time”…….
    There are soooo many wonderful things ahead!!!!
    I am just so grateful to you for sharing this beautiful trip with me and all of us. You took us to exactly the places I wanted ( and didn”t even know about ) that I wanted to go, so we could see the things we wanted to see…. and, it was even more spectacular through your eyes and words., PERFECTION!!!! I am sending you the biggest squeeeeeze and HUG imaginable!!!
    THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I Love You.

  11. I’m hoping the English diary is the next book! (Perhaps I missed this announcement? Hopefully?)

  12. Cathy from Golden, CO says:

    Whoa – that happiness went way too fast – where does the time go????

  13. Elizabeth from Pasadena, CA says:

    There are several distributors for Magners in Massachusetts! You’ll find the Irish cider in the USA!

  14. zinnia patch says:

    Hi Susan! Just want to thank you so very very much, for this absolutely perfect journey, you have taken me on!!!!!! Oh what fun this has been, and i too hate to see it end, but am I just happy for all that you have shared and that i have enjoyed…..Safe trip home xoxoxo

  15. mia sophia says:

    What a glorious trip! I cherished every minute with you and Joe. A good reason to return home is… that is where your sweet loved ones are waiting…the black and white furry ones looking for you from the window! It eases the pain of leaving jolly old England a bit. Safe travels to home sweet home!

  16. Becky says:

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful trip! The kitties will be excited to see you!

  17. Marybeth Ferrie says:

    Thankyou….it was utterly intoxicating! Can’t wait for the book.
    xoxo mb

  18. Kate says:

    I’m crying. I don’t want to go home yet. I have a hundred other things I want to see and do. Just leave me here in the most wonderful country(other than the United States) that ever was. I belong here. I have England in every part of my body. I’ll find a way back home some way, but I am not leaving yet. I cannot wait to read your diary. Mine is jampacked full.

  19. Mary Cunningham says:

    Susan….Thank you for going to England and taking Joe and Petey and all of us “girls”….we had a marvelous time. teared up seeing the lambs in the meadow…..want to watch my favorite movies….The Holiday,Bridget’s Diary,Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Miss Potter ,make scones, say bits, dodgy ,and wonky…lol….can’t wait for the England Diary and photos! I know all of your art will be sprinkled with bits here and there, will be fun discovering where you have tucked them in …..hug those kitties when you got home…..”The Barefoot Sparkler” (Mary)

  20. Jane in Pennsylvania says:

    I don’t know if you realize what a wonderful thing you’ve done for us who love the same type of things you do, but will probably never be able to experience an actual trip to the English countryside and see its history. So generous of you, Susan, to take the time. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  21. Deb from Dixie says:

    I think the girlfriends and Jack have expressed every emotion we all have shared on this trip……grateful, thankful, awed and inspired …Susan and Joe you have helped fill our inspiration cups!

    I will just add this from Cinderella, because you have made so many dreams come true for us all…..for so many years…..and the adventure in England has been a pip!

    A dream is a wish your heart makes
    When you’re fast asleep…….( or when you’re stowing away in a suitcase with your girlfriends…. traveling incognito to England…LOL)

    Have faith in your dreams and someday
    Your rainbow will come smiling thru…..
    If you keep on believing
    the dream that you wish will come true.

    Susan, thanks for making our trip a dream come true.

  22. Jackie P says:

    This trip has been such a fun experience. Loved seeing England through your eyes! Loved all the images of sheep and lambs, rolling countryside, lovely ancient buildings. Ahh. However, the picture of the two kitties looking out the screen brought tears to my eyes. They will be so happy to see you. Thanks for such a delightful time. Bon voyage, safe passage.

  23. jo says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey. The pictures and commentary were wonderful. Now I look forward to sharing with you what you are doing at your wonderful house back home. It, too, is perfect. And your kitties will be so excited (as excited as kitties get, I suppose) to see you.

  24. Gina D. says:

    Did you love Chawton? Did you see J.A.’s chintz coverlet? The tiny piecrust table where she wrote? Did you have tea at Cassandra’s with all those teacups hung from the ceiling? Such a classic English ending for your visit! Thank you for weeks of fun for us at home.

  25. Kay says:

    I hope your hearts stay full of each wonderful day you and Joe spent in England. I certainly enjoyed reading every word. I can’t wait to read more!

    The kitties will be so glad to have the mum and dad home. Have a restful trip home.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking us along too.

    PS – You and Joe could become travel agents you know. The trip would sell out in a heartbeat!

  26. Barb says:

    GoodEvening Sue, This last post was so beautiful as all the other ones you shared. Thank you for your kindness of taking all of us along for a dream of a lifetime, magical trip to see and learn more about England through your picture taking, videos, and great words. For the time you take to answer comments and for putting a dash of humor on your blog as if we are all there with you. Thank you so much and to Joe as well. The tears will soon turn to smiles when you reach Martha’s Vineyard and Girl Kitty & Jack are there to greet you. Your garden of glory with all the fresh vegetables and flowers that await and your circle of best girlfriends Lowley, Enrico and the rest. Your beautiful trees that you can just sit under and finish the Diary you are working on for all of Girlfriends whom can’t wait to purchase one. Thank you so much! Ooh……the ships horn is sounding..lets all squeeze in for the trip back home! Safe Travels Sue, Joe and all the Girlfriends. I really enjoyed my time with all of you! Hugs & Smiles
    Barb, Ludlow MA

  27. Janet says:

    You have GOT to stop writing so well! You have reduced most [if not all] of us to tears. And we’re running the gammit here – from Damp to Dripping. To quote a friend of mine, “waaaaaahh!”

    Seriously, please accept one more girlfriend’s deepest appreciation and thanks for the wonderful, wonderful journey you’ve led us on. I think you’ve discovered a whole new way to lead travel tours – virtually! I know that we All of Us have loved every moment. The anticipation of packing up. Steaming out of New York Harbor. Cocktails with Lowely’s uncle. Knitting in a deck chair. Golf with little Will. Sissinghurst, Charleston, Ellen Terry. Pear cider and crumpets. Making our own mugs at Emma’s. Baby lambs in a vast green field. A marble bathroom fit for the Queen. Double-decker cheeseburgers. Joe’s lamb chops. The Jubilee. And England’s glorious gardens. I could go on and on. But you do it please, Sue – in your book. [1] It’s going to be superb. [2] I cannot wait.

    Now a week of relaxing and resting on the Queen Mary. And then hearth and home. I love traveling but somehow I’m sure that without coming home to look forward to ultimately, the fun and excitement of traveling would wear off pretty quickly. So put your feet up and let the QM2 staff take good care of you both this week. And thank you so much – again.

  28. Fran Sigdestad says:

    Golly, I just read one of the twitters and it said, “Don’t cry beccause it’s over, but smile because it happened.” Wow, I am going to remember that one. We will have so many smiles to come when your book, (diary) is published. I hope you will be able to put CDS of the blogs with it. I have been saying Thank You so many times, but it seems to be on my mind all the time. Thank you Girlfriend Susan and Boy Friend Joe, and little Pete too, for taking me along on a most delightful trip. Perhaps, if they can stand it, give hugs to the kitties too. Love and hugs, Fran

  29. We stayed in Shardlow near Derby and when we went to leave the inn cat named Monty (or maybe it’s Montie) jumped in the boot of our car! I’m allergic to cats and I almost wanted him to stay in the car so we could take him home with us! Thanks for reminding me (and you didn’t need to do too much) of how wonderful England is, Susan. I’m sad for you, but you had such a wonderful adventure and shared it with all of us. I think I’m getting a trip next year! It will be my 11th or 12th visit. Can’t go enough! xxoo Nancy

  30. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Wishing you a safe and smooth sailing back home Susan! Thank you for the precious memories you have given of your England adventures! You have shared and taught us so much………….treasures, beautiful treasures!!!!

  31. Valerie Mathews says:

    What wonderful memories you have made and a fantastic journey you have shared. I have never been to England myself but now I have been there with you. Safe voyage home!!!

  32. Debbie R from Valencia, CA says:

    Dear Susan and Joe, thank you so much for taking us along. It has been so wonderful seeing all the pictures and reading your posts. What a truely magical place. Safe travels on your return home. We all have something to look forward too. “your English diary”. Can’t wait. Tootles!


  33. Ann says:

    Thank you so much, Susan and Joe, for loving our country as much as we do. It’s been a real joy to view it through your eyes and don’t say goodbye – just say Cheerio, see you later. It is nice to go travelling, and we are glad you are taking back so many treasured memories, but it is oh so nice to come home!
    Love from
    Ann in Thame x

  34. Priscilla Palmer from Naples, Florida says:

    Dear Sue,

    Reading this makes me think of my favorite quote of the movie “84 Charing Cross Road” — a book lover’s movie, if there ever was a book lover’s movie! — when Helen Hanpff (Anne Bancroft) says ‘A guy I knew told me that people going to England find exactly what they are looking for. I said I’d go looking for the England of English Literature. He nodded and said, “It’s there.” ‘

    Sue, I believe you found your England, and have so effectively shared that vision with all of us.

    Thank you, xoxo, Priscilla
    PS. Enjoy the Voyage back across the Pond.

  35. Debra V. says:

    Thank you for taking me with you, Petey & Joe. It was great fun! I won’t forget it, and I too look forward to your English Diary. I will purchase it, if it goes out for sale, as a memento to this trip. What a great reminder of all those English Pubs, cafes, gates, bridges, stone walls and pathways and all those beautiful green fields filled with little lambs wagging their tails. It was awesome to visit Beatrice Potters house and seeing the Emma Factory. All in all it was a grand vacation. Thanks again! Have a safe journey home on the sea, I’ll be excited to see those lovely views from the ship and when you arrive, those lovely little kitty faces waiting for you. I’ll bet little Jack has grown as big as Girl kitty by now. Stay in touch, we’re not home yet! Bon Voyage!

  36. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan….sniff…sniff..but oh….the future…. filled with the sweet memory of England and all that is to be discovered and experienced!!!!Cannot thank you all enough for letting us tag along on this incredible journey….it made me smile, laugh, oohh and ahhh, cry, giggle, and smile somemore! Safe travels to you…and no matter what….there’s no place like home….. i bet there will be some excited critters when you walk through that door!! thank you again susan and joe..you were wonderful to share this….. can’t wait for the book!!! take care..love, cindy

  37. SuzK says:

    Thank you both so much for sharing such a lovely holiday with us. It was so kind and generous of you!

  38. Diana - Highland, IL says:

    WOW!! Why does time fly by so fast when you are on vacation!!! What a gorgeous time we had.. what beautiful scenery, people, pubs, shops, etc. I brought my crochet with me but alas, not much accomplished… too many other things to see or do.. or just to dream about after the fact!! When I am traveling, I am transported to the new place and want to just drink it all in!!! THANKS THANKS THANKS for taking us to Jane Austen’s stomping grounds.. I was hoping that was on the list of fun things!!! I think I have room for all my bits that I bought!!! Hopefully Joe won’t have too much trouble carrying us all back home!… Thanks so much for being unbelievably generous with your time and talents to have us along with you! Can’t wait for the trip home….time to reflect and enjoy some more blue/blue time!…. Home awaits and what a wonderful thing to be able to say!! I hope I didn’t forget anything!!! LOL.. Thanks again Susan and Joe!

  39. Laura Croyle says:

    This was The Best Trip Ever!!! How can we ever THANK-YOU enough for taking us all along! It was SO Wonderful!! Loved every minute of it! Can hardly wait to see the rest of your photos And your diary! It’s always hard to say goodbye, but at least you have your memories and all your photos. (and your sketches and diary!) Enjoy your voyage home and relax while you can, before you reach home shores and chores. BTW, did you finish knitting your scarf??

  40. Congratulations on a job well done. It’s been such an interesting journey, and you’ve shared it well with us all. Though it’s been fun and fascinating, it will be nice to have you back at home being the Susan Branch we all know and love once again. (that is if you can shed a little of the British accent you’ve picked up) Hopefully, your internet connection on the return trip won’t be any more “dodgy” than it was on the trip over there. 🙂 Unless you’re too worn out and need the break away from the blog now. We’ll be here when you return.

  41. Rosemary says:

    I have had so much fun on this adventure! What a totally grand trip in every way! I think Joe is one special guy to cooperate with the travel musings! And I assume, CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER! yeoman service! Thank him, too! I have told everyone I know about this blog….quite a SB supporter/fan am I! Thank you ever so much for the pure delight which is England. We are going…still trying to figure it out, but we are going.
    Safe and happy travels. Our Girl Friend Group of 6 went to the lake to quilt this weekend (it was 106* today in Texas)….yes, we take our sewing machines, and all of that, and laugh and sew and laugh! And one of our daughters sent her Mom a picture of her and her daughter on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard yesterday! HOORAY!
    Bye, bye….

  42. Susan Joy says:

    Wow! That felt like the quickest trip I’ve ever been on! Thank you for sharing it with us. I am looking forward to getting back to Martha’s Vineyard and seeing how the kitties are doing. Have a safe trip home.

  43. Heidi Rose says:

    I have loved every single minute of your visit…it truly is so hard to say goodbye to such a shockingly beautiful land as you said. Isn’t it so good to have furry children at home waiting for you, though? It makes homecomings so sweet. My hubby and I are here in Arroyo Grande on vacation and had lunch at the Tea Cozy in Cambria this afternoon. What a delight! I’m so glad I learned about it on your blog. I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise and would have missed a real treat! Thank you for your posts and for the happiness they bring me. Have a wonderful trip home!

  44. Susan Ericksen of Bainbridge Island, Washington says:

    Thank You……It was the most enjoyable adventure I have had in years. You are a darling to take all of us along…..Now it is time to head home…to the place you adore and adorn. Again, your own bed, the kitties, summer ahead, flowers in your garden, kitchen waiting for new “English” recipes and goodies, a cup of tea in the yard in the afternoon, a short walk in the woods….you have so much to look forward to and a heart full of wonderful memories, for you and Joe to share, forever. Thank you again for taking me along…..love from another artist, from another island…♥♥♥

  45. Carol from Connecticut says:

    Dearest Susan,
    What you have done for your readers is remarkable. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. I just wonder if England will be able to handle all the travelers who want to follow in your footsteps! I LOVE Rosemary Verey and all of her books. I wonder if in your travels you took pictures of garden ornaments and structures. I’ve always been SO envious of what England has to offer in that area. You must have seen great garden tools too. (?)
    One fine sunny day not too long ago …………………….
    There I was walking by the new books section of my local library when this book, “Le Road Trip – A Traveler’s Journal of Love and France” stopped me in my tracks! Took the book home and after reading it I said to myself, “Self, you have to let Susan Branch know about this journal!” All the typeset was done by hand. The illustrations are all in watercolor. There is no pairing of real objects with the illustrations which is one of the things that I love about your work. Author Vivian Swift translated some of her photos into watercolor. The anecdotes kept me laughing all along her trip:
    p. 6: “Hints to Lady Travelers at Home and Abroad-1889” Hilarious! The list starts out with a small flask of brandy and smelling salts!
    p. 52: “Phase Three: The Reality Check. A little bump in the road of love and travel.”
    p. 66: “…hold on, you never know if there might be something special around the corner…” “Songbirds in a private forest…”
    p. 72: “It’s the very best of both worlds to sit on la terrasse of a French tea room in the late afternoon with a cup of tea fit for an Englishman.”
    p. 88: “Months later when it’s cold and rainy…I will spend an afternoon painting these pictures of the bricks and stones I saw that day. I’ll be lost in thought; a traveler in my memories.”
    Susan I thought you might enjoy looking through this book given the fact that you’re about to undertake this kind of project so welcome by your anxious readers. And so I did and I hope that’s OK and I hope you enjoy the book. Please do relax on your voyage home.
    Tra la :o* Affection, Carol
    P.S. What! No Shandy in your suitcase? Krikee !

    Le Road Trip: A Traveler’s Journal of Love and France by Vivian Swift

  46. Carol from Connecticut says:

    Truth is Stranger Than Fiction … in the Cotswolds

    Ghost caught on tape – Lacock England – in old cemetery; 8/21/2009

  47. Jeannine from SC says:

    Thank you so very, very much for taking the time on your wonderful journey to video and post pictures along the way for all of us. Your kindness is hardly surpassed by your truly eloquent and heartfelt commentary along the way. Love you dearly for doing this for all of us.

    • sbranch says:

      Love you all back, you made it more fun; I thought of you every time I saw a pretty view, I thought Oh they will love this, so it made it even better for me! So thank you back Girlfriends! Have a wonderful day Jeannine . . .

  48. Lisa also known as Jessie's Mom says:

    Dear Susan,
    Jessie saw the clip of the diamond jubilee…she wanted to know who our queen was, I told her we don’t have one…tried to explain why…she said…” I want a queen”
    We are now planning a England trip
    Your trip was a treasure, thanks for sharing!
    Kind Regards,
    Jessie and Lisa
    PS we have a new kitty…her name is Crystal

  49. Marsha McGinnis says:

    Susan and Joe ~

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking us all on this fairy tale adventure. It really seemed as if I were there with you. Honestly, there aren’t enough beautiful words to describe just how much this trip meant.
    Just a lovely, once in a lifetime experience.

  50. Yvette says:

    It’s not goodbye, it’s till I see you again. Thank you so much for sharing your trip and experiences with us.

  51. Dearest of Honorary English Persons; I have formally dubbed you the most exciting blog site on the network, today. Each day i wake up to have coffee and sit down first thing to pull up susan branch to see what exciting thing she is doing each day. I feel refreshed as if I’ve just traveled on a scenic vacation after each post, and when I don’t find a new post, I just go back and read the last one or go “shopping” on your site. Thanks, Susan, for these wonderful adventures and insights into your magical trip to England and into your exciting life in Marth’s Vineyard! You’re a very special person! Judy

  52. judi says:

    Well, kiddos, it’s official….if you could just get the capt. to turn north…you are directly below Martha’s V:) It is 8:07 p.m. eastern time right now. Glad I looked at your twitter – appears you are coming in early, thought so. So under the bridge about 4:45 a.m. Welcome baaaaaaaaaa ck:)

  53. judi says:

    Good morning to you! It’s 4:22 a.m. (the things we won’t do for our friends) and I see you’re rounding the bend and should be under the bridge in no time now. Happy July 1st and happy homecoming. Ah yes, and the moon is 91% full, probably full by tomorrow just for you two. Tootles!

  54. MaryAnn says:

    Thank you for the lovely trip! It has been so memorable. And now, WELCOME HOME!! Enjoy unpacking, putting treasures you brought back in the Peter Rabbit room, settling in and especially spending time with the kitties. There really is no place like home! We all look forward to your diary when you have had a chance to rest up.

  55. My heart hurts for you, Susan, when I hear the love in your post for England. Why do you have to leave some place you love so much? Why? What would happen if you just simply moved there? Would you be happier? Would you be “home” so to speak?
    I’ve often asked myself these same questions of the love I have for California, when I live in Arizona, and dislike it so? I sometimes wonder if the world would come to an end if we just simply made our selves happy in these regards. Truly, what could possibly happen that would matter 20 yrs from now? Just wondering how you felt about this and if you have ever considered it. You have made me fall in love with England, so I may be asking myself these same questions. LOL!

  56. carol shapiro says:

    Your writing…brings tears to my eyes…what a lovely, moving way to say “goodbye” to England…what happy, delightful recollections, you are so, so gifted Susan Branch! I will be first in line to buy your English diary when you publish , for sure!!!

  57. Marge says:

    It’s not Goodbye, my dear, it’s au revoir. You and Joe (and Petey) will be back. 🙂

  58. it was a delicious afternoon with you 🙂 I just have 2 more posts to read. but i’ve yet to try to catch up on yuor twitter 🙂 i doubt i can, but i’ll try 🙂

    it was enjoyable and memorable, thank you dear susan <3

    Denise of Ingleside, PEI

  59. Beth in SC says:

    Welcome Home!!! I know all the kitties, birdies, flowers, and friends were happy to have you back! 🙂 Thanks for being generous enough to take us along on your trip. It was wonderful to see everything you were seeing through your wonderful photography and sharing. Greatly appreciated!

  60. Nancy Lycklama says:

    I felt like I was there with you. Beatrix Potter is our favorite. I have a home day care and the kids love reading the books.

  61. Kathy Clarke says:

    As a self-proclaimed “Janiack” (one who likes to pretend to quilt like Jane Austin) I enjoyed the pictures, esp. of the quilt, flowers and wall-paper. Thanks for going all that way and bringing it to us in your blog! If I ever get to do more work for you, I would love to be the designer of your quilt patterns. Kelly was so fun to work with, and Judy is a great person and talented woman! We are planning a move into a ‘new’ house soon to love, cherish and garden!! Leaving our old English Tudor lovely home to a new family to love. So saying good-bye is both sad and exciting. I will take all of your inspiration with me.
    Kathy from Atascadero, Ca.

  62. Tammie says:

    Oh my goodness! When my son was born 27 years ago, I wanted to do his nursery in Beatrix Potter….only there was nary a thing to be found! I did find a few things….but so much more is available now. It figures that YOU would love her as much as I! Thanks for sharing your adventure!

  63. Ingrid T. says:

    Words can not express how much I have enjoyed going on this “adventure” with you! Your pictures and words have taken me on a wonderful arm chair trip!

    If I ever go to England you can rest assured that I will be visiting many of the places you took us to in your blog.(I have a special folder that I keep them in so that I can go back and enjoy!)
    Thank you so much Susan for all of the energy and love that goes into your blog!
    It is VERY MUCH appreciated!

  64. Lisa tisdale says:

    As I was reading this and looking at the wonderful pictures,I felt pure contentment. Going to England is on my bucket list and getting these delightful glimpses at some of the places makes me feel renewed determination to get there.Thank you so much for sharing! Sounds like your trip was amazing:)

  65. Lee in Lutz, Florida says:

    What an amazing journey; made even better because you took all of the “girlfriends” along for the ride. I found one of your recipe books in a small gift shop in Franklin, NC and it will be a Christmas present for my BFF. You are very special to take your valuable time to involve us all in your life.

  66. Patty Craddock says:

    Please, please, please pick me. I would place this very special book in my library where I collect children’s books, I have all of Beatrix’ precious books, and I would love it forever…I also have all of your books…just to butter up the judge. Patty

  67. Lorraine Nylund says:

    Dear Susan, Your photos and comments are an absolute delight to look forward to after a busy day doing all the things that only summer days will allow. I would love to have that wonderful book that you will so grciously be signing and illustrating in. Thankyou for sharing so much of yourself!

  68. Lorraine Nylund says:

    oops that would be graciously.

  69. Susan says:

    Good morning Susan!
    Just want to say THANK YOU for taking me on vacation with you I had a wonderful trip!
    ♥ from another Susan

  70. Billie J Gaither says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for letting me see all things Miss Potter through your eyes.I have always loved those little books of hers and I always will.

    Thanks Billie

  71. Mary Peterson says:

    Susan: can’t tell you how much we’ve been enjoying your experience in England. We had the joy of living there for 1 year (2004-2005) while my husband was there for his job. What a thrill it was. We hold our memories very close to our hearts and have totally enjoyed reliving part of it with you. thank you!

  72. Pam Boivie says:

    What a blessing to get to join you on your glorious trip! How did you remember all of the details as you wrote? I would have needed a journal-as-I-go journal! Thank you so much for sharing your days with us! My bucket list has a new trip! Love ya, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      I wrote it every day, just as it happened, in the car, in pubs, whenever we sat down, so it’s all there . . . just have to put it on the good paper in the good handwriting, and some watercolors and photos!

  73. Barbara Seman says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just loved all your totally beautiful posts from England. I would love to go for a visit. Maybe some day…..
    The roses look like the “cabbage roses” my mother grew. She never knew the name of either. Smelled wonderful……along with Lily of the Valley.
    Girlfriends appreciate all your posts/blogs. thank you.

  74. Samantha Brakefield says:

    Thank you, Susan, for taking your “girlfriends” on such a magnificent journey with your words and breathtaking pictures. My husband and I hope to “holiday” in England next year–and two other countries yet to be determined–with our daughters, Clare and Jemma, who cut their teeth on Beatrix Potter tales. I look forward to visiting The Lake District and Hilltop Farm. My younger daughter, Jemma, presented an oral biography report in the 3rd grade–in her best English accent, no doubt–on Beatrix Potter, complete in period-looking attire (a hand sewn dress by grandma that was originally worn by my older daughter, Clare, who for Halloween many years ago, insisted that she wanted to be Tabitha Twitchit! I should send you pics! Enjoy your day and every day!

  75. Liz Thompson says:

    Susan, I have enjoyed your blog tremendously! I sent it to all my friends and they enjoyed it, too. I just loved the photos of the sheep – heaped to the fell! Thank you for sharing this experience with us.

  76. Kathie hood says:

    I have enjoyed the pictures from England over the past weeks. I feel like I have been there myself, and having lots of English and Scotch in my blood made it even better. I would love to have the Breatrice Potter book and am thrilled that you added the Susan Branch touch.
    I think it has been well over 12or more years that I have been collecting your books. I think I have nearly everyone of them.

  77. Pat Santner says:

    Susan, your descriptions are the BEST! When you talk about home stuff and food, it’s so comforting and cozy. And, you got me started collecting Emma Bridgewater with your summary of your tour of the factory! Thanks!

  78. Lorna schreck says:

    You are amazing. I don’t know how you fit us all in, but you did and I have loved every single minute with you and Joe on this journey. I have dreamed of the English countyside since I was about 16 and read a Betty Neels Harlequin Romance book. Your pictures and descriptions took me on my trip of a lifetime. I am so glad I have had this opportunity. I am beginning to believe that you are my Beatrix Potter. Right down to marrying a Joe! I think you are living my perfect life and I am challenged to start living it myself. God bless you.

  79. Phyllis Dew says:

    Susan, I only recently found your blog. What perfect timing! I have always wanted to go to England, it is still a dream, and also love Beatrix Potter. I once checked a library book out about her life and fell in love with her independence and her way of living. So you have shown me her home and country in a beautiful and may i say very entertaining way and made it all real. I can just feel the tug when you had to have not one but two of Ms. Potters roses to bring home. I don’t think she would have minded. Thanks so much for sharing.

  80. Fran Noyes says:

    Hi Susan,
    Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous – you made me feel as if I was on your lovely trip with you! Thank you for all your wonderful descriptions of all the places you visited. You sounded like you had a trip of a lifetime. I recently visited Martha’s Vineyard and am totally in love. What a picturesque island! I soooo loved the ferry ride.

  81. Arlene Koktavy says:

    Susan, thanks for sharing your awesome England trip your blog is my favorite in the world. Arlene

  82. Judith Mellenthien says:

    Susan, Thank you so much for letting us tag along on the trip with you and Joe. I so looked forward to each blog and the pictures you sent back to us. Oh, I would love to have the Beatrix Potter book with your painting of a lamb in it.
    You are so talented and so wonderful for sharing with us. Thank you again and God Bless You and Joe. Judy

  83. Anonymous says:

    Susan, I just finished viewing your wonderful trip. Especially loved your comments and pictures of Jane Austen. Who needs to go to the movies when we have such entertainment in our very own home on our computer?

    With my husband and another couple just returned home from a cruise of New England. I asked our bus driver on Martha’s Vinyard if he knew where your house was and he sort of knew, saying it was yellow but I had already known it was white by your site picture. Anyway we took a walk and FOUND IT! It had the many gables and the railing around the roof. It was July 3rd. I was so excited I drew a picture of it all the time having my camara in my purse over my shoulder, dumb me. When I returned home Monday I found your house on your site and there it was, the same one. Our ship was docked at Tisbury Harbor. Thank you for giving me this pleasure. By the way the house and grounds are beautiful.

  84. Alice Crandall says:

    The climbing pink cabbage rose might be “May Queen”. Thank you for sharing England with us!

  85. It has been a delightful adventure Susan ! So many cherished memories ! Not only to another country did we go to but to another era in time. So many thanks again .
    Welcome home !
    P.S. Now there is a lamb in B.P. Book. 🙂

  86. Pat says:

    Hi Susan —

    I have the little Flopsy, Mopsy & Cottontail figurine as well and am saving it for my little grandson. He lives in Denmark but when Grammy visits she will have books under her arm and introduce him to Beatrix Potter’s characters. We traveled to England with our three sons in 1995 – the fulfillment of a lifetime wish. A friend had a friend who rented out their flat on the banks of the Thames (across from the MI-6 building). We day-tripped out to other sights and it was sublime. I didn’t know I would fall so in love with the city of London, but I did. Recently a friend found “London” fabric in a shop in Columbus, Ohio and offered to get some for me as well. When we met for Memorial Day, sewing machine in tow, that was my project. I’m sure it was developed to celebrate the Jubilee and the Olympics but in my mind itbecame my commemorative “London” quilt from our trip. You would love this fabric – it’s called “Cool Britannia” by Benartex. What a privilege to follow you on your trip — thanks for the memories!

  87. Pat from Ohio says:

    Looking forward to more adventures!

  88. Susan says:

    Good Morning Susan!
    I was just enjoying your travels (again!) and wondered how the mugs turned out that you and Joe made?
    ♥from another Susan


    Dear Heart,
    The trip you and Joe shared with us nearly fulfilled my life long dream of visiting England; the land of my heritage. So MUCH so, that my sweetheart of 47 years are going over the pond to England next May—mostly because of you with your wonderful photos and narratives. Each day I’d look for your next BLOG; when one arrived it was time to sit down with some tea to enjoy it!! Thank you MANY times over for the inspiration you’ve given us. Have always loved Beatrix Potter and all her little creatures. I was most happy she found love a second time. I hope you publish a little book of your travels to England!! Truly I do!! You are America’s Beatrix Potter with all your wonderful writings and precious drawings/paintings; all are so-o-o loved and appreciated. So, please, don’t ever stop!

    • sbranch says:

      SUCH a nice thing to say! Hard to come back with something sensible after that! Thank you Karen!

  90. Sonya Hewes says:

    I honestly felt like I went on the trip to England with you. What a wonderful time we all had. Just like on Martha’s Vineyard, you make us feel nice and cozy in England as well! 🙂

  91. Rhoda says:

    Susan-must tell you how much I have enjoyed your travels. I logged in everyday while you were away just to see what you were doing next-ALMOST like being there! Thanks so much for your wonderful blog! Love the little book-would especially like to have the copy with the little lamb drawn in it! It just can’t get any more special than that-well, unless you signed it to me! So pick me-pick me-please! : )

  92. Caren Lara says:

    I look forward to receiving your blog and love all your designs and reading about all that you do. I would love to be included in the drawing for the Beatrice Potter book.

  93. Carin says:

    Dear Susan,
    I’m reading Catherine Friend’s book “Sheepish”. In it she writes…
    Shepards love tinkering with different breeds.There’s an adorable gray and white breed,the Herdwick sheep,found in England’s Lake District,which had been championed years ago by and artist and writer named Mrs.William Heelis. She bought land and filled it with Herdwicks and in l924 was one of the few women in the Herdwick Sheep Breeder’s Assoc. Earlier in her life, Mrs.Heelis had written a few little books under her pen name,Beatrix Potter.
    Thought you might find this interesting !

  94. Lydia Alejandro says:

    Dear Susan,
    I really enjoyed visiting England (via your blog) and getting to travel
    to Beatrix Potter’s house and shop and Jane Austen’s home. How awesome!
    Thank you for taking us on this trip with you. P.S. I would love to be entered
    in the drawing for the Beatrix Potter book.

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