Spontaneous Adorableness

Well, Girlfriends, currently we are experiencing what I can only call “spontaneous adorableness,” but what else would we expect considering our source!  I have to show you . . . but first . . .  MUSICA!

You should go get some tea too … 🙂  Guess what?  We now have eighty-three reviews on Amazon!!! Amazing, wonderful, darling, detailed, brilliant, thoughtful reviews!!  Maybe I’m a little biased, but hey! I can’t help it!  Thanks to you, we have gone back for a second printing!!!!!!  Are you kidding???  NO!!!

We are doing our best to make sure the stores where we’re going for book signings are supplied with books, plus we kept a secret stash at our Studio just for our Blog Girlfriends (for as long as they last).  It will be a few weeks before more books arrive (probably by the end of October) and hopefully, by then, supplies will flow steadily through Amazon and other places.

S P O N T A N E O U S   A D O R A B L E N E S S



Look at our traveling book!!  A Fine Romance is having lots of FUN!  When I say, “spontaneous,” it’s because we never thought to ask for photos, but they came anyway ~ through Twitter, Facebook, and via email . . . and look how cute!

This is Samantha who took our book to new heights! All the way to the top of Idaho’s tallest peak, Mt. Borah, at 12,662 feet!  Makes me so proud!

 In this one, our friend Judi is having her Fine Romance under the swaying palm trees in Florida . . .

And here’s our book, luxuriating in the Emma cupboard belonging to our English Girlfriend Chris . . . who lives in

 . . . in this adorable cottage in Buckinghamshire, England!  (BTW, I think there should be a law that one Friday a month certain people (all normal of course) are allowed to go into any house they want.  🙂 )

Imagine how this pine floor smells, how quiet the night is, how bright the stars, under the trees in the mountains at Trillium Lake near Mt. Hood in Oregon with our camper friends Holly and Ron . . .  with our lucky, lucky book!

And if this isn’t romantic I don’t know what is.  Cozy reading for beautiful Kate, who is visiting (from Connecticut) her grandmother (and our Girlfriend) Eileen.

And welcome to the Fine Romance Dinner our girlfriend Valerie made in Sacramento California, complete with Coronation Chicken and Hot Milk Cake, and Beatrix Potter People too!

Here is Sherri’s garden, and her favorite place to read . . .   I’m not sure where she is ~ maybe she’ll leave us a comment to tell us!

And this, this is Julie Marie’s “Princess Tess,” who, Julie says, gave A Fine Romance “Five Licks!” Another great review!

And here, from Karen, via Twitter . . . the biggy and the littley.

Thank you Girlfriends, you add so much to the festivities, and make everything even more fun! 

Mas MUSICA for the rest of the story . . .  And here we go . . .

I’m writing this from a motel on Cape Cod . . . because yesterday we kissed the kitties good bye, and left our house on the island . . . to cross the sound . . .

 I made a big thermos jug full of Gazpacho for the five days we’ll be touring around New England . . .

Joe packed up the van with all the necessities of life on the road, ice chest, electric tea kettle, Tin of tea, British Country Living Magazine, maps, Petey, signing pens, my pillow, my diary, his beret, his GPS, our Emma mugs . . .

And off we go on the boat.  (I just discovered something while writing this.  If a person has her name on the side of her vehicle, and it is parked just outside her motel room, she should probably not “run out to the car” to get cream from the cooler in her jammies with her sweater as a “robe” even on a very beautiful morning.  She might get out there, and realize her neighbors are packing up their cars in front of adjoining motel rooms, and having breakfast at picnic tables, and contrary to popular belief, she is not alone, nor unidentifiable.)

We rolled off the ferry and drove to the town of Sandwich, the oldest village on Cape Cod, settled in 1637.  We kept marveling at how beautiful it was, and how much it reminded us of England, like it had snapped off the edge of England and floated over here.  If you ever have a chance to visit Cape Cod, look for Route 6A, you’ll love it ~ lots of antique stores!  We came around the bend, and suddenly, we saw this sign in front of the Sandwich Town Hall where our event was scheduled!

Oh My,  I thought.  But it looks mighty quiet around here.  Are we sure we’re in the right place?  This is a VERY nice neighborhood.  There was a gorgeous old church with a tall white-painted spire across the street from the Town Hall . . .

. . . and lots of darling houses.  I wish we’d taken a photo of this one at night when we were leaving . . . the ladder was down and it was magical.  But still pretty adorable with the ladder and in the daylight.

And look at this little cottage . . . doesn’t it just say love?  Look at those window boxes!  The blue shutters!  The garden!  Of course, I’m a fool for a picket fence.  Too cute!!!

And here’s the Town Hall ~ which has been continually in use for 175 years.  In 1939 President Roosevelt provided stimulus funds to repair it ~ there have been sing-a-longs, silent movies, balls, town meetings, and fireworks here, it’s a center of Cape Cod culture.  The Titcombs folks saved us a perfect parking place, that’s us on the right.  The Town Hall was so quiet on the outside, except for that “sold out” sign, I thought maybe no one had come, or there had been an emergency and everyone left . . . but then . . .

Oh, yes we can!!!

I talked and then they talked and I answered questions, and afterwards we all talked and I signed books for the nicest people in the world.  They talked to each other while waiting in line . . . the hall was a cacophony of women’s voices meeting and greeting, one of my favorite sounds in the world . . . And there were lots of handsome man friends who were talking too! 

 . . . they exchanged contacts and at least some of them went out to dinner together!  That’s Elizabeth from the bookstore behind me; she was such a doll, helping me and everyone with their books.  PLUS she brought a little show-and-tell for me to see, her first-edition copy of Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim — she let me hold it:  soft brown worn leather, embossed cover, little frail ribbon bookmark, beautiful paper.  She knew I’d love it, and she was right.

 Titcombs is a very special Independent Bookstore that was started by Vicky’s (in blue) parents (Ralph and Nancy) in 1969.  Vicky’s the oldest of eight children (just like me), so Titcombs has been a family affair from the start; Vicky’s brothers built the building the bookstore is in, their grandmother manned the cash register until she was well into her nineties.  All hard work, love, and the American dream.  For our event, they served everyone Polenta Cake and Lemon Butter Cookies from the recipes in our book, plus my Grandma’s Chocolate Shot Cookies too . . . and iced tea with mint.  After everyone had left we signed extra books so Titcombs will have plenty of them in their store now that we’re gone.  I also want to thank Fran (in the pink) and also Elizabeth (in the flowery dress) for all their kindness and hard work.

And then it was over, and the lights were going out . . . but since we were kind of on cloud nine and feet were not actually touching the ground . . .

We drove under a big moon through the quiet streets for a little dinner at the Bee-Hive Tavern in Sandwich on Rt. 6A ~ it was our first time at this restaurant . . .

. . . but it definitely won’t be our last.  It’s so cozy with wooden booths — Joe had steak and fries and cold slaw, and I had crab cakes ~ yum.

Last night we got a room at the Earl of Sandwich Motel … Family owned, sparkling clean and quiet, a little fridge, wifi (thank goodness), comfy beds ~ but my favorite thing, our room (#2) is right across from their . . .

lovely treed garden where families were having their complimentary breakfasts at picnic tables.  One lady was working on her computer in the sunshine and there were ducks, geese and wild turkeys walking around the lawn.  So civilized!  We heard a train go by and one of our favorite sounds, that long train whistle . . .

 They have a pool here, and a duck pond, and look at those ducks/and/or/geese with the little cotton hairdos!

And that is it.  Joe is tapping his foot and saying, “Hello?” as if we’ve never met.  So I must go.  I will be out of computer reach until The Fine Romance van stops next in New Hampshire (if you’re near there, check EVENTS and come join us at a book signing).  So, that means your comments will have to wait until I get someplace I can read them.  But I didn’t want to leave you out of the action. Have a wonderful day everyone!  Dance by the light of the beautiful full Moon tonight!  xoxo

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567 Responses to Spontaneous Adorableness

  1. Toni says:

    …as I said when I first saw your sweet van….it’s like everyone in the country will see you coming…..and birds of a feather….you know the one…:-))) You may need a police car leading ou around as you go from town to town…just so you don’t get ‘way-layed’ if you know what I mean….HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU AND JOE:-)

  2. Diane from Poulsbo, WA says:

    Dear Susan, I am enjoying this trip as much as our trip to England together! I simply LOVE all of the photos of the girlfriends with their books….it was so delightful that I laughed out loud at how adorable everyone and everything is! Your van is absolutely the cutest vehicle out there!
    It seems that you havent wondered too far from home because everyone is feeding you your own home cooking and they seem so friendly and nice…and you even saw turkeys roaming freely! lol. I am so happy for you and Joe and all the girlfriends who are able to meet and greet and eat with you…..and I am there in spirit! 🙂 xoxox

  3. Mary from Pa says:

    So exciting! So happy for you and your success. And so glad I got to be at the very 1st book signing for it. What a great memory! Looking forward to all the news as you travel on the book tour! <3

  4. Suzanne says:

    Susan, I ordered THE BOOK, and waited very patiently (and didn’t have to wait long at all) for it’s arrival. In the meantime last Monday I went “home” for lunch with some former classmates and then stopped to visit my life long friend and she had a small side table just like I was needing for our family room. So we hurried to the local store to purchase one like it and lo and behold when we arrived back home my copy of a Fine Romance was here. So guess where it is proudly displayed and from time to time I pick it up and read a few pages as I do NOT want it to end too quickly. I do some journaling and play with stamps, markers and papers so this sort of book is right down my alley. I see you are having great success with the book and I couldn’t be happier for you.

  5. Cyndee Randall says:

    Susan! “Sold Out” Second edition! I am over-the-(full)-moon happy for you! I have so enjoyed the book. I am reading it in bits. I don’t want it to end. Blessings and safe travels!

  6. mrsbeireis@hotmail.com says:

    YAHOO! Road trip! Second Printing Already! So happy for you (and us). 🙂

  7. Vickie in Olympia says:

    So excited I put my email address in the same spot. sheesh.

  8. Carol C says:

    Congratulations on a successful signing and many more. It looks like a great time was had by all! Wish I were headed that way but we’re headed out west to follow Lewis and Clark’s trail. Tomorrow I’ll be cooking ahead for the trip and just added the gazpacho to the list. We’ll be traveling in the motorhome—very cosy but not as cute as your van!

  9. Karen Carpenter says:

    Hi Susan,

    I was so excited to see tou are coming to Grand Rapids, MI. yeah, I shall be there! Buying another book for my friend Karen, who lived in England for a few years and fell in love with all things English. i know she will love it and of course I have to get it signed for her! I am almost finished with your book and loved every page! Takes me back to when I visited there.

    Hugs, Karen

  10. Gayle K says:

    How thrilling to see that sign “sold out”! What a beginning! Let me know what kind of reaction you get from people on the highways when they see that van.

    • sbranch says:

      So far I can’t say we’ve seen any discernible reaction. No one has run us off the road, no honking, but we still have a long way to go!

  11. ❤❤❤❤! Thank you for my cup of cheer today, Susan! Safe travels to you and Joe. Cackie

  12. Mona in Riverbank CA says:

    I absolutely love the little mouse reading the tiny copy of your book!!! And I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of your cross country tour! Lucky girlfriends!

  13. Paula B. says:

    Oh, it was over the top! Sandwich is so picturesque and therefore a fitting setting for a talk on a book which extolls the beauty of the English countryside. Susan’s reading of select passages was mesmerizing, I could have listened to her read the entire book. And, then the Q and A was so interesting (and informative about the creative process). Then, it was time to assemble for the book signing/meeting of our beloved Susan. Oh my, no words! Thanks to Titcombs and the Sandwich Library folks for such a wonderful event. (Afterwards, we strolled over to the tavern at the Daniel Webster Inn and had yummy burgers and Chardonnay, a fine end to a memorable afternoon.) It was hard to express in a few seconds with Susan how much her work, mindset, blog, artwork, mean to a huge fan, and try to be somewhat composed at the same time. Thanks for doing this event, Susan, hope to see you at a similar one for the next book!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Paula, how sweet you are to write this. I’m sure Titcombs and the Library will love reading your words as much as me!

  14. Milanya says:

    I wish I was already at a book signing event, but I have to wait until September 14, Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City. I called them today for reassurance about space. The nice gent I spoke with said that there was no charge for the event. I asked him what time I should arrive for the 1:00 p.m. event and he said the store opened at 9:00 a.m. I’ll be there. I do hope they serve Polenta cake. Shall I call them back to suggest it?

  15. Kiki Nakita says:

    How lovely to join along on your adventure.

  16. Dorothy says:

    Any hope of a stop in Buffalo, NY or in Erie, PA? This “Cotton Top”, as like the ducks/ geese would do a “call in sick” day to see you! No more bookstores in my town of Jamestown, NY – Wahhh!

    • sbranch says:

      Keep watching EVENTS in the right-hand column on the blog, we are adding more, and will be for a long time I think!

  17. Mary Cunningham says:

    So exciting Susan! Sold out!….you are definitely the celebrity of the month! I absolutely loved “our” book, and the towns with their lovely gingerbread homes that you are sharing with us is almost as fun as our trip through England! You lead a charmed life and we are so lucky to be your friends! Have fun meeting all the “girls” and “guys” on your tour! Thanks for signing my 1st edition , such a cherished gift from you! Love and “sparkles” Mary

  18. Jennie says:

    Hi Susan- What a wonderful little town! That’s exactly the sweet kind of community I would LOVE to live in and be a part of! You show off lovely gems like Sandwich in New England and it continues to convince me that I live on the wrong coast! Maybe someday . . . 🙂
    I’m so glad it all went so well- gosh, didn’t that huge sign just thrill/scare you? I think my heart pounded and knees wobbled for you when I saw that! And this is just the beginning!
    Susan- I am so Thrilled for you that your hard work and dreams only continue to come up roses- I LOVE to watch people doing just what God gifted them to do! And I love that something as good and sweet as what you do appeals to so many . . . we have to keep cherishing what is good in this world!

    • sbranch says:

      It thrilled/scared the bejeebers out of me! But then I just get around behind me and give myself a push, and through the door I go! xoxo Thank you Jennie! There is so much more good than the other kind!!! I look into the faces I see, these voices I hear on the blog, and that’s what has always made me believe.

  19. Carol Deiber says:

    I am disappointed, to say the least. I emailed The Prairie Lights Book Store in Iowa City, IA. and told her I hoped she would have you there, that I would be there! I won’t.
    The only thing that makes that okay with me is hubby and I will be in Branson with 3 of our wonderful grandsons. While their parents enjoy a well deserved get away. Maybe I will get to meet you someday. I’m happy for you!
    Carol, on the farm in Iowa

  20. sondra fox says:

    Hi Happy Wanderer, After reading your Adorableness blog, & seeing your pictures, I really do think you need to write a book on trips & places you’ve seen in Old Cape Cod,. How about a book full of lovely old Victorian houses, with a bit of history on each house? Loved the loooooong ladder that was up to the majestic Victorian house. It would take a brave person to climb the length of that ladder. And, the sweet ducks with the headdresses made me chuckle. Loved their fluffy hats that look as though they’re tied on to the ducks with a cord around their beaks. Happy times are here again. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  21. A Girlfriend from Southwest Missouri says:

    Dear Susan,
    I wish I could have attended the book signing at either Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Edgartown Books, Titcombs Bookshop, or Innisfree Bookshop!!!
    You are such a gifted artist, so creative, and your heart is so obviously full of love and joy. What joy you bring to all of us with your blog, your (our!) new book, your calendars (shipment just arrived…thank you!), and the joy that you spread through everything you do. I enjoy all of it: every cookbook, calendar, bookmark, plant tag, stationary set, … everything. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    I ordered two of your books and kept one for myself and gave one to my best friend. She is really enjoying it and it is saving her from despair. Her mother is almost 99 years old and recently under the care of Hospice. I gave her her birthday present (A Fine Romance) a week early (the day after it arrived!) and she has already read it twice. She said it has “saved” her. She sits with her mother every day and reads your book. Again, what joy you bring to all of us. She and I agree that you are the most creative person we do not know. We are blessed with God’s gift of YOU to the world. Thank you God.
    A girlfriend from Southwest Missouri

  22. Pat Johnson of Paso Robles says:

    It seems that everywhere you go you bring me something new I didn’t have a clue about. I loved that little town of Sandwich. I could tell that you were thrilled with the response of the audience and their graciousness. Isn’t this the most amazing ride you have ever been on????? I expect that you will be on it again after you write your NEXT book. In the meantime, enjoy all of your stops and the gift of meeting so many new people and places. I am jealous!! Love to you both (or should I say all 3 – Petey too)… XXXXOOOO Pat

    • sbranch says:

      It is the most amazing ride I’ve ever been on! I’m truly overwhelmed. I love seeing everyone, but I’m shocked too! We are in New Hampshire now, just got here, came up the road with a HUGE moon between the trees shining on the lake!!! I took pictures, I’ll show you. And then, the bookstore gave us a room at a local hotel — I forget the name of it right now, but I took pictures here too, it’s got a rock fireplace and deck overlooking the water, and the moon is right there!!! I have to go to bed now. But I’ll get up early and read everyone’s comments . . . Love to you all . . .

      • Jane F. says:

        Just went out and saw the moon, too! Huge and beautiful!! Hope you can get a good night’s sleep!! You must be worn to a frazzle!! But in a good way!! I’d be so excited, I’d lay awake looking at the moon all night!! 🙂

      • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

        Oh, Susan, the moon was gorgeous last night. On the way home, in the car, it played peek-a-boo with me, hiding behind trees and then appearing again.

        And the nice thing is–if you ever want to feel close to someone, just look at the moon and say, “We’re both looking at the same moon!!” When I looked at the moon last night I thought, “I bet Susan (who always loves a good moon) is enjoying this sight, too.” And you were!

        Thinking of you lots, and thrilling vicariously with your adventure,

  23. Danella on the West Coast says:

    Dear Susan, That you take the time to share your thoughts and lovely pictures with all of us is so appreciated. You just know that we are all waiting to hear every detail of every stop. No wonder the signing was ‘sold out’…we are all completely ‘sold’ on you and your amazing talent. Thanks so much! Stay safe!

  24. Janet from Macomb Michigan says:

    It looks like you are having a Wonderful Time !!! Enjoy every minute of it !! Your writing gives everyone who reads it so much Pleasure and going on all of your adventures with you, is so Fantastic !!! I really hope you know how Great we all think you are !!!!! Have a Great Day !! Janet 🙂

  25. Ah, the sail boats! Your/our book has traveled far! What a delightful town Sandwich is! I enjoyed it so much when we were there, Did you see the smiling pond by the Thorton Burgess museum just down the street from the town hall? Love your pictures! Have a great New England tour!
    Hugs and blessings,

  26. Asha says:

    Hi Susan! Tomorrow can’t come fast enough! I get to meet you in Meredith, NH. I will be there with my wonderful honey. We both took the day off to meet you and have you sign my book. I have my name tag ready to go! Oh, I don’t think I will be able to sleep tonight = I wish it was right now!!!! 🙂 BTW, my three friends and I were at the Bee Hive Tavern last October. Isn’t it a lovely place! So relaxing and cozy and the food is sooo good! See you tomorrow! Asha

  27. Cindy Tuning says:

    How beyond wonderful!! I know you are going to be so busy and excited and that the blog may be on the back burner for a while but I just wanted to tell you that I’m soooo excited to be going to the signing in Hudson, Ohio. We are only 2 1/2 hrs away but my honey Ted and I will be making a night of it and have our hotel booked. The best part of any trip is going someplace new for dinner out…but not this trip! The best part is finally meeting you after all these years of loving your work and feeling like we’ve been friends forever. It’s still amazing to me that you share so much of yourself and reply to comments and really have a relationship with all of us. We would have loved you anyway.

  28. mary kathryn says:

    Sounds like fun! Don’t get worn out! I love your jammy-to-the-car story. Eager to hear more of your travels. Sleep and eat well, and keep up your strength.

  29. Katherine in Lemon Grove (San Diego) says:

    Such a lovely little town, Sandwich. So nice of you to show us around. Must add to the places to visit when we make our East Coast trip. My husband was born and raised in Boston & Connecticut. He still has a bit of the accent I love to tease him about. So glad you’re book-signing adventure is off to such a great start. All your fans are so excited to meet you and share our travels and plans. What a love-fest! Planning to attend the Remnant’s of the Past with a friend. We are so excited!

  30. Anna, Camano Island,WA says:

    I am sooo HAPPY for you! You deserve all the wonderful responses you recieve via this blog or on the road, you do so much for us all. Enjoy the rewards of all your hard work (even if that work was lots and lots of fun too). If the other towns on your road trip are half as cute as Sandwich you are bound to be on cloud nine. Best of everything to you and your Joe

  31. Carol Duffey from Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Hi Susan,
    Just wondering…I know you’ve had book signings many times before this tour. Is this one very, very different from those in the past? It’s certainly a different kind of book than your others, but I’ve loved all of your books! I know you’ve built up more and more fans over the years. I absolutely love that for you !!! , but I kind of loved having you, well, “not to myself” (wanted to italicize that!) but kind of knowing you as a great woman and artist who not everyone was aware of yet! Because I’ve been following you for many years! I’m so happy for you though, Susan. I will see you in California, even if you don’t go to Vroman’s to sign. I have already enlisted my sister to drive up to SLO in November. I’ve gone on too long, I know. Have a great New England signing trip. I love New England. Been there many times. We even had to go for our honeymoon 24 years ago! My brother-in-law lived in Boston for years, and now retired to Maine, so we still go quite often.! We were on Martha’s in ’96, and even went to the Black Dog! Great place!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s different because of all the people I’ve met on the blog, who already know me, it’s like speaking to a room full of friends. Believe me, even though we meet here and it seems like we all know each other, Joe and I can drive blissfully throughout the land in our Fine Romance van and get no comments! I’ve always been a little bit undetected, running under the radar, but those of us who’ve been along for the ride, they know me, and now we are gathering, and that’s what I love. See you in SLO!

      • Tawni urrutia says:

        Is the enchanting AFR, the first book to come out since the (FABULOUS…can’t live without) Autumn book? There had been mentionings of a second printing of it…fingers crossed!!

        • sbranch says:

          Yes! It’s been a while. We’re planning a second printing for Autumn to come out next Spring, along with Girlfriends and the Summer Book. Thanks Tawni!

  32. Janet Swanson says:

    So sorry I missed the book signing event, though I already have my signed book. Sooo good! My daughter and I did take a picture of your van outside the Town Hall and drove by hoping to see you after the book signing. My daughter didn’t yell too loudly, ” Susan, Joe” in her best Marlon Brando voice. In case anyone heard her I don’t know her. Next time I’ll know to get a ticket . Have a fun safe trip under a beautiful Blue Moon.

  33. Joanne says:

    What a treat for me to attend your book signing in Sandwich. I was so thrilled when I heard you were coming. I live just down 6A in West Barnstable. I’ve been to the Bee Hive Restaurant many times. If you ever go again try their Bee-sting ice cream. It’s my favorite, home made honey and almond ice cream, yum!

    I think everyone in the room had a wonderful time. Good luck as you travel across the country.

  34. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! My goodness this is sooooooo much fun coming along with you and Joe and Petey on your wonderful travels through New England for your book signings!!! Thank you for sharing photos, artwork and musica!!! You look fabulous and so thin! How do you do it? Every day I carefully take A Fine Romance from it’s special place on my cookbook shelf and drink my tea and get lost in England turning pages very slowly so not to miss any detail…..so much more than just reading….each page filled with your artwork, photos, dried flowers….making me “feel ” like I am right there “in ” every page!!!! This will be a book to be read more than once and a book that will make me smile every time I open it! Thank you Susan

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Carilyn! I love bringing us along … I would blog every day if I could! But I’ll be sure to give the highlights … we are in one of them now — a gorgeous room on Lake Winnepesaukee (when will I learn to spell this without having to Google it!) provided by the very generous Innisfree Bookshop — we are in 7th heaven.

  35. Mary Ann says:

    Such a wonderful post Susan, I feel like I was right in the room, beaming away like a proud relative watching you smile and be your sweet gracious self to everyone! Thank you for bringing us all along for this trip too!

  36. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!! ….and “dance by the light of the moon”.. made me think immediately of “It’s A Wonderful Life”….an all-time favorite movie of, I bet, a lot of our Girlfriends!!! We all seem to be finding more and more things that we have in common….it’s no surprise that people would meet at a signing and end up going out to dinner together..really amazing!!! You and Joe take care out there….meanwhile…the rest of us will be at home…just DANCING!!!!!!! 🙂 thank you Susan and Girlfriends everywhere…it truly is a wonderful life….you just have to let it be so…… xoxox
    love, cindy

  37. Kim says:

    Just have to say sweet dreams! I know where you are staying because I was just there a couple days ago!!! You might remember my comment? Lucky you! Enjoy!!! It is heaven in Meredith, NH! I just adore it there! You will have to stop at Moulton Farm just around the corner! They have the BEST corn, homemade sandwiches, breads, pies, homemade doughnuts, jellies, produce, syrup, everything is fresh and delicious! When we went, we bought chicken salad sandwiches, pasta salad, and drinks and ate them on the bench in front of the Innisbrook bookstore with all the gorgeous flowers around us! It is a fun spot! Much like the Cape! It was great seeing your Rt 6A photos! I went there yesterday early to buy a ticket, sadly you were sold out! I had called the day before inquiring and I was told they won’t sell out as there were 50 tickets left! UGh!! I was with my girls so I had to be strong, but really could have cried! So tomorrow, we may head to NH from MA to see you!!! We will see! Enjoy your night!! Don’t forget to visit the Country Carriage (Country Store) upstairs!! SO many sweet things! Hugs from Mike, Kim, Ashley and Lauren

    • sbranch says:

      I wrote down your suggestions Kim, thank you! I hope to see you here, so sorry about those tickets, no one was more surprised than me!

  38. Denise Jose says:

    Susan I loved reading your tour blog. No planned stops in New York State?
    The picture you included of sand dunes and salty air would make a wonderful bookmark

    • sbranch says:

      Not yet, but NY is close and we can do that on our way back is what we’re thinking. You’re right about the bookmark idea … if you can, remind me when I get home and I’ll ask Kellee to work on that for us!

  39. Sherri Fabbri says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’m Sherri of Sherri’s garden! I’m so excited that you put my picture on your blog! I live in Modesto, California; and hope to see you at your signing in San Luis Obispo in November!

    • sbranch says:

      Ahhh, Modesto! The mystery is solved! I have a dear friend, Terri, that lives in Modesto. See you in SLO!

  40. Oh I just love Sandwich too. Quaint and cozy just like we imagine Cape Cod. Sounds like a wonderful time to be an author and a reader! Have fun on your next signing in NH, where my family roots are from. I cannot wait to read more about “our” adventures along the way….

  41. Hi Susan! I still need to get myself a book! My neighbor, Sherri (who’s lovely blue chair is adorned with your book and a Union Jack pillow) sure loves hers. Happy trails to you and sell, sell, sell!


  42. Sandy Manning - Plano, TX says:

    What a wonderful post! My lovely book is sitting on my coffee table in my home in Plano, TX. I would love it if you would stop near here so it could meet you in person!

    You look wonderful by the way!

  43. Sheryl from Chico, CA says:

    I am so excited for you, Susan, and you too, Joe. You deserve all the extra attention your book is bringing you. I am in the middle of reading it right now and I am going slow; not wanting it to end. I keep throwing comments across the room to my husband and he is unaware of where this is all coming from. “I want to go to Cape Cod.” ” I’d like to plan a trip to England someday.” Then I started singing Peggy Lee’s song, “Old Cape Cod.” He thinks I’m losing it, but I am in another world here on my computer. Thanks for expanding my limits and many others, I’m sure. Love you oodles, Sheryl

  44. Elizabeth in Montana says:

    I’m reading the book to my mom, who’ll be 90 in November…so far we’ve gotten to the point where Joe brings you flowers in Boston…lots of chuckles.

    I loved the photos of the Cape…my aunt and uncle lived in Centerville, near Hyannis, for a long time, and at one point owned a restaurant in Sandwich with some friends of theirs. My aunt was a WW2 war bride from London, an actress and classically trained dancer (she trained at the famous Sadler’s Wells school in England). She made the best trifle I’ve ever tasted. Her mother was the unacknowledged daughter of a peer, but I knew her simply as “Grandma Gull”, even though she was my cousins’ grandmother, not mine. My aunt’s closest friend was a woman named Geraldine, who was the mother of the actor Anthony Andrews, and occasionally she and my uncle would go visit his parents in England. She and my uncle have both passed on, but we have lots of good memories of visiting them on the Cape.

  45. Linda says:

    Ohhhhhhhhh, how exciting that we get to go on the road with you three!!! YAY for us!!! I was feeling a little down knowing I wouldn’t get to see you anywhere but now am jolly well cheered up to know we will get to be little voyeurs on your travels! It is hot STILL here in Idaho and now 2 more fires (these very close to home) that just broke out….pray everyone for our beautiful state and all the brave firefighters out there . Good luck Susan and thanks for posting this stop on your journey!

  46. Nancy B says:

    Such a delightful little town! I loved seeing you at the book-signing and look forward to the pictures and post from New Hampshire. The moon over the lake must have been awesome; so romantic.

    Happy Travels!
    Nancy (from Bakersfield)

  47. Marsha MacLean says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just came in from the last walk of the night with my dog, Grumpy, before turning in and saw the wonderful moon! I thought of you and Joe and how this is the beginning of yet another remarkable adventure, meeting all the girlfriends and getting to stay in darling little places like the Earl of Sandwich and the wonderful spot chosen for you in New Hampshire. Boy, that sounds wonderful!
    Kudos to Karen, for the terrific photo of the ” littley.” I can only say how very, very, cute and clever to see the tailor of Gloucester reading A Fine Romance with his little spectacles!
    Love it!
    Happy trails, Susan and Joe! Can’t wait to see you in California.

  48. Victoria Miller says:

    What a wonderful post! After watching the Blue Moon rise over the harbor while listening to Clair de Lune and then Bella Luna (Jason Mraz and thank you sooooo much for introducing me to his music), I was looking online, not expecting a new post and SURPRISE! The photos the girlfriends sent in of how they are each enjoying your book in their own individual environments are such a treat! Each one is a delight! And Sandwich is beautiful. I would luv a dollhouse like that big blue house! The book signing was clearly a great success and lovely opportunity to meet wonderful people (book people are such wonderful people!) Enjoy New Hampshire, a most wonderful state. Well, I’m partial to the East Coast. And the West Coast. So long as there’s an ocean…. Your adventure is reminding me of a song….”…on the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again….” However, I think I’ll gaze at the moon some more, and listen once again to Bella Luna. Wishing you and Joe a most wonderful adventure!

    • sbranch says:

      Had to go listen to Bella Luna this morning . . . what a perfect song for that amazing moon we saw rise up over the lake last night, such heaven! Bella you beautiful luna . . . oh my! Thank you Victoria, for the reminder. Have a wonderful day!

  49. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Thanks for taking the time out to share all this with us. What a beautiful town! I love those houses. Have a really great time and enjoy every moment.

  50. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ I just had to say the moon was beautiful last night and this morning!~

  51. Brenda says:

    Great to read every single word of this and to ogle the photos. Thanks so much.

  52. Leslie-Anne says:

    I LOVE the idea of a law that let’s people (all normal, of course), into any house they want. Sometimes peeking in the windows at night just isn’t enough to see all the loveliness inside! LOL

  53. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    Great pictures! My daughter and I visited Cape Cod and Marthas Vineyard in June. We loved that little cottage with the blue shutters…I took a picture of it, too 🙂 Contractors were working on it when we were there, and caution tape was stretched along the fence, but the side garden was filled with pink roses and we were enchanted. Did you try the water from the artesian well beside Town Hall? We were told by a sweet lady in the glass museum to be sure to try it…sweet, cold, pure. It would have made wonderful tea!

    • sbranch says:

      We have amazing water on Martha’s Vineyard too, so we brought jarful’s along! I will remember the artesian well for next time!

      • Rhonda D. says:

        Isn’t it amazing how the water can make such a difference in the taste of the tea. I go home to my bonnie wee Port Mouton in Nova Scotia and the tea tastes awesome, so smooth and almost sweet. I tried so many different teas at my own house, only to discover that it is my water, not the kind of tea I was buying. So the tea is just one more thing to look forward to when I do go home. Looks like you are having so much fun at the book signings. My heart is there with you, Joe and all the girlfriends. Looking forward to seeing the “goings on” through the blog. Praying for safe travels as you go across the country. xo

  54. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    I have been having a devil of a time trying to find an “independent book store” around here!!! I called one (3 times now) 60 miles away, and they keep taking my messages for the person “in charge” who has yet to call me back! 🙁 now that I see your darling photos I’m thinking Gosh! we having nothing half as adorable in my little world – New England is so exquisite – we have just NEW buildings, no history (farther back than 40 years – seriously! we have a historical marker across the street for something 40 years ago! and we’ve lived in our house for 33 so soon we’ll have a historical marker about us!) I keep calling around and can’t find an independent book store. Barnes and Noble won’t work, right? I’ll call them anyway 🙂

  55. Sharon says:

    I love the way you celebrate women, Susan! It’s something that is all to often overlooked out there in this big world of ours. Luckily us bloggers tend to rejoice with one another ; )

    Enjoy your time in Meredith today. We were just up that way last week. Such a lovely town overlooking the lake! Driving home through Wolfeboro (and maybe stopping for coffee …) is a true treat! Wish I could be right there with you!

    • sbranch says:

      Considering how important there jobs generally are, as moms to the next generation, and considering what a wonderful job they do of it, they should be celebrated every day. And that’s only one of the things they do that makes this world so beautiful. Think of all the wreaths on the front doors, all the wonderful blogs, bows, quilts, flower gardens, tea parties, nail polish, and cute shoes!!!

  56. Carla says:

    Oh Susan, don’t you just LOVE Sandwich? I didn’t want to leave when I was there. I wish you and Joe safe travels and know you will be making so many wonderful memories! I also wanted to say you look so stinking cute….I love your outfit!

  57. Bobbie Ann Picard says:

    Susan, I love the book, it makes me smile. Sometimes, I’m actually there with you. Last night, I read a few pages I especially loved to my husband Tim. He smiled too!! I wish you continued success and thank you for your effort and genius creativity. Wish for you and Joe a safe and super trip! xx

  58. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Seeing your van, I wanted to run outside & honk the horn on my little ruby red Rav4, but it’s 5:13am. SOME of my neighbors might not like that (although the rooster behind us gets up early)! Love it that you take us away, now we’re touring the East Coast with you & Joe! Pictures of the GFs & their books are great fun. Almost fell off my chair seeing Valerie’s, we’ve been hoping you’ll be able to join us in Sacramento (she’s working on that)! This blog is just delightful & you’re looking good girlfriend! Happy trails today to you & Joe! XO

  59. Idelsy says:

    How Wonderful! I truly wish I was there! Thank you for taking us with you!!

  60. Nancy Fisher says:

    I just received the book!! I am so excited, but saving it (well I did dip in just a wee tiny bit last night) for my trip this weekend to the beautiful Deerhurst Lodge in Huntsville Ontario. Will send pictures. 🙂

  61. Linda Petersen says:

    This post is wonderful! I love seeing where the traveling book has been going. The miniature book is so-o-o-o darling! You look fantastic & the whole adventure makes me happy to be a part of the sisterhood of the Girlfriends:0). Thank you Susan & Happy Trails!!

    XOXO, Linda , Chino Valley, AZ.

  62. Sarah says:

    I had never heard of Sandwich, Cape Cod, only Sandwich in England. I am living vicariously through you as you go through out New England. 🙂 Thank you for sharing with us your amazing adventure. What an accomplishment. Thank you for also inspiring me to follow my “big” dreams! I hope you can make it to Southern California, Long Beach area for a book signing!!

    • sbranch says:

      The Cape Cod Sandwich was named for the English Sandwich — in fact half the names in New England, probably more than half, are all named for Old England! We’ll be in the Long Beach area for sure Sarah!

  63. Leeayn says:

    I’m sitting here truly crying from the beauty – your words, pictures, and musica! I need to bring my life to a better sense of enchantment, and this post is so inspiring. I’m afraid to buy your book for the fear of spending many days crying before I can even start with new goals. I’ve been dropping unnecessary and stressful things out of my life in the last few weeks and trying to move towards a sweeter way of life. Your blog is truly a portal through which I can begin my travels. Thank you from my heart.

    • sbranch says:

      Good girl, you are on your way . . . I love your words “better sense of enchantment.” Be sure to take lots of deep breathes, train your ears for bird sounds, sit in a pretty place and just be. Read good books, play wonderful old music, and cook something special. Those are the things that bring enchantment to life. ♥ ♥ ♥

      • Doreen Strain (Florida) says:

        Oh Susan…what great words of advise. I could not agree more. Leeayn, you’ll find lots of wonderful “girlfriends” here on Susan’s blog. Take the time to read through the responses for they will provided you with hours of enjoyment. You’ll find that you’ll start to recognize some of the names and laugh and cry at some of the stories. But most of all you will see that we are all kindred spirits. We all go through “seasons” in our lives. No one lives without having to go through them. Here you will share in the lives of so many of us that find friendship, understanding and enjoyments during our time shared on the blog. Keep your focus on what you want from your life and visit often…it’s like a soothing medicine to be still and just read the entries. Make yourself a cup and tea and treat yourself to some well needed friendship. The girlfriends here are wonderful! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

      • Leeayn says:

        Thank you for your words of encouragement. I’m working on it!

  64. Katy Noelle says:

    I always start your posts thinking calmly and sweetly, “Oh! How WONDERFUL!” But it always breaks down into straight out laughter and smiles – ALWAYS!! 😀

    The ‘Tailor’ reading your book is so wonderfully, wonderfully clever!! And, thank goodness I’m not famous (and live waay out in the country) – there would have been many sightings of me just ‘running out to the hen-house to get some eggs in my NIGHTIE!! 😉 ) What an adorable story – I can only imagine how sweet and gracious and down to earth you were! 🙂


    • sbranch says:

      That Tailor with the little book! Too cute — just another example of darling creativity from brilliant girlfriends. xoxo Thank you Katy!

      • Julie Marie says:

        Oh Susan, I want a teensie little book of yours like that!… tooo adorable!… how can we girlfriends get one?… the Tailor of Gloucester is just about my favorite Beatrix tale… did Karen make that???…

  65. Katy Noelle says:

    Oh! And, btw…

    when I used to run the tearoom, which was in a three story Victorian house, I used to love it when we’d book the room for a special ‘tea’! Twenty or so women would come and spend the afternoon and the house would fill up to the rafters with the beautiful sound of happy women’s voices – and so much laughter. It would ‘ring out’!! I could only imagine how festive the book signing was! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sure it was the same sound, like bells, it’s always the best! We women have so much in common, and never a lack of “something to talk about!”

  66. Jack says:

    The little things — water at the sink — hot on demand , a car that starts , a flushing toilet ,
    a heater or cooler , ice cold milk in the fridge , friends , paved roads , green valleys and tall mountains ….and trash pick-up !

    • sbranch says:

      Just a few of my favorite things! Counting our blessings! I’m waiting for you to wake up right now so I can call you! We’re having a wonderful time, but I miss your voice! xoxo

    • Katy Noelle says:

      Oh!!! I am so with you on that, Dad!! So grateful!!! Lovely to scroll through the comments and see this. Thank you for it! 🙂

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Great list, Jack! I’d like to add “wet watery soapy shower” or “long relaxing tub soak” also. After a long hot summer’s day of work – even if it’s work you love – there’s not a whole lot else that feels better than being able to clean up and feel like yourself again…

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      I am thankful for ALL of those things too!!!

  67. Michele says:

    Oh, Susan! It looks like such great fun! I am SO hoping you’ll be somewhere near us, too!! (Kenosha, WI!)

    (and by~the~way, your pajama-running-to-the-car story made me laugh, not at you, though, just sounds like something that would happen to me :0)

  68. Carol from Connecticut says:

    Dear Susan,
    You look so so so very CUTE in the Sandwich ‘It Takes a Village’ photo with those glasses on the tip of your nosie! I was thinking backwards to the post where you just BURST FORTH with the idea of keeping and then publishing the diary of your then future trip. It amazes me how a figment of our imagination can take us on such a fabulous journey! You deserve every minute of it! My 2-month-old kitty cat Betsy Boop loves to touch the pages of your book while I’m reading and re-reading and re-reading it in my favorite chair. Meow! Love, Carol Tra…la

    • sbranch says:

      Two months old! Lucky you! Yes, I feel that my old age would be best served if I try for the Mrs. Claus look! The glasses are just the beginning!

  69. Karen Saunders says:

    Wow Susan……you’re blog just keeps getting better and better. I wish they had academy awards for blogs…..because the Oscar would go to you and the ‘Girlfriends’.

    • Karen Saunders says:

      ps…..after reading all the comments about tickets being sold out….I think I’m getting nervous. Attending SLO in Nov. driving from G.P. OR. and wondering if I have to buy a ticket for the signing?? (I drove down once before and missed you…..) I think you would see a grown woman cry (and throw a flamin’ tantrum) if I missed you again. Can you still be immature at 65?? Just asking so I can plan ahead. Very excited to see you!!

      • sbranch says:

        No, that one doesn’t require tickets, so you just show up! Yes, immaturity at 65 is actually quite attractive 🙂 (I tell myself!)

    • sbranch says:

      LOL — they should! 🙂

  70. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    What a darling post, with all the smiling girlfriends. My kitty Bella agrees that the Luna is gorgeous. Last night, when I turned out the light, she was immediately at the sliding glass door singing the song of her People, begging to go out and scamper. (No way!) Our little grandson will be born any day now, so I’m going to suggest to our beautiful daughter that she step outside tonight and dance in the moonlight. She needs to wear something floaty that sparkles.;) Two best girlfriends are visiting on Friday, so if Baby Jake has not yet arrived, we will use our magic grandmother powers to PUSH him out. Champagne is at the ready! Life is grand!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL Burst! “Singing the song of her People!” ha ha ha ha ha! Your grandson is so lucky to be born to such a magical grandmother! xoxo sparkles to you today Roseanne!

      • Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

        The magical moonlight worked! I got a call at 12:30 a.m. that daughter and husband were at the hospital, and Baby Jake was born at 7:52 this morning. He is beautiful and sweet and we are blessed. I got no sleep last night, but feel sparkly anyway. The world looks very bright today.

        • Janet [in Rochester] says:

          “Sparkly” !!! That is adorable, Rosanne! Must be JUST how you new Grandmas feel! Congratulations to the whole family on Baby Jake! :>)

        • sbranch says:

          CONGRATULATIONS Rosanne! And welcome to Baby Jake! xoxo

  71. Georgie Bonsanto says:

    Susan! You find the most adorable places to stay and to eat!!! Hoping you are finding LOTs of antiques to bring back home before you leave for your cross country trip!

    I’m laughing at you running outside in your sweater! Oooops!

    Q – Will we be able to plan ahead and pre-order the tea tins, and/or the glass bracelet beads? With Christmas just around the corner this would be just the time for us to drop hints for just the perfect gift(s)!

    Georgie, NJ

  72. Robin Benson says:

    Sandwich is such a darling town. Is the jam kitchen still there? I adored that place and still have photos of it. It looks like Alice in Wonderland should make jam there.
    I have asked Book Revue in Huntington, Long Island to schedule a book signing for you. Their events manager told me she is looking into it to make sure there would be a large enough ‘turn out’. HAH! Little does she know that half of the women in this town would be there just from listening to ME! My fingers are crossed for a signing anywhere on Long Island or the NY Metro area. Robin

    • sbranch says:

      They are always worried about that … which is why your calling makes such a huge difference to them ~ thank you so much! I hope it works out too.

  73. Harmony Colleen says:

    Saw the beautiful full moon early this morning through the smoke & haze of the nearby “Rim Fire” towards Yosemite. The pet evacuees (& some of the people) are now being sent over here to wait out the danger. My heart goes out not only to those evacuated people & pets & hardworking fire crews (many volunteers!) but all the frightened wildlings as well ~ little fawns & their mamas, the squirrels & chipmunks & bunnies & bears & mountain lions & raccoons & skunks & possums & foxes & coyotes & marmots and more. The forest is a wild little city underneath that canopy of pines. Hearing the fire “bombers” flying over these past couple of days has been a real depressing refrain.

    But as always your blog is a reprieve of pure joy.

    What a thrill to see “sold out” under your name! The Sandwich details are such a pleasure, a vicarious little drive past those pretty houses of Cape Cod & on through your adventures in book signing. The photos give us all a sense of being along for the ride. Clearly, the book is also on it’s own solo road trip. The photos taken in different locales are such fun. Princess Tess in her hat ~ how can you not love her? So cute!

    Safe travels to you & Joe & all the best to everyone.

    • sbranch says:

      It always scares me to see fires near Yosemite. I guess it’s nature’s way, but it’s still hard. xoxo All my prayers to the people and the critters.

  74. Irene Talaasen says:

    Hi Sweet Susan!!!
    My A Fine Romance came today; ordered from your store and the service and time for it to get here were superb!!!! Going to the mountains so will take it along and sit by the river and read. The first few pages are lovely and I peeked ahead a little too!!!! Please, Please come to the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Colorado Springs Co!!! Lots of us will greet you there whenever you come 🙂 🙂

    So fun to see the pictures of everyone and their books……I may not be technical enough to do that but I will show it around to everyone I see!

    Irene Talaasen

  75. jane zamudio says:

    Dear Susan..Im so jealous!! I want to cometo new england so very much!! But..i live on puget sound in washington. It seems the fartherest I get is Phoenix! You are having such a wonderful time now! Your book is my next purchase. I cant wait!! Happy travels to you and Joe. I will be keeping my eye on your journeys!

  76. Judy Dow says:

    Hi Susan! Ethel and I were in a wonderful herb shop today and found a series of books by Susan Wittig Albert. Have you read her books? I bought The Tale of Hill Top Farm. Can’t wait to start. I will probably go back and forth with your books to retread your Hill Top section and look at the photos! Looking forward to seeing you in Chicago. Love, lucy

  77. Karen says:

    It was delightful to meet you and know that you are as lovely in person as I imagined from your books and your blog. I wrote a post about your book signing. I am so in love with your book and I only wish that you continue writing more like this one.

    Wishing you both a wonderful trip as you attend more book signings.


  78. Laura says:

    Oh, you look so happy! What a gift all of this is to me and to so many.
    Thank you so much. I hope you make it all the way to Oregon!

  79. Kathy Korb says:

    Would you be coming through Wisconsin, either coming or going, or any place in the midwest? It would be so fun to meet you at a book signing, and meet the other wonderful ladies who would be there! (men, too!) The photos are great, especially the darling girl reading your lovely book!! Thank you for sharing.

    • sbranch says:

      In the column on the left of the blog you will see the word EVENTS — click on that, those are our signings so far. We’re doing one near Chicago, a tea party! At a country club — I will be speaking and signing. I think it’s going to be really nice, if it’s not too far of a drive for you. There are tickets, so think about it soon in case you want to come — we just had one of our events sell out ahead of time.

  80. Asha says:

    Oh Susan! It was such a delight to finally meet you! 🙂 You are so gracious and a hug from Susan Branch just made my day, week, month, year and years to come! Thank you for your personal appearance so close to home! So happy to see Joe and Petey and the Susan Branch van too! I wish all our girlfriends could meet you in person. I also met some wonderful girlfriends at the bookstore and had great chats while waiting in line for the signing. THANK YOU again Susan! This is a day I will keep in my memories forever! Love you! oxoxox Asha

  81. carmel says:

    Hey Susan, my copy of “Victoria” came in the mail today and the first thing I did was look for the ad for “A Fine Romance.” It’s lovely and the text is inviting. Love the Sandburg and Twain quotes – perfect. I was at my school today for a few hours trying to get my classroom in shape (the children return after Labor Day). So I want to wish all teachers on this blog and parents sending children back to school a successful year filled with lots of joyful learning. And Sue, you may have to do a third printing! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’m with you with the good teacher/student wishes for a productive and happy year! And thank you for the compliments on my first ad ever! And, third printing, fingers are crossed — with the wonderful word-of-mouth from our Girlfriends, it just might happen!! xoxo Have a wonderful year — you have such an important job!!!

      • carmel says:

        Thanks so much! You also have an important job. You keep so many of us going especially on difficult days with your genuine care of everything and optimism.

  82. Carol from Connecticut says:

    Oh Gosh Oh Gee… while you’re in Meredith, NH please go into the Church Landing Hotel on the waterfront just to walk through the lobbies. Susan and Joe will love the place. It’s like being in a time warp. If you love birch trees, you will love Church Landing. 1940’s music is piped into the lobbies. Do you have time to cruise on the M/S Mount Washington? Say ‘hello’ to Winnie (Lake Winnepesaukee) for me. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. Sending affection your way. Safe travels, Carol … tra la

    • sbranch says:

      We are going to look for a boat ride today. And we’re staying at Church Landing, courtesy of Innisfree Book Shop! Almost fell apart when I saw this room with the view of the moon rising over the lake, shimmering directly back to our deck! I took photos and will put them up soon. I’ll say hello to Winnie, it is SO beautiful here!

  83. Susan Kellam says:

    Just sitting here with a cup of tea and Orange Lavender Polenta Cake. Yum! I’m so glad you mentioned about cutting the recipe in half because the almond flour was $10.49 a pound down here! Ouch! But it’s definitely worth it.

    Love the idea of visiting any house once a month on Friday. My sister and I often say we would just love to go marching up to Susan Branch’s house, ring her doorbell and say “we’re here for tea and a tour!” But you’re probably safe because we’re way down here in Texas, so it probably won’t happen anytime soon!

    • sbranch says:

      Whew! Of course I didn’t mean MY house … 🙂 (That could be the problem with the whole idea of Friday Visitations! — first I would want to clean up!)

    • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Hi Susan K! That’s what I paid for the almond flour! But on the other hand I was thrilled to even find it out here ! Thank you HEB! (Our grocery store). I bet Red Mills has noticed a surge in sales of almond flour:)
      Loved the cake, but will stick to the half recipe in the future. Have you tried the Hot Milk cake? It’s really my favorite.
      Hope it’s cooling down where you are, we are finally out of triple digits, it’s amazing how great 95 feels!

  84. Melody says:

    I love reading about your adventures on the road! I’ve been to Sandwich once a long time ago, and found it to be beautiful as well.

    I have to say I finished reading your beautiful book the other day…and just loved it! I’ve recommended it to friends. 🙂 Part of it made me cry it was so good. Thank you, Susan!

  85. Francine Werlinger says:

    This is all so exciting! I’m enjoying “our” book so much, but hearing about all the fun going on at the book signings is fun too! I can hardly stand it!! Thank you so much for sharing all your adventures with us. What a sweetheart you are!!

  86. Linda Isabelle says:

    Hi Susan and Joe, It was such an honor to meet you at the Innisfree Book Shop today!! I didn’t get there until 4:10 and I was so happy that you were able to sign a book for me, for my daughter, Amy. I had so many questions for you, but I knew that you were tired and had “writer’s cramp!” Meeting you was one of the highlights of my life; from receiving the “Summer Book” for my birthday, to making Mary’s Mother’s Snowball Cookies at Christmas, to enjoying the calendars and your most recent book—many smiles! I told my husband that this compares to when he got to hold the Bruin’s Stanley Cup when it was on display in NH!!! I wish you safe travels. Please know that you have touched my life and I am forever grateful! xxoo Linda Isabelle, Wolfeboro, NH

    • sbranch says:

      So happy to meet you too Linda! It was such a nice event … such a gorgeous place here in Meredith — I’m looking out at sunrise over the lake right now!

  87. Cheryl Egan says:

    Hi Sue,
    So wonderful to see you & Joe! You were absolutely beautiful and your “book talk” was just wonderful. You didn’t seem nervous at all! It will be always be highlight to this summer for me. Be safe and enjoy the ride!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not nervous once it’s over . . . but the beginning is always a bit shaky! 🙂 So great to see you there Cheryl!

  88. Samantha says:

    Wow! What a surprise to see my face in your current blog entry (Mt. Borah Girl!)! I took A Fine Romance to read (I’ve been re-reading many parts of it, too; makes the book last longer) on our drive to Mackay, Idaho where we stayed before our “bucket list” hike to the Mt. Borah summit–my husband and sister-in-law tackled the trail with me. My book wasn’t about to stay put in the car while I engineered my way over the steep and rocky path up the mountain 😉 At age 45, I have found myself in a “romance” of sorts with hiking and taking on new challenges. I decided to share my moment at the summit, book in hand, with our “girlfriends” with the hope of spreading some inspiration! I am both flattered and humbled that you enjoyed my picture and included it in your blog entry.

    Your loyal Idaho fan of 20 years,

    • sbranch says:

      It was a fantastic shot Samantha, I felt very proud of you! What a climb!!! I understand perfectly the allure … there is nothing better than nature. Thanks for giving A Fine Romance a little exercise and fresh air! xoxo

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Samantha, you rock! That’s no small accomplishment – hauling yourself up 12,000 + feet! I was proud of you too [even though I am in no way entitled to be]. I wanted to yell “Hey, that’s one of my Girlfriends up there!” ♥

  89. Susan (in VA) says:

    I’m sorry that you can’t make a stop in my neck of the woods, but I felt as if I were with you every step of the way when I read the post–as if I’d been tucked into your bag next to Petey. Thank you.

  90. Yay! Sounds super exciting. Have a wonderful time…my book and I just got back from a small town in the rockies where I was visiting family for a week….thunderstorms, visitors, and bats notwithstanding, I made some delightful progress.

  91. Good morning Susan,
    You have such creative and loyal fans~friends. All that you deserve. So glad everything is going so well. I hope you don’t miss my letter. I put it in an email and then where it says, contact us, which makes me laugh every time I see how your hairdo was stolen.
    Happy day, Ruthie

    • sbranch says:

      🙂 If you put it somewhere on the blog, I’m sure to find it sooner or later . . . UNless, the Gremlins got to it first!!

  92. Carrie says:

    Good Morning Susan,

    Loving the pictures and all the comments about your book signings. Here’s hoping you will make it to the Sacramento area; I called and then sent an e-mail to the Barnes and Noble store in Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento and cc’d you. Sorry about the duplicate photos with the book but the last one I sent, wasn’t that fun?

    I’m having a ball giving away my extra copies. So far they’ve gone to London, Fort Wayne Indiana, Cincinnati, and Sacramento. One of my favorite giveaways was to my cousin’s two daughters aged 16 and 13. The books were given at a family gathering, at which time the 16 y/o received a driving lesson from her Uncle while the 13 y/o was in the back seat reading AFR! She was so thrilled with the bit she had read in the backseat during the driving lesson that she just kept hugging me!!


  93. Mary Pat says:

    I love the book since it is one to read and read again. I belong to a weekly stitching group. We meet on Wednesday to cross stitch and visit and enjoy one another’s company. Last night we met at my house for wine and appetizers and Polenta Cake. Oh my, but the cake was a definite “hit”. As a matter of fact “our” Susan proposed a toast to you for the very fine recipe. The reason for all the wine and celebrating, other than that is always a good thing, was Barbara’s mom was here visiting from Poland. What a delightful lady and what a lovely time we all had. And thank you for the book and the recipe.

  94. Deborah Heater (Indiana) says:

    CONGRATS…..on all the success you are having with AFR. I’m sure this part of the journey is the most rewarding for you and all your fans….enjoy. I was looking at the Events section this morning and it seems you have a break after the 24th until Sept. 03?? My question to you is what to do with all that FREE time?? HA I’m sure you have mapped out some amazing sight seeing across our Beautiful Country. I was talking to Pat the other day about the book signings and how I won’t be able to make any this tour and you know me and my humor I said “I know Susan will HATE not getting to meet me and put a face with my name”….:O So, I’m giving you my virtual [hug] right now. I’m happy for you and Joe and just want to give my wishes for a very safe journey and have the trip of a lifetime. Blessings

  95. Mary in Phoenix says:

    How sweet that these shops are serving tea and cookies … and even polenta cake! Hey Girlfriends looking for ALMOND FLOUR to make one of your own … it’s at Trader Joe’s (my fave!) for only $3.99 per pound … much better than the $12 bag at the other stores. It is called “Almond Meal” but is the same thing. Apparently, almond flour uses blanched almonds and almond meal is made from almonds with the skin on so it looks a little darker … but it tasted the same and worked well in our macaroon recipe! P.S. You can make it yourself by putting almonds in the food processor or blender … but if you blend a little too much you’ll have almond butter 🙂
    “Talk and tea is his specialty, said Giles. Come along inside… We’ll see if tea and buns can make the world a better place.” ~The Wind in the Willows

  96. Jack says:

    OK! I’m up — and it just occurred to me that your cross-country book trip from the great Atlantic Ocean to the wide Pacific Shore– from our borders to Canada and Florida what’s more — is unique in style and content! I’ve never heard of anything like this being done to reach out for such direct contact with one’s readers. With all your girlfriends and the sold-out events, I think the British National Trust should sponsor a signing in England to include Wales, Ireland and Scotland! Also, they should name you their “American Ambassador for Tourism ” with Knighthoodness dubbing and a small picturesque Cottage with a few sheep and baby goats!! You have single-handedly generated more interest for visits to England, in one year, than all of their ads combined in the last 20 years! I mean it!

    • sbranch says:

      Dad! I love it. My favorite parts are the Knighthoodness and the picturesque cottage with the lambs!!! Let’s hope they think of it!! 🙂 xoxoxo

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        PS – I wonder how many Cunard crossings have been booked as a result of your trip-blog-book too?

      • sondra fox says:

        Hi Susan & GF’s! Just wanted all of you to know that I’m going through the grieving part of my husband’s death, but your book Susan, is getting me out of the doldrums. I’m now beginning to think about going on trips here & there, making new memories. I’d love to traverse your trip to England Susan. Your English countryside trip was simply magical. I think it’s so wonderful how we GF’s all come together on your blog. Our entire country is represented. (Sandy from Chihuiahua Flats)

        • sbranch says:

          Even the world Sondra … and I’m so happy to hear your positive (but I’m sure difficult) attitude about life. While we’re here, we have to reach for and give all the beauty and joy we can, it’s our job. You are amazing. xoxo

  97. Ann says:

    Yesterday your book arrived and I realized that I need to pace myself or else I’d just sit and read it in one sitting all day. Then today you went to Cape Cod and it brought back so many memories as that’s where we spent our honeymoon back in 1965. Topped off by Patty Page’s Old Cape Cod it was just so wonderful to sit and remember. Enjoy your trip. Someday we will take a vacation there.
    Greetings from Los Osos on Morro Bay!

  98. Anne Branco says:

    So happy that you had a great turnout and a wonderful time at your book signing in Sandwich. Sandwich is one of my favorite towns on the Cape. LOVE Titcombs! When we’re on the Cape we love driving down 6A. So many wonderful places to stop. Wish I could have been there. Unfortunately we were in Mass. the week before your book signing. 🙁 I absolutely agree with you about the law. Should we get a petition going? Call our Congressmen/women? One of the first houses I would like to go into would be Chris’ in England. Just adorable! Even the outside invites “Come in, sit down, let’s have a cup of tea and chat. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a happy day!

  99. Mary A. Brown says:

    Hi Sue,
    I have been s-l-o-w-l-y reading your book to make it last. Some of it is just so cute that I have to go back and re-read portions again (sometimes several times) and then there are the pictures and illustrations that must be studied! Forget Rick Steves, I think your book is the perfect travel guide to England. Maybe France or Italy could be next??? Mary

  100. Debbie says:

    Susan, Did you get a chence to explore a bit of Sandwich? A couple of years ago my sister and I visited Cape Cod & stopped off in Sandwich, MA. It is indeed lovely! The cemetery there is unique in that is has extremely old graves with great old headstones. In addition to the town hall and beautiful old church that you mentioned was the mill and many other picturesque spots to enjoy! Would love to be there this time of year and of course, in the fall. Enjoy your road trip & safe travels!

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