Hello everyone!  We just got back home from our little jaunt through Massachusetts and New Hampshire which I wanted to share with you. Now we’re packing again, this time for our cross-country trip! Here are some sounds of New Hampshire Lake Life for your morning Musica.

When we got home, we went on our walk in the woods on a cool crisp morning, the breeze making the hairs on my arms stand up ~ I picked these up — they set my Gypsy Blood Astir!  I know it’s still hot in most of the country, but in New England, I can feel, smell, see and hear my favorite time of year creeping up on us in the most wonderful way.

This gate is on the hotel grounds of the gorgeous Church Landing Mill Falls Hotel where we stayed on Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith, New Hampshire. We went to this lovely place for a book signing at Innisfree Bookstore, but once we saw this hotel and this lake we thought about staying forever!  I love this shape of gate/trellis and how it frames a peek-a-boo view.  Just makes you want to go through it. And P.S., if you are going up there, the food in the Lake House Grill dining room was outstanding!!!

This hotel room was a gift.  Between the bookstore and the hotel, they gifted us two nights here in this little piece of heaven.  We had no idea where we were going, we just put the address of the hotel they’d suggested into the GPS. We expected a normal motel room where perhaps we would have a discounted first night.  We found out our stay was a gift and for two nights when we checked in!  We walked into the room, there were squeals because it was so gorgeous — it had a deck, this is the deck, that’s a corner of the room there,  I took this photo about 3 seconds after we entered — I ran straight out to the deck with the camera because we arrived just in time for moon rise and the cricket serenade.

The next night, we got this . . .

The full Green Corn Blue Moon shining Pink on Lake Winnipesaukee!

Just below our deck, running the length of the hotel fronting the Lake was this grassy knoll with lawn chairs and little stairs leading down to the water . . .

Lovely gardens and gates with peek-a-boo views of the lake . . .

And Adirondack chairs strategically placed for water watching and breeze feeling . . .

We went on walks and climbed up Lockes Hill in the Kimball Wildlife Forest . . .

Which always makes me very happy, taking long walks in nature . . .

Especially this one, to the summit, with a view of Lake Winnipesaukee and a few of some of its two hundred and fifty islands.  People live on those islands, often in old “camps” and go everywhere via boat on this lake in the summer time.  Some of the boats are classic antiques.  On Golden Pond was filmed near here.  Oh the loons!

Then it was time to go to the bookstore.  We could see pretty easily that we were in the right place!

And then we went inside and there were the Girlfriends waiting for us!

I was able to spend a little time with everyone, talk and visit.  But the line is always the fun thing, I can hear them out there getting to know each other and laughing ~ I want to go get in line too!

We brought along some extra boxes of books to leave behind with Bev when the signing was over.  A FINE ROMANCE is sold out at the Publishers (unbelievable!!!!), we’ve reordered and are once again taking preorders for signed books from the studio,  but if you are having a book emergency and need a signed copy right now, try calling the nice folks at Innisfree Bookstore, 603-279-3905.  We also left lots of signed books with Titcombs Bookshop in Sandwich, 508-888-2331.

Here are two people who worked at Innisfree, both sweethearts, Brandi and Martha . . .

We would have stayed at Church Landing Mill Falls Hotel the whole time, but they were sold out for the weekend, so we had to move.  And this is where we went, to the Lazy E, with Lazy being the operative word, because how could you not be with this as your morning view:

Our little cabin had a kitchen. You take your tea out here in the early morning and watch the old boats go by and listen to the wake lap against the shore.  They have a bonfire at night too, you can sit outside, smell the wood fire, watch the sparks go up and join the stars.  It’s a beautiful world up there.

We loved walking through the neighborhoods and looking at all the lake cottages, big and little . . . I had to take a photo of this darling bird house! Look at the little benches at the door and the window boxes!

I thought this was a mailbox, but I’m not so sure.  Whatever it is, it’s cute!  Then it was time for us to go to Milford to the . . .

Toadstool Bookshop for another book signing.

The Fine Romance Van has been wonderful!  We weren’t sure we were going to like it, but it’s like going to a birthday party wearing the cutest dress, it just makes things more festive!

And here I am, answering questions for that person standing in the way back . . . or something like that . . .

And more girlfriends, more fun talk, more meeting and greeting.  The room was also full of husbands and guy friends, although you can’t really see them, they sort of hang around with Joe!

Here’s Girlfriends who are regular visitors to the Blog, from left to right, Kate, Judy, Rachel and Jackie, out front gracing the Fine Romance Van . . . Hi Girls!!!  Thank you for coming!!  

Jan (in the middle) is the manager of the bookstore — she made it such a nice event — providing tea and scones for everyone!  They were all wonderful — that’s Melanie on the left and Prudence on the right.  Thank you Toadstool Bookshop!!

Then it was off to early dinner, before our drive back to the island — Chicken Caesar Salad for Joe (with balsamic vinaigrette), Lobster Salad for me (blue cheese on the side), iced tea with lemonade, and then of course for the devil that lives inside us both, Onion Rings (roughage)!  We loved the picnic tables and the sounds of the crickets and this fall-like day — such a perfect time to take advantage of the outdoors. (BTW, Here are some good Autumn Picnic recipes, we loved this spur-of-the-moment picnic so much — just click on each recipe and it’ll come up.  Remember spontaneity is a wonderful thing, so it’s good to plan for it!)

We got to Woods Hole in time to make the freight boat home . . .  just in time for sunset and cries of sea gulls and smell of ocean . . .

And pink peach red orange blue yellow lavender sky — it was a gorgeous cool, fall night on the water . . .

As lovely as New Hampshire is, I guess we won’t be moving there anytime soon.  There’s no place like home!  “If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air . . .”

And when we walked through the door, we had a surprise waiting for us!  It came directly from another house we love, Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, England (I wrote about our visit HERE).  Yes!!!  There was a lovely English accent waiting for me on our telephone message machine! Onto my knees I went, leaning in close to the table hear, with my pen and paper at the ready.

The call was from the museum gift shop (here where I bought my quill pen and ink that I wrote with in our book).  The caller’s name was Ann and she said she’d read  A FINE ROMANCE, and loved it (eeek) and wants . . . wait for it . . . to carry OUR book in the Jane Austen Gift Shop in Chawton, England!!!!  I am not kidding.  This has happened.  I can barely imagine a place where I’d rather see our book.  

Although the photos we are receiving are kinda really so WONDERFUL ~ our book is experiencing the very best life has to offer!  I’m living vicariously through it now!  Talk about travel!

Buckingham Palace Gates, for example!  Can you believe it?  But there it is!  Taken by our Girlfriend Laura who is flight crew from SFO and took it with her to England just for us! Isn’t this wild?  I think I see the Queen peeking out her window . . .

Yes!!! I guess I don’t have to tell you who this is!  This should make my dad very happy.  He’s been wanting our book to get into the hands of the Queen since the very beginning!  This photo came from the English Rose Tearoom, in Carefree Arizona, just down the road from where my dad lives.  I want to take my dad and his adorable wife Jeanie for Tea there when we get out to see them next month! 

And then there was this.  OK?  Has my cup runneth over?  Yes, it has.  As most of you know by now, this is our book on the rock wall overlooking Post Office Meadow in Near Sawrey, in the Lake District, with lovely evocative Castle Cottage in the background, where Beatrix Potter and her beloved husband William Heelis lived for thirty years. ♥ Taken by our Girlfriend Eli, who lives in the Lake District.  She got on a boat, crossed Lake Windemere to take our book to Near Sawrey. 

Eli makes darling knitted sheep too!  I had to show you!  Sheep!

And then we have the cat lovers . . . the animals who are happy to see Girl Kitty and Jack get a little bit of attention.  This is Jackie’s (she was in the photo with the Fine Romance Van at the Toadstool Bookshop) dog Bentley.  Black and White fur people are so decorative!!!  And go especially well with a red ribbon!

And then there’s Peaceable Kingdom right here, our Girlfriend Cathy’s two sweethearts, Poetry the cat and Gabriel, her dog.  They live the cozy life!

Tuckered out from “reading all night,” Maria’s pup is sound asleep.  Look at his soft flappy ears and his big beautiful paws.

Which reminds me, I wanted to show you what I brought home for Jack.  Oh he loved this.  Eyes big as saucers when I pulled it out of the bag.  All those rubber bands for MEEEEE????

Both he and Girl were so well cared for while we were away.  My friends Elizabeth and Cathy were here from California.  So the kitties were hugged to the point of thinking they were staying with four year olds! 🙂  Hugged, loved, well fed, kissed, petted, scratched, followed around, and generally messed with.  Jack was worn to the bone.  He even looked a bit jaded ~ something in the eyes.

But that doesn’t stop Elizabeth, she can’t help it, she adores Jack.  Here she is, informing him that she’s “coming in.”

Oh My God, he thinks, eyeing her madly, you are a MANIAC

Please Mother, take me a way from her!  She’s crazy!!  S A V E   M E !!!

But I don’t save him because I understand Elizabeth’s need.  When something is so precious it must expect to get hugged and kissed constantly.  Excuse me, I have to go attack him myself now!  The guy gets no rest.

Girl slept with Elizabeth every night (but is back next to me since we got home), and Jack slept with Cathy and everyone was happy.  ‘Cept me now, because early Saturday morning we go again, and this time, it will be for months.  The kitties will be loved (we have friends moving in here for the duration), but I will be lonely without them, and can already hardly wait to get home!

 To go means even more appreciation when we return.  Fall, crossing the USA is going to be wonderful!  Seeing our family and friends in California will be heaven!  Must take the bitter with the sweet ~ Ahhhhh, life is good. 

I think I have everything out of (Freudian slip) in control for us while we’re on the road.  Hair cut, ✔, Tea packed, ✔, Clothes Pole in Van so we can hang things up (Thank you Joe) ✔, twenty pounds lost since May ✔ (just thought I’d throw that in 🙂 ), house decorated for Autumn-ish-ness ✔, Storm windows figured out ✔, Dinner reservations made with friends next to water tonight ✔, three-month supply of cat food stored ✔, Litter box emptied, washed, bleached, rinsed, and refilled ✔ ~ Next year’s calendar covers are designed; quotes and Christmas art have been sent to YANKEE Magazine for our Holiday feature article; the second printing of A FINE ROMANCE will arrive at the end of October; more calendars are ordered (hopefully we won’t run out this year); soon Kellee will be putting up new FREE THINGS for Fall in our web store; cute ads are designed for TEATIME Magazine; any day now our engraved Glass Charms (Martha’s Vineyard, Girlfriends, and A Fine Romance!) will be at the studio; plus our cute Tea Tin is on the way, and my favorite lavender tea too. There are new Emma cups, including the Royal Baby Mug, and a new Emma Peter Rabbit design should be here any moment that is SO darling! Lots of fun things are coming for Autumn and the holidays.  It’s our own little world of sugar and spice and everything nice.  

We have Bookstore Events and Tea Parties planned (see EVENTS in the right-hand column of this Blog) although we had to stop making appointments after Wichita because we don’t have books, but we’ll gear back up as soon as they come in).  It’s only kitty kissing needs to be done now, and a whole lot of it. 

Ooops, Girlfriends,  Jack just dropped the ball behind me.  Gotta go.  Love you!  I’ll keep updating the blog as best I can on our trip . . .  I want you to see it all!  Have a wonderful day! 

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380 Responses to PACKING AGAIN!

  1. Martha says:

    Amazing moonrise pictures!! Looks like a beautiful spot in NH. Good luck with your book tour – safe travels!
    Martha from CT

  2. Maureen says:

    I am looking forward to when you come to the Chicago area.
    Your pictures of the places you stayed and the bookstores look so inviting.

  3. Kathy George says:

    Love your descriptions of your time in Meredith NH. That’s very similar to our overnight stay with the moon, hiking etc. All the while stating “cuz this is what Susan Branch would do.” You help us to take time to smell the flowers from our busy lives. Loved seeing you & Joe again, wonderful memories. I know you will love this next adventure and everyone is in for such a treat. Will be ordering the George mug for my Prince.

  4. Hugh says:

    Bon Voyage Susan!

    Thanks for including the Bliss Carmen poem today in your blog. Although he lived a large portion of his life in the US, we New Brunswick Canadians still claim him as one of our own. He was born and received his early education in Fredericton, N.B. Canada and hopefully schoolchildern here are still introduced to his literary work. Our friendly borders (most of the time) have allowed for many migrations back and forth over the past couple of hundred years. My own mother is celebrating her 80th birthday this week in her native Massachusetts! Have a wonderful and successful book tour!

  5. Kathy says:

    This is all so awesome, Susan! And, you so deserve it. For all your hard work on this beautiful book, for sharing that wonderful trip with all of us through your paintings and words, and mostly, for continuing to be so uplifting and bringing joy to so many with your wonderful blog. I hope you know how much you inspire others. Thank you!

  6. Jeanette says:

    Susan!!! What a fabulous post, as always!!! Thanks for a vicarious trip this morning all the way out east from my perch here in central IL!!
    I can’t wait to see you, again in Goshen, IN!!!!! I’m just busting at the seams, squealing with delight! I’m coming up with my niece who will be visiting from Florida, meeting a very dear friend (who I gifted your book too when I pre-ordered in February) who lives just a short jaunt away and we’ll be having an overnight visit and fun, fun, fun with you, you, you!!!
    I’m also at the ready to order some treats from the shop as soon as the tea, tins and the Peter Emma cup are in! They will be birthday treats for myself!
    When I first saw your photos from the book signing, I kept thinking to myself, “Susan’s face looks so thin, she looks so thin.” Now I know I’m not imagining it! You’ve lost 20 pounds!!!! Oh my greatness! How did you do it?!?
    I’ve gotten back on my lifestyle wagon too and feel so much better for it!
    Safe travels to you and Joe!!! See you sooooooooooonnn!!!!
    Much love,

  7. Carla says:

    Susan, I am wishing you and Joe a safe adventure and am looking forward to finally meeting you in Grand Rapids, MI!!! I loved this post, so much to devour,
    and congrats on the Jane Austen bookstore….soooo exciting!
    See you soon!

    • sbranch says:

      See you soon Carla!

    • Elly says:

      I just discovered I will have to drive a bit to come and see you. I had hoped you were going to be at the Schuler Book Store near my house, But no, they are having you signing books across town. Oh well, I still plan on coming!! I do not know her, but I will have to look for Carla when you come to Grand Rapids next week Saturday! I can’t believe how fast the summer has gone! I wonder how many girlfriends will be lining up with me, to meet you and for you to sign our books. Hopefully the weather will be more Fall like when you arrive here, though the weather people keep saying it will be hot. Hopefully they are wrong, now the children are returning to school after Labor Day.
      Wishing you & Joe a safe journey!

  8. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    Oh, Susan, it’s all just to wonderful! You certainly are getting the royal treatment as you visit all the adoring fans at the bookstores! We all are so excited to see you! (I can’t wait for the tea party in IL!) Love how you’re documenting every event with pics. That moon waiting for you at that gorgeous place in New Hampshire was such a gift! Praying for you for safe travels and over-the-moon experiences! xo…Karen P.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Karen — so glad you’re going to make it to the Tea Party … I think it’s going to be fun. Did you look at that Country Club where they’re having it? How wonderful!

  9. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Hi Susan~
    Thanks for sharing your road trip with us Girlfriends!~ New England is so pretty!~ Please leave some room again in the suitcase for us ;)!

  10. Mary in Phoenix says:

    Looking forward to having you out west 🙂 Safe journeys across this beautiful land!
    May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand. ~Old Irish Blessing

  11. Terri (in Richmond, Va) says:

    What a wonderful, blissful, busy, exciting, Autumn-is-on-its-way, time you are having! Safe journey!

  12. Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

    Dearest Sue and all the Girlfriends,
    Such a great post from you–thanks for all the great news! I love the reddish leaves. I, too, have felt fall in the air. The mornings and evenings are cool–sweater weather! But the days are still hot. It’s raining right now and Baby Button is curled up somewhere (nice and dry), thinking he is the luckiest kitty in the world!

    But then there are Jack and Girl–looking so sweet! Oh, my, I’ve been missing pictures of Jack, but these more than make up for it!! He is definitely squeezable and kissable!!

    Thank you for taking us along on your book tour. What a lovely little deck and what a neat adventure you are on! I am so excited for everyone who is making connections with you and with each other. But I have to admit it is so HARD to wait until (hopefully) it is my turn!

    My heart has expanded til its almost ready to burst over being so proud of our dear GF–(you!!)–and now our book in Jane Austen’s gift shop!!!!!!!!! I am so crazy with excitement! Somehow, I know if Jane were still alive, she would be ordering a copy too. Oh, ditto, for Beatrix Potter! They would be GFs too–I am sure of it! I just received my copy of Beatrix Potter by Linda Lear. I can’t wait to start it.

    One more thing–you look A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. in all of your pictures. (Good job looking weight.) Love ya! Linda

  13. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Love those little sheep!!! And…Poetry the cat! So pretty. The look on Jack’s face is priceless. Just like the look on my Grand-kitties face when I visit AZ. Brave woman to hike in a skirt. Congratulations on the 20!! I love Autumn too, and I am trying to hold out on the decorating while I am starting pre-Fall cleaning.
    Have fun on the road again!

  14. Elaine says:

    Wonderful post and photos ! I love the dogs reading your book soo cute ! Thanks for sharing . The areas you are in are beautiful ! Have a great week !

  15. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    Susan – many congratulations for the amazing response that this terrific book has received! You certainly deserve it! The book is a treat – you just keep giving us more to treasure!
    Safe travels!! 😉

  16. Janice says:

    It is so fun to go adventuring with you!

  17. How lovely, absolutely lovely. The full moon over Lake Winnipasaukee was stunning. So glad they treated you so well. And Jane Austen’s bookshop…!! How exciting. Safe travels and we will be following along. Sending our best greetings from Vermont on Tasha Tudor’s Birthday! ~Natalie and the Tasha Tudor Family

  18. Betsy says:

    All your news is just too wonderful! I love reading your blog so much, it makes my day. All your hard work on the book and now you get to see all the pleasure it brings all of us. Have a safe journey, keep us posted where you are. And as usual… girls are traveling right along with you. xoxox

  19. Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

    Susan, what a wonderful start! Your book signings in New England looked like so much fun. Thank you for sharing all of the memories. Now the Midwestern Girlfriends are waiting! Just two weeks until the Fine Romance van brings you and Joe to Chicagoland. We can’t wait to celebrate with you both!! I’m feeling so fortunate that I will meet you at Anderson’s Bookshop AND at the Tea Party!!!! It’s a dream come true for me! Last weekend, we took a drive to find the Country Club. It’s so beautiful ~ just perfect for a Girlfriends’ Tea Party! What could be sweeter than so many “old friends” meeting for the very first time!
    Safe travels, Susan & Joe! See you soon!

  20. Rachel says:

    Have a wonderful trip Susan! I shall look forward to your road reports 🙂
    And I might, just might, get around to making the sticky toffee pudding soon (I actually got everything for it 😉 )

  21. Jack says:

    Great blog …. like what we used to call an “All day sucker” …. it has to last a while. As to that picture of those ladies from the Toadstools … I was intrigued how much the manager in the middle, reminded me of my mother ….
    That Tea Shop you mentioned is like 100 miles from here — that will be a 200 mile round trip for Tea … I’m not sure you AND Joe will want to drive all that distance after covering the 3-plus thousand miles it takes to get here. WE COULD SETTLE FOR ROOT BEER FLOATS OUT ON THE DECK! You know, gas will probably be $18.00 a gallon by then too. Anyway have yourselves a fantastic USA crossing. It won’t be the QE2 but can be another pretty good diary — score your events. Dad

    • sbranch says:

      Mmmmm, Root Beer Floats sound mighty good right now! xoxo Love you Dad.

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        Root Beer Floats on the deck!!! I like your dad even more than ever!!! Does he make them for your girlfriends??? 🙂

    • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Jack, I have to laugh at the $18.00 a gallon gas. Every year when Jim and I take a road trip….and we are headed for Ohio to meet up with your daughter in Hudson, Ohio, gas takes a severe hike….so I apologize up front…this hike rests on Jim and I!!!
      Hopefully my son will have rootbeer floats waiting on the patio….I prefer Barrelhead or IBC rootbeer in a pinch!

    • Mary in Phoenix says:

      Now Jack … Carefree is only 90 miles from Cottonwood. That saves you 20 miles round trip! You get to travel on the Carefree Highway … yes, the same one that’s in the Gordon Lightfoot song … and have tea in a charming shop among the huge boulders of Carefree, AZ. Have you ever been there? Quite a lovely town. And just think of the great photo op with the Queen! From the looks of it she is quite happy and propped up at the English Rose. Seems like a much shorter trip than one across the pond … and synonymous with the street name the tea shop is on … Easy Street 🙂 P.S. A gallon of gas is cheaper than a gallon of Gatorade!

  22. The loon musica fits the misting rain outside my window mood, but I’m as giddy as rays of sunlight glinting off a wind chime of prisms! I was already loving your post about the delightful time in New Hampshire and Massachusetts with the beautiful photographs and your lovely illustrated poem by Bliss Carman, so to find you included my two sweethearts, Poetry & Gabriel, in your post was more than I could handle calmly. 🙂 I’m so glad Jack and Girl will have people who love them caring for them….I know how you must feel when you have to leave them. 🙁 But I know, too, you will be loved across the country, literally, with the added bonus of seeing your mom and dad. Have a wonderful, safe trip! I’ll be back under the clothes hanging on the rod. I’ll try not to wrinkle anything.

    • Now that I have my wits about me once again I wanted to congratulate you on your weight loss. Twenty pounds is quite a feat in such a short time. Your stick-to-it-ness is evident in all you do (even though I’ve heard you say in the past it isn’t…..just wanted to prove you wrong by pointing this out!)

      It sounds like your time in NH was the get-away your Dad had hoped for you….and it did have something to do with water and islands!

      Not-your-Dad-Jack does look overwhelmed by Elizabeth’s attentions! Ha, ha, ha. He’s probably used to being in charge and doesn’t know how to deal with being the one in subjection!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you, LOL Cathy! Hug Poetry and Garbiel for me!

  23. Lina says:

    Lovely, lovely, LOVELY! I’m waiting patiently here on the California Central Coast for November 10th at the Madonna Inn. I’m excited to hear about your cross-country travels…something I’ve always wanted to do (and will do, my husband says!). I remember you sharing (in one of your books or maybe here on the blog?) that you and Joe have traveled across the U.S. by train before. I am fascinated by that…I just took my first train ride *ever*–the Pacific Surfliner, from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and I loved it so much. So I’m thinking that my husband and I should do our trip across the U.S. by train, one way at least. And then road trip by car for the return trip (maybe Highway 50?). I’ve said it before Susan…you have been such an inspiration to me in your enthusiasm for life, your ability to see the beauty all around you, wherever you are. Thank you for making the world a more beautiful place! And congratulations on your weight loss! Way to go, girl! I’m working on that myself, it’s hard. More exercise, less food…just discipline, no magic.

  24. Deb OBrien says:

    Ah! Blissful Autumn~yes it is in the very air over Wales today too! I sometimes fear I do go on a fair bit about Autumn, but now I know I’m not alone in my peculiarity for this season. I long for that ‘certain feeling’ that only a perfect Autumn day can bring to my heart.

    What wonderful photographs of the book signings that you keep giving us! Why, even Her Royal Highness is a fan! Oh, to be in one of the little bookshops that are such a delight on the eye {as well as the nose, for nothing compares to the smell of a book, be it brand spanking new, or an ancient and weighty tome; and the ear too, with the gentle rustle of pages turning, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, in perfect harmony with time; can you taste a book? maybe you can? and the feel of a book in the hands} Well, didn’t I get a tad carried away, but what I’m saying is that books, proper, real books appeal to, and satisfy *all* the senses~~as does the little Autumn crumble filling my kitchen and cottage with it’s fragrant aromas of baking (home grown and picked) blackberries, apples, and topping!

    I have blogged about your wonderful book! I hope you do not mind. I fear my words can not do justice, but I did my best! Still struggling to use the old laptop, but ’tis better than nothing.

    ‘swonderful to see all the happy, smiling Girlfriends! Oh, and how wonderful for them that they will come away with new made friends from the queues while waiting.

    Waving from Across The Pond
    Deb xoxo
    p.s. Happy Birthday Anniversary to our dear Tasha Tudor! <3

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Deb, I think I recently subscribed to your blog “A Garden In The Shire”… it, by the way. Have cousins just outside of Wrexham so thought of them when I subscribed. Hope I’m correct about the blog. Don’t you just love Susan’s blog and book? She has such a generous heart to share with all of her “friends”.

  25. Trish K says:

    Why does this blog always make me tear up?

  26. Martha Ellen of VA says:

    As my nanny used to say–“Ain’t life grand!” So much joy and anticipation in your world. Thanks for all the happiness you spread my way. I especially like the picture of the Queen and “A Fine Romance”—I think she seems to have three hands though–LOL–Seriously, she would love your book–As I’ve said before, you are would be a great Ambassador for England! xoxo ♥

  27. Nellie says:

    Now – I am ready to go to New Hampshire!:-) Your time there sounds amazing!

    I am loving the cooler mornings here, though our daily high temperatures are to be in the high eighties still, maybe even warmer.

    It is wonderful news about the book! I am continuing to read it with my husband, and he is definitely enjoying it! Perhaps it will convince him to plan for a “crossing” for us!:-)

    I wish you a safe journey as you head out across the country, and will look forward to your updates whenever you are able to make them!

    xo Nellie

  28. jane zamudio says:

    This entry was sooo cute Sue! The picture of the Queen! Also Jacks eyes in his pictures are so adorable.i laughed out loud! I wish you many happy miles to California..wish I could be there.Can I say it? Meeting you is on my “bucket list”. Hopefully you can come to Seattle sometime for a signing. Safe travels to you and Joe!!

  29. Michele says:

    Oh, Susan, it looks like so much fun! (the picture with the Queen, really ‘got’ me :0)

    The ‘Hubby’ informed me yesterday, that he was going to try and get tickets to the tea and book signing in IL for us for a “make-up” birthday present!!!!! (I got two beautiful little bleeding hearts for my birthday from him and our “fur-baby”, but the poor little plants didn’t make it :0( BUT, I think if we get to come and have tea and meet you (and Joe :0) ~ it TOTALLY might take away the tears shed for my little plants!!!) I am SOOOOO hoping it works out!

    hugs and kisses to the kitties from me (if you can fit them in with all the ones you’ll be giving them :0)

  30. Debbie P ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    Dear Sue ~

    Now I think I need to go to NH and see that beautiful lake for myself! There’s just so much beauty in our New England, isn’t there? I’m so happy that you’ve been welcomed and your book so well-received wherever you go…you deserve this …and more.

    We recently returned from Cape Cod and our 37th anniversary time away. It was all so dreamy…the Cape is our favorite spot on earth (beside our own backyard) and we made such happy memories: staying in Sandwich for the first time…such a lovely little town and such nice, nice people! We actually spoke to the owner of that beautiful blue house with the gingerbread trim that you featured in your last post…he was outside, working in the yard. George and I fell in love with that house instantly! The gardens at the Dan’l Webster Inn were spectacular, the shops…especially the Brown Jug…were filled with such friendly people! Our first afternoon there, we sat in their little garden/patio area and listened to beautiful guitar music while sipping cold wine and nibbling on one of their delicious tapas platters. It was the perfect welcome to Sandwich.
    And then, to meet you and Joe…what a privilege and a treat that was! I have to laugh….when I pulled the name tags out of our suitcase, George just rolled his eyes and said, “I don’t think I’ll be wearing that.” So I proudly donned my name tag and off we went together. I had been reading your book out loud to George as we drove around to all our favorite little spots on the Cape so he wouldn’t be completely in the dark at the signing. Well, I can tell you now that you have a new follower! He really enjoyed meeting you and had a very warm conversation with Joe. It was a lot of fun for both of us.

    As we ate our way across the Cape, soothing our souls on the Chatham Beach and falling in love all over again under that full moon, we talked about how we’ll never forget this trip and how happy we were. Now that we’re back to reality, we’ll hold on to that memory and smile….and YOU will always be a part of that.

    Wishing you safe travels, you happy memory-making girlfriend!


  31. Diana from ancaster says:

    I am so enjoying reading of your travels through NH as well as celebrating your success. My copy of “A Fine Romance” is soon to arrive!

  32. debbie says:

    I just made my “reservations” to see you on September 3rd in O-H-I-O!!! I can hardly wait!!! Your pictures of New Hampshire make me want to pack my bags and go on vacation!! How perfectly wonderful!! Congratulations on being a part of Jane Austen’s world 🙂 xoxo See you soon!!

  33. NANCY JO says:

    hI sUSAN
    Nice post, well you know they all are. tHOUGHT THAT REALLY WAS THE QUEEN! But I looked at it several more times and figured it out. Some times I’m not to smart. So Happy that the books are flying out of the stores and you need to order more. I have read mine twice. WOW!!! 20 Pounds, that is really something. That amounts to 20, 1 pound packs of butter. Or two ten pound bags of potatoes. Just thought I would point that out. Have a great trip, I will be watching for your next post.
    Nancy Jo

  34. Lisa R (northern Az) says:

    Susan…..Your book tour is so wonderfully exciting!! I am so thrilled for you, and for all of us! Thanks for sharing the adventure. Love all the pictures of your well traveled book. Since you will be stopping by to see your dad, just wondering if you will be at any Arizona book stores??

    • sbranch says:

      We won’t have books by then! Isn’t that awful? We are glad we sold out, we think, but can’t decide whether the proper emoticon for our feeling would be smiling or frowning!

      • Lisa R (northern Az) says:

        You should definitely be smiling, big time! So happy for the success of this wonderful book you put so much love and time into. I will miss seeing you this time, but maybe in the near future. Have a wonderful trip, time with Dad, and many road trip surprises and fun along the way!!

  35. Janie Phillips says:

    A Fine Romance will be perfect in the Jane Austen Gift Shop — Congratulations, Sue!!! xoxo

  36. Chris says:

    Oh my gosh……this blog post was terrific! England book sales. What more could you ask? I’m so glad you enjoyed Church Landing – Jodie is my sister 🙂 and she’s the nicest hostess in all of New England. When I read that you were going to be at Mill Falls I wrote to her right away and she sent me your autographed book. Thank you so much. I keep watching to see if there will be a tea party here Orlando next year so you can double sign it for me….! You’ve made me long for home and NH but my heart of the home is here now and I couldn’t possibly leave without him.

    Have a wonderful trip….hugs ‘n’ kisses to Girl and Jack (and Joe).

    • sbranch says:

      Jodie is your sister!!! She was a doll — then that makes you the “reason” — we heard that “Jodie’s sister was the “one” when I signed the book for you — and Chris, that was just TOO MUCH. We about keeled over. Thank you a thousand times for the kind words. You made us feel so special. We send Jodie flowers yesterday. xoxo

  37. Cathy McC. says:

    Oh, you got it all — the moon, the radiant flowers, touches of fall, the girlfriends, meadow views. But, my, those onion rings stole the show! Thanks for sharing. Glad you are having fun — see you in the Chicago suburbs (and will watch for the van en route). Ethel

    • Cathy McC. says:

      Thanks, too, for the wonderfully haunting loon sounds. Keep going back to the blog to reread and relisten — grew up in MN and the loon’s call was a favorite. Each spring and fall we have a few visiting loons by our cottage in southern MI, but they don’t stay for long. Wonderful memory lane via your blog.

      • judy says:

        I know this is “out of season” but how can I go back to the photo shoot of the pics for the Yankee mag.–would love to see them again! thanks…Judy in Nashville

        • sbranch says:

          Maybe Google me and Yankee Shoot and see what comes up.

        • Tawni urrutia says:

          Hi Judy!
          If you click on the little pic of the Yankee Mag ad on the margine when your reading Susan’s blog…it will show some pics of the photo shoot! I think if you google Susan Branch Yankee photo shoot..the old blog with all the pics will be available to you!
          Have a wonderful Labor Day Judy!
          Tawni Urrutiain Lodi, Ca

          • Tawni urrutia says:

            Oooh Judy, I’m so lame!! Ha! I not only gave you bad info…you can’t click on the Yankee image to get pics(but do google Susan Branch Yankee magazine shoot, the entire bolg will come up…so GORGEOUS!) but I also added a whole bunch of extra letters to my already long and crazy last name…I scare myself!!
            Tawni Urrutia, whew, that’s more like it!!

  38. I can see why the book sold out Susan…it is just lovely. I doubt I will ever get to England but I can visit with you and Joe!! I could read it over and over (and I probably will!!) I think it will reside on my bedside table instead of on my bookshelf.

  39. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Jane Austen Gift Shop – perfection. Congratulations. You must be thrilled. Jack is
    so-o-o loved and so-o-o cute. Girl just keeps on being regal. Loved Queen Elizabeth with your book. Have a wonderful tour across the country meeting blog friends, visiting family and making memories. Safe trip and safe home again.

  40. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!!!!! my cheeks actually ache from smiling….that’s just the best post..I have to say I love it all but those pictures on the rock fence…well…. teary-eyed happiness for you and all of us!!! The Queen just cracked me up……you’ve got friends in HIGH places!!!!!! Life is good is an under-statement!! Thank you for sharing that signing trip with us…. it is wonderful to see you and the Girlfriends… I have come to the conclusion that this blog and all that comes with it is one of the happiest places on earth!!!!! :-)) xoxox love, cindy

  41. Jane F. says:

    Oh Susan! What great photos of Winnipesaukee!! And the LOONS!!! Oh, I’m homesick!! (In a good way!!) Thank you soooo much. I love all the book sightings on both sides of the pond! Love the “third” hand on the Queen! 🙂 Sounds like you are ready to roll! We are thrilled that you are having such a great reception everywhere you go! We’ll see you soon . . . somewhere!! Safe travels!! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Oh you have a good eye. I thought that one hand looked a little funny, but didn’t notice there were two others! I thought this was a lookalike, but something tells me she might just be the real (ish) thing!

      • Jane F. says:

        It looks like someone is crouched behind her (a cut out maybe?) holding the book! So funny! and so clever!! 🙂

  42. Ann says:

    First of all congratulations on losing 20 pounds! I know how hard that is and wish you luck on the road. I got teary when I read about the book being sold at Jane Austen museum shop. So happy for you! I know NH well and loved seeing your pics. I grew up in MA but my parents moved to NH when my Dad retired about the same time I married my Army guy and moved away from home forever. Your life is such a whirlwind right now; thanks for taking us all along on the wonderful ride. Enjoy the big trip!

  43. Debbie P ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    Oh, and one more thing….Congratulations on the 20# weight loss! That’s awesome…and you look great! Adorable, in fact!

  44. Judy in CA says:

    Susan, you just might have to write a book for your journey across the country… perhaps “A Fine AMERICAN Romance.” You’re making me fall in love with OUR country all over again!!

  45. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Dear “Imaginary Friend,” this post is so filled with wonderfulness that I had to refill my Emma mug to savor all of it. I loved seeing your gorgeous hotel on the lake and all the happiness at the book signings. AFR seems to be, at this point, a sort of pinnacle of your writing and girlfriend career. I love it! As always, thank you for sharing your joy, which continues to multiply and spread over all of us. Jack is so funny!!

  46. Noël Holly says:

    Your posts always give me a *happy sigh* … to hear about all your travels as you venture forth on the book signing tour. And of course- love, love, LOVE A Fine Romance!! Hope that there will be somewhere in Southern Cali that you come to ( once you have more books! )! Safe travels!

  47. Rita Baker says:

    I hope to be seeing you next month when you visit Downer’s Grove, IL. Love your photos – makes me want to come back to New England so bad! I loved visiting Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard this summer – you are so lucky to live there. Please keep those beautiful photos coming!

  48. pat addison ( cave junction,OR) says:

    hello Susan welcome back and good morning girlfriends. lovely trip, and so much to see, I just love New England especially when the Fall comes, so beautiful. but then Fall here is also very beautiful and I can’t wait for Fall to arrive. how wonderful that jack got some new rubber bands to chase around, I will bet his eyes got as big as saucers when he saw them. my kitties are busy chasing a mouse around the front porch, it pops up every morning by the sliding glass door and just torments the cats, I think he knows the cats can’t get at him so he teases them. the lawn mower brigade has chugged down the road, and I expect the tractors will be coming around soon, fresh donuts at the heavenly coffee stand this morning…LOL!!! have a safe trip and look forward to seeing your adventures, have loads of fun. off to go feed the barnyard crowd, then get busy on the fall cleaning. do you plan to hit Medford, OR on this tour??? hugs…… 🙂

  49. Barbara S. says:

    Have a wonderful and safe book tour, Susan and Joe. I do hope you make it to the Atlanta-Marietta area. I’ll be following your posts and rereading them as always.
    Hugs from Barbara Stillman, Cumming GA

  50. Anna says:

    OMG!!! I really thought that was the QUEEN! My mouth actually dropped!! hahahhahahahaha I’m still laughing!!!

  51. Cindy says:

    Hi Susan,
    I am so happy that the book is in the Jane Austen bookstore! Congratulations! I loved every minute of reading A Fine Romance and was surprised to find the Poppy from Joe for all the blog girlfriends. That was so sweet. Have a safe trip. I will be following the blog to be in on the adventure. Thank you for including us.
    Cindy (Charleston, SC)

  52. Becky in the mountains of West Virginia says:

    Thanks for showing us your homes and surroundings and people on your book signing tour. Love, love, love your new book. I had to wait until I finished my library book. I knew once I opened yours there would be no going back. I can you hold all of the excitement?

  53. Susan, what can I say about this post other than LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! So excited for you and your upcoming journal across the U.S. Absolutely drooled over all the pictures of New Hampshire and that wonderful place you stayed in. And of course, the autumn poem, and leaf pictures… *SWOON* You make my love for autumn so much deeper! There is so much to look forward to!

  54. mary kathryn says:

    Oh, Susan — I glanced over at your events, the list of bookstores/book signings. When will you come to the South? I began to play your “musica” for today, and my daughter (who’s homeschooled) sighed and asked, “Can we paint today?” She’s 14. So we pulled out the watercolors, lit a cider candle, listened to your musica (four times through!) and painted contentedly. We each included an autumn poem in our work. Just thought you’d like to know. She loves to paint; I’m a beginner, but I find it soothing. Blessings on your travels! May you bring joy to many!

  55. mary kathryn says:

    Oh, I forgot … do wish you could post the pattern for knitting those adorable sheep of Eli’s! So cute on the rock wall.

  56. Dear Susan,
    What a juicy and fun entry. Much to sink our teeth into. New places to go…I bet those hotels you stayed in get lots of calls. How great the book sales are going. Look at how many people you have touched.
    Your cup certainly has runneth over. Jane Austin and on the wall near Beatrix!! Marvelous. Adore those little sheep.
    20 pounds? I am pea green! Good for you.
    Hope you will get a chance to check out The Peter Rabbit Tea I gave my grandchildren in July. Looks like something right up your alley.
    xo Ruthie (Can’t wait for the new tea tin :))

  57. Loris Mills says:

    The pictures of New Hampshire are beautiful…makes me want to go there again 🙂 I have a loon (‘make believe’ that I bought there so I can listen and pretend)
    Please thank Jack and Girl for sharing you with us. I do know what a big deal that is! They are so courageous to do it! I look forward to seeing you in November when you come to my neighborhood ( or close to it…I live in Cambria 🙂 If you would like to come for tea, I have some delicious English Breakfast and two kitties to well as two dogs to glom onto you! We have a lovely park/ranch for long enchanting walks by the ocean too!
    Safe and happy travels!

  58. Glenda says:


    Thanks so much for sharing everything in this blog. Just loved it all! My husband and I have been looking for an “On Golden Pond” cabin for a month, but nothing like it in CO. Your photos were so special to me of your trip and book signings. I am so happy for you that your book will be in the very book store in England that you visited and loved. I have been an admirer of yours from your first book and continue to love everything you do. So happy also for you that A Fine Romance is a success! You always make us “girlfriends” feel special and you are so darling! Thank you.

  59. Mary says:

    Love, love, love…..and I can hardly wait to meet you at Anderson’s Book Store in Illinois!!! So very excited!!!! Safe travels!!!

  60. Deb from Dixie says:

    Life is coming full circle…..all the good mojo you have put out there, is coming back to you in ways…that are unimagined! I had happy chills, reading about AFR being in Jane Austens gift shop….and seeing our book traveling to spots around the world. Heartwarming and endearing, just a bit of wonderfullness.

    I see the joy you experience in everything around you. You do not make traveling just about going to the book signing, instead you and Joe make it an adventure, develing into each town, absorbing the beauty…walking the paths, climbing the trails, dreaming on the moon, listening to the lake lap the shoreline. Soaking in life…..treasuring the simple things.
    It is a good lesson for me, that when the challenges in life loom; not to go so fast that I miss what is right in front of me…….take off the blinders and be more observant. Enjoying each small moment, that’s what feeds the soul.

    Good luck with the packing…..Give those cute kitties a few months worth of hugs….and then it’s “Happy Trails”……off in the cutest SUV on the road…the AFR adventure continues……..thanks for taking us all along and always inspiring us to shine brightly!
    ♥ ♥ ♥

  61. Deb A. says:

    Will you be selling your favorite tea at your signing when you are SLO in November? It would be great if you did.

    Four of us are meeting for the weekend of your book signing and are making a fun trip out of it. Even though our train leaves at 1:55 on Sunday, hoping that we can be 1st in line to see you. We may be running to the train to get home!

  62. vivian says:

    Dear Susan, a most joyous visit I had today from you trip, I was in need of a ‘get away’; as always, Thanks so much, and I look forward to another. Till next time,
    In Joy,
    p.s. I ordered my book today too. “) Happy Me.

  63. Hello Susan,
    How excited you must be to have the Jane Austen book shop asking to carry your book!!!! I am not surprised at all. I gave my mom her book for her 79th birthday and she loved it, memories of her and my dads trip to England many years ago. I have to say those handmade sheep are adorable and would make a nice addition to your gift shop…hint…hint…hint. I am trying as hard as I can to get one of the days off you will be in Ohio, I work in an extremely busy hospital and my only hope is that I can find someone to switch shifts with me. I will be oh so sad if I cannot meet you and Joe. Safe travels across the country and I hope I will be able to meet you in person, I really want my Autumn book autographed!!!
    Kathy in New Albany, Ohio

  64. Marcy says:

    I dearly LOVE your new book!!!!! Everything about it is SUPERB!!!!! Getting all my friends one for Christmas. You really are helping my Hubby and I plan a trip. THANK you!! Marcy. PS. Love the little Westie dog in the picture today. We have had Westies for 40 yrs. Love them.

    • sbranch says:

      I will try Marcy! Thank you so much! Westies are so adorable!

    • Thank you Marcy! That’s MY Westie….or should I say, I’m HIS. He’s pretty territorial and stubborn, but a wonderful companion. I did manage to get him somewhat trained when he was yet a puppy. He’ll ring the bell when he has to go out, sits, lies down, and knows how to ask properly when he wants something (he gets down and waits). They’re great dogs! And he gets along with my cat wonderfully even though she came as an adult a year after we got him. There are Westie Rescue organizations throughout the country for anyone who wants to give one a good home!

  65. Asha says:

    Hi Susan! Can’t even begin to tell you what a thrill is was to meet you! We met in Meredith and I see me standing in line in one of the pics! Still hard to believe I met and hugged Susan Branch! It was the best! My husband had a great chat with Joe! Loved this blog! Congrats on 20lbs! You have inspired me once again – this time to keep up with a more healthy diet! Love you Susan Branch! oxoxox Safe travels to you and Joe!

  66. Pom Pom says:

    Aw! Thank you for taking the time to deliver such a happy post! I love the photos of your “digs” in New England. Don’t you adore On Golden Pond? I watch it over and over and over. I have a passion for cabins.
    Yay for the success of the book! It really is precious, smart, and beautiful!
    (BIG HUG!)

  67. Kay - North Central Texas says:

    How happy I am for you! You put your heart and soul into A Fine Romance and you deserve every compliment. Come on 3rd printing!

    As I read your post I had tears in my eyes from being so thrilled for you, but then I had to laugh too at Jack being squished and the idea of a new supply of rubber bands…

    Enjoy every minute!

  68. Wendy Louise says:

    What a Blog ! I had so much fun reading about everything, I forgot that I had two puppies that needed to go out ! ……………………….Oh good , no accidents, they are getting so good ! I really thought that was the Queen, it really had me for quite a while. I bet if someone shows her the book or maybe sends her one for a present, maybe she’ll pose for a real picture! That would be fantastic! I think it would be great publicity for Jolly ‘Ole England don’t you ? If you haven’t done enough in that department already !
    Here’s to a wonderful trip, safe travels, loving hearts every where, happy reunions with all your loved ones and back HOME to MV where you belong in front of a romantic fire with Joe, Jack, and Girl Kitty. oxoxox
    P.S. Wonder if there will be SNOW when you return, Farmers Almanac says a cold snowy one this year! 😉

  69. Faith rose says:

    I am so excited for you ! I feel like I should start packing too ! Its crazy that fall is almost here and this post just put me in the fall mood [ thank you!]! Although we just got our July heat in August! Say hello to the kitties for me! Thank you for up dating the blog when you can , your so sweet and I’m soo happy for you!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for being understanding about the slow updating! Hopefully I’ll get better once I don’t have so much to do! Thank you Faith Rose!

  70. Julie Marie says:

    Oh Susan… why do I get sooo emotional reading your posts?… do you get emotional writing them?… I don’t know where to begin commenting… loved seeing all of your photos, book signings, girlfriends, your book all over the world… all the critters reading your book (they must have seen Tessy’s photo on your last post and that she gave it “five licks”!)… soo happy for you having your book in the Jane Austen gift shop… wow!… I have goosebumps… I want to tell you how pretty you look sitting in the woods on your walk… it looks so soothing there… cannot wait for the special beads, tea tin and all… and a Peter Rabbit Emma mug… yikes!… love seeing the kitties too… l love them!… so much more to say… but will close for now… and go back and look at it all again… much love to you, Joe and the kitties, xoxo Julie Marie (why do I cry like this… must be happy tears???)…

  71. Christine says:

    Happy to hear you have someone giving so much love yo your kitty’s while your gone! Don’t know how you do it I missed mine so much when I just went away for 4 days! I am also a Kitty kisser and smuggler weather they want it or not. Lol Congrats on your book at the Jane Austin shop wow what a privilege! You have arrived! Have a wonderful trip with lots of side trips and exploring have fun see you in Grand Rapids /MI.

  72. Stacey Duncan says:

    I just signed up to see you in KC in a couple of weeks – SO excited 🙂 (hope it’s not 150 degrees and you can enjoy the city a bit…)

  73. Barb from Ohio says:

    Oh, Susan, I love the pictures from your book signing adventures so far; the places you stayed and the bookstores full of friendly, happy anxious people waiting to meet you! The deck of your little cabin on lake Winnipesaukee with the full moon on the lake with the cozy look of your cabin through the window must have been almost perfect. The one with the Queen stumped me for a moment, I thought it was real until I noticed she appeared to have her hands clasped together and the ‘third’ hand was holding the book. Must be one of those life size freestanding cardboard cutouts. It’s such a treat to us that you are documenting all of this as you go and taking us along. Hope you have safe travels and I will be looking forward to meeting you next week in Hudson.

  74. Kim DeMichele says:

    Dear Susan, I loved your book and can’t wait to see you when you come to Wilmington, OH!!! I am counting the days!!! Safe travels and see you in the “Buckeye State”!!! Fondly, Kim D., Dublin, OH

  75. Harmony says:

    Have you noticed you’re now at #1 on Amazon’s Great Britain travel guides?
    Step aside Rick Steves, Fodor, Lonely Planet and the like. Proves how many readers prefer the personal & creative touch: A warmer, more artistic, literary, and clearly UN-lonely travel guide!

  76. mari1017 says:

    Thanks, Susan, for the new jam-packed with goodies, colorful, leading into Autumn post ♥ I love it all!!! When I was young, my family vacationed in either Meredith or Sunapee NH (alternated) every summer – have many good memories and pictures! It was wonderful “seeing” the area again through your eyes. Do you know the magic of books? I still remember the books I purchased the summers I was up there and have many of them still. We also used to go to the Dorr Woolen Mill for our yearly supply of rug hooking supplies 🙂 Just a beautiful area!
    Leaving our furry friends is always difficult, but your work, admirers and family ♥ await you as does another very cool journey for you and Joe – they will welcome you back, no doubt about it. Thanks again for including us!!! Happy trails! ♥♥♥

  77. Judy Dow says:

    Loved the new blog. So much fun to hear details about places to put on our must visit list. I am heading to Seattle next week to visit a high school friend. I’m taking her the book and know she will love it. We will go to Butchart Gardens in Canada and have high tea! I’ve never had high tea before but of course it made me think of you! And two days after I return I will be having tea with you in Illinois. Retirement is a great thing! I’m sure you will miss your kitties, but you will have such a great trip and give them lots of love when you get home. Too bad you couldn’t bring them to Illinois. Ethel n I would have loved to love them for 3months, and you could have picked them up on your way back home. Safe travels! Love, lucy

  78. Barbara F. says:

    Oh Susan, you always share the prettiest places and spaces with us. Great photos, love the autumn poem as I am an autumn girl. Please try to squeeze in a book signing in NY/NJ/PA. I will drive to come see you! xo

  79. Stephanie says:

    I just spent 20 minutes on the hotel on Lake Winniepesaukee (however it’s spelled) website and just found my next vacation spot… heaven. Thanks for sharing. I think Jimmy Fallon just told a story on his show about how he and his wife named their new daughter (they just had a baby) Winnie Rose because they got engaged on Lake Winniepesaukee in NH and they go there with his wife’s family or something (I’m going from memory here…). Sweet. I seem to remember him sharing a picture of him proposing on one of those docks.

    Jack looks like how my nephews look when I scrunch them and kiss their faces!

    I can’t believe you are missing autumn on MV – but nice that you will get to see your family. Can’t wait to share it all. Are we all squeezing in the suitcases like we did when you went to England? Joe! Make room in the (rockin’) van for us!

    Loving the pics from around the world. Finally. A flat-Stanley I can get behind!

    • sbranch says:

      I have spelled that word wrong constantly and must google it almost every single time!!! What a word! The Lake is heaven! We’re definitely going back, no matter how it’s spelled!

      Yes we are all squeezing in … not quite as bad because the van is pretty big!

  80. Nettie says:

    Susan………as always the photos are great! Thanks for including us in your trip……we live vicariously. I must say that when I saw the full page ad for THE book in the latest Victoria mag I considered it a treasure in and of itself. I am so loving reading of your great adventure and will buy several more of the books for friends.


  81. Jack says:

    I always thought bookstores were haunted — now you have proven it — I can see that ghostly hand holding your book in front of Her Royal Highness!

  82. Pam G says:

    have a fabulous trip across our beautiful country. Your book sits right by my bed to be read and savored nightly and very slowly…….it sure has brought more blessings to you (and others) than we ever all could imagine! Will you be back for Christmas?

  83. Mrs.T says:

    Oh! If I had only been paying attention to where you would be in New Hampshire! I figured the Toadstool Bookshop and maybe somewhere like Portsmouth. I never, ever would have guessed you would be at the Innisfree Bookshop in Meredith. About 25 minutes from my house!

    And yes, isn’t Meredith the most beautiful lakeside town imaginable? We like to go there, sometimes out for breakfast at Waterfall Cafe or George’s Diner, and then walk around the lakefront on those little paths and boardwalks.

  84. Vickie in Olympia says:

    Oh, how much I love traveling with you! I was bent over the computer slowly reading this entry (to make it last, you know ) 🙂 when my husband came in to ask a question. I was so intent he apologized for interrupting my time with my girlfriends. LOL Congratulations (such an inadequate word for such a momentous achievement) on being asked to sell THE BOOK at the Jane Austen gift shop. My heart swells for you. What a thrill for me to see Jackie’s Bentley reading. Nothing warms me up like black and white Springer Spaniels. There are two wrapped around my feet now.
    Thank you for keeping us posted. Bon Voyage!

  85. Brenda Caldwell says:

    Oh Susan, I would love to come to one of your book signings! Maybe…Sighhhhh (wishful thinking) you will venture south enough for that to happen. Thanks for the recipes, the sound delicious!

  86. Danella says:

    Dear Susan, Once again a delightful post! Thank you for taking us along with you as you go. Love that you are being so well received everywhere. What’s not to love! Beautiful pictures! Glad your trip went well…now for your long one. Safe travels.

  87. Bonny ~* says:

    The Jane Austen Gift Shop…what a thrill for you! And lines of girlfriends!!! Bring that van down here to Tennessee…you have girlfriends here too! ~*

  88. Jennie says:

    This post was such a treat to read- thank you! So much eye candy to take in (incredible moons, sunsets, food, lovely people, sweet crazy kitties)- I enjoyed it all. I’m so excited to see all the beauty you’ll share with us as you travel across the country. I am SO thrilled for you that A Fine Romance will be in the gift shop- how apropos is that? Have a safe trip!

  89. I mentioned on Facebook that I have never seen such a reaction to a book in the eight-ish years I’ve been blogging. It is such a wonderful book. Will definitely be among my lifetime favorites.

    I already know I’ll be ordering (in the second printing) Christmas gifts for for my daughter and daughter-in-law… because no one is getting my copy!

    I went ahead and ordered my 2014 calendar, too. Last year I could not find one in any store in town! It is now waiting for January to arrive.

  90. Maureen MacKenzie says:

    New Hampshire looks delightful. I can’t stop thinking about the wood fire…..I keep looking at my fireplace thinking how long do I have to wait for it to be blazing. Me and my husband were just talking about looking forward to stacking up the wood pile and the smell of wood smoke in the air. I have about two months to wait here on Long Island…..maybe sooner if we’re lucky. 🙂 Do you have any stops in CT or on Long Island in the works for your book tour later this year? Enjoy your week….it’s my birthday tomorrow…yea!

  91. Sara says:

    Thank you so much for inviting us along on your grand tour, Susan! I love living vicariously through your words and pictures, your enthusiasm for all creatures great and small, your walks down leaf-strewn paths in waiting woods, and your joy at greeting devoted readers as the sisterhood they are to you. Linda, Sharmin and I will be there to greet you in Goshen, Indiana, and we can hardly wait! Blessings… Sara

  92. Ginnie Judd says:

    Susan, thank you so much for the latest on your tour! Can’t wait to see you on the 10th and 12th of September! Booksigning at Anderson’s in Downers Grove, and tea in Wilmette two days later. I’m bringing my parents to the first one and my mom and cousin (her treat – another fan!) to the tea.

    Wishing you and Joe safe travels!

  93. Susan Martin says:

    You have such wonderful powers of description! I feel like I’m with you wherever you go – I can’t wait for our cross country trip to California!

    Thank you for all you do for the girlfriends. May you and Joe be blessed with great weather, fun adventures and a safe and happy journey!


  94. Mary S. says:

    What lovely pictures of your trip!! And the places you stayed!!! Oh, my!! Heavenly!!
    I actually cried a little bit when I read that they are going to carry The Book in the Jane Austen Gift Shop in Chawton, England!!!! How awesome!!
    I can hardly wait for Autumn!! Reading this makes me want it even more! Still 100 degrees here in Fresno, CA.
    Love from Mary S.

  95. Ruth Thomas says:

    How homesick I am for glorious New England! Your descriptions are right on and I can almost smell and feel the air of Rhode Island as a young girl. Your book is going like wildfire and why not? It is so good! I read it twice and am going to read it again – and putting an appendix in, how brilliant is that. And, now in the Jane Austen Book Store – how much better can it get. You deserve it all, dear Susan. We all love you and wish you a safe trip across this great country. Can’t wait for the blogs and the pics over the next few months.
    Congrats on all of this great success.

  96. Jean says:

    I so enjoy your blog! Looking forward to getting my copy of A Fine Romance. Keep up the good work.

  97. Bernie says:

    Great post. My hubby and I were in NH @ Lake Winnipasaukee (from Florida) for a wedding this past June. We loved it. The wedding was on Bear Island in a chapel that used to be an old fire station, that we had to hike to (after a boat ride to get there.)…it was wonderful. We also stayed at THE LAZY E! (What a fun place!….it reminded me of our family vacation destinations in the 60’s. Did you get to talk to the owners? Nice people….(I forget the gentleman’s name) but he was very proud of the BBQ grill he built. He was an engineer in a former life. Everyone staying there was invited to a cook out in the “lounge area” during the Hockey play-offs. Loved the big screen TV in the up-ended boat! Thanks for the memories!

  98. Angela says:

    Thank you so much for letting me and everyone else join you on this adventure we call life! I, too, have lost about 20 pounds since spring–congratulations! Wish I was going to be able to get to SLO to see you–if you sneak away for a side jaunt to Napa, holler! I’ve been collecting your books and using your calendars since the early ’90s–LOVE them and your wonderful bubbly yet comfortable personality. 🙂

  99. Kathy Phenix says:

    Great blog! So glad that you got home in time to spend Jack’s birthday with him. Isn’t it tomorrow? I wrote it on my calendar last year. He does appear a wee bit “over hugged” if that is possible!! Or maybe he is still trying to recover from your gift of SIXTY elastic play toys!! ” Really, Mother, you spoil me!”
    I have to mention that you indeed did lose 20 lbs. You look so slim and beautiful in all of your pictures. How did you do it? I know–hard work! I’m back on So Beach to become presentable to my doctor’s appt Sept 11. Wish me luck!
    Hope your next road trip is as glorious as your starter trip was. Can’t wait for you both to get to FL. Love, Kathy

  100. Lynn B says:

    It has and continues to be such fun to be a ‘virtual’ part of this book from beginning (idea) to end (publication). Thank you for including us all. I keep looking for your van when I am on the highways in CT, I fear what I might do if I actually saw it (lots of honking and waving I suspect). SAFE TRAVELS to you and Joe.

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