Guess where we are?

Hi Everyone!  Guess where we are?  Here’s a hint:  MUSICA



New York

Yes, New York! This is the view from our room. It thrills the cockles of my heart.


This was probably my first awareness of the Empire State Building. I watched this movie about a thousand times long before I ever saw New York in person. An Affair to Remember.  Cry your eyes out.


affinia hotels

Our room is so comfortable!  We got here last night and I watched the Invasion of Normandy (OMG) under a blanket (a true nap blanket, came with room, on bed below) on that sofa while Joe sat next to me studying up on where we’re going to eat today!


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Affinia Hotels

Isn’t it just wonderful?  I love New York. Growing up I never imagined I would be the type to go to New York.  I was more the type to camp in Yosemite.


New York

Every window comes with a view.  See those cabs?  We’ll be getting into one of them this morning to careen wildly through the streets (because that’s what you do) to BEA, Book Expo America, at the Javits Center where we’ve been invited to sign Our book, “A Fine Romance” in the Baker & Taylor booth. So excited.


New York

We’re in the “Murray Hill” area of Manhattan, I’m sure some of you know where that is.  Lexington and 37th, lots of pre-war brick buildings, a real neighborhood with old trees.



Empire State Building

The view from the bed. It’s really there!



 They call New York “America’s Home Town” and this strikes me as one of the reasons why, there’s a lot to love in this beautiful city.


home in NY

But of course, we take “real” home along with us wherever we go.  I’m sitting here having tea this morning, listening to this musica, writing you and about to put pink polish on my fingernails.


Good Morning!

One more picture from the room with a view early this morning.

Girl and Jack

But, I hear you say, what about the kitties?


Elizabeth & Diana

Never fear.  Girlfriends Elizabeth and (her cousin and best friend) Diana are visiting the island from California, working on Elizabeth’s new house, staying in my house and on the job for Kitty Love.  Kitties will be properly spoiled while we are away.



peanut butter cookies

  I did my part and made Peanut Butter Cookies so no one would starve.  And this recipe has no flour ~ it’s so easy, I thought you might like to have it (so easy I memorized it! That should tell you something.) . . . preheat oven to 350°.  There are only 4 ingredients: 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. peanut butter.  Lightly beat egg and vanilla together, whisk in sugar, then peanut better; mix well.  Roll into 1″ balls, place about 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet, press with fork to make tine marks across dough.  Bake 10-12 min until golden around edges. Cool on waxed paper. Makes 2 dozen.


quilt collection

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten our June celebration.  We’ll be celebrating five years with FOSB, Friends of Susan Branch, I love new yorkwith our wonderful Facebook Friends, and three years for my dear and darling Blog  Girlfriends with a very fun giveaway that I think everyone will like, quilters and non-quilters and just regular people.  I want to be at home where I can wrangle the comment section better than I can from here . . . so just a few more days.  Tell your quilter, sewing, or quilt-loving friends.  And Have a lovely day everyone.  Wish us luck at the Javits Center!  Love you! XOXO

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380 Responses to Guess where we are?

  1. Patti E. says:

    Enjoy NYC! …..BTW, after seeing the picture of the “kitty cottage house” in your blog, I researched it, and ordered in online. My 5 cats should have fun in it!!! It will be delivered today. 🙂

  2. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    Dear, dear Susan. NYC is a place that everyone should visit at least once……but you, Susan, in describing just your view from your room, make me want to visit again. I think it’s all about “attitude” and you always have such a fun and adventuresome attitude and your way of sharing it makes me feel like I’m right there! Thank you! Enjoy and I hope your share the rest of it with us…….your blog is like a book! Can’t wait for the next chapter……

  3. Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

    So excited for you, Susan! Now THAT is really a “room with a view!” Will be fun to hear about all the lovely people you meet at the book signing. Have a great time and be careful crossing streets! The traffic is definitely NOT Martha’s Vineyard-like! xo

    • sbranch says:

      I know, we remind ourselves to try not to be our normal bumpkin selves! What we do is hold tight to each other and keep moving!

  4. Rosemary says:

    Susan, enjoy your visit in New York. I’ve never been to New York, but it is on my Wish List of places to see.

  5. Janie Phillips says:

    Good luck, Sue! What an adventure! I’m feeling vicariously thrilled! XOXO

  6. Laurie Walt says:

    Love to see New York through your window! Have a great time, and be safe. That picture of your stack of quilts is so charming! Love.

  7. viv says:

    Enjoy. I haven’t been to the Empire State Building since I was a child and that’s a long time. I still have felt Empire State Building pennant in my scrapbook.

  8. Sharon C. says:

    I love the pictures of NY–just beautiful! I hope you are having a wonderful time!

  9. Rae Ann R...back in Michigan...forever... says:

    Enjoy every minute in NYC…my husband and I were there in early December…stayed at 47th and Broadway…Times Square…sensory overload!!!…Murray Hill looks nice and quiet…lovelovelove NYC…those cab drivers are fearless!!!…cutting in and out of traffic…YIKES!!!…xoxo…

  10. Teresa says:

    Yeah, Susan, I received your blog post in my email in box today (I had written previously that I was not getting your posts and many other bloggers’ posts). Incidentally, I am getting almost all of the other posts as well, little by little. Something got fixed somewhere! Thank you!

  11. Judi Davis says:

    Good luck at the Javits Center, but you don’t need it because you are already great! Have fun in N.Y. I love N.Y.

  12. Carol C says:

    If you happen to visit Winnie the Pooh and friends at the library blow them a kiss from me and tell them I will be back soon! And have a great time in NYC! Last time I was there with my sister we enjoyed hot chocolate for “tea” at the chocolate bar in the Plaza Hotel. I believe that counts as food, doesn’t it?

    Also, we did adopt 2 puppies at the animal shelter! Two precious darling girls. Wanted 2 siblings but they won’t let siblings be adopted together. Has anyone ever heard of that? They say that they fight when they get older. Anyway, the nursery is all set up and the girls come home tomorrow!!

    • sbranch says:

      We visited them the last time we were here, so adorable. Congratulations on the puppies! Anything at the Plaza “counts!”

  13. Jeanne Hedin says:

    NYC cab rides . . . our experiences were much like “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” at Disney World! 🙂 Such a vibrant, interesting city. Enjoy your time and take lots more pictures to share. Good luck at the book expo (you won’t need it). xox

    • sbranch says:

      Exactly like the wild toad ride with not quite the sureness of outcome! It’s amazing how they can sandwich themselves together with no more than a feather space between them. Yikes. But one really GOOD thing: this all happens on the correct side of the road! I remind myself, it would be worse if it was all backwards and inside-out!

  14. Kristin Headlee says:

    Nice pictures of New York and your “tea cups” fit right in. Today is my 32 nd. wedding anniversary and I think maybe I will suggest to my husband we watch a romantic, old movie tonight (An Affair to Remember, maybe?). He is sick today so we will be staying in…a movie would be perfect! He is a wonderful man and I am blessed!

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Anniversary Kristin, hope your wonderful man is feeling better!

    • Jennie Lou says:

      Congratulations on your 32nd Anniversary, Kristin! I hope your other half is recuperating. May your life always be blessed with joy, humor and understanding!

  15. Jackie says:

    Hi Susan and Joe!

    I love New York. I went to P.S. 104 in Brooklyn in the middle 50s when my Dad was stationed near Ft. Hamilton. My brother was born there too. Lots of great memories…Empire State Building and Chrysler Builder, the Rockettes, Rockefeller Plaza, ice skating, Nathan hot dogs, the garment district, Staten Island Ferry, Ellis Island, the Statute of Liberty and going up into her arm and looking out of the torch! Have a ball and enjoy your time!

  16. Marie (Williamsburg, Virginia) says:

    Sue, hope you and Joe make wonderful memories in my hometown. It exudes excitement, fun, and charm…and the best food ever!

    Safe travels!

    Marie xo

  17. Pam T. says:

    Your pics of NYC brought back such great memories of a family vacation we took there in 2007. We also stayed in the Murray Hill neighborhood and it felt so familiar look at your views. The hotel we stayed in was so charming and elegant. What a treat to see your pictures and relive that for a few moments. Hope you have a wonderful time! Would so love to see that city again. Maybe someday……

  18. Jane Armour says:

    Have a fabulous time!

  19. Glenda says:

    Good luck at the Javits Center! Just know you will do great. Looks like a fun time already….:)

  20. Debbie R from Valencia, CA says:

    Oh what a fabulous view you and Joe have. I am like you Susan, more a Yosemite person, but my husband and I got to visit New York for a wedding last October for the first time. We fell in love with New York. Such an amazing city. And most of all the Native New Yorkers were soooooooo friendly. They truly do get a bad rap. Every time we stopped with our trusty little map on a corner and looked totally lost and like a definite tourist we had more locals stop and help us. And the places they recommended were fabulous. Well have an awesome time and good luck with your book signing. Thank you again for such an a wonderful blog.


  21. Barbara Kaplowitz says:

    Susan, you did meet my son, Matthew. He was your first admirer on line today. What is really funny is that I purchased your book when it first was available & this is the 2nd time he bought this book for me. I had returned his first purchase & got an Emma Bridgewater bowl. Will keep the 2nd book, of course. He is a good kid like you wrote in the book. (He even missed R.L. Stine to visit with you for his mommy. He met the author on Long Island back in the early ’90s & made a book for Stine.) My husband & I are very proud of him. BTW, he is an illustrator (Pratt grad) & has been drawing since he was about 2 yrs old. You should have seen his mural on his bedroom wall when he was a toddler. Now I am going to have Matt download the photos of the visit. A big {{{HUG}}} to you & Joe from this long-time admirer! Take care, Barbara, NYC

    • sbranch says:

      I did! He was so proud of himself to be first! Loved it! Look at this connection . . . couldn’t be doing it without the computer. Gotta love it. xoxo

  22. Ann says:

    The Madison Bistro is very good to grab a bite and there is a great old bookstore on 35th and Madison. Are you going to the theater?

  23. Holly says:

    How wonderful! Have tons of fun and take lots of photos! How nice your friends can stay in your home and keep the kitties loved.

  24. I absolutely love that your first glimpse of New York was in An Affair to Remember, because mine was Sleepless in Seattle (which CONSTANTLY references An Affair to Remember, but I think you’ve mentioned that you’ve seen it so you probably already know that!). How cool!

    I’ve never been to New York, so thank you for always “taking us with you!” Enjoy! 🙂

  25. Jeanette says:

    You’re back in my old stomping grounds!!! I grew up in NYC, Queens specifically. You and Joe should not miss a visit to Friend of a Farmer, it’s just a couple of blocks from Gramercy Park (you would love this private park, very rare in NYC) on Irving Place. It’s delicious, lots of organic food, absolutely many fabulous dishes to chose from and in a delightful neighborhood!!!
    Have a wonderful time!!!

  26. Penny Harrison in Oceanside, CA says:

    Hope the book signing is a Smash Hit – have a great time in the Big Apple!

    • sbranch says:

      300 books, all the calendars and about 400 bookmarks, GONE, whooshed away in about an hour and a half. It was so much fun! I met so many librarians! Signed books for sisters, girlfriends and moms too.

  27. Jenny says:

    Baker and Taylor also have the best boxes! Just moved all my cute collectables in them. Enjoy your bite of the Big Apple

  28. shirley burt says:

    How fabulous. A perfect view from all windows. Tea from home. Did you keep the shades up all night and peek out the window just to reassure yourself you are really there? Have the ” Bestest” time, but I know you and Joe will.
    Much love and bunny hugs,
    Which hotel are you staying in????? You can tell us after you leave, so that all the girlfriends do not knock on your door.

    • sbranch says:

      They have several of them called Affinia. Pure comfort, even a good restaurant right downstairs and cocktails on the roof!

  29. Oh, New York, how I love you so. The first time I went to visit, I hyperventilated while my sister-in-law (who lives in Jersey) drove us across the bridge. So exciting, every bit as exciting as every movie I’d ever seen set in New York. Enjoy the book fair!! (Oh, and I have the same tulip bowl! Don’t you love it? I use mine for whipping cream.) Pam, in Montreal

  30. Faith Rose says:

    New York is so beautiful!I want to go there someday.There is somthing about it that appeals to me. I love the noise of the cars going by and all the lights tinkling in the darkness, its all so romantic as you would say!It’s so true An Affair to Remember is a wonderful movie! I cried too!Its funny because I was just singing that song today!Have you ever watched House Boat, with Carry Grant in it? It’s such a fun movie! Have fun in NY, and thanks so much for taking us along!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, and you probably knew at the time Cary was BEGGING Sophia Loren to marry him?

      • Faith Rose says:

        Yes I did, my sister told me yesterday when we watched it! Thanks for informing me though! I was also wondering if you took your paints and book in the making with you on this trip?

      • Rhonda D. says:

        You know, I forgot about this until just now…my uncle used to work for a lady in Tennessee that was a dressmaker for the stars in Hollywood. If I remember correctly, I think her name was Amy. She used to date Cary Grant. She had her drawing room full of full-length paintings of many of the stars that I believe she had painted herself. She sewed for John Wayne, Liberace etc. She gave my aunt a signed photo of herself. She has passed away now, but a man at my aunt’s church is writing a book about her. They asked my aunt for a copy of the signed photo to add to the book. I’ve asked my aunt to get me a copy of the book…hope she remembers. It would be a fascinating read.

        • sbranch says:

          2 degrees of separation, Joe’s aunt dated that feisty roustabout too. 🙂

          • sondra fox says:

            WOW, that book sounds fascinating! A “must read!” Don’t forget to tell us all the name of it. Won’t you please, won’t you please? (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  31. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Good Luck and don’t get trampled!!!

  32. Marsha says:

    I told my sister in law to turn onto your station to see the lovely stack of quilts. Talk about a bundle!

  33. Debra Henderson says:

    Oh, I am so absolutely jealous and happy for you at the same time! Growing up in the South, New York always seemed to be in another country. I have flown into/out of JFK, and that has been my only experience with New York. My other two trips that I had planned got cancelled 🙁 One day, one day I want to “be a part of the city that doesn’t sleep…” I’ll make it there, New York, New York!!! (And see Phantom of the Opera and have tea in a fancy hotel and etc., etc.) PS GREAT movie! It makes me cry every single time I see it and who could not be in love with Carey Grant???

  34. Gina P. from NY says:

    Hi Susan!

    I hope you have a wonderful time in NYC! After having worked in NYC at one time in my life (I’m about an hour north by train) and being able to get in there anytime, going every Xmas to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and the store windows, and just to shop and see the sights, I have to tell you, I still get a thrill when that train pulls into Grand Central Terminal. There is so much history there in all corners of the Big Apple. It is truly a magical place. You get off that train and enter that Terminal and there are hundreds of people rushing about – all either coming in or going away from “The City”. It is alive, exciting and vibrant, and while I love going there, like another girlfriend mentioned above, I always love going back up north to “the country” and suburbia and the sound of crickets instead of horns and traffic! The museums – all of them: Modern Art, Natural History, the Met, etc., are all worth a visit. As for a treat and something great to eat – try Serendipity 3 on East 60th Street. The food is wonderful, and the “Frozen Hot Chocolate” is to die for… a great place for lunch or even dessert! Good luck at the book signing! Have fun!

  35. Deb E. in PA says:

    Hi Susan,
    Enjoy your NYC trip. Such a fun place to go. Shopping, eating and just looking around. The pictures were great!

  36. I work at Watermark Books in Wichita–where you visited on your “Romance” book tour, and my bosses are in NYC at BEA also! Maybe one day I can experience it.

    Each of the employees at Watermark has a bookshelf of favorite reads, and “A Fine Romance” has a permanent place there on mine.


    • sbranch says:

      You would love it Shirley . . . so much excitement in the air at BEA. Every booth filled with books, art, interesting people, authors signing, flags flying over everything. And just outside the doors, there’s New York! Maybe next year!

      Thank you for my home on your shelf! xoxo

  37. Carolyn says:

    Have fun in NYC! There is a wonderful Italian deli in Murray Hill area called Todaro’s–it’s a great place to pick up a delicious sandwich!

  38. Martha says:

    Susan – If you’re in Murray Hill – make sure to stop by Salvation Taco on 39th Street between 3rd Ave and Lexington (inside the Pod 39 Hotel). They have the most amazing food and the decor is gorgeous! May I recommend the ‘cauliflower tacos’ – they are delicious. Have a great time in NY!!
    Martha from CT

  39. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    Oh boy, thanks for the peek into and out of your hotel room. Vicarious pleasure here thanks to your sharing. Those views put me in mind of the movie “84 Charring Cross Road” set in NYC and London – what with the common threads of writing, love for the English and such. I wish you both a very fun time gawking and shopping and meeting up with fans at the Book Expo. Probably not the kind of thing that will show up on BookTV, but one can only hope. So nice of you to let us in on the fun. 🙂

  40. dah says:

    Have fun at book signing! NYC is the best place to visit! Italian dinner/lunch at Patsy’s or Becco (Lydia). Absolutely the best! Enjoy!

  41. Beth says:

    Being in NEW YORK, NEW YORK is a wonderful GIFT to breathe in the diversity of this gloriously complex and multi-colored world we live in!!!
    What stirrings it brings for NEW adventures outside our safe little hearths….yet sparks “tugs” to return home and appreciate all that is known and familiar! That’s always the inviting tension of the Big City!!!
    And Susan, I LOVE the views you showed of nearby lighted windows…anonymous stories being lived across the gulf but so closely linked… “REAR WINDOW!” Hard not to speculate on your neighbors’ lives when you’re that close and windows are open….my husband calls it “nib nosing!”
    I think The Empire State Building… for all her Beauty, Symbolism, and History… should be referred to as “Her Majesty”….royal reverence. USA style!
    I imagine you are exhilarated and exhausted all at once! THAT’S New York!!!
    Dying to hear where you and Joe had dinner tonight!!!
    What total FUN!!!

    • sbranch says:

      We went to an English restaurant called The Peacock, right here in our neighborhood — it was just as advertised, DELICIOUS and very romantic! I particularly love the parts of New York that are so diverse with so many costumes that you are not sure what city you are in! It makes all other places look dull. And everyone manages to live together peacefully, proudly.

  42. Jan says:

    How exciting for you and Joe! NYC is a place like no other. We were at the Javits Center for an optical show in March. My sister lives in NYC (actually Glendale – a suburb of NYC). While there, I got to spend time with her in the city, shopping and out to lunch at Macys. Went to the flower show at Macys also. Beautiful!! Hope you are having a great time! Enjoy!

  43. Linda Hurst says:

    I spent my 60th birthday in New York. First time ever! Loved it, all the people were so very nice to us. This was in 2002 just barely a year after the terrible 9/ll disaster. The city opened its arms to us. The Big Apple is a Big Beautiful Place. Enjoy!

  44. TJ in VA says:

    Hi Susan,

    I know the area very well. My first job was at the Mobil Oil corporate headquarters, 150 E. 42nd. Street (across the street from the iconic Chrysler Building). I’m not sure what is at that address now since Mobil relocated to Northern Virginia in the 80’s…and later merged with Esso to become Exxon.

    It was exciting commuting from New Jersey to “The City” (that’s local jargon…we never said New York City or Manhattan or The Big Apple). I loved all the little boutiques and restaurants on Madison Avenue and Lexington Avenue…walking to the United Nations building near the East River…maneuvering in high-heel pumps through throngs of people on Fifth Avenue. Reminicient of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA movie.

    Enjoy your adventures in The City!

    • sbranch says:

      Walking, block after block, window shopping, stopping here and there, is the BEST in New York, I mean, The City. 🙂

  45. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    I loved visiting NYC several years ago … I found it to be wonderous, exciting, and I loved watching the people. It was a adventure … but I was glad it was just a visit, and was happy when I got back home 🙂
    Enjoy your adventure 🙂

  46. Donna Hrehor says:

    You are having so much fun already! Thanks for taking us along. I needed a vacation! Donna (Idaho)

  47. suzanne says:

    NYC was my summer vacation spot during college days. Pack a carryon and visit my brother in the village. Brings back memories. But in present time more importantly ~ What type of peanut butter do you use? All natural or like Skippy?

  48. Rhonda D. says:

    Hope you have a wonderful time in the Big Apple…so much to see and do. Enjoying your photos. I drove past the outskirts of NY a couple of days before 9-11, and that’s the closest I’ve ever been. So it’s exciting to be there with you. Love the opportunity to see places through your eyes. I feel like Peter Pan when I’m hanging out with you…I just soar to the heights. I never know where I’m going to be next. Could I just call shotgun#2 for the rest of our lives? The cup holder or map compartment will do. (I’m a lot smaller now after my treatments anyway). Keeping you and Joe in my prayers for a safe trip and loads of fun!

  49. Sharrieboberry says:

    A room with a view! How thrilling!

    Let us know how the restaurant “pick” turned out! 🙂

  50. Belinda Riffenburg, FL says:

    An Affair to Remember…GREAT movie…well worth seeing a hundred times. Kleenex box close by of course! I went to NYC for the first time this past October with my husband. We had so much FUN!! Eating alone can be quite an adventure!! We also had to take in the Empire State building!! :o) What a lovely hotel room you have Susan. I think it looks comfortable enough to stay a few weeks! How blessed you are to have such loving girlfriends to love on your sweet ones! AND you made them cookies….what a sweet treat!! I hope you have a lovely time on your trip! Enjoy all of the sweet sights and sounds! I know the ladies are going to love you, your book…and of course JOE!!

  51. Ginger says:

    Although I’ve never been there, under a pseudonym I once wrote a children’s novel set mostly in NYC. Enjoy exploring for both of us.

  52. Sabrena Orr says:

    New York, New York! Ah…such a lovely place for a book signing! The sights & sounds and book signing as a bonus! Enjoy!! (Next stop…maybe a book signing in Seattle for your fans in the beautiful Pacific Northwest ?!)

  53. diana from ancaster says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your “room with a view!

    I sure you’ll find something yummy to eat in Little Italy. (where else would I send you and Joe?)


    Have fun!

  54. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Have a wonderful time in New York City, and good luck at the Book Expo!!! Your kitties will have much fun with their babysitters….a little vacation from their Mommy Susan! It was 1987 when I went to NYC, and we visited so many sights, but not the Empire State Building……not enough time 🙁 Sleepless In Seattle is my favorite movie, and when Meg Ryan meets Tom Hanks at the top of the Empire State Building my heart melts!!! So romantic! Also, shopping at Mood, the fabric store featured on the TV show Project Runway would be my “go to” destination for new fabric…….the Lion Brand Store in NYC is also suppose to be awesome for their yarn selections!!! Wishing you lots of fun and safe travels home!

  55. Joan says:

    Have a great time in the Big Apple!

  56. Janet Hundley - Grafton, WI says:

    Time for you to write the book, “My Life With Joe” before my sister-in-law does! TeeHee. It would be a page turner, I’m sure.
    An Affair to Remember is a perennial favorite and is now on my library hold list. Thank for the memories….Enjoy your trip!

  57. Pat Johnson from Paso Robles, CA says:

    OMG!!!! Not only NEW YORK CITY but the EMPIRE STATE BUILDING too!! I am seriously jealous, my dears! And even the scene onto the street is exciting! I love your hotel because it is so “40’s” and looks truly romantic!! Can’t wait for the blow-by-blow of the taxi trip to the book signing and any other sights you see. But that Empire State Building is out of this world and they actually LITE IT UP FOR YOU!!! How Cary Grant and Debra Kerre of them!!! And the weather looks divine! Have fun, fun, fun. Hugs to you both……Truly Jealous Pat!

  58. Kathie says:

    Such a great city to enjoy to the fullest. Have a wonderful time. I know I will…..just watching you! Thanks so much for taking us along.

  59. judi says:

    Thanks for taking “us” to NYC (the city:). Never been there before other than in the movies….yah, Meg Ryan – great movies! The food choices have got to be amazing!

    So happy Elizabeth and Diana are there to love up those darlings….and we know they do, whilst you are on your little sojourn. Have FUN:) xoxo

  60. Dolores says:

    I love NYC! I grew up in Florida at a time when all the shows (both new and reruns) were set in NYC or near. The Honeymooners, The Patty Duke Show, I Love Lucy, so many shows, even all the news was based in NYC, still is really. So when I finally went to NYC for the first time it felt like home, familiar, comforting, which seemed strange for such a large city. And then when both my kids lived there at different times for several years that feeling never changed, even though I have lived many years now in a small town in Alabama in the county with my chickens, horses, dog and of course my cats. My children have all since moved elsewhere and I have missed NYC terribly. It is hard to find the time to travel for the extra places when you feel drawn to where your children are. But good news for me, my son and daughter-in-law have decided they are leaving sunny California and moving back to NYC! So seeing your wonderful view from your window this morning made my heart sing even more! I hope you and Joe have a lovely time seeing the sights and eating at what I hope are your favorite places!
    Also just wondering, will Jack chase the rubber band for Elizabeth and Diane, or is that something he saves just for you?

    • sbranch says:

      I trained the girls, both of them are adept rubber band shooters now. Jack will run for anyone! If I hadn’t been there, I think he would have trained them himself. Like he did with me!

      • sondra fox says:

        You, Susan, are an official cat trainer. None of my kitties were ever trained. Didn’t know you could do that. That must be something to see them retrieve a rubber band! Our kitties were always most polite though, but generally high jumpers that tried to catch toys that we’d flit high into the air. The picture of your girls is delightful! Girl looks so prim & proper, as though she’s teaching Jack how to look classy. My husband passed away the end of July 2013. My dog, Jack, & my new kitty, Sheba, have been responsible for keeping me happy. They’re the best medicine ever. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  61. Lori from Florida says:

    Best of luck to you both!

  62. Michele says:

    Susan, one word while you’re there…CHEESECAKE!!!! :0)

    Brian (the hubby) and I had our honeymoon in NY…1st time and we LOVED it!!!

  63. Cindy Tuning says:

    Enjoy NYC. So many little time!

  64. Mary-Agnes from Long Island says:

    Hi Susan,

    Welcome to New York! So glad you and Joe are having a wonderful time, and that the kitties are being looked after so well. My sister watches our cats whenever my husband and I go away, and it’s nice to be able to have such peace of mind.

    I was born and raised in Queens, but I’ve worked in Manhattan nearly all of my adult life, and right now I’m in my office all the way downtown, right down the block from the Freedom Tower. It’s a beautiful building. You and Joe should take a cab or hop on the E train and take in the sights down here, like the 9/11 Memorial (which is free, and no longer requires visitor passes). And the 9/11 Memorial Museum just opened (although not without some controversy, including the $24 admission), but it looks like they did a wonderful job). Also check out both St. Paul’s Chapel and Trinity Church. If New York has an old part, this is it, although it might not look like it, aside from the two churches and their old burial yards. My personal favorite part of the city? Greenwich Village. I used to work near there and just loved strolling the streets at lunchtime. So many great shops and restaurants. But, I know, I know. So much to do and so little time!

    • sbranch says:

      I heard about the $24 — and that they had to do it because they received no government funding (that’s actually one thing I wouldn’t mind my tax money to be spent on). But I’m sure it’s worth every dime. I’ve been down there to St. Paul’s but it’s been a long time. I love Greenwich Village. Such cozy streets, stores, restaurants. Thank you for your wonderful suggestions!

  65. Laurie from Loso Osos says:

    You befriended me from the start…..

  66. Sandra Mailey says:

    New York is such a wonderful city!! I know you’ll enjoy every minute. Can hardly wait to read all about your adventures. Have a great weekend!! XOXO

  67. cindy hauenstein says:

    Have fun and good luck at the Book Expo. As a librarian, I would love to be there. I saw quite a few celebrities will be there with their books and several notable authors (like you!). Baker &Taylor are know for their cat mascots-how fun to be at their booth!

  68. Cathy McCann says:

    HI SUSAN — How wonderful for you to open your home to your California friends! They looked so comfy sitting around your kitchen table. Must be a great feeling for you to know your kitties are under such loving care. Thanks for all the great pix — every one of them evoked some kind of memory here. I think my sister would want to just reach in and grab those peanut butter cookies. I can remember making those in junior high school home ec — the best part (other than the eating) was making the criss-cross with the fork tines. And I hadn’t thought of that in years.
    Say, Lucy and I, plus her daughter, just got back from having a “super baby fix” and what a ball we had! My Indianapolis daughter just had grand-baby #2 (girl), so my Kansas City daughter flew in with her 2 month old (girl). What a reunion we had! It was a fabulous “girlie-girl” rendez-vous. Our 3 year old grand-daughter said it perfectly: No boys allowed! It was like a fore-shadowing of all the future girlie-girl weekends we’ll be having — soap operas, favorite treats, nail polish, hashing over “The Bachelorette”, on and on. It was truly a “be still my heart” couple of days.
    Have fun in NYC — I’m sure you’ll be meeting many more FOSB at your signing. I keep thinking of the Gladys Taber gala coming up, wishing I could make it. But I know you’ll share highlights with us in your blog. Safe travels, now. Hugs, Ethel

    • Cathy McCann says:

      Rabbit rabbit!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Lucky you Ethel, the girl parties you’re going to have, and the clothes you get to shop for!!! Fun! You can teach them to cook, and bake together. Years of memories.

      • Cathy McCann says:

        And I just got a couple of the Grandma and To My Daughter books to slowly work on — if we have a winter of 2014-15 similar to last winter, I’ll have lots of time to work on them.
        Also, the cool thing with these three granddaughters? There’s a grandson in there, too, who will most certainly be their protector. (He’s only 2+, but he can already help make a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies!) Have a wonderful June!!

  69. Samantha says:

    A dear friend of mine was at the book expo yesterday (she’s a librarian 🙂 ) I wish I would have read this post yesterday because I would have had her stop by and say hello! The city really is a breath-taking place 🙂 Hope you are enjoying it!!

  70. AngieTink says:

    ✫*¨*.¸¸.✶LOVE The Musica (& That Movie! & How Meg & Rosie & Nora Loved it in Sleepless in Seattle) 🙂 & You Know How I LOVE New York City! 🙂 What A View Sweet Sue! I Know You & Joe Are Doing The Jiggity~Jig All Over New York! Enjoy! & OMG The Photo of Jack & Girl & They Are In The Cutest Hands! Elizabeth & Diana Will Play All Day & Snuggle At Night 🙂 Yay! When You Get Home it Will Be JUNE! Mind~Boggling! Happy Weekend Sweetest Sue & Joe & All The “Girlfriends” NYC Pixie~Dust Everywhere! xoxo Poof! ✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸ 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      June! roses!

      • AngieTink says:

        Yay! Roses! 🙂 Home Again Home Again Jiggity~Jig! 🙂 xoxo Poof! ✫*¨*.¸¸.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫ 🙂 Safe Travels Sweet Sue & Joe! The Kitties! 🙂

  71. chris consentino says:

    oh, my! I remember, with such delight, a trip to “the city” with my dad, in 1957…the summer of my becoming 10 yrs old. ahhh!!!! we went to top of empire state bldg., the statue of liberty, made such wonderful memories!!!! I still have my little brass “lady liberty” statue. the art-deco interior, and history of the empire-state bldg. are just, simply, amazing….and the view….no wonder we all want to be there with you folks!!!! enjoy and take care and EAT UP !!!!!!!!! mmmm

  72. Sharon at The Farm in South Carolina says:

    LOVE this post! It has been sooooo long since I visited NYC – 1991, the kids were with us and The Will Rogers Follies was playing on Broadway. Also love the hotel you are staying in – it looks so retro. When we visited in 1991 I had no idea that my husband’s great-granduncle owned The Plaza Hotel in The Great Gatsby years and he lived in the penthouse there. He also owned an estate on Long Island as well as Clarendon Court in Newport, RI later the home of Sunny von Bulow. Love all the wonderful photos and the recipe.

  73. Treese says:

    I lived in New York when I was a medical resident. What a beautiful, vibrating, always something to do city. I try to visit as often as I can.
    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl.

  74. Patsy-FL says:

    They’ll love you at the Book Expo; you and your wonderful book.

  75. Debs OBrien says:

    Me again ~~ just popping in to say that over on Facebook I’m taking part in a 100 days ‘things that make me happy’ and for today {my day two} I wrote this, with a link to here

    “One Hundred Days of Things That Make Me Happy Challenge ~~ Day 002 ~~ so who else is joining in?
    Anyway, it isn’t a photo but a link to one of my Happy Places ~~ the blog of #SusanBranch where we, The Girlfriends, meet up for endless cups of tea, plates of wonderful {calorie free} food, and read her wonderful, upbeat blogs, following her wherever she goes. We are very good at keeping very quiet as we hide in her suitcases, in cabins on board the QMll, even in the back of a NYC Taxi Cab! I’ve met some lovely people as we play Sardines!”

    Waving from Across The Pond in a chilly west Wales! Deb 😀

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

    hello Susan, WOW New York, I would be totally lost there. so much to see and do and yes shop. my cousin goes there often for business and stays around to enoy the sights and shops. but like I said I would be totally lost there, I’m a country girl and quite happy to be here with my critters. have fun, explore and tell us everything you did, go shopping and enjoy window shopping. I always want to window shopping at Tiffany’s and maybe at Saks. off to go care for the barnyard crowd. Have a great time there. have a great day everyone. hugs…. 🙂

  77. Aggie says:

    Love NYC!! I enjoy staying in the same vicinity @ the Library Hotel. Something you may want to check out in your wanderings….Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops – all around the city. I had one this week at a work meeting, though they are not available otherwise here in MI (for now anyway). Enjoy your time away!

  78. Ermetta says:

    Not sure if there is one near you, but if you happen to pass an ALICE’S TEA CUP tea shop do stop in for a cup of tea and a scone, you will love it and think you’re back in the English Countryside!! Also, if you love old restaurant ware stop in a FISHS EDDIE!! Great shop!

  79. Carla says:

    What a view! Such fun! Can’t wait to hear all about it. It is sure to be
    pure delight. I’m not so sure I’d want to “careen” through the city, though!
    I’ve always thought it would be fun to go to NY at Christmas-time. Someday, maybe! Enjoy the sights and sounds and people! (not to mention “girlfriends!)

    • sbranch says:

      I strap myself in, slink down, grab Joe’s hand and tell myself these people know what they are doing, and so far they do.

  80. Melissa R says:

    Hoorah for Summer and good friends! Have a lovely time! Hugs from Utah!

  81. Carol Maurer~~~~ Kennewick, Wa says:

    Hi Susan~~~

    Looking forward to making the peanut butter cookies! I also like simple and easy. It’s heating up once again so need to make them today or tomorrow at the latest. Don’t want to use the oven in the heat 🙂

    Hope your time time NY is a fun time. So far so good, eh? Looking forward to hear all about it.

    Another drawing…. yeppie!

    Carol M

  82. Pat C. says:

    Hi Susan and Joe,

    My friend, Barbara, and I (we’re the 2 proofreaders/copy editors from CT) really enjoyed meeting you both at BEA. It was a pleasure to talk with you and thank you, Susan, for taking the time to pose for pictures. You both are so genuine and so nice. Hope you enjoyed your stay in NY.

  83. Barbara says:

    It was wonderful meeting you at BEA yesterday, Susan. My friend Pat and I so enjoyed our brief chat with you and I know we could have gone on and on and on about so many things…. After you signed our books we had a nice visit with Joe, who was so warm and gracious. So glad to finally have an opportunity to meet you both! Thanks so much!

    • sbranch says:

      Nice to meet you Barbara, it was a wonderful day! Wasn’t the show great? We walked around afterwards and it just seemed very exciting.

  84. Donna Babbitt, Brea, Ca. says:

    Just when I thought we all were some genetic wonder with our collective love of the home arts, animals and all things good and true you toss me a curve with loving NEW YORK CITY!!! EWWWWW!!!! Cement jungle, crowds, smells and rave about the view??? A gorgeous view MUST contain green, blue or sunset colors, gray is not a view in my view! You have stressed me no end. I must go pet my kitty Chloe and scratch doggie Bo whilst looking at trees flowers and all the goodies I bought at H.D. for my hubby to plant. I need tea therapy!!!!
    The best view in this blog in N.Y.City is your Emma mugs. I really just don’t get it……………………………I am kissing my Ca. ground!!!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a beautiful old historical world-class city. I know, I love my dirt road too, but there is a vital pulse here that you can’t help but feel. There is a miracle of a park that runs for miles right through the middle of the city, filled with antiquity and old trees. Man is also one of God’s creations, and the best of what he can be can be found here in this amazing city.

      • Jennie Lou says:

        Oh, how I wish you could all spend just one unrushed day in New York, as I did 55 years ago, and see it with the uncomplicated mind of a child! We were heading to Germany to be with my Dad who was stationed in Karlsruhe, and Mom wouldn’t fly so we sailed from the harbor. The hotel! The taxi! The wait on the pier with all the other military dependents! I was saucer-eyed and a band played “Never on Sunday” when we left the dock. My parents met in The City and my Italian Grandmother was born on the boat “coming over” and came through Ellis Island. It is always one of the many “home towns” in my gypsy heart. Enjoy!

        • sbranch says:

          Well, we didn’t get on a ship, but we spent yesterday just wandering with no agenda and had the BEST time. I love your memories, those are the kind that get seared into your mind. Born on the boat! Wow.

        • Hi Jennie, You have such wonderful memories of NYC! We have a special connection ~ Karlsruhe, Germany! It’s my “home town” in Europe. I’ve been visiting dear friends there, time and time again, for 35 years! Today email and Skype make daily ‘visits’ easy, even when friends are miles apart. ♡

          • Jennie Lou says:

            Hi, Dawn! We docked at Bremerhaven (the same port where my dearest’s grandfather left from to be a cowboy in America!) and took the train to Karlsruhe. One of my favorite things was the “Brotchen Lady” who came every day in her station wagon full of baked goods and tooted her horn for all the GI Wives to come and buy.

  85. Coraleen says:

    Much luck at the expo, thank you for the wonderful views and of course the music (I think I have also seen it about a thousand times – in fact if they need a reader for a revival of the movie – I am their gal).
    New York is magical and crazy all at once. You just have to find your place in the craziness. There is a tea salon that is just too cute for words, it is in the Inn on Irving Place – it is called Lady Mendl’s Tea Salong – 56 Irving Place. Hope you can at least do a walk in if you can not have tea. Have a funtastic time in the Big Apple.

  86. Coraleen says:

    Much luck at the expo, thank you for the wonderful views and of course the music (I think I have also seen it about a thousand times – in fact if they need a reader for a revival of the movie – I am their gal).
    New York is magical and crazy all at once. You just have to find your place in the craziness. There is a tea salon that is just too cute for words, it is in the Inn on Irving Place – it is called Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon – 56 Irving Place. Hope you can at least do a walk in if you can not have tea. Have a funtastic time in the Big Apple.

  87. Such wonderfulness here — a fabulous view, a nap blanket, and touches of home. (Oh, and thoughts of that movie — Cary and Deborah and lots of tissues, please.) I don’t have to wish you a wonderful time since it’s clear you’re already having one! Sending blessings.

  88. Mary Van says:


    • sbranch says:

      Watch for them at antique stores and flea markets, hold out for a decent price because it is possible, these quilts are proof positive. Thank you Mary!

      • Rhonda D. says:

        Sometimes you just happen to be in the right place at the right time. I had been home to Nova Scotia, and the family of my long-time neighbors were cleaning out their house. I visited them for my childhood memories, and her d-i-l gave me one old quilt and sold me another one in a bit better shape for $20.00. You are right Mary, my world will be a bit more cozy and healed as I snuggle under those quilts. It makes it even more special knowing the beautiful lady that made them. Thanks for the reminder.

  89. Linda T. from Maine says:

    Hello Susan and Joe. Hope all is great in NYC. Never been but I like when you both take us along then I can say ya, I saw NYC. So for a LOL, this is for you, Look at the peanut butter{better} reciepe. I think someone was tired. I love it cause you are human. also. Have fun.

  90. Ramona Horta-Riedeman says:

    Love those NYC pics! Your pictures always have a way of letting me “get lost” in them…it almost feels like i’m there!!! 🙂 I am trying those peanut butter cookies. My husband will love them!!! I will make them small…diet size…ha ha 🙂 from the sunny Central Valley in California 🙂

  91. Vickie in Olympia says:

    Oh Boy! I just love it when we get to travel with you. You are my Lewis and Clark. (You get to decide who is who.) Because of you I’ve traveled across country by train, begun to think England is a possiblity instead of a dream, and now we are in New York, New York ! Your travel blogs are the best. Have a fabulous time and then tell us all about it (it’s really hard to see for myself from the crack in the suitcase).

    • sbranch says:

      I hope you got out today when we were on the roof of the hotel — around 6 pm? They have a cocktail bar up there, and the view is heaven. White clouds, blue skies, friday, New York, and fabulous weather. Made us feel sixteen again!

  92. Diana says:

    Ah, NYC! Ah, An affair to Remember. Ah, an awesome view and great little get away! Enjoy and look both ways before crossing, twice! 🙂

  93. Julie C says:

    Thank you for this post Susan. It brings back many happy memories of trips with my Mom. Nothing like Christmas in New York. And the pulse of the City just can’t be explained. One place I never got to was the Empire State Building. There is just so much to see and do. Not to mention the shopping, Broadway shows, on and on. Have a great trip. Kisses to the Kitties.

  94. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Good morning you intrepid tourists, you!. What’s on the agenda today? I just wanted to tell you that a dear friend has adopted a wee kitten. Almost a twin to Jack but without the mustache. He is a darling with long white whiskers and eye brows and that same look Jack gets when he thinks you are accusing him of mischief. They have named him Finnegan but call him Finn. Enjoy your weekend in N.Y. Wow, you sold 300 copies of your book! Way to go!

    • sbranch says:

      Actually at BEA, no one sells books, they are all given away to bookstore owners and librarians. But we love that 300 people, some of them new to my work, now have them! Today, we are packing, we want to meander home and stop here and there so we are going nice and early. It’s almost 7 am here, the sun is shining on our pet Empire State Building. (Some people have pet rocks, we have a pet Empire State Building!) Wonderful on the kitten . . . you get to enjoy too!

      • Tawni urrutia says:

        I have to jump in here…”new to my work.” So my mind flashes to Will Ferrell as Buddy the elf, standing at your table, perusing your lovely books…”Nope, I’ve never heard of Susan Branch, this stuff is amazing!”
        I mean unless you’ve lived at the North Pole how have you missed out on Susan Branch?!!
        It’s so marvelous for you and Joe to have this adventure. I love traveling with you!
        Tawni Urrutia in Lodi, Ca

  95. Darlene says:

    Hi Susan, welcome to NYC!! Have a great time and good luck at the Javits Center! Thanks for the easy peanut butter cookies recipe!! I am making those asap! Have fun! xoxo

  96. Hi Susan and Joe! You really squeezed a lot into your NYC adventure! Thanks for sharing all of the fun with us. Today my parents are celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary! They have the most wonderful love story! I’m just so happy for them!! ♡ They live in AZ, but will come back to visit us in a week, so we can all celebrate together!
    Enjoy lots of fun stops along your way home!

  97. Lynn Cooper says:

    My girlfriend is at the Expo with her daughter. she goes every year and loves it. While she was gone during the week I subbed in her second grade class, being a retired teacher. I was so tired on Friday after school.

  98. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Remembering An Affair to Remember & Sleepless in Seattle – sighing very loudly, glad you’re already awake! Thanks for the NYC/hotel room pics, will tide me over until someday we get there! Mmm, cookies & kitties for your adorable GFs, so sweet! Have a wonderful meandering drive home, be safe, love travels with you & Joe! xoxo

  99. Lynn Cooper says:

    My girlfriend is at the Expo with her daughter. She goes every year and loves it. While she was gone during the week I subbed in her second grade class, being a retired teacher. I was so tired on Friday after school.
    Isn’t Manhattan wonderful? No wonder Joe was perusing restaurants. Ask the concierge of your hotel where some of the great places to eat are. I have never had a concierge steer me wrong.
    Will you have any time to take in a Broadway show? Don’t miss one of those if you have a chance. Wish I was there so I could stop in at your booth and visit for a bit. Have a great time in the Big Apple!!!

    • sbranch says:

      We are on the boat right now Lynn, on our way back to the island. We had a great time, but as usual, not long enough!

  100. Miss Marion says:

    Sounds like you had a great time in NYC. Hope to see some photos of the trip highlights.

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