Fairy2Sailing away on the Queen Mary 2 . . . heading on board . . .img_3852

Up the gangplank we go! We look so normal here, but we are actually beside ourselves!


Put everything down for a photo op . . .  So excited, it’s truly a thrill.


Was a warm day, much prettier than the last time we sailed . . . bluer skies, and schooners in the harbor!


Seems they put on the show just for us!  Love this view!

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Of course, straight to the Chart Room for old time’s sake . . . a cup of cheer, and a toast to smooth sailing! While wearing seasick bracelets and still in port. Always careful.


Off we go, at sea, and sunset from our room . . . on our way to Halifax, Nova Scotia, which is where we are right now. Which is why I have a bit of connection, but barely, just enough to do this post!!! Yay!


Zee bed in zee cocoon… is SOOOO comfy!!! Better than it looks even! Got up at 9 am this morning. This is an unheard of event. It must be the sea air, or maybe the late nights!


First thing in the morning, tea in our own cups . . .


The lovely Princess Grill . . . our round table for the crossing seats six. The other two couples are both from England, one from Kent, and the other from Yorkshire, and so fun and nice, we were the last table to leave the dining room last night!


Stanley, the head waiter, usually doesn’t prepare or flame the food . . . but in honor of the sweet potato I special ordered at lunch (to be served at dinner), which came out the size of someone’s head, he had to do it for the laugh!


Which he definitely got! Yes, that’s it in the pan. Usually when they do this, it’s quite a bit fancier!img_3927

So funny! He cut me off a couple of slices.  I hope he saved the rest!

Fri, sat 9 sept

But hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!


I’m reading a wonderful book! Getting me in the mood for the English countryside!

Well girls, I personally could go on all day, but I think that’s it and I should consider this done and not push my luck . . . it took me about 4 hours for this teeny little post, and maybe all the minutes I was allowed, but I wanted you to see the beginning … maybe when we get to sea for real, I’ll be able to do more. I’ll try!! But until then, I’m thinking of you…writing everything down and taking millions of pictures, and when I can show them, I will . . . ❤️

XOXO Your girlfriend, Susan (p.s. we arrive in England on Sept. 16.)


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603 Responses to ANCHORS AWEIGH

  1. Christine Perica says:

    So happy to see your first post from the ship! The day was way prettier than it looked on the New York Harbor web cam as you departed. But we waved and of course saw you two waving farewell. How we wish we were sharing a table with you and closing down the dining room. Had no idea sweet potatoes grew to that size (haha!). And have to say you look simply darling in your black outfit! Cheers!

  2. Joyce Roberts says:

    You and Joe are just too cute for words! Enjoy your “Fine Romance” part two! I think I shall sail along and read A Fine Romance part one again.

  3. Laurel in VA says:

    This is sooo exciting! I’ve been impatiently waiting for your first “Scotland Trip” blog post 🙂 Thanks for letting us cruise along with you and Joe. Enjoy every single moment!

  4. Beth L says:

    SAIL ON , SISTER!!!!

    You know how it is… when One among us raises her head above the churning froth…checks… and clears, then announces “ALL IS WELL,..come on UP!!!!”
    In this turmoil and weight of Political Absurdity, Heart Wrenching Remembrances of 9-11, and Mundane nuances of daily existences like remembering to feed the dogs!!!….there she SAILS!!!! Direction and Hope! FUN!! Sexy legs, crumpled pillows, queasy tummies, itineraries and picnics!
    THIS is Life!!!
    THANKS for Inviting us all IN, Susan! We do not journey this life alone!!!!

  5. Marilyn Young says:

    Pure excitement, that’s what it is and you two should enjoy every single minute together on that huge, huge, huge boat! I think I’ll try to find that book you’re reading, it looks like my kind of read. You both look quite dapper and I’m sure you will have the most fun ever.

  6. Kimberly says:

    Susan, those legs of yours are dangerous! Bet you got lots of looks in that dress! Thank you so much for spending your time on posting for us. Don’t spend too much time on that, okay? We don’t want you killing vacation time blogging when you could be dancing or knitting or doing other fun things. You need this vacation!!! Mua!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s early now, so I thought I’d do a little saying hello. Sometimes I think the connection is better before all the other passengers get up and try to log on!

  7. Carol C says:

    Wonderful pictures–thanks for sharing! Is that Pear Cider in the toast? My sister and I enjoyed it every day in England and on QMII after learning about it –Where else?! in Fine Romance! We also shared a table with two charming British couples and are still in touch. Fantastic memories and now a chance to relive it all. Thanks again!!!! Have a wonderful, safe trip and, I agree with the other girlfriends, the black outfit is perfect!!

    • sbranch says:

      Pear Cider!!! I have to say, it’s not the same as what we get in America . . . It’s just so much more bubbly when it’s true English Pear Cider. Thank you Carol!

      • Shirley Green says:

        Crispin Pear Cider is quite good, very bubbly. I’ve become a fan of these ciders. Thank you Susan for introducing them to me in A Fine Romance.

  8. Lynne Bulow says:

    I am dying to know how much luggage you took this time? I know there are a lot of us going with you, but last time you had a ton of bags! Wondering about this time.
    After years of reading your blogs and books ( I even have one of the first Heart of the Home), this is my first time to comment!

  9. Gail says:

    Enjoy your glorious trip,can’t wait to see all your pictures. I sat outside in western Ma., with my pot of tea and my new favorite book “Isle of Dreams”.

  10. Anne Rowe says:

    I was able to watch the ship depart this year…such fun until you disappeared behind some trees on shore. When they zoomed in on the passengers I looked hard for you and Joe but couldn’t find you. Is your room in a better location this time? Remember that loooonnnnggg hall? Do you like the new decor? Have the best time and I’ll be chugging along right behind you!

    • sbranch says:

      All the halls are long when it comes to the staterooms! Love the new decor! We were upgraded this time, so our room is a bit bigger, but the view is just the same!

  11. Sammi Nelson Janey says:

    I loved reading this and seeing the photos. You look adorable in the black dress and boots. Love them. I have never taken a cruise, would like to. I have RA and no immune system from treatments so always worry about being with so many people. I am always worried about getting sick. I may break down after seeing this and go; my husband would be thrilled if I consented. I do look forward to seeing more of your travel photos and commentary on them. Safe travels and loads of fun to you both.

  12. Joanie B says:

    I love that you’ll arrive in England on Sept. 16–my birthday! Feels like a series lovely presents I’ll get to open over the next few weeks as I follow your adventures.

  13. Nancy fron Iowa says:

    Watched you sail out of New York Harbor. They even did close-ups of people on board, but not close-up enough for me to identify you two….not that I didn’t try….squinty eyes. Have fun!!

  14. Jody says:

    How exciting!!
    You look so sassy-sweet in your LBD and boots!
    Take joy!

  15. Mary Knight says:

    Hey Susan…I don’t know if you’ll remember, but the last time you were in Chawton, England, you photographed my Jack Russell terrier, Basil, sitting in the window of our cottage! If you are planning to visit Chawton again, do let me know as I would be honoured to meet you and offer you a typical, English cream tea! Safe sailing!

    • sbranch says:

      Of course I remember, and if we find ourselves in your lovely neighborhood I will knock on your door! Thank you for the sweet invitation. We’ll be in Stourhead for a BYO Picnic Basket party on September 18 … near the grass bridge, or if it rains, we’ll be in the church there ~ at Noon. If you feel like meeting some kindred spirits, please join us.❤️

  16. Paula from New Romney, Kent, England. says:

    Hi Susan, What a stunning outfit….WHAT A GAL!!!! Be honest though, bet you were soooo pleased to get back into your jammies at the end of the evening (my favourite comfort zone!). Have a truly wonderful crossing over to us and we have some beautiful Autumn weather at the mo just waiting for you and Joe. With much love Paula X

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, always loving the jammies! Can’t wait to get there Paula . . it’s blue skies and white clouds over wide ocean right now!

  17. Marty from NYC says:

    Hello Susan and Joe:
    what a fantastic start to so many wonderful days at sea! It is true- you both look adorable and I am sure will end up with lots of new girl/guy friends on board.
    Sue–Can’t help but envy your fantastic legs-when you got them, flaunt them!

    For your lecture why not talk about “life is what you make it” –and you are living proof of that. Your story is inspirational.

    Beyond that , please relax and enjoy yourselves–that’s what this is all about.
    Ahh-deep breathes of ocean air- I can feel and taste them today because of you.
    fondly, Marty

  18. winnie Nielsen says:

    Looks like a wonderful start for you and Joe!! I head out over the big pond tonight on British Airways. I am hoping they have reruns of Downton Abby so I can while away the long hours in the company of the Granthams and the Dowager!!

    Looking forward to seeing what you post next on your journey.


  19. Sharon on the coast in South Carolina says:

    Sue and Joe, ya’ll look . . . fabulous! That is too funny about the Sweet Potato the size of someone’s head! It must have been grown in South Carolina! Great pic of you Sue in that cute outfit with boots. I think I can just barely see the bejeweled sea-band.

  20. Clare says:

    God-speed, friend. xo from PA

  21. jeanie says:

    What a treat to sneak a peek of the high seas and your beautiful digs! I’ll look forward to the next post!

  22. Cyndee from Kalamazoo says:

    I’m so glad you could send the pictures from the ship. Makes me feel like I’m there. I know I was invited but I didn’t come along.
    Saw how people dressed for dinner and knew I had nothing to wear…ha ha. You looked great, I think this FTG has a new Fairy God Mother and she did her very best. Wished we could have seen you and Joe together… need to take along a photographer.
    I did watch you leave NY and I also found a sight for us followers…
    Gives all the info of where the ship is and a webcam from the front as you go. For what ever reason, mine only updates a couple imes a minute, but I can see the blue sky and ocean. It also has a layout of all the decks.
    Susan, deck 7 looks very big…hope you enjoyed your walk. I hope
    Joe can get photos of your talk for us. It will be fun to see how many GF’s are on board and how many new ones you meet.

  23. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Stunning GF in LBD, boots, bling & handsome Joe must have felt 7 ft tall….proud as punch…you two sashaying into the dining room (with all 352? of us)!!! What fun to have native table mates! Love the tea for two, potato head, room with a view….all the pics…sighing loudly! Sailing along is super! Hearty hugs for you 2 for bringing us along & a kajillion THANKS!

  24. Debbie Boerger says:

    Meanwhile, back on the ranch, AKA Franklin, Maine….
    I’m sure you have heard from your neighbors on the Island that we are finally having our first taste of fall….aaah, deep breath. Awoke to find huge flock of turkeys scratching under the feeders and making me yearn to be Barbara Kingsolver, who raised them, dispatched them and reached in and yanked out their innards before cooking them, see Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
    Wish we were sailing toward Old Blighty with you and Joe. Were there last Fall. Please post more pics of you two enjoying life with the Queen. Thank you Susan for doing this for the US who love you.
    Debbie in Maine

  25. Kat Fry on Rose Creek Farm says:

    Sailing Sailing…so many lovely & fun sailing songs! Y’all looked sooo relaxed! Love seeing all the familiar rooms. What Fun having tablemates from England! Lots to chat about I’m sure.
    Ok…Love that outfit! It is so YOU! Very darlin’…Very Ahhchantay! and Divine! And those boots! Maybe you should have a clothing line! Such a Unique style.
    Its Grand to think of you n’ Joe and all the lovely F.O.S.B.s in our little places…doing so many different things…and yet all of one kindred spirit!
    Livin’ the Life! continued Smooth Sailing our Dear, Dear Friend.

  26. I love that dress!!! And the book about a shepard’s life looks like a good one!
    This weekend my sister, her family, my mother-in-law and I went to the grand opening of the new coffee cafe, which is in our childhood home. The new owner has taken the house back to 1868. He has named some sandwiches after my great-great-great grandfather and my great-great grandfather, who built the house. The 3x great grandfather had built a smaller log home in 1848 when he settled there. Think “little house in the big woods”. That home no longer exists. If WI girlfriends want to know, it is in Jackson, WI on east Main St..

    Back to domesticity here.

    • How lovely, Margot! What a special feeling it must be to visit your childhood home again, enjoying the old memories there while making new memories with each visit! It’s so wonderful that your home has been restored to its original beauty. Thanks for sharing this story, Margot! It makes my heart smile. 🙂 ♡

  27. Steph D says:

    How CUTE are you in your dress and boots?!!!! 😀 Love. It.

  28. Ann says:

    Here’s to a very safe passage and thank you for the lovely photos of New York harbor. I’m looking forward to reading all about this amazing trip.

  29. Laura says:

    Hi Susan and Joe!
    Love love the pics and your post. So exciting! Feel like we are right there with you, thank you! Tried to watch the sail away in between working. I got a couple of images captured from the computer. I will see if I can figure out out how to send them along.
    Love the Mangers! I tried it after hearing you talk about it in the book. Delicious and so refreshing!! Thank you for turning me (us) on to it.
    Looking forward to your next post with great eagerness!

  30. Debi Riley says:

    Traveling vicariously with you! Smooth sailing! Can’t wait for your next newsie post!!

  31. Gail M. says:

    What an amazing adventure you’re on! I loved watching the live stream of the QM2 leaving NY Harbor. My first LIVE view of the Statue of Liberty! Halifax looks beautiful (just saw your pic on Twitter!). Love, love your dress and boots! Thank you so much for “taking us along!” I can’t wait to see what’s to come! Blessings for a safe and wonderful crossing!

  32. Nancy Brand says:

    Hi Susan, I was thinking about you both on Thursday as I knew it was your sail date! The pictures you posted are beautiful. While you were sailing out of NY harbor, I was curled up in bed with Isle of Dreams. I received the book in May when they were first sent. I saved it to read while I recover from knee replacement because I knew it would be a great escape. I was transported to the island, laughed and cried and loved every minute of the book! I so admire your perseverance…and your belief in yourself! You became a shining star! Enjoy this special trip…waiting to read more of your adventures! ❤️

  33. MARYANN HOWELL says:

    This is so fun! I love to hear about your adventure! By the way your dress is so cute!!! love it! Have a wonderful trip and keep the posts coming when you can. I cant wait till your next book. 🙂

  34. Barbara Ann says:

    I’m reading The Shepards Life, also! A friend in Cumbria got me a sign copy for Christmas last year. So many books, so little time!
    Your itinerary this year looks great…the Yorkshire Dales are a special favorite of mine…love all the little villages. There are some amazing rug hookers in the village of Reeth if your travels take you that way. Enjoy!

    • Shirley Green says:

      Yorkshire Dales think James Herriot, aka Alf Wight. Visited once and have never forgotten it. Anxious for Susan’s book about this trip., especially the Scotland part.

  35. Diane V. says:

    Thanks for taking us along….it looks delightful. Here’s to smooth sailing the whole way for you and Joe. Enjoy yourselves. P.S. Gotta love that pear cider…Yum.

  36. CJ Love says:

    Looks like so much fun!

  37. Susan says:

    Love your dress girlfriend!
    Thanks for the update!

  38. Sarah Lee says:

    Have a wonderful journey and have a fantastic time in England Susan. We are enjoying some beautiful weather here at the moment. Where are you travelling to this time on your visit? Love and happy times to you xx

    • sbranch says:

      Heading up to Scotland, for one thing, and LOTS of other places…first off going to Stourhead in Wiltshire for a BYO Picnic Basket party, and you are invited . . . next Sunday at noon, near the grass bridge.

      • Sarah Lee says:

        How exciting! I recently went to the Lake District (after not visiting there for about 20 years) and stayed in Ambleside. We did lots of the same things you did while there too. I just loved Hill Top, it was marvellous. I never did find Peter Rabbit though. I live in Yorkshire and visit York all the time. A few years ago we stayed over for my birthday and I think we stayed in the same hotel that you did, just across from the Minster.
        I just love your books and wish that I could get to Stourhead to see you. It’s just a little too far away from me though.
        Have a wonderful trip and I do hope that you will write another book on your travels here xx

      • Shirley Green says:

        Susan, so envy your Scotland sojourn. Had two visits there, forever memories. (My middle name is Scott so you know where part of my heart is). Can hardly wait for the book to follow this trip.

  39. Bernie Gardiner says:

    Have a great trip, Susan and Joe – looking forward to meeting you at the picnic – will keep fingers crossed for perfect weather for the perfect day!! With love, Bernie x

  40. Lillian says:

    Dear Susan,
    I often read your great blog but have never posted, but after reading A Fine Romance I just have to wish you and Joe another wonderful adventure and tell you how anxiously my friends and I are looking forward to hearing all about it. Thanks for sharing.

  41. Carole Beth Rhodes says:

    This post was wonderful. Thank you for bringing us along!!! Safe travels!!

  42. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    Love your dress! Hope you have a wonderful time!

  43. Pat Rossiter says:

    Hi Sue,, Love your posting of boarding your ship. A dream I will live through you!
    I am so sorry to hear about Girl Kitty and wanted to let you know the rainbow bridge seems to be very busy this year.. GK will meet a lot of kitty souls and will be privileged to speak of the love she knew in your care and the fact she was recognized world wide. She was beautiful, and I know it will take a while to get over her passing, but know you did what she could not do herself. You were her mum and you knew best. Perhaps a new little one will be needing a home upon your return, perfect for Christmas time! Your cheerful heart will keep your spirits up when you begin to grieve, but go ahead and cry, all us girlfriends have done it… Have a lovely trip, I will be following you, enjoy the interesting weather!!

  44. Elizabeth Miles says:

    Have a marvelous trip! Love the photos! 💓

  45. LINDA JUNE says:

    Ship Ahoy! Thanks for a wonderful blog from your first day at sea. I feel another book coming on! Have an exciting, fun-filled trip……

  46. Caroline says:

    Cute boots and little black dress! You go Girl! I am going to get that book!
    Here are some quotes about journals that reminded me of you from Phyllis Theroux’s book The Journal Keeper….

    “Knowing I have a place to save small pieces of beauty, keeps me on the look out for them. These are my butterflies, halted mid flight on the page.”

    “My journal is a wise friend who helps me create my own Enlightenment.”

    ” If you want your journal to have any lasting value for yourself or others: Lean toward the Light.” This is what you do! and so well! You spread light and joy all over the world:) Wishing you a beautiful and joyful trip which it will of course be!

  47. Kathy Phenix says:

    I’m really excited for you and Joe and “all of the girlfriends”. You always make the trip delightful with your wonderful descriptions and beautiful pictures. Can’t wait to explore England and Scotland with you as our guide. Have a wonderful sail and do keep in touch.

  48. Rosie Price says:

    Praying for sunshine for the picnic on Sunday Susan & Joe, I can’t wait to meet you – I have quite a trek too over land, not sea. Very excited. Beautiful weather this week, an Indian summer, not known for 50 years in September! All for you me thinks…….Rosie xo

  49. Martha from fresno says:

    Oh, but where is Petey?!! Please show him when you can as I didn’t even know I would be looking for him but I so am! Hope he is ready too! Thanks for sharing everything.

    • sbranch says:

      He’s comfy sitting on the shelf here in our room overlooking everything with a view of the sea! Smiling, permanently, and happy.

  50. Monica Wilson says:

    So happy to read your first post as you take off on this new adventure! Thank you for sharing with us. It is super fun to come along for the trip, as that is the only way I will be traveling overseas for a few years! Your posts always brings joy to my heart! Bon Voyage!

  51. Mary Pat says:

    I am so delighted your virtual steamer trunk is huge enough to hold all the girlfriends for this adventure.

  52. Anna Marie says:

    Bon Voyage! I love that dress, Susan. I wish you and Joe a safe and steady trip going and coming home!

  53. Pat Beckman says:

    Have a wonderful trip, I wish we were coming along…I want to go back to the Cotswalds and Beatrix Potters home that area. I’ll be interested in where you go in Scotland. We went to Scotland to see the distilleries and the golf courses on the second half of the trip. I really should have said my husband did……
    Safe trip

  54. Eileen Ammendolea says:

    I am so excited about your trip! You’re already off to a great start. Thanks for sharing all the pictures; you look so happy! Love the black dress and boots–super cool! Can’t wait to read about all the adventures awaiting you both.

  55. Becky says:

    Your black cocktail dress and black boots are adorable! Are you a full vegan now?Is that why the sweet potato for dinner? Enjoy your time sailing the ocean blue.

  56. Brenda Chambers says:

    So great to see the post. Was wondering where y’all were at on the trip. Take care, enjoy the sights.

  57. Alice Crayton says:

    Bon voyage!
    Have a wonderful time in that beautiful country!
    I can’t wait to see what you post next!

  58. Cynthia wayman says:

    Just passed by your V.H. home today and thought of you guys. I blew a kiss to Jack and do hope you hsve just the best time ever

  59. Kathleen says:

    It all looks so beautiful. Cunard should hire you, you have convinced me ocean travel is the way to go. Much more fulfilling.
    That black dress and those cute boots! I love those on you. The artist.

  60. Edie says:

    Looks like a great trip so far! Here’s to smooth sailing! Enjoy a cuppa!

  61. Charissa says:

    OH MY GOODNESS… YOU ARE ONE HOT MAMA!!! I LOVE YOUR DRESS. Gobsmacked by your legs!! You look 40 or less:) Less I think… definitely less!!! Good for you! ❤️❤️❤️

    Thank you so much for taking us along on this Twip and all the pictures and Twitter updates It means so much to get to go along with you. BTW, WHAT IS THIS ABOUT A SCREENWRITER?!?!? Can you say anything?! IS it happening?!?!?! I am on pins and needles. You and Joe look so darling. I love your EB breakfast cups. I had been looking for one on ebay and I just found one with the word DARLING on it a few weeks ago. Thought I went to EB Heaven:) I collect the hearts and pink Sampler patterns and even though I don’t have a Dutch dresser or open shelving, I do have a pretty big pantry. So I cleared off a whole shelf in there and decorated it like a dresser. Puts a smile on my face daily. Have you seen her dresser print? It comes in wallpaper too. I would love to do my pantry in that:) Thanks again for all this wonderfulness xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, there is a screenwriter involved, she is writing the screenplay, and/or script for either a movie or a series . . . and is in touch with questions. She’s adorable by the way, and the process is fun. Still keeping expectations low or actually nonexistent, and enjoyment high. Thank you dear Charissa!

      • sylvia in seattle says:

        Eeeeek! and Yay!

      • Charissa says:

        Good way to think about it for you! Meanwhile, I have all the expectations in the world for you:) They would be CRAZY not to do it once they saw how enchanting you and your story are!! Glad the screenwriter is adorable That makes it even more fun

        PS Congratulations!!! Your 2017 Wall Calendar is a best seller on Amazon… thought you would want to know, if they didn’t already alert you. They sent it to me in an email based on recommendations for what I like. Guess they know me:)

        PPS I sometimes don’t respond to your replies back to me just so you have less work to do. I just wanted you to know that I always read them and am so very appreciative;) I was just assuming you knew this and then i thought… omg, what if she doesn’t and all the times she wrote me back and i didn’t say anything, she thought i didn’t read her response. I am totally overthinking this I know. I am sure this is what most people do, but then i thought… how can you tell???? You do so much for it to go unnoticed. I guess you just have to be ok with it either way. I am embarrassed to post this because of course you knew that was what was happening, right? but… oh well…. i have a small neurosis (it is not the only one and some of them may not be small;)) lol Totally thought about deleting this part, but it made me laugh.

      • Wendi Unrein says:

        Seriously Susan? How wonderful!!!!

  62. kathleen says:

    I spent my entire weekend reading your trilogy of happy ever afterness. Loved every sentence and the giggles with GFs. Same age as me, so the memories were a blast. LOVE England !!! So lucky to have spent an entire summer there in the 1970s. ENJOY this new voyage with Joe. Hugs, Ksc

  63. Linda Kidd says:

    Love, love hearing all about your trip on the ship over to England. Would love to go to England/Scotland via the QE2. Can’t wait to read everything you are able to post on this trip. Thanks for taking us with you!

  64. Lois Rehm says:

    Hi Susan,

    Bon voyage to you and Joe. Safe and wonderful travels for you in the UK.

    I read The Shepherd’s Life earlier this year and was in awe of the life of the shepherds in the Beatrix Potter area of the Lake District. Such devotion to their land despite the difficulties with ill-timed weather and unbelievable physical demands as they labor on the land and in the hills with crops and flocks.
    Added to this is the intelligence, knowledge, and experience that are needed to evaluate sheep, the weather, and crops.

    Warm thoughts of you as you have some down time to ponder on your big loss of your dear father and the passing of the genteel, lovable Girl Kitty. May you experience gradual healing of heart and spirit.

    Lois from Westchester

  65. DeLores Johnson says:

    I enjoyed this Blog and all the pictures. I hope you have a happy trip and will find many “treasures” to bring home. You have a very handsome husband so you must hold his hand tight and he in turn must also hold your hand tight because you are beautiful. Have a lovely time. I enjoy your blogs and since I have a husband who will not travel I don’t get to go traveling at all. We will be married 60 years this year on Nov.3.

    Love until next time, DeLores Johnson

  66. DonnaLee Yeatts says:

    Looking forward to hearing about your journey. My husband and I just flew back from the UK on 9/11/16, so we must have flown over you that day as we were flying into Philly. Enjoy yourselves!


  67. Carolyn says:

    Bon voyage!

  68. Nancy B says:

    Hi, Susan. Just wanted you to know I’m thinking of you and Joe on your wonderful journey. I was able to watch you leave the harbor on this trip. So exciting! Wish I could be at the picnic. I know I’ll enjoy this virtual trip as much as last time.

    Happy sailing and wandering!!💕
    Nancy (from Bakersfield)

  69. Tdollins says:

    Lovin the boots! Have a jolly ole time!

  70. Mary Whiting says:

    I am so excited for you both. Once again, I will follow your trip and use it as a template for out next trip overseas in 2018. Safe travels.


  71. Daralyn says:

    I am so excited for you… Have a wonderful journey <3
    Dreaming of pear cider in the evening and mornings with hot tea on the balcony …..

  72. Maria says:

    Sounds heavenly romantic! ❤️❤️

  73. Donna Watkinson says:

    Dear Susan,

    Wishing you and Joe a wonderful journey. Thanks so much for taking us along! You and Joe look fabulous by the way and I love your outfit!!

  74. Hannah Jane says:

    I am so excited to hear about all of your adventures! And I’m currently in line for that book at my library! It looks like it’s going to be an awesome read.

  75. Candy says:

    I can’t wait to see how you paint those gorgeous blues and turqs on the ship’s windows in your picture. Stunning colors worthy of your palette! Have fun!

  76. Janet O'Connor says:

    Hi Susan, Thank you for your beautiful post. I just got to read it today and I want to wish you “Bon Voyage.” You must be out in the middle of the Atlantic today and I hope you are having smooth sailing. The photos that you posted are beautiful – thank you for thinking of us all! <3

  77. Crystal says:

    Dear Sue, Glad to hear that you are on your trip, sounds like another great adventure. So sorry to hear about Girl Kitty. Losing a member of our family is always hard. It is nice to know that she is in a good place now. Take care. Love, Crystal

  78. Anne from Mesa, Arizona says:

    How exciting! You two are lovely. And that dress, the boots!! Beautiful! Can’t wait to see more posts and pictures of your trip. I’ve been following your newsletters, etc., for about 20 years. Martha’s Vineyard was my dream vacation back in the late 80’s. I must go back.

  79. Mary from NJ says:

    I am sooo enjoying, this, my 2nd journey crossing the pond with you & Joe! <3

    I was so fortunate to meet you in May in New Hope, PA and while in line also met fellow Girlfriend Georgie–both from NJ and we live near each other!

    I suggested,years ago after "A Fine Romance" came out, that I thought you should record/read an audiobook –and said you'd need to go back to capture the ship's whistle blowing, clinking glasses in the Chartroom aboard the Queen Mary 2, sheep BAA-ing in the fields of the English countryside, tea cups settling into their saucers at a tea room in England, etc….I hope you can capture some of those sounds and more on this trip and maybe not only write another book–but also record an audio book?! 😀

    Have a wonderful trip! Take it all in and most certainly, relax & enjoy!
    Loving the postings and pictures!

  80. Teresa O says:

    I am loving being a part of your journey. Just a wonderful way to pretend for a wee part of the day. Have a glorious trip!

  81. Audrianne Hill says:

    You’ve got Legs!!! I have only seen photos of you in pants; what an adorable dress.

    I wish you calm seas and awaiting the arrival of your book in my bookstore. Distributors tell me it will be in their warehouse on the 4th of October. I hope it is just so popular and again on the NYT bestsellers list. Then it will be worth it.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s actually at the distributors now, has been since Sept. 1 … it’s in stock at either Baker & Taylor or Ingram. xoxo

  82. Wendy D in Santa Rosa, CA says:

    I am so excited for more posts! Have a wonderful voyage with your sweet husband!

  83. Amylisa says:

    So glad you were able to post!!! Praying for safe and wonderful travels for you and Joe. 🙂

  84. Carol Delmonico says:

    Going to England with you on your last trip was one of the highlights of my life! I would check everyday to see if there was something new on your blog. Can’t wait to follow you in Scotland! Bon Voyage and thanks for sharing your fun! Carol

  85. Asha says:

    Dear Susan & Joe: Thank you so much or bringing all of us with you on your voyage! Couldn’t be happier to join you! 🙂 Susan! LOVE that black dress and boots! Right in style, my dear!!!! Safe travels and look forward to seeing when you dock in England! Love ya! oxoxox

  86. Anna says:

    Say hello to Saint Margaret and Saint David, mother and son, who are my 24th and 25th grandparents. They lived at Edinburgh Castle. I have multiple sets of grandparent lines who were Kings and Queens of Scotland and others the House of Wessex. I’m one of those US noble descents. Ha…that and several dollars gets me a good cup of coffee. I will enjoy every minute of this adventure. Just received the 30th Anniversary edition of Heart of the Home. It is marvelous. Martha’s Vineyard was an excellent read! Happy Sails!

  87. Jennifer says:

    Oh my! Sexy dress – I love it!

  88. Dear Susan

    I am new to your wonderful books and blog, but my what a treat it’s been! ❤️ I am so pleased to have discovered your beautiful work and words, I really am. I literally could not put down Fairytale girl, or Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, I have however tried to savour A Fine Romance. It has become a hobby to track down your older publications too and I’m thrilled to have found quite a few that will now be treasured in their new home. I also managed to pick up a few scrapbooks from eBay too which I can’t wait to put to good use. It is my birthday on Monday and a rather large hint was dropped to my dear hubby for your 30th Anniversary book too. Fingers crossed!

    I am beyond excited that you are on your way to England at the moment, I wish you a very safe journey and a wonderful trip. I literally squealed with delight when I saw that you were holding a picnic on the 18th, here in England and I can’t wait to come along and meet you. Everything about your artwork, creative way of life and way of documenting it is so inspiring to me and really speaks to my homely creative soul and for that I THANK YOU! 💐 We love to visit America and we loved our trip to New England a few years ago, where we visited your lovely home of Martha’s Vineyard for the day. We really can not wait to return and explore some more, I feel it will be a place we return to again and again. You have made us appreciate what is on our doorstep too, that I must admit we take for granted or do not make enough time for. We have joined the National Trust after reading your wonderful adventures and are off to Hilltop next week as I have always loved Beatrix Potter. 🐰 So another thank you for inspiring us to finally book the trip.

    Loving your photos so far, what a fabulous photo with Miss Liberty in the background, New York always has a little piece of my heart! I love your dress and boots too, so cute! Anyway, enjoy crossing the pond.

    Your newest blog girlfriend!

    Katrina XOXO

  89. Delaney Ann Prins says:

    Love your get-up! And the scenes from the NYHarbir- what fun to go off a-sailing! Bon Voyage for sure!

  90. Diane R says:

    Hi Susan,
    Have you read “One Girl and Her Dogs” by Emma Gray? If you are reading, “A Shepherds’s Life”, then I think you will LOVE this book. A true story about a gutsy young woman living on a National Trust Farm on the Scottish, English Border, training dogs for sheep herding. I read it this spring …… it was great!

  91. Jeni Behen says:

    Look at that cute Joe! Look at that schooner! Look at that luscious bed! Look at that sweet potato!!!!! (YIKES!) Look at that sunset! Look at you in your little black dress…hubba, hubba!
    Aaaaah, great beginnings! Another wonderful adventure. Cannot wait.

  92. Mary in St Louis says:

    Have a wonderful trip, Girlfriend ! Can’t wait to hear all about it…what a beautiful time of year for traveling. Hope the weather is perfect for you and Joe….have fun ! ( I know you will)
    I was so sorry to read about Girl Kitty. Such a pretty, sweet girl. I’m sure Jack misses her, and I know that you do. XOXO

  93. Debbie Boerger says:

    Ahoy, Susan and Joe. I see on Current Position web site that you passed about 40 K south of The Lizard. This site also has live bridge cam. Could you see land? When you dock and walk down the ramp, there should be much less anxiety for you and your intrepid driver, as you will fall right back into being on the left. By the way, did you see any of those “traffic calming” arrangements going through residential neighborhoods on busy roads? Your are right. How can you Not love a people who can say, “Slow Down” in such a polite way? Also, you know you will have the westward voyage to anticipate. My Tom asks that you have a bacon and brie sandwich for him.

    Debbie in Beautiful Maine

  94. Rae Ann R. says:

    I saw my Michigan friends Tammy & Jim on your board room Twitter photo! Now my daughter Sarah and good friends have met you! Judging by the smile on Tammy’s face, you must have gotten her letter😉 One of these days I will have the pleasure of meeting you…until then, I will enjoy your blog and Twitter posts…xoxo

  95. becky says:

    I love your dress & the boots! Great style for a wonderful trip!

  96. Barbara says:

    Hi Susan! I hope you have a wonderful trip! I love all of your tales on the high seas! I am fortunate enough to be traveling to Scotland next month with my hubby!! I canna wait to see all of the castles, lochs, sheep, and beautiful people. I told my hubby to have the tissues ready because once I stand on Scottish soil,I will be crying my eyes out saying, “I feel like I’m home!!! ( I did this in Ireland and England, must be a soul connection!) Have fun, and looking forward to reading all about your trip with your honey!!!!

  97. PAULA says:

    What a wonderful sailing! You and Joe work so hard, can’t think of any two people who deserve this trip more. And you’re so cute, and you share so much with everyone. Enjoy!!!!!! Love, Polly from Oxnard

  98. Cindy says:

    Okay, so I need to know where you got your cute boots?

  99. Linda Kidd says:

    Love to hear all about your trip. Thanks for taking all of us along!!

  100. Lisa R (northern Az) says:

    Oh, wonderful!! Your excitement is contagious! I know I don’t have to tell you to relax, have fun, enjoy……because I know you will. Many blessings to you both!!

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