Oh Girlfriends, we’re going to have fun with this one. Last month our friends (and neighbors) Lowely and John suggested we all go on a Valentine’s getaway together, up to the big snow country of Vermont! What a good idea! Cozy fires, hot coffee drinks, flannel shirts, lots of barns (love barns, have a collection of barn photos, needed more!), Vermont maple syrup on our pancakes, who could ask for more? But there was more, there was a sleigh ride! And you’re coming along! So, here we goooooo! (It’s very long! Unhook the computer, take it to your sofa, get cozy with a cup of tea, and settle in for a virtual trip to luv-lee Vermont!)

MUSICA. It was, I admit, a wee bit hairy on the way up. There was a huge storm. It never stopped snowing and blowing from the second we hit the state line. Luckily Lowely and I were in the big back seat, sharing a cozy blanket, where we could see nothing, therefore could not comment on any sort of driving anomalies. Best for all involved. Trust being the main item of the day. We were strapped into a monster SUV of safety, which was filled with wonderful music! So there was lots of singing along. We had fun! Our map men did a great job, as I am reporting, now, alive, and back home, safe and sound, so it must be true.

And the snowplows were out in full force.

And when our windshield wiper stopped working, Joe popped out and fixed it! Because he can!

But it was gnarly sometimes. And did we mind? No, we just clicked away with our cameras! Lowely is a pastel artist and takes photographs for inspiration. I think some of our more out-of-focus photos look like paintings already! And I take pictures so I can show you! Look at this! Isn’t it beautiful?

 I’m always in the mood to share the magic when I see it! I think I forgot how BEAUTIFUL Vermont is. Red barns and red brick chimneys with smoke curling into the white sky ~ softly painted clapboard houses, and everything polka-dotted with snow.

Not to mention old covered bridges, 104 of them in Vermont . . . the most in all of New England!

I liked this photo because of the juxtaposition between the rearview mirror, the bridge opening and the GPS screen. Visions and views, old and new.

Most of the buildings had good steep roofs, and here you can see why . . .  the snow slides off in big sheets. Would not like to be under it when it happens!  But, then again, it might be fun (if it doesn’t kill you!).

From right out my car window. Lowely and I were always teasing each other, I thought she had all the “good stuff”  on her side, and she though I had it all! In this case, I was definitely the lucky one. But she probably had something just as good on her side, as you will see…. it’s all beautiful. Beginning to look a lot like Christmas, 🎶everywhere we go!

This homeowner put a pine-tree wind break around his house.  Isn’t it cute? Talk about Christmas! Look at the tiny green building on the right. Snow on roof tops is very pretty! These people would never have to worry about a Christmas with no snow!

Had to be careful though. See that pole in the middle of the church? Didn’t want that in the picture, had to snap it at just the right time! Luckily the icy roads slowed the car down! Look below ⬇️, the graveyards were lovely. My favorite part about anywhere I go is the history, and Vermont is old and wonderful and filled with history of our country, and the people who built it, mostly of course, immigrants! AND, related to us, building America, fighting for our country in wars and buried here. See the little flag? 💝

Even the smaller barns had cupolas and weather vanes on top. Why? Because they can. It’s small-farm country around here, and beauty, little graces, which we see everywhere, seem to matter. I always appreciate efforts of home owners who make the world a more lovely place to be. They have such power and often don’t even realize it, they do it because that’s just who they are.💞

And it’s big-farm country too . . . and pride makes them choose blue and red paint to make the whole world brighter.

So we toodled along, taking pictures of everything. Besides wood, which was plentiful in all the local forests, they also used lots of brick for their buildings.  This New England is as close to Old England as we can get in America!

Almost everyone has traded his wooden roof for one of these slippery metal ones where the snow can cause no water-intrusion problems for the homeowners.

Lots of the pick-up trucks come equipped with their very own snow plow! Smart! Taking no chances!

Sweet little log cabin in the woods. I will always be a lover of houses, all shapes and sizes.

Almost there! Our hotel is in Warren! In the Mad River Valley! Mad River, what a great name!

Just because it’s out of focus, doesn’t mean it isn’t wonderful! By the time we got to the hotel, it was around 5 o’clock, and we had fallen madly in love with the whole countryside. MAS MUSICA? Oui! Favorite travel musica!

We’re there!

And this is our hotel. The Pitcher Inn in Warren, Vermont.  Plan ahead if you go there, because their hotel packages give a significant discount if you do! Romantic, perfect for Valentine’s, set in the smallest little town, but right in the middle of everything.❤️

Here’s the parking lot. With this darling little clock building in it, a converted barn we think is probably offices for the hotel.

And there’s our beast-like vehicle that got us here alive.

Here’s the view across the street.

Snowy Warren, Vermont, says, “welcome!”

Quite a cute little store attracting our attention across the street. Lit up with stars and twinkle lights. Looks like a country general store. Probably a good one. Note to selves, go here first thing in morning!

The hallway display on the way to our room.

Here’s the entrance, with a look into the dining room, and the stone fireplace far beyond. Every room had a fireplace of course.

Charming lighting in the hallway . . .

We unloaded our bags and went right down stairs to the cozy pub to drown our driving jitters in hot toddies and cold toddies and all the toddies in between!

Below, is one of the lovely views from our room. Note starry curtains.

And this was the ceiling. Painted with stars . . .

And this frightening thing with wild eagles on the posts, was our very comfortable bed, with ice cube light tables on both sides! You just never know!

And at the foot of the bed, this . . . a crackling fire made with white birch logs . . . Every night, or any time you asked, they would come and make you a real wood fire.

And this bathroom was SO good, I’ve never seen one like this. For anyone thinking about building a house, you might take a look at this! (The reflections from the windows behind me get in the way a bit, try to look past them.) For one thing, the entire floor is heated, including the tile in this glass room, which is totally enclosed, right up to the ceiling, with a glass wall and a glass door. On the left is the whirlpool tub (you see the bathroom counter in the reflection, but that’s the tub) ~ there are two shower heads, a really good drain in the heated non-slip tile floor, a steam control, so you can take a steam bath, and a little wooden seat on the right that folds down in case you are the sitting-steam-bath-shower type.  It’s very possible to spend the day in this room. I couldn’t help but picture my mom, who could only bathe three kids at a time, (all that would fit in tub, with her on her knees getting soaking wet),  putting herself and her babies in here for group shower! Would have been very handy!

From our room, looking across the street . . . colored lights. How could we not love this!

And here it is again, looking from their side back to our hotel . . .

Birch trees are snow art . . .

The dining room where we had breakfast every morning. Breakfast comes with your room: French toast or flapjacks and Vermont Maple Syrup, delicious coffee and ice-cold fresh-squeezed orange juice with all the delicious pulpy parts intact ~ poached eggs, all white and soft and juicy with yolk, and crunchy seedy toast, with jams and honey and every good thing, and so much more. Fruit and yogurt and granola too. . .

We were happy. Nicest guy waited on us. Remembered all our little preferences from day to day.

Then across the street we went through softly drifting snow to the “almost world famous” Warren Store, built in 1839 as a stagecoach stop, which, from all the action, people going in and out, seems like it’s probably the community center, both for locals and for our kind, the not-so-local, but-still-very-appreciative, too.

First thing I noticed, in all the cuteness of this store where they pretty much sell everything from groceries to home goods, clothing to champagne, with worn wooden floors, the fragrance of fresh coffee brewing, was the extremely hygge wood stove that you couldn’t help but cozy up to. (This store reminded me of the one in the wonderful movie Baby Boom, where Diane Keaton sold her Country Baby Food, remember? SUCH a good movie with a darling Vermont house in it, in case you haven’t seen it . . . you’d love it!)

These are my people. Lowely, Joe and John as we go upstairs to the WONDERFUL clothing store, where they also sell home things, like beautiful hooked rugs and pillows! I found a darling little wool vest up there.

Then there was this framed print hanging over the cash register that made me laugh.  So much, I had to go home and show it to Jack, and this is what his face did:

Did someone mention ball? Wait a minute, does someone have my ball?  Where is it …. you took it? You took it to Vermont and gave it to that strange zebra cat???? Jack was very confused.

They had children’s books too…isn’t this book cover adorable? Not to mention the play on words.  Had to take a picture of this!

A label on a box of chocolates. Quite cute. Have I mentioned how much I love barns and lettering?

Then it was into the car, and back on the road for a day of serendipitous meandering. And more adorable red barns (just like the one on the chocolate box!).

If you really want to get in the mood . . . look at this old video. Because on the actual day of Valentine’s Day, this is what we’re going to be doing ourselves… eeek.

Store window in the neighboring, somewhat larger town, of Waitsfield. X’s and O’s for Valentine’s day.❤️

Across from where Joe was walking is this wonderful store, All Things Bright and Beautiful, on Bridge Street. Filled with stuffed animals, and glass and wooden ornaments. Gaelic, the woman who’s owned the shop for 52 years, was there, making her homemade wooden ornaments.

And there were these . . .

And these . . .

And this . . .

And on Gaelic’s art table, was a box, with a cat in it! A word of advice: resist temptation! Do not put your hand in the box with the cat. #wordtothewise

He is waiting for you to try it. He had me so riveted on him, I forgot to take a picture of Gaelic making her wooden ornaments . . . but Lowely took this picture of a wall display . . .

So now we know how she does it . . . Nothing is what you think it is. The work that goes into all the lovely things there are in this world is phenomenal. This just proves it.

Next to Gaelic’s store is this bridge, 2nd oldest in Vermont,  hence “Bridge Street.”

We walked through it and around it, and on the far side, we looked across the snow meadow and there was this huge bonfire.

I know what my girlfriend Diana would say, she would say, “What would you do if you saw that?” Seemed like a pretty safe time to burn though, I could feel the heat from where I was standing. Had to video it!


See the snow coming down? All wonderful.

Perfect photo op.

And more meandering, more town, getting hungry . . .

Lunch started with a toast and four Bloody Mary’s!

Then more meandering . . .

Couldn’t drive past this sign . . .

Because what’s Vermont without cider and syrup, and these . . .


Cider donuts! Yum!

All kinds of goodies here . . .

Beautiful bottles ~ think I’ll get . . .

This! One Bourbon Barrel Aged Pure Vermont Maple Syrup for me, and, one for you!!  Yes! A GiveAway! Just leave a comment at the bottom of this post (if you ever get there), and you’re IN!

Out, munching do-nuts, drinking cups of steaming hot cider, we slip into gallery, then back in the car . . .

for more red barns . . .

And green ones, and floaty snow flakes . . .

And picture-taking from open car windows . . .

It’s a big ski area up there . . . you may have heard of Sugar Bush and Mad River Glen . . .

And apparently golf is popular too! Though we did not see a lot of it going on!

The slopes were packed with brightly colored people!

The mountains are criss-crossed with ski runs and chair lifts . . .

And gondolas . . . to which, I say, thank you, but no thank you. My adventurous spirit, which brings me right to the edge, has its limits . . . I’m best in the lodge. With the cocoa. And the book. I can go, but drop me at the lodge and bring on the whipped cream.

Luckily, Map Man is right there with me . . . a lodge guy.

So, speaking of immigrants, we then arrived at the chalet of the famous singing Von Trapp Family (Yes, from The Sound of Music) who, with their ten children, left Austria just before WWII, and brought their American Dream to this gorgeous mountain top with the long views of Vermont and made it all come true.💞

They built this amazing ski lodge . . .

Always wanted to see this place and here we were.  If you are a skier, I would say this would be a wonderful place to come stay. As you can see, it wasn’t all snow and blizzard while we were there, it was sunshine too!

Now a quick word about stars.  Something about birch stars that the locals adore, because they are lit up and on everything. You may have noticed them on the Warren Store. Here are a few more photos to prove my point.

Upstairs and downstairs . . . I think they know that twinkles in the snow make magic! That’s why they do it!

And they are really everywhere . . . hanging from trees . . .

On barns . . .

All sizes . . . we think they make them from scratch from the trees in the woods . . .

Some more into it than others . . .

They don’t look store-bought, or uniform in size . . .

Little ones too. . . next to the cute blue door . . .

And even, or especially, in front of the wonderful New England churches . . . quite pretty. I could go on with stars, and restaurants and food and everything, but I think NOW is the time for the Main Event, our sleigh ride in the snow which I have been dreaming of doing for years . . . and now we finally did!!!!!! It was everything I hoped it would be for us four Valentines.❤️ And so nice to be able to take you Valentine’s along with us too!


Gentle Giants” in Stowe, Vermont . . . that’s the name of the sleigh people, and there’s their phone number . . . just in cases.❤️

We brought champagne with us, for before we got out of the car, for a pre-sleigh-ride warm-up and toast to Valentine’s and our wonderful friendship. (BTW, want to taste the MOST delicious champagne, that does not give me a headache like all the others do, costs about 7 dollars a bottle and is from Trader Joe’s? It’s called Amour de Paris (good name), is peach flavored, and I tell you, it’s good cheap stuff. Very celebratory! Perfect for brunch! Yum! Write it down! You’ll love it!)

Now we are happy! 💖

Joe goes in to talk about what we do next!

I go toward the horse. Horse sees me!

He’s coming! I’m happy.

SO beautiful

Much friendlier than the kitty in the box! Note feet (mine) in snow. But totally warm. Uggs boots. Oh yeah, only way to go!

We had a bag of apples and we forgot them! Don’t let this happen to you!

Boys… while we’re waiting  . . . (Hay truck, make a wish!)

So you can see. This is the basic lay of the land.  That little red house in the middle, the smallest one, was where Joe was talking to Rochelle our sleigh driver . . . and there’s the horse Lowely was petting off on the left. Isn’t it pure heaven there?

Lots of lovely horses here . . .


So here’s “Jack” (another Jack, they are everywhere these days), our horse, being hooked to his sleigh. See how smart he is, when Rochelle asks him to move he does it in just the right tiny increment she was asking from him. I was thrilled when Rochelle put on the bells. I was so hoping there would be bells.

John is bringing his blanket. It belonged to his grandfather, we’ve had it in the back seat for the whole trip, and it’s definitely coming on the sleigh ride! Right, Lowely? Right!

And here we are, loaded up and ready to go.  They wrapped us in furry red blankets. We are toasty and warm, and just a few small flakes are coming down. It’s perfect. We’re really doing this!


Here we go! Under the covered bridge . . . !

Look at Rochelle. Isn’t she the perfect sleigh driver? Her hair color is wonderful!!!! This is one of my favorite photos of our whole trip! I could paint her!

So into the pristine white woods we go, cold and crisp . . . see all those branches? That’s what you make those stars from!

As we walked along, we noticed there were lanterns hanging from the trees . . .

While watching little blobs of snow fall out of the trees and turn to powder in the breeze, I said to Rochelle, “How fun, do you go out in a sleigh at night?”

(See the lantern?) She laughed, and said, “No, we just put them there so you’ll think we do!” I’m confused. Is she messing with me? I’m a perfect stranger. There were candles in there! I still don’t get it! 😜

We were out there for about a half hour ~ we saw these cross-country skiers go by . . .

And one other sleigh . . . which was fun, because then we could see how cute we looked!

Delightful. You should do this if you can. Must be sleigh rides all over snow country no matter where you are. Imagine, if you are Louisa May Alcott, this is how you travel in the snow, not because you’re a dreamer per se, but because it’s your only choice after walking. And this is how you go to Boston too. And take your book, Little Women to the Publisher to see if they want to print it!  Which of course they do! ❤️ It wasn’t so long ago that everyone traveled like this, so all of Beacon Street would be sleighs and horses in the snow. This is one moment I’d like to slip back in time and take my camera with me.

They understand the value of RED in the snow. ❤️

But way too soon we were heading back for the covered bridge . . . Yes, we were singing Winter Wonderland to go with our sleigh bells ~ even Rochelle was singing with us. She must have heard people do that a thousand times, because you just can’t help but break into song. Never was there a more appropriate time to sing that song!

Time to go! ❤️

But not before a Valentine’s Kiss.😍 This was our 30th Valentine’s Day together. So lucky to be loving him.🎶 Came a long, long way to do it.

And good bye to Rochelle. One of the many things I liked about her, is how good she is with her horses. She takes wonderful care of them.💞

Back in the car once again, with back-row seat view to everything.

More wonderful scenery, colors in the snow…

Stars and frozen roads . . .

and luv-lee graveyards . . .

And road views . . .

Another truly delicious dinner, this time at the Common Man, just FANTASTIC. I have the menu, I took pictures of the food, I could show it all to you and go on (I was going to say “all day” but it’s already been all day!) and I’m afraid you may want to reclaim your life now!

So here’s our last glimpse of the winter sun . . .

Before we hit the road, because the blizzard started right up for our ride home. And the four friends were on the road again.🤞Fingers crossed for safety!

We stopped here at King Arthur Flour on the way home, a place Lowely and I had always wanted to see. Really interesting, they have classes there ~ would love to do that sometime, and lots of good stuff in the gift shop! But, blizzardsville, USA.

This was our boat ride home. The snow had stopped. It had been raining. We looked outside to this really strange sky. Finally went outside after remembering, “No, the windows on this boat aren’t tinted.” It was that under the total cloud cover, somewhere up there, must have been a gorgeous sunset, that made it’s way to earth in a giant, and I don’t get to say this often, Purple Haze!

HOME SWEET HOME, with Jackie cozying up to the heart dishtowel I bought at King Arthur Flour. What a wonderful time we had. Got a lot done in a very short time! We left on Sunday, drove all day, had Monday and Tuesday to Play, and came home on Wednesday.❤️ Perfect! Only 2 pounds heavier! Could be worse!

Hope you enjoyed our trip! Don’t forget to leave a comment if you’re interested in some Vermont Maple Syrup!  Be sure to heat it up before you pour it over your waffles or pancakes or French toast! Hot syrup melts butter, yum, rivulets! And, come again soon . . . next week we leave on the train for a cross-country trip out to California to be with my mom on her Birthday! Very excited. Will “Twitter from the Twain” along the way! Lots to tell you about still, but enough is enough is what I say! Love you! Byeeee!  P.S. Here are some interesting facts about Vermont I’m sure you would love to know!❤️

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  1. Denise says:

    I soooooo hope the title of this post is also the title of your next book! So. Many. Beautiful. Watercolorworthy. Pictures. Here!! Thank you for this post. I never comment, but know that I will visit this post often❤️❤️❤️😊😊😊. Now I want to visit Vermont….

  2. Chistine says:

    Love your talent!

  3. tamra skeen says:


  4. Denise Garcia says:

    I have a passion for muga..and I’m in Love with your new beautiful mugs..Especially in love with the LOVE mug❤❤❤

  5. Anne Nicholson says:

    Hi Susan! I love the photos of decorating your house for the seasons! My dream is to have a vintage stove, they are so cute! If I can only talk my husband into it! I buy your calendar every year and love reading the Willard!

    • sbranch says:

      Those stoves last forever! Big selling point. And take up no room in the kitchen! Google Stove Heaven in Los Angeles, CA. And good luck!

  6. Cindy Toms says:

    Wow!! I felt like I was with you!! Thank you for your art, your books but mostly your LOVE ❤❤❤!!!

  7. Christina Breid says:

    Beautiful, beautiful post…..Thank you Susan for all the joy and optimism you bring to us. The mugs are wonderful!

  8. Barbara Macey says:

    Thank You for this Sunday morning “get Away.” Loved the photos, your narrative, in fact, I loved all of it. Lucky Foursome with so many memories to share during the hot summer.

  9. Diane Nielsen says:

    Amazing photos! We’ve been to Vermont & it is a magical place. Thank you for sharing your visit-it renewed our trip!

  10. Lisa says:

    Just read my Willard! Loved, loved, loved! All the great news! Thank you so much for all the joy you spread and bring to so many, but especially to me! Can’t wait for my mug! Just the type I use every day and love so much. Only civilized type to drink my properly prepared tea from. From the train tweets we’re all having a blast! Thanks for taking me along!

  11. Carla H says:

    Just pre-ordered the Nature cup….need the second one for a mini Tea Party with my friend Nancy….she is coming in May and we both love everything about SB. Hope we win!!!!!!

  12. Cheryl Hora says:

    I have LOVED things all about Susan Branch since I first spotted her Heart of the Home books at my library. Susan’s Corn Pudding is a family favorite. I go to my niece’s home every year for Thanksgiving. She doesn’t have to tell me what to bring anymore. It’s just “understood” I’m bringing the corn pudding! Please keep sharing with us your beautiful books, Susan!

  13. Geraldine Keating says:

    I just love your cups…all of them actually.I am going to send this blog to my daughters and I would like to preorder a couple, as they will be good gifts, perhaps for mother’s day. I have two daughter, both great moms.
    It would be great fun to win one, as well, if I am lucky.

  14. Jeanne Govert says:

    I absolutely love your blog – you make winter heaven. We went to France this year for Jan and Feb and missed winter in Ohio but I think it’s coming back today – 24 degrees and heavy frost with a few snowflakes last evening. I also adore you mugs – and have pre-ordered already but would love to be the recipient of a FREE one!! My friend from England gave me 4 mugs by Emma Bridgewater and your’s are every bit as beautiful. Keep on keeping on!!

  15. Melissa Iner says:

    The mugs are perfect! I have loved your cookbooks all through my 25 years of marriage, Heart of the Home being the book of favorites. Everyone in my family of seven has a favorite recipe. My husband loves the stuffed pork chops, and Breakfast Crépes have been a constant in my life. Every friend I have made them for has become a lifelong dear friend. They are magical. I have really enjoyed your books about your life as well. I have felt like you were a kindred spirit since I chose to bring home “Heart of the Home” all those years ago, and every one of your books has brought insight and delight and ideas and inspiration. Thank you for sharing your gifts! <3

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you a thousand times, that is all I dreamed for when I sent that little book out into the world. To be among “Family favorites” was my dream.💝

  16. Katy Welty says:

    I work in a community mental health clinic…and in our crisis triage office I have hung up your “Reasons to Go on Living” print. Perfect place for it and our patients are touched by it. Love everything you do!

  17. Glenda says:

    I’m so smitten! You are one lucky lady! I would have loved this trip!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      We are still living in the red and white snow-glow of our amazing Valentine’s Day! Was just showing videos to my Mom yesterday!

  18. LINDA JUNE says:

    Another delightful blog post–just can’t get enough of them! I have taken so many trips with you, entered so many interesting stores, made so many yummy recipes (especially that cute bunny cake)! Your new mug designs are so cute–will have to start a new collection (first books, now mugs)! Keep on keeping on–we girlfriends love it 🙂

  19. Sally says:

    Happiness is reading your blog!

  20. Ellen Ayers says:

    A mug, a mug, my kingdom for a mug! Congratulations for their up coming performance!!

  21. kathleen says:

    You made this trip look so romantic !! I’ve not been to VT for ages but this has me pumped up to go, maybe this summer. I loved seeing the special bottles of maple syrup. Bourbon aged would be right up my alley. xo

  22. Deborah Haycock says:

    I love it all ❄️❤❄️

  23. Sandra says:

    I always love reading about your adventures and seeing all the photos you take! Your new mugs are wonderful and would grace any home in the most wonderful way! Enjoy your trip to the sunshine!

  24. Susan Collins says:

    Your new mugs are lovely!

  25. Pam Alford says:

    Love the Little Things mug so much!! Beautiful!

  26. Linda Henderson says:

    Dear Susan, I was so happy when I opened my email and saw this post from you. Just made me so happy to read it and marvel at the beautiful photos and beautiful words and music. I visited Vermont for a week during Fall Foliage and it was truly memorable. I hope to visit again. I hope your trip to California is wonderful.

  27. Sally Welke says:

    When I read your newsletter I feel my thoughts slowing and feel very peaceful.thank your mugs too!

  28. Debbie Melo says:

    Happy day Susan! The mugs are loverly… the Love mug will be perfect for my dear sister who is going through a very difficult time right now. Everytime you take the train cross country it reminds me of the train trips my family took to see my grandparents, Seattle to Wichita. Three days of little kid heaven each way plus 2 sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins!

  29. Virginia Campbell says:

    My dream is to visit Vermont! If I can only live vicariously through your pictures, I will be quite satisfied!! Minne-snowta has its charm also!
    I applaud your new mug designs…whimsical and charming! I love to buy my friend’s September birthday gift from your lovely finds. She actually introduced me to your site. Her husband passed away a few years ago and anything I can do to bring a smile to her face, is my great pleasure! She sets her teapot on the quilted pot holders and loves the vintage colors. One year I gave her one of your ornaments and it was a hit!! Everything you offer has a smile attached, just waiting to happen!!!
    Thank you for sharing life with us!

  30. Shelley from Home says:

    I loved the sleigh ride just like I was there!!!! Thanks for taking me!! What fun

  31. Lorraine says:

    Wow! That was a long blog! I’m not complaining, but it included so many lovely topics, I don’t know where to start. So I guess I’ll just say thanks for sharing and providing a fun distraction while I drink my tea. Speaking of tea, oh my, oh my… I LOVE the mugs. I am going to preorder today (and I would love to win one!!!), but I’m trying to decide which one. And let me tell you, it’s a tough decision… I plan to buy all 3 (and hopefully there will be more), but I want to pace myself. Thank you for having them made in England. They really know their stuff when it comes to fine bone china mugs (and everything else). I know you wanted to source in US, but I’ve found too that it’s really had to make that happen. Thanks for being so conscientious… Your Valentine’s trip looked like lots of fun. Enjoy your train ride, spending time with family and friends in CA, and soak in the warmth of CA so you’ll be ready for spring when you return. Happy birthday to your mom! Enjoy!!!

  32. Ginny McKeon says:

    Loved joining you on your Vermont jaunt! My husband and I do this frequently. We call it “bumbling”- just driving around with no special plan in mind. Have had wonderful “bumbles” to Maine, Vermont and right here near home in Western Massachusetts!

  33. Kathy England says:

    Love the blog and gorgeous pictures from VT. Thanks for sharing. Your mugs are gorgeous, too. Kathy in WI

  34. Kathy says:

    Hi Susan
    Train rides are the best, you do know how to travel. Those stars were lovely in Vermont.

  35. Jan Bolton says:

    I visited Martha’s Vineyard 18 mths ago and fell in love with it. What a beautiful place. I live on an Island as well called Vancouver Island in BC Canada. Love it here as well. Just wondering if you are going to do another recipe book for the other two seasons. I have all your cookbooks and love each of them and just finished reading your trilogy autobiography. My toe huts Bet-tee! Best wishes on your next adventure so that we can tag along. Cheers Jan

  36. Jane E. Cox says:

    Breathtakingly beautiful!!! Looks like a fabulous time in Vermont and I love all of the “starch” pictures!!! Just beautiful doesn’t seem quite enough! Glad you are the author here!

    Best wishes

  37. carol says:

    Hi Susan, had the opportunity to see Vermont in mid January, but there was no snow, soooooo enjoying your snowy photos. It was a mother/daughter week-end in Windsor with a spa treat in Woodstock. Just loved everything about Vermont, we drove up from New Jersey so we got to see all that lovely scenery even a covered bridge as we eat lunch at Simon Pearce where they make handmade blown glass.
    This state is filled with great goodies!

  38. Summer says:

    I am a collector of mugs and I am absolutely in love with the Little Things Mug!
    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  39. Maura says:

    Thank you for taking us along on your journey! I think I smiled the entire time while I read your story. I loved it!

  40. Beth Dunbar says:

    I am so glad you were able to visit Vermont, and you went to the best place to be in the wintertime. I am a Vermonter, and have been everywhere you were. Now living in Michigan, it was such a pleasure to go back and ‘visit’ my Vermont with you. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  41. Such a lovely trip for Valentine’s Day! And loving your latest Willard, too. Thanks, Susan, and enjoy your visit with your Mom and family.
    Nancye T., Wells, Maine

  42. Judy Morotti says:

    Thanks for the delightful trip to Vermont! Susan, your love of color, design, detail all comes through in your blog. I enjoy each adventure along with you!

  43. Janet says:


    Just wanted to add that if you like A Place To Call Home, you might also like Marta Dusseldorp in Janet King. I watched it on Acorn TV through Amazon Video. It’s excellent, just like Marta. Great acting, great series. The problem is, great shows always come to an end 🙁

    • sbranch says:

      I know, there’s needs to be one that we love that is continuous and forever. The old afternoon soaps had it right, only they needed a bigger budget and a lighter hand sometimes!

  44. Susan Bossler says:

    Just discovered your books due to a cousin sending me one for Christmas! I have since read two more and ordered two to be sent to my daughter and best friend! They have helped me through a very difficult winter. Bless you!

  45. Petrina says:

    Hello and hello Susan,
    Your art and photos are wonderful – Vermont Sleigh Ride – no surprise there. Reminds me of my childhood at our Vermont summer home – in between Halifax and Jaksonville.
    I loved how you captured the Vermont spirit and how you took me back to simpler days.
    Have a stone fence for me.

  46. Lisa Smith says:

    Thank you for taking us along on your latest travel adventure! Being an armchair (disabled) traveler myself, I so enjoy seeing all your new sites and experiences.

    I loved Baby Boom too! I’ve watched it at least half a dozen times. Thanks for mentioning it ~ I’m about due to see it again! That poignant moment when she realizes she has become “mom” and could not continue her workaholic lifestyle was wonderful.

    Congratulations on your 30th Valentine’s Day with Joe!
    Warm Regards, Lisa in Lake Oswego, Oregon

  47. Cindy says:

    Sigh…so wish I lived in such a beautiful place. Your stories and your blog make me feel young again. Your photography inspires daydreams.

  48. Sandra says:

    Love all 3 of the new mugs! I can’t wait to see your design for Christmas!

  49. Vera Vickrey says:

    Susan, I’ve followed you from the very beginning ! How you’ve brightened my life ! Oh, I’d L💖VE a mug !!

  50. Janet says:

    I love you, Susan! 😻😻😻

  51. Lois Hecksel says:

    Your mugs are lovely! I so admire your talent…

  52. Jeanne Wallace says:

    Now I’m really dying for snow! We have had so little here in Maryland this year. Thank you so much for your lovely photos and descriptions. They truly make the reader feel like they are along for the ride. Have a wonderful trip!

  53. Jacquie in NorCal says:

    Thank you for the lovely trip to Vermont! I wish I could have seen more, like the menu & food you ate. All part of the experience! I have been all over the world, but never to Vermont.

  54. Barbie Bowman says:

    Greetings Dearheart,

    Many thank you’s for your Valentine’s trip to Vermont, revisited all the happy
    times my late husband & I spent there. We walked all those lovely spots & stores
    & dinner at the Pitcher Inn…& loved the Country Store across the street. Plan
    to take my family again after viewing this. Happiness & the best of luck on
    your trip to sunny California. Know you won’t miss a thing on the way.

  55. Amy Warren says:

    I think the only place more beautiful than Martha’s Vineyard is Vermont in the snow! Congrats on having the mugs made, they’re gorgeous!

  56. Mary Beckstrom says:

    Hi Susan, I met you long ago in Menlo Park, CA and was so happy to have you sign my special cookbooks. EVERY recipe is delicious and I have made quite a few. I have given away your books to my two daughters, my daughter in LOVE, and my grandsons wife plus many friends. Thank you for your cheery Willards and making our world a happy place. Mary

  57. Helen Cannon says:

    I sat bundled up as if it were cold here in NC (after a 30 degree temperature drop) and enjoyed my Willard. Love your blog and especially love your new mugs!

  58. Susan Taylor says:

    I would love your new nature cup. They are all beautiful!

  59. Kathy Nagel says:

    Thank you for yet another Willard!! What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon being transported to snowy Vermont! I don’t know which I appreciate more, your photos or your whimsical musings and perfectly appropriate quotes!!
    Thank you Susan!!

  60. Georgie Bonsanto says:


    I’m FINALLY catching up with your blog posts. Oh soooo WONDERFUL, to go up to Vermont for Valentines Day, and for your 30th one together with Joe! XOXO
    I was singing Snow, Snow, Snow from White Christmas when I read your Twitter posts 🙂

    What FUN to travel in the snow (did I say I LOVE snow… LOL!)

    Happy 30th Anniversary dear friend.

  61. Susan Dugal says:

    Whenever I look at your posts I always think that eternity will be even more wonderful, and that if we love all that is lovely and good, that the God who created it all loves it, and us, even more. Thank you for sharing your gifts and your view of what may be from Heaven!

  62. Darla Unger says:

    What a Wonderful trip to Vermont!!!That was such a Fun blog, the pictures were Beautiful….. The stars were cute and sparkled so cozy!

  63. Thank you Susan for taking me along on your trip to Vermont. It was like a mini vacation of pure happiness and good stuff. You guys sure know how to party!! 😃

  64. Judee Aten says:

    What a beautiful look into your travels. Now I want to go to Vermont, a place I’ve never been before. I felt the excitement you portrayed. Thank you for sharing!

  65. Georgia Larson says:

    Oh Susan,
    Thanks ever so much for sharing your wonderful Valentine Holiday with us. The pictures were ever so scrumptious. I’m sitting here in front of my little floor heater, yes heater in Hawaii…. maybe all the snowy pictures are influences, enjoying your blog. Enjoy California & time with your mom. I’ll miss seeing you but the island is holding me till summer. Safe travels to you & Joe. Hugs & Aloha,

  66. Vicie Crouch says:

    That “Love” mug is wonderful! So glad you found someone to manufacture your artV into delicious mugs. Sure will be a great way to start the day.

  67. Gail B says:

    It is springtime here in SC! I loved reading the story of your trip to StoweVermont…..My husband and I lived in Vermont during my first pregnancy….We were so lucky to have visited Stowe one weekend and to actually meet Maria von Trapp!!! She was such a delight and that weekend is one of my fondest memories of the time we spent in Vermont! Enjoy the coming warm weather and all the delights of spring!PS Looooove the mugs! I’ll be ordering some for my sisters and me…

  68. Sharon Whittlesey says:

    Fell in love with your books last summer, read them 3 times. I feel a kindred spirit to you. Thank you for sharing your life and talents. Oh, I will have one of your teacups.

  69. Love the new mugs, sooo cute, you like taking photos as much as I do, have done it since I was a little girl with my Brownie camera. Tiny little prints.

  70. Vicky says:

    So would like to sip from a fine bone China cup of colorful fancy design! Great your dream came true. The movie! That too! My sister gets to see you in San Luis! Good cheer!

  71. Nancy Kenaston says:

    SO excited about the trip to Hollywood & possibility of the TV/movie of your trilogy! Hope it’s like a mini-series, so they can squeeze in MUCH more than a mere 2 hours! Your story is SO PACKED! Wow! Who knew way back when?! 🙂 Enjoy~

  72. Oh Susan, you always make your trips come alive for all to see! I am so grateful for all you put out there for people to enjoy. You are truly a delight! Thank you , thank you for your sense of humor, for enjoyment of life, for your love of history, traditions and love of family and country.

    Love, love you dear one

  73. Kathy says:

    Serene fun!!

  74. Mary Kelley says:

    Loved hearing about your Valentine’s Day Getaway. So many beautiful photos and so many beautiful memories for you. Gives me the incentive to do the same one day. Thank you for sharing.

  75. Janet Smith says:

    I love everything about your life. And I’m not saying that to get Vermont maple syrup.
    But I want to add that I own a beach house on Windemere Court and I had to visit Lake Windermere two years ago. And here you go and bring back lovely memories. Thank you.

  76. Patti Lyon says:

    It’s always fun spending time with you and Joe. Thanks for taking us along……..

  77. Vicky Law says:

    With love ❤️ from Australia. To wake this morning and read your email is like opening the windows to sunshine. Thank you for making our world so much happier and bringing so much joy to all of us with your writing. I love all three mugs but I think the In Love with Nature, 💕 Mug would be the start of my collection.

  78. Sue says:

    One of the absolutes in life should be red barns! Love the red anything against the white snow. What lovely pictures!

  79. Cabetca says:

    As the daughter of a life-long railroad employee, I’m excited that you’re “training” west, where we’re expecting clear skies and warm temps in central CA this week! Enjoy to the max (both the train and the warm weather that awaits)!

    I love linen but have not thought of starching it. Now I’m on a search for liquid starch, thanks to you.

    San Francisco Bay Area

  80. Patricia says:

    Susan, thanks for all your beautiful sharing, I love your blog and beautiful books. Thank you.
    Looking forward to “our ” next trip😉

  81. Delyn says:

    I was just in VT last week for a writers retreat. So enjoyable. My Grandfather grew up in VT then moved to Maine, (another wonderful magical state), as a young adult, met my grandmother. The rest as they say is history. Your posts makes me happy. Your mugs look wonderful, how I’d love to have one.

  82. Cyndi Vossler says:

    What a delightful tour of Vermont! Thank you for taking us along! Love it! I am also totally in love with the new mugs, especially the “Little Things” mug! Would love to give it a home in our little cottage (of 1,000 square feet!) and begin a collection. Sending a rainbow and lots of love to accompany you two on your trip.

  83. Nancy Ratterree says:

    Oh love, Love, LOVE the cups! I kept checking my emails for your post to see what they turned out like, beautiful, comforting and fun, all at the same time.

  84. Trish Helms says:

    Have enjoyed your artistic talents for years. So I just love your new mugs, naturally. And following along on all your trips with the wonderful pictures. The syrup bottles themselves look really cool, and I can just imagine the wonderful taste of the syrup in them… So looking forward to Spring and our next Willard!

  85. Janice Prestigomo says:

    I love the “Little Things” cup. Thank you for sharing…

  86. gail betzig says:

    even in buffalo spring is here!!

  87. Sandy Parker says:

    Love the mugs, especially the Love and Little Things. Enjoy your blog, one of the few I actually read beginning to end.

  88. Gail Payne says:

    I so look forward to Willard and read every single item. I truly am with you every word of the article, every setting of the day, each pet of the cat and every cup after tea! Thanks, you made my day🌞

  89. Annie Wilder says:

    Love your blog! Would love a mug too.❤

  90. Helen Crider says:

    Gorgeous cups!!! Feel like I visited Vermont this afternoon; thank you for a marvelous trip……..

  91. Kathy Apthorp says:

    I LOVE the new cups and would be so happy to win one for a special gift for my daughter. Thanks for the opportunity to win. Love your blog 🙂

  92. Lee Gordon says:

    Looks like such fun in the snow, and cuddling up by the fire under the gaze of eagles! Glad you are safely home!

  93. Susan Gottlieb says:

    Really hope I win the mug, you have been such a great inspiration. Have all your books and they bring such joy. Thanks

  94. Lucile says:

    Beautiful Vermont all the way. I love it all. I will surely ask my girls to bring me there for a few days around Mother’s Day. Beautiful new cups too. I made 2 beautiful cookbooks with photos and stories etc for my girls and now we are looking to buy 2 of the older binders like the ones I used from Susan. Keep up the super good work. Thank you for sharing with us. It is much appreciated. Bless you Susan and yours

  95. Donna Fleishman says:

    Susan, I am a fan!!! Good luck with all your new ventures. Love, love, love the mugs. Can’t wait for your next book.(hint…………hope you write another about your last trip to England.) I hang on every word. I have the trilogy, and I also bought the anniversary edition of your cookbook. I have the original as well. Best to you and Joe. I would love to meet you someday. May be one day I will make it to your book signing. Until the next time, Donna

  96. lujeancr clark says:

    Loved the trip to Vermont with you and your friends. I have always wanted to go to Vermont and hope to someday get to do that and with your tour of Vermont I will know the things to see. So FUN!!
    I met you at The King’s Bookstore in Salt Lake City, Utah. You signed your books for me. I have two of your cookbooks displayed on kitchen shelves with some of my other cookbooks. Love the way you wright and your art with words and drawings.

  97. Louise Cavanaugh says:

    Your photos from Vermont are lovely. My son went to college in Middlebury, so Vermont holds a special place in my heart. I have never been to the area of Mad River, but after viewing your pictures I think my husband and I may need to take a trip!

  98. Barbara White says:

    I would love one of your love cups for my Sister, who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Have already ordered one. Love all your writings!

  99. Donna koscielski says:

    I’ve been such a fan for so many years, I actually don’t like to think about just how many!!! Love, love love the mugs! I wish I could draw and paint like you! Such talent!!

  100. Maureen Pratt says:

    I absolutely love your new mugs, I want to start collecting all of them❣❣❣
    Maureen Pratt

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