We’re on the road! Neither rain nor hail nor sleet nor majorly obnoxious east coast nor’easter will keep us from our appointed rounds (or something like that…) We’re off!

Was very iffy for a while . . . boats quit running, branches blowing off the trees, shore beat to death by wind and pouring rain, flooded downtown, and then, the electricity went off. . . but through it all, with faith in our mission, we packed. And cuddled with Jack. MUSICA? O yes! Joe, suggested this one, isn’t it pretty?

Jack put up with most of it, but loss of electricity worried him enough to make him crawl up on my lap for kitty comforts. To my joy. Isn’t he ADORABLE? I don’t think I’ll ever get over this boy’s cuteness. Don’t worry, we have left him in perfect hands.  Trained hands, adept in ponytail-band shooting.

I understand England is experiencing their own “Beast from the East” ~ a huge snowstorm that doesn’t seem to have an end. But before that happened, Mandy, at Castle Cottage in the Lake District, sent this photo of the snowdrops in bloom in the English countryside. I’m selfishly happy about their snow,  s l o w it all down, please, put those daffodils on ice until we can get there! And baby lambs, stay inside mummy where it’s cozy, until we arrive! And BTW, for anyone going to the Picnic, Mandy has planned something special ~ we get to tour Hill Top and play in the gift shop, all open that day just for us!  Email her for times of entry at [email protected] and reserve your space!

I know, it’s all so wonderful. And again, don’t worry if you can’t make it, I’ll do my very best so you’ll think you did!

It’s okay if I miss the snowdrops (sorta). I think our boat ride might just be worth it, you can’t be everywhere (but sometimes I can’t help but wonder, why not?)!

Before the storm landed on our doorstop, the sun was beginning to touch the pillow tips in the morning. Despite the cloud cover, we trust that spring is on the way.

What to pack. Try it all on. Then give up and pack it all.  You should have seen us this morning, what a mess! Had a 9:30 am boat, still wasn’t SURE it would be running, and hauled ourselves out of the house at 9:20 after safely installing the kitchen sink in the back of this rental car. Made the boat, saw two crashed sailboats at the dock, battered by waves and storm. Eeek. Met two of our best friends on the other side, in line to go OVER on the boat. They’d been trapped off-island during the storm, so we had a small goodbye party in the parking lot! And now we’re driving to Florida, catching the Queen Victoria 🚢 on Friday and having all fun in-between. One night in Williamsburg. A visit with Joe’s brother. A wee bit o’shopping ~ need new knitting project for “knitting club” on ship and some other cute thing to wear for fancy dinner on boat. 🍷

Did pretty good with my art packing 🎨 . . . new diary (with heart), garden diary (light blue linen), mushroom pencil sharpener🍄, pencils, new paints and brushes, lots of paper and all the rest of the necessary goodies. Happy! Plus, I got my DNA done! And Ancestrydotcom has been my home away from home these last months! I have us all figured out! We’re finding HOME both in Ireland 🍀 AND in England 🇬🇧 ~ a brand new quest!  At least one of them! So many wonderful adventures to take you on, I can’t wait. Our first two weeks will be in Cornwall . . . I’ll let you know more itinerary when I’m not rattling down a highway wracked with fear that any moment this entire post may disappear!

Also, got all four of our new summer cups designed! Had to, they will come in before we get home. Summer waits for no man. Will show you more later, but here is a preview of the smaller cup (fake paper mockup, color will be way better in the real thing) . . . this one will round out the four seasons we started last year!

And I put up new photos of your Spring, England, Mother’s Day, and Jack-in-the-Books cups ~ you can now see the bottoms, backs, handles when you go look at the cups ~ I placed the order, they’re in the works in England, and should be in our studio the second week of April. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise ~ 😜 I’m doing this while Joe’s driving on the Merritt Parkway at about a hundred miles an hour ~ so forgive my shortcut writing! Hard to help him drive and write at the same time.

Two new embroidery projects in the works too . . . don’t want you to be bored while we’re away! This will look different when it gets the final layout, but this is the art we’re working from.

And remember this draft-stop in my kitchen? I had so many requests from Girlfriends wanting one, and I got tired of no one making them anymore, soooo . . . .

We made a printed cross-stitch kit. The Blueberry border is printed on really gorgeous fabric, so you can either embroider it or not, or just do the cross stitch in the middle, this photo does not do it justice! It’s as long as your door, and all you have to do is put a dark blue corduroy back on it (or anything you want), fill it with sand, and voila, you have your very own, and you can say, “I made that!” I can’t have enough celebration of home in my house . . . and in July, when we come home, this is going to be the way I feel:

But not yet. We’re in “road mode.” But here comes spring ~ it’s time to celebrate by making your neighborhood cuter ~ here’s an idea for a Spring wreath I made for myself a while back. And yes, if you drove up my street right now, you would see my forsythia wreath on the door where I put it this morning before we left. Because I may not be there, but that’s not going to stop spring, and I want Jack to be proud of his house! And that poor beaten island could use a little floral light right now!

So off we go . . . I will stay in contact to the best of my ability. If you were EVER going to join Twitter or Instagram, this would be the time to do it. I still don’t quite have full understanding of how Instagram works, but what I do know is that I can put photos on both of those accounts directly from my phone, which means I can do it from the road (I did some this morning!), I don’t have to get out the computer (which doesn’t always have connection) . . . makes it a wee bit easier, and we’re out and about so much more that we are at home, lots of photos can go flying in all directions. I’m “dearsusanbranch” on Twitter, and “susanbranchauthor” on Instagram. Because . . . and don’t we know it . . .

Petey’s in the back seat. He kissed his little lamb goodbye, and it’s just the three of us now, heading down the highway, singing to the musica! Off on the biggest adventure of our lives.  Don’t forget to print out your badges for the BYO Picnic Basket Party at Beatrix Potter’s Garden! Eeeeek! Dream-come-true time! We’re on our way! Planning to put you under my invisibility cloak for sneaking aboard ship . . . prepare yourselves. Out of Connecticut, into New York, heading for the Tappen Zee Bridge! Have fun Girls. Thank you for coming along. 💝 Talk soon! XOXOXO

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343 Responses to ON THE ROAD

  1. Cris says:

    Safe journey! Thank you so much for taking us with you! I can’t wait to see the sights and share moments with you both.

  2. Sharon in Sparks, NV says:

    Dear Susan, Have a lovely trip and enjoy every minute in my ancestors land. We loved our visits to Enalnd, Scotland and Ireland. The bad thing is it ends too soon. Enjoy the Lake District, it’s a little bit of heaven there. It’ll be fun to follow your travels in your blog and on Instagram. I can’t follow you on twitter because you blocked me but I can read others comments. Have a wonderful trip.

  3. Melanie Miller says:

    Have a wonderful time!! Please post some spring images for desktop background use…yours are the prettiest!

  4. Nettie says:

    Safe fun travels..,,remember the journey is so very special on your way to your destination…enjoy the rides of your life!!! Your artwork blows me away I keep trying my hand at watercolor lettering as you are my inspiration. I’m excited about visiting England with you and Joe and certainly with Petey

  5. Margie says:

    Bon Voyage! Had to laugh at your ride on the Merritt Parkway. It’s like a speed car race especially with those cars coming on and most times me with white knuckles! Petrifying and yes, two heads are better than one on that one. I could never write! We did 23 and me also as a gift from my brother. Have a wonderful trip, I will be going with you via your beautiful pictures. From my heart to yours. ♥️♥️

  6. Patti G says:

    Have a safe and wonderful trip! We will enjoy your posts as it progresses!

  7. Susan Edwards says:

    We are looking forward to our adventure through your eyes. Bon voyage and enjoy.

  8. Loretta says:

    Hello Susan……..well, off you go on another fun trip!! Can’t wait to get pics and stories of the trip!!! Best to you and Joe…..take care and most of all….have a
    wonderful time!!

  9. Debbie Dority says:

    Did you say CORNWALL!?!?! If you see any of those beautiful Poldark people give them my love, because I will be in the suitcases with the rest of the Girlfriends tee hee. Safe travels to you, Joe and Petey! 💕

  10. Alice says:

    Bon Voyage!!

    Glad I picked some snowdrops last week to give away as well as to enjoy by the kitchen sink b/c now they’re covered with a foot of snow here in Greece, NY. I trust they’ll still be wonderful when our snow melts. Looking forward, too, to seeing the new daffodils I added to our moon garden.

    Safe travels, you two!! Alice

  11. Iris Shubert says:

    Sounds like a dream trip 🙂 But I think of Jack wondering where his Momma is. I know you have him in good hands, but no one can take Momma’s place. I hope he does well and isn’t sad………..

  12. Cathy Thompson says:

    So excited!!

  13. Debi Hutchinson, CA says:

    Very excited for you!!!!! And thanks for taking me along! Have a wonderful, special, amazing, fantastic trip!!!!!!!!!!!1

  14. kathleen says:

    Happy trails……have a blast. Hope you find interesting family connections in the UK. Can’t wait to follow your newest travelogue.

  15. Debby says:

    I’ve been waiting for this day. Show us EVERYTHING!!!👏👏👏👏 Are you visiting Carrieinwales on this trip? Kiss her Jack for me. I love that guy! Debby

  16. kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan, Joe & Petey,
    Bon Voyage!!! Have a safe and wonderful trip!!! Thank you for letting me tag along!!, xoxo

  17. DAWN TUTHILL says:

    I so wish I was going but will have to settle for watching/reading your blog. The cross stitch designs look nice and I’m anxious to see how the kit looks. I love all the cups. Wish I had room for them all and could afford them. I have a few. My husband and I just seen the new Peter Rabbit movie at the theater. It was cute and funny and I loved all the Beatrix Potter pics they showed. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

  18. Amy M. says:

    Bon Voyage from Piermont (slightly bashed from storm), just over the Tappan Zee Bridge. Enjoy your trip!

  19. Charl says:

    Yay! You’re on your way! Have fun & safe travels. Will look forward to your postings along the way!! Warm hugs. ~C. Cape Cod

  20. jenni farnes says:

    PLEASE get on Instagram! It is sooooo easy! It stores all your photos for you! It is thee best way to show all of us your lovely pictures on your trip. Just get the app. It is pretty straightforward. The little house icon is where all the people that you follow have their posts. The little magnifying glass is where you can search for people or things, but I never use that. The little plus sign in the middle of the square is where you go to post your pictures. You click on that and up come all the photos you have on your phone. You just choose which one you want. You can edit those photos by squeezing them to make them smaller or opening them up to do close-ups…almost like macro photography, you can apply filters or add more saturation, color, lights or shadows and even make your images clearer. There are SO MANY apps you can use to enhance your photos. Once you have completed editing your photo or you are ready to post it, click next and it will bring your picture up. There is a space to write a description and to also add hashtags (#). Then click on share. You can arrange to have them posted directly to Facebook, Twitter or the other one. Then hit share and you are so done! It is amazingly easy. You don’t have to download or upload your photos, you take pictures with your phone and use those images on your Instagram page. It is thee most amazing thing. I love it.

  21. Susan says:

    Thanks you for making a summer cup! I can’t wait to order some :). Have a wonderful trip!

  22. Barb Murphy says:

    Have a marvelous time! And again, thank you, thank you for taking us along.

  23. Lori Hamilton says:

    Have a safe & blessed trip!
    I wish I could be in 2 places at the same time ~ sigh ~ in May! Here at Son #1’s wedding and in England at the picnic. I’ll experience it vicariously through your blogs.
    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

  24. Michele Olson says:

    I’m through 2 of the 3 books in your trilogy and well into the 3rd..( read the last first, the then first and now in the middle book…it’s working for me:) I feel like I know you so much more, and love your writing and art even more, if that’s even possible. I’m a watercolor artist and writer too, so you inspire me endlessly. Have a wonderful trip and thanks for including us land ho in the states. You are a treasure.

  25. So happy to be going with you. When. We went to Cornwall we saw st. Michaels Mount you can walk across to the castle when the tide is out but need a ferry when the tide is in. We loved it. I came from England when I was 20 years old and have visited, touring around as they call it four times. I am now 72, so not far off from you. Will be watching for snaps (photos) as you send them. Don’t have twitter or the other thing you said so have to watch for blogs from you. Safe travels.janet

  26. Thea says:

    Godspeed and have a blast!! I’m in a mood to drive off into the sunshine. xo

  27. Cecelia says:

    Hey Suz and Joe,
    Have fun, be safe and we’ll see you soon.

  28. Bobbie Calgaro says:

    Safe travels! Have loads of fun! Looking forward to all the posts!

  29. Nancy says:

    Prayers for safe travels!!! Thanks for bringing me along!!!😊

  30. Margaret Harke says:

    Again and again thank you for taking those of us who can’t for many reasons be physically with you on your trip. What a delight it is to get to travel with you to such exciting and beutiful places. And the ship, oh my, I will enjoy it so and not get at all seasick! Have a wonderful time!

  31. Lorraine Macholz says:

    Safe travels! Cannot wait to see all the pictures. I know you will have a wonderful time you two!! On the road again!!!
    Enjoy! <3 <3

  32. Pat Bland says:

    Safe trip and enjoy. Look forward to your stop in cornwall Just read a noval that took place there. Sounds wonderful .

  33. Karen Williams says:

    ….And they’re off!! Look at them go!
    Wheeee……all the way down to Florida then a liddle boat trip!!
    Then darling Cornwall…you’ll love it – magical!
    Can’t believe we still have two months before the picnic…but really looking forward to it and my buoyos (husband and the dogs!) are looking forward to meeting you all too!!
    Have a safe trip and Bon voyage!
    Karen in Cambridgeshire
    UK 🇬🇧

    • sbranch says:

      Do me a huge favor, check with [email protected] for the four-legged buoyos (Castle Cottage is Mandy’s home) ~ make sure it’s okay they come! Can’t wait to see you! Will be here before we know it! xoxo

  34. Pam Burkham says:

    I am always happy to get your blog – ALWAYS – but today especially because when there is a big storm in your area of the woods, I like to hear from you.
    My home is askew because we are having to put new tile down in the kitchen, entry and dining area due to foundation problems. It will be glorious when done but in the meantime – a mess. What fun to put everything back in place after the silt is off, appliances cleaned thoroughly and the furniture polished – a real reason for deep Spring Cleaning. I will look forward to the blogs while on your trip and am convinced they will come at just the right time!

  35. Sue iller says:

    Travel safe. Thanks for bringing us along. I was in Williamsburg in Aug. it’s a favorite place for me. Bon Voyage ❤️

  36. DeLores E Johnson (Minnesota) says:

    So happy for you to get to go on this big trip. Enjoy yourself.A local tour company has a trip scheduled to Cape Cod in September & they will be stopping in Edgartown for lunch & shopping. I want to go so bad and see the area where you live, but husband has heart trouble & can’t go so I guess I have to stay home. I thought this was the opportunity I was waiting for. Anyway I hope you and Joe & everyone joining you on the trip will have a wonderful time. Will be looking for pictures. God Bless All of You on the trip.(We are having a snowstorm today & freezing rain. Roads & schools closed.

  37. Christine from CA says:

    Bless you and have a wonderful safe trip! I am so excited for “our” trip! Wonderful time, thanks for sharing!

  38. Tiah Foster says:

    Have a wonderful trip and keep the notes coming. I love to ‘arm-chair travel.’

    Oh, we called the door stops “Draft Dodgers.” Thought it a cute play on words.


  39. Karen Bowerman says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us. You make me feel like I’m right there with you. And your musica for this blog … I knew I’d heard this song somewhere. Thought for a few minutes and remembered they sing this at the end of the movie “A Christmas Carol” with Alistair Sim. Hauntingly beautiful song and now I know the words 🙂

  40. Linda Flynn says:

    Have fun girls, sounds awesome!

  41. Cathy Schunk says:

    Have fun girls, sounds like such a fun trip! Glad we get to go along 😘

  42. Wishing you three safe travels and I will see you in jolly ole England. I can hardly wait! Hoping I can find comfy shoes or I’ll be crying “my toe huts Betty”.

    • sbranch says:

      Just learned about a new shoe store (new to me), based in England, available here, called Hotter! Comfy, wonderful looking shoes, my podiatrist told me about! Too late for me to order, but I will look for a store while I’m over there. I looked at her Hotter catalog and everything looks wonderful!

      • kathiellen says:

        They are the BEST shoes on earth!!! Their sandals and boots are awesome…so cute and comfortable!, also their shoes! I love them! I get many compliments on the shoes that I buy from Hotter. Their catalogues are so nice…especially when they have 40% off plus free shipping! You will LOVE their shoes!!!

      • Bonnie says:

        I bought a pair of booties from them several months ago and they are VERY comfortable.

      • Maureen from Long Island, NY says:

        We received a catalog from Hotter today. You can buy the shoes in the U.S.!
        Have a great time on your trip, Susan!

      • Gill Smith says:

        Yes Susan I can confirm wearing Hotter shoes , are like walking on air! Plenty of shops in bigger towns. Gill N Devon x

  43. Lisa Buick says:

    Oh wow – first stop Cornwall? Heaven. Please keep us posted. Have a safe and enjoyable journey and know you are loved.

  44. Mary lou smith says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,
    I always get sooo excited whenever you travel, no matter where you go. It’s a fabulous ‘free’ trip for me and all your fans. Thank you very much for you generosity. 👏🏻

  45. Jan Johnson says:

    I’m so excited you are on your way. I can only afford to travel vicariously and I get so frustrated when friends go places and only post a handful of photos. I can always count on you to give me a great virtual trip! And this one is to the land of my ancestors so it is truly something to anticipate! And I’m betting there will be another book out of this, too, which is especially exciting! I so love my England book. The Musica is a great choice – beautiful! Have a great time in that adorable thatch roof cottage and all around in that beautiful land.

  46. Melissa Houston says:

    Happy travels, Susan! I look forward to future posts detailing your journey. The wind and chill and generally unsettled weather are creating difficulties in Virginia, too. I’m on spring break from school and thinking this is a March that is living up to its lion-like beginning!
    Love seeing Jack – he is such a wonderful kitty. Do you still have Girl kitty, too? She is, I think, an introvert and does not appreciate the lime light! Be safe and have fun!

    • sbranch says:

      Girl Kitty went to heaven in 2016 . . . she was definitely a lovely little introvert. Jack is king now, and I think that’s the way he likes it!

      • Melissa Houston says:

        Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to bring up an unhappy memory especially as you are heading off for your trip. My sweet bunny of 14 years (amazing for a bunny) died before Christmas this past year. It’s so hard to lose a fur-baby. I still cry when I think of him. Anyway, I’m wishing you a very happy trip. I so look forward to hearing/reading about it. Long live King Jack!

  47. Barbara Kuzdzal says:

    Have the time of your life Susan! Wish I was with you . 💕

    Barb kuzdzal

  48. Sarah L. says:

    Safe travels! Thanks for taking us with you via Twitter. Much easier for me to pack this way! I’m so glad to hear you are hunting your relatives/ancestors. Please take pictures of any gravestones as there is a website called find a grave that others share pics of their ancestors. So valuable for people searching for their ancestors. So enjoy your trip! So happy for you and this new adventure.


    Bon Voyage….safe travels….will love to hear all about it….
    Happy Days…..to you both
    xxo o

  50. Valerie B says:

    Exactly what I need to get me through a very difficult time. I’ll be watching you 💖

  51. Barb Cowles says:

    Bon Voyage! Petey looks so happy to be going with you. Have a wonderful time. Sweet Jack. I’m glad to know he is being well taken care of. Barbora

  52. Oh the Tappen Zee- I’m sure it’s a distant memory now. Have a wonderful journey South!

    Get outta Dodge by tomorrow night’s next nor,Easter.

  53. Shanna says:

    Yay! We’re on our way. Thank you for taking us along, and safe voyage to you three adventurers. xoxo

  54. CarolK in FLemington NJ says:

    So exciting the adventure begins. Looking forward to seeing all the signs along the way. It’s going to be the best trip EVER! Have a safe trip and may all your days be sunshiny, honkey-dory sweet.

  55. Elaine Anne says:

    Just home from England. Two weeks in Devon then two in Yorkshire. Great time with my family. Came home to lots of snow in Upstate New York, just missed it in England. Growing up in Warwickshire, England, we would have snow enough to build snowmen but nowhere near as much as we have here inUpstate. My sister’s garden was a carpet of snowdrops and daffodils were beginning to bud, guess they are under a blanket of snow now. Please say hello to all my friends in York when you get there. I’m homesick already. Bon voyage. Have a great trip. I will be watching all your adventures with great interest.

  56. Penny says:

    Happy trails to you both & safe travels ! Look forward to seeing your post & adventures .

  57. dena says:

    hi susan , looking forward to traveling along with you. Have something I want you to think about. love your mugs, but what I would love is a vase by you, I often treat myself to one of those little bundles at the grocery store , would love a lovely vase by you to put them in . Just something to think about, Also don’t know if you can get them but some of those Beatrice potter books like you got on your last trip from her place if your going there. I would love the book coming from there. I know this may not be possible , but just putting in my wish list. Have a wonderful trip for us!!

  58. Liz hand says:

    I’m glad you are on your way safely and I look forward to traveling with you vicariously. I think I’ll have to give Twitter a try since I love your pictures. Have fun for all of us.
    Liz in Illinois

  59. Pam Gardner says:

    Bon voyage Susan and Joe! Have a fabulous time!

  60. Sally says:

    Bon voyage California girl and smooth sailing

  61. Mary S says:

    I am soooooo excited for you, Susan, Joe and Petey!! 😀 You are in my prayers! Thank you for taking us all along! xoxox
    Much love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  62. Bonnie says:

    I have a question I’m not sure I want the answer to: Why do people have so many little lambie-kins? Is it just to watch them frolick and keep lawns trimmed one hopes? They are a bit of work just as all pets. Please don’t tell me if lambie-kins are turned into lambie-pies.

    • sbranch says:

      Well, when you see herds of them, I’m afraid they are raised for food. But in England, they are organic and they live the MOST beautiful lives possible, outside munching on the greenest possible grass, with birds serenading them every day. There are herds they put out just to act as lawnmowers too. (😘I tried to be gentle.)

    • Dena says:

      I know some are shaved certain times of year for the fur/ wool , also milk , which makes a lot of organic items , and used as lawnmowers year round!

  63. So excited for you. Trying not to be just a wee bit jelly. Oh how I wish I could join the picnic. Let’s be honest, I’d like to impose on the entire trip. Safe travels! Bon Voyage!

  64. Joann says:

    Oh Susan and Joe—I am so thrilled you were able to get off the island safely—I was watching the weather reports, watching this one brave soul stand in the water, waves crashing near him, spray all over him…….he was dramatic! I saw the flooded downtown, the closing of Beach Road, the stopping of the ferries…….oh my!!

    But now it makes for a better story!!!!!!!! Now, it’s exciting from the start!! You are going to bring Spring and flowers, and lambies and delight back to England. I just know it!!!

    We won’t be able to come to this year’s picnic; the last one was magical, but I thought I might host a Colorado Susan Branch picnic for girlfriends who can’t be there but would love to share stories and fun at the same time………what do you think? If anyone is interested, would you email me?? You can see my website and write to me there, too!

    I hope you have a wonderful time!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tell England hello from Joann and Cadie!!


    Camilla sends her love…………and she can’t wait to meet you!! One month old on March 8th

    • sbranch says:

      What a good idea Joann, and since you were at the last one, you know just what it should be like! Camilla. I love her name! xoxo

  65. Charlene Scholey says:

    Best wishes and fair sailing on your trip. Too much fun is always a good thing, so keep it up and let s know all about it.safe travels.
    Love, Charlene in cold southern Ca.

  66. Deborah in Odessa says:

    Bon Voyage! Safe travels.

  67. Melinda says:

    So happy to know you are safely on the road. I hated to think that the storm would wreak havoc with your itinerary. Enjoy the journey!

  68. Janet - Grafton, WI says:

    Wishing you safe travels and fun, fun, fun!

  69. linny says:

    Have the best of times and stay safe! Thank you for sharing your life and times with us all. It is very precious. 😻

  70. Karen N. says:

    Love love love your blog and can’t wait to see more pictures and hear about your time in England. Your forsythia wreath is gorgeous; I used to see those bushes in New Jersey. So glad to hear you and Joe got off okay on your way to Florida to leave by ship. Thank you for all the smiles I get as I read your blog, look at your photos, and drool over your artwork. I want some mugs so am going online to check which ones are available. God bless you. Stay safe. Stay warm!

  71. Lynda Mortensen says:

    Actually started reading this when I was sitting down with a cup of tea and a treat of my own home-made scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream…and had to giggle when I read that your first stop was Cornwall! We were there last Summer when I was over the pond visiting my Mum, and I’ve been determined to master the art of making my own clotted cream so that I don’t have to resort to buying the stuff in tiny tiny jars. My first attempt wasn’t too bad…would have been better if I had used some organic heavy cream, but it still worked. Just pour a 1 quart carton of heavy cream into an 8” x 8” baking dish and set it in the oven on 185F for 12 hours (overnight). Chill for several hours, preferably over the next night, before skimming that beautiful thick rich clotted cream off the top. MMMMmmmmmmmmyummmmmmyummmmmm :). However, I bet you will soon be eating the real thing…not to mention clotted cream fudge and clotted cream ice-cream! Safe travels, with love from Colorado 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      You are making me drool! They have tea on the ship everyday at four, and they serve clotted cream, thank goodness. Not long now!

  72. Jean says:

    Your emails really do take all of us along on your adventures!! My husband and I will miss you in England by a week. I found out too late about your lovely picnic at Hilltop farm. We did get to see it the last time we were in England though 😍 It was wonderful! We saw many Jane spots too. My husband even found (scarily down a one lane road with blind corners!) the church where Jane grew up. There is an amazing 400 yr old yew tree outside the church. Have you ever been there?!?! I’m so glad you get to go again to England, and for so long! I can’t wait till we go, even though we’ll just be in London for 2 days (we’ll be in Paris mostly this time around). I can’t wait for the pictures to start coming!! Safe travels 😊

  73. Gayle Hall says:

    No Susan thank you for taking me along. But oh how happy I was to finally know you and yours made it through the awful storm. I thought of you with every news report. So you both be safe and have just a wonderful wonderful trip everywhere you go. I will be thinking of you a lot wondering how things are going and how much fun you are having. Take good care of Pettie. Love and hugs, Gayle Hall

  74. Gail Golden says:

    Oh, that look on Jack’s face…he knows somethings up!

    Y’all have a safe trip. ENJOY!

  75. Dixie Johnson says:

    Susan–have a wonderful time! When I was in the Lake District, it was Fri. & Hilltop wasn’t open but we explored the property & looking over the road, I couldn’t believe the land looked as it did— just as it probably did 300 years ago! Another world! Have a great adventure!

  76. Cathy B says:

    Have fun. Love the 1920s shipboard outfits. I believe I have that striped sweater and navy skirt. Some things never go out of style.

  77. Cathy B says:

    PS. LOVE Hotter shoe catalog. I wear size 12 so no HOTTER shoes for me. 😔

  78. Ruth B. says:

    Have a wonderful time on the open seas! You are one adventurous person. Cant wait to see another segment of England through your eyes.
    Bon voyage, Susan and Joe and Petey, too. 😉
    Ruth (the Inklings)

    • sbranch says:

      You know I am a major homebody. Half the time I’m away I worry I’ll never get home again, but there is something in me that needs to do this, and I have no choice, the yearning is overwhelming. I’m glad though! xoxo

  79. Karen says:

    Safe travels…so glad you are taking me along on the journey!

  80. I was wondering about you all and the storm. Glad to read you are off on your adventure. Enjoy every minute!

  81. Rosemary Lang says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,
    Have a wonderful time and safe trip. I was just in Cornwall. I look forward to seeing your photos and hearing about all the places that you see.

  82. Kathy Hughed says:

    Can’t wait to meet you and Joe on Sunday! Book signing, pictures, a lovely talk! So looking forward to your visit. 🤗

  83. Kathy Hughes says:

    Typing on my phone!!! Not Hughed!Hughes 😂

  84. Bon Voyage and Happy Travels and Safe Journey. Tell Joe he picked the perfect song! Our snow is all gone here in Chester now, but North Wales (on our doorstep) really got hammered so there still may be a little bit lingering, but not for long. Never fear it will all be long gone by the time you arrive and those fat little bumble bees will be dancing from flower to flower to flower while the baby lambs gambol in the fields! All just waiting to greet you! xoxo

  85. krissie says:

    Good morning from Yorkshire Susan 🙂
    The snow is melting,the temperatures are rising and today the sun is shining, spring is awakening from her slumber now that you are on your way home.
    while walking along the lanes at dusk i bumped into the Yorkshire fairies all dressed in their finest, little skirts hand stitched from snowdrop and violet petals, I watched them in amongst the daffodils and bluebells shaking off the snow from the spring flowers,they were singing lullabies to the daffodils to put them back to sleep, you can’t wake just now it has to be just right they whispered as the daffodils bowed their heads.
    As the light began to fade the moon peeped from behind the clouds to light the snowdrops the Yorkshire fairies were carrying to find their way home, off they wondered one after the other with their tiny fairy lamps twinkling over their shoulders all in a row, some skipping and some holding hands as they disappeared over the hill they were singing a lovely old song by Vera Lynn…..

    ‘Now is the hour when we must say goodbye
    Soon you’ll be sailing far across the sea
    While you’re away, o, then remember me
    When you return, you’ll find me waiting here
    Sunset glow fades in the west
    Night o’er the valley is creeping
    Birds cuddle down in their nest
    Soon all the world will be sleeping.

    Have a safe journey home, sending love to you and Joe, won’t be long now x

    • sbranch says:

      And is the good ship Lollypop on the way, because only you know how to send it properly Krissie! Love to you in Yorkshire! Will you be able to make the Picnic, because if so, bring me one of those fairies! xoxo

      • krissie says:

        Yes indeed the good ship lolly pop set sail with her whistle blowing and her bunting in colours of the rainbow flapping on the sea breeze, I checked myself and everything that could be sparkled or shone has been, she is full of scones and clotted cream for afternoon tea just as requested. look out for her she should be nearly there now to bring you and Joe safely to England.
        Ooh yes please I would love to come to the picnic! I wish you could hear the squeal’s and giggles coming from the fireside, those cheeky little Yorkshire fairies were peeping over my arm chair and have just read the invite too! xxx

  86. VickeyB says:

    I can’t believe the trip is already upon us! It’s a good thing your invisibility cloak expands to cover ALL us girlfriends!

    Bon voyage, and safe journey to you, Joe and Petey.

  87. Georgia Larson says:

    Have the most wonderful time as I know you will. Contiguous drive safely …. please no 100 mph. Have a blast on the ship. I’ll try to look for it live on line. Found your last journey that way. I’ll be in Texas & California while your gone. Exciting for me but I must admit, yours sound more exciting. Hope you kissed, kissed, kissed Jack. I know how much I miss mine while I’m gone. We must see your new evening gown you find for the proper nights at sea. Tell someone to take you & Joes picture & send to us.
    I send Big Alohas from the Big Island. Look forward to looking & reading all the posts.

    • sbranch says:

      We don’t go 100 mph, but sometimes, where there a trucks on all side of us, it feels that way! If you find the live stream of the ship going, let me know! I tried, but could not find it in Florida … Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale is where we leave from. I kissed Jack to distraction. Never enough. He is my screen saver now. Will miss him most of all. Aloha-ha Georgia! They will take our picture on the boat and if it turns out bearable I’ll put it up!

  88. Memarge says:

    Joe picked some very nice MUSICA. 🙂

  89. Anne Reading, PA says:

    Your emails really do take all of us along on your adventures!! My husband and I will miss you in England by a week. I found out too late about your lovely picnic at Hilltop farm. We did get to see it the last time we were in England though 😍 It was wonderful! We saw many Jane spots too. My husband even found (scarily down a one lane road with blind corners!) the church where Jane grew up. There is an amazing 400 yr old yew tree outside the church. Have you ever been there?!?! I’m so glad you get to go again to England, and for so long! I can’t wait till we go, even though we’ll just be in London for 2 days (we’ll be in Paris mostly this time around). I can’t wait for the pictures to start coming!! Safe travels

    • sbranch says:

      What town was it in, Anne?

      • Anne Reading, PA says:

        Church of St Nicholas Steventon, Hampshire. This is where her father was vicar. When we were there 4 years ago they had just started restoration to the medieval paintings on the walls. We had tried to find it the day before, but ended up in a completely different town. My dear husband (Google genius) found the right place though and we were able to go the next day!

        • sbranch says:

          Oh thank you, we’ll look for it!

          • Anne Reading, PA says:

            I do hope you’ll be able to visit. It was very special being there. If you do go, make sure you get a picture of that amazing yew tree! I imagine Jane climbing in it. She probably didn’t, but it’s fun to think she did 😄

  90. Claudette Simms says:

    Cheerio Susan, Joe & Petey!
    Thanks for inviting us along…so glad to be on your adventure with you 🌸

  91. Linda Miller says:

    Bon Voyage, Susan and Joe! How utterly exciting! Adventure of a lifetime! Enjoy all of your wonderful travels! I will be an armchair traveler with you both! Thanks to you both!

  92. Ann Woleben says:

    Williamsburg – just 45 minutes from our home. We lived there for five years – lots of great shopping! I am glad to know you survived the storm. We picked up a gazillion limbs and branches yesterday; then used our blower to rid the yard of blasted gum balls. We are fortunate because it could have been so much worse. Excited for you and Joe~ I have printed my name tag and will wear it in honor of the day of the picnic. While I cannot be there, the occasion will be in my heart. Now…going to join Instagram because I don’t want to miss anything!

  93. Marie says:

    Safe and happy travels. Looking forward to reading about your adventures.

  94. AngieTink says:

    Good~Morning My~Sweet~Sue & Joe You #HappyTravelers The Other Day On #Twitter I Saw The Word #Florida In One Of Your Tweets & I Was Like #WHAT?????!!!! In Your Last Blog I Read That #TheShip & #SouthCarolina…So I Flew Back & Clicked On The Links Etc & Saw Not The #QueenMary But #TheQueenVictoria & Then I Found That #TheQueenVictoria Is Leaving From #FortLauderdale ( 4 Hours From Us) Winter Haven Florida (Central~Florida) 🙁 & I Told Herbster That Sweet~Sue & Joe Are Going To Be In #Florida But #NoBookSigning & I Remembered That Joe Has Family Here & Then I Read In Twitterville That It’s Joe’s Brother & Your BestLowely…Etc….So In My Wildest~Dreams I Wish That I Was Meeting You On The Ship But Then I Know Myself & I Would Become a #Stowaway #Seriously 😉 🙂 So My Bagzzz Are Packed & I Shall Travel With You Our Usual Way 😉 & One Day My Sweet~Sue We Will Meet….Bon~Voyage You Two!!! I Am #Wishing You A #Safe~Wonderful~Magical~Journey! xoxo #Poof! 🙂 🙂 🙂 P.S. See Me Waving Throwing Lots Of Traveling PixieDust Your Way! & Popping Lots Of Pink~Champagne! Yay! Twirling! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I feel the pixie dust dear Angie, and appreciate it so much and all the good wishes that go with it! Anchors away my friend, almost time to go! XOXOXO

      • AngieTink says:

        #Anchor’s~Away!!! So Very Exciting Sweet~Sue Thanks Again For Bringing Us Along…. & I Love That Photo Of Jack & The Photo Of Petey!!!! #BonVoyage #MyDarlings! xoxo #Poof! 🙂

  95. Helen Henderson says:

    I am really looking forward to reading about this trip. I had so hoped to make it to the Lake District this year, but alas it is not to be. Maybe next year. I wish you both Bon Voyage!

    • sbranch says:

      Sorry you can’t make it, but I promise to send lots of photos … in a few years you’ll think you were there!

  96. Ann says:

    So excited for you and Joe as you set off on another very big Grand Adventure. Really looking forward to seeing you both again in May at the Picnic and will be praying that you are blessed with fine Spring weather over here. You will love Hotter shoes, we have a store in Chester and there is one in Oxford in case you are passing. Safe travelling all the way.
    With love from Ann in Chester xx

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Ann (Joe says Hi too!) We’re in the car, driving along in Virginia. Nice to hear from you…see you at the Picnic!

  97. Susie says:

    Thank you for taking us along on your adventure. I love the picture of your artwork and journals- the colors.

  98. Esther says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us, love love love it, hope all goes well on your travels.

    Love Esther

  99. Linda says:

    Dearest Susan and Joe,
    I pray you have safe travels! And hoping you have a fantabulous time ( I know you will)
    Cannot wait to see everything you share!!!! Such EXCITEMENT!!!!!
    Would LOVE to see another book of your travels through Scotland and your latest England trips!! (hint, hint)
    Linda L. in PA

  100. Becky says:

    And they’re off! This is just great! I’m excited to follow and participate in all of it, but first I must go to my Ancestry account and look for some connections to you. My DNA test revealed lots of Irish, British Isles, Western European, etc. and my 2nd great grandmother’s maiden name was Stuard. So cool. Ultimately we are all related anyway. Till we talk again….

    • sbranch says:

      We sure are, all you have to do is get 2 inches into ancestry before you start noticing that!

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