Hi everyone! Well, it’s almost time! The Queen Victoria leaves tomorrow at around 6pm … we start boarding at 1 pm . . . shakey shakey, Happy, but always with a soupçon of fear thrown in. Why? I don’t know. I was born that way. Fear of what? Fear of never coming home again probably. Unwarranted and unjustified, but I think my dad gave it to me even though he was never afraid of anything. But he had it in there, I know he did. Doesn’t matter because what overcomes fear? Yearning. And love of life. So putting on my big girl shoes and here we go! MUSICA . . .

This is where we are right now, in this gorgeous hotel room Joe surprised me with! It’s pink! There is music downstairs in “The Leopard Room” every night and last night it was all Frank Sinatra and people were dancing… pure back-in-time charm. 🎵🎶

Our room has two rooms! And two bathrooms! And after spending the day in this beautiful town of Palm Beach, we are almost ready to move here! ‘Course we would have to sell a LOT more books before that could ever happen.

But it’s easy to pretend . . . this is the headboard of the bed! Nutty kind of a place, with a mirror mustache headboard.

Here we are arriving yesterday, driving into 72º weather.

Downtown West Palm Beach, hunting for a camera store to get an extra battery. Palm trees. Like we stepped out of the deep snow in a winter painting, and landed in the land of milk and honey.

We left home following a huge wind storm on the Island ~ I took this picture from the car while we were boarding the boat, you can see two grounded and crashed sailboats from the storm that was just beginning to subside . . . I thought we’d had enough drama during the kissing goodbye of Jack 😿 . . . then this!

And here’s Joe, looking at the boats, and you can see the wind is still howling over our wonderful little town . . .

 . . . Car was loaded to the gills, all-knowing Petey tucked in the back seat  ~ and all of you too . . . 💞

We were so busy packing at home, running away from storms, we forgot to remember that we would be driving into spring. When we saw the first leaves, when we stopped at a gas station and got out of the car into unexpected warm weather, it was a shock!

We slept in New Jersey the first night . . . and the next morning we got up at 4 am to get an early start . . . our GPS found our hotel at our next stop, which was in  Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, (and of course, turns out our hotel was on England Street!).  We stayed at the  Williamsburg Lodge (which we heartily endorse), walking distance to everything. We loved Williamsburg so much, got there in time for lunch and got to do lots of exploring … what a wonderful place it was!  We can’t wait to go back and stay longer. Time did not allow us to see any of nearby Historic Jamestown or Yorktown . . . We’re going to need a week next time!  It was so interesting!

This broad avenue is called the Duke of Gloucester Street. No cars allowed. A meandering sort of place with old houses, historic taverns, a few shops, houses you can (but we just walked around), peanut soup to taste, William and Mary College (second oldest college in America, where they once cancelled classes because “the British were coming”) at one end of the street ~ it’s actually a 301-acre village celebrating the patriots and early history of America.

All kinds of old carriages and the clip clop of horses pulling them down the streets. I love that we had so much of it to ourselves . . . it opened for the season just two weeks before we got there ~ but we heard that four million people visit each year!

For us it was a peaceful world of human-ness, of brick and clapboard houses, huge chimneys, and picket fences galore. Who would not fall in love with this?

Most of the gates stand open and welcoming ~ they say, come in and explore, see our green gardens blooming with spring flowers, see how we lived . . . yes and even baby lambs! You’re allowed to follow your nose, and any brick path, and make your own discoveries.

Green and lush and everything popping. See the fireplace on this darling little house? They’re all huge . . . because they were the only heat in the house!

Oh yes, up one path and down the next . . . it was the perfect place for exploring.

I have never seen so many picket fences, layer upon layer of them . . . it was picket-fence heaven!

And they were all shapes . . .

This one keeps the bunnies out! In those days, just like in England, every homesteader was an artist, everything made by hand, and all the same but all very different.

The street was lined in these wonderful flags . . . the perfect flag for the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ~ this flag doesn’t leave anyone out!

There are people dressed in very realistic colonial costumes who talk to you and tell you things and stay in character while they do it.

It’s a LOT like England!

And a LOT like New England!

And a LOT like Virginia!

This gate stood open to the entrance of the historic Kings Arms Tavern where we had a delicious lunch in lovely surroundings.

This guy was watching us come up the path . . .

And we watched him back . . .

It was still crisp outside . . . so it was lovely to find this crackling fire when we walked through the door.

And here comes their famous Peanut Soup ~ Had to try it! But Joe was right, it needed a piece of toast and jam to go with it. Cranberry Jam, if we could choose. (You know how good peanut butter and Jelly taste together!) Isn’t she cute? Our waitress.

Then I got serious . . . the BEST beef stew . . . it was truly delicious, especially the gravy.

And for dessert? This is Syllabub, which I’d never had, but have heard it mentioned in  every Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams book I’ve ever read. Had to try it. Got it for all of us! (Yours had no calories.) SO good! Lemon whipped cream and fruit, floating on white wine and sherry. Simple and not too sweet. There are four historic taverns in Williamsburg . . . next time, we try the other three!

But the good ship Queen Victoria waits for no one . . . time was passing, and we had to move on. Here’s the Williamsburg-Scotland (yes, Scotland) Ferry . . . Joe took it as a child with his parents and was looking forward to doing it again.

This is how it looks on the GPS in the car . . . It’s only a five minute trip.

And here we go, crossing the James River . . . to the small town of Scotland and beyond . . .

Traveling across America . . . you see everything . . . old and new, big and little, gorgeous and not so much, but sometimes you get lucky and see a true showplace . . .

Which you might not recognize for what it is without the sign . . . I wonder if it’s an old movie theater? I don’t know. It was across the street from Wendy’s!

But here we are, in the land of 50 shades of blue . . .

Where the flowers on the restaurant tables look like this (and cast interesting shadows!). Also, they played wonderful Brazilian musica in the bathroom!

Where behind high hedges and baby boxwood forests there are pink castles and white mansions with gold roofs and some very rarefied air . . . but when you can see the houses from the car, the normal ones are wonderful too and look like this . . .

Or this . . .

We had a wonderful time with Joe’s big brother, Steve, and his wife Betsey  . . .

And I have to show you this thing Steve does at his house . . . See the spidery root system crawling on the trunk of this palm tree on the left? That, my dear girls, is the root system from that orchid blooming up there. Huh? you say? I understand completely, but it gets even stranger:

Here’s another one! These palm trees are in Steve’s backyard.  He buys orchids for their coffee table or dining table, and when the flowers die, he takes the plant out of the pot and TIES it, with string, to the palm trees in his yard, then leaves it alone. And after a while the orchid gloms onto the tree, the roots spread, perfectly comfortable with Florida light and humidity . . . and the plant flowers again and again!

See them all? Pretty wild eh? He has something like eight trees gussied up in this way! Know what else blooms outside here?

Gardenias! Shall we move here?

And here we are, right back where we started, this is what it looks like from the bed in our room, looking up at the canopy over our heads . . . which is where I’m going right now! Although we shall see whether sleep will occur or not! All these months, time marches on, and we are about to go!

SO excited girlfriends.  I’ve written everything down in my diary so far! It’s funny, we know what’s happening tomorrow, but it hasn’t yet, no photos have been taken, no writing has been done, we have to wait for the slow unfolding of everything. Are you all packed and ready? This is the dangerous part, smuggling you guys aboard. But we always manage, and tomorrow will be no different. Have a big breakfast, plan to be very quiet . . . And p.s., FYI, here’s the web cam from Port Everglades, from which the Queen Victoria will depart tomorrow around 5 or 6 pm . . . be sure to wave if you see us going! We’ll be outside waving back! Our first stop, on Saturday morning, will be in Cape Canaveral. (Web Cam links are courtesy of our Girlfriend, Georgie, better known on Twitter as @FarmGirlGeorgie).

One more of these before I go, love the wall with the scalloped edge . . . Good night all you sweetie pies, sleep well, see you in the morning! 😘 xoxo

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295 Responses to GOING GOING almost GONE

  1. Margie says:

    It will all be good once you get on the ship! I am the same way, I worry about the plants and the bees when I go away, but I get distracted quickly once we are on the road and am white knuckled. It’s great you rested a bit. You will have so much to share and create after you get there! Have a “bon Voyage”. Anxious to travel with you. From my ♥️ To yours.

  2. Susan Edwards says:

    Ahhh … the adventure begins. I am so excited to be on this journey with you and Joe. Enjoy. Can’t wait for the pictures and notes.

  3. Marie says:

    Hope you can sleep well with the excitement of tomorrow’s departure. Bon voyage!

  4. Susie C says:

    Dear Susan –
    Just finished reading your blog and am so excited for you both. Bon Voyage and before you know it you will be across the pond. I wish I had your gift of words or ability to draw what one sees but you gift us yours each blog.

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

  5. Sharon Bates says:

    You are such a gift…a light in this world. Tour words, your art, the music you share are islands of harmonious paradise.

    I was so tickled to see your photos and posts about Williamsburg, VA. I am a Virginia native, or as I say now “I’m a VA girl living in a PA world”, now living in southern Pennsylvania. I am so partial to Virginia. I’ve been to Williamsburg many, many times and it’s so hard to convey to others what a treasure historic Williamsburg provides. When you and Joe go back again in the future please consider going in December. The decorations are delightful and the Grand zIllumination event is not to be missed! This year I believe it is the weekend of December 2nd. “In the 18th century, illuminations–the firing of guns and lighting of fireworks–celebrated major events such as the birthday of a reigning sovereign, military victories, or the arrival of a new colonial governor. Join Colonial Williamsburg for this special day by strolling the Historic Area and viewing all the unique decorations.”
    Maybe your trip to England will be more than enough for one year but I hope you consider Williamsburg at Christmas some year soon!
    I was fortunate enough to live in England for 3 years and I am one, of many I’m sure, who are with you in spirit on your journey and M so looking forward to everything you shared with us. Thank you!
    Bon voyage and cheerio!

  6. Julie V. says:

    Thank you so much for taking us with you! I love your “bon voyage” banner. In your shop I only see the ships on the “dream” banner. Any chance you’ll sell a bon voyage banner?

  7. Barbara (Farm Girl) says:

    Glad you enjoyed Williamsburg, Virginia! We lived there for 2 years on duty at Camp Peary. Have a wonderful and enlightening trip!

  8. Loretta says:

    Hi Susan….well there you go….Bon Voyage!!! Already a wonderful trip, beautiful country and houses. Glad you got to stop to see Joe’s brother and wife. Have a wonderful time!! Looking forward to each passing day…. Loretta/Calif.

  9. Thea says:

    Bon Voyage!!

  10. Mary Lawrence says:

    Wowza!You go Joe!I love PINK!What a grand adventure you are having already!Bon voyage!I’m a pisces and I’ll put in a good word with the sea gods for an easy voyage.Have a blast.

  11. Kelly Houlton says:

    When I saw the storm damage on the east coast on TV in our pub, I was very worried about you and Joe and little Jack. Knew your trip would be starting soon and am glad to hear that you were able to set off without a hitch. Wishing you safe and glorious travels!

  12. Karen Lotito says:

    Bon Voyage, Susan! And, as I am writing this, our dear English friends are heading off to Barbados to board a P&O ship to sail around the Caribbean and then across the Atlantic back to Southampton! Thank you so much for the pictures of Williamsburg. Isn’t it the most lovely place? We were there quite a while ago and thoroughly enjoyed stepping back in time and yes, having a wonderful lunch at one of the taverns! You’re right; it’s both like England and New England and it’s all rolled in together! So glad you’re smuggling all of us along with you on your trip! I so look forward to your blog and pictures! We leave out of NYC on a cruise down to the Caribbean in two weeks. It will be so nice to leave the cold weather. Two storms in less than a week here on Long Island; we are weary of Winter. But, Spring is on it’s way! Have a wonderful, safe trip! Be well and be happy! Love, Karen xo

  13. Sharrieboberry says:

    I’m all tucked in and ready to go! Scrunch over Petey! I need a little more room.
    Soooo glad dessert didn’t have calories! And……..I’m dreaming of a trip into Spring in England! Bon voyage dear Joe and Sue!

  14. Freddie Ann says:

    I clicked on the web cam early to make sure I can see you waving. I will be waving, too. This is going to be a fun trip for all of us. Enjoy.

  15. What a room! And those orchids..and Williamsburg..all wonderbar so far!
    Fun..I love our own travels too(never thought I would ever say that..)..but yours are pretty keen:) Very keen.♥
    I bought a beautiful Peter Rabbit Happy Easter garland for Easter..it stole my 64 yr old heart.Peter is my theme.;)
    I am sure my 4 grandsons will love..lol;)

  16. Liz Lamontaylor says:

    Safe travels and Godspeed! Enjoy every minute and I will enjoy it vicariously through you!
    Always the very best to you both!!


  17. Debbie says:

    Bon voyage! I look forward to reading about your wonderful journey!

  18. Anarita says:

    I’m reading this and just glanced at my clock…it’s almost time to go!!! 🙂 I can almost hear the horn blow! Love the orchid idea and wish Kentucky weather would allow for it, but in a pot in my pretty office by the laced curtain window will have to do! Can’t wait to for “our” journey to begin! Following, like I always do, on Twitter!
    Fair winds and following seas!

  19. Pam says:

    Have a wonderful trip x

  20. Diana Wiley says:

    Thank you for the wonderful warm weather pics. Love the orchids. I have 7 different ones in my home. But this is Ohio weather and it is cold this past week so no clinging to trees here!
    Have a wonderful trip on the ship and in England.

  21. Margaret says:

    Your blog is fabulous! I just jumped in the bag with Petey and we’re excited and nervous too! We loved the pink suite and all of the sites so far. I’m actually going on a small cruise ship in late fall to explore the Chesapeake Bay, including stops in Williamsburg and Yorktown…you have definitely whetted my travel bug’s appetite. Bon voyage and be sure to have a pear cider for us!

  22. Gail Young says:

    Hi Susan! So excited for you and Joe to go on another explore! We thoroughly enjoy you sharing it all with us, so much fun being an armchair traveler !!! Have a safe trip😀

  23. Kathie Ferko says:

    Hi Susan…and Joe,
    Have a safe trip…thanks for squeezing me into your suitcase again!!!!!
    You would love more time in Williamsburg… Was there in the fall and the summer.. the gardens were lovely… Ate at the taverns… Drank a shrub with my meal. I like the way the stores are at the end of the colonial historic section… Is the Trellis restaurant still there?
    Governor’s mansion was very interesting. Did you say you were going to have a stop in
    Bermuda? Such a lovely British island… The pastel houses with stepped whitewashed roofs were beautiful.
    Have a lovely trip… I will be excited to hear about all of your adventures…hope to hear more soon
    Kathie from Limerick
    Erin go Braugh!!!!☘☘☘☘

  24. DelJean says:

    Susan, dearest Susan,
    Thank you and Joe for the beauty you share with us all! It’s a dear gift in our political world that makes one wonder if there are any morals and values left. …then your blog arrives!!
    Enjoy enjoy enjoy!!

  25. Virginia says:

    So exciting and can’t wait for every post–especially from Ireland! And no worries about being nervous–all perfectly normal–so many of us are before a big trip or big event we have looked forward to.

    Be glad you are missing the weather back home where we are having a hard time with damaging storms–so many without power. We will enjoy this longed-for adventure and promise to be VERY quiet as we tiptoe aboard with you.

  26. CarolK says:

    Here it is FRIDAY ~ I’m so excited, I’ve got butterflies and can’t wait to watch your ship leaving the harbor. We’re on our waaaaaaay, Yeaaaaaaaaa!

  27. Patricia Edde says:

    Hello my dear “Now Voyagers”. You must be on the Queen now and getting ready to leave shortly. I bet the tummy ticklers are really revving up. What an adventure you’re about to embark on. I can only imagine how hard it was to leave your island in such a state but I do know how hard it was to leave Jack. You can’t hug or kiss him enough. I don’t leave very often right now as with Sam’s advanced age he doesn’t take the separations very well. Today when I came home he was laying by the front door waiting for me and as if that didn’t turn my heart to moosh, he gave me his first kiss in forever. There just are no words to describe the joy that he brings me. How can there be people who don’t like animals? It’s like not liking chocolate.
    I want that mirror in your hotel room and the picture of you in it was great – you should paint it for posterity. I know what you meant about your dad being afraid but not showing it, it was the same with my father. He was a 6’3″ giant but always took care of mom and me and never let on if things scared him but they must have. He was in the South Pacific in the Navy during WWII and I’m sure that wasn’t a piece of cake. He’s been gone for 24 years now WIll and one of my biggest regrets is that I never asked him about his war experiences. It’s hard for a woman to lose her childhood prince isn’t it.
    Well, I will try to be, what for me is, brief. Just want to wish the 2 of you a trip crammed full of exciting places to see, comfy beds to sleep in, high teas galore, loads of lovable beasties and wonderful times spent with old and new friends. Tally-ho, pip pip, cherrio and much love to both of you.

  28. Kathy Pinkerton says:

    I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the various fences! I have a friend who lives in Key West, Florida, USA and she says the locals tie orchids to the tree limbs there. They grow well and bloom profusely! Thank you for sharing your journey! 😊

  29. Kelly from Walnut Creek, Ca. says:

    Bon Voyage Susan & Joe! I hope you have a lovely, lovely time filled with adventures and memorable moments. I was about to say we will miss you here in the States, but your blog & twitter entries keep you forever in our hearts. Be safe and know that for all of the good work you do and for everything you have given your many girlfriends to inspire and enjoy, this is your time to enjoy….to be happy.

    Will be thinking of you and cannot wait to follow along on this journey.🇺🇸🌎🚢🇬🇧

    Smooth sailing across the pond.

    With love & all best wishes,

    Kelly 👩🏻‍💻🌷🌻

  30. Gayle Hall says:

    OMG! I have been thinking about you every single day. And oh how I love these photos.They are so thrilling Susan. And I must tell you my heart is jumping in my chest with excitement of you leaving tomorrow. I would be a combination of excitement and fear. I would have bands on both ankles and both wrists to keep settled. Along with a supply of Dramamine. As one gets older I do not think our courage is as good as when we are young. But the adventure in our souls carries us through. Susan you have fun, every minute. And by the way could you ship the headboard to me. 🤓 Be happy Susan, and have an absolutely wonderful trip. DO NOT MISS A THING!!! Love and blessings Gayle Hall

  31. Cheryl says:

    Thanks for taking us along with you- I am excited to live vicariously through you and Joe!
    Safe travels

  32. Joan Lesmeister says:

    I am ecstatic to be with you all on this journey! How did March get here so fast? Good thing I packed early!!! So far, loved every moment from Jack’s goodbyes to picket fences and beyond!!! Thank you Joe & Susan, bouquets of camellias (it’s that time of year, here!) and see you at dinner……with my sea bands on…..! Bless you for your giving hearts! xoxoxo

  33. anne says:

    I an sooo excited to be somewhat going along with you and Joe on the magical journey !!
    Just love the photo’s and sharing what you two are experiencing as you go along.
    God bless and enjoy your marvelous journey



  34. Gloria says:

    So glad “our” trip is finally here. Wouldn’t it be fun to have all of us along on the ship and following in a parade of cars around the British Isles with you and Joe?Have a great time. Can’t wait for your posts.

  35. Debby Suovanen says:

    Such a lovely description of everything – your room, the weather, the restaurants, the orchids! Oh my, to have orchids like that growing in my own back yard! That would be delightful! I especially love the picture of the centerpiece in the restaurant with the shadow. You always notice these small treasures and I so often miss them – thank you for helping me to appreciate the beauty around all of us! Have a wonderful and safe adventure!

  36. Valarie Whitcomb says:

    Susan and Joe – Next time in Colonial Williamsburg, splurge and stay at the Williamsburg Inn, one of the great inns of America! And go in the spring – no later than the end of May – or in the fall – at mid-October – otherwise the Virginia heat and humidity will totally undo you – worse than New England!
    Bon Voyage! I await further news with excitement!

  37. Pat addison ( cave junction, OR) says:

    Bon voyage Susan and Joe, smooth sailing, fair skies and calm wind… see you on board. okay everyone into the trunk!!! hugs… 😀

  38. Kathy Prell says:

    Hi Susan, What a wondrous adventure you are on, beginning with Colonial Williamsburg, one of my favorite places on the planet. Dining at the King’s Arm Tavern is a must every time we visit. Next time you go you must attend a ball at the Governor’s Palace. April is my favorite time there because the gardens are glorious in all their springtime glory! The Mermaid Bookstore in Merchants Square is a must stop…I can almost always find a Tasha Tudor, Gladys Taber or Beatrix Potter that I just have to bring home with me! Your lovely photos put me there again…thank you and bon voyage!

  39. Isabel Simpson says:

    Thank you so much for taking us along on your adventures.
    Have been reading up on the Queen Victoria and all she has to offer and am sure that you are both going to have an amazing time while at sea.
    Bon Voyage,

  40. Brenda says:

    Have a safe and wonderful trip. Godspeed.

  41. Sally Jenks Roth says:

    I don’t think you were fearful, just EXCITED!!! As someone else said, “butterflies”. By now you are settling in and getting comfortable on the Queen Victoria and making sure that Petey is too. What a great hotel in Fort Lauderdale, I’d like to stay there too.
    Everything about this post is appealing, Williamsburg with its picket fences galore, horses and carriages and Joe’s brother, who is so clever with the orchids (or is it the orchids that are clever?).
    I know you will have a divine time, and don’t worry about a thing. Best wishes and Fair Winds to you and Joe!

  42. Valorie Veld says:

    All beautiful! Thank you for sharing 🙂 Safe travels! <3

  43. Terri Brewster says:

    Bon Voyage,

    So happy to see you enjoyed Williamsburg, it is a very special spot. So far the travels look fabulous. Have a safe journey and thank you for taking us all along.


  44. Starr miller says:

    Hi Susan and Joe,
    What a fabulous trip you’ve had already. There’s so much to see and I love how you both embrace it.
    I can’t wait to see the Queen M.
    Praying that the high seas are kind to you.
    I’m off to walk our Sadie-dog. It’s a chilly 37 here in Naperville, IL.

  45. Starr miller says:

    Oops Queen Victoria….

  46. Linda says:

    Yes, you need a week in Williamsburg! We’ve been three times over 19 years and there is always more to see no matter for all ages. The teen who is not a history buff wanted to follow the players in each scene to see what happened next. Each tavern is different and the historical menu food is exceptional. (When another daughter was small, she was very impressed that applesauce was the dessert on the kid menu.) So plan that trip after you take us along on this one. 😉

  47. Yvonne Shafer says:

    You cannot move to Palm Beach!! You live in heaven on MV! Of course, traveling is wonderful but it’s always great to return home to the nest. Enjoy each and every moment of the trip! I’m happy to be going along!

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t ever worry. We just say that because something strikes us as beautiful, but we were born for Martha’s Vineyard (unless we were born for Ireland! We’ll find out!).

  48. Joan of Cape Cod says:

    You had me at gardenias! You notice all the beautiful and fragrant and interesting and amusing and decorative and colorful things and share them with all of us. You have a sweet generous nature and deserve every moment of this adventure. Thank you for bringing us along.

    • sbranch says:

      You all make it so much more fun…I know I need to see things for everyone! I’m not as good at things like machines and oil derricks as Joe is, but the rest of it, I try!

  49. You’re making it very hard to keep envy at bay. Your trip is already divine, and I can’t wait to follow along with you all the way. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Mary Brehm says:

    My tummy is doing flip flops for you….I’m nervous and I’m not even going! Have a wonderful wonderful wonderful time and thank you so much for sharing your adventure with us. Your zest and joy for life are infections. <3

  51. Beth T. says:

    I know it is hard to say goodbye to your sweet boy, Jack. But just as with children, I always think it’s good for our pets to be loved by a wider circle than just the immediate family, and we know that’s true of Jack. He’ll be encircled by love while you are away.

  52. Cindy says:

    So excited for you & Joe…..was visiting The Lake District just about 2 years ago with a great friend, later in March I believe. Our time at the Beatrice Potter Farm was so magical and can’t wait to relive it all through the eyes and words of Susan Branch….so magical it will be.

  53. Fran Patten says:

    Oh, Susan I have enjoyed your many exciting blogs but this one is SOOO wonderful. Nice of you to invite all us GFs and we look forward to each and every one. You’re the best, Susan. Love and prayers are packed in your bags for you and your Joe to hang on to. My Feline Fred is kinda jealous of my love for Jack but he know I love him bestest.
    Enjoy. Frani Patten

  54. Val says:

    Oh, what a marvelous time already! Bon Voyage!

  55. Barbara Weaver says:

    So glad you enjoyed Williamsburg. It’s a wonderful place. But tourism is down there, if you can believe that. Hope today’s blog will encourage the girlfriends to visit!
    Bon Voyage to you and Joe. Oh, and to us hitch hikers, too. Your excitement is infectious! So much fun to come. 💕💕

  56. Sandi from the Cape says:

    OMG, I just read your blog (after almost no internet since the end of January) and here you are in the same general area and on your way to a big adventure! I never imagined you’d be gone so long, but happy to know I’m stowing away with you even though I’m heading back to storm ladden NE and the Cape. I just missed you sailing but will be happy to log in tomorrow morning at Cape Canaveral! We’re in Virginia tonight having to wait one more day before driving our Airstream back through the storms you just left. You were just here in the area at Colonial Williamsburg! Don’t you just love it! One of my all time favs! Sorry we missed you! You’re just going to have the most fabulous time and I can’t wait to tag along. Bon Voyage and Champagne bubbles to you both!

  57. Nancy says:

    Wonderful post. I too love colonial Williamsburg. It takes several days to see inside the buildings and eat in the different inns. Even Queen Elizabeth stayed here with Prince Philip
    Years ago.
    Bon voyage. I am the lady with gray hair reading an Agatha Christie while sneaking on the ship. Just nod when you see me. Smiles.

  58. Tana says:

    I so need this vacation! Hope there is room for all my luggage. I pack like you.

  59. Shelly Stone says:

    Bon voyage! I watched the ship slowly pull out of port. A night voyage out! So excited for you! Love going with you!

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

    Bon Voyage Susan and Joe, and to my fellow stowaways I am sneaking along a super snack… gourmet chocolate samples, bars and goodies from the Oregon Chocolate festival, just opened up today and will be running the weekend in Ashland…. a whole weekend of chocolate goodies for the stowaways. see you all on board… hugs…. 😀

  61. Nancy M says:

    Have a wonderful voyage!! I bet it was great to head into spring and such lovely stops along the way!!! Love the orchids and gardenias in the trees. Amazing!!!

  62. Linda Forbes says:

    I so love and look forward to your blogs! I’m jealous of your adventure but also privelidged to come along via blog!!! I feel like we are best friends who have never met. Thank you for being you. I hope you have a ball! I know you will.

  63. Nancy S. says:

    Bon Voyage! Thanks for the nostalgic trip through
    Williamsburg…we honeymooned there (many moons ago) and have been back several times with the children…and then just the two of us for empty-nester anniversaries!

  64. Jeanne says:

    Safe travels Susan! Thank you for sharing. Prayers for you and Joe.

  65. Nele from Michigan says:

    HAVE FUN!!! Born Voyage!!
    Next time you go to Williamsburg, go right before Christmas!! Every house has a different wreath on their door that represents what is inside… like the tea house has little tea cups, spoons, etc on it… the Tobacco shop has white clay pipes etc.. on it… and on and on.. .it’s BREATHTAKING!! Stay at night for the lighting of the lanterns… as the fife and drum corps comes down the road with torches to light all the street lanterns…. and on the village square they sell apples and gingerbread.. mmmmmm….
    LOOKING forward to this trip!!

  66. Nancy says:

    Absolutely love Colonial Williamsburg…..celebrated our 30th anniversary in one of the cottages on DoG Street…..drum & fife corps marched right up our street….sat on stoop and watched. You must go back for a longer stay!!! So excited for you & Joe…….thank you for taking us along!!

  67. linny says:

    Susan! Thank you so very much!!! Just downright delightful! Thanks for sharing. Take good care of each other.

  68. AngieTink says:

    Bon~Voyage Sweet~Sue & Joe!!!! Herbster & Me #We Watched Your Ship (Our~Ship) 😉 Set Sail From The Web~Cam!!! Thanks~Georgie! 🙂 Just Gorgeous! I’m Happy You LOVE Florida! 🙂 Tis a Tropical~Place…& You Had Glorious~Weather! 🙂 Herbster Grows Orchids Too… He Loves What Joe’s Brother Does!!! & He Says He’s Gonna Try This!!! 🙂 Okie~Dokie….Saying Good~Night! Sweet~Dreams As The Ship Rocks You To Sleep….Nite~Nite See You In The Morning!!! Very~Exciting!!!! xoxo #Poof! 🙂 P.S. Extra~Hugzzz Too Sweet Sue! 🙂

  69. Joyce Howe says:

    Yes, Yes. You must return to Williamsburg and the surrounding areas sometime when you can really explore! I spent 10 days in the area several years ago and would love to go back. Stayed at the Williamsburg Inn, too. They also have several guest houses not connected to the main house and I was in one of those for 3 of the days until my room in the main Inn was available. So quaint and lovely. They made you feel like you were staying in their own home. I ate at the Christina Campbell Tavern for lunch one day and was lucky enough to see George Washington having a working lunch in the next room! You truly take a walk back in time there. Enjoy your cruise and I can’t wait to see all the fabulous stops you make along your journey. Bon Voyage!!

  70. Thank you for this wonderful post and the visit to 1 of my very favorite places and have been a member since 1986! Your photos were wonderful…and descriptions and almost like being there. Can’t wait for your next book about this trip. Late renewing my BP membership…but finally got it done last month. Had been to Hill Top in ’96, but until you inspired me I’d never joined the Society. Thank you Susan!!

  71. Cindy Tuning says:

    Thank you so much for stopping in Williamsburg on your way to awesome!! We are going in July and are staying at the Williamsburg Lodge and now I’m very excited !! I’ve never been there but knew that it would all be adorable..Have the best time ! Fair winds and following seas ( I think that’s how it goes but I may gave it backwards)💜

  72. Claudette Simms says:

    Ok…I’m all packed & ready for the fun trip
    with you, Joe & Petey!
    Pleasant dreams & Anchors Away 🚢

  73. Karen Baron says:

    I am ready for our vacation! 💕🙏🏻🤗

  74. The orchids are amazing! I’m going to tell my daughter about those. She lives in Hawaii and maybe she can grow some, too! Bon Voyage!!!

  75. Nelle Evans says:

    I enjoy so much traveling with you. Thanks for all the details and photos. Reminded me of my trip to Williamsburg several years ago with my twin sister. You are in my prayers as you enjoy the journey.

  76. Kelly says:

    Ah, what fun! I graduated from William and Mary and loved strolling down Duke of Gloucester on a Saturday. I’m glad you got to stop there on the first leg of your trip. I can’t wait to see more!

  77. Shelley S says:

    Woo hoo….we watched you ship from the cameras! I’m almost sure that was you waving. How long will you be at sea?

    Bon voyage! Safe travels. Looking forward to your next post.



    • sbranch says:

      We arrive in England March 23, but between then and now, today for example, we’re docked in Cape Canaveral … then Charleston (where I’m doing a book signing!) then Bermuda, and then the Azores … before we get to Southhampton.

  78. Linda from Virginia says:

    When I was a student at the College of William and Mary, all students had a pass to everything in Williamsburg so we studied in the deep window seats of the Wren Building and read in the boxwood garden of the Governor’s Mansion. We ate Brunswick stew with a round loaf of freshly baked bread and lemonade, the cheapest good meal in town. Celebrating an anniversary, my husband and I rented one of the houses on Duke of Glouster Street, a small building with wooden blinds and formal curtains on every window, even a tiny one upstairs in the hall. As we changed for dinner, we heard the fife and drum unit marching down the street and we ran outside to see them. The buildings are rented through the Williamsburg Inn. We registered there and followed a porter in a uniform riding a black bicycle with a narrow gold stripe to our house for the night. Fences were required by law to keep one man’s sheep from eating another man’s garden. Come again and explore further this treasure of Virginia. We know you would appreciate every detail.

  79. Debbie Melo says:

    I am so happy you loved Williamsburg! I have been privileged to visit there many times and I love it more each time; it is our heritage and to know the people we admire walked those streets is amazing. I would also recommend Mount Vernon (George Washington); Monticello ( Thomas Jefferson- my favorite) and Montpelier ( James Madison)- actually all of Virginia is an amazing historical adventure over 2 centuries… Bon Voyage and safe travels to you, Joe & Petey!

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      So right about Virginia, Debbie. Over the almost 50 years of driving back and forth from Florida to Maryland or Maine, I’ve been fortunate to visit almost all of Virginia’s historic homes. I agree that Montpelier is one of the best. Also George Mason’s home in the Tidewater. Amazingly, there are still a few places in the Shenandoah that we’ve missed, but just a couple.

      Debbie in Tampa

  80. Ginny Evans says:

    Gosh, you haven’t event boarded and the trip has already been SO interesting! Who knew orchids could do that? And lovely to “see” Williamsburg just as it is waking up for another wonderful year. Do go back–April is the loveliest I think, but October is a close second. Fun to see the Floridian houses—like sisters of California houses, similar but somehow slightly different.
    Bon voyage!!

  81. Priscilla from Brooklyn NY says:

    Safe and wonderful travels, dear Susan! Hope you and Joe enjoy every moment.
    I love Colonial Williamsburg too. It’s one of my favorite places. Thanks for taking us along and Bon Voyage!

  82. Susan Scott says:

    You are the best and I am so looking forward to our trip. I LOVE everything already….Williamsburg is charming and your pictures brought back many memories.
    Thanks for all you’re doing to include us in all the fun and exploration.
    😊👍. Susan

  83. Lovely to tag along…Thank You❣

  84. Julee Collins says:

    4a.m. on the Big Day, here in Palm Springs, CA which means it’s nearly time! So glad I happened to spot this in my too full in-box, so as to be aware that we are about to be smuggled on-board. Like everyone else, the trip down was great fun for me, and just the thought of being on the beautiful sea, aimed toward England/Cornwall/Wales/Ireland in a few hours is making my heart beat very fast — thanks for including me. Now I’d better get a little sleep………good job I don’t snore and call attention to us!

  85. Betsy Brunette says:

    Today is the BIG day! We are all there with you.

    As others have mentioned, I too was in Williamsburg years ago and seeing your pictures makes me want to re-visit. Your mention of it being picket fence heaven cracked me up. But to think that those fences were originally handmade, it is no wonder that their designs were varied. Everyone wanted to share their own brand I guess and that continues today with the way we plant our gardens and place the old benches and chairs and bird houses around them.

    The example that you and Joe show us truly reminds us that every day is a gift and that being kind and thoughtful with each other is the best way to handle each day. Thank you.

  86. Ann Woleben says:

    So glad you enjoyed our beloved Williamsburg~I am tingling with excitement for you and Joe~May your journey be all that you hoped for~Safe travels!

  87. Stephanie C says:

    Hi Susan! I’m soooooo excited for your new travel adventure! You see, Ireland is on my bucket list. Someday…
    I can’t imagine you ever leaving the Vineyard, that’s a large part of the charm of the Island for me!! Have safe travels. I will be checking in daily! Your faithful friend and armchair traveler, Stephanie

  88. Asha says:

    Bon Voyage Susan, Joe & Petey! Thank you for taking us along. So excited for the next adventure. Safe travels! Ox

  89. Sharon Byars of North Carolina says:

    Love, LOVE this post and looking forward to your trip. Glad you got to experience Williamsburg. Hoping to go to English countryside next spring, so need all your details of this adventure. Think I love your house photos the most !

  90. Anna says:

    I’m so thrilled for you and Joe beginning this new travel adventure! And to stay in a pink room, too! The picket fences are like wood lace enclosing meadows, gardens and personal heaven-on-earth spots. In my childhood I remember painting our picket fence during school summer vacations. Syllabub sounds (and looks) delicious! The orchid & palm tree vertical gardening is very clever.
    How do you find time to photograph and write such detailed notes about your life? As always, thank you for taking us along for an armchair experience.
    P.S. Give Jack a kiss for me

  91. Rosemary says:

    susan, so glad you stopped in Williamsburg on your way to your wonderful trip to England. Lots to see in Williamsburg, get a length of stay pass when you do go so you can tour all trades, houses, capitol, palace, etc. Have a great time on your travels.

  92. Karen in NC says:

    You are the best! Thanks for sharing your life with me!

  93. Linda Miller says:

    Sooo excited for you both…you know the saying, “Half the fun of any journey is in getting there!” I think you just proved this….embracing all the little places along the way! Loved your pink hotel room…gorgeous! Can’t wait to travel with you and Joe, Susan. Bon Voyage!

  94. Sandi in Colorado says:

    Awesome web cams of Port Ft. Lauderdale/Canaveral-sound and everything!
    What a precious journey who are taking us on! Safe travels and thank you

  95. Kathy says:

    Hoping to see a new book from this trip! Happy travels!

  96. Judi says:

    When you showed the picture of the head board I thought of Jack. He is with you!!!! Love those little “god” signs

  97. Marrie Dobbins says:

    EnJoY!!! Thanks for sharing all your fun with us! Bucket list dreams for me someday. Bon Voyage to y’all from a Georgia southern belle!

  98. Marsha Sega says:

    I LOVE Willliamsburg. Have been several times. The last time was for a wedding that was at the chapel of William and Mary college. The son of a friend met his wife at William and Mary so it was an appropriate place for the wedding which was, of course, beautiful and charming.
    Hope all goes wonderful on your trip. Wish I was going – in real, not just in spirit. Ever since my DNA test showed that I am 50% English, I’ve been wanting to go to explore where my ancestors came from back in the early 1700’s.
    Thanks so much for sharing everything with us. Love seeing all the pictures. Will have a cup of tea in my Susan Branch nature mug while I read the blog.

  99. Paula from Texas says:

    I have been waiting for this trip so I am very excited for you and so glad I can tag along. Seeing the world thru the eye of Susan Branch is a real treat!

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