I bought 240 minutes of computer time, I have 54 minutes left and all I have are photos …  I haven’t even written the words yet! Yikes, so here we go! MUSICA

Sunrise on the MOST delicious boat ride of my life. 🚢 It has been beyond gorgeous. We could even lie in the sun! Trying not to fall asleep. I’ve read one entire book and started on another. I cast on the stitches of my scarf/shawl. I had a massage. Joe got wrapped! Then I got wrapped. Seaweed. Most heavenly. Warm, sunny, like the best of spring days, or early summer mornings, just beautiful. Hard to believe we pack tomorrow, and leave the ship on Friday morning! I keep getting snow photos from my English girlfriends, it will be a whole new world!

Here’s our ship, coming in to the Azores, which I had to look up to see exactly where it was! It’s part of Portugal, as I understand it, hard to believe because these islands are miles from any other sort of land, but yes, they do speak Portuguese ~ and many speak English too, thank goodness!

So pretty, and very self-sufficient as you would have to be out here. This is Terceira … a patchwork Garden of Eden of emerald greens divided by stone walls, punctuated by active volcanos, where the houses are white stucco with terracotta tiled roofs. It’s warm, subtropical, average temp about 65 degrees ~ it was sunny AND it rained while we were there.

It’s a lot like California!

Until you see the rock walls. . .

They took us to town on buses, into this charming downtown area, with lots of local shops and little restaurants . . .

And darling houses and gardens . . .

. . . and streets all tiled in designs with tiny cobblestones . . .

in every kind of art expression,

Mixed together shapes and sizes, all handmade and very interesting …

My first job in town was to find an umbrella, and I was thrilled to do it BEFORE it started to rain!

When we first arrived the sky was blue . . . we didn’t even need jackets!

But, see me over there, in the nick of time, umbrella’s up! And you can see even more of the cobblestone tile decoration in the streets and on the sidewalk.

Here too . . . and these musicians showed up with guitars and began serenading us!

See that woman with her hands together? She said with her hands EXACTLY what I was thinking! It was wonderful.

Here we are, at O Pescador, where the umbrella lady said we “must go” for lunch!

She was so right! You each get your own bottle of wine! A very congenial country! I don’t think I’ve tasted Mateus since around 1974! It was Yummy!

We had fish . . . how could we not? Joe’s was Cod, and mine was Swordfish, both with locally-grown vegetables.

We sat there, drank their delicious coffees, wrote postcards, and got stamps and even got them posted with Azores post mark!!! (Sometimes we amaze ourselves!)

Beaches the world over say the same luv-lee things to passers-by.

Across from the beach was this very old wall. See the “holes” just past the “door?”

That is home to some very curious pigeons who came out to say, “Hey, strangers, what’s up?”.

This perfect little wildflower was growing between the plastic thing and the concrete! I took this photo . . .

And Joe took this one! Our ride, way out there, waiting for us. And it was time to go find our bus and head back . . .

 It was a lovely day in the Azores, we need to come back soon and stay longer!

But right now, we have a pre-planned VIP destination in mind . . .

But, until we get there, for all practical purposes we are “in Rome,” so we do what the Romans do! Which has a LOT to do with eating!

And sitting around, taking pictures of each other!

This is our assigned dining room. And that is the purse Sheri and Kellee got me for Christmas! It was the belle of the ball! Tiny but plenty of joie de vivre!

Every morning we get one our Daily Programme, about six pages of what surprises await us each day. . . you have to decide if you are going to make it to the Vegetable Carving Demonstration, or to the Ball, or if you just might stay in bed all day with your book?  All things are possible.


Our dining room again. They have very few actual candles on board for good reasons I’m sure, but they have managed to figure out the softest prettiest lighting in all the rooms so you don’t really miss them!

Here’s my new umbrella, result of shopping in Terceira. SO happy to have it. What was I thinking, going to England without an umbrella??? Cur-A-zee. And Joe got himself some glue!

Because my ladybug fell off my ring! (Ladybird as the Brits say so adorably.)

It’s not a very expensive ring. I paid a dollar for it, and now, Joe fixed it, so I am ready to visit garden after garden wearing the correct jewelry.

OK, I will try to come back later, but if I can’t, at least there will be something. It’s unfinished, and even worse, no MUSICA (fixed!). But I will return. I have a 4 pm facial! Must go! Life is so terrible here. Don’t ever make me do this again. Miss you, love you, thank you for coming along! XOXO




This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

395 Responses to WE SAW THE SEA . . .

  1. Memarge says:

    You and Joe are elegant in your eveningwear. Enjoy yourselves to the hilt!

  2. Karen Matthews says:

    Thanks for sharing your pics-the town was wonderful, the streets were amazing, makes me want to go tomorrow!! So glad you and Joe are having the time of your lives and so much more awaits you on the marvelous trip! Enjoy every minute!

  3. Sandee Benike says:

    Thank you for all the lovely memories of the Azores – My husband and I were stationed there in the late 1980’s. It still looks as charming and lovely as I remembered it. Enjoy your adventure.

  4. Ruth Winkler says:

    I’ve been looking so forward to your next message — and here you are. Thank you for all the lovely photos of things only you see and know we will love. Be safe and happy and please write again soon.

  5. Evie Tong says:

    I love being on this voyage with you 💞💝💕
    Alo-ha-ha Evie in San Diego

  6. Sandy Bloomer says:

    We have an old bottle of Mateus from the 70’s, never opened but love the old label. What an adventure you two are having, fun to be able to enjoy it through your pics and comments . Can’t wait for more… Thanks for your kind words and time to write 🤗

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha, that you have a bottle from the 70s, I wonder if it tastes the same? I have a can of Billy Beer, if you remember that. Can’t open it, can’t throw it away, so there it is!

      • Kathie Ferko says:

        I remember Mateus as very dry rose wine but it was the way to go in
        the 1970’s. Funny was thinking of trying it again… I too loved the shape of bottle… Had the empties with color dripping candles in them jut like old Cianti raffia bottles!!

  7. FayE in CA! says:

    Fun-fun and perfect in every way. Makes me want to get back on a ship!
    It is SO relaxing listening to the ocean, watching the clouds change and the
    sunrises/sunsets. AND! The food is always worth getting dressed for…or not, in the privacy of a suite.

    Kudos, hugs…and continued joy to both of you. Welcome back to one of your beloved “homes”, England. Be careful when you are walking!! You have stepped on my toes more than once while you ewwwwwed and awwwwhhhed getting a vista into your lens. I had to go barefoot today because my toes were sore, but your photos came out divine!

    FayE! ❤️❤️❤️

    PS: Thanks for taking the time to keep us posted. We are very lucky!

  8. DeLores E Johnson (Minnesota) says:


    I felt like I was on the ship with you and walking with you on the Azores & here I am sitting in my living room late at night, all alone with our little town dark and quiet. You certainly can write to catch my attention & your descriptions and pictures are fantastic. Thank you for taking the time from your vacation to write this blog and send to the rest of us who could not go along. So interesting!
    Have a fantastic time and enjoy! DeLores Johnson

  9. Barbara Anne says:

    What a sweet and blissful time away from routine and all the daily stuff! Come sail away, indeed!

    We had snow here in VA today, but it’s already mostly melted into a muddy, soggy mess. That’s much better than snow hanging around to get grungy, doncha think?

    What’s next?


  10. Barbara Weaver says:

    Just heavenly!

  11. Susan Scott says:

    Such a treat to enjoy this amazing adventure with you! You really are a special friend! Thank you for your luv-lee pictures and emails…..I so look forward to them. Have a joyous time!
    ❤️ Susan

  12. Thank you for the virtual vacation! Your photos are beautiful. I can imagine myself right there with you. Have lovely trip.

  13. Marilyn S says:

    It all looks so beautiful and fun. How did they happen to have just the perfect umbrella for you there in the Azores? Blue polka dots-just perfect! I am tickled by the thought of Joe buying a tube of glue to fix your $1 ring. True love in action. But well worth it for such a charming ladybug! I am so glad you’re getting some “me” time. You deserve it!

  14. Dotty Reehling says:

    So appreciate your sharing. Quite the photos.

  15. Barbara A Case IN says:

    Perfect timing…….I really need this……it will help me stay on a more even keel…….I don’t want to be a wet blanket…..but perhaps you remember what has been the major focus for my daughter for almost the last four years. My granddaughter lost her battle last Wednesday the 14th……so very unfair to say the least. She was given a Make a Wish trip last July. She chose to go to London and to the place where much of Harry Potter was filmed…….she loved the trip…Fortnum and Mason’s for tea……Trafalger Square…all the usual sites she even got up close and personal with one of the Queens’ swans…..( she used to have a pet goose)…..Enjoy every minute of your trip…looking forward to the book…..love from Barbara !!

    • sbranch says:

      I do remember Barbara and I am so sorry to hear it. LOVE she had that dream to remember for all those months, it was such a lovely one. My heart breaks for your family, sometimes you really do have to wonder, but she is in the hands of God now, safe from the cares of this world. Sending love and hugs to you and yours. And thank you for letting me know.

  16. Kelly from Walnut Creek, Ca. says:

    The two of you look so happy, peaceful and definitely de-stressed…all this and you haven’t even reached your destination yet! Have a feeling that by the time you head back home, we won’t recognize you!!!

    The Queen Victoria🚢🇬🇧 looks so majestic and so happy that it has been a calm time at sea. Thank you for these entries and your tweets🐥on Twitter. Fun keeping up and feeling like we are right there with you.

    Raining here in Northern California with thunderstorms yet to come. ⛈☔️ Could use your sweet new umbrella.

    Enjoy the rest of your time on board. Safe travels…and lots of love.

    Kelly 🌷🌻🌷

  17. Karen Schrimpf Saunders says:

    Watching An Affair to Remember!!! How appropriate!!! Glad you are having fun dear friend!!! You both look adorable and so happy. 🌷🌷🌷

  18. Judy B - Portland, Oregon says:

    Can’t believe we’re almost in jolly ole England already!!! What a dreamy voyage and you are the best hostess/ tour guide!! So excited to see what lies ahead.

  19. Anne Rowe says:

    Loving all the photos…but especially the descriptions! Feel like the eavesdropper at the party…hiding behind posts…peeking out now and then…pretending to clean a table whilst tipping the last drop from a glass…oh, so much fun to be stowing away…time to pop up the canvas on that lifeboat and take a wee nap! See you soon😄.

  20. Linda says:

    Hello Love Birds,

    Good to know all is going well with your travels !
    Thank you for sharing your adventure with us all . : )

    My 3 Sisters and I get to take a Pacific Coastal Cruise this Spring from So Cal up to Victoria and Vancouver . . . Can’t Wait !

    Bon Voyage,
    Linda C. of So Cal

  21. Sounds like you are having a grand time and treating yourself to all sorts of “self care” with massages and facials. Portugal is the home of my ancestors and it is my dream to visit there one day. I look forward to more missives from England. I save every one of your blog posts and go back to read them often. They are so much fun. Every adventure, home or afar, is as if we are all along with you.
    Have fun.

  22. Seona says:

    It looks like you’re both having a wonderful time and I’m glad you’ve got your brolly ready for England, hopefully if you come well equipped you won’t need it (ever hopeful!) x

  23. Jo'L says:

    What a delightful trip, and I, too, chuckled at the Mateus in Terceira, I probably haven’t had it since ’69 or ’70. Am curious about the glass on the table in the “taking pictures” photo, is it a drink or a floral arrangement? You both look like the trip so far agrees with you very well, I know it is wonderful to be there with you.

  24. Joan kotvas says:

    Hi. Was hoping for an update and there you were. Thank you. A wonderful change of pace after spending two hours st the dentist uggh! So thanks for taking my mind off that. My niece married a guy from Itrland and Iam going to tell them to follow your blog diary. His family is coming over in April for their granddaughters confirmation. I will be meeting them. Iam thoroughly enjoying tagging along with you. That Joe reminds me so much of my husband / can fix anything and great at carrying that canvas bag along with other purchases. Aren’t we lucky!!❤ I can almost smell the salty air. Thanks again – simply enjoyable. Joan

  25. So sad to read Barbara’s post about her granddaughter. My heart and prayers are with the family. (((hugs))) to Barbara.

    I have been enjoying your trip and all the photos via Twitter and Instagram, and now here. You are such a dear to take us along with you. Can’t wait until May. Not that I am wishing my life away or anything. xoxo

  26. Cathy Hoff says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. Beautiful pictures and news needed in these sometimes dark news days. Glad you and Joe are having fun!

  27. Carolyn Collins-Hunt says:

    I can see you are having a wonderful time! Thanks for the update! Can’t wait to hear more. 💕💕💕

  28. Judy says:

    Such a wonderful beautiful experience ! Thank you for sharing! I hope you know how much fun it is to follow you and Joe in your travels! So kind of you to share it all with us!
    The ship seems to exude such a romantic way to travel. And peaceful too. Enjoy!

  29. Kathy says:

    I am so jealous!! Love the pictures and want your new umbrella!!!!
    It’s perfect for your adventure😀

  30. Joanne Condlin Lawson (a/k/a Jody Condlin) says:

    Dear Susan, I so enjoy going on your trips with you …. (and Joe too!). So fun. Thanks for sharing it with us. Hoping you will be able to continue to do so. Safe trails. Have a ball! Can’t wait for your next one! Thanks.

  31. Caroline says:

    Thank you for taking us to the Azores! Linc and I have always wanted to go there, though we are crazy Americans who can only take one week off at a time,
    so when we go to our honeymoon house in Portugal, Casa Joana, we fly directly to Lisbon, and drive right to our house in Sintra. Someday we’ll have time to pause in the Azores, I just know it!

    But you make me so happy! Because I have been thinking that you and Joe would LOVE Portugal and now you’ve had a taste! Yay! More sharing for soul mates:) Keep enjoying every moment. ‘Obrigada’ for sharing your blessed blessed life with all your girlfriends all over the World.

  32. Liz hand says:

    Good morning! It looks like you are having a great time and I am glad to hear that you are getting in some reading and pampering. Our trip so far is great! Just picture me like the lady watching the musicians, lovely post!!
    Liz in Illinois

  33. Judith Kaufman says:

    So looking forward to each posting! It’s fun getting to travel with you!

  34. Christine Perica says:

    Thank you so much for once again taking us along on your voyage! The streets, the food, the writing, the views – just love it all. Continue on in great joy!

  35. Lori says:

    Glad you are having a marvelous time. Thank you for taking us along! 🙂

  36. Kathy jones says:

    Can’t wait for you to reach uk 😀 I will be in the Lake District
    In a couple of weeks but I expect you won’t still be there
    Then will you ?

  37. Debbie Boerger says:

    Hey Girlfriends, do any of you remember decoupage on the Mateus bottles? We all thought we were so artsy!
    I just checked Ship Tracker and see that the Good Ship Victoria is now off Land’s End. I was, as usual, confused on arrival time.
    This has been a fabulous cruise, hasn’t it? Thanks to “our” Susan! So much to look forward to. Sure cure for the Blues.

    Debbie in Tampa…for now. In Countdown Mode for Maine, but enjoying this glorious cool weather.

  38. Jessica Small says:

    I love your posts. Have been on Queen Mary 2, so know how wonderful Cunard Line ships are. Highly recommended! Thanks.

  39. Lola says:

    Thanks for including us on your fabulous trip.

    Two years ago, my son and daughter-in-law to me to the Azores to visit the islands where my grandparents were born (Faial and Sao Miguel). It was just so beautiful!

    Here is my theory – if Hawaii and Ireland got married, the Azores would be their children. What do you think?!

  40. Kelly Houlton says:

    So exciting! I love how you notice wonderful details and appreciate them and share them with us 🙂 Thank you so much for “bringing” us along on your amazing trip!

  41. Karen Milano says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience with your readers, I am living my travel life through you!

  42. Patti from Pleasanton, CA says:

    Just love how you take time out of your sight seeing & time on board ship to include all the wonderful things that make each place special. We’re lucky to experience everything through your eyes, Susan, as you are attuned to every detail and point out things I would probably not even notice with so much to see! I’m impressed by how productive you and Joe both are as well… even writing postcards & getting them mailed before leaving the port… so special for those receiving them to have the foreign postmark.
    Anxiously awaiting your next post. Safe travels and God’s speed.
    Patti & Paul xoxo

  43. Judith Cole says:

    THANK YOU so much for taking us along, Susan! I’m thoroughly enjoying every little detail of you trip on and off that beautiful ship, including your jaunt to the Azores to buy an umbrella (that was hilarious, and what a simply human mistake to not bring one for English weather LOL).

  44. Denise Anderson says:

    Thanks for taking the time to write the recent posts/photos of the Azores. Great Grandfather born 8-5-1851, so enjoyed the photos, Thank-you! Love being along for this journey. . . . . .Have fun & make a memory for us all. Denise

  45. Kim Young says:

    What a joy to be invited along on this beautiful journey! Can almost hear the waves and smell the sea air. Petey looks cozy with his little pillow, ;}
    When I saw that i gasped so loudly that my husband called out from the next room..”what’s the matter!” Not going to lie, i got a little teary.
    Enjoy your last bit on the ship, soon you will be motoring through the English country side with sheep and lambs all round. Can’t wait to see it all . ox

    • sbranch says:

      I got a little teary when I opened it! You did such a good job with the shape of the ship! It was ship shape! 😘

  46. suzy says:

    Lovely pictures of the countryside, the streets with their interesting designs, the boat and you and Joe. Thank you for sharing. One question, did you figure out what the “door” in the rock wall was for? Curious here.
    Have great time.

  47. Sandra says:

    What an amazing trip. I tried to close my eyes and imagine myself experiencing these delights, but alas I had to open them to keep reading and enjoying. The ladybug ring is perfect for visiting gardens, love it. I love that you took along your sweet cup to stay connected to home. Just a perfect post. Thank you. Sandra
    PS I loved, loved the little handbag.

  48. Sherry says:

    I’m having such a great time seeing all your posts on the trip! Can’t wait to see England!
    I received “A Fine Romance” in the mail Wednesday. I was soooo excited to get it, but when I saw how it was wrapped in the pretty white tissue paper with little red hearts I was swooning! When I opened up the book to smell that “new book smell” I felt like a child again! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but most new books don’t have that smell any more? I always wonder why. But yours did! I wonder if it’s the paper you use. Anyway the book is beautiful and I can’t put it down! Loved the bookmarks too and the book plates (I ordered those too!).❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Sherry! That book is still my baby. I hope you’ll feel the same with this new one I’m working on!

  49. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Wonderful photos to catch us all up on the journey!So happy that life has been restful and full of relaxation and gorgeous new sights. I am excited to leave the ship, however, and get started on your agenda which has me quite intrigued. It is going to be a great time. I have my pink umbrella with little white sheep that I had to purchase two years ago in the Lake Region. Those winds and rains tore up my original one post haste. Gotta be prepared for those storms!! LOL!!

    Enjoy your last night on the ship. I bet they serve quite a banquet for everyone to enjoy.

  50. Linda H says:

    Hi Susan,

    So glad that you and Joe are having such a great adventure so far! I wanted to tell you that I love the picture of you holding your new umbrella. There are so many varied designs in that picture besides the beautiful cobblestone, such as the patio railing, the upper and lower windows, the tile roof, the tree to your left and the blockwork of the wall behind you. The lights add a nice touch too! And then there is beautiful you! Keep sending these gorgeous pictures! I look forward to continuing your adventure with you!


  51. Cindy Brosh says:

    “Beaches the world over say the same luv-lee things to passers by”…enchanting Susan! Oh how this blog post delighted me on a rainy day in Southwest Washington State. Thanks for letting all of us travel with you!

  52. Oh joy! And loved the up close and personal with the Azores. 🌄 I have often wondered about them… and thanks to your photos we now know that they have purple and green pigeons as well as flowers there. Although, it does look as if things would not dry out well on the islands, and there’s that mildewy look to the white walls… makes me glad to live a little bit inland. The ship sounds heavenly… 🛳️and she’s very photogenic. I am wondering if the massages and wraps are included or extra fee required? 🌊 So glad you got some internet service so that you could share all the lovely tidbits with us.

  53. Judy says:

    Susan, I am really enjoying this trip with you and Joe. Like everybody else has already said, I feel like I’m right there with you. Thank you so much for keeping it real for us… here in 6 inches of new snow…* giggle*… in N.E. Ohio.
    Petey looks as relaxed as you two do.
    (I still can’t get over the size of that ship! Wowzers!)

  54. Nancy says:

    Simply perfect!!

  55. Mary Jo Franske says:

    I just wanted to send my love to Barbara through you, Susan. Know that you are embraced by so many eager arms. If I could, I would send you and your daughter to a certain picnic in England! Aren’t we lucky to be tucked in the basket?

  56. Del Jean Murray-Dickens says:

    Thank you for genuinely enjoying this trip! What a lovely and grand example you are to all of us! I love your smiles, regardless the weather. And what a wonderful excuse to purchase an adorable umbrella!!
    So glad that you are sharing this relaxing pleasure with all of us!

  57. Susan Coady-Butler says:

    Dear Susan,

    Thank you so much for taking time to share your travel adventures so beautifully with us. It’s a much appreciated treat!! On a funny note, in the photo of your very cute purse, I noticed a hand after gazing at the purse. It looks disconnected from your body!! Took me a minute of puzzling!! Continue to enjoy your trip and all the special treats along the way.

  58. Terry says:

    I am dreaming as I am traveling with you. I am so happy you are having such an amazing time.

  59. Jackie says:

    So good to hear from you again, I guess i was waiting for another post om instagram, but this was much better. I finished reading “A fine Romance” again and I love it again, please make your new book bigger 😉.

  60. Candice Black says:

    Ta Da Da! Today is the day! Your trip across the pond looks to have been mah-va-lous dahling! Enjoying the blog! Just wonderful! Many hugs for sharing!!
    Look out Jolly Ol’England here we come!

  61. Sharon Byars of North Carolina says:

    Love the photos, especially the Azores. We were in Spain and Portugal last September. Your cobblestone photos look exactly like mine of the Portuguese Rivera and downtown Lisbon. Aren’t the streets just wonderful! However, I was wondering , on a rainy day, how slippery these could be. Happy travels!!

  62. Lori Hamilton says:

    Ahhh~ traveling vicariously through you! LOVE the update and all the marvelous pictures. I’m especially fond of the ones of you and Joe and the glimpse into your diary! 😉 I’m drinking tea out of the same cup in that picture. Makes me feel like a true friend of yours!
    Thank you and keep ’em comin’……..We love you out here!

  63. Dee Ann says:

    I love keeping a journal…especially on trips, so you can relive your travels over and over. So many thanks for taking us all along via blog, Twitter, FB, and IG. And in the future…probably a book!!!!!

  64. Debbie Boerger says:

    Holy Guacamole, Susan! You may be the only other woman I’ve known to travel with more luggage than I. So one car for the luggage and one for the peeps? I Love That. Now, if I can sell Tom on the idea? But that is an advantage of sailing on a B i i g Ship. We used to fly military space-available to Europe, but you were limited to one suitcase….That month in Bavaria was spent in many laundries. Worth it, though. We found we can take more luggage on the train, and more for free on Southwest Air…2 checked and one carry-on. Love that SW Air. I know you don’t fly, but maybe a girlfriend will be interested.

    OK, we’ll all be following you for the next few months. Happy, Happy!
    Debbie in lovely Tampa, nice and cool.

  65. Peggy says:

    So happy to have the chance to travel along with you! Thank you for taking the time to update us. I’ve always wondered about the Azores too! Safe travels.

  66. Pat Bates says:

    What a “HUNK” Joe is, wearing that tux. Don’t know when he has ever looked healthier, or more handsome!!!!!!!


    • sbranch says:

      I agree! He lost weight for the trip and feels really good! Plus, he works so hard in real life, deserves this vacation, and LOVES the ship, and England and all this wonderful stuff.

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

    okay had to do a little research and looked up the label… Roffe Sapphire distilled London gin… Bombaby Sapphire. has Joe ever tried that gin??

  68. Patricia Edde says:

    First I must say that I am so very sorry for Barbara, her daughter and the rest of her families great loss. It will never seem right that a young life is taken but I am so happy tin stylehat she had such a grand trip to London. May God bless and hold you all in his hands.

    You and Joe and Petey must just be getting your landlubber legs back again. Thank you so much for sharing such an awesome adventure with us. After seeing the pictures of the ship, I went right to Cunard’s web page and bookmarked it. Looks like I better do some serious saving as I like to go in style (or at least as much style as my wallet can afford). Do you see many single travelers on board? I fear I won’t have many takers willing to go along, especially since I like my privacy too much to share a cabin – my owl biorhythms don’t mesh too well with most of my friends and I don’t have a “Joe” to go with. I really have to say that the 2 of you looked very, very posh for the special dinner.
    Now I can’t wait to join you on land portion of the itinerary. I know you won’t disappoint. Wherever you go, please remind the Brits and any “other country dwellers” that most Americans are truly good people and that we admire and support them and consider them to be our other side of the ocean friends no matter what our government may say or do.
    Now let the show begin!

  69. Dawn R. says:

    It looks like you and Joe are having a wonderful time! Thanks for letting us enjoy it with you through your pictures and musings along the way! Looking forward to the next update!! Have a blessed time! : )
    Dawn R.

  70. Pat Johnson says:

    Oh My! This was such a delightful read! Love the looks of the ship – the adventure was wonderful and you are both so dashing!! Have an absolutely GRAND time and I look forward to the next entry – whenever that may be – don’t worry just ENJOY! Hugs to you both and LOVE….

  71. Linda Freymark says:

    Susan and Joe, so glad to hear you both are having such a wonderful time! Joe is so darn handsome all dressed up, and of course you are one beautiful lady! Love the purse you got from Sheri and Kellee as a Christmas gift…how perfect! You are an adorable couple and thanks for sharing your adventures with us! Life is short, glad you are having such a great time!!! Love and hugs from Linda in Idaho.

  72. Paula B. says:

    Everything looks so magical, I can only imagine how enjoyable your crossing has been. And, the Azores – how have you not heard of them? So many of the folks of Portuguese background now living in southern New England have roots in these islands. (Going back to the whaling days of the nineteenth century.) Many of my students here in East Providence, Rhode Island, hail from the Azores and often go back “home” to visit the very isle you stopped at. Looking forward to your next journal entry, I hope spring has blossomed there!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh, Yes! I’ve heard of the Azores, but that was about all, and still pitifully ignorant! But at least now I have a much better idea of where they are! We also had lots of descendants of folks from the Azores living in San Luis Obispo ~ which is why we always enjoyed Kale soup with Linguisa!

  73. Pamela Betz says:

    Susan—I am sure enjoying your trip, thank you for taking me along !

  74. Beth Barnat says:

    So much fun, Susan and Joe! I feel as if I’ve visited Terceira myself! Thanks for sharing!

  75. Gill Smith says:

    Welcome to the UK Susan and Joe! So glad the beast of the east has well and truly flown!
    I went to my quilting group this morning, and we welcomed back our friend who had just arrived home, from her round the world trip. She was sailing aboard Queen Victoria!!! Wow she had been alongside you all across the pond!
    She was eager to show us all her handicrafts she had made on board, very interesting. I’m now looking forward to reading your next post, and following your adventures here in England,WELCOME
    Gill ! Devon U.K. X

    • sbranch says:

      I saw so many women knitting on board . . . maybe one of them was your friend! How fun! We went into a little store yesterday here in Cornwall. We were talking to the owner, Pete, and come to discover that when we landed in Southampton we pulled up next to a cruise ship that had come in (all lit up and gorgeous at 4:30 am) just before us. And he was on it!!! Too strange, this small world of ours! I forget, will you be at the picnic, Gill?

      • Gill Smith says:

        I am sorry to say, no I won’t! I was desperate to be there, but unfortunately it coincides with our annual gardening club holiday.
        I was in two minds as to whether I should cancel, but my husband wanted me with him….
        Where are you in Cornwall? There are so many places to visit. We will be there in two weeks, near st Ives.
        So glad you’ve got the sunshine xxx

        • Gill Smith says:

          OMG I’ve just read that you were in Clovelly today!!!
          I live just across the bay in Braunton. Would loved to have given you and Joe an afternoon tea…….so near yet so far! Xxxx

        • sbranch says:

          We’re near Bude in Stratton . . . heading out in all directions!

  76. Good to see you have a brolly, you will need it here as we have snow coming next weekend for a white Easter, you have come to the UK at the very best time but hope you get your chocolate Easter eggs asap because they will be disappearing fast – try LIDL supermarket for white choc lambs and bunnies and check all the supermarkets for hot cross buns (toasted or not with butter, eat them in the car, eat them anywhere!) – so cute and yummy xxx Betty the Wood Fairy, UK

  77. Kathie Ferko says:

    Hello all,
    Another lovely blog… Love traveling with you…as an armchair or suitcase stoyaway…no real packing for me!!! The ship looks lovely…seems like such a luxurious way to travel.
    Nice you are having some stops in other places this trip… You really picked a great to go on the trip… We had our 4th nor’easter this month… at least it is above freezing so it is melting fast….did look beautiful, though.
    Where is your first stop in Britain…when do you arrive. Can’t wait for the Hilltop picnic…
    just watched Miss Potter for the umpteenth time. We did unfortunately not get to see the house but was in nearby Grasemere… Loved the Lakes…. I strolled around after tour and peeked in the cottage gardens… had gingerbread… and shopped… Really one of my favorite days in England.
    Enjoy.. anxiously awaiting more news of your travels

    Kathie from Limerick
    PS Have a great Easter Holiday … Blessings to you and Joe!

  78. Judy in Oregon says:

    Looks like you are having an amazing voyage and the Azores look beautiful!

  79. Gretchen says:

    I would definitely skip the decathlon challenge. That sounds like work to me. The Royal Ascot ball or fruit and vegetable carving sounds like my cup of tea. Fun time, making memories. Thanks for sharing.

  80. Pam Butterick says:

    How fabulous. Every aspect. I am soooooo with you. ☺️⛴🇬🇧🥂😍

  81. Julie says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE……Can’t wait to hear more. Sorry you are having such a miserable time, glad we are here to console you…… ; )

  82. Darla Unger says:

    Thanks for taking the time to write us all. Have a beautiful Palm Sunday!

  83. kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    I don’t mean to cheat and write another comment, but I follow your twitter even though I don’t tweet….and I just have to comment on that MAGICAL walk that You and Joe went on and saw that ENCHANTING young woman playing her cello on that beautiful country road!! I have watched that video now, four times!! Wow!! That thrilled me!!! Thank you so much for taking me along!!!😘

    • sbranch says:

      Wasn’t that HEAVEN??? Twitter gives me 50 seconds of video, period, or I would have played the whole thing. I couldn’t get over it, although a teeny part of me wasn’t surprised because I know this happens in the most unexpected places when we are walking around the English countryside, but it’s always a small miracle to me! Glad you loved it too!

      • Elizabeth says:

        Also saw the cello video and have played it back many times. Would love to know the name of that beautiful piece of music. So glad you are having a great time, Susan. We are heading to Devon toward the end of April and can’t wait to experience another spring in England. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us!

        • sbranch says:

          I should have asked her! I love it too. But I was nervous, as in “interrupting tourist” ~ but she was so nice, I’m sure she would have given it!

      • kathiellen says:

        and… I also loved that little songbirds were singing in the background along with her beautiful music!! I would buy a cd by her in a heartbeat and listen to it all day long! I hope that every single day that you are there you run into something THAT enchanting!! I think I would have put my jacket on the ground right there, sat and listened to her all day!!

  84. Helen Edwards says:

    What a lovely and magical place to visit along the way! I think this is the only way to travel to England! Looking forward to further delights as I travel along!

  85. Pam Erselius says:

    You and Joe and everything luke mahhhhhveloussss!!!!!

  86. LADYHEARTWELL of Berkeley Springs, WV says:

    Sweet Susan, It is SOOO good to be receiving your BLOGs more often these days. I’ve been wondering how you like taking your voyage on the Queen Victoria vs the Queen Mary 2. Am quite certain both are wonderful. Perhaps you will tell us.

  87. Jane Armour says:

    Pure bliss! You & Joe (& Petey) make the most delightful armchair traveling companions!

  88. scottygrrl says:

    I can imagine hearing that great music in the streets! Also, I love your umbrella.
    : )

  89. Donna Norris says:

    Hi Susan, Oh my, I loved seeing your photos of the Azores! My brother was stationed there for about 2 years! My grandparents were from Madeira Island which is closer to Portugal where they are known for their lovely hand embroidered linens. I think that’s why I love linens so much as it is in my blood! My parents where fortunate to travel to Portugal twice and to visit distant cousins many years ago. My Mom is turning 100 this August and still remembers all the details about her trips there. Two places on my bucket list are Portugal/Madeira and England! Someday………..meanwhile I have treasured following your blogs and all your beautiful photos over the years! Thanks so much for taking the time to share with all of us! Hugs, Donna

  90. Debbie Boerger says:

    Oh, Clovelly! Looks as though, by going to Cornwall early in the season, you have avoided the sardine effect in the villages. Do they still have the ropes along the street down to the harbor?
    As far as church yards and the litch gates, I’ll bet Tom explored most of those we walked by, even slamming on brakes and backing up. He always loves to read the stones and work out the generations. Last trip in 2015, the churches were still open all day.
    Having so much fun checking Twitter every couple of hours. You are the most generous friend. To share all this with all of us !!!
    Thank so much, Dear Sue,
    Debbie in Tampa

  91. Frances Fowler says:

    Y’alls pictures of each other are always so sweet! And “Seventies” was exactly what I was thinking when I saw the bottle of Mateus! I was in high school during the second half of the 70’s and my older sister of course had a Mateus bottle from (where??) that was used as a candle holder. I still wonder how those huge ships can fit into a harbor; I can’t imagine how deep the water has to be so it just won’t scrape along the bottom or how they have to fix it if it’s not that way naturally. Keep enjoying the first unfoldings of your trip!

  92. Dear QTPies,

    Looks as though you had a grand crossing!
    I believe you are in “jolly olde” by now, have a grand time and travel safely.


  93. ~ Del Gato Gordo Y Descarado ~ says:

    I feel that I have sat long, eaten well at the feast of Food for the Soul!
    I am so blissed out that I feel sleepy…
    glad you share, hope you are already planning the next voyage….thank you!

  94. Martha says:

    Special thank you for sharing your vacation with us! So very thoughtful!

  95. Cyndi in NC says:

    I do love traveling with you, Joe and Petey!! Lovely facial today Susan!! Just the thing after visiting that beautiful island. What? No umbrella?? I’m not surprised you were able to find an umbrella, and such a cute one at that!! Must take a nap now. Love these sheets! Please wake me for dinner. *S*

  96. Sherry Svoboda from Maryland says:

    Susan I am enjoying your adventure and your beautiful photos. The sunset photos over the water are amazing. I wanted to thank you for introducing
    my husband and myself to Mangers Pear Irish Cider. I found it at my local
    spirit shop and it is most delectable. Looking forward to many more photos
    of your journey and the Queen Victoria such a beautiful ship.

  97. Gill Smith says:

    Oh my Susan, l have the most strangest feelings at the moment……
    Knowing how close I am to you at the moment is like living a dream, so close, yet just out of reach !! I recognise the walk you did today along the canal, one of our favourites. Clovelly is a place we take our visitors, they are always in awe of it. From across the water, at Christmas time, we see the lights twinkling all down the hill to the sea….magical.
    You must pay a visit to Port Isaac, Bosscastle, just down the coast from you. No doubt you’ve read about these places already!
    I just cannot comprehend, that you are here in UK, but more than that, on my doorstep!
    I walked into the village today, eyes peeled, just in case you happened to be paying us a visit. It is said , we have the best fish and chip shop in Devon!!!! Food for thought.
    So glad you are enjoying our little corner of the country, hope it doesn’t get too cold for you, although a good excuse to light that super fire.
    Gill Devon U.K. …..you can visualise it now!!!

  98. Anna Robinson says:

    Now, when someone says to you at home, “what a cute umbrella” you will have a whole story. Thank you for taking us along. What a delightful time. I will have to add this to my ever growing bucket list. Bon Voyage!

  99. Marilyn L Young says:

    Hello you two! Such a wonderful trip and beautiful ship, so happy for you. You rattled a few webs out of my brain with your story about the Azores. I recall my husband spent a bit of time there while in the Air Force. Also, my mom had a brief marriage to a man from the Azores! None of us six siblings liked him as he spoke no English and the marriage was quickly annulled! Never could figure out why my mom married him, probably was lonely after my dad passed! Anyway, to see how beautiful that Island is, the homes, the streets, sidewalks, and all the agriculture was just so much fun. I had no idea! Keep having fun, see you soon.

  100. Kelly B. From Pittsburgh says:

    Looks like another beautiful adventure for you and Joe! Enjoy every minute of it!

Comments are closed.