Our Last Day … with Love, from me to you . . .

I’m supposed to be packing because tomorrow our ship sails home to America! But I could not even think about going without first mulling things over with you ~ the beauty and the wonderfulness of everything we have seen and learned . . . it is very hard to say goodbye as I know you know. I want to thank you all for coming along . . . it has been wonderful, but you made even more wonderful because we weren’t in it alone! I hope we can do it again someday . . .   🎶 MUSICA 🎵

Last night Joe and I climbed a hill near our house . . . and had a little moment of high five between us, thinking, wow, we did it. But oh, what we will miss . . . this place has has taken our hearts.

We’ve been teary-eyed for a couple of days . . . especially when we happen upon trees so old they’ve borne witness to it all ~ many of them were alive when our ancestors walked this land. Sort of makes us them, and them us.

They’ve seen it all ~ watching over village life and everything we hold dear . . .

. . . including this sweet mama sitting in the cool grass . . .

Hill and dale we have gone, on the narrowest of the narrow roads, through tunnels of old trees that open out into the widest of blue skies and views to forever . . .

We’ve traveled by ferry  . . .

. . . between hegerows . . .

across this green and pleasant land . . .

with little time-outs for keeping the windshield clean.

We’ve opened as many gates as we could find, and traveled in and around all the secret gardens . . .

Gates with a Public Footpath marker that says, “Come in, you are welcome here, don’t leave trash, and close the gate behind you” . . . and so we do!

Off we go to find out what is around the next corner . . .

Up the path and through the gate, to see what’s next . . .

And when the path narrows we are almost hushed from the thought of the secrets…

. . . because you just never know what you will find around the bend ~ a crumbling ruin, a river with a stone bridge, a field of sheep, an ancient church, or even a castle . . .

But no matter what you find, the views make you want to get up and do it again the next day …

Because, you never know when, in May, you might happen upon a bluebell wood . . . there are miles and miles of these ancient wildflower displays all over England in May.

There is never a question that at all times … from May until at least now, you will always find cow parsley (what we call Queen Anne’s Lace) blowing along the path, crowding the side of the road.

Poppies have just begun to bloom and there are fields that are completely red.

Everywhere there are dreamy romantic cottages that instantly make you look at them and wonder, who? What? Where? When? Why?  These are the questions. And mother may I?

People actually live in these works of art.

Words fail me.

We came to this cottage just as the fading light of day sent one last friendly ray through the poppies ~ “Pull over Honeyman!” I said. He was already there.

This cottage came with a car in the drive, so I knew real people, not fairies or something otherworld, actually lived here. Right up the street from us where we are now. So of course you get out the paper and say to yourself, where are the real estate pages? Excellent pastime for pub lunch.

Again, fresh out of words. My job is to grab the camera. Mas Musica? My new favorite song.

Hello. Hope you are happy over there. Behind your little gate with your perfect door and that thing, is it wisteria, growing all over your cotswold stone cottage? Because you are very beautiful, and I just say, yay and wonderful that you are there and loving it so much. Thank you.

Just like in the old books, it’s all still here. And I want to remind you, it’s here for you too. An amazing place, it’s not a museum, not a theme park, it’s real, and just sitting over here waiting for you …

This is where we a doing our packing-up right now, I’m inside that luv-lee cottage writing to you!

There are castle cake-toppers towering over every village … some with flags, some with roosters . . .

We wandered through many formal gardens too, lots of them owned, and cared for by the National Trust. Whose lovely motto is “For Ever, for Everyone.”  Doesn’t that just make you cry? There are some very good things in this crazy world of ours. Nothing done by humans is ever perfect, but there is such a thing as trying, and these people have that covered to the nth degree.  We belong to the Royal Oak Foundation which is an alliance of Americans who support the mission of the National Trust of England. 💞 Which means we get into all the gazillion wonderful National Trust places for free, just like the members of the National Trust. And we all support something amazing. 😊

And all of it to the tune of My-toe-huts-Bet-tee 🎵 . . . these luv-lee wood-pigeons provide the background music to the English Countryside . . . and although sometimes at 5 am you would like to kill any wood pigeon you can find because there is a chorus of toe-hurting Bet-tee-telling going on outside your window. But, our pigeons in America don’t sing this song, so we are going to miss it very much. If you watch The Crown, you can always hear it in the background.

In some gardens I had to be two-fisted in order to get everything that was happening … I was making a video when the doves flew over, landing so close, what’s a girl to do but keep filming and grab the other camera!

Birdsong, bees buzzing, flower fragrance, fresh air, wonderment . . . all at your beck and call …

Every house we visited had a story . . . and a garden.

We had three of the four seasons during this trip . . . it was snowing in Cornwall when we got there, there were cozy fires in the pubs in Wales . . . there was a brisk wind off the Atlantic in Ireland … The Lake District couldn’t make up its mind between dark clouds and cold, or sunshine and cool picnic weather, we got both . . . and so it went, and now, here in Wiltshire, the roses are in bloom.

There was a beautiful foxglove garden in the ancestral home of our very own George Washington.

Clematis in the Peak District was to die for . . . loved the misty countryside in the morning . . .


It’s a country that worries for its birds . . .

and bees, knowing what a benefit they are to the world. BBC Two has a program on every day called Spring Watch, where you can get up-close and personal with the woodland critters . . .

Beatrix Potter’s Bee Bole . . . with bee house. Beatrix Potter helped start the National Trust. Of course she did! Everything is connected . . . and we are too, you know, so far away.

We wandered the quiet streets of the most adorable villages, visiting churches and graveyards and taking pictures of everything that wasn’t nailed down. Or even if it was.

Including the famously historic village of Lacock . . . which was entirely owned by a woman by the name of Matilda Gilchrist-Clark (it was passed down thru the ages and landed unexpectedly on her in 1916) until 1944, when she gave  all of it, lock stock and barrel, including the gorgeous 13th century Lacock Abbey, to the National Trust. She continued to live in the Abbey until she died in 1958.  So everyone who lives in Lacock, or has a business here, now rents from the National Trust. And that’s who makes the decisions about what happens here. And they keep it like this, For Ever, for Everyone.

There are actually too many choices of where to go and what to do next. I can say right now, in a person’s lifetime they could NEVER see everything there is to see here. Can’t be done. We have tried so that’s how we know.

I’m not a person who’s wild about cars and crowds of people . . . but I was happy to see small villages thriving. (Note wires are buried, such a wonderful thing in beautiful old villages like this one.) I keep hearing that post offices are going away and pubs are closing . . . they are trying hard to keep their small communities alive, but it’s as difficult for them as it is for us in America. Large, famous stores that have been in these villages for a hundred years and more are beginning to close up shop because they can’t compete with the Internet or the big box stores. So we were HAP-HAP-HAPPY to do our part and get INTO those little stores and BUY stuff!

They do have so much to celebrate. Diversity for one thing . . . we heard every language spoken as we walked the streets. Course, they’re lucky to have Europe on their back door. Did you know that Walt Disney used Europe (and probably the world) as his model when he designed Disneyland? Yes, France, Italy, England, Germany, distinct lands with interesting everything became Fantasy Land, Tomorrow Land,  Adventure Land and rides like Small World and the Matterhorn. Inspiration is a wonderful thing!

So they celebrate . . . all the time. Last night at the top of the mountain we met three luv-lee English people with a tiny barbecue and a thermos . . . they’d walked up there for no reason, just for the beauty.

This is not rare. Picnicking is everywhere. And to go one step further, into full wishing-to-come-back-in-August mode . . . look what is happening at Highclere Castle August 4. Wonderful!

It just makes you happy to see it.

You can be walking out in the middle of absolute nowhere, and suddenly, there in front of your disbelieving eyes, is a pub, and oddly (you think, because where did everyone come from?), it’s full! And if the sun is shining, they are all outside in the pub garden (because most country pubs have gardens) soaking up the light.

This one is not in the middle of nowhere, it’s just across the street from where Jane Austen wrote most of her books. In fact, this pub was her view!

Pub food is generally outstanding. This is fish stew with English peas (which pop in your mouth) and cheese and whatever else is in there and it was delicious! We’re coming home with some amazing recipes! You are going to love them!

Pubs serve all kinds of bright and sparkly ciders . . . but they do not yet understand the concept of iced tea, so you can’t find it anywhere. I think bottled iced tea ruined it for them. But they should know, we don’t drink that bottled stuff either! We make “sun tea” by putting tea bags in cold water in a pitcher, covering it with cling film, and setting it in the sun until it’s the right colour. Then we pour it over ice, yes damn the torpedoes, ice! Then fill your glass 3/4 full of tea, and top off with cloudy lemonade. Not the sparkling kind, the flat “normal” kind. You can get it at Waitrose. Some people like sugar, but it’s not necessary  because of the splash of lemonade. I have to say, pub people, with all the true love there is on this planet, there is a missing link in your drink offerings, especially the very low-calorie refreshing non-alcoholic sort. You will sell gallons of this. You are welcome. 😘 (*good w/herb tea too)

So anyway, pubs, not only cute, but also historic . . . Since 965 AD everybody who’s anybody in history, and everyone else too, has frequented pubs. That’s when good King Edgar decreed that there should be “one ale house per village.” Find the town of your ancestor, go to the pub, and know that your ancestor was there too . . . pretty much for sure.

They often have stone floors and doorways too short to get through without bending, low hand-hewn beamed ceilings and fireplaces, filled with quirky atmosphere, no two alike. Their mottos, generally speaking are, “Dogs and muddy boots welcome.” Walkers, you know.

It’s a BYOD country. We should have this in America. It makes a restaurant WONDERFUL. All that love lolling about on the floor.

This is the little village we’re staying in now, and that’s “our pub” just down the street. Going there for dinner tonight for “last meal.” 😩

English, Irish, Welsh and Scots, I must say, are good at signs. I could easily do an entire post on just signs, that’s how good they are . . .

Like this one, just in case someone doesn’t get the message with the “Private” . . . there’s more! 😳 Works for me. I hate sheer drops! First thing you’d want to know if you decided to breech privacy despite warning is, glancing down at your feet, where does the sheer drop begin??????

Very picturesque and leaves no doubts as to what might happen if you aren’t careful. ⚡They have so many signs like this, stabs of lightening to the heart, etc.

Another thing to love about pubs is the tradition of Sunday Roast which is just like Christmas dinner, but it’s every Sunday in almost every pub! Roast beef, Roast Chicken, Lamb Roast, Pork Roast, with all the trimmings ~ Salmon, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies … Bring the Sunday Times and spend as long as you like . . .

I always bring my diary . . . my journal has been written in two main places: at all the kitchen tables wherever we’ve lived these last 13 weeks, and in tea rooms, tea gardens and pubs . . . It is now my most important possession and being guarded with my life (Beware, sheer drop!). It’s stuffed full of newspaper clippings, garden ideas, souvenirs, dried flowers, and most importantly, memories.

And when I was out and about and my diary wasn’t with me and I’d learned something new, it went in the tiny book Carrie gave me so I wouldn’t forget. That book is full now, it has only two blank pages left! And at night I transfer the days booty of info into my diary. It’s been very wonderful . . . perhaps we should have tea to celebrate?

Would you like a cake? Or perhaps you would rather have a coffee? They say a cake, and a coffee ~ all cute, all delicious, all the time.

The worst part is choosing. I need a sampler!

And the view from the pub can be as nice as the few of the pub!

Another thing I will miss is how much the British people love their Queen. And for good reason too! Queen Elizabeth is always on the front page, and lately she’s looking more festive than ever, lovely in lime at the wedding, and here, the very picture of flowery spring Queen-dom for Derby Day.

Yes, history is everywhere in this lovely country . . . not just our own, but history of, and for, the world.

This is a lock of Charlotte Bronte’s hair . . . she was only 39 when she died. The color is still there. Interestingly, it wasn’t at the wonderful Bronte museum in Haworth . . . it was at Chawton House, a museum dedicated to the earliest women writers (it’s just down the street from the Jane Austen House). Visiting these wonderful places makes everything we’ve read or heard about come alive.

And believe it or not, the lovely quiet churchyards come alive too, with their wildflowers and their stories . . .

When you want to find the oldest part of any village, all you have to do is find the church.

And older than the churchyards, before recorded time, almost 3,000 years before Christ, are the stone circles at Avebury. If you ever thought history was boring, you would leave that far far behind if you were here with the stone circles, man-made ditches, earthworks, hills, roman ruins, chalk horses, holy wells . . . on and on.

Avebury is even older than Stonehenge. Some of these stones were brought from Wales, which is over 150 miles away. How? This is the question. Yes, humans have always been amazing. What shall we do with our power? Let’s think about it for a while. I think we could feed the whole world in about a minute and a half if we put our minds to it!

Avebury is a wonderful place of whispering breezes. We found this young woman trying to get through the stones (look close to see her) to the other side. . . Not sure if she made it or not, but we never saw her again!

I look like I’m leaning in, and I am, but I’m not touching. Taking no chances, I wouldn’t mind a back-in-time visit ~ I’d love to pop in on an interesting dinner party in history or have tea with Beatrix Potter some winter afternoon, but I much prefer to continue hanging out with Joe💞 (and, let’s face it, I love washing machines).

Well, I just had a sudden epiphany. I thought I could do a decent recap of this trip, but it’s come to my attention that I can’t. This thing is already a mile long. I can’t choose the photos, I choose one, then go back for another, see three more wonderful pictures I HAVE to include, put them all in ~ look what’s here so far and in my heart I’m not even half done . . . but you know, Girlfriends,  I gotta GO ~ and you have things to do too! Life goes on doesn’t it? Apparently so! There’s so much more, which I will save for later, this is a good start, you can read it in pieces and make it last for a while! The book I am writing about this trip is going to be wonderful. There is SO MUCH to tell you. xoxo

Nothing has changed in England and the glory part is, nothing ever will. But despite the personal loss of this ancient beauty in our everyday lives, the hardest thing of all is saying goodbye to our darling British friends ~ pulling away from St. Mary’s Square, seeing Ray and Paul in our rear view mirror, and waving forever as we slowly rolled down Siobhan’s long driveway ~ was not easy!  The ocean is too big, too wide, and we are all too far from each other.

But then there is this to come home to . . .

and this . . .

We will arrive in the nick of time to put our flag up . . .

I’ll get to play in my garden! Because my house has magic too . . . because, just like yours, and those of our British kindred spirits, it is well and truly loved . . .

I can’t wait for a summer night and dinner under the stars  . . . that’s what dreams are for!

And what else ~ perhaps you would like a little something from real life? Well, my new calendars will be in soon . . . maybe by the time I get home! This is the cover of the wall calendar, but we’ll have all the usual characters . . . watch our web store for updates.

And your luv-lee cups shipped yesterday! Hooray! They should fly right over us on their way to Kellee and Sheri at the Studio and beat us home, (with a short stop at customs, the shorter the better, but we never know). All you prepaid girls will get yours first, in order of date of order . . . We still have a few left, if you’re interested, click HERE.

What else does home hold for us besides very deep kitty fur  and some of the greatest people I know . . . Six days on the ship and then a whole lotta hugging going on! Martha’s Vineyard, here we come!

The future is looking very fun . . .  I get to write a new book for one thing ~ the writing is almost done because of the diary, but I need to do the layout, the photo arrangements,  watercolors and borders; I want to put the diary in my “good” handwriting, and do more research to make it informative, so that will take a little while, because it needs be a good little travel guide of everything we’ve loved about England . I hope it will be printed, shipped and in your hands by this time next year! I still haven’t decided what to call it! I was thinking it would be nice to have the word Enchantment in the title since that’s what it’s been, but maybe not ~ any ideas?  Now that we’re almost home, we have the Fourth of July to look forward to ~ then there’s summer and our morning walks to the beach. 👏 And for the first time in months, we are going to know where everything is! It won’t be in the car, or hiding at the bottom of a bag, or in the back of a strange refrigerator, or in the next town as is the case with the hardware store. At the end of August, the September issue of Victoria Magazine, with our Castle Cottage picnic in it, comes out! I will be haunting the post office waiting for it! Then in September Joe and I will take a train ride to California (Yup! Twitter-from-the-Twain will once again commence) to see my family and most especially my MOM ~ plus, I’ll be giving a talk and signing books at the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo. Then, suddenly, before we know it, it will be fall and time for Cranberry Apple Crisp and my Grandma’s Stuffing! 🤗 And in November I’ll be signing books and speaking at Falmouth Library, in case you’ll be around Cape Cod then. No exact dates for the book signings yet, I’ll let you know when they are set, probably after we get home. Maybe by then we’ll know more about what is happening with #SBBooktoScreen! I hear good things so far, and will let you know what I know when I know it (if they let me!). Right now I seriously know nothing! And the frosting on this cake-year is that in December we have a wonderful Christmas to look forward to because Rachel and Paul are coming to the Island and bringing Ray’s mom, Diana, for her first visit. And after that, when we will be missing them again, more than ever, and it will be winter and snowing and I will be hunkered down with our new book, guess what? Life will STILL be good, because the third season of The Crown will be back on TV! Yay! (If you haven’t seen The Crown, you are in for a huge treat, it’s on Netflix, and if you don’t have Netflix, The Crown is definitely worth getting it for! Season one and two are there now.)And that is all for today sweet friends . . . As we part,, I give you a rose, my heart, and this funny to-make-you-cry luv-lee thing with Paul McCartney . . . Our next full moon will be on the 28th and we’ll be on the ship. My fingers are crossed for a bright moon and clear skies (and flat seas while I’m at it). We’ll know soon! Take care my friends, you know I’ll be in touch as soon as I can . . . not ever sure what we get for internet from the ship! But I found a couple of fun giveaways in England, things I think you will like, so I will catch you on the other side.🚢💞


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658 Responses to Our Last Day … with Love, from me to you . . .

  1. Lynette Strohbach says:

    Thanks for another wonderful blog. What beautiful pictures, maybe I can get there one day to visit my ancestors land as well. Susan, can you recommend one of your other books that is good reading material besides your trilogy? Not the cookbooks, but I do have one of the original Heart of the Home cookbooks that were printed in 1986. I found it through Half Price Books online. I love it. Can’t wait for the new book to come out next year!

  2. Pamela C. Betz says:

    Dear Susan–I have a great idea–how about doing a little note book like your friend gave you. Yes a pocket size. A few illustrations and lines to make it easier to write while on the go!!!!! I’d love one and would buy for friends. Just a thought, yours would be prettier than just a plain one from Barnes and Noble.

  3. Marilyn Bunte says:

    My favorite word I use a lot is joy and joy expresses my feelings when I read and lived your outstanding holiday!
    Thank you!

  4. Paula from Texas says:

    Not sure if you could use the phrase “This Green and Pleasant Land” but it might work for you as a title.
    Thoroughly enjoyed my trip with you and look forward to the book!
    Welcome home!

    • sbranch says:

      That was my original idea, the perfect name! But then I looked around and it seems lots of people think like us. Which is okay, I could still use it, you can’t copyright a book title, but I decided I wanted our book to be different. Enchantment is sticking with me. With a little Hill and Dale thrown in for good measure.

  5. Mamey Brown says:

    Looks like you had a splendid time!! I can’t wait for the new book to come out!!

  6. Melissa says:

    I’m reading this at work and trying not to cry! It’s all so beautiful, and boy do we need beauty these days. I’m glad you had such a wonderful, enchanting trip, and I appreciate you taking us all along with you. Every time one of your pictures popped up on my Twitter feed, my day was made.

    It’s so bittersweet at the end of a trip you really loved, but there’s also no place like home and I’m sure it’ll be sweet to snuggle your kitty again and sleep in your own bed at night. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      We are home now and it’s been wonderful! I’m so happy you enjoyed our trip, Melissa … I am now basking in memories!

  7. Sharrie says:

    Thank you, thank you dear Susan for such a lovely post. I’ll throw my hat in the ring for working titles. I was thinking about a type of love story that continues, from where the story left off from “A Fine Romance.” So the love story continues… with Joe AND with the UK and here’s the next song in the series. “With A Song in My Heart” because, well, Musica!


  8. MaryLou Shipman says:

    You are a one of a kind,true gem Susan Branch. Thank you for all of this wonderfulness! Safe travels to you and Joe. I’m looking forward to seeing your homecoming and please get a photo of dear Jack’s little face when he first sees you again 🙂 Mitakuye oyasin! xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll put it in the next post! He’s been amazing, SO loving. I was afraid he might have to punish us for leaving but not at all!

  9. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Happy Crossing to you and Joe, Susan! I logged on today , hoping to read your comments and go in my mind to England. Such a lovely trip you have had, thanks forever for sharing with us all! I am sure whatever title you put on your upcoming book, we will all want to pre-order a copy or two! My friend Mary and I keep getting asked why we return again and again to dear olde England. I think next time I get asked that, I will simply refer them to your blog! Thanks for taking us along in your luggage, so to speak! Hugs from Oregon, Suzette

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I woke up to an email from Joe this morning, the subject line was “Wanna Go Back” and inside was a wonderful event at one of the historical places we visited! But, between you and me I don’t want to go back right now, because now I get to settle down in one place, smell my own flowers, write a book that I can’t wait to do, play with paint and pen and kitty too. My cup overfloweth! xoxo

  10. Alice says:

    I think you should call that new book The Season of Enchantment or The Enchanting Season, because you were there for 13 weeks this time, one quarter of a year, a season. My 2 cents. Glad you are coming home, though, and praying you get there safely. PS Where does Nicoline get that clotted cream (if she wants to share)?

    • sbranch says:

      Nicoline? Are you out there? 😃 Thank you Alice!

      • Nicoline says:

        Hi Alice and Susan,
        I’m still out here, haha! Alice, where do you live? I’m here in Purmerend, Holland, and a supermarket in the town where we live, sells jars, so we can save it several months!
        If you can’t get the real thing, you could get Mascarpone , maybe thinning it out just a little, I think you can find that in most supermarkets.
        Good Luck!

  11. Leslie (aka Mrs. S.) says:

    Dear Friend, Welcome home! Thank you for sharing your travels with me, and the rest of us. I was moving some books today, and I have a recommendation for you, I think you and Joe will love it, “The Uncommon Reader”, by Alan Bennet ( He wrote “The Lady in the Van” , made into a film starring Maggie Smith, also highly recommended.). The uncommon reader is Queen Elizabeth. In the story she becomes a voracious and discriminating reader through the bookmobile, with guidance from another reader who works in the palace kitchen. Very dry, and written with obvious affection and respect for the Queen’s intelligence. Peace and love, Leslie

  12. Deb says:

    Did you ever have the gingerbread in Grasmere? One of my more powerful sense memories of that beautiful little cottage with the most tantalizing smell of ginger cake when we were there years ago.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes we did! We even brought some home, perhaps hard as a rock, but still . . . maybe a little steam will help!

      • Christie Levin says:

        We went there in May at the recommendation of a lovely💕 friend, and it was even more delicious than advertised!! They also offered gingerbread ice cream which of course we HAD to try~ truly scrumptious💖

  13. Jean Murray says:

    Whew, don’t know how you two are standing upright, I am wore out just reading your post, can imagine living it was exhilarating and exhausting. Safe journey home!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, this last week, coming back, we took a nice little vacation from our vacation, and it’s been wonderful! Thank you Jean.

  14. Sheryl Kirk says:

    Hi Susan….Just a short note….thanks for making England so real….one day I will experience the enchantment too!

  15. Andrea McVety says:

    Now that’s what I call a TRIP!! Joe and you are the best travelers we know. You really do take time to smell the English Roses. My eyes are tearing up with you saying goodbye and also tears of happiness for the wonderful memories you made. Safe travels, it is HOT here in RI, great beach days, Strawberry Season, and cold lobster rolls. We are waiting the arrival of our 3rd granddaughter, Victoria Rey, July 14. I’m staying with Mom while Her Daddy is away with the Army protecting our Country. We are hopeful he will be able to make it home for the birth of his first child. Safe travels and many blessings to you and Joe. GOD BLESS AMERICA. Have a great 4th of July.

    • sbranch says:

      How exciting, a new baby in the family! God Bless America and God Bless your son for what he does for us all. Hope he gets home! Thank you Andrea!

    • mary spring says:

      ..Dear Andrea..how wonderful to hear your news; I just had to write to share my joyous news with you… just awhile ago I flew in from the Seattle area to be with my daughter also, who lives in Westerly, and is also expecting her first born, my granddaughter, on July 14th as well !! ..congratulations !!!.. sending love a good wishes…from another happy and proud grandmother…

      • Andrea McVety says:

        Dear Mary, So very happy for you and your daughter! Our beautiful Victoria arrived yesterday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Our Son arrived home in time for her Birth. We are all so in love with her we are bursting with JOY. Blessings to you and your daughter. I actually grew up in Westerly, RI area. The most beautiful town in RI. Look me up on Facebook. Thank you for your kind words. Andrea McVety

  16. Cindy Maulin says:

    Dear Susan and Joe!! Well… it’s been just the best adventure!!!! The highways and byways of England, Ireland and Wales have delighted….the perservance of history is comforting and the unveiling of it thrilling… thank you for your shares…… I can feel the excitement of home and all it brings. So much to do… so much to look forward to… so much to be grateful for….
    WELCOME HOME!!!🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸
    PS ❤️The 4th cup…..getting one !!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  17. Deb in Wales says:

    I can’t help but feel a certain melancholy that you are on your way back. Somehow, Britain just doesn’t feel the same, but go home you must to sweet Jack. Britain’s loss is America’s gain, but where did those three months go in such a flash? What a three months they have been, what a treat, and the world has simply felt a happier place with you over here. Of course, the plus side is that a new book is being planned and written, and time will fly and you will, once again, cross the great, blue water to our shores.

    I’ve so enjoyed being along for the ride, despite countless elbows sticking in my ribs {there’s an awful lot of us now, so a lot less space} and your adventures have helped take my mind of things happening closer to home. Thank you for that.

    ~~~Waving~~~From Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      A total treat! Filled with inspiration and new ways and new days and every bit of it was a gift. Hope all is well Deb. xoxoxo

  18. Patricia Birmelin says:

    Enchantment in England
    For Ever
    For Everyone

    A Title for your book!

  19. Helen Edwards says:

    What a wonderful escape this post provided. Thank you! 💕

  20. Dee Van Ingen says:

    Apparently I missed this when it first came out and read it for the first time today (July 1)………day you and Joe arrive on American soil!!!! (I read that on your twitter)

    When you mentioned English folks and “iced tea” reminded me of a trip we took two weeks ago with friends to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. I ordered unsweetened iced tea with lemon and the waiter looked at me and said “we don’t make unsweetened iced tea like Americans!” Explained ALL the “Nestea” selections at help-yourself soda machines……..those are ONLY sweet tea and that doesn’t sit well with me either. Since I consider you the tea guru, what do you know about Canada and their iced tea selections????

    Can’t wait for your NEW book to come out!!!!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Not too much, I’m afraid. I think the canned and bottled types of iced tea, most of it sweetened and weird tasting, put lots of people unfamiliar with iced tea off our delicious American summer standby! Kind of what I heard in England. Oh well, we’ll start a new club and spread the good word!

  21. Lynn Barlow says:

    Love these absolutely glorious pictures—thank you for letting us come along on your journey! And welcome back to America!

  22. Debbie Boerger says:

    We are all of us so happy to have you both safe and sound, back on your island, in your lovely home with your extremely handsome Mr. Jack!!!
    Have a Happy July 4th. And today is Canada Day!!! I’m sure we’ll be bopping over to St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and maybe a ferry to Newfoundland to visit kin, who just moved back from Sumatra! The Newfies got snow last week!
    Debbie in Maine, getting ready for the 4th down in Eastport, ME. And our Library Strawberry festival in the week end.

  23. kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    WELCOME BACK HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! ❌⭕️❌⭕️❌⭕️❌⭕️❌⭕️❌⭕️

  24. Amy says:

    Yay, a new book from you!! Your trip looks so wonderful. I am actually visiting your great state now and went to the Nathaniel Hawthorne/House of Seven Gables yesterday. Massachusetts is GORGEOUS. I’m sure you are so excited to be home!

  25. Deborah says:

    Dear Susan…Welcome back !! Wow, that tree with all is roots, hidey holes, all lumpy and old, and years of secrets playing hide and seek. I love that picture. The clouds, the hedgerows, bluebells, hilltops, castles, pub food, pubs, thatched rooftops, all the things my daydreams are full of! Thank you for the most wonderful eye candy I could ever hope for. Even the Hansel and Gretel quote! (How do we all love the same things!?!)
    I think that what you share with us becomes so endearing and magical because you seize the day, (carpe diem) you seize the moment. We all like to, WANT to, and try to live each moment to it’s fullest, but unless one slows down to the pace that tree has, it’s not possible. You capture that for us. In my humble opinion. Thank you for these pretty pieces of your adventures, and a way for me to continue my breast cancer journey with a better vision, a beautiful vision. (I’ll be done with it all on August 30)!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Deborah! So happy to see the August date getting closer! Sending love to you, your spirits are high it’s easy to see ~ a big part of what you’re going through. So I’ll just say Congratulations right now!! Luv-lee to have you along on our trip! I love what you said about slowing down to the pace of the tree. It’s a beautiful thought. xoxoxo

  26. Deborah says:

    Oh, and the new book, can’t wait! I think something like ” ‘My- toe -hurts- Betty’, and other mystical mandatory moments from 2018″
    But what ever you decide, i know it will be perfect ☀️☀️

  27. Nora says:

    Hurry home! Hurry home!

  28. Mari Elizabeth Webb says:

    Thank you Susan – for sharing your travel abroad with us. It has been such a wonderful journey and I have enjoyed every word. I felt as though I was with you and Joe. I am really looking forward to the book next year. Safe travels back home to Jack.

  29. Katherine from Chino Hills, Cali says:

    Dear Susan:

    Just found you while I was browsing the internet (cant even remember what I was searching for??hehe). . . .

    Thank you for sharing your enchanted journey. Can wait to read more. . .

    Welcome back home.


    P.S. Love love your blog!

  30. Teresa O says:

    Oh Susan, you said all I felt & have been feeling since I returned home from England. I miss it so & every day long to return. Your book will be like a returning because now I see in my mind’s eye those places I’ve been when I see the words. Thank you for being such a heartfelt writer, observant & eloquent.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh thank you Teresa . . . it’s easy to be enthusiastic for such a beautiful magical place!

  31. Nancy says:

    I just read this, and am in love with England! You made my heart leap with joy, and I so want to visit.

    You mentioned using the word “enchantment” in your book about your travels.
    How about “England the Enchantress”?

    • sbranch says:

      I so love everyone’s ideas for the title, but I’m thinking I might keep it simple and just call it E N C H A N T E D … and at the bottom of the cover put ENGLAND, WALES, IRELAND, & SCOTLAND.

      • Rhonda D. says:

        Oh Susan…I was so hoping that you would include Scotland in this new book too. You just made my day! Now I’m really excited! Can’t wait! (I’ll have to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming this).

  32. Cheryl E. West says:

    I cannot wait for this book to be available. I have not been to England for so many years and seeing all your beautiful photos I miss this special countryside more than ever. My family has visited many of the places you mention and that brings back wonderful memories.
    Thank you so very much for sharing your travels.

  33. mari1017 says:

    Dear Susan,
    Yes I know it’s July 4th, and you’re safely home back on beautiful Martha’s Vineyard 🙂 I am sitting here with my 4th of July cup, enjoying the day and reading this post one more time. What a blessing and privilege to be taken along for such a journey! This post in particular is now my mini book of your wonderful trip. Can’t wait for the real thing…take your time; we already know it will be great ♥
    Wishing you and Joe (and Jack!) a Happy 4th of July and a glorious Summer!!!
    xox mari

  34. Tracy Jones says:

    Hi Sue! What a fabulous vacation! I loved every one of your posts…the pictures, the descriptions..the whole sha-bing! I have mentioned to you before that I was born in England. My cousin has traced my father’s side of the family all the way to the 1,500’s and they all came from England. I left when I was 3 1/2 so I have no memories. I would love to go again someday. I looked at the genealogy charts today and it has all the towns my Dad’s family are from. I was wondering if you visited any of these towns?

    The list is long so I hope you don’t mind! Laverham, Pensax, Cambridgeshire, Northwick, Worcester, Eastham, Shropshire, Aberystwyth, Llenrod, Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, Gloucestershire, Llanlleshire, Caernavonshire, Gerlan North, Llanrwst, Denbigshire, Warrington, Wooten, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, Weymouth, Dorset, Huntingdonshire and Chalfont. The counties are also listed but I was just interested in the towns.

    Looking forward to your book signing in Falmouth, MA! It will be the second time we meet. Are you bringing Margot? 🙂 xoxo Tracy

    • sbranch says:

      Some of those places on your list are in Wales … and any name with a “shire” at the end is actually a county, not a town or village ~ so is Dorset … I’m not totally familiar with all British geography, but we were in several of those places. I imagine you still have relatives there. I’m sure you would feel totally at home there! You have so much to look forward to, seeing some of those wonderful places. LOL, I’ll have to ask Margot! Thank you Tracy!

      • Tracy Jones says:

        Thank you, Sue. I knew I might have mixed up towns and counties…in your new post, I said that I have decided to plan a trip to England! It’ll be a tour but still, I will be there! Not really interested in London but I do want to buy something wool that comes from an English sheep. Silly, I know :). Enjoy the rest of this summer! xo Tracy

        • sbranch says:

          Tours can be wonderful. I think those who took the tour to the Lake District and to our picnic had a WONDERFUL time. I think you will love it. I wanted wool from English sheep too, perfectly normal, and even brilliant if I do say so myself!

  35. Ann R says:

    Aloha ha Susan, thanks for the wonderful twitter and blog trip you took us on. It was wonderful, I spent the afternoon sketching a picture of the mama sheep in my journal book it was that cute (thanks for posting it)! I loved the detailing on top of the roof of the thatched cottage previously I had only seen plain thatched roofs, those thatchers are quite the artisans. From the middle of the pacific pond mahalo on the delightful virtual trip you and Joe took us on.

    • sbranch says:

      Aloha-ha Ann, luv-lee to hear from you! Yes, so much of the English Countryside is handmade and many thatchers put their “mark” on their work. Quite charming! Glad you enjoyed it! xoxo

  36. Coral king says:

    So beautiful.your photos are.
    so enticing. How I would love to be there
    Thank you Suexxx

  37. kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just read that mean spirited comment on your twitter from a woman whom I believe, is NO “Alamo Sweetheart”. Her shoes must be too tight or she is wearing her underwear backwards….whatever the case, she is not nice at all and I am sorry that she felt the need to contaminate you and the people that love you with her ugly remark. That UNsweetheart from the Alamo needs to take a lesson from Thumper….” If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all”. Gosh, you have been home for less than one week and this happens!! I hope that this ignorant comment will bite her where the sun doesn’t shine!! xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      You are so right. But it’s okay. It opened up an interesting conversation, so that was a good thing. She came in from nowhere. I didn’t follow her and she didn’t follow me, she just popped in, told me she didn’t like the “subtle political jab” of putting the phone number of the White House on my calendar, argued about it a bit, then disappeared! All’s well that ends well. Everyone on pins and needles these days it seems. I liked it better when we all felt like we were on the same Team. xoxoxo

  38. Janet Conn says:

    Welcome back! In trying times, your blog as always brings such great joy. It reminds us of all the loveliness in the world (both in nature and in people). Thank you. Absolutely, can’t wait for your new book. Will have to reread your other novels until then.

  39. Norma says:

    Received the garden mug and I am very happy with it. Here’s what I like: it is not thick and heavy, the handle is very comfortable, and it is beautiful to look at and to use. Thank you, thank you!

  40. Oh Susan, I so hope I can visit a bluebell wood one day. Thank you for introducing me to one. It’s magical!!! So glad that you came back home to all of us here in the states … I am grateful for your adventures – but also grateful to have you and Joe back. xoxo

  41. Sandi from the Cape says:

    It has been such a lovely visit, thank you so much for spending all the time you did in taking pictures and sending us your lovely blogs! It was truly a wonderful visit!

  42. Nancy in California says:

    Welcome Home! And I just had to share this great article about an unexpected restaurant experience on your own beloved island of Martha’s Vineyard. Enjoy! And DO tell us about it if you wander over to the VFW bar for some jerk chicken before summer is over!!


  43. Linda D says:

    Loved reading about this trip. I would love a guide or tips on how to plan an extended trip. I am excited for the new book. Wishing you continued blessings!

  44. Janet Conn says:

    Thank you for this blog post. It was so enjoyable to read. It has been such a pleasure to go along with you and Joe on this adventure. In trying times in the world around us, it is so nice to be reminded of all the joy, all the beauty and all the wonderful people in this big, beautiful world of ours. Thank you so much for taking us all along. Welcome back!

  45. "Linda Who Still Says Land!" says:

    Welcome home ! Just completed the renovation of my sewing/craft room but there was one more final touch. All you books were lined on shelves and tucked in baskets. And your mugs set about here and there for inspiration for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter projects. But the best is the signed napkin from your Talbot’s book signing on the Cape last year which will be incorporated into a tea table cover cloth. Your fabrics available on SpoonFlower are just perfect for planned projects for holiday giving. Land ! They never cease to inspire me.Welcome home, and hope to hear news of a new book being published soon. Enjoy the rest of the summer on lovely Martha’s Vineyard.

  46. Amylisa says:

    Beautiful blog as always!! I keep wondering if you and Joe and Jack might ever move to England to stay!

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

    Welcome Home Susan. I have a question or 2 about the roofing in England, I saw several homes with roofing shingles like ours here and some with thatching and a few that looked like it was molded on thatching. so what do they use to make their homes so cute and quaint… regular, tile or thatching??? and with the thatching is it waterproof of do they treat the roof with something to keep the rains out????? just curious…. hugs….. 🙂

  48. Jean Murray says:

    So, when are you two moving to England permanently?

    • sbranch says:

      Probably won’t do that, too far from too many we love. Although that is the same problem with being home, too far from too many we love! But we have our own little brand of paradise right where we are.

  49. Nancy says:

    A new cookbook??!!! Holy Cow!! Can not waiiiiiiiiit!

    But here is my question, last month you tweeted that the production company of an “award winning actress” was looking into putting your books on the screen (or something like that). You wrote that you could tell us the specifics in 30 days.
    Am I wrong? Can you tell us or am I off base? I thought that’s what I remember reading…… Any who, glad you two have safely returned home at this lovely time of year!!!

    • sbranch says:

      This new book won’t be a cookbook, although there will be lots of recipes, but a travel book, a diary of our recent trek through England, Wales and Ireland, with a soupçon of Scotland thrown in for extra fun. As for the SBBooktoScreen, we cleared a little hurdle, on to the next one, but no longer supposed to talk about it! When/if that changes you can be sure I will let you know!

  50. Susan C. Daffodiltealady says:

    Seems like you were gone forever, and the picnic and Royal Wedding were ages ago! My mouse-operator arm was in a sling for 6 weeks after shoulder replacement, so it was tricky, but I followed along on the whole trip. When I was able to return to on-line shopping on your website, however, I was disappointed to find (oh, no!) that the Summer teacups were sold out! But then, on your Twitter page, Apple Farm slipped in a picture ad promoting all things Susan Branch. Hallelujah! They still had Summer in stock and were willing to mail me one, saving me a road trip to SLO that would be inconceivable at this stage of PT/recovery. So, in case any of the other girlfriends are bemoaning their failure to acquire Summer — just call up the Apple Farm Gift Shop. They are so kind and helpful! You’ll pay a little more than on Susan’s website, but it’s so worth it. The mug is charming! Thanks again for a lovely spring tour, the pictures, music, and a new book to anticipate! Welcome home.

    • sbranch says:

      Yay for the Apple Farm, and yay for you too, Susan, for getting well after your surgery. I wonder how that went? I have a girlfriend just about to go through it. Thank you so much, keep on keepin on! xoxo

  51. Therese says:

    Whenever my heart and soul need a lifting up, I come here and know that I will get the lift I need and remain so joyously and beautifully grounded in what is real and true! I thank you from my heart, as always.

  52. jeanie says:

    Glorious in every way! Welcome home. How these posts prime me for my October trip to England. Enchanted Island? Journey of Enchantment? So many possibilities!

  53. Bev Brewer says:

    Dearest Susan and Joe—loved every description and photo of your wonderful trip—thank you for giving so generously of your time so we could see the sights! If every one of us in the world, every day, could be transported to England for a time, we would be a much happier, kinder world. I also enjoyed your “home again” photos. The simple, rainy day window was so nice—could almost smell the rain! Here’s a math lesson: Rainy day + kitty purring on lap + good book + comfy chair + cup o’ tea = cozy bliss! Just recently saw an episode of Rick Steves touring Wales and he said this: ” Wales is a poem written in landscape.” Of course that is true of your entire trip! I remember in the MV book, a lady editor perusing your first book said your book was “enchanting” and you mentioned how you loved the word “enchanting”. So, using the word in your new book title makes sense. I also like when you refer to the word “handmade” as you notice all the beautiful villages, castles, gardens, paths, fences, etc. “Beckon” is another word that seems appropriate as you are drawn back to this beautiful land and people. In the current issue of Victoria, there is an essay on the last page written by a lady who expresses her attachment for Martha’s Vineyard. Hope your new book is a pudgy one, like your diary! Love it already! Love to you both from Bev

  54. Sandra in Santa Barbara says:

    Tragically TAB HUNTER died Sun – 3 days before his 87th birthday in Montecito
    California. A blood clot from his leg traveled to his lung and he collapsed in his Husband’s, Allan Glaser’s arms on the front lawn.

    Tab wasn’t just another handsome face, he was an incredible, talented, dedicated, religious, humble, sensitive man who had a tremendous influence on the world – especially my generation! He was spending his “retirement years” working with paralyzed veterans and animals.

    Rest in Peace, Tab, we miss you. Much love and gratitude for all you did.

  55. Rae Ann R. says:

    Dear Susan~Thank you for your blog…it has brought tears to my eyes as my beloved best friend, high school sweetheart and husband of 47 years, my sweet Dave, died unexpectedly last December…right before Christmas…I have been trying to carry on and be brave for my children and grandchildren…I still can’t believe he isn’t going to come walking through the door…all of your adventures with Joe remind me of all the adventures Dave and I had…cherish each and every moment with Joe…

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Rae Ann, what sad news. Such perfect wonderful advice, thank you sooo much. Don’t be too brave, cry cry cry, it’s just as heartbreaking as you think it is. My prayers are with you. Go cut a tiny little vase of flowers, it’s the connection to life that stays important, both for you and for him. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  56. Carrie Guffey says:

    I love your blog please don’t ever stop writing it 🙂

  57. Brenda Hannon says:

    Glad you are home safe and sound!

  58. Arlene says:

    What a magical trip! How is it that I’ve missed you? Lol

    • sbranch says:

      I’m a bit under the radar. . . you aren’t alone! Welcome to the neighborhood! It’s a luv-lee world of kindred spirits here!

  59. I’m not sure if this is the right place to leave a comment or not to be entered for the drawing for the cup.
    I would love to be the lucky winner! I’m also super excited to find all this on your blog, it’s so much more fun seeing it all together in one spot than going from picture to picture on IG. Thank you for sharing! Julie aka fanniejane

  60. Dianne Amyett says:

    The cups for each season are lovely! As is all your art! I have a couple of your cookbooks from years ago. I enjoy them so much! Thank you!

  61. Rachel says:

    I should always be sure to read your posts right before a meal or with a snack in hand… I’m inevitably hungry by the time I finish reading them!

  62. Janet Harkins says:

    Hello “kindred spirit”! Just discovered your books and website a while back and SO GLAD I did!! Been to England twice and want to live there so badly! Thank you for sharing!! Can’t wait for the next book!

  63. Jennifer Deiner says:

    I love love all the pics! Welcome home! I bet your kitty is lovey like my black and white kitty. Always purring and rolling around! Glad you had a fabulous trip. ❤️

  64. Virginia Friesen says:

    Everything is delightful about you and your blog, Susan. Thank you for providing a vicarious experience for those of us not on your amazing four month journey. You’ve made us feel like we were. Many, many thanks. And welcome home.

  65. Thank you so very much for allowing us to vicariously experience your amazing 4 month journey. Your descriptive journaling and beautiful photos made us feel like we were with you. You have such a gift in story-telling! I’m grateful you share that gift with all of us so generously. Welcome home!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Virginia! It’s a new discovery of a gift for me . . . I didn’t know I could actually “write” until A Fine Romance came out and everyone liked it! Before that all I did was short little stories in my cookbooks and my diaries. Makes me braver every time I do it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! 😘 Makes me happy to know that throughout your life, new things can happen to you, new tastes, new dreams.

  66. Daneen says:

    I’ve enjoyed following your adventure and think perhaps now it’s possible to learn to drive on the “wrong” side of the road!!! Visiting Beatrix Potter’s stomping grounds would be a dream come true! Can’t wsit for the book!!!

  67. Valerie Russell says:

    Oh the joy of a life well lived and loved! Thank you Susan for sharing. If you only knew how many, many similar experiences you and I have shared – right down to meeting the Beatles and taking a broken heart to MV in the 80’s…finding love again, drawing, believing, dreaming – well it goes on and on. I wish you every good and happy dream come true! xxx Valerie (a kindred spirit yet to be met…)

    • sbranch says:

      I knew I wasn’t just writing my own story when I was doing those books … it’s why I believe in how much we all have in common! Kindred spirits! xoxo

      • Sandra in Santa Barbara says:

        I agree! We are so lucky to have each other! A safe place where we’re able to be ourselves while being loved, coddled and unconditionally supported!

        Thanks Susan, for making it all possible…..we love ya!!!!

  68. Jeannie Ramirez says:

    Thankyou for the trip to England. Can’t stand to be away from my kitties and garden for more than a week, so I will probably never go in person,but you’ve helped with my curiosity
    Welcome home !

  69. Betsy says:

    I just discovered your books and am on the Isle of Dreams. They are wonderful! Thank you for sharing your gift with the world.

  70. Karen Knowles says:

    Your trip hugged my 2 weeks in the English Countryside in April. I loved being there with you vicariously and to experience the place in real time. I know why you keep going back! Looking forward to the book…and, btw, my son gifted me with your “English Countryside” cup for my birthday!

  71. Nancy R Alexander says:

    Welcome Home. Thanks for the memories!!

  72. diana from ancaster says:

    Welcome back!!!!!

  73. Kathi says:

    Hi Susan,
    So glad you had such a wonderful trip, and even happier that you shared it with all us ‘girlfriends!’ I’m so happy someone pointed out we could read your twitter posts even if we don’t have an account, so checking in has become part of my daily routine. I have been a fan since I bought Heart of the Home when it came out. I love watercolor, I love cooking, I’ve loved everything you’ve done! I still have a letter in my address book that I wrote to you in 1995 before I brought my daughter home from China telling you that I decorated her nursery like a garden watercolor ala Susan Branch. I still have a paper Willard copy & friends and family have joined the fandom. Can’t wait to see the next book, the next blog, the next calendar, the next facebook post… you give us all the comforts of a cozy home & inspire us to do the same! Kindred spirits indeed!! Thanks for sharing!
    Welcome back!

  74. Barbara Mentzer says:

    Did you know that filming of the Downton Abbey movie will begin this summer? I saw a post from PBS Masterpiece on facebook today.

  75. Sandra in Santa Barbara says:

    Yes, Please with sugar on top, Fairy Godmother, let me win the mugs!
    I desire and need them – pretty please!

    Being positive mass between Grasshopper’s abdomen and skin is not a big deal!
    Seeing Vet on Tues in Carpinteria and working on raising money to cover surgery.
    Doing a Go Fund Me for him.


    Haven’t worked since April when I get my cut in the laundry room here – going to Wound Center once a week for treatment to get it to heal!


    If I were younger, I’d consider working on my back!

    Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln.

    I’m still cheeky.

    Much love and gratitude you’re home.
    (((HUG))) Sandra & Grasshopper

    • sbranch says:

      You sure are dear Sandra! I looked for Grasshopper on Go Fund Me … where can I find it? xoxoxo

      • Sandra in Santa Barbara says:

        Figuring out how to do it – overwhelming! Will work on when “I get to Tara” tomorrow. Not as tech savvy as you – need prayers for that too!

  76. Sandra in Santa Barbara says:

    Did I mention I have a hole in my Volvo radiator too……

    Thought of including that with Grasshopper’s “Go Fund Me” since I haven’t worked since April when toe was cut……tacky! Grasshopper’s the priority & don’t want to take away from that.

    Did I tell you I’m delighted you’re home, Girlfriend? Somehow you help me know everything is going to be alright!XOXOXO

    • sbranch says:

      You should give me the name of your Go Fund Me for Grasshopper, Sandra. I tried to find it, but couldn’t!

  77. Carolyn Nelson says:

    Ohhhhhhh Susan…..💙💚💜our hearts almost burst in delight…. To share through you your travel 🚢🛳⚓️⛴ adventures! It Truely was wonderful to fill our imaginations 🎈🎉and hearts with all that you shared. And now to know you are 🏡 “home sweet home” 🇺🇸is a joyful🌠 reunion for all ! Soak up the sights 👀and fragrances and irreplaceable happiness of being home. Blessings to you and your Joe!!! :):) 🙂 😘🤗☺️Carolyn Nelson💌

  78. Carolyn Nelson says:

    Oh… Oh… I do not know 🙂 If My little comment💌 will show up… This grandma of 16 ☺️😀😇😉🙃😌😚😏😊🤓😎😋😊🙃🤗😍grandchildren is not to savy on the computer 🙂 ha haa . Anyway I Shared that Myself and many others so enjoyed following along on your travel adventures. It brought giggles and smiles and oohs and ahhs …..as through you….. we experienced…….memorable days. I do know though as the saying goes …. No matter how far you roam…. Truely there is NO place as precious as ” home sweet home” …. Your hearts must have been so full as you walked through your front door… And as your hearts shouted WE ARE HOME . Blessing to you and Joe!

  79. Janie O near Cumberland Gap, Tennessee says:

    Dear Susan,
    This whole entry was WONDERFUL! The pictures of the moon, of Lady Liberty, of flowers and gates, ancient standing stones, beautiful homes, fantasticly georgous trees, sweet sheep, you, Joe and darling Jack. I am excited for the new book and can’t wait to read about everything in detail. Your home and garden are most lovely. Welcome Home! ❤️

  80. Gina Miller says:

    Gorgeous books with lovely drawings, sweet kitties and hot tea….! Sigh! The stuff of dreams. Thank you, SB!

  81. Linda Tondola says:

    I’ve been checking the blog daily for your update and here it is! As usual, it delights me. I can hardly wait for the book! Something about your work just makes me wax nostalgic. So happy you’re back safely on this side of the pond.

  82. Kay N. says:

    Loved the journey so much. You capture in words what we can all see with our eyes! Your real pictures are so wonderful and charming. Thank you so much for bringing us along on the journey. I want to go there some day also!


    Kay N.

    P.S. Would love a set of mugs!

  83. Oh it always so full of wistfulness, this packing up for the return.
    Say Farewell not Goodbye, that is the way to go.

  84. Leona Marie Cooney says:

    As always loving your posts, your travels and your wonderful descriptive writing. Look forward to the new book, working on the new alphabet sampler, drinking tea from your beautiful cups and getting Cosy!

  85. Melissa Gillespie says:

    Beautiful photos as always! It’s always so good to be home! I always say the same thing, as you mentioned about cats showing love. My cats are dolls, so affectionate, follow me everywhere, feel and show love more than people know. Oh the greetings I get from my kitties!

  86. Mercedes Piesco says:

    So happy you are home safe and sound! I don’t if I’ll ever make to England so I am grateful for your photos and commentary! The pics add so much and they are becoming more spectacular over time!
    Purchased some Magner’s pear cider and plan to share it with a friend. I share your blog and Willard with quite a few of my pals.
    Looking forward to another great read…happy writing!

  87. Tonya Gustafson says:

    Dear Susan,
    I can only try to express what your blog has meant to me. I have been following you since before my cancer trial, and you helped me through. I love your photos and comments and enjoy everything vicariously. I tell everyone about your blog. You are wonderful. Thank you forever. Watercolors are so much fun! ☺️♥️😘

  88. GAIL ROSE says:

    Oh cups, come to me PLEASE.

  89. Lin Hagen says:

    You are such a positive inspiration and I’m so thrilled to hear allllll about your most recent trip!! I took an hour out of my day to enjoy your gracious sharing and always happy to see dear sweet Jack!! Thank you for all you give!

  90. Jean Carrington says:

    Love hearing about your adventures and life

  91. Patti Gill says:

    All my favorite things–Flowers, Gardens, Witness Trees, Clouds, Country-side!
    You have once more captured my imagination and created wonderful dreams for me. Looking forward to the new book!

  92. Elizabeth Bausili says:

    I love your cups! I choose one depending on my mood for the day, and what a wonderful way to begin it! Often in Summer I am in a Christmas mood and pull one out and then there are times in the winter I “can’t wait for summer” and I choose one that represents the season.

  93. Caroline says:

    Lovely! Like you I love Britain and all things British; cream teas and
    rolling fields and hedgerows “ hardly hedgerows”.
    And did I mention Beatrix Potter! as an aspiring writer she has been such an inspiration!
    Thank you for the opportunity to visit England again through your eyes and ears!

  94. Sandra in Santa Barbara says:

    Frustrated! Spent last 3 days attempting to set up Facebook and GoFundMe!!!!
    Still not there 🙁

    Facebook now set up, found FOSB but can’t figure out how to ask you to accept me?????

    GoFundMe really screwed up as trying to use email contacts rather than Facebook (partially on Facebook now without my doing or permission and still
    editing the blurb) has nobody yet…..they’re suppose to get back to me but do so in middle of night when I’m asleep via email instead of person.

    Having neighbor computer wiz for a living helping but going 3 steps back! Then his wife tries to tell me via text, she doesn’t use apple, doesn’t know what she taking about and it does not work!

    Really overwhelmed, frustrated!

    Will you please invite me to join you on Facebook – pretty please with sugar on top. You can do it all. OK, I’m under Sandra Williams partially with GoFundMe and picture of Grasshopper and me….I look so intelligent and feel so helpless (didn’t say dumb). Well see if that works.

    Have I told you you’re the best and I appreciate you lately Well, I do.


    • sbranch says:

      Believe it or not I know nothing about Facebook. But I will send your name to Kellee and see if she can “accept you” … maybe we follow you first or something like that. Hang in there Sandra, this too will pass. xoxoxo

  95. Sandra in Santa Barbara says:

    P.S. Didn’t receive Willard, re entered my info and still haven’t received him.

    I can’t believe I’m still going! If I didn’t meditate 2 X a day I’d jump off a cliff!

  96. Lindy munday says:

    I wish I had kept a journal while we were in England and Scotland. You story made me want to dig out old photos and stuff and get it all together in an album. Loved traveling with you and joe. But have been retired a few years now since our trip in 2004 and need to get a wiggle on as they say in”Wind at my back” a favorite show on the BYU network about a family in upper Ontario during the depression. Where my mom was from and I have fond memories of Canada as a child although grew up in Southern California. From Not your usual Munday.

  97. Nancy Pillar says:

    Just love all that you do..I’m 71 and many of the dreams of my life that couldn’t be achieved are met in my dreams by reading your books….love love love it all

  98. Kim Horn says:

    Your Summer mug brightens my desk at work.
    I daydream of Martha’s Vineyard.
    One day…

  99. Patti Fitzgerald from Skippack, PA says:

    Dearest Susan and Joe – – WELCOME HOME!!! Prayers are answered!! You were blessed with the trip of a lifetime, and I know that one day soon, we will be blessed with a new book of your adventures!! Thank you so much for sharing your life with us . . . . I look at it as a ministry of yours, since you inspire all of us to live lives of gratitude, inspiration and joy. We see beauty all around us, because you have taught us how to look for it. Thank you so very, very much for this gift!
    I recently almost purchased your Autumn cup, but had to hold off because of “budget issues” – – 🙁 Now I see that you are going to give away an entire set of Seasons cups! To win would be, for me, a slice of Heaven on Earth!

    I’m going to re-read this blog – many times over – because it is so chock full of deliciousness . . . . beautiful pictures, thoughtful words, lovely watercolors . . . . just like a little mini-book! Happy Summer to you and Joe and Jack! Love you, Girlfriend . . . . xoxoxoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Patti … dear thing to say. You know, I think we all have this thing in us that wants to help. xoxoxoxo

  100. Shelby Ness says:

    I love, love, love your blog, love your books, love your calendars, love everything! I’ve been buying your things since you started selling them and I just finished a marathon read of your 3 books. Thanks so much for your wonderful art and always positive energy. You have inspired me to sign up for an art class. 🙂
    Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s wonderful Shelby … you don’t know until you try … and don’t forget, in cases I haven’t mentioned how IMPORTANT practice is, it’s very important, which is easy if you like it … if you don’t then still look around, there is an art for everyone!

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