So many words, so little time is exactly right as you are about to see. I wrote this first thing last… you’ll have to read to the end to find out what it means!!!

As promised, here we are, driving to Carrie and Stuart’s . . . 

almost there…

It was Insta-bond, they did it last time we met too… map-men! “Tell me again where am I?”

This front door just LOOKS like Carrie! When we met them last time, Carrie (American) and Stuart (English) were living in Oxford where he is the most AMAZING tour guide in case you ever get to Oxford (contact Stuart Holloway at [email protected] ~ he was born there and knows all there is to know about it), and she was running a small bed and breakfast. They’d bought a get-away house in Wales. But they sold their place in Oxford, and moved to the Cotswolds. Of COURSE we wanted to see their new cottage … 

We’ve always stayed in touch with emails, at Christmas, on Twitter . . . I was dying to see her new kitchen because I have to say, she does Kitchen so GOOD!

Am I right or am I right?

Their tiny place in the Cotswolds, perfect distance for Stuart to commute to Oxford, and great for walks for Jack and Buddy. Note the door to the garden that goes through her sun porch …

Love the bunting!

Note how window opens into sun porch ~ British Country Living should look at what Carrie does with houses!

Because they are adorable! This was her kitchen in Oxford!

And this her Wales kitchen! (I know you would want to see!)

This is her house in Wales too … don’t you just love it? Such a sparky eye she has! I hope she opens an antique store someday … I would love to shop there!

So out we went, off to the pub, we stopped for a moment at the river across the street so Stu could throw the ball for Buddy!

He’s pure entertainment! (Stu is too, but I was talking about Buddy!)

Happy Dog …

Walking to the pub, this art gallery is dressed for the Queen, just like the rest of the country!

had to stop at the village grocery … 

Bought this one … seems so appropriate!

Our guys ordering lunch! Carrie and Stuart are so lucky… they have this wonderful pub within walking distance of the house … a real butcher shop, the village store, and this! Not to mention walks in all directions!

Carrie and I met at the first picnic we had at Stourhead in 2016.

There they are, very picnic-cute.

We bonded over their shoes ~ I had to tell them how cute they were!

Our time together was too short … but I can say that no matter where I’ve gone or what I’ve done over here! We walked home from the pub through the little village, amid the cow parsley … which is everywhere. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Home, saying goodbye, but Buddy was ready to play ~ me too, doing a redux of our goodbye curtsy at Stourhead … only with pants, not such a good look …

Better with dresses. . . What a wonderful time we had!

The rain had started, and off we went, hill and dale, to our new rental house in a place called Harleston in Suffolk, East Anglia …

It’s that bump on the right side where the D in England ends…  Our first time in this area of the country.

This was our first view of our new village just driving in. Isn’t it festive? The wind was blowing and the bunting was flapping making it all so alive … we liked it immediately. And now, to keep promise number two in my last post . . . to show you why I called our rental here “the Cottage that wants to be a Castle.”

I didn’t really think it when I first saw it … it was a corner flat in an old brick house  … I think my first hint was the high ceilings … and then I started looking more closely …

At the old wooden floor, the dip in the stair leading to the kitchen, the tile . . .

The kitchen was wonderful, old yet modern in a strange way, since very little in it was actually modern.. .

The kitchen counter was aluminum bent into a counter shape! I liked it. I’ve never seen that before, but it seemed practical. You couldn’t hurt it and it would last forever!

Not exactly Carrie’s kitchen, but still pretty good!

These tiles, the ones lying flat, struck me as castle-like … and the rounded brick between the leaded windows… ask me who put the flowers there . . . yup. twas me!

All the windows had the rounded brick . . .

The hanging kitchen lamp seemed rather royal also!

Beautiful gas stove, all built into tile . . . I was beginning to think whoever modernized this really . . .

. . . held onto the past . . .

We thought the kitchen cupboards were put there, maybe in the 1930s. They looked handmade, but the details were timeless . . . which made me curious about the rest of the house . . .

It was a long way to the only bathroom which was upstairs . . . but the tile was wonderful in there too. . .

Details . . . the base of the toilet! Fancy! So queen-like! The sink was set into a dark antique wood table …

The bathroom was big, with high ceilings, a tub, and a standing shower too . . . rather regal, don’t you think?

The hallway for the bathroom, and the two bedrooms was very long . . . with pretty trim …

. . . the arched doors and wood floor were perfect and fit right in . . .

We stopped calling the bathroom, “the bathroom” and started calling it “Tipperary.” “Off to Tipperary” we’d say … and start singing . . .

Back to the living room, where for the first time I noticed the dark green, gold, and purple decor … royal colors! A green velvet sofa, the other love seat is dark green with tiny stars all over it! That needlepoint pillow over there on the sofa I got in an antique store, it’s going home with me!

We settled in and began doing what we love the most, going on long walks in the countryside . . . I am never not amazed . . . it’s all so beautiful. This is one place you don’t have to make your own magic, it’s all here waiting for you.

Going into the ancient churches we find on our walks … saying another goodbye to my beloveds . . . we were in time for evensong, all ages singing like angels filling the high ceilings with song.

Eating chunky chips and English peas, enjoying “pie of the day” in Pubby Wubbies . . .

Visiting WWII museums which are everywhere in this part of the country, full of detailed history . . . You meet the nicest people there, all of them as touched by what was done by the greatest generation as we are. The history of British and Americans during the war too… all of it. So connected.

Of course we were watching all the build up for the Queens Jubilee, 70 years on the throne! All of England is in love with dogs. Sometimes I think we’re the only ones here without a dog!!! 

And taking note of the window decor everywhere we went! This is someone’s house … looks like it’s made from cardboard boxes!

This one was painted in a store window…

Another window of someone’s house. The bunting and decorations were everywhere, it was a huge celebration, the Queen had granted a four day holiday, and the entire country had plans.

Her life story filled the newspapers. It’s been so much fun to be here for this celebration!

But THIS was what Joe and I were waiting for … it was our plan! Ray and Paul and Elsie came to stay for 5 glorious days. Rachel had planned it all, and had many lovely surprises waiting for us!

We had a sunny little terrace outside the kitchen door where we could hang clothes on the line and have breakfast at a small table.

Darling girl!

So this was where we went on the Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s 70th year on the throne!

To the beach! Where the boardwalk was lined in these colorful little beach “houses.”

I’ve seen paintings with these little English “bathing huts” of all colors, but never in person, and certainly not in action!

But we could see inside of them, SO CUTE, with little kitchens and sofa beds… people own them but you can rent them out too . . .

This one is Drama Queen! Because it says so!

Lots of them had handpainted signs on them.

This one was all decorated for the Jublee, people put their chairs out on the boardwalk to sit in the sun. I would think SUN would be operative word here, I don’t think these charming huts would look as wonderful on a cold rainy day!

Here they are from the back as we were walking back to the parking lot.

But back to us . . .

Just a gorgeous breezy day for a walk at the beach. How people put their bare skin in that north sea water is beyond me! But this was maybe the very first really wonderful spring day this year and everyone was out to enjoy it!

They brought their books, had tea, and read in the sunshine . . .

It was so festive, flags flew . . .

Bunting snapped in the wind . . .

In the little village where we went for lunch, there were lots of people with the same idea! But Ray had booked us a table so it was easy and delicious!

My toe hurts bet-tee sang out from the roof-tops . . .

We wandered through town, went up to the church,

We went shopping. . .

And took pictures of each other taking pictures of each other! It was a perfect day that ended in a pub as all perfect days in England should do!

But Listen, I hate to tell you this, especially while looking at this adorable pink pub decked out in bunting… but I have to GO.

I mean, REALLY go! This is our last day here, I just didn’t want to leave without telling you, waving goodbye, and giving you an update! But it’s almost 3 pm, we leave here to drive to the ship at 6 tomorrow morning, and I haven’t packed the 2000 suitcases we brought along with us ~ Yikes!  

So I obviously am leaving some things unsaid!!! Like how Rachel got into that window! I mean we had some serious serendipity take place on this trip that I haven’t even told you about. Bookstore serendipity and Castle serendipity. But I promise, I will!

You know, I shall return! This blog is a home away from home! but still home!

Suffice it to say, it’s been every dream come true and more. We love it here. We love home too, so we are always in trouble, quandary wise.

Ray and Paul are coming to Southampton to see us off . . . and they’ll be coming to visit us soon on the island! And . . . should this day ever come, 

Oh, and a quick PS, I’ve had several people write and tell me I should write a book about the English Countryside . . . So I thought I might mention that I have!!! A Fine Romance comes …

Complete with pictures and watercolors and maps . . .

All handwritten, of our first real trip through the English Countryside and it looks like THIS!

ALSO, guess what? The trucks are picking up our new books at the printer TOMORROW … they are done! It’s really happening! We have a holiday in the middle, but they will be on their way to you very soon! And see this above? In honor of Distilled Genius, I’ve been invited to have my art on the cover of  the catalogs that go out to Independent Bookstores!!! Such an honor, I’m thrilled, as I’m sure you can guess! So many nice things already happening with this book! And guess what else? Joe and I are leaving to go out and sign books on August 4th, driving to California, and stopping along the way to see you … I will give you dates and times next time we meet … but so far we’ll be at Titcombs in Sandwich on Cape Cod, at Unlikely Story in MA, at Learned Owl in Hudson Ohio, and the Pairie Path in Wheaton ILL. We are waiting to hear and hope we can go to Rainy Day in Kansas City, to the Tattered Cover in CO, to Kings English in Utah, to Rakestraw Books and Vromans in CA. And in Nov, we’ll be at RJ Julia in CT. I’ll be more specific when I get time. I know this doesn’t half cover the country, but I’m hoping you can meet me halfway! I’d love to see you all . . .

Oh yes we can! So much more to tell you, I hate having to go . . . but I’ll be on the island in a week! It will feel like no time at all … but we are so happy to be ship ahoy tomorrow, coming into NY Harbor past the statue of liberty soon with miles of memories!

This post is done to here. If I have time, I will go back and add some MUSICA and more art, but first! I have to pack!!! Joe is looking at me!! If you leave a comment and it doesn’t go through, it’s because I’m on a boat, and probably don’t have Internet. Don’t give up on me!💖

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  1. Gail Helgeson says:

    I love your blog.
    It just makes me so happy…just like England. My happy place.
    I can’t wait to get my book. Falling in Love with the English Countryside remains my favorite, but the quote book…aaahhhh…I can’t wait….Squeee…..Thank you for the smiles today while reading your post. We’ve been on the walking tour in Oxford. It was most lovely. A cherished memory of Oxford to be sure. Happy trails…sails….take care.

  2. Jody B says:

    Thank you for the lovely post, adore Carrie’s kitchens. She definitely has a gift in decorating rooms! Your “castle” looks wonderful, charm and character all its own. Rachel would keep a person smiling all day! So glad you and Joe had an awesome time visiting, but we know there is no place like home. Safe travels, looking forward to your next Willard! Happy 4th of July also.

  3. Debbie Boerger says:

    I think I’ve mentioned that as soon as my cursor starts for the Susan Branch icon, my face goes to smile mode. It’s not intentional, it’s the emotional habit its learned through the years. My heart and soul knows this is a “safe” place, full of beauty and friendship.
    Thank you, Dear Heart, for taking us all along on this latest marvelous journey.
    Mucho Love, and good thoughts for all of us on The Forth of July. Maybe our Republic will be better for all this we’ve endured over the last few years.
    Smooth Sailing, You Two!
    Debbie in Maine

    • sbranch says:

      Makes me so happy to hear that Debbie … course you are part of the reason it’s such a good place, Girlfriends!!!

  4. Linda, near Seattle says:

    I feel as if I am right there travelling with you, Susan. The little kitchens are so cute and the cottage that feels like a castle is perfect!
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful trip with those of us who wished we could go along, but were unable to do so.
    Safe travels home.

  5. Sheryl from Magalia, CA says:

    I loved all of this. I feel like I was there, beside you, enjoying everything English. Thank you so much for sharing these memories, your life. xoxo

  6. Carolyn Rector says:

    Welcome home Susan and Joe, just saw your twitter with the Statue of Liberty!!

  7. Judith Berry says:

    My heart went out. . I’ve been three times to England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Five weeks each time. We walked everywhere, never rented a car but t took the bus and rail everywhere. That was back in 2000, 2002, and 2004. My house is filled with many English things. My grandmother on my mother’s side was from the Cornwall area and my grandmother on my dad’s side was from Dearing, Ireland (?). Everything you said about the British people was so true. It was a most glorious time.

  8. Diana Barker says:

    Susan , we loved your blog on your last trip to England on the Queen Mary11…
    My husband and I are both from England, but now live in Ontario Canada, on Lake Ontario, close to the USA border, Niagara. .
    I have almost all your books, and looking forward to your new one. We travel home to the UK every other year. We will be there this summer for a month. Leaving August 24th and returning September 22nd. We have rented three cottages for a week at a time, one in Keswick( Lake District) one in Stow on the wold(Cotswold) and one in Lyme Regis(Dorset). We will be going to Oxford, and have plans to do the walking tour with Stuart, whom you mentioned. Thank you for that idea. Bye the way after reading your blog before you left for England, when your sisters visited you. I have to tell you that I use that Revlon lipstick too and love it. Also I just finished reading the book “Brideshead Revisited”, then I had to watch the movie, and of course loved them both. We have “Brit Box “ here in Canada, with a lot of great British shows, you most likely have it available in the US?.
    My husband Steve and I have travelled many times and rented a cottage in Cape Cod, and have taken our bikes on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. We love it there. Maybe one day when we visit again, we can have a chat.
    Enjoy the your book tour traveling and I will look forward to reading your new book…
    Diana Barker..🇨🇦

  9. Debra Cain says:

    Hi Susan
    Your trip is amazing, once again. Thank you for sharing…just love reading your blog, books, adventures.
    My dear friend in Texas told me about you & when I last visited her, she showed me your books which I too immediately loved! You & her are so similar (her name is Susan too) & we’ve been like sisters for over 50 yrs…I live in Aust!
    Your love of English countryside, quaintness, history of early American times are the same as myself & I feel an instant connection with your character the moment I read about you. Even in your photo of you & your English friends walking thru the village reminds me of my dear friend & me (even the dresses you & your friend wore!) when we’d visit each other. I’ve actually got a photo of us that’s sooo similar to yours!
    My heritage is Welsh & all our names are registered in The Peerage & archives in Wales.
    There’s quite a history.
    I would really love to be in touch with you as I’m sure we have much in common.
    Hope to hear from you…Kindest regards, Debra

  10. Mary Dombrowski says:

    When will you be doing a signing event on the Vineyard? I would love to meet you as I have followed you and your work since day 1 …

  11. Myra Weinberg says:

    Susan: Were you on the QM2 June 24th crossing from Southampton to NY? I was too! A little “lumpy” as the captain said of the weather the first few days, but then settled in. Did you have a nice time?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes we were! Definitely lumpy the first couple of days … and yes, we loved it as always and forever! Wasn’t arrival gorgeous?

  12. Gayle R.M.Hall says:

    Oh how I love the picture of you and hubby under the HALL FARM sign. After all why wouldn’t I. Us HALLS stick together. Love Gayle R.M Hall .

  13. Debbie Boerger says:

    Hoping everyone had a nice 4th with friends and family. We were “out ta’ camp” with some of the family that adopted us back in the mid 1990’s. Our best friend knocked herself out. We had an absolutely Gawjus day, blue skies, a few puffy Q, lovely big “Pond” set in a bowl of mountains. Kids squealing in big inner tubes being pulled by boats. Then we all went home to nap!!

    Tom just told me that there was another mass shooting at a 4th of July parade in a suburb just north of Chicago. How long before we take back our right to a sense of security while celebrating the 4th? OMG!!

  14. Jacqueline Caron says:

    Thank you for the lovely post – loveeeed scrolling thru all the beautiful scenery – it’s like I’m able to visit as well….someday… have you ever visited Scotland and/or Ireland? excited to receive my copy of ‘Distilled Genius’ – been re-reading A Fine Romance as well as the ‘The Fairy Tale Girl’. Hope you have a beautiful summer on the island! xo

  15. Debbie Boerger says:

    For Pat Addison in Cave Junction, Or,

    Love your rooster story, Pat. My little brother and I had to give our pet rooster away or be shunned by our in town neighbors. We did visit him often, and he grew to be just Gawjus.
    Anyone who has read Charlotte’s Web knows about the Blue Hill Fair in Maine. EB White lived nearby for many years. Tom and I loved going every September, and would get there almost at sunrise opening day to get a close in parking place. I loved the poultry exhibits with critters such as chickens with feathers on their feet, ducks, geese and beautiful pidgeons. Back when the bird flu hit so hard, they stopped having any birds. Of course there are the sheep dog trials, the dairy cow barn, where one year a calf was born right there! Pigs, such as Wilber, Charlotte’s friend, goats, sheep and cattle. We loved the huge Percherons, Dales horses, etc, which are still used on a few farms near us to plow.
    The craft barn is fabulous with all the quilts, rugs, woven blankets, paintings, carvings. And the ag barn with all the veggies and the ribbons they won. And the canned goods. I used to do lots of canning, so I knew the labor involved.
    We tried to avoid the fair food, but usually got something. Now days, they’ve added more rides and races, plus various bands at night.
    It’s planned for this year, unless we have another Covid surge.
    Debbie in Downeast Maine

    • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

      Hi Debbie!! glad you enjoyed the rooster story, safe to say he is back to his old habit, not shutting up and yes he saw the gumbo pot if he pulls his little stunt again next year. that your Gawjus fair sounds an awful lot like our county fairs out here. i love the craft barns and the AG barn, plus the i loved collecting the recipes from the all the bakers there, the pie recipes, cake recipes, soup recipes and so on… delish!!! our fair is on for this year, and we plan to be there, minus Chance our rooster. that was so embarrassing, but so funny. figures he picks that time to shut up and then crows afterwards… sheesh!!! we have ” Little Porker” races at the county fair, and boy those little oinkers race around the track for those doughnuts or Oreo cookies, never saw piggies move so fast in my life. and they are so adorable to look at, really cute. wonder if we can con someone into rooster races???? its a thought. hope you had a wonderful 4th of July, we sure did and it even rained on the 4th, big surprise but it got me out of watering this week so i’m not complaining. got to go hang the laundry on the line and check on the water and feed containers in the hen house. have a great day today, stay safe and stay healthy and stay happy. hugs…. 😀

  16. Dayna says:

    I am late to the party, don’t know how I missed this post but another exquisite one! Carrie’s cottage 😍 You captured the charm in every photo. Thank you so much for sharing & the brief escape of the everyday.

  17. Faith says:

    New follower, it is colorful and bright, with eye candy. I have a few acquired antique vintage lovelies. My most recent was a waffle maker made in 1930, have never seen anything like this one. It is a beautiful piece in my kitchen. I do love a vintage and always ask what will I do with it, sometimes you just look at it, some you use lovingly, and some are functional. It is fun when I find something, usually when I am not looking.

  18. Linda Lepage says:

    I enjoy every single post. Love reading your description of your trips!
    When will we see a book about Scotland?
    Blessings!! and Hugs!!
    Linda in Pennsylvania

    • sbranch says:

      Spare time, where are you? 🤣 In the queue… but I’m so slow!!!😘

      • Susan says:

        I’m looking forward to Enchantment as well, but in the meantime, I just got Home for Christmas out of the mailbox today. ( It came yesterday but wouldn’t you know, I didn’t check! Christmas in July, yes?) My copy of Distilled Genius will be here pretty soon, so it’s all good. I enjoyed looking at all of the pictures of this trip. If you can’t go yourself, being an armchair tourist is the next best thing!

  19. Debbie Boerger says:

    Squeeee, I just saw on Twitter that The Book is arriving! Can’t wait to see it and gift it.
    Of Course it was #1 on NYT list of books of quotes.!!!
    Lots of hard work, and we all Thank you from the bottom of our Girlfriend hearts.
    Debbie on a stunningly beautiful morning in Maine

  20. Linda Pulliam says:

    Your blog is pure sunshine for the heart! Thank you for always lifting up our spirits!
    Blessings and hugs,

  21. mary says:

    Oh, Susan !! I’ve just received my/your precious book in the mail ; what a treasure !! You have always known what we need and this is absolutely perfect ! I can never say thank you enough for how you’ve been such a bright light for us all, even in the most trying times !!…now to settle down and read !…with love,as always…

    • sbranch says:

      Makes me so happy to hear that Mary!!! Kindred spirits do just know these things, don’t we? Sending Love, as always…💖

  22. Debbie Boerger says:

    This is the Nicest summer we’ve had in years. Just bought a flat of fresh strawberries. Best I can remember. I was going to make a 3 berry pie, but blues aren’t in yet, so I’m going to do strawberry short cake, using the amazing sour dough bread my neighbor just made. Bev has been experimenting with recipes, and we all agree that the crumpets are the best. Having a baker for a next door neighbor is not hard to take, let me tell you.
    I wondered if you’d ever made your own clotted cream. I looked at several recipes and can’t decide which. I think I can get the unpasteurized cream with high fat content at the local health food store.
    My astonishing, wonderful step daughter is here with us for a few days with her little baby girl….Jovie, who is a mini poodle, shizu mix, and just adorable. Weather has been so good, everyone taking short afternoon naps leading up to cocktail hour on the porch, lots of laughter and story telling.
    Tom just got back from the post office, no book yet. Hoping they’ll come before Kris leaves, as it’s my birthday present for her. Another for me and another for a another dear neighbor who is a fellow Anglophile…She introduced me to You, Dear Lady. She lent me her copies of your 3 book biography. I gifted her with the insane jigsaw puzzle. Oh how I adore our lives here on little Hog Bay, Maine.
    Mucho Love,
    Debbie in Guess Where
    Hope you are loving being home before you go West.

    • sbranch says:

      Thrilled to hear you are in Maine. I like you best in Maine. It always feels safest and happiest! And I love all your creative neighbors! How is your face after the surgery, is all the pain gone? I hope so! 🙏 Never made clotted cream… you are on your own!😂 Let me know what you discover.💞 Your books have to be ALMOST there … I can’t wait to hear what you think!! Must be so fun to have your step-daughter, plus a little doggie around! Enjoy dear Debbie! Lovely to hear from you as always!❌⭕️❌⭕️

  23. Treese says:

    I received my copy of Distilled Genius Monday morning. I was as giddy as a schoolgirl. The book is BEAUTIFUL. The quality on the outside and the sensational quotes on the inside. Thank you, Susan, for taking the time all those years for writing down and saving those beautiful and heartfelt quotes I had only ever dreamed about doing.
    Now, when I need a meaningful expression of words to end a card or letter I have them there at my fingertips.
    Treese-Colorado Cowgirl

  24. Jane McVey says:

    Susan, I received my book on Monday here in California and absolutely love it. I love and collect quotes as well and your new book is a treat. Following your trip in England, and seeing my friend Mary Kopecky in the pictures, was such fun but I was green with envy. I went on the A Fine Romance Trip in 2018 and loved every minute. Thank you for bringing us a view of places we love, activities we cherish and feeling that you are a friend we have known forever. Welcome Home! Jane McVey

  25. Rita Wandro says:

    I am so happy for you, your hubby, and friends…..,and specially your cute kitty cat
    You are a National Treasure. I am soooooo proud of you and all your accomplishments.
    May our Lord continue BLESSING YOU ALWAYS🤗🥰🥳

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Ms Rita Wandro, I love you right back… your words just made my day! I love our kindred spirits… must be luckiest girl in world! xoxoxo

  26. Debra. E. Sewell says:

    Willard was like ones fav dessert. Wonderful. I read it at least 4 times..slower each time to savor. Fantastic. I am also rereading “A Fine Romance ” for 5th time. This time. I am looking up..(bless Google) places you talk about in book. Places like Waitrose grocery store .bits like that..them I can see images of places you went into. I love how you put bits of humor in book. Like .when you first arrived and got rental car and headed out on journey. I laughed so hard as could totally envision what a challenge. Bless you and Joe. I loved seeing photo of you in Willard are prayer candle table. By lighting a tiny became, your prayers also, a light in the world. . Oh kitty was crying for you in that pic. And you will leave him again on another trip. Kids him up good. Thank you for sharing your lives with us.

  27. Becky Evans says:

    I got my book! I’m so happy. So many jewels. Just what I need.
    It has been a rather hectic year which makes it hard to keep the little bits of magic that adds spice to life. It is a good life with many blessings but life still gets overwhelming sometimes. What a blessing to have some “distilled genius.”
    Thank you, Sue, Thank you! XOXOXO

  28. Linda Hoenigsberg says:

    Susan…during my twenties and thirties, I wanted to live on Martha’s Vineyard with everything in me. I have never been there…but there’s something in my me that longs for a place like that…and a visit to England, where half of my DNA comes from (according to I used to live in Arroyo Grande, CA, and of course I’m wondering if you are moving back there. I have been in your shop on Branch Street. If I could move anywhere in the US, it would be back to Arroyo Grande (I’m in Montana…beautiful, but hard). I am reading my copy of Distilled Genius (have read all your books!) and checked out your schedule, but alas, I won’t be able to see you…because I got my “surprise” and I would have used it. 🙂

  29. Karen Ruth Ullom says:

    I never ever get tired of seeing the Statue of Liberty!!! It’s like a homecoming!
    You must have a GOOD person who cares for Jack when you are gone. I’ll NEVER forget our trip to England in 2013 thanks to you and your encouragement to take the trip in spite of our limited finances. I later married my teenage sweetheart after not seeing one ane another for 50 years!!! in 2014 17 months after my first husband passed away. It was REALLY a miracle that Bruce and I got back together! God is SOOO good to those who seek Him.
    When do you plan your return to England on the Queen Mary 2 again? I WANT TO GO BACK!!

  30. Gail Hight says:

    Hello Susan,
    Your new book, Distilled Genius, is absolutely delightful, so beautifully done! Like all of your books, it’s a treasure. I think the faux book cover end pages are so cool, what a great idea! I have my own personal collection of quotes that I love, and this is such a wonderful addition. Thank you for all you share, I always look forward to your blog posts, you are so generous with your delightful stories about travel, your home and friends. You are a bright light in the world, and we need that now more than ever.

  31. Diane Finley says:

    Hello! I discovered your blog and books a few months ago, so I am a newbie. 🙂 I just received my copy of Distilled Genius, and I LOVE it! This blog is such fun to follow and always makes me smile. Looks like I’ll be getting more of your books, starting with A Fine Romance – I so love reading about England and the UK. Maybe one day I can visit too.

  32. Teresa Goodfellow says:

    Ohhhh noooooo!! I am on the road and tucked in my bag is Distilled Genius! I’ve been saving it to enjoy when I arrive at my destination. I also saved your blog to read while my husband is driving…so now I’m worried…envelope?! With a surprise?! If there was an envelope in the mailer it didn’t come out! (How could it not?!) but doesn’t matter as it left days ago in the recycle bin. I’m so sad 😔

  33. Gail Mueller says:

    Susan, I am so hooked…. line, sinker and all! I happened upon you in a recent book search and decided to read “Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams,” and before I finished, I had already ordered “A Fine Romance; Falling in Love with the English Countryside.” With a heavy heart, I just turned the last page.

    I so enjoyed these journeys, with you as my guide. I can picture all of it so clearly. We find joy and excitement in so many of the same things and have walked a few of the same paths, in our life journey. My favorite style is anything cozy and my favorite place is home. That said, I have traveled a bit and thoroughly enjoyed it (although it was hard to leave my darling dogs (even in trusted, loving hands)). I have yet to travel to England, but it’s at the top of my bucket list. And lucky me, I have a cousin, with a cottage, in Wales (and an invitation to visit). My romance shall begin with Will (on whom I’ve crushed since my high school portrayal of Lady MacBeth (“How now my lord…what’s done is done!”)), but Jane and Beatrix await soon after (and perhaps a precious bud, to preserve between the pages of a book)😊. So something I would do (you made me laugh out loud)! Your books are truly delightful and I will treasure them… in my home library with Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Longfellow, Dickens and many others. I love my books, the feel and sound of the pages, as I turn them, the smell of the leather and, of course, the amazing places they take me.

    Thank you for staying the course of your dreams so that you can inspire others, like yourself, who just need the right guide!

    So very glad I bumped into you!

    Next up, it’s your “Heart of the Home” cookbook because, of course, I too, love to cook!

    P.S. I also do not like to fly (a business flight from Palm Beach to Tampa, through a wicked storm, in a very tiny plane, nearly did me in) and think you may have sold me on train travel! I will need to figure out a return trip to Europe, however, as motion sickness, a morbid fascination with The Titanic and the high seas don’t mix very well.

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