Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Trip of a Lifetime!

© Susan Branch

So, how do I share this piece of incredible information with all of you? 
To be honest, it still hasn't sunken into me yet. If you recall, I had briefly hinted at a potential New England Excursion in my last post, but didn't want to tell you guys until I knew for sure it was actually happening. And it is. As unbelievable as it is to me, it really is going to happen. Next month. In Martha's Vineyard. My heaven on earth. Home.


As all of you know, and I'm sure many of you share with me, I love Susan Branch. Susan Branch, for those who are unfamiliar, is an American author/illustrator of most notably her Heart of the Home series of cookbooks, who also runs a beautiful and drool-worthy blog of her life in Martha's Vineyard. She is the one responsible for igniting my love for New England in the first place (read the whole story here), the one I owe my thanks to for inspiring me each and every day with her lovely books and her wonderful, inspirational life.
Susan moved from California to the Vineyard, she told us, to make a fresh start, with virtually all of her savings, without knowing anyone there or even what to expect. Can you imagine leaving everything behind and moving cross county to a little unfamiliar island, alone? And what an incredible woman- she honed her talent there in a tiny studio within her modest home, and became the extremely popular and highly successful artist she is today.

That, my friends, is why I consider her my idol. And why I'm going all the way up to the Vineyard in August to meet her at her very first book signing/talk for her latest book, A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside !


You heard right! 
On August 15th at the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven (Susan Branch's home turf!), I will be meeting Susan Branch for the very first time on the very island that is closest to my heart ♥

... And that's not all!

You wouldn't believe what else is going on the island, the night before the day I meet Susan...
Come on, Martha's Vineyard enthusiasts! August 14th, third Wednesday in August...
Give up?

The Grand Illumination in Oak Bluffs!

The Grand Illumination, an island tradition dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, is a dazzling event which usually takes place the third Wednesday in August. The town of Oak Bluffs, known for their charming gingerbread-style houses, creatively adorn these said homes with beautiful and ornate paper lanterns, creating a colorful glow throughout this little patch of the island that is sure to leave you breathless!

Okay... let me just compose myself, 'cause I'm getting giddy just thinking about all of this! 
Two dreams, scratch that, three dreams (because I was not expecting to return to the Vineyard so soon!) are about to come true for me. A good question is: how am I ever going to contain myself once I'm there?! I guess that's what my boyfriend will be there for- to supply me with the tissues and hugs!

So, Jake and I will be leaving early in the a.m. and heading up to Woods Hole in Cape Cod to take the ferry to Oak Bluffs. From there we're going to walk (we're leaving the car behind) to the charming little cottage we're staying in- The Tivoli Inn in Oak Bluffs- and cram in as much sight seeing that we can during the course of two days. And meet Susan Branch, of course.

The Tivoli Inn

I know this is an understatement, but...

I CAN'T WAIT!

32 comments:

  1. So excited for you, Erin. I know you'll have a blast. Take lots of pics so we can live vicariously through you. :) looking forward to more blog posts!!
    Patricia xx

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  2. i m so happy for you! i can't wait to see all of the photos you take!

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  3. Yay, Erin!! I know how much this trip will mean to you!! So thrilled for you...try & sleep before you leave, I can imagine you giddy with excitement!! Hugs xx

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  4. Erin, this is really big news. YOU, Missy Erin, are the one who got ME hooked on Susan Branch, who I wasn't really familiar with. And now I have been a loyal follower of her blog for all this time, loving her gorgeous home, Beatrix Potter collection (and her Peter Rabbit room), her sweet kitties, her kitchen and recipes and so forth and so on.....SO I am doubly thrilled for you, because your love of NE and Martha's Vineyard and Susan Branch has really become my love too! I hope you will have an enjoyable conversation with Susan, she is so down to earth and sweet. Can't wait to read all about it. You, my friend, are going to Martha's Vineyard......Fabulous!!!!! Hugs from Robin.

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    1. Robin, you have no idea how much your comment means to me. I feel so honored to have had a hand in sparking your love for SB and the New England region! I couldn't feel more rewarded by creating this blog and knowing that I could have such a special impact on people. Thank you so much <3

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  5. Erin, you have no idea how much I would like to be there too! Yes, I have been a fan of Susan Branch for many years and have all her cookbooks, plus I just cannot make it through the year without her calendar adorning the wall by the telephone! Being able to go to Oak Bluffs at this time is such an opportunity! Susan is such an inspiration, and her blog is like a breath of fresh air! We actually were able to take a trip to Martha's Vineyard a couple of years ago, in the fall. Returning is on my "bucket list.":-) I know you will have a marvelous time, and I look forward to reading all about it via your blog!
    xo Nellie

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  6. Erin - HOW WONDERFUL!! I can just imagine how excited you are - I would be too. I first discovered SB back in the late 1980's when we used to travel from the UK to Cape Cod every summer. There was this wonderful book shop with this amazing cook book! I bought a copy home with me and I have been a huge fan of hers ever since - I have all her books sitting here in Devon England on my kitchen shelf, and always have her calendar. The days and months are more fun with a SB calendar hung on the wall!
    I cannot wait to see all your photos! Take care x

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  7. Whoo-hoo! I am so excited for you! How did i not come across your blog before?! I am so glad I found it now! Looking forward to reading more of your posts! Have a wonderful day! xo

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  8. Erin--I'm turning green with envy! Take lots of pictures and I'll look forward to seeing them and reading your blog! Enjoy!!! Pat M. :-)

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    1. Hello, Pat! I see your name on the Susan Branch Blog all the time:) So I just had to squeeze in a "hello" to a sister girlfriend.

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  9. I was just reading the Susan Branch blog last night. Her new book about England looks to be a good one. I am so happy for you. You will have a wicked blast on MV.

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  10. Hi Erin....so happy you are back and I am thrilled that you will be going to the Vineyard to meet Susan....I adore her blog, too. I know you will have a wonderful time. When you go to Illumination, be sure to look for the cottage (has always had green trim) and it says MORSE on the front. I like to pretend it is mine. Such a unique place. You will have a wonderful time.

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  11. Your blog is just lovely! I, too, lovelovelove all things Susan Branch, and now, I am thrilled beyond words, to meet her in person! I tweeted just a bit ago, but as i am a new tweeter, I'm not sure if the message came through. My husband and I will be attending the book signing at Bunches of Grapes and hoping to get to Illumination night, as well. I have just viewed those darling little cottages and might just have to call and see if there is any availability, at this late date. We have reservations in Boston, but there is no fee for cancellation....hmmmmm....I'm making phone calls tomorrow:)
    So glad to find a kindred spirit and fellow "girlfriend."
    Christie

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    1. Christie, that's wonderful! I hope to see you there :) Let me know if you find any accommodations! I know the inn I'm staying in had some availability as of last week... They may still!

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    2. We were fortunate to get a room in the Victorian Inn!! Right there in Edgartown...So we wont be having to stay in Boston. AND, we'll get to be at Grand Illumination AND the book signing!! Soo so excited. We will have to look for each other:) See you soon, fellow girlfriend!

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    3. Christie, that's great! Have you stayed in the Victorian Inn before? That's where I stayed a couple of years ago on my last trip to the Vineyard. You can check out my experience there here: http://iheartnewengland.blogspot.com/2011/07/marthas-vineyard-part-i.html

      It is an incredible inn- absolutely beautiful with impeccable service. You will love it! Hope to run into you there! I'll be heading on over to Edgartown our third day(we added another night to our trip!) :)

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    4. Oh! So glad your experience at the Victorian Inn was wonderful! I just simply can't wait! Yay for you, adding another night...we must try to meet up somewhere!

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    5. You will love it- afternoon tea and cookies, decanters of sherry in each room-heavenly! I hope to see you at the signing! I know another friend who's going too... So exciting to see you all there! ♥

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  12. This is so awesome, Erin!!! What a fun trip, AND you get to meet the author who you love so much! I ordered a copy of her autumn book the other day and am anxiously awaiting its arrival! I am so ready for fall. Cant wait to hear how the trip goes! I bet the island is amazing!

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  13. Hi Erin!
    I just found your blog today while looking up Susan Branch's new book! I had the pleasure of meeting Susan at the Titcomb bookshop in Sandwich MA when her Autumn book came out! : ) I am planning a trip back there in August for her next book signing. I too would love to go to the Vineyard! : ) I love your blog! So happy to be following you!! : )

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    1. Hi, Elizabeth! So glad you found me! How wonderful to visit Susan at the Titcomb Bookshop for her Autumn book signing! That is my favorite book of hers, and I LOVE that book store :) Are you going to the next book signing at the Titcomb Bookshop, or the one on the Vineyard? Either one, it's sure to be fantastic!

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  14. Erin, I zipped over from Heather's blog and I am so excited for you! I too am a Susan Branch enthusiast and follow along her blog closely! She has always inspired me and responsible for Martha's Vineyard being on my bucket list of must visit one day too. Her new book is going to be so awesome and your being able to attend a book signing and meet her in person is so wonderful. I live here in Florida so I am hoping there might be a signing within a reasonable driving distance as well. I ordered her book last summer on the early bird special and cannot wait for it to come this fall. Did you see on her blog that a big shipment already arrived at her home?? It just makes one giddy to think about finally getting a copy of your own! Looking forward to pictures and stories of your visit in August! It is going to be Epic!

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    1. Winnie, thank you for visiting my blog :) I hope you get to meet Susan at one of her signings this fall! ♥

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  15. Sounds like you are going to have a great time. I can't wait to see pics.

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  16. I'm definitely going to have to hit that Grand Illumination! That looks amazing!

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