Connecticut, Flowers, Gardens, House Tours, Travels

Miss Rosie Gets Recognized, Goes Into Cruise Mode, and Hosts a GIVEAWAY!

Susan Branch !!

Miss Rosie is often the stimulus for a conversation with strangers.  People stop me to ask if she is a MacKenzie-Childs bag, and we converse happily but I NEVER reveal her name.  Sometimes people will help as she poses on steps and railings.  But this summer, as I stood in line waiting to talk to Susan Branch, balancing a pile of books, focusing my camera, and watching my almost–94–year old mother (because I never know what she will be up to next!) a beautiful woman directly behind me spoke.  She started to tell me about this group of women she knew of who traveled with their M-C totes and then reported the travels on blogs.  As she spoke she must have seen the confusion on my face as I wondered if I should disclose that I was in fact one of them, because she suddenly asked if Miss Rosie was one of the Traveling Totes.  Yes, I admitted!   So there I was, standing between Susan Branch and the clever, creative Monique from La Table de Nana!  I hardly knew which way to look or who to talk to first!!  Monique is the first blogger I have met in “real” 3–D life and I don’t even know what I said!

The occasion was a Susan Branch book signing on Cape Cod at a wonderful independent bookstore, Titcomb’s in Sandwich.  We enjoyed refreshments of lemonade and scrumptious cupcakes with cute heart picks.

And we listened to Susan talk about her longtime love of keeping journals, with lots of advice as to how to start and what to write about.  She even brought a selection of her journals along for us to see.  I love her work and now I love her too.  She was wonderful, patient, interesting, and everything you might guess she is from her delightful books and art.

And speaking of her longtime loves, her cute hubby, Joe, was there to entertain all the ladies, and he was actually just as sweet as she makes him sound in all her stories.  Miss Rosie has a little crush on him.  (shhh…don’t tell Mr. Fun!)

Joe Hall, hubby and true love of Susan Branch, posing with Miss Rosie!

I couldn’t bear the idea of a day trip to the Cape without a bit of splashing in the ocean, so I took my mom in her Princess hat down to Chatham to the beach and the Coast Guard light, and dined on our usual Day 1 fare whenever we go to the Cape: fried fish and ice cream.

It was a glorious day, with the sun shining and the tide out, and the colors were exactly like this.

Truly a day I will never forget.


Back home, Miss Rosie kept busy helping with the yard, carrying flowers to a tea party with Miss Posie.  You can see my totes taking tea here.  The flowers then came inside to sit on my kitchen table.  This has been a banner year for my yard flowers!!

As our very oldest friends (so old that Mr. Fun and Mr. L knew each other in junior high!!) live in Washington D.C., Miss Rosie’s travels often take her to the DC/Va area, and this summer was no exception.  We spent several long weekends exploring the area, so one day she decided to stay home for a beauty rest while I explored an historic home in Alexandria, VA.  I also had left my real camera home (regretting it as I usually do!) and had to take photos with my phone.  As I was trying to focus on the docent and the building, texts were flying into my phone from all the members of our Traveling Totes tribe.  A new Courtly Check tote had just been released and those of us with this obsession need to discuss immediately.  Should we?  No, none of us needs another bag!!!  But as the texts crossed my screen and I raised my phone to snap a pic of the entrance hall, this is what I saw.  Now, I ask you, what was this floor trying to tell me????

The house was the Carlyle House, where George Washington spent some of his young years in the army, when he was still a British colonist fighting the French, and not yet an American rebel, and as my fellow toter Rita from Panoply visited this house a few years ago and wrote a wonderful post on it, I will refer you to her blog, here.

I try to keep Miss Rosie well-rounded, and while I could spend lots of time visiting historic homes, I think it’s good for her to see some modern art.  We are members of the nearby famous New York Botanical Gardens, where there is always something fascinating and not just plants!  The conservatory dome is one of my favorite structures, anywhere.

This summer the master glass blower (that’s hardly an adequate description!), Dale Chihuly, did an installation of his art in the gardens.

Once night fell these incredible glass sculptures were lit and they created a magical, eerie atmosphere throughout the gardens and in the conservatory.

These looked like flames and water all at once.

This one looks like a giant dandelion here, but in the darkness of the garden, down a side path, it seemed as if a strange glowing spacecraft was hovering in midair.

Miss Rosie found some pieces that coordinated with her colors.

I’m not sure if I can truly pick a favorite piece, but some of these giant water lilies would certainly be in the running.

If you have a chance to go to a Chihuly exhibit, please do so!  You may like the sculptures or you may shake your head in wonder, but you will not be bored!

We scooted back to the Cape for our anniversary this year (37!) and Mr. Fun’s birthday (not 37) and stayed at our favorite (I think) Cape resort, Ocean Edge in Brewster.

I know this building does not look like typical beach style building, but it is from the 1800s.  Once a summer home (with its own railroad) and beautiful windows,

then a monastery, and now a fabulous resort.  Their land that was once a duck farm is now the golf course, and their farm is now a State Park, the first ever in Massachusetts.

Yummy, appetizers with eggplant paste, pignolia nuts, tiny tomatoes, feta cheese, and what’s the name of that peppery green leaf?  Delicious!

And of course, oysters.  Mr. Fun took me to Union Oyster House in Boston on our first date ever.

Now, Miss Rosie is pouting a bit because she just found out that she will not be starring in our December 1 Traveling Totes posts, as we will be showcasing our original totes and I will be taking Miss Poppy out of her dustbag!  But she says she doesn’t care, she intends to go on our September/October trip, and has already started preparing by visiting the impressive Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA (yes, home of the Salem witch trials, but also home to a huge collection of American art).

 In cooperation with the Victoria and Albert Museum of London, the Peabody Essex, or PEM, has curated a show of ocean liner and cruise ship items of historical significance.  As I write those words I am thinking, how boring does that sound?? But no!! The show is fascinating and I could have stayed for twice the amount of time Mr. Fun had allocated.

In September, Mr. Fun, Miss Rosie and I (and a great deal of other luggage!) will board the Queen Mary 2 right in New York harbor and set out for a 2 week cruise!  I’m so excited I can’t even sit still!  More about that trip later, but you must see some of the goodies they collected at PEM.

The Queen Mary 2, part of the Cunard line, is actually an ocean liner, not a cruise ship, much like the Queen Elizabeth which is modeled above.  This model took up an entire room.

The paper menus and guidebooks were beautifully decorated in the past.  I don’t think we will have menus like this, but if we do I will be sure to get one for a souvenir.  Also, I don’t think we will be served Partridge or Smoked Ox Tongue, and I certainly don’t intend to eat any ducklings!!  There were many dishes on display, and silver and crystal too.  I spent quite a long time examining all those pieces.  Are you surprised?

Oh, yes.  About those clothes!  The Cunard Line still requires formal wear for dinner.  Tuxedo, gown, and dancing to orchestras.  Informal nights I can wear a cocktail dress.  Someone wore this one on a Cunard ship.

Oh and of course we will need jewels and tiaras.  🙂  Mr. Fun gave me a tiara for our anniversary.  He is very naughty and if he thinks I won’t wear it on the ship then he will be very surprised.  I have already worn it while I was doing laundry and it feels like it belongs on me!  Channeling Cinderella here.

 This brooch was worn by Elizabeth Taylor (I think she was married to Richard Burton on that particular trip across the Atlantic) and the tiara belonged to one of the British royals, maybe not the American who was so beautiful and stylish that the Duke of Windsor gave up his throne to be with her.  Here’s his luggage, and Miss Rosie trying to get near enough to see it without the museum guards chastising her.

I don’t know, I think I’m going to need lots more luggage that this!

Miss Rosie had a few other adventures this summer but I’m exhausted already just talking about these and if you are still with me then you are in for a treat!  Lots of our summer was spent thinking about our next move.  And we actually started looking at destinations and houses.  I’ll fill you in next week, with the Travels of Miss Rosie Part 2, when I will also post the winner of this giveaway from our group of Traveling Toters (or toting travelers)!

All you need to do is leave a comment telling me something about cruises, or vacations, or your own tiara, or maybe Susan Branch, or the name of that green leaf (Katie, maybe the Mister knows!), or absolutely anything that lets me know you were here.  And please be sure to visit the rest of my traveling friends for more exciting travel stories!

Rita @ Panoply     Debbie @ Mountain Breaths     Jenna @ The Painted Apron

Sarah @ Hyacinths for the Soul     Patti @ Pandora’s Box

     Emily @ The French Hutch     Katie @ Preppy Empty Nester     Linda P. @ Life and Linda


I hope you have enjoyed our Tales!  Please come back next week to see the name of the winner of the soap dish and soap!

Linda  ~~ and Miss Rosie ~~ 🙂





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45 thoughts on “Miss Rosie Gets Recognized, Goes Into Cruise Mode, and Hosts a GIVEAWAY!

  1. Linda, You and your tiara will have so much fun on your cruise and I hope you take lots of photos to share. I clicked over via the link to the Queen Mary 2 to make sure your accommodations would be acceptable…I expected the spa, fine dining and A+ entertainment but a planetarium!…. and I saw QM2 has a dedicated Kennel Master, Chloe and Gracie could truly travel and be pampered in style! 🙂
    Your mom is cute in her princess hat and looking spry for her 93 years…fried fish and ice cream must be the secret and sounds like a wonderful Cape summer tradition.
    The peppery green leaf is red veined sorrel and your crostini looks delicious with the feta, pine nuts and tomatoes.
    So fun to attend Susan Branch signing and Miss Rosie was recognized by Monique. It truly is a small world, she was a long way from home!
    The Dale Chihuly glass exhibit at NYBG looks so magical illuminated at night. The fragility of those creations scare me, I can’t imagine installing them.
    I hope you took the sight of the checked floor as a sign from the universe and purchased a new CC tote. 🙂

  2. Great post. You’ll love your cruise. I’ve been on two and they are such happy memories for me. Don’t you just love Susan Branch? I hope you read her blog, especially her trips to and from England via ocean liner! That is so on my bucket list. Have a wonderful cruise and don’t forget to share it with us.

  3. Linda, I was enthralled with your adventures with Miss Rosie. Just one of them would have been exciting but so many I need to scroll back for another look.
    Your mother looks fabulous. I am amazed. Sounds like great fun to visit the cape and eat fried fish and ice cream.
    How exciting to meet Susan Branch and her husband as well as a fellow blogger that recognized Miss Rosie. So nice for you and Monique to meet.
    Your cruise sound wonderful and to visit the Peabody Essex was very timely to double your excitement as you anticipate your cruise.
    Great pics of food you enjoyed has my mouth watering. And I’m loving all the links to read about tea parties,Carlyle House and New York Botanical Gardens. Also, your yard flowers are spectacular. Always love your adventures.

  4. You wear that tiara, girl, and sparkle and shine. You’ve had quite a summer going from here to there with amiss Rosie at your side. That’s what I call living life to the fullest!

  5. So much eye candy and wonderful experiences, Linda!!
    The Susan Branch trip and being recognized by Monique – that’s very cool. And the trip with your mom – she reminds me of how my mom was, and I love her spirit that shines in that photo of her – glam lady! Thanks for the shout out on Carlysle – I definitely think that floor might’ve been a sign for you. The Chihuly exhibit – capturing the blue light with that sapphire star was fabulous. And the Art Deco period cruise exhibit at Salem – I would’ve been in 7th heaven! Those dishes, that DRESS (they should’ve procured one of my mesh or beaded bags for that!).
    I can’t wait to hear about your trip next time on the QM2, and all about your house/location hunt.
    Great trips this summer, you had!

  6. Ahhh, to cruise on the QM – lucky you! Can’t wait to read those posts! I also had someone recognize me and my tote (but that was in an apple orchard!) You just never know who reads out posts!! I missed Susan Branch by a week – again – keeps happening to me!! Chihuly’s work is amazing (however he doesn’t create anymore). I was at his garden in Seattle – amazing – but never got the chance to see it at night! Happy to see you enjoyed summer!

  7. Omg Linda, that is too funny about standing in line for Susan Branch and meeting someone who recognized Miss Rosie! Hilarious! Susan Branch is a delight, I would love to write and illustrate in her style, it’s wonderful to know she is even better in person! Your young mom is very spry indeed, how nice you can do fun things together- You certainly have been enjoying many adventures this summer, the Chihula exhibit is beyond words! Your cruise is going to be the adventure of a lifetime, and quite like going back in time…I am sure seeing the Ocean Liner exhibit really amped up your excitement! I can’t imagine the wardrobe you are going to need to dress for dinner every night! Luckily you have that tiara! I can’t get my husband to wear anything but shorts and a T shirt these days, he is truly a beach bum now. I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures! Thank you for hosting our giveaway.

  8. Your mom’s Princess hat:) I had not seen her in it..

    wasn’t that day just etched in your memory for life?

    It will always stay with me..
    they are magnets yur totes:)
    Made a connection happen! WARM and natural and funny!
    Joe also..
    Lovely lovely day indeed.
    A pleasure meeting you and your dear mom..although I never saw you w/out your glasses so w/out your purse you would be incognito to me..the time just flew..we only had moments in line….;)
    Have a beautiful fun filled cruise!

  9. Miss Rosie and you have been on some great adventures! I wish my Mom of 95 years was able to get around with me like your mom. I agree seeing that flooring was your sign to go ahead and order the other tote! What a special moment that had to be meeting Susan Branch and the fellow blogger! I will look forward to the pictures from your trip on the QM2! I always thought it would be fun to cross the ocean to go to England. 🚢

  10. Linda, welcome back, we’ve missed you! You have has a wonderful and full summer of travel and fun and spending time with your beautiful mom. Isn’t is fun when we are asked about our totes, I can’t tell you the times people just comment in passing “I love your bag” and sometimes “is that MC.” How wonderful it must have been to meet Susan Branch and her husband, oh I would love that! Great pics of Miss Rosie and I’ll never tell of her crush:) And, to have Monique standing nearby, I would have been overwhelmed. It was fun thinking about the new tote, funny how our phones exploded with the new release, and that floor may have been speaking to you. Isn’t the Chihuly art amazing. When we were in Seattle not so long ago we visited the museum there, amazing! Lind, wear your tiara on the amazing cruise one the Queen Mary 2. I want to hear details with you return, I mean really! All of your flowers are beautiful in the arrangement. What an exciting summer you’ve had! Belated birthday wishes to Mr. Fun and Happy Anniversary……………

  11. Miss Rosie is a well traveled gal, and I have to tell you that Miss Merri Mac is making noises that she needs to get out and about more in the coming months. She is not happy just hanging around on the chair in my office. Seriously, your post reveals a fabulous summer filled with fun and interesting destinations. You know I adore Cape Cod, Susan Branch, and most of all Monique. How I would love to meet her!!!
    The QM2 would be a dream trip for me. We talked about it for this September, but didn’t follow through. Now that I read about a kennel, perhaps Sadie could join the fun. Eager to read about this next adventure! I would love to see that exhibit in Salem. Going to investigate how far it is from Centerville. I’ll be there for a few days before NY.
    Have a fabulous cruise with smooth sailing!

  12. I see some Chihuly pieces that I haven’t seen previously in the permanent installation of our city’s art museum. In particular, I really like the flamingoes. Charming. I’m thrilled that you will be cruising on the QM2. Sweet Mr. Was on the Europe to America portion of the final cruise of the Queen Mary 1 in the summer of ’67. At that time, it would still be several months before we met each other on a blind date. We’ll have been married 49 years this December. Thank Miss Rosie for beautifully enhancing each of your travel photos. She’s quite the professional model, always striking the perfect pose. Thanks for carrying us along on your journey, too. Cherry Kay

  13. Just found your blog with the Preppy Empty Nester and am falling in love with it. I also love Susan Branch and met her at the Plainville Ma. bookstore, she is just wonderful to everyone, also have been on the QM2 for a cruise to Canada and it was just wonderful. Love the Chihuly pieces, have seen the wonderful exhibit that the MFA in Boston had as well as the ceiling in the Bellagio in LV. So many other things you have written about I love. Thank you!!!!

  14. Lovely post Linda. Loving he story of meeting Monique. She is lovely lady with so much talent. Great story about meeting Susan Branch.
    Your mom is adorable. How special to share these adventures with her. The Chihuly art is stunning. I am so glad you shared this with us. I hope you and the Mr. have a glorious time cruising.

  15. Susan Branch is such an interesting, talented woman. I’m sure her talk was very fun. Why wouldn’t Miss Rosie be recognized, she certainly gets around?

  16. Wow! I love everything about this post. I love Susan Branch. Have all her early cookbooks when she was relatively unknown. And a few newer books. God bless your sweet mom. She is so cute. I would love to stay at that beautiful inn on the Cape one time. Can’t wait to hear all about your trip on the QE 2.

  17. Just linked to your blog from the preppy empty nester. Love your photos, Miss Rosie and of course Susan Branch. Enjoy your cruise!

  18. My family and I just got back from our wonderful summer vacation. Seeing yours and the other bloggers vacations looked wonderful too! (I was especially jealous of the trip to Stonewall Kitchen, I’d love to go there!) Thank you for such a lovely giveaway opportunity!

  19. This is my first time reading your lovely blog and I’ll be sure to bookmark it! I’ve never been on any cruises but my husband just retired and we plan on doing a lot of traveling. European river cruises appeal to me so I think that will be our first cruise. I, too, am a fan of Susan Branch. Last, your Cape Cod pictures had such beautiful blue skies. Cape Cod is such a magical place and your pictures made me wish I was there!

    I look forward to visiting your blog and hearing about your QM cruise. Enjoy!

  20. When I was a child my family went cross country by car. I was wearing a Brooklyn Dodger baseball cap. A bee came in the car and landed on my hat. I tossed the hat out the window onto Route 66. Needless to say,my father did not stop the car to retrieve the hat. Thanks for the giveaway.

  21. When I was a baby my parents took me to Saratoga to get away from the heat of the city. We later found out that it was cooler in the city. I got sick from the heat. Thank you for this giveaway.

  22. My family went to California to visit my Grandmother,Aunts,Uncles and cousin. I immediately got an asthma attack because of a dog. We had to leave,so my birthday party was cancelled. I My twin and I had our birthday in Arizona at an motel. Not exactly the birthday that was planned. Thanks for this giveaway.

  23. I am a “Traveling Tote” traveler….thanks to Debbie of Mountains breath blog… and a Mackenzie Childs 🏁 Lover for at least 20+ years… She “suggested” I get that 1st tote …now 4 MC bags later…😀😉 And i love all of them!.. Not a blogger, But I so enjoy all of you ladies and your adventures with your bags! Thanks for sharing all these great memories!

  24. Linda, what a fabulous summer you have enjoyed! I love Susan Branch’s beautiful books and how nice you met her and Monique! I have been to Chihuly’s beautiful museum and gardens in Seattle and it is breathtaking! I can’t wait to hear about your cruise. We have taken several European cruises on Oceania’s gorgeous ships! I have never been disappointed from St.Petersburg to Istanbul and Provence to Naples and all points in between! I enjoyed reading your “fun” experiences with Miss Rosie! Your mom is a doll!

  25. I can only imagine the fun you will have, wearing a tiara on the cruise!
    Always at the Captain’s table with that tiara and dress. Have a great time!

  26. I popped over from The Preppy Nester and loved reading your blog. I met Elizabeth Taylor when she was married to Sen. John Warner, and she was a delight. Someone asked her where her huge diamond ring was (a gift from ex Richard Burton) and she replied” oh that old thing is too heavy to wear,” I was a flight attendant at the time and Miss Taylor and the Senator were sitting in Coach! They were both the nicest people.

  27. My 7 days aboard QM2 were magical. I loved breakfast in bed each morning with the adorable scoops of scrambled eggs. We played trivia in the pub and went to tea everyday. We did a champagne tasting at the Veuve Cliquot lounge. We visited the doggies at the kennel. My most special memory though is the Big Band evening in the ballroom, watching the dancing & drinking my new favorite Veuve Cliquot Demi-Sec. I hope your trip fulfills all your trans-Atlantic dreams as it did mine!

  28. ahhh….what a great time…seeing SB and Joe would have been such a thrill…and your mama…adorable.
    I thank you for giving me a chance to win this generous giveaway.
    We had a wonderful family cruise (my first) several years ago that I will never forget.
    However, the cruise that stands out in my mind was given to Mr. Sweet and I for our 50th wedding anniversary by our children and grandchildren. It was to ALASKA, which was #1 on Mr. Sweet’s Bucket List…we were so so thrilled..and he was just in Heaven all thru the wonderful cruise. Since he just passed away in July, the trip and memories mean so much to me. We are all so thankful that he got to go on his dream trip.

  29. Oh my goodness! I am so glad that I stumbled onto your lovely blog!! I live in Overland Park, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City. I was able to see Susan Branch last year at a book signing in KC! I love her too!! It is fun to be able to see Cape Cod, and the area you live in, you do a great job of describing things!! Am so happy I found you!!

  30. I have just started following the traveling totes and I must say that they sure have a fun time no matter where they go. I love all of your totes and I really wish that I had one also. Maybe if I put it on my Christmas list Santa will bring me one.

    Your travels sound wonderful and to meet Susan Branch – how great is that and your special mom, she must have had a terrific time.

    Tell Miss Rosie, that I love roses and have a 100 + and if she was here would cut a bouquet for Miss Rosie.

    Please enter me into your give away.

    Have a wonderful rest of this Labor Day Weekend.


  31. Linda, I’m finally here seeing your wonderful post! We had poor cell service at our camp and usually Verizon is pretty good in the mountains. Not this weekend! Your adventures with Miss Rosie are all fascinating, and Miss Aurora and I would have enjoyed tagging along 🙂 Your mother stole the show! You are lucky to have her. How exciting to meet Susan Branch and Joe, AND Monique. I would love to meet Monique some day. We have been blog friends for many years and I adore her. I just checked out your upcoming cruise and can’t wait to hear all about it. So happy that you and Mr. Fun are enjoying life! We love the Botanical Gardens and your yard flowers are spectacular!

  32. Just linked to your blog from The Preppy Empty Nester. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Your Miss Rosie gets around!! Enjoy your cruise.

  33. I love the Louis Vuitton suitcases!. I have a wonderful collection of antique L.V. trunks including stories of their owners and travel history.

  34. I am so thrilled to find your blog! I have followed Susan Branch for years. I have so many of her books…some with yellowed pages from old age. lol I am just getting started with the MC obsession. We just got home from Nantucket, so I especially enjoyed your Nantucket Basket Purse entry. I plan to spend the rest of the day reading your older posts.

  35. Hi Linda, Haven’t heard from you in a long time! I can’t believe you met Monique! I have been friends with her for years, even before blogging!
    That’s great!
    Hope your cruise was great. I don’t know if you know Mike passed away suddenly May 25. I still can’t believe it.
    Get in touch when you can.

  36. I loved this post, what a fun summer you and Miss Rosie had. I saw a Chihuly exhibit at Fairchild Tropical gardens in Florida but seeing one lit up at night is really something special. I can’t wait to hear all about your wonderful cruise and I certainly hope to see you wearing your tiara.

  37. I have joined the TT’s also! How funny that people recognized Rosie and that you got to meet Monique! She was one of the first blogs I followed. The Chihulies are stunning. I remember watching a show on him making them years before I ever saw any of his sculptures or lights. They are all so stunning.
    So happy to be part of the group, and to take Miss Madi K along with!

  38. I’ve been taking photos of light fixtures for years, so I immediately adored yours . I see them as works of art. The conservatory is magnificent. We have a permanent Chihuly exhibit in our city art gallery. I love to photograph his pieces, too. Thank Miss Rosie for carrying us along on the journey. CherryKay

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