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Entries in travel (9)


Paris Trip Part 2: photos & sketches

First of all, i keep putting my foot in my mouth when I say I'm going to post something on a certain date… I never learn. This week has been a blur of all-nighters and long hours with the Stationery Show madness so I apologize for the lack and delay of posts.

Here are a bunch of photos from the trip. Some are film and others are from my iPhone. I also included a few sketches and little paintings that I did on the trip..

So, Paris was every bit as lovely as I imagined and I loved every minute. I think I had a goofy grin on my face for the first few days as I tried to soak in every bit of the surroundings. Like I said in the last post, I would spend the mornings wandering and then would come back to my apartment in the late afternoon to work and relax. Because I was by myself I purposely didn't see all of the things I wanted to because I hope that Nathan and I can return together one day and wanted to leave a few things for the two of us to discover.


A few of my favorite things about Paris were: Luxembourg Gardens (and those cute stands selling children's toys), Musee d'Orsay, wandering the streets (loved St. Germain and Le Marais best), walking along the Seine, the cafes and all their beautifully hand-written signs, fresh pastries, the stadium style seating at the cafes for people watching (though I never liked to be the one walking and being stared at), the architecture, fashion, food… basically everything.

One morning a woke up incredibly early and walked to the Notre Dame right as it opened and got to walk around the church with no more than 8 other people in the building. That was one of my favorite experiences. It was so overwhelming and peaceful. I loved the Musee d'Orsay and its impressionist paintings. I did go the Louvre but honestly I was so overwhelmed by both the size of the museum and the crowds that I didn't know what to do with myself and left soon after finding some of my favorite paintings. I saw the Eiffel Tower (which I didn't realize is a bit out of the way from  most of the areas I was in) late at night and loved seeing it all lit up.. quite magical. So many things... 


For my last Paris trip I'll post about my recommendations as well as compile the list of suggestions that you guys gave me for anyone going to Paris (i hope to do that Monday but I can't say for sure.. see? I'm learning :)


all photos & sketches by Anna Bond

p.s. who is excited for that royal wedding tomorrow?! I'm VERY excited (as nathan rolls his eyes at me).


Paris Trip Part 1: getting there

photos of the The Seine & me standing in the Place de la Concorde (Champs-Elysées & Arc de Triomphe in background).

Paris Trip Part 1: Getting There

I can't believe it's already been a couple weeks since i've returned from Paris but I had the most wonderful time. Time is now flying by as I prepare for the National Stationery Show in New York but I wanted to post about my trip before too long.

I thought I'd post in 3 parts.. why i decided to go, my pictures , and my compilation of suggestions and tips for those planning their own Parisian getaway.

I decided to go to Paris very last minute and started planning the trip about 2 weeks before I left. I've been working so hard, non-stop for the past year and a half and it really started to take a toll on me after the new year. I felt like I just needed to get away for a week to recharge and find some new creative inspiration. So, I gave myself a reasonable budget and started looking at renting a house or apartment in a US city. On a whim I researched the cost of a trip to Paris (it's always been a dream to go) and was shocked to find it was coming out around the same price. So, why not? I hunted down a great 1 bedroom apartment for an amazing rate in Le Marais and booked the trip. 

I'm not a big planner, especially when I travel. I like to have some things planned and to be prepared to find my way around but I also love being spontaneous and the freedom to just wing it. So, I gathered all your wonderful suggestions (which were so helpful and I will organize & post into Part 3), downloaded some great apps (Paris Metro, maps, and a translator) and was on my way! 

the corner of the apartment building I stayed in in Le Marais (4th Arr.) and my work desk overlooking the courtyard.

The point of the trip was to see new things/creative inspiration, work on new product designs, and try to promote Rifle Paper Co. to a some shops in Paris. I rented an apartment so that I'd have a great workspace during the trip and immediately set up a desk area by my courtyard window. My overseas office consisted of my painting materials (paints, paper, and brushes), my laptop, travel scanner, and portable hard drive. 

I decided to explore the city each morning for inspiration and then came back to the apartment late afternoon to relax , sketch, and work. I have to say, it worked out wonderfully and I fell in love with Paris. It was everything (and more) that I hoped it would be. Oh, the cafes! I don't think you have to go far away or exotic to be able to recharge but it's something that I think is so important for anyone who works hard. It made me realize how little time I was taking on a daily basis to just relax and enjoy myself so I'm trying to make that a priority and I already see how it helps me work better. For example, I used to rush out to get lunch and often brought it back to eat at my desk while i worked. I've decided to take a longer lunch break and walk, instead of drive, to a place to eat and read a book while I'm there.. that little change has already made a huge difference. It's easy to forget that the breaks can actually make you work more efficiently. So, in that sense, the trip was wonderful for me. I feel refreshed, recharged, and full of new ideas.

On monday I'll post my photos from the trip and on wednesday i'll organize your tips and my own for visiting Paris (and traveling solo)...


p.s. Happy Easter Weekend!

all photos by Anna Bond


bonjour from paris!

Bonjour from Paris! It's been a crazy trip so far (hello lost luggage) but I'm loving every minute and I've fallen in love with Paris. I've been gathering loads of creative inspiration, stuffing my face with pastries and wearing out my poor feet from walking so much. I also love my quaint little apartment in Le Marais where I've set up shop creating new designs in front of my window overlooking the courtyard.

huge thanks for all your suggestions. The main point of trip is to finish designs so I know i can't see everything but I'm trying to explore all that I can. I'll share pictures and recap the trip after I return!


iphone photo & text by Anna Bond 


paris in spring!

1. juniper rose scarf  2. chic LBD from Anthro  3. Arches watercolor paper & brushes  4. Madame Bovary  5. sandals from Madewell  6. striped sweater  7. straw fedora  8. I dream of Chloe bags...  9. vintage French phrase book

I bursting with excitement because in a week I leave for Paris. I've rented a little apartment and am hoping to wrap up all our new designs that will debut at the National Stationery Show. I normally wouldn't do something so crazy to finish designs but when I was looking for places to get away I realized that Paris was actually just as reasonable as my original plan of flying to Seattle and staying in a hotel. I've also decided to be spontaneous in life whenever possible... so Paris it is!

I've dreamed of going for so long... and was still heartbroken after I had to miss a trip back in college when I lost my passport 2 days before I was supposed to leave. TRAGIC. (I found the passport 4 years later stuck in a random book). So, any Parisian tips for me? I'd love to hear! The apartment I rented is in the 4th arrondissement, I speak about 5 words of French, I'm on a pretty strict budget, and will be traveling solo.. 



...of visiting exotic far off locals like Cappadocia, Turkey. so amazing! I'd love to stay in one of the cave hotels like this one.


happy weekend: let's dream of awesome vacations shall we?

my dream vacation right now? Taking the train to Miami (I still have not been since I moved to Florida 4 years ago) and staying at the The Raleigh Hotel. It's looks perfect. A classy mid-century styled hotel on the beach. yes, please. I'll take a gin & tonic as I sit by that pool...

images via The Raleigh website


what's YOUR dream vacation right now?



photos from the trip pt. 2

(L) Hydrangeas at the Montreal Botanical Gardens (R) a hike to the Hudson RiverRoses at the Montreal Botanical Gardens(L) Dhalias at the Montreal Botanical Gardens (R) Quebec City

Quebec City

all photos were taken on film with my favorite camera, my Minolta SRT 201 made in the 60's. It was my first real camera that my dad gave me when I was 14.


back home! photos from the trip pt. 1

Nathan and I arrived back in Florida to the heat and a pile of work but after being gone for two weeks we were ready to come back. It was a wonderful and relaxing trip filled with lots of hikes, fresh air, good food, a trip to Canada, and time with family. Here are a few photos from the trip... I'll post more tomorrow along with a new invitation set.

The cabin sign that I hand painted and carved for my parents

The cabin

(L) the dirt road leading to the cabin (R) wildflowers that I picked around the house

Nathan atop Pok-O-Moonshine Mountain

bull bucking at a rodeo in Lake George, NY



When Nathan and I picked Mexico for our honeymoon I wanted so badly to go stay at the Verana hotel but it's located on the west coast (near Puerto Vallarta) and instead of traveling so far and trying to see both sides of the country we just decided to rent a car and stay at a few different places around the Yucatan. We're dreaming of going back and staying here someday though.. Doesn't it look like the most perfect hotel?

photos via Verana's site